Just wanted to post a quick “thank you” to everyone who was praying for tonight’s debate at the East London Mosque. We were informed upon arriving that it is the “largest mosque in Europe.” Whether that is the case or not, I don’t know, but it is surely an impressive facility! Everyone was very kind to us, and I am very thankful for the opportunity of debating there. In this picture you see the front of the mosque, but the large building behind it is also a part of the facility. In fact, we debated in a conference room directly between the minarets in this picture on the top floor of windows. You can see the view from up there in the lower picture. Unfortunately, the lift was not working, so everyone had to prove their aerobic fitness by climbing many flights of stairs to get to the room!
I would say the crowd was about 50/50 Muslim/Christian, which, given the location and the part of London the mosque is located in, very much surprised me. Good groups of fired-up young Christian men from the Met Tab and from Trinity Road Chapel and other churches made the trek to be there, for which I am very grateful. Peter Ould, David Ould’s brother (David has been my big contact down in Sydney, and arranged the last debate I did with Abdullah Kunde) was there as well, and he and Douglas, aka, “LondonTruth” in our chat channel, “live tweeted” the debate.
Since I have to get up in the morning to catch a train to do the Unbelievable Radio program (we will be doing a show with some Muslim representatives on Muslim sensitivities regarding Muhammad, a timely topic!), and I still have work to do to be ready for the debate Wednesday night with Sami Zaatari, I will forego a full report on the arguments and the debate itself. I will simply say Zakir Hussain did a lot of preparation and defended his position to the best of his ability. But he is young, and inexperienced, and fell into the trap of doing the “fast talking machine gun/shot gun approach.” Even he admitted he was “all over the place,” and he was. He forgot that if the audience does not follow you, and does not think that you are attempting to bring them along, you will accomplish nothing. It is a lesson I learned myself only after doing a number of debates. He became quite aggressive in the rebuttal periods, and that is always a bad move. I am not good at many things in this life, but turning aggression from my opponent around and using it to the advantage of the truth is one skill I do possess, by grace. Ever since my first debate, when my opponent gets angry, I get all the more focused. It’s just the way the Lord made me. And that came out tonight, to be sure.
We had some great conversations afterward, and again, everyone at the East London Mosque was gracious and kind to us. I hope to have the opportunity of debating there again in the future, to be sure!
Please continue to pray for the work here in London, and this weekend in Germany, as it has just begun. Pray I remain healthy and focused! One down, three more to go!