Posted: Mar 11, 2013 11:25 pm
by Shrunk
According to this account, the seating arrangement was not the only shenanigans the Muslim organizers were up to:

The London heathen audience’s preparations for the debate, focused largely on devising rude puns of Mr. Tzortzis’s name, were thrown into disarray when it emerged that the organiser, Big Debates, was a front for the missionary Islamic Education and Research Academy , which counts among its ‘Permanent Staff’ one Hamza Tzortzis.

Intrigued by this subterfuge, they dug further and discovered that an iERA functionary was to moderate the event, that questions had to be submitted in advance and had to include a mention of the questioner’s religious belief, that the organisers’ insistence on knowing the religious inclination of each ticket-holder at the time of registration was ostensibly to guide the allocation of tickets and that, in the heart of Bloomsbury, a supposedly serious debate was to be conducted before a gender-segregated audience. Meanwhile, a number of closeted ex-Muslims were distraught to discover that they had been hoodwinked into handing over their personal details to an Islamic organisation.

A spirited volley of e-mails ensued, as the agitated atheists petitioned UCL to reassert first principles of equality. Britain’s original mixed-gender university issued a swift, firm and decisive statement the same afternoon affirming that no gender-segregated seating arrangement would be permitted.

By then, the LSE atheists had discovered the typical iERA debate to be a raucously self-congratulatory affair with an audience ten parts Muslim to one part unbeliever, where every mention of He-Who-Must-not-be-Named is prefaced with a chorus of superstitious Arabic gobbledygook, every mention of homosexuality is greeted by sneering catcalls and crowing videos spring up not long afterwards, with titles like like LOL Brother Muslim speaker CRUSHES/DESTROYS/OWNS atheist opponent.

It became amply clear that iERA had pulled a textbook bait-and-switch on Professor Krauss and his supporters, who, resigned to an evening with Mr. Tzortzis, would now be subjected to the further indignity of doing so amidst an audience so unashamedly stacked against Professor Krauss, he might as well have saved himself the airfare and delivered his address to a cactus in his native Arizona.

The main question to my mind: Why is Krauss even bothering to debate a non-entity like Tzortzis? If he is really the best Islam has to offer, they might as well pack their bags and enjoy the trip to irrelevancy.