Posts tagged ‘apostates’

May 20th, 2010

How Devout Was Dr. Ergun Caner?

There has been a lot of discussion about Dr. Ergun Caner whether he was brought up a Muslim. He claims to have grown up as a devout Sunni Muslim yet people now doubt his testimony especially because recent court documents show his mother had primary custody of him and his brothers after his parents’ divorce was finalized in 1978. Many have questioned how she could rear him as Muslim when she had objected to their upbringing as Muslims in court documents.

Muslims and non-Muslims have wondered if she was ever a Muslim. Some have raised doubts if Mr. Caner were such a devout Muslim man, how he could marry a non-Muslim. It is worth exploring some of these assertions lest we fall victims to speculations and generalizations. Just so you know, even if she wasn’t a convert to Islam, it would be perfectly fine for a devout Muslim man to marry a Christian or Jewish woman because the Qur’an allows it in Surah 5:5. Prophet Muhammad himself had a child by a Christian woman. His son Ibrahim was by a lady commonly referred to as Mary the Copt. Therefore, it is ridiculous for anyone to claim that Dr. Caner’s father was not a devout Muslim because he married a “non-Muslim.”

Court documents show that his mother consented to Islamic education and only objected and a ruling was made in her favor in 1978 when Dr. Caner was almost 12 years old. Some madrassa students have the entire Qur’an memorized around that age. The final ruling in 1979 answers two prevailing questions. The first is whether Dr. Caner had attended madrassa and the second question is whether his mother was a Muslim. You can find the first answer on page “3” of the final ruling which states, “…the trial court erred in failing to make specific conclusions of law as to the constitutionality of an order requiring defendant-appellant’s children to continue their instruction and practice of the Islamic faith.” [Emphasis mine.] This is proof that Dr. Caner attended madrassa until he was at least 12 years old. If he didn’t, why is there “continue” in regards to Islamic education in this legal document that bears multiple signatures? The onus is on those who make it an issue. Page “4” of the same document states, “The trial court’s denial of the plaintiff’s motion to require the children to be raised in the Islamic faith by their mother.” [Emphasis mine.] This proves that Dr. Caner’s mother was a Muslim even when she was going through the divorce proceedings, because Mr. Caner asked the court if she could raise the children as Muslims.

Some have wondered how the Caner Brothers could get madrassa education when they were with their father only every other weekend and on some holidays. Most countries where Muslims are in the minority have madrassa on Saturdays and Sundays, especially where the children attend secular schools Monday to Friday. It is possible that the mosque—it doesn’t have to have a minaret to qualify for a mosque—that the Caners attended had a part-time madrassa teacher—one who also had a day job. That is not uncommon even these days in the United States.

Muslims have a penchant to dismiss ex-Muslims. They do not accept any explanation given. They label converts as “fake ex-Muslims” regardless of how young or old they were when they apostatized. At what age does a Muslim become devout? Prophet Muhammad said, “Command a boy to pray when he reaches the age of seven years. When he becomes ten years old, then beat him for prayer.” Why would a ten-year old be beaten for something that he was instructed to do for three years? Aisha married Prophet Muhammad at the age of six. She was a devout Muslim and old enough to marry Allah’s Prophet and was even a prominent figure in Islam. This youngin’ is credited with narrating 2210 aHadith. Muslims defend her marriage and also her account in the Hadith. Who has heard of a three-year-old devout Muslim girl who knows about the Hadith, especially the part about the Jewish woman who poisoned Prophet Muhammad? She is being referred to as a “devout Muslim” in the video only at the age of three. Why would anyone doubt that Dr. Caner was a devout Muslim at the age of 12? It is apparent that age matters in Islam only when the situation does not favor Allah’s religion.

Some have questioned how it could even be possible for Dr. Caner to be raised as a Muslim when his mother became “a hippy” upon moving to America. When did becoming a liberal make a Muslim a non-Muslim? Miss Michigan 2010, Rima Fakih, has just been crowned Miss America 2010. She became the first Muslim woman to win the beauty pageant. The Associated Press reports, “Fakih took top honors at the pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip after strutting confidently in an orange and gold bikini, wearing a strapless white gown that resembled a wedding dress and saying health insurance should cover birth control pills.” I never thought I would write on a beauty pageant but here we are. She wasn’t wearing a burkini. Her stance on birth control pills is against Islamic teachings. A Muslim woman, yet she espouses these unorthodox views. No Muslim has publicly decried her liberalism. In fact, even her native hometown in Lebanon is proud of her accomplishments. The AFP reports, “We are so often described as terrorists and killers, but we Shiites love life and beauty—and mainly the beauty of the soul, which is what is so special about Rima.” She wins a pageant, which by even some non-Muslims’ standards is nefarious, and yet Muslims are proud of their fellow “hip” Muslim.

A fortnight ago the US State Department sent “America’s first Muslim country singer on Middle East tour.” How conservative is Kareem Salama? I bet he is hip enough because austere Islamic teachings ban music. Even the Council of America Muslim Relations, a Muslim civil rights organization, could not resist sending out a press release about this momentous feat. I have not heard any news reports about demonstrations after Friday prayers in Bahrain and Morocco decrying this tour. Here we are labeling the Caner Brothers as either “fake ex-Muslims” or “fake ex-devout Muslims” because their mother was liberal.

These two examples of liberal Muslims show just how far some Muslims in the West have come and some have realized that austere Islamic teachings are incompatible with Western standards. They are even calling for reform within Islam. Is it possible Dr. Caner’s mother felt the same about Islam? I doubt these other Muslims send their children to madrassa.

Some also have wondered how Dr. Caner, growing up a Sunni Muslim, “could attend a Shiite Muslim Youth group.” This doesn’t surprise me because the palpable animosity between Sunnis and Shiites is evident only in countries where one group has authority over the other. Muslims are happy to meet fellow Muslims in a foreign country. I had a friend in college who was from Pakistan. K was from the Ahmadiyya sect, a sect whose teachings are considered bid’ah (unwarranted innovations) in Sunni Pakistan. This group suffers great persecutions. Some are killed. Sunni students in college were friends with K. I did not notice them arguing over their sects’ differences in a foreign country. That was perhaps the case in Columbus where Sunnis and Shiites held joint youth groups.

There is a lot of information to process in this case. Some Christians and Muslims have erred in their “fake ex-devout Muslim” and “fake ex-Muslim” accusations respectively when referring to Dr. Caner, because they failed to analyze the opposing evidence. Any careful analysis of facts would lead to a conclusion that Dr. Caner was brought up a devout Muslim.

May 15th, 2010

Desperate Muslims Ignorant Christians Part 2

Muslims are desperate to spread Islam. They capitalize on any opportunity they get, even “riding” on Christians’ ignorance to further their message. Do you know that March 2010 was one of the worst months for Islam in recent years? Most Christians don’t know it. Islam is in dire straits. Mosab Hassan Yousef, a Palestinian Muslim, had his autobiography, Son of Hamas published. Muslims are still infuriated about his “new birth.” Please visit the book’s page on Facebook to read their rage and frustration for yourself. Even their lifeline, Answering Christianity Dot Com, has run out of arguments and ideas to throw at Christians. Still, they have outsmarted Christians by employing a red herring in their attacks on Dr. Ergun Caner. While a lot of Muslims were seeking information about Jesus Christ online and looking for Christians to talk to, some of us have been busy on our blogs and webcasts entertaining Muslims who have an agenda.

The Kansas City Star reports that Muslim Public Affairs Council advertised openings for, “A calm, credible voice to soothe Americans’ fear of Islam.” These positions might still be open. Doesn’t this show how desperate American Muslims have become in their efforts to “market” Islam? We Christians don’t see the sign, instead we engage in public name calling. We have been devouring one another with Muslims as our cheerleaders.

My intention to get involved in this public discussion has nothing to do with attacking a Christian. I believe Dr. James White is a man of God, called to proclaim Him just like the Caner Brothers. I would like this public quarrel among Christians to stop. We can spin this discussion whichever way our hearts desire but in the end we will realize that there is no justification for it in the Word of God. Jesus Christ said, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6, NIV. Our theological differences do not warrant our attacks on each other. We need to wake up because our arrogance, bias, distractions, divisions, and ignorance are boom for the enemy of the Gospel.

We read information on Mr. Khan’s website “fake ex-Muslims dot com” and watched the videos but do we even question his mission, which is clearly stated in a verse from the Qur’an, 61:8, “They desire to extinguish Allah’s Light with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His Light, though the unbelievers hate it.” Jews and Christians who rejected Prophet Muhammad were charged with attempts “to extinguish Allah’s light.” Do you now see how any Muslim would have a problem with a non-Muslim, especially one who rejected Islam and now exposes it?

Muslims started it with ex-Muslims, now they are taking it a step further in attacking Dr. White. He is already under a Muslim’s attack, being accused of denying “the doctrine of eternal security.” I bet there will be more of these attacks after the dust “settles” on the current discourse. His debates, podcasts, and speeches will be dissected. Muslims are on a mission and we are oblivious.

There is a lot of information to share and I do not want to confuse you with a long post today. I am not defending the discrepancies in Dr. Ergun Caner’s testimony but debunking the claim that the Caner Brothers cannot be experts on Islam. I would like to address the “hadith 9.57” issue that has been a staple for Dr. White’s discussion (Question 20 on his open letter to Liberty University) and deal with Mr. Khan’s accusations next week.

Dr. White appeared on Engaging the World radio program on Thursday and discussed the Caner Brothers’ first book, Unveiling Islam. He spent a great deal of his airtime on their “incorrect” citation of aHadith (plural for Hadith), the first one being on page 19. He highlighted how there are other aHadith, which are quoted the same throughout their book. For your information, there is no “official” way to cite Hadith. The most authentic Hadith collection is Sahih Bukhari. Many times when it is quoted, it comes without the name because it is the most authentic and widely referenced. I have checked some of the aHadith in question and they come from Sahih Bukhari. If there were any errors on the Caner Brothers’ part, it was very minor. A side note: Mr. Khan read through Unveiling Islam and if this argument about the “incorrect” citation of the Hadith were an issue, with them being galore, he would have jumped on it. I bet he is very smart and stayed out of it. Here we are grappling with it.

I have Hadith hardcopies at my disposal and it took me only a few minutes to find that “hadith 9.57” is from Sahih Bukhari and if the Caner Brothers had wanted to make it clearer it should have read “Bukhari hadith 9.57″ or “Bukhari 9.84.57” or “Bukhari Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57.” You can tell there is more than one way to cite Hadith.

I prefer to quote the same Hadith “Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57,” because Muslims have always challenged my assertions of Islam and I do not want to give them a foothold, especially when they are suspicious of even the objectivity of my work. Sahih Bukhari has 9 volumes and when it is quoted, there is an option to leave out the Book Number, which was the case for the Caner Brothers.

Dr. White has been raising doubts about how an ex-Muslim and now an expert of Islam could make such an egregious mistake, an equivalent of an evangelical Christian quoting John 3:16 as Bible 3:16. He believes that there is only one “correct” way to cite “hadith 9.57,” which should be “Bukhari hadith 9.57.” He should have verified prior to airing his views. That would have averted the introduction of Bible 3:16 to our vocabulary. He is not justified to disparage the Caner Brothers solely based on his Islamic library, which surprisingly contains only books that cite Hadith a particular way.

There are other books in print that quote “Bukhari hadith 9.57” as “hadith 9.57” or “hadith 9:57.” If you can’t believe it, Google Books can answer your question. Please type these two options and read for yourself. Also, Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law Nashville: (Thomas Nelson, 2008), 231, uses the same Hadith and quotes it “hadith 9:57.” The same applies to a Pakistani Muslim scholar Maulana Muhammad Ali who quoted “Sunan Abu Dawud Volume 1 Book 1 Number 55” as (1.1.55). I do not see an attribution anywhere and if you want to read it, it is in public domain here. A Manual of Hadith Index (Public Domain, 1944), 40. Mark you; Sunan Abu Dawud ranks below Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim and no Muslim made a fuss about this famous scholar just citing (1.1.55).

Unveiling Islam was not written for a scholarly audience. This book received great editorial reviews. The audience is evangelical Christians. I bet most of them do not even know what Hadith is. Hence, a trivial matter which is not worth arguing over unless of course someone has an agenda.

Dr. White’s preferred way of citing Hadith, “Bukhari hadith 9.57,” had one mention in the Caner Brothers’ Unveiling Islam, page 249. I do not recall him saying on Engaging the World radio appearance that the brothers had cited Hadith “correctly” at least once. So, I asked him if he would issue an apology or correction and his response, “Your bias and irrationality is difficult to understand. Amazing double standard. Open your eyes.” I was just trying to point out to him that his preferred way to cite Hadith made it in their book. He should have acknowledged it on the national radio or apologize for the generalization. Instead, he blogged about my “irrationality” and blamed it on my cultural background. You can read his blog entry here.

Muslims are on a mission, please let us not aid and abet to their tactics that attempt to discredit the Caner Brothers, other Christians of Muslim background, Dr. James White, et al. We should give our brothers the benefit of the doubt before going global with what Muslims bring to our attention. We need to become aware of the desperate tactics Muslims employ even attempting to discredit the Bible, Jesus Christ, and etcetera. It is my prayer that this controversy surrounding the Caner Brothers ends according to the guidelines set forth in the Word of God. I hope we have learned from our “giving” and “throwing” of “what is sacred” to unbelievers. We have seen its ramification. Let us seek a biblical ending!