On Friday 11/26/2010, Christopher Hitchens met former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Toronto to debate religion. By audience vote, Hitchens walked away with a victory by a 2:1 margin.
The BBC article on the debate can be found here.
You can view the debate in its entirety at this YouTube channel. It is divided into 9 parts, each ~15 minutes long.
As you no doubt have heard by now, a 19-year-old Somali born man named Mohamed Osman Mohamud attempted to detonate a bomb at the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at Pioneer Square. The FBI, as well as local law enforcement, took measures to ensure that this plan was doomed to fail. Mohamud apparently sent out parts to assemble the explosive device, but was unaware that he was actually sending them to undercover FBI agents. These agents assembled a dummy device that would not detonate. When Mohamud drove his van to Pioneer Square and attempted to carry out his murderous plan, he was shocked and disappointed to realize he had been duped by a sting operation.
Mohamud is quoted as saying that he had been planning on actively participating in violent Jihad since he was 15. According to an article published by OregonLive.com, Mohamud expressed a desire to “damage the enemies of Allah as much as possible,” as he wrote in a 2009 online article that was part of his “Jihad Recollections.”
This is exactly the kind of hatred and evil that religions bring to the world. We in Portland have seen this kind of thing happening in other parts of the world, sadly with much more horrible outcomes, through news media over the years. Now it’s here as well.
I can only say that although this entire ordeal has incited a great deal of anger in me, I am above all grateful that nobody was hurt or killed. My sincerest thanks go out to the FBI and all the other law enforcement personnel who ensured the safety of my fellow Portlanders.
On a lighter note…
We have a Christmas Party coming up! This Friday, December 3 from 1:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon at the lounge in the Montgomery Building (corner of 10th & Montgomery). This will be a catered event, with honey glazed ham, roasted turkey, creamed spinach, mashed potatoes, honey ginger carrots and other goodies, as well as hazelnut cinnamon cider and hot cocoa.
Should be good times for all!