Posts tagged ‘James White’

July 27th, 2010

The Glorified Deceit

On July 2, I wrote for the first time on the arrests of Acts 17 Apologetics missionaries in Dearborn, Michigan. Christians, including Dr. James White, urged their fellow Christians—even witnesses to the arrests—for restraint in passing their judgment because these missionaries had “everything” they did on video. While Dr. White asked Christians to wait for the video evidence, he did not stop from denigrating the City of Dearborn and its police department. I wondered how he would react this strongly when he was not in Dearborn, let alone be a witness. An Arab Christian even notified Dr. White of his concerns of Acts 17 missionaries and he was called to wait for the video evidence.

Dearborn Police Department returned the cameras “intact” or “without erasing all the footage” [Acts 17 Apologetics statements] a fortnight ago. As promised, footages of the arrests were posted. Most Christians, mostly Dr. White’s fans, quickly asked their fellow Christians to repent publicly for questioning the arrests. I have wondered how witnesses could recant what they witnessed prior to the arrests that footages don’t debunk.

Since posted footages weren’t answering questions, I wrote a post on July 19 of how 15-20 minutes of footage before the first arrest could provide clues. I was specific. Nageen’s arrest. A concerned Christian was upset with me. He sent me a message and we went back and forth for a while. He ended up asking Acts 17 on Facebook for the video footage prior to Nageen’s arrest. The message was clear. The footage should be what transpired before the first arrest. How hard can it be? Guess what video was posted? Dubbed, “The Missing Footage,” it has nothing to do with the first arrest. Nageen had already been arrested at that point. The public needs to know what happened that necessitated the criminal complaint. They want people to believe that they were victims of injustice. How evasive and misleading can they get? Can they just admit that not all of their activities—legal or “illegal”—were on camera?

Even with these questions still lingering, Dr. White still gives this group a platform to spread their myth about being arrested in Dearborn for being a Christian, etcetera. They were on “Iron Sharpens Iron” last Wednesday, courtesy of Dr. White, discussing the arrests. He “very highly recommended” the appearance.

Dr. White—a man known for his straight answers—keeps on changing his story as well. From his initial post about “the rule of law (not Sharia) in Dearborn” to the most recent one belittling Josh McDowell witnessing to Muslims. Apparently, he learned the hard way that Christians still preach or distribute Bibles and tracts in Dearborn. I wonder if he has ever been to Dearborn to write such a scathing initial post on the arrests. Does anyone know? Sad, how his objectivity is lacking and integrity somewhat wanting. It seems they matter only when investigating Dr. Ergun Caner. On that note, Liberty University rendered its verdict four weeks ago and that has not stopped Dr. White from continuing his discussion. A mere red herring because Dr. White refuses to acknowledge that he has been wrong in criticizing the Dearborn police, Josh McDowell ministries, other Christians and organizations. Evidence of his deceit is even on his Alpha & Omega Ministries website. His fans never question it. Instead, they glorify it.

July 19th, 2010

Dearborn Christian Missionaries’ Arrests, the “Missing” Footage

Headlines read: “Christian Missionaries Arrested at Dearborn Islam Festival—Presence Offensive to Muslims,” “Christians Taken Away in Handcuffs, Cameras Confiscated, While Muslims Chant “Allahu Akhbar!” on US Soil,” “Arrested for being a Christian in Dearborn,” “Arrested for Being Christian Preachers in Dearborn, 2010,” and etcetera. Blogs and news headlines were unequivocal. Many still believe that Acts 17 Apologetics missionaries were wrongly arrested. After all, they “recorded every second of” their activity at the festival. The police returned the videos last week and there is about 20 minutes footage available online.

Some have already called on Christians who doubted the missionaries’ motives or questioned the reason behind their arrests to apologize. Dr. James White says, “The video proof now exists. I think a lot of Christians owe Acts 17 major apologies. I hope they offer those apologies, publicly.” [Emphasis mine.] Based on evidence that has been presented, I still maintain that the missionaries were not arrested for preaching the gospel to Muslims or for merely being a Christian in Dearborn. Dearborn Police department is not negatively biased toward Christians as some Christians have publicly portrayed it. I have friends who live in the city and they refute this allegation. If the department were, how come the 70 percent of population which is not Muslim has not lodged public complaints? How can the likes of Josh McDowell shared publicly his faith without any run-ins with law enforcement? In a recent appearance on Moody Radio he said, “That’s a lie!” when the host Mark Elfstrand asked him about “how Christians weren’t even welcome” at the annual Arab American Festival. He said he answered Muslims’ questions on Jesus, the Bible and resurrection. Perhaps by some Christian’s standard he was not bearing a Christian witness to Muslims at the festival. Josh said one man started an argument and he refused to engage him. The man later apologized for his attitude. He even went door to door a day before the start of the festival! Hear it for yourself here.

Christians who witnessed the missionaries’ arrests give differing accounts and video footages are inconclusive. The footage on the first arrest raises more questions than it provides answers. David Wood said it was recorded 15 minutes prior to his and Dr. Nabeel Qureish’s arrests. What happened prior to the first arrest? We have “no” idea because no video footage has been made public yet.

The police officer arresting Nageen told her that there was “a criminal complaint against you.” Has the public seen this criminal complaint? Is there something on the missionaries’ videos that exonerates them? If not, is it possible the missionaries did not tape “every second” of their activity at the festival as they have led the public to believe?

Some Christians witnessed both David and Nabeel “argue” and “harass” Muslims who later reported the matter to the police. These Christians witnessed what transpired before and after the arrests. Is there video footage that shows the missionaries’ “argument” and “harassment” was not tantamount to “disorderly conduct” or “disturbing the peace” charge? Let us continue to pray for these missionaries and their court trial in September. Nothing happens without God allowing it.

On another note on Christian outreach to Muslims, my Muslim family will start observing the fast during the month of Ramadhan starting on August 11. I will be exposing the “Cracks” in the Muslim fast during that month. Stay tuned.

July 15th, 2010

Dr. Ergun Caner Arrived in the US in 1969, Oh Really?

Jason Smathers has unearthed Dr. Ergun Caner’s father’s, Acer Mehmet Caner, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) naturalization document which, according to Dr. Caner’s vocal critic, shows “[t]he exact date when the Caner family arrived in the United States from Sweden.” He also has a probate court petition which shows Mr. Caner legally changing his name from Acer Martin Caner to Acer Mehmet Caner. Both Jason and Dr. James White contend that Mr. Caner’s naturalization document proves that Dr. Ergun Caner arrived in the United States on September 13, 1969. There are two problems with their conclusion.

1. The naturalization document does NOT aver any new information that leads them to draw such a conclusion. Even Dr. Caner’s mother’s affidavit that Jason mentioned in his article does not show when Dr. Caner and his mother arrived in the United States. In fact, it affirms the naturalization record that the Defendant, Acer Mehmet Caner, arrived  in 1969. Nothing is said about the mother and son’s arrival.

2. Only Dr. Caner’s naturalization document can prove when he arrived in the United States. I wish whoever wants to access his immigration records some good luck because it is protected by federal law. Do you remember how State Department staff were fired for accessing the then presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Senator John McCain’s passport files? Mr. Acer Caner’s records are accessible because he is deceased.

Some Muslims might pounce on Mr. Caner’s name change and say he was not a Muslim at some point because of “Martin” as a his middle name. I know Mr. Mohammad Khan has made some ex-Muslims’ non-Arab sounding names an issue  in YouTube videos, labeling them as fake ex-Muslims. For those who might have a problem, the answer is in the very INS record which shows that Mr. Caner had legally used Mehmet as his middle name prior to his name change in Ohio. He probably changed from Mehmet to Martin when he was in Sweden. That is not uncommon for minority immigrants.

So far, none of the legal documents that have been made public gives a definite date when Dr. Ergun Caner came to the United States. Let us stop getting free publicity out of this concluded scandal. Instead, we should spend our energy on bringing healing within the fractured Body of Christ.

July 13th, 2010

Dr. James White’s Damage to Christian Outreach to Muslims

The merit of the discussion about Dr. Ergun Caner has come to who screams the loudest. His vocal critic has declared victory because he claims that the defenders of Ergun Caner have “gone silent since his removal as Dean of LBTS.” What a sad assessment, considering most Christians in this veiled reference have let go this issue because they have decided to move on! Dr. James White calls for Dr. Caner’s public apology. How about he sets an example and takes ownership for the damage he has done to Christian outreach to Muslims? He publicly has insulted Muslims who have corrected his mistakes on Islam. He also has speculated on issues that have “confirmed” Muslims’ suspicion of Christian ministries’ motives and exacerbated “residual mistrust” that some Christians of Muslim background have of Christianity. Some Muslims, like the ones who have reacted negatively toward Acts 17 Apologetics missionaries in Dearborn, MI, suspect Christians use their pictures and videos for Christian missionaries’ fundraising efforts. (You can listen to Josh McDowell’s interview on Moody Radio about his experience at the Arab festival here.) Even some who convert to Christianity still remain suspicious. Their mistrust keeps them out of worship services, Bible study and fellowship with fellow Christians.

Most of Dr. White’s damages could have been avoided had Christianity Today met his expectation in its initial article on Dr. Ergun Caner. Since he wasn’t satisfied, he speculated that Liberty University is its main advertiser—even when it is false—thus exacerbating some Muslims’ mistrust of Christian organizations. CT is not “a profit-driven” media organization like he wants people to believe. He has yet to retract his comments. He has, without any doubt, tarnished CT and LU’s reputations among Muslims and confused some Christians of Muslim background’s of Christian organizations. Instead of continuing to demonize Dr. Caner, Norm Geisler, Emir Caner et al, it is about time that Dr. White takes ownership for the damage he has done and does what he has been “preaching” Dr. Caner to do all along. Anything short of it remains sheer hypocrisy.

July 2nd, 2010

Ergun Caner, Dearborn Arrests and James White

The day before Liberty University announced its decision, a Muslim asked on Facebook, “so how does Ergun Mehmet Butch Michael Giovanni Caner’s investigation going on?” Once the announcement was made, a dejected Muslims said, “This is it? If I were you man I would not be a lame professor.” The last comment has since been deleted because it shows how Liberty’s announcement sucked life out of Muslims’ endeavor. They have given up. They had hoped for Dr. Caner to be fired and had counted on some form of evidence from Liberty they could use on their ongoing propaganda against ex-Muslims. The “icing on the cake” has been DENIED! Thank you, Liberty!

We know very well Muslims’ motives. How about some Christians? Do you think they have one too? The Bible clearly shows us if we ask for the forgiveness of our sins, they are forgiven. Our repentance—whether private or public—equals our innocence before our fellow Christians! No Christian without a motive can insist that there has been no repentance after repentance. At this point, gathered evidence—regardless of its magnitude—doesn’t matter. The thief who was crucified on the cross did not have to enumerate his sins yet Jesus Christ accepted his repentance. How about the woman who was caught in adultery? Only an opportunist makes the lack of evidence of repentance an issue perhaps so that he can continue with his gloating. Muslims have moved on. It is time for Christians to follow suit.

On another note, four Christians were arrested in Dearborn two weeks ago. Their accounts of what transpired prior to the arrests at the Arab Festival differ from at least three other Christians who witnessed the arrests. There were hundreds of other Christians at the same festival who distributed tracts and Bibles without any run-ins with the police or security guards. Out of all these Christians, apparently, only four were targeted and arrested for “disorderly conduct.” Why this issue? I am bringing it up because Dr. Caner’s “vocal critic,” as even the media now portrays him, applies double standard because he declared their innocence even before the police could conclude its investigation. At least one witness has contacted him about his public position. He has rebuffed it. He has yet to retract his public statements, which contradict at least three Christian witnesses’ account, and issue an apology for rushing to judgment. Also, the same fellow calls himself a Christian yet he publicly has criticized the police and even encouraged these four Christians to file a civil lawsuit. Is this how the Word of God calls us to act toward those who persecute us? How about toward those in authority over us? Objectivity and integrity, where are you? Apparently, to Dr. James White they only matter when investigating Dr. Ergun Caner.

June 14th, 2010

James White and his “Reformed” Efforts Examined

Insha’Allahname withheld” will continue to learn about Islam & become Muslim Insha’Allah,” wrote a Muslim in reaction to a link Mr. Mohammed Khan of “fake ex-Muslims dot com” posted on Dr. Ergun Caner’s Facebook fan page on Sunday, June 6, 2010. [Insha'Allah means "God willing" in Arabic. Inset and emphasis mine.] You probably are curious to know who Muslims wish would become a Muslim. They are not involved in this saga in vain. He is none other than Dr. James White. The link was to a post on Alpha and Omega Ministries’ website. I have discussed how desperate Muslims are at spreading Islam in the United States. Apparently some Reformed Christians don’t get the point. One of them even said, “Regardless of what Ergun Caner has done, it does not change eternal truth in what God has done. Muslims laugh as do Christians.” I partly agree—we cannot change God’s will—but the lack of restraint is nauseating.

Some of these Reformed Christians have asked me on Facebook, twitter and comments on my blog, begging me to quit standing beside my fellow Christian of Muslim background, Dr. Ergun Caner. Some of them even argued I would lose credibility. I have defied their calls solely because there is not a vestige of truth in their claim. Their insults are proof that fidelity to the gospel is not what drives them, but advancing Dr. White’s cause at whatever cost, even to the truth.

Before I get started, I would like to thank Muslims who have helped us Christians to realize that we have a gargantuan problem within the Body of Christ. I apologize to Yahya and Jonathan on behalf of my Reformed Christian brethren who have insulted you. Please, forgive us.

Dr. James White asked me to appear on his radio program, the Dividing Line, to answer some of the “accusations” I had made about him and his ministry. He insisted that I call into his radio program to discuss him publicly. Even a friend of his wrote to me. He had a problem that it only took me six weeks to find inconsistencies in his statements. I was going to write and post about his double speaking last week but decided against it. The call to the radio was supposed to discuss him and his ministry. Please listen and judge for yourself if the rules were followed.

He has gone on record to claim that the Christianity Today article on Dr. Ergun Caner did not go “far enough” because Liberty University is its main advertiser. I called him on his speculation. For example, when Mr. John Kennedy of CT called on April 22 to interview him about the saga, he praised him on the Dividing Line as an experienced reporter who had written “over 1000 articles.” And when the article did not meet his expectation, he was quick to speculate on the advertisement and he ran away with it. He claims CT is a for-profit organization and it risked losing ad money had the reporter covered everything he had said in the interview. He defended his speculation on the radio. He insisted that he was not defaming Liberty University, John Kennedy or Christianity Today. I was bothered by his claim and decided to contact Christianity Today. What I discovered is shocking. Liberty University is not even in the top “100 CT advertisers.” Contrary to Dr. White, it is a non-profit and you can find its IRS information here and its Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability records here. I am in shock that the Diving Line has officially become the Dissing Line not only of Christians but also of reputable Christian organizations. Is Dr. White going to apologize for ruining these reputations? When I asked him where his speculation fit in Ephesians 4:29, he retorted in a tweet, “Before I block you, I must say thank you as well: your unwillingness to answer direct and honest questions was very telling.”

Dr. White’s Christian fans believe everything he says about Islam. They would rather take his word on Islam than a Muslims’. For those who are unaware, he made what I call a “parody” video of Dr. Caner’s pronunciation of Arabic words. I urged Dr. White to refrain from discussing the Caner Brothers. He never listened. Now Muslims have a better reason, which would be a clue to stop but I do not know if he would listen. I wonder if he is accountable to anyone. There is a problem with the video. Some Muslims kindly asked Dr. White to edit the video or put a disclaimer that there is a verse missing. The error is due to a mishandling of Suratul Al-Fatihah, the “first” chapter of the Qur’an. An entire verse was left out when the tutor recited. (The tutor is an Arab Christian and was never a Muslim.) Dr. White joined in the recitation and did not catch the error. The video is now on YouTube. Muslims want it edited because it misrepresents the Qur’an. Apparently, that is too much to ask of Dr. White. He wrote a blog entry about the error, dismissing Muslims’ request as “irrational.” Is this sort of arrogance befitting of a minister of the Gospel? I asked him about it and he tweeted, “Why do you care so much about what irrational people think? I do not understand it.” He and his tutor made a mistake and he does not acknowledge it. Do Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church and Alpha and Omega Ministries have a consistory and board of directors respectively? If they do, something needs to be done about his behavior.

He maintains that the Caner Brothers are fake ex-devout Muslims. Court documents destroy his argument. He has not apologized and it does not look like he will any time soon. He argues that a Christian leader should be “above reproach.” Now he balks at what he has been calling Dr. Ergun Caner to do. Even a legal document, one that was issued more than three decades ago by a county government in Ohio cannot convince him. Are we going to believe this document  or Dr. White who merely pontificates? You be the judge.

Muslims’ attack on Dr. Caner has fizzled but Reformed Christians are striving to keep it in the spotlight. I am fully convinced that nothing would satisfy them to drop some issues. Here is a prime example. There are Muslims who scrutinize everything Dr. White says about Islam. They are keen, especially when he spews his knowledge of Islam to debunk Dr. Caner. Not all his outings have been successful. He made mistakes—with no corrections or apologies—on Islamic teachings, most noticeably prayer in the bathroom. A Sunni Muslim who adheres to Malik Madhaba (school of law) had urged him to stop his charade in March when he first started talking about the issue on the DL. This Muslim man in fact wrote to Dr. White six weeks before I called into DL. He asked him to stop discussing the prayer in the bathroom issue, because it was a non-issue, citing different Islamic fatwa (edicts), which according to Hanafi school of law (which Dr. Caner’s father adhered to) supported prayer in the bathroom. This Muslim even brought up a scenario with Dr. White about an incarcerated Muslim in a cell with no walls separating the bathroom from his living area. Dr. White never listened and continued discussing the issue. He got airtime out of it even after I called into his program six weeks later. He even brought it up last Thursday on DL.

I know Reformed Christians who have written to Dr. White about their concerns in regards to his involvement in this saga, and how he has not acted according to scriptures. Whenever they tried to have him focus, at least examine his own involvement; he always ended up turning the conversation toward the Caner Brothers.

His fans, supporters and colleagues have been asking me about “Hadith 29:82” that he challenged me to identify on DL. Once again, I repeat. I addressed the Hadith issue—which even Muslims do not make an issue—in a previous post on May 15, 2010. I said “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.” I never said that there was no problem in Unveiling Islam pertaining to how aHadith were cited.  I avoided answering the questions “on-air” because Muslims are some of Dr. White’s biggest fans. His lampooning of any Christian who disagrees with him on any matter draws them. Since I did not have the Hadith books at hand, I did not answer it lest Muslims use the incorrect answer against me. Dr. White is frantically trying to keep the Hadith discrepancies in the spotlight. I should recommend that Dr. White venture out of his self-schooling environment. Only then will he open his eyes to Islamic views that differ from his or meet people who would call him to account. There is more a student gains outside of his or her self-study. A complete library can only take you so far.

A few Reformed radio programs have given some airtime to Dr. White. He continues the same stories. I am convinced beyond the shadow of any doubt that Dr. James White is not participating in this saga to get to the truth but to drag this issue on for personal gain. So far, people who have publicly disagreed with him have been labeled. His fans have targeted them as well. He and his fans blame my “irrationality” on my cultural background. Rich Price, the President of Alpha and Omega Ministries, tweeted about me, “@HusseinWario I am seriously beginning to wonder if you are nothing short of a crackpot.”

I was familiar with the Reformed faith even prior to coming to the United States in 1996. I never heard of Dr. White or his ministry until April 2010. Now that tells you where he ranks as a Reformed theologian. For you Baptist folks, I know we have some theological disagreements but do not look at Reformed Christians through what Dr. White or his friends espouse. Even Reformed people have written to him to ask to stop his campaign. It seems like only his fans (who include Muslims) agree with him that it is biblical to continue this public debate about a brother in Christ. The time has come to ignore Dr. James White as long he continues to promote himself and not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I have said in the past that he has some underlying problems, which his supporters and fans are oblivious to. I have consulted a few brothers about his situation. Some of what has been said is not fit to share. I have been asked to leave him alone because he does not even get along with his colleagues. The man is never wrong. He, as a smart and prolific Christian theologian should concede some grounds that he is not well versed in, right? Sadly, even his narrow knowledge of Islam through self-study cannot be challenged. I hope he reconsiders his way. He asked for this post and his wish has been granted.

June 4th, 2010

Lack of Absolutes in Islam Fizzles Attacks on Ex-Muslim

Dissing is not cool even by worldly standard. “Worldly” is synonymous with “ungodly.” You know what I am talking about if you are a Christian. Muslims and some Christians are culpable of dissing Dr. Ergun Caner. There are discrepancies in his testimony; however, that does not justify some of the accusations levied against him. Review Christian articles or webcast and decide for yourself if they are justified. Both Muslims and some non-Muslims have erred in their push for the “truth.” Even Dr. Caner’s Christian brothers and sisters have failed to exercise restraint.

This entry is my final one on this matter unless of course the dissing continues. It deals with certain “absolutes” in Islam that Dr. Caner’s main detractor Mr. Mohammed Khan has capitalized on to label him as a “fake ex-Muslim.” Please feel free to challenge my explanation or any part of it.

In a letter addressed to Dr. Caner—available on multiple websites—dated August 2, 2009, Mr. Khan claimed, “I can assure you that EACH AND EVERY ERROR [sic] you have made is not due to “not following that particular tradition”, rather it is due to the fact that you were never a Muslim and do not know a single iota about Islam.” [Bold emphasis mine.] What a bold statement! I decided to analyze Mr. Khan’s letter because it contains most of his absolute statements. He has been learning about Islam from his attacks on Dr. Caner. He stumbled through his quest, fumbling Islamic teachings. Does that disqualify him as a Muslim? You be the judge. This definitely has been a good learning experience for him. Christians need to be careful because Mr. Khan is desperate. He continues in the letter:

“For your information, Ramadan is an Islamic calendar month which has up to 31 days and for you to say you were a Sunni Muslim and you fasted during Ramadan for 40 days is laughable, and this in itself is proof that you know NOTHING about Ramadan or fasting.” [Emphasis mine.] Did you read that right?

Mr. Khan claims that a lunar calendar month has “up to 31 days.” And you are reading this from a self-proclaimed devout Muslim who is attempting to prove Dr. Caner as a “fake ex-Muslim” based on about two mistakes he has made in hundreds of speeches he has given in regards to the fast during Ramadhan. Even a non-Muslim who has never heard of Islam would correct Mr. Khan’s error about how many days are in a lunar month. He wrote this letter and sent it on August 2, 2009, with this error and also posted it on his website. He copied and pasted links on Facebook countless times. Even Muslims who read it did not point out the error to him until I brought to his attention on April 28, 2010. [You can see the exchange on Ergun Caner’s Facebook fan page.] Please visit fake ex Muslims dot com and see for yourself the correction in “red.” If we label people based on errors they have made, then Mr. Khan has just proven himself a “fake Muslim” because it is haram (unlawful) to fast on Iddul Fitr, the 31st day of fasting which falls on a new month, Shawwal. Prophet Muhammad said, “No fasting is permissible on two days of ‘Id-al-Fitr, and ‘Id-al-Adha.”

He told a gullible audience on February 22, 2010, “The thing we need to understand is that I myself am not an Arab, neither am I a Turk–I am a Muslim. When it comes to certain Islamic phrases such as Salah, Shahadah, Sawm etc–there is no different way of saying these things amongst THE ENTIRE MUSLIM WORLD–so for him to come out and say these things in the most bizarre of manners made me curious.” [Emphasis mine.] This blanket statement just shows how much Mr. Khan knows about Islam and Muslims outside of his Salafi bubble.

One participant did not let him get away with his generalizations and absolute statements. “Bizarre,” he calls how Dr. Caner did not pronounce certain Arabic terms. There was a very keen woman, Lydia, who pressed him on February 23, 2010, “As to terminology that ALL Muslims would use, a quick google search came up with this, “Muslims themselves use several terms to refer to Salah depending on their language or culture.” [Emphasis mine.] Wait a minute! What would Mr. Khan say? He fooled some Reformed and or Southern Baptist folks for a little over a day that Islamic terminologies were universal until Lydia noted something was not right. What did he do? He changed his story to the tune of… “Regarding your Google search–you are totally correct.” [Emphasis mine.] How come he did not present the whole truth from the outset?

Mr. Khan said in the letter, “I can assure you that not a Muslim on earth refers to their five daily prayers as their “Rakahs”, rather we call it “Salah.” I call this another absolute statement which is very easy to debunk using Lydia’s “google search.” Rakah is a set of bowings during Salah (the five daily prayers).” Muslims refer to Salah as imunz or namāz, which essentially is equivalent to referring to their five daily prayers as rakah because imunz or namāz come from “Indo-Aryan root namas meaning ‘to bow or prostrate.’” What is very ironic is Mr. Khan himself refers to the five daily prayers as moonz—he acknowledged when Lydia intervened but does not give Dr. Caner the benefit of the doubt that Rakah could be his family’s own way of referring to Salah.

He continued in the letter, “You mentioned in ONE CLIP that you believed in a Prophet called Baruch. There is no Prophet mentioned in the Qur’an or Hadith called Bahruch [sic]. Why did you make this up?” [Emphasis mine.] This is another absolute statement and Mr. Khan is learning on the job. There are 124,000 prophets in Islam and only 25 of them are mentioned by name in the Qur’an. What happened to the names of the 99.98 percent of these prophets?

When I was attending madrassa and I was learning names of prophets mentioned in the Qur’an, I used to recite different verses of the Qur’an that mention the prophets. Suratul A-Imran verse 84 states, “Say: We believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq and Yaqoub and the tribes, and what was given to Musa and Isa and to the prophets from their Lord; we do not make any distinction between any of them, and to Him do we submit.” [Emphasis Mine.] “Tribes” is asbat. These are the twelve tribes that descended from Yaqub (Jacob) and they are mentioned along with some of the prophets. Could it be possible that Dr. Caner employed the same tactic to memorize the names of the prophets when he was a Muslim, forgot and mispronounced asbat (not a prophet) in this interview as Bahruch? I bet Mr. Khan cannot name the 25 prophets. Most Muslims don’t even know all their names. He is making it an issue and some Christians are being duped by one mistake.

Mr. Khan continued, “Why does the picture of you in the so called Madrassa, have a girl standing next to you? Why is there a girl praying in the same line as you “in the mosque”? This does not happen anywhere [in Islam].” [Bracket mine.] There is a picture of Dr. Caner in madrassa and Mr. Khan cannot accept it because if he does that debunks his assertion that Dr. Caner was “never a Muslim.” He cannot even give him the benefit of the doubt the girl in the picture could be his half-sister, which in Islam is acceptable and cannot break tahara, which is necessary for reciting the Qur’an and also observing the salah or moonz as Mr. Khan privately calls it. This is yet another absolute statement that is not so absolute after all.

Most Islamic teachings and practices lack absolutes because they are based on the exemplary life of Prophet Muhammad who lived his life as he willed. Have you ever wondered why Muslims kill each other over their religious differences when they follow the same prophet who supposedly got revelations from only one source, Allah? (The Ahmadiyya Muslims are in the news again. 80 of them were killed on Friday last week in Pakistani during the Friday prayer.)

I tried to discuss with Mr. Khan on a blog about these absolutes and it did not take long that he cried foul and I was banned. I had brought to his attention how it was okay that Prophet Muhammad touched one of his wives—grounds to nullify a prayer—when he was praying but it did not nullify his prayer. Mr. Khan was touting these absolutes fooling gullible Christians and I was not given a chance to debunk his claims. Thankfully, a controversy, which drives my point home, rocked Saudi Arabia within a few days. Sheikh Ahmed al-Ghamdi—not to be confused with one the 9/11 hijackers—called for “easing the rules for prayer in mosques, and allowing men and women to mix freely.” This man is not your ordinary Muslim scholar. He is the head of muttawa, the Saudi religious police. He said, “Those who prohibit ikhtilat cling to weak ahadeeth, while the correct ahadeeth prove that mixing is permissible, contrary to what they claim.” There goes another absolute statement.

Dr. Caner has said a lot of things in hundreds of speeches he has given. Muslims look for opportunities to discredit ex-Muslims and even some Christians. He has given them a foothold and that should not widen the rift between Christians. It is a shame that even Christians mock Dr. Caner for mispronouncing Arabic terms or reciting “gibberish” while he converted to Christianity a few decades ago. People have no idea how much one can forget after leaving Islam. I am speaking from experience. If we use his recollection of verses from the Qur’an to justify our attacks, we are doomed. Mr. Khan has been a Muslim since birth and guess what? He says, “I myself can speak Pashto so I am familiar with some Persian and Arabic. I can read Arabic (not very well), but I did not spot any Arabic words either.” He cannot read Arabic well, which means Mr. Khan minimally understands Islam. His Arabic is probably worse than that of Dr. James White because Dr. White has a tutor. I bet it is worse than Dr. Caner’s because he could not correct Dr. Caner’s “gibberish” with his “prowess” of the Qur’an. Instead, he enlisted a recording.

Brethren, let us encourage a Muslim who comes to faith in Jesus Christ to read and memorize Bible verses. In the end, it is not his or her recollection of the Qur’an or the Hadith that matters, but “faith expressing itself through love.” Have a blessed day.

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!

May 12th, 2010

Desperate Muslims and Ignorant Christians Part 1

As a former Muslim, a convert to Christianity, Reformed and one who Muslims have attempted to discredit as an ex-Muslim, I struggle with this war against ex-Muslims, which Muslims instigated and Christians are perpetuating and perfecting. Some Christians have accused me of “skirting” around the issue surrounding Dr. Ergun Caner because I have not “publicly” stated my stance, while in fact I have. Others have accused me of lying. One person even went to the extent of posting a comment “on my behalf” using my name and URL on the Christianity Today website attempting to ruin my credibility. (Thanks to CT for investigating and taking action!) This has become an emotionally charged and a very serious matter!

The way the attacks on Dr. Caner have played out is mind-boggling to Christians who are involved in outreach to Muslims. I am a part of a network of 200 plus professionals and laypersons that is directly involved or facilitate outreach to Muslims in Canada and the United States. So far, everyone I have talked with is glad that Liberty University carried out its initial investigation sans the comments Dr. Elmer Towns made in the Christianity Today article. There is a second investigation in progress and let us keep Liberty University and all those involved—including Dr. Caner and his family—in our prayers.

My fellow Christians, Muslims and their sympathizers—I am not implying any Christian here—want this issue to drag on, and anything short of a public apology from Dr. Caner, possibly with an audio or video available, is an unacceptable to them. Since they have a lot of time and possibly money invested in this endeavor, they want to put an “icing” on their cake with evidence. It is unbiblical that this issue is being “juried” and judged” on blogsphere, with Muslims as some of the jurors and judges.

This issue would not have gained any traction had Dr. James White and Dr. Ergun Caner been in good terms. I have met neither of these men but have spoken once to Dr. White on the Dividing Line. There are a few instances where he has spoken dismissively of Dr. Caner on the radio program. For instance, on April 20, 2010, he said, “I have had no overt fascination with Ergun Caner since then,” just because the debate in 2006 [podcast track 21:50-24:35] failed to materialize.

I emailed him with my concerns soon after the program had aired; bringing to his attention some of the charges he had discussed on-air regarding Dr. Caner observing Muslim prayer in a high school bathroom. When he failed to respond, I called into his radio program because he had blogged that he was going to discuss Dr. Caner again and would be taking calls. He dismissed [podcast track 43:45-45:50] the scripture (Galatians 6:1-2) in regards to his discussion of Dr. Caner on-air and told me that it did not apply because he had to go public with the story due to Dr. Caner’s failure to answer his questions and Dr. Caner being a public figure.

Dr. White must have had this issue on his mind for quite some time because he misconstrued what I had said regarding how, while interacting with the audience, I had mispronounced Arabic words or recited the wrong chapter of the Qur’an and he concluded that that just proved his point that the Caner Brothers embellished their testimony, “making things up,” because of the need supposedly was great for expert on Islam after 9/11, even terming it “preacher exaggeration” while I wasn’t implying that. I was trying to help him realize that it was possible that Dr. Caner mispronounced Arabic words.

It dawned on me during our discussion that his Muslim scholar friend Shiekk Yasir Qadhi, who had emailed him, would give the benefit of the doubt to Dr. Caner and wouldn’t draw a conclusion because he did not know if his prayer rug was waterproof. That was when I realized that Dr. White has an underlying problem, perhaps beyond these accusations of Dr. Caner being a liar.

I am a Reformed Christian and I am utterly ashamed of Dr. White. In my opinion, he is a disgrace to the Reformed faith—sola scriptura—because of his meddling in this matter and his disregard of the scripture. He is tacitly helping Muslims with their war against Muslim converts to Christianity. He even is going a step further in perfecting it by discussing Dr. Emir Caner on-air yesterday. His main issue with Emir is that he “erroneously” stated that Jesus was mentioned in the Qur’an 93 times [podcast track 52:00-56:00].  Would that prove him as a fake expert on Islam when he was quoting John Esposito, Professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies and the director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, who says, “Jesus is referred to in ninety-three verses of the Quran” (The Oxford History of Islam, pages 306-307)?

Carl Medearas says in his book Muslims, Christians, and Jesus, that, “The Qur’an mentions Jesus almost one hundred times…” Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2008, 66.  Does that make Mr. Medearas, the most visible “international expert in the field of Arab-American and Muslim-Christian relations,” a fake expert on Islam? Jesus is mentioned by name 25 times but he is referred to directly or indirectly “almost one hundred times” in the Qur’an and that does not make one a fake expert on Islam. Muslim scholars read every chapter of Mr. Medearas’ book prior to its publication and concluded that it was “fair” to Islam (page 20). This is one other instance that shows Dr. White has a grudge or jealousy issue, partly due to that scheduled debate that never took place.

The initial issue was whether the Caner Brothers were fake ex-Muslims. None of the evidence has proven that. Court documents have revealed that they indeed were brought up as Muslims. That debunked Muslims and some Christians’ initial assertion. There is even an eyewitness and some of us dismiss him because he has not divulged enough information. They now want us to focus on the lies and inconsistencies in the testimonies but as Christians we should not forget that when any believer—unless some of these Christian critics think Dr. Caner is not a Christian—asks for forgiveness, we believe that he or she is forgiven. Even God forgives and forgets our sins on account of the sacrifice of his beloved Son on the cross. Why don’t we set aside our pride and forgive our brother Dr. Ergun Caner?

Muslims would like to make Drs. Ergun and Emir Caner the “face” of their “fake ex-Muslims” propaganda. It wasn’t just by coincidence that they stumbled upon their testimonies. There are at least 10 different “fake ex-Muslims” videos—mostly based on these converts’ accent pronouncing some Arabic words—on YouTube that do not involve the Caner Brothers. The fact that these brothers are leaders in the Christian higher education is a constant reminder to these Muslims that Islam is under threat. If they weren’t, Muslims would not have resorted to these tactics.