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Debates to examine whether Arabs ‘willingly support extremism’

By JT - Jan 15,2015 - Last updated at Jan 15,2015

AMMAN — Two public debates in Amman slated for Sunday and Monday are scheduled to examine “whether the Arab world is now sliding willingly into militancy and oppression”, according to a statement from the organisers.

The audience, a mix of political and human rights activists, local university students and expatriates, will debate the motion: “The Arab world is embracing extremism not fighting it.”

The sessions, in both English and Arabic, will be recorded at the Royal Cultural Centre in Amman marking the start of the fourth season of the New Arab Debates (NAD).

British television journalist Tim Sebastian, who founded NAD in early 2011, will moderate the English debate on Sunday at 7pm, the statement said. 

Speaking for the motion is Adnan Hayajneh, professor of political science at Qatar University, while Musa Shteiwi, director of the Centre for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan, will argue against it.

A day later, former BBC and MBC television journalist Lina Musharbash will present the Arabic version with different panellists and audience, according to the statement.

Hasan Aby Hanye, a researcher and expert on Islamist movements will be arguing for the motion, while Political and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Khaled Kalaldeh will speak against it.

The Norwegian foreign ministry is supporting the series, designed to foster free speech and democratic accountability, according to NAD.

Both debates will be broadcast for the fourth year on Deutsche Welle TV in English and Arabic along with its global and regional network of partners including Egypt’s ONTV, Ro’ya TV in Jordan and Watan TV in Ramallah.

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