Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates “Better Elected Islamists Than Dictators” at Kaufman Center, October 4th

September 20, 2012, Wall Street Journal Market Watch


NEW YORK, Sep 20, 2012 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) — On October 4th, Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US) will continue its fall season with a debate on Arab democracy, “Better Elected Islamists than Dictators.” The popular uprisings of the Arab Spring have left a leadership void that Islamist parties have been quick to fill. A longtime supporter of former strongmen like Egypt’s Mubarak and Tunisia’s Ben Ali, the U.S. now faces the uncomfortable result of Arab democracy–the rise of Islamist parties that are less amenable to the West than their autocratic predecessors. Will the Islamists, which once embraced violence, slowly liberalize as they face the difficulties of state leadership? Or will it mean the growth of anti-Americanism and radicalization in the region?

Reuel Marc Gerecht, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and former Middle East specialist at the CIA’s directorate of operations and Brian Katulis, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress will argue in support of the motion. Daniel Pipes, one of the world’s foremost analysts on the Middle East and Islam and president of the Middle East Forum with M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D., founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy will argue against the motion.

Intelligence Squared U.S.’s fall season debates are streamed live on WSJ Live. Debates also air on more than 220 NPR stations nationwide and are televised nationally on the WORLD channel and in the New York area on PBS Channel Thirteen, WNET, WLIW, and NJTV.

WHAT: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates “Better Elected Islamists than Dictators”

WHEN: Thursday, October 4, 2012 / Reception 5:45-6:30 / Debate 6:45-8:30 PM

WHERE: Kaufman Center/129 W. 67th Street (bet. Broadway and Amsterdam)/New York, NY 10023

TICKETS: $40 ($12 for students w/ID) To purchase, visit

The debate will take place in front of a live audience at Kaufman Center in New York City. Audience members will vote to decide the winning team in this provocative debate.


Named One of “Five Podcasts that Will Change the Way You Think” by Forbes, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in New York City in 2006 by Robert Rosenkranz, and has grown into an internationally syndicated series heard and watched by millions. The debates have attracted some of the world’s top thinkers including Paul Krugman, Karl Rove, Malcolm Gladwell, Alan Dershowitz, Peter Thiel and Arianna Huffington.

Based on the highly successful Oxford-style debate program originated in London, Intelligence Squared U.S. has presented over 60 debates on a wide range of provocative topics including global warming, the financial crisis, the marketing of organic foods, and the death of mainstream media. The Rosenkranz Foundation initiated the Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate Series and continues to provide major support. ABC News correspondent John Donvan is the moderator, and the executive producer is Dana Wolfe.