IQ2 Debate: Only good can come out of building a mosque in Athens poster
Monday 28 February 2011 -
19:00 to 21:00
Gennadius Library, Athens

In collaboration with Intelligence Squared Greece (IQ2), we are organising a debate on a timely topic that will bring high-profile speakers from Greece and Britain together – and against each other – in a heated debate that will give plenty of food for thought.

The debate is being organised as part of our Our Shared Europe project.

Speaking for the motion:

  • Tariq Ramadan is Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University. Ramadan is considered today one of the leading figures of modern Islam. In 2009 American magazine Foreign Policy listed him as one of the 50 most influential intellectuals of our times. His views often feature in prestigious world media such as CNN, the BBC and the New York Times. Ramadan's books include Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation (2009) and Western Muslims and the Future of Islam (2004).
  • Anna Triandafyllidou is Senior Research Fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) in Athens. She is also a Professor at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence and Associate Professor at the Democritus University of Thrace, specialising in the Sociology of Migration and Migration Policy. Her most recent publications include Migration in 21st Century Greece (Kritiki Publications) and Muslims in 21st Century Europe (Routledge).
  • Chadi Ayoubi is a journalist, Al Jazeera correspondent in Greece and founder of He has worked with a variety of international Arabic media since 1995, including Al Jazeera and Al Hayat. He is editor-in-chief of the Arabic newspaper Microscope, a journalist for SKAI TV International Section in Greece and a contributor to BBC’s Arabic service for Greece-related issues.

Speaking against the motion:

  • Douglas Murray is an author and Director of the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC), a non-partisan think-tank, which was founded to promote human rights, tolerance and greater cohesion among the UK's ethnic and religious communities and within wider British society. In 2005 he published the critically acclaimed Neoconservatism: Why We Need It.
  • Melanie Phillips is the author of The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth and Power and Londonistan. She is a journalist and winner of the Orwell Prize. She is widely known for her controversial column on political and social issues in the Daily Mail. She has worked for various newspapers including The Guardian, The Observer and The Sunday Times.
  • Demetrius Floudas is Adjunct Professor at the Moscow Institute for the Development of Financial Markets and Senior Associate at Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge. Floudas is also a Migration Consultant at the think-tank Forum for Greece, where he recently submitted a policy paper on Greek Migration Policy 2011-2020. He has lived and worked abroad as an international legal and economic consultant and has spent time in many Muslim countries.


Sotiris Roussos is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of the Peloponnese. Roussos has a postgraduate degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, where he specialised in the Middle East. He has worked for the Greek Foreign Ministry as a Middle East expert.

The debate

This debate follows the pattern of the Anglo-Saxon fora, on which Intelligence Squared (IQ2) based its very first debate in 2002. John Gordon and Jeremy O’Grady founded IQ2 so as to create a platform for discussion of important political, cultural and ethical issues of the day.

Each of the speakers starts with an eight-minute introductory speech. Following the first round of talks, the public is invited to ask the speakers questions. The speakers then reply with a statement of 1–2 minutes. Finally, having heard all views, the audience votes for or against the motion.

Simultaneous interpretation (English to Greek and Greek to English) will be provided.

Admission is free following reservation.

When: Monday 28 February 2011, 19.00 (doors close at 18.50)
Where: Cotsen Hall at the Gennadius Library

Information & bookings

For further information and priority reservation of seats, please e-mail or call Katy Yakoumaki on 210 369 2342.