Apparently Abdullah Andalusi has thoroughly disemboweled the arguments of Maajid Nawaz, who continues to upset people wherever he goes (it’s his raison d’être). I can’t say I’m particularly convinced though.

The truth is, it works both ways. As the extraordinarily cynical git that I am, I confess to have heaved a momentous sigh myself when I saw the make up of the panel in question in my own news-feed a few days ago. Which means that I now risk being tarred with the same brush as the annoying former Islamist.

For just as Mister Nawaz uses the ‘You share the same ideology as ISIS’ argument, so our most vociferous activists consistently employ the thesis, ‘You share the same ideology as Maajid Nawaz’ to attack all dissenters. Naturally, both approaches serve to silence critical voices.

The tragedy of this circus of personalities is that the resulting divisive discourse acts as a distraction from a very real and important message that must be heard in our times. Rather than allowing ourselves to listen and be listened to, we judge each other as guilty by association; instead of pondering considered arguments, we allow petty labels to silence us.

It really is a calamity that the medium is killing the message.