Debating Society: “This House opposes the construction of the mosque near Ground Zero”

The Debating Society got its series of Michaelmas meetings off to a flying start, in a packed Marten Library, with the debate “This House opposes the construction of the mosque near Ground Zero”. The proposition (comprising Matthews (ASR), Singh-Brar (MJP) and Elliot KS) argued that, despite there being no legal argument against the construction, sensitivity and pragmatism should override fervent liberalism. Opposing them, Tsukanov (SMM), Johnson-Munday KS and Jackson KS viewed these liberal principles as sacrosanct, arguing that to ignore them would be to ignore the very principles of the American constitution. After some incisive contributions from the floor, the motion failed.

We concluded with an impromptu speaking contest, in which volunteers from the audience had to choose from a list of topics and then, after only a few minutes to prepare, deliver a short persuasive speech; Seagull (MGHM), arguing for proportional representation, won the popular vote. Our thanks go to HAS and SABB for their help and coaching. It was wonderful to have such a large turnout; all are welcome and we hope that the high standards continue into next week’s debate, on Wednesday 22 September, with the motion “This House believes we are heading for another winter of discontent”.

Alex Harries (ASR)