Posts tagged ‘Christian’

December 17th, 2010

Christian Outreach to Muslims this Christmas

It was the week before Christmas 1988. One of my former teachers, Mr. Buya, invited me to go to his home for Christmas. Even though I was a Muslim and did not celebrate Christmas, I traveled to his village. I still believe he had invited me with intent not to proselytize me.

Mr. Buya is a Christian from the Pokomo tribe—a “Christian” tribe, which has had dueling feuds with my Orma tribe for a few hundred years. (The Ormas were considered 100 percent Muslim.) They always fought over land and River Tana access. Though the Kenyan government has never admitted it, these clashes were due to these tribes’ religious differences. Even today Ormas and Pokomos share mutual fear and mistrust. Their feuds have claimed scores of lives. Read BBC reports here and here.

Mr. Buya was not teaching in a Muslim village by choice. The Kenyan government’s Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) posted him there. TSC posts and transfers teachers around the country without any input from them. You probably are wondering, considering the possible danger to Mr. Buya, why he was posted to teach at my village. The sad truth is there was no Orma who was qualified to be a primary school teacher at that time because early Muslim “missionaries” told my tribe it was wrong to get secular education. After all, they argued, secular education was for ilmu dunia, knowledge of the world. Instead, they insisted Orma children should attend madrassa where they gained ilmu akhirat, the knowledge of the hereafter.

Many other Kenyan Muslims also enrolled their children only in Islamic religious schools until the government mandated secular education. Even today most Kenyan Muslims in predominantly Muslim areas don’t take secular education seriously. The Kenya National Examination Council examination results don’t lie. I only was enrolled in a secular school because of the government mandate. I attended both madrassa and the secular school for five years until I graduated from the former.

Visiting Mr. Buya’s family for Christmas changed my perception of the Pokomos and Christians. They showed tremendous respect for my beliefs and even asked me to slaughter a goat they had bought for Christmas since as a Muslim I could not have eaten the meat had one of them slaughtered it. Their character was also different from Muslim leaders’ portrayal of Christians. All the negative stereotypes I had heard of the Pokomos and Christians were gone with one visit. I am grateful for that Christmas invite because it marked the beginning of a change in my life. If you would like to hear the rest of the story (my testimony), please listen to it here.

Hospitality: Christmas is almost here. There are many Muslims who wouldn’t decline our invitation to show hospitality. They might decline our invitation to attend a worship service but I doubt they would refuse to come for a meal. The Bible says, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Millions of Muslims live in Christian majority countries now and do not even know who Christians actually are. Muslims are here to stay. They are our neighbors, doctors, classmates or even taxi drivers. Most of what they know about Jesus, Christianity and Christians is from the Qur’an and the Hadith and what their Muslim leaders tell them. Most of them view Christians as very evil people who believe in three gods—father, mother and son. Do you know this is the most heinous sin in Islam? What is wrong with us opening our homes to Muslims? They can benefit from a little hospitality, which might end up positively changing their lives for eternity.

Most colleges and universities in the United States have Christmas break starting this week. Campus residencies will be closed except to international students. This is can be an opportunity to show hospitality.

Reach out: Opportunities to serve Muslims are endless. A lady recently shared with me about her experience. She was always curious about her Muslim neighbors. The Muslim wife and her daughters rarely ventured out of their home. One day, this Christian woman decided to deliver some baked goods to the Muslim family. Within hours, the Muslim family reciprocated with some baked goods of its own. These two families have now become friends. Some Muslim women are not allowed to leave their homes without the company of their husbands or male relatives or their permission. Women are the least reached among Muslims. Christian women can do outreach to them with ease.

Host family: Many Muslim international students come from countries which are “closed” to Christian outreach. Why don’t we offer to show these students around town or take them out to eat or shopping for school supplies, invite them over for meals or even offer to be their host parents? Do you know colleges look for potential host parents for their international students?

Literature: Give copies of the Bible in native languages if they are available. Most Muslims have not seen the Bible, let alone read one in their own language. You can find the Bible in various languages online. Please tell them where to start reading. I remember very well when I received my first copy and no one told me where to start and I started with Genesis.

Respect: Mr. Buya and his family respected my beliefs. We don’t get very far in our outreach to Muslims if we don’t respect their beliefs. If they ask questions, answer them gently from the Bible. We should always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have and we should do it with “gentleness and respect.”

I am very grateful Mr. Buya invited me to his home for Christmas in 1988. Had the Ormas not fallen to the ruse of Muslim missionaries who secretly took their children to secular boarding schools, Mr. Buya probably would not have become a teacher in my village. God had a plan. He even used these missionaries’ egregious act for his good. Please, take a step this Christmas and show hospitality to a Muslim or any unbeliever. You never know! The Ormas were considered 100 percent Muslim, now they are only 99.98 percent Muslim. Praise God!

Hussein Wario is a former Kenyan Sunni Muslim. He is the author of Cracks in the Crescent. He blogs regularly. You can listen to his testimony here.

December 10th, 2010

Cracks in the Crescent now a Google Edition eBook

Cracks in the Crescent (252 pages) is about Hussein Wario’s upbringing as a Sunni Muslim in Kenya, his conversion to Christianity and the ensuing persecution. It is now available as an ebook. You can read it  on the Web, Android phones, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Nook, Sony devices and other supported eReaders. To start reading, please click HERE. Thank you.

Here is a sampling of some of the reviews:

This book should be read by any and all Catholic clergy and laymen interested in Islam. While some of the information provided will call for great tact and sensitivity if shared with Muslim friends and acquaintances, it will readily furnish the needed resources and references required to help both Muslims and non-Muslims come to a clearer understanding of Islam and its growing influence in our world today. Dr. Philip Blosser, PhD, Professor of Philosophy, Sacred Heart Major Seminar

…Elegantly written… The New Oxford Review

…Must read… The Standard Bearer

…Excellent… Rev. Otto Kaiser, Associate Professor of Religion, Global University (Assemblies of God)

If you are unfamiliar with Islam and its beliefs, this is an excellent book to have on hand. Christians should know what Muslims think about Christianity and the author has written a book unlike any other that I have read on the subject of Islam. This would also be an excellent book to give to Muslims because it shows quite clearly where they have been misinformed about Christians and in particular Jesus. If you have Muslim friends you want to get this book! Interviews & Reviews, Canada

The fact that it is autobiographical adds an important dimension that most books on Islam lack…. very special. Dr. R. Greenway, PhD, Professor of Missiology

Truly remarkable testimony of God’s grace… engaging and moving… Dr. Rex M. Rogers, PhD, President, SAT-7 USA

Hussein Wario is a Kenyan Christian of Sunni Muslim background. He blogs regularly here. You can listen to his testimony here or read it here.

November 10th, 2010

Alert: My Testimony Is not for Sale

The story of God’s work of grace in my life is not for sale. Jesus Christ paid it all. I did not do anything to earn my salvation. I have been sharing this testimony free of charge for more than two decades. Listen to it here. Read it here. Read more about it here.

Many asked me to put the story in writing. Now my autobiography, Cracks in the Crescent, is in print. You can get your copy here.

Surprisingly, some reputable online retailers tout it as hard-to-find, rare and out-of-print book. They use these labels to justify their outrageous pricing even for used copies. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw some of their prices, especially one of them, which is a whooping US $346.13—22 times more than the cover price. Is this still capitalism or a rip off? Why would they mislead people when even their tag “Usually ships in 3 weeks” shows these retailers must be buying directly from me? Here are some examples:

On Books A Million a new copy sells for between US $193.32 and 346.13.

On Alibris a new copy sells for between US $115.44 and 230.24.

Here are a few things to note. First, Cracks is not a P.O.D. (Print or Publish On Demand) book. There are thousands of copies in print. If you would like a copy, you can order it from Amazon.com, Google, my website or visit these bookstores. Secondly, if you are just interested in the first few chapters, you can read it (my upbringing, conversion and persecution) for free on Google Books here. Thirdly, if you would like to get a copy, it retails for US $15.99 and there is an offer for free shipping.

To minimize any distortion of the testimony—some unhappy Muslims have made attempts to distort testimonies of ex-Muslims including mine—I have come up with some guidelines you can read here. Please feel free to print my posts in any non-commercial publication provided you include this copyright notice: “© 2010, Hussein Hajji Wario. All rights reserved. Originally published at http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com.” You can also duplicate audio of my testimony for your own use or for your organization as long as you are not charging for it.

I hope these guidelines are clear. Please feel free to contact me with further questions. Have a blessed day!

The story of God’s work of grace in my life is not for sale. Jesus Christ paid it all. I did not do anything to earn my salvation. I have been sharing this testimony free of charge for more than two decades. Listen to it here. Read it here. Read more about it here.

Many asked me to put the story in writing. Now my autobiography, Cracks in the Crescent, is in print. You can get your copy here.

Surprisingly, some reputable online retailers tout it as hard-to-find, rare and out-of-print book. They use these labels to justify their outrageous pricing even for used copies. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw some of their prices, especially one of them, which is a whooping US $346.13—22 times more than the cover price. Is this still capitalism or a rip-off? Why would they mislead people when even their tag “Usually ships in 3 weeks” shows these retailers must be buying directly from me? Here are some examples:

Here are a few things to note. First, Cracks is not a P.O.D. (Print or Publish On Demand) book. There are thousands of copies in print. If you would like a copy, you can order it from Amazon.com, Google, my website or visit these bookstores. Secondly, if you are just interested in the first few chapters, you can read it (my upbringing, conversion and persecution) for free on Google Books here. Thirdly, if you would like to get a copy, there is an offer for free shipping. This limited time offer will end on Friday, December 31, 2010.

To minimize any distortion of the testimony—some unhappy Muslims have made attempts to distort testimonies of ex-Muslims including mine—I have come up with some guidelines you can read here. Please feel free to print my posts in any non-commercial publication provided you include this copyright notice: “© 2010, Hussein Hajji Wario. All rights reserved. Originally published at http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com.” You can also duplicate audio of my testimony for your own use or for your organization as long as you are not charging for it.

I hope these guidelines are clear. Please feel free to contact me with further questions. Have a blessed day!

http://solagrace.org/audio/by/title/testimony_of_jussein_wario

http://husseinwario.com/blog/book/

http://books.google.com/books?id=OENqmSqKkDkC&source=gbs_navlinks_s

http://www.booksamillion.com/search?raresearch=1&id=4866468415725

The story of God’s work of grace in my life is not for sale. Jesus Christ paid it all. I did not do anything to earn my salvation. I have been sharing this testimony free of charge for more than two decades. Listen to it here. Read it here. Read more about it here.

Many asked me to put the story in writing. Now my autobiography, Cracks in the Crescent, is in print. You can get your copy here.

Surprisingly, some reputable online retailers tout it as hard-to-find, rare and out-of-print book. They use these labels to justify their outrageous pricing even for used copies. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw some of their prices, especially one of them, which is a whooping US $346.13—22 times more than the cover price. Is this still capitalism or a rip-off? Why would they mislead people when even their tag “Usually ships in 3 weeks” shows these retailers must be buying directly from me? Here are some examples:

Here are a few things to note. First, Cracks is not a P.O.D. (Print or Publish On Demand) book. There are thousands of copies in print. If you would like a copy, you can order it from Amazon.com, Google, my website or visit these bookstores. Secondly, if you are just interested in the first few chapters, you can read it (my upbringing, conversion and persecution) for free on Google Books here. Thirdly, if you would like to get a copy, there is an offer for free shipping. This limited time offer will end on Friday, December 31, 2010.

To minimize any distortion of the testimony—some unhappy Muslims have made attempts to distort testimonies of ex-Muslims including mine—I have come up with some guidelines you can read here. Please feel free to print my posts in any non-commercial publication provided you include this copyright notice: “© 2010, Hussein Hajji Wario. All rights reserved. Originally published at http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com.” You can also duplicate audio of my testimony for your own use or for your organization as long as you are not charging for it.

I hope these guidelines are clear. Please feel free to contact me with further questions. Have a blessed day!

http://solagrace.org/audio/by/title/testimony_of_jussein_wario

http://husseinwario.com/blog/book/

http://books.google.com/books?id=OENqmSqKkDkC&source=gbs_navlinks_s

http://www.booksamillion.com/search?raresearch=1&id=4866468415725&qisbn=9780578001555&chunk=10&qsort=p

http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?qsort=p&siteID=BMAI54k.xMY-6bJvSC2hb2j9kKSb5V.rLA&qisbn=0578001551

&qisbn=9780578001555&chunk=10&qsort=p

http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?qsort=p&siteID=BMAI54k.xMY-6bJvSC2hb2j9kKSb5V.rLA&qisbn=0578001551

October 19th, 2010

Muslim Followers of Jesus? A Response to Joseph Cumming

I wrote this in response to Joseph Cumming’s advance paper, Muslim Followers of Jesus? He has written it for Lausanne World Congress which is taking place in Capetown, South Africa. The discussion is on Islam and Christian outreach to Muslims. You can read his entire article here. He wrote:

Ibrahim was a well-respected scholar of the Qur’an, a Hafiz. When he decided to follow Jesus, he closely examined the Qur’anic verses commonly understood as denying the Trinity, denying Jesus’ divine Sonship, denying Jesus’ atoning death, and denying the textual integrity of the Bible. He concluded that each of these verses was open to alternate interpretations, and that he could therefore follow Jesus as a Muslim. Soon members of his family and community came to share his faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Ibrahim was also imprisoned for his faith, but unlike Nabil, Ibrahim still wanted to follow Jesus as a Muslim. Nonetheless some whom he led to Jesus no longer see themselves as Muslims. Ibrahim and Nabil are friends and respect each other as brothers, though they disagree about their identity.

Ibrahim seems to suffer from identity crisis. A Christian, possibly from Muslim background, should sit down with him and talk with him about how his identity should be in Jesus Christ. Ibrahim doesn’t have to leave his culture but to continue living in obedience to Prophet Muhammad’s teachings, observing some of the five pillars of Islam is syncretism. I don’t know what else to call it when even the Hadith shows Muhammad invented these practices. How could Ibrahim come up with “alternate interpretations” of the Qur’an when for 1400 years these verses have had zero alternate meaning?

Here is my personal story. I came to know the Lord in August 1989. Then in April 1990 I met a Kenyan national missionary who had a great idea. [We are still friends :) .] He wanted me to go back home to my own people so that I could live with them and be a Christian witness. Sad to say at that time the Kenyan government representative in my home area had already severed my ties to my family due to persecution. My missionary friend was oblivious to danger I had faced. He was a big believer in C4 contextualization. (His library contained books from leading advocates for C scale.) Had I followed through with his idea, I would have either been hurt or dead. Even sadder, this missionary’s idea came to fruition in 1995. He had about 20 C5 believers. To date, none of them has come forward to publicly profess his or her faith in Christ. One of them had a wife of Christian background who died a few years ago. He refused to have a “Christian” funeral for her. She had a Muslim funeral. Do you see the problem here? She was dead as a “Christian” yet she couldn’t be buried as one! Not that it mattered but there is a serious flaw in a Muslim background believer’s (MBB) thinking if he or she still practices some core Islamic teachings. Proper discipleship is the only antidote to this morass that has befuddled Christian outreach to Muslims. I hope and pray Lausanne Congress charts the way forward.

Another severe problem facing Christian outreach to Muslim is scriptural integrity in Bible translation. Christians already struggle explaining to a Muslim how the Bible has not been corrupted yet some organizations don’t get the idea. An organization that does Bible translation for a Muslim audience has a hard time translating the New Testament because of the term “Son of God” in the Gospel and other epistles. There is a bizarre case in Ethiopia where major errors have been made, thus compromising the meaning of certain verses. You can read that story here.

I believe some western Christian scholars are behind this confusion in Christian outreach to Muslims. They have no idea what problems they have created for MBBs and Christian workers among Muslims. Muslims are already mocking Christian scholars who advocate for C4, C5 and C6. Can’t we get the clue? It is time for us to put our egos aside and preach the Gospel without diluting its message. After all, it is “the power of God unto salvation.” A big thank you to Brother Joseph Cumming for keeping this discussion alive.

September 29th, 2010

Is the Islamic Deity the same as the Judeo-Christian God?

The idea of God in Islam is derived from the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah (sayings and deeds). Both these sources show how “God,” “Allah” in Arabic, differs from the Judeo-Christian God. There is plenty of evidence in the Qur’an and the Hadith that the idea of  “God” in Islam is of Muhammad’s invention. Here are a few.

Allah in Islam who Muslims consider omniscient confuses Mary the Mother of Jesus with Miriam the sister to Aaron and Moses in the Bible. This doesn’t make sense when even Muslims know Mary and Aaron cannot be siblings because they lived several centuries apart. Muhammad—Allah’s Apostle—confirmed in the Hadith that Mary, Aaron, and Moses shared the same father. Apparently he believed it because Allah told him so. The story even gained some traction among Muslims of Muhammad’s days. The Hadith shows it only took a Christian to correct Muhammad years later in Medina. Unfortunately the error is still in the Qur’an because Allah—the all knowing—has not issued a correction yet.

Muhammad invoked Allah’s name to get his desires and wishes. There are instances in the Qur’an, proven by narratives in the Hadith, where when he had a desire for something he got it with a “revelation.” He never failed to get his way, especially after he became a political and military leader. Here are a few cases:

1. In Surah (chapter) 33 of the Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad admired Zainab, the wife of his adopted son Zayd bin Haritha. The Hadith shows he went to Zainab’s house and saw her scantly clad. He desired her as a wife. Then he got a “revelation” from Allah which forced Zayd to divorce Zainab. Then Muhammad—who had at least five wives at that time—married her.

2. Muslim women only began wearing veils in Islam because Prophet Muhammad was concerned men would seduce his new wife Zainab. The Hadith shows how they were milling around Zainab’s new home and even visiting her in Muhammad’s absence. He became quite concerned. One day, he pulled a curtain and a new verse was revealed. Mark you; the “revelation” came after he had already pulled the curtain. Shouldn’t it be the other way around had God been speaking to Muhammad? “Allah” also required that men should visit Muhammad’s home on invitation only. Poor Zayd. He did not enjoy the same privilege. From that time on, men had to talk to Muhammad’s wives behind a curtain. So much for Muslims telling the world veiling is for modesty.

3. A typical Muslim man can marry up to four wives. How about Muhammad? Allah “told” him via a “revelation” he could marry as many as he wished. Those who rivaled him, Muhammad forced them to divorce some of their wives to get to the “maximum” four.

4. A Muslim cannot interrupt another Muslim’s prayer. Muhammad broke that rule. Even a Muslim asked him why he did it, he said, “Didn’t Allah say “Give your response to Allah (by obeying Him) and to His Apostle when he calls you.”” He was above the rule. How convenient! Just another case of “Allah” in Islam is of Muhammad’s invention.

There are many other references in the Qur’an where a Muslim must obey Allah and Muhammad. Surprisingly, none of these verses was from the period when Islam was its nascent stage, Muhammad was powerless. The Hadith shows Muhammad concocted them to cater to his own desires. (Absolutes are rare in Islam. The only absolute with certainty is Islam’s opposition to the Trinity—a concept even “Allah” did not understand and falsely accused Christians of worshipping god the father, mother and son. Many Muslim still believe Christians worshipped these three gods even when it is patently false.)

It is obvious in the Qur’an and the Hadith “Allah” catered to Prophet Muhammad’s desires. Why can’t some Muslims discern it? Is it because Allah forbade them from asking questions? He said in the Qur’an, “O you who believe! Do not put questions about things which if declared to you may trouble you, and if you question about them when the Quran is being revealed, they shall be declared to you; Allah pardons this, and Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing.” This “revelation” was yet another convenient revelation for Muhammad. This time he declined to answer a question on pilgrimage to Mecca. Pagans observed annual Hajj to Mecca before Muhammad instituted and made it compulsory for Muslims just before death. Prior to that, Muslims observed various pilgrimages (umrah) throughout the year. A Muslim had asked how often Hajj in a year should be observed. Apparently, both Muhammad and “Allah” did not want to tackle that controversy.

There are many more examples that show the Qur’an was an invention of Muhammad to live a convenient life. He dubbed it a “revelation” from “Allah” to dupe his followers. The Islamic deity Muhammad preached couldn’t be the same as the Judeo-Christian God because the “Allah” Muhammad preached pandered to Muhammad. Even Muslims in Malaysia who abide by the Sharia agree the deity in Islam is not the same as the Judeo-Christian God. The New York Times reports they burned Catholic churches over Malay Christians’ use of “Allah” in publications. Muslims know better who their “God” is. He is not the same as the Judeo-Christian God!

June 25th, 2010

Muslims’ Persecution of Christians

Christians suffer persecution in most countries with majority Muslim population. Hector Aleem has been languishing in jail in Pakistan for more than a year. He is accused falsely of blasphemy. Here is a letter his daughter wrote earlier this year. Would you please use your resources to highlight this brother’s plight? Thank you. I know some of us have been writing for months on Dr. Ergun Caner. Here is Mehwish:

Dear All,

At a time that the United Nations calls Switzerland’s ban on new minarets “clearly discriminatory and deeply divisive,” and the whole world is condemning the swiss for their vote, I would like to bring to the attention of the world my plight.

My name is Mehwish Aleem and my father (Hector Aleem) is a human rights activist in Pakistan. He has been working as a human rights activist since 1996. He is running an NGO with the name of PEACE WORLDWIDE.

Hector Aleem has worked for Christians and Muslims without prejudice. But today he is in jail and could be killed at any time.

My father was working for a church destroyed by CDA (capital development authority) in Islamabad Pakistan. The church was destroyed because according to CDA it was built illegally. The charge was false.

There are many mosques in Islamabad (the capital of Pakistan) that are built with no permit, but no one will dare to touch them. For example, there was a vacant lot near my house and a Maulvi (Muslim leader) started to build a mosque on it. The land belonged to an absentee owner. When the owner learned about it, he started to destroy the illegally built mosque on his property. Hundreds of Muslims rioted and threatened to kill the owner of the land. As the result he give up his land in order to save his life. The government did not intervene.

Churches on the other hand are destroyed by the governments’ own agents. When Hector Aleem objected to the destruction of the church he faced with several lawsuits ranging from fraud to criminal charges. He fought all of them in the courts and proved his innocence. His opponents tried to assassinate him several times. The Maulvies threatened him that if he continues to work for the church they would kill him and his sons, and would force his dughters to convert to Islam.

During this time Hector Aleem received a Peace award by Mr. Yousaf Raza Gillani the prime minister of Pakistan. One month later, on 21st January, 2009 he was arrested by the police. They severely beat him and tortured him mentally and physically. After 24 hours of not knowing what were the charges, we were told that his offence is blasphemy, a charge that carries the death penalty in Pakistan.

According to the first information report someone sent a blasphemous message to a leader of Sunni Tehreek (a Muslim extremist organization) and that sender had once contacted my father. So my father is guilty by association. Since they could not find the offender, they arrested my father. Hector Aleem, is 51 years old and is a heart patient. He is not allowed to take his medication and is denied visitation.

During his trial a large mob gathered in front of the court chanting slogans against him and threatened the judge that if he releases my father they will kill him themselves and they will destroy the court and will also kill the judge and the lawyer who defended my father. Under the mob’s pressure, the judge refused bail. The lawyer of the plaintiffs, who is a Maulvi, told the judge that if he releases my father, he (my father) will be killed as soon as he steps outside the court. Then on 24 June 2009, chief justice of Pakistan Mr. Iftikhar Ahmed Chaudry granted my father bail, but the Maulvies lodged many other criminal cases against him so that he cannot come out. Hector Aleem is still in jail.

It is one year since his capture. The police are in cahoots with the Maulvies. Once two policemen went to my father’s cell and told him that even if he is granted a bail they will not let a blasphemer out. They will lodge so many cases against him that he will not be able to bear them.

Soon after that they proceeded to lodge more charges against my father. They used to take him to the police station every fifteen days, where they beat him and torture him in front of the Maulvies and the Taliban. I am begging for help. I plead to all those who champion the right of Muslims to build more minarets to also care about the minorities in Islamic countries. We are fighting for our lives. Are Muslim minarets more important than our lives of non-Muslims?

Please sign my petition. Please write to the Pakistani authorities listed bellow and ask them to release my father Hector Aleem as soon as possible. He is not guilty of any crime and the accusations of blasphemy that are made against him are false. They want to destroy him because he objected to the destruction of a church. Today, all our family is in hiding. All of us have received death threats. My siblings and I have left our studies and hide for our safety. There is no future for us in our country. If my father is released he will be killed by the mob. We need to get out of Pakistan. Please help us if you can. We don’t know where to turn and whom to ask for help. There is so much hoo-ha about the ban of minarets in Switzerland, but will anyone hear our cry? Please make our cry reach to the ears of those who care more for human life than building minarets. We have done nothing wrong. Our only crime is to be Christians in an Islamic country.

Please contact these authorities and tell them to release my father. They know Hector Aleem is innocent, they are afraid of the mob. Your concern will give them the excuse to act.

Sincerely,

Please Don’t Forget to sign this petition by clicking the link below.

http://www.PetitionOnline.com/HAleem/petition.html

For more information please visit Hector Aleem’s Blog

http://www.hectoraleem.blogspot.com

Mehwish Aleem

Free Hector Aleem Facebook Group

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.

March 1st, 2010

Reviews

Cracks in the Crescent (252 pages, paperback, printed by Bethany Press International) has received excellent reviews. (You can read the first four chapters HERE.) Here are samples of what readers and reviewers have to say. So far, it has received nothing but five star ratings on amazon.com

A must read for anyone interested in Muslim-Christian dialogue. An intense story of the author’s struggle to leave Islam, the religion he was raised up in, and the numerous attempts on his life for embracing Christianity. Along his journey, the author discusses several inconsistencies with Islam between theology and its practice and how it affects the Muslim-Christian dialogue.

The author was formally trained in both an Islamic Madrassa and a Christian University—having experienced both religions in personal and dramatic ways. It is from this perspective that he is able to discuss these controversial issues in ways few others could.

David V., College Station, TX.

Informative and Well Written. Excellent. This book presents the stark contrast between Christianity and Islam in a true story narrative. Anyone who is interested in knowing the difference in thought and belief between the two should buy this book and read it.

Steve M., Philadelphia, PA.

Very informative

Charles R.W., Grand Rapids, MI.

truly remarkable testimony of God’s grace…engaging and moving…

Rex M. Rogers, President, SAT-7 USA

He meets his detractors at their level and because of his knowledge of both the Bible and Qur’an, is able to handle questions from Muslims with ease. If you are unfamiliar with Islam and its beliefs, this is an excellent book to have on hand. Christians should know what Muslims think about Christianity and the author has written a book unlike any other that I have read on the subject of Islam. This would also be an excellent book to give to Muslims because it shows quite clearly where they have been misinformed about Christians and in particular Jesus.  If you have Muslim friends you want to get this book!

Interviews & Reviews, Canada

Found it helpful

Dr. Larsen, Professor of Islamic Studies

The fact that it is autobiographical adds an important dimension that most books on Islam lack…. very special.

Dr. R. Greenway, Professor of Missiology


Free Shipping. Offer ends Friday, December 31, 2010.



Newspaper & Magazine Review

“Must read”

Standard Bearer

“Readers will learn much about Islam from a man who has experienced the best and worst of it.”

Grand Rapids Press

February 22nd, 2010

Contextualization

Contextualization Gone Amok?

Contextualization is a brilliant Christian Missiology idea (C1, C2 and C3) that has gone amok (C4 and C5). As a former Muslim and a graduate of madrassa, I have concerns especially with C5. First, how can a Muslim claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ while he or she still believes in the Qur’an—a book that vehemently rejects his deity, death and resurrection? These three attributes make his salvation and lordship possible.

Secondly, some in C5 have stated that they were born into a Muslim family, which automatically makes them a Muslim and a part of the Muslim community; therefore, they cannot disavow themselves of their family, community and people. Their views are in agreement with Prophet Muhammad who advocated for fitra (every child is born a Muslim and should remain a Muslim). Sadly, they are incongruent with those of Jesus Christ (who they also claim is their savior), who taught, “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matt 10:37, NIV.) This text is just one of the examples of his teachings.

Thirdly, they seem to confuse western culture with Christianity, the same way many Muslims do. They understand Christianity only from what they hear in the news about the actions of some celebrities in the West, or from what they read in the Qur’an and the Hadith. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. One can be a Christian (follower of Jesus Christ) without embracing western culture.

Fourthly, I know of some Muslim scholars who invent excuses for the behavior of Prophet Muhammad; but I have never heard of one who wants to be a follower of Jesus Christ yet still wants to defend Muhammad. Many instances in the Qur’an and the Hadith illustrate how Prophet Muhammad’s behavior is an embarrassment. For example, he married Zainab, who was previously married to Zaid (his adopted son). He supposedly received as a revelation from Allah a decree that Zaid should divorce Zainab so that he could marry her (Surah 33). Mark you, this happened when Muhammad already had at least five wives.

Muslim scholars are mocking the advocacy of contextualization in Christianity, mostly quoting Christian scholars who are known experts in the field. One of the first hits you get when you search online is the Muslim criticism. They claim that since there is no “truth” in Christianity, Christians have resorted to desperate tactics to get new converts. Is this what we need?

I hope those who advocate for contextualization, especially for C4 and C5, should change their mind because, regardless of how they spin it, a believer cannot be a follower of Muhammad and Jesus at the same time.

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Cracks in the Crescent discusses my upbringing as a Muslim, my conversion story to Christianity and the ensuring persecution. If you would like your copy, please clink on the link below. Thank you. For a limited time only, there is an offer for free shipping, which ends Friday, December 31, 2010.