University of Oxford

Matthew Handley | Islam Is A Peaceful Religion | Oxford Union

Matthew Handley gives his argument for Islam being a peaceful religion.
SUBSCRIBE for more speakers ►
Follow Matthew Handley on Twitter @
Facebook @
Twitter @
Oxford Union Website @

Matthew Handley started the debate by grounding it in recent events, deploring the previous day’s “reprehensible act in Woolwich”, a sentiment that he was sure would be shared by Muslims around the world.

Handley continues by separating the religion of Islam from the individuals who “violently hijack faith for violent and maniacal ends” and maintains that the Qur’an has an “overwhelmingly peaceful character.”

In the light of the “decade long surge of violence and aggression” against Islam since 9/11, he summarises the debate as a choice between “love and hate and rejection, peace and conflict” and concludes: “I hope you make the right choice.”

Yes’s: 286
No’s: 168
Filmed on 28/02/2013

Studies History at Oxford University and is a mentor for the Debate Mate programme.

The Union is the world’s most prestigious debating society, with an unparalleled reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford. It has been established for 189 years, aiming to promote debate and discussion not just in Oxford University, but across the globe.

Rights managed by Oxford Media Associates

Filmed by Oxford Media Solutions


Click here to post a comment

  • "Muslims are the victims"… right… when you'll have right wing death squads, as a consequence of letting your people be raped and murdered by third world rejects, don't be surprised.

  • He says a tweet saying we should kill all the muslims was retweeted thousands of times which i don't agree with, please tell me how many muslims were tweeting this attack is disgusting and these people should be punished for the attack ?

  • Fast forward to 2016 and Islam is murdering it's way through Europe and America,lol. This guy is such a little cunt. I love how they bring up one or two examples of Christian or Buddhist terrorism that happened back in the 80's lol.

  • I feel the peace.

    Quran 9:29-Fight against Christians and Jews ”until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.” Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – fight until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

    Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 484: – “Allah said, ‘A prophet must slaughter before collecting captives. A slaughtered enemy is driven from the land. Muhammad, you craved the desires of this world, its goods and the ransom captives would bring. But Allah desires killing them to manifest the religion.’”

  • It is not the God of Islam that would call for the murder soldier Rigby nor would it be the Muslim people.  It is the god Lucifer who is worshipped by warmongers and murderers.  These two who were guilty of this said they done this by Allah!  They are liars and the people who put them up to this are evil.

  • Islamics justify reprehensible acts of violence in the name of Allah! The majority of muslims around the world if asked may say they disagree with acts of violence, but deep inside condone such acts by keeping silent… why else won't they protest or speak against them?
    Unfortunately the british are going to lose their country!

  • Europeans terrorized and plundered the world for 300 years in name of civilizing and enlighting people by forcefully imposing english language and christianity…sometimes forcefully converted people to embrace christianity in their colonies…some of the ethnic and religious clashes and tensions around the world is the direct result of European colonialism…Europeans are involved in biggest warfares and crimes in past centuries for example holocaust and world wars…religious and ethnic tensions in the western Asia,Africa and so called Islamic terrorism are direct result of Neo -colonial and military policies of USA and Europe in those countries…I dont hold sympathy for those muslim black sheeps who terrorize and kill innocent people in the name of religion which is actually a part of their political hooliganism….we shouldnt judge a religion in terms of what the followers of that particular religion do, instead it should be other way round…so, no religion promotes terrorism and violence…Infact religion comes into being as the result of philosophical and intellectual movement with humanitarianism as its goal.

  • I wonder which Imam did this kid go to take his Islamic classes. Islamic terror is murdering people to the tune of thousands. And yet these men in suits who call themselves "intellectuals" are working hard to defend the "religion of peace".

  • cmon everyone, stop bagging this guy. its a DEBATE , there has to be For and Against taken for a proposition.  he is required to make an argument regardless of what he thinks. its an exercise in public speaking and structuring a case.  he is just unlucky to get the task of arguing to support an obvious lie

  • muslims are violent and intolerant this is afensive to the people involved white wash of brittish culture into a islamic cultural this socilist boy needs his head cut off for this very afensive speach to the death of a brittish solider by the hand of a black born islamic britten apparently in love with multiculturalism this boy is naive and is likely a muslim himself ranting like a mad islamist this is just compleat shit

  • One day, this fool is going to feel deeply embarrassed about this, and rightly so. He represents a very dangerous breed of younger people who have been brainwashed by lefty media and bullied by political correctness. Out of all the speakers in this debate, this young man is without doubt the most dangerous.

  • This little moron spent the majority of his time deciding the terms of how his opposition can win. What did he base it on? The shit dribbling out of his own arse. It's a cheap trick to try and unbalance the debate before it even begins, he may as well have been shouting "ISLAMOPHOBES!" and waving a stick. This was not present during similar debates around whether OTHER religions are a force for good or peaceful, and is just another sign that oxford cannot be objective at all anymore. It's a shame to see a once proud university, a symbol of education in and of itself, be reduced to this farce.

  • where did you all guys learn about Qur'an? Did you know "asbabun nuzul"?? Qur'an and Hadits is our way of life, hadits explain the Qur'an, so that both of them cannot be separated. And my question is, have you all read your own Bible? There is also verses that explain about killings, torture, war, etc.

    if you learn from the wrong person, all you get is nothing but the false information. I don't care if you're jews, catholic, christiant, buddha, Hindu, or else. If you're good person, let's be friend!

    Do you hate a good person? or do you love a bad person? Lakum Dinukum Waliyadin

  • My goodness, you have to do a lot of mental gymnastics to get from Lee Rigby was murdered in the name of Allah to Islam is a religion of peace. My question to you is: did you at some point in all your parameter-building, your wheedling and illogical arguments think to yourself "my goodness I'm talking a lot of nonsense"? If you have to work this hard to create the pretext in which Islam is a religion of peace, have you not considered the fact that it might not be? I have two words for you: Occam's razor….