Some general notes:
1. I felt that what Asra Nomani was doing is truly undermining the Muslim woman’s intellect. To say, that if she cannot marry a non-Muslim man then she’s being forced and that she’s being belittled, is truly undermining in itself. Any Muslim woman would take offense to that. Asra was talking to the Muslim women in a condescending way saying: I feel for you, you’re oppressed, because you do not have the choice to marry a non-Muslim man! I was waiting for someone from the audience to say: Asra speak for yourself, we take offense to what you’re saying.
2. I liked the example of Sh. Yasir Al Qadhi where he says that the analogy is similar to a Muslim man saying that I can drink anything and therefore I can drink alcohol. Islam has rules.
3. Sh. Yasir Al Qadhi could have responded to the last question by saying that the consensus should have been done by people knowledgeable about Islam and not the people in the room. I felt that the answer could have been more satisfying to me.
4. The position of the Dr. Habash is weak. He is truly against the notion. Sheikh Yasir pointed this out in the debate. Maybe we could have stressed his position more by using his definition of Muslims. Instead of saying ‘Muslims’, we can say ‘people who believe in the prophet (p.b.u.h)’
5. It should be stressed more and more and more that women can make all the choices but they cannot marry a non-Muslim man while stressing on ‘having all the choices’.
6. I felt that the Dr. Thuraya was not very helpful to the discussion. She was indeed talking about Arab/Gulf women and she was pro marrying someone from your same background (way beyond religion) – that has extended the scope of the discussion. I feel that her presence extended the scope of the argument and weakened their position.
7. I felt Sh. Yasir stumbled twice. First, as he says when he dished out the question to the host (as he mentioned in his insider post) and second, when he was asked by Asra about what he would do if his daughter chooses to marry a non-Muslim man? I liked his answer but his body language seemed a little shaken (the question itself is inappropriate but she used it!).
8. I liked the opening of Sh. Yasir Al Qadhi. He is truly an eloquent and focused debater. I like him on my side. May Allah reward and bless him. An excellent example is when he said: I didn’t say you’re not a Muslim, I just said do not bring Islam into the discussion.
You can read the discussion and the insightful comments on muslimmatters.org