Faisal Saeed Al Mutar at Portland State University, “Are Western Values Worth Defending?”

Event Description:

Faisal Saeed al-Mutar was born in Iraq and admitted to the United States as a refugee in 2013. While in Iraq, Al-Qaeda attempted to kidnap Al Mutar three times because of his secular western lifestyle and lost members of his family to sectarian violence. He is the founder and CEO of Ideas Beyond Borders and the Global Secular Humanist Movement (GSHM). In 2016, Al Mutar received the President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama for his commitment to volunteer service in America and around the world.
“Are Western Values Worth Defending?” was a conversation between human rights activist and writer Faisal Al Mutar and Philosophy Professor Peter Boghossian at Portland State University on November 7, 2017. The discussion began with the agreement to talk not about Western Values (to avoid insinuating a monopoly on values by the West or being accused of a white savior complex), but rather a discussion of enlightenment values: respect for free speech, for universal human rights and for critical thinking, among other things. As the discussion progressed, many topics were covered including the following: US foreign policy, freedom of expression in the Muslim-majority world, the importance of rational thought and critical thinking and the importance of secularism in government, while still allowing people to privately practice their religious beliefs.

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