If readers have a couple of hours to spare can I recommend watching a debate which took place in America last week? Not the predictably unenlightening Presidential one, but a discussion of one of the most important and complex dilemmas of our time. Organised by the excellent Intelligence Squared US, the motion is: ‘Better Elected Islamists than Dictators’. It includes three excellent speakers, Zuhdi Jasser, Daniel Pipes and Reuel Marc Gerecht.

The discussion is interesting in part because the side arguing for the motion do not like Islamists and the side against the motion do not like dictators. As Daniel Pipes pithily sums up at one point, ‘nobody likes anybody’. The question, though, is what we do about it.

If you don’t have time for the full thing I would at least recommend watching the exchange from about 44 minutes till just over 46 minutes which gets to one of the hearts of this subject.

Tags: Islam, Islamism, Middle East