Posts tagged ‘Dearborn arrest’

August 11th, 2010

Acts 17 Apologetics: Mea Culpa and More

Thank you to Jason: I received an email from Jason Smathers of Witnesses Unto Me on Monday afternoon. Acts 17 Apologetics had allowed him “access to the raw, unedited, hours of video from all three of their cameras” from Arab Festival in Dearborn. He watched the videos in their entirety, talked with the complainant, Roger Williams, on the phone for “over an hour” and also exchanged several emails with him. Then he wrote a post about his findings. May God to continue to bless Jason’s unique ministry. You can read his entry HERE. Excerpts:

The incident Williams reported to the police sounds quite long. The police recount Williams testimony “He added that he felt extremely uncomfortable and thought he could not leave although he attempted to several times.” In reality, the situation captured on video matches David Wood’s testimony in a previous interview with Witnesses Unto Me. In fact, Williams had radioed security only thirty seconds after the interaction began. Acts 17 was walking down the street and saw Luke speaking with Roger Williams. Luke previously told Nabeel Qureshi of Acts 17 that he was taken to the police by Williams for handing someone a Gospel tract, Nabeel says “You good?” to Luke, who confirms they are “having a friendly conversation.” Nabeel says “I just wanted to make sure he wasn’t messing with you or anything” then walks away. As Acts 17 begins to walk away, Williams stops them and says “You don’t have to worry about me messing with him, you need to worry about me messing with you, alright?” Williams only accusation against Acts 17 to their face is that they were complaining, but he never clarifies what that means. Williams says he would explain if the microphone is turned off, but never does even after it is turned off. The entire interaction takes about 2 minutes. Amal Alslami, a Muslim and employee of the American Arab Chamber Of Commerce told the police she witnessed this event and affirmed Williams statement. However, the videos do not show Alslami anywhere in sight during the encounter, but she drives up on a golf cart approximately five minutes later, takes pictures of Acts 17, then leaves. Alslami later tells police that she did not witness the incident.

Mea Culpa: Having read Jason’s account from all the three cameras, I have concluded that the four missionaries were framed. Not a Muslim, any Dearborn resident or guest but a Christian volunteer from Jacksonville, Florida, lied about them to the police and that led to their arrest. I apologize for heartaches and or headaches I have caused these missionaries, their families, friends and fans. I hope they forgive me.

There are still issues Acts 17 Apologetics needs to address. It would be helpful to Christian outreach to Muslims if Acts 17 Apologetics would address them soon.

Scripture Misuse: The missionaries were wrongly arrested. However, how some of them and their fans have reacted is another story. At issue is the taking of Scripture out of its context to defend their reaction. The following post responds to the attacks on me because I merely objected to their Muslim evangelism efforts, tactics and reaction to arrests and also a sampling of some of their supporters, especially one of them who Mr. David Wood identified to “thoroughly expose” me. You will see if Fat Man’s responses to Mr. David Wood’s call stand the test of Scripture. That would give you a rare glimpse into Acts 17 Apologetics celebrated supporter.

Mr. Wood claims that:

He [Hussein Wario] has also condemned the Apostle Paul stood up for his civil rights. (Hussein can’t pretend he’s ignorant of Paul’s stand, since I’ve already posted the proof.)

It is quite sad how Mr. Wood takes the Scripture out of its context in order to provide defense for Acts 17 Apologetics outreach to Muslims and their reaction to the arrest. A friend once told me the difference between dealing with a Christian and a non-Christian during a conflict. He said, “If the non-Christian doesn’t like what you are doing, he or she comes up to you and slits your throat, but in the case of a Christian, he or she comes up to you and slits your throat while he or she quotes the Scripture.” What a statement. Mr. Wood quotes the Scripture out of its context at least twice to make excuses for his behavior while he attacks my character. Lets deal with two of his “favorite” passages of Scripture. The Apostle Paul asked:

“Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?” (Acts 22:25).

One thing Mr. Wood has not told his readers, the Apostle was already in custody—wrongly arrested—and was about to be flogged, which is in violation of his rights, when he asked that question. Mr. Wood further bolstered his outrage quoting some states’ (North Carolina and Maine) laws that give citizen the right to challenge an illegal arrest to the point of inflicting injuries or even killing the arresting officer. I was dumbfounded. There is no place in the Scripture where Jesus, his disciples or other believers challenged their legal or illegal arrest before the arrest or afterward, calling their oppressors liars and taunting them publicly. In fact Jesus rebuked a follower who attempted to intervene before his arrest:

And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. (Luke 22:49—51)

Another Scripture that Mr. Wood likes to quote, the Apostle Paul when he appeared before Caesar, while still in custody:

I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you also very well know. If, then, I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar. (Acts 25:10-11)

This Scripture passage supports none of Mr. Wood’s behavior. Paul was calmly challenging his rights while he was still in custody. He wasn’t belligerent and did not call his accusers liars or Christians who did not stand with him less Christian. Later in Acts 26:32 we learn that had Paul not appealed to Caesar, he would have been a free man. So much for Paul’s awareness of his civil rights, he remained behind bars on false charges!

Jesus said in Matthew 10:16-20:

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

This is the blueprint of how a Christian should behave when he or she is faced with persecution, especially one involving harassment and arrest. What kind of an attitude has Mr. Wood depicted?

Mr. Wood continues:

Desperate Attacks: This is why it’s so shocking that Hussein is siding with the police. Perhaps Hussein’s Muslim background leads him to believe that it’s okay to assault a woman who doesn’t immediately obey a man. Hussein’s thinking may be so clouded that he can’t even fathom a girl telling a man to get his hands off her.

Does Mr. Wood have to attack me for simply raising questions about his misleading statements and his tendency to make excuses? There is no proof in Scripture for his behavior for someone who was wrongly arrested.

Even the Apostle Paul apologized for his behavior toward the High Priest in Acts 23:3—5. Mr. Wood needs to apologize for his attitude toward the police. He also needs to apologize to Christians in Dearborn he has called Dhimmis.

He has no clue what my stance is on issues. You have probably heard of Ohio runway Muslim convert Rifqa Bary. She run away to Florida and reported that her father was going to kill for apostacy. Her case was in court for several months. I was in touch with one of Rifqa’s lawyers. Here is my position, which appeared in an article, Wishful Thinking Biased Reporting Endanger Rifqa Bary, in the newsmagazine American Thinker, Saturday, December 5, 2009:

I am very concerned for Rifqa. If the judge reunites her with her family, you know that she will either be severely persecuted or killed here in the United States or elsewhere. An ardent Muslim father would rather kill his child in order to preserve his family from ridicule (from fellow Muslims) than see him or her alive. Mr. Mohamed Bary would be hailed as a hero to Muslims if he were to carry out — God forbid — Islamic judgment on Rifqa because she refuses to revert to Islam.

Has my Muslim background “clouded” my stance on Rifqa’s plight? Is it even close to Mr. Wood’s assessment? Judge for yourself. A Muslim or someone whose thinking “may be so clouded” would have said the judge should have reunited Rifqa with her family.

Hypocrisy?: Mr. Wood continues:

Sadly, some Christians think that, by attacking other ministries, they will make a name for themselves. But Hussein is simply embarrassing himself. No Western Christian is going to tolerate

Mr. Wood should stop dividing Christians in order to justify his misleading statements. Someone is either a Christian or he or she is not. There is no such a thing as “Western Christian.” Secondly, he needs to take the plank out of his eye before he assesses me or other Christian ministries. Here are samplings of Acts 17 Apologetics attacks on other ministries:

The goal of Chief Haddad and the Dearborn Police Department is to reduce Christians to dhimmitude. Christians who accept that they are second-class citizens are welcome. Christians who insist that they have Constitutional rights are harassed, and even arrested.

There are three general reactions to the rights violations at the Arab Festival. First, some accept the oppression, praise the Muslims at the festival, praise the mayor, and praise the police department, regardless of how Christians are being harassed. The goal is to get into position to distribute something to the Muslims despite the obstacles. This was the approach of certain ministries.

I suspect that if Jesus, or Paul, or Peter were to preach in Dearborn today, they would be utterly condemned by some of the churches in Dearborn.

Not all Christian ran into trouble, Only those who were vocal in the presentation of the gospel

Acts 17 Apologetics claims that other ministries in Dearborn are not “vocal in the presentation of the gospel.” In other words, these missionaries were the only ones who preached at the festival, which is false.

What’s Next: Acts 17 Apologetics need to prayerfully consider how it should be involved in next year’s festival, assess its strategies and perhaps partnering with a church or organization in Dearborn. A Dearborn native and former Muslim, Ali El Hajj, has suggested for Acts 17 “to seek some means of dialog we Dearborn’s community. Perhaps an unrecorded forum where the community would be invited in to mend bridges- first with the Christian leaders in Dearborn, then with city officials, and finally the community.”

Acts 17 still Misleading the Public: I pointed out to Mr. Wood about his Fox News’ Fox & Friends interview. The public was misled into believing that he was arrested for distributing the Gospel of John. He did not correct the TV host when he was on-air. Fox & Friends—the number one rated according to Nelson TV ratings—averages more that one million viewers. Those who watched the footage were misled. Mr. Wood shared the video on Acts 17 blog with a few sentences describing how the video was partially inaccurate. The inaccurate video is still available on YouTube and Acts 17 Apologetics website. Fox News has removed it from its website.

Tens of thousands have since watched this misleading video. Even a popular newsmagazine, Townhall, also reports on the same version of the story:

According to a variety of reports, four men were arrested during Dearborn’s recent Arab International Festival–which takes place annually and on public streets–for distributing copies of the Gospel of John written in English and Arabic.

Millions of people still believe that story. Even former Speaker of the House Mr. Newt Gingrich was misled by the same version of story into writing an op-ed in support of Mr. Wood and his colleagues on July 28. Surprisingly, Acts 17 is not ashamed that Mr. Gingrich was wrong. His support has been posted on the website but with a disclaimer. I highly doubt had Fox News set the record straight Mr. Gingrich would have included the missionaries’ arrest in his op-ed, which was in opposition to the mosque near Ground Zero.

“Threats” and Insults at Mr. Wood’s Behest: I mentioned before how Mr. Wood threatened a few people with “exposure?” He gave another charge to his fans to expose me:

I again invite our readers to thoroughly expose Hussein Wario (leaving comments on his blog would be a good place to start). There is no place in Christian ministry for someone who thinks it’s his job to lie about fellow Christians.

Acts 17 Apologetics fans did not hesitate to answer one of their leaders’ call. The first call, “I hereby invite our readers (especially you, Fat Man!) to thoroughly expose Hussein Wario, and to continue drawing attention to his deceptions, until he repents of this profound wickedness.” And Fat Man strikes twice…

The Fat Man said…

What a ASS, can I say that on this blog?
No let me take that back what a GIGANTIC ASS?

Yes, you can! Of course, Fat Man could leave such an embarrassing comment on a Christian ministry’s blog. By the way, it is still on Acts 17 Apologetics website.

He continues…

The Fat Man said…

On a previous post regarding this situation someone who claims to know Huesein Warrior commented.

Chad Groenhout said…
I’ve know him for around 15 years. He is a true Christian. I just don’t know what is going on with him lately. Instead of calling him a wolf in sheep’s clothing, lift him up in prayer.

I think I have a explanation. Chad your friend is suffering from a medical condition known as “Cranium Rectumes

He has his head shoved so far up his own butt he is suffering from oxygen deprivation.

How this comment is fitting for a Christian ministry’s blog, only Acts 17 Apologetics can explain it. I bet Mr. Wood can argue Fat Man’s “free speech” like he has justified the presence of Muhammad cartoons on his ministry’s website. These cartoons are still there. Perhaps someone is confusing the “offense” in the Gospel with his  “free speech.” How the Gospel message being offensive to Muslims compares with Muhammad cartoons being offensive to Muslims only “free speech” can justify, thus playing politics with Christian ministry to Muslims.

Bartimaeus said…

David & Nabeel

It would seem that Hussein has some series emotional issues. His vendetta against Acts 17…
The one who is misleading people and behaving un-Christlike is Hussein.
[Deleted after a few days I confronted him publicly.]

He continues and please pay close attention to his stance on integrity:

Now lying in order to enhance your ministry is a issue of integrity… And the next time you address me or refer to any comments I make please keep my real name out it I chose to use Bartimaeus for a reason.

Yes, he wants to continue insulting people. This person claims to have known me with his claims that I have “some series emotional issues” and lack integrity, yet he cannot stand the test of integrity. We have never met. Our encounter has been exchanging a few emails over a network. Apparently that qualifies him to make this assessment of my character. His name is Stephen Atkins. I know why he does not want his name to be made public. He insults people publicly and can hide his identity. This marks the end of your “anonymity,” a fellow who goes after character assassination while hiding under an assumed name. Keep it up, Mr. Atkins.

More Insults: Mr. Wood said, “Hussein should be miles away from ministry, studying the Scripture and learning what it means to be a Christian.” He doesn’t know me and for him to say I need to learn “what it means to be a Christian” is an insult. He gives me charge to study the Scripture and “stay away ministry.” What does that say about him when he quotes Scripture out of its context to justify his reaction to his illegal arrest? The only thing so far that he has quoted in context is his constitutional rights and some states’ laws. The latter has no jurisdiction on his arrest in Michigan.

I am Exposed: Fat Man insulted me. Mr. Atkins took a nasty jab at me and I have exposed his identity. There were many fans who responded from far and wide to Mr. Wood’s call. One of them claimed to be a missionary of a reputable mission organization in Kenya. According to Mr. Wood, this “missionary” could “disprove” claims about my past. He went as far as claiming that I blocked some comments from the “missionary.” Mr. Wood, in his own words:

Hussein’s constant lies also call his past into question. I was contacted by someone who says that he can disprove Hussein’s claims about his past, but that Hussein keeps blocking the comments.

Someone who claims to be an African Inland Mission missionary posted a few comments on my blog. None of his comments were deleted. Since he was using a fake email address, one attributed to some AIM “missionary,” I flagged his first comment, removed the fake email address and posted his comments. Every time he used this fake email address, his comments were automatically held for moderation.

Those who read the comments can corroborate my account that this “missionary” was very confused about Kenya. Even someone who does Google search would have a better idea. In the initial comment, he claimed to know my people group but in the same comment claimed I was either “Oromo or Borana.” Oromo are from Ethiopia and Borana are from Kenya and Ethiopia. Borana are not native to the Province I hail from. I challenged him on his mix up. He came back three days later, avoided the issue and still was mixed up. To save you some time, this person has stated that he has been in Kenya for “over 10 years” and the only reasons he gives that my background is suspicious are “no one knows me” and my life is not “threatened” in Kenya. That says a lot from the same missionary who got basic facts about Kenya mixed and couldn’t even get it after three days and just because no one knows me out of his “bubble” qualifies me as being with a fake background. Even the United States Justice Department judge presiding over my asylum case found my persecution story credible. How can this missionary who went to Kenya after I had already been in the United States discredit my background? I wish him luck. Lord willing, our paths might cross if he actually does ministry among Muslims. If you want to find more information to verify my background, please check the following:

The Call of Africa, a 1998 book (Google Books), starting on page 479.

Grand Rapids Press article quoting news article from my interview in 1996

Holland Sentinel, quoting people who have known me longer than this person has been in Kenya

Read the first four chapters (upbringing, conversion and some persecution) of my autobiography, Cracks in the Crescent (Google Books, US only). Those who have doubts about my background can verify it in Kenya.

Conclusion: This is my final entry on the missionaries’ illegal arrest. I hope they accept my apology for any conclusion I made and not initially believing their version of what led to their arrest. Keep on praying for them, the city of Dearborn and all those who were involved directly and indirectly in this saga. The Lord’s Will will prevail

On another note, the Muslim fast during the month of Ramadhan has started already in some countries and starts tomorrow in the United States and the rest of the world. Apparently, the new is sighted differently in some countries. I am writing posts throughout the fast, debunking the fast. Please stop by if you would like to learn some CRACKS in the fast. The initial post will be posted, DV, next week.

August 9th, 2010

Video Footage-Acts 17 Apologetics Framed in Dearborn

I received an email from Jason Smathers of Witnesses Unto Me a few hours ago. He says that he has watched all raw footage from three Acts 17 Apologetics’ videos. He directed me to his blog and here is a part of what he says. To read the whole entry, please follow the link below. Thank you, Jason. I will post a longer article, Lord willing, tomorrow. Jason, the investigator, in his own words:

Roger Williams affirmed the police report against Acts 17 to be accurate in an interview with Witnesses Unto Me and is sticking by his statements made to police. Acts 17 allowed Witnesses Unto Me access to the raw unedited video footage from three cameras to see what really took place.
The incident Williams reported to the police sounds quite long. The police recount Williams testimony “He added that he felt extremely uncomfortable and thought he could not leave although he attempted to several times.” In reality, the situation captured on video matches David Wood’s testimony in a previous interview with Witnesses Unto Me. In fact, Williams had radioed the police only thirty seconds after the interaction began…
Read the rest of the story here.
August 2nd, 2010

My Free Speech Trumps the Gospel

Muslims are already suspicious of Christian missionary activities. Acts 17 Apologetics ministry’s actions just added to the misery. It was unfortunate its members were arrested but it was not unexpected. There are indications this was their intent. Dr. Nabeel Qureish stated clearly in an interview before the arrests that Acts 17 would defy the rules of the festival. He said, “We would not follow their exact rules.” Mr. David Wood was overheard before the arrest saying that he planned to defy the rules because getting arrested would get more of an outcry or response.

We know now that these Christians were not arrested for sharing the Gospel or distributing Bibles and tracts as they have publicly said. Two things are clear. First, they didn’t follow the rules of the festival. Second, they have given conflicting statements, which show they were not preaching or distributing materials. Videos show three of them were holding cameras. The fourth one was holding a microphone arguing with Muslims and giving commentary on previous year’s incident, which involved security guards. Who was holding the Bibles and tracts among those arrested?

If preaching were the cause of their arrest, how come Mr. David Wood’s friend, the guy screaming at the police and also shouting “Jesus is Lord!” in this video here was not arrested? Witnesses say he was proselytizing Muslims at the time of the arrests. Acts 17 claimed handing out Bibles and evangelizing was prohibited, but we know it was occurring. Pastor Haytham Abi-Haydar’s church was handing out Bibles and evangelistic materials, literature Acts 17 said they could not hand out in this video here.

I wrote before how Josh McDowell was evangelizing Muslims and also answering questions on “Jesus, the Bible and resurrection” at the festival and yet he was not arrested. He even knocked on doors and went into Muslims’ homes. For those who doubt Josh’s ability to engage Muslims, Mr. Wood’s friend and former Muslim Abdu Murray of Aletheia International trained him in Muslim outreach and evangelism at the annual Legacy Conference in Dearborn the week preceding the festival. I believe this was Josh’s second year at this conference.

Another point of concern is Acts17’s assertion that Dearborn is under Sharia Law; this is simply not the case. Dearborn residents and visitors participate in evangelism. There are local ministries that go weekly throughout neighborhoods handing out Bibles, other evangelizing materials, More than Dreams DVDs, and so on.  How could this happen if there is Sharia law in Dearborn? An internationally known evangelist, a Dearborn resident, goes out weekly into Dearborn neighborhoods and parks handing out Bibles and evangelizing Muslims without incident. The only folks who cry foul are Acts 17 missionaries and their supporters most of whom were just passing through the festival or have never been to Dearborn, let alone a country under Sharia law.

Acts 17 ministry has done damage to Christian outreach to Muslims and other unbelievers. We should remain steadfast in rebuking them and asking them to work with the hard-working Christians reaching out in Dearborn.

On a side note, there were some scheduled debates during the festival that were canceled because some Muslims rescinded. I was planning on coming to Romulus for some of them and the reason I was given for the cancellations was the presence of Prophet Muhammad cartoons on Acts 17 website. This group claims to love Muslims. Sadly, their actions speak a different tune. Some Muslims objected, they argued their right to “free speech.” They come across as sarcastic and not at all concerned about the offense the cartoons are to Muslims. They lack empathy and their statements about the cartoons incite anger rather more than anything else. The cartoons are a stumbling block and by their actions they move this stumbling block in front of Muslims rather than moving on to issues which matter more like the Trinity, crucifixion, Jesus’ Sonship, etc. How would these “missionaries” expect Muslims to give them an audience when they fragrantly “insult” their prophet? Debating was one way they tried to reach out to Muslims and now that door is slam shut because of their arrogance. How sad!

On a similar note, a Florida church has scheduled international burn a Qur’an day on September 11. Not surprising, some of Dove World’s argument is also “free speech.” Is this a new trend in Christian outreach to Muslims? Whatever happened to Jesus words “be wise as serpents and harmless as doves?” Sadly, I hear “my free speech trumps the Gospel!”

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 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 29th, 2010

Liberty University Should be Lauded

The past two months have been one of the hardest times of my life as a Christian. It has been gut-wrenching to read about ex-Muslims being attacked by Muslims and some Christians alike. I had some sleepless nights because I could not fathom how some Christians could give Muslims a platform. Not especially when they knew Mohammad Khan has declared his war on other ex-Muslims, indiscriminately raising doubts about their past merely based on “absolutes” in Islam, their accents of Arabic (Islamic) terms and their non-Islamic (Arabic) names even when he had no prior knowledge of their background. I still don’t understand how Christians fell for such a ruse.

Liberty University committee investigating Dr. Ergun Caner’s background has concluded its findings and the final decision has been made. He is going to relinquish his post as president and dean of the seminary but remain on as a professor of apologetics. I hope this decision marks the demise of attacks on ex-Muslims and the beginning of healing for us Christians who have been squabbling publicly. I hope we have learned from this ordeal.

I knew from the outset that Mr. Khan was majoring in lies. He was concerned that “Allah’s light” was being extinguished thus employing certain absolutes in Islam that are no absolute after all. Dr. Caner did not help the situation either because he gave opportunities to his critics to raise doubts. I am hoping that we tread on carefully next time similar questions are raised about a Christian brother or sister of Muslim background. The fact that Mr. Khan has other videos of ex-Muslims he accuses of being fake ex-Muslims should be a conspicuous clue that we should take whatever he presents with a grain of salt.

I have a very low opinion of these ex-Muslims bashers. Here are a few reasons. First, when I challenged Mr. Khan’s interpretation of Islam in April, he quickly demanded that I post my findings juxtaposing the Arabic commentary with my interpretation in English. This comes from a man who admitted to a Southern Baptist blog audience in February that he couldn’t read well, let alone understand, Arabic.

Second, I know for a fact that Mr. Khan has not read my autobiography, Cracks in the Crescent, and yet he reviewed and rated it here. Other Muslims have not read it either and still that did not stop them from reviewing and rating it here. Now that tells us about their objectivity in their presentations of any ex-Muslim’s background.

Third, when my asylum petition was denied and it made the Associated Press wire, Mr. Khan and his Muslim friends jumped on it, copying the links to articles on Facebook, other websites and Twitter. (Some Muslims even edited the official AP release and added “due to the many discrepancies in his accounts” to it and then posted it on my book’s fan page masquerading it as part of the original AP article.) How desperate can they get! Mr. Khan had a reason for suspecting that I was a fake ex-Muslim. First of all, my legal name (Wario Zachariah Abarufa Hussein) is different from my penname (Hussein Hajji Wario). Instead of asking for a clarification, he jumped on it declaring me a fake ex-Muslim merely based on my name. For the record, my name has changed through the years. I go by aliases as well. I often misspell my name for security reasons when participating in events or go just by one name. Zachariah is my baptismal name. Abarufa (correctly spelled Abbarufa) is an Orma (my people group) nickname that my mother’s midwife gave to me. I added these names to my official name on April 10, 1995. Hussein is my given name and Hajji Wario was my father’s name. The reverse in the order and the misspelling of Abbarufa happened because a Kenyan government official wrote it that way on my official identification card, perhaps because I could not bribe to get the document, and hence it is stuck legally :) I attempted at least to reverse the order of my name in 1998 when I visited Kenya (which I explained in my autobiography in Chapter fourteen) but I was unsuccessful because some Christians (irony) bombed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi in August 1998. I still have the official U.S. government document (I-20) that I was issued to change my name on the U.S. visa. So, if some concerned Muslims really want to find out who I really am, they are welcome to pay a visit to Kenya. Go to Garsen in the Tana River district and ask for my family. They should also ask Muslim leaders in Mombasa why they have not made their rebuttal to my autobiography public. They had a problem with the opening line of chapter fifteen, “Islam is its own worst enemy…” and were supposed to make their findings public at a press conference after Jumaah (Friday) Prayer on March 20, 2009. I am still waiting.

Fourth, I seriously doubt that Muslims started this endeavor to find the truth but distract and confuse Christians. I know it for a fact because when I wrote a post, “Lack of Absolutes in Islam Fizzles Attack on Ex-Muslim,” Muslims started a rumor on Facebook that my website was spreading a Trojan virus. They were warning people on Dr. Ergun Caner’s fan page not to go to my website. Complains were coming from the same group of Muslims that frequented the page with links deriding Dr. Caner. That virus must have been very selective to attack only Muslim computers! Even when Christians reassured them that there were no viruses, Muslims still maintained their story. Now that tells you how much truth they were seeking in this matter.

Brethren, our lack of restraints has caused irreparable damage to Christian outreach to Muslims. We have made it far worse than Dr. Ergun Caner did. I find it quite disturbing how some of us justified the public discussion and judgment of Dr. Caner while the same call for restraint when it comes to recent public arrest of Christian apologetics in Dearborn, Michigan. Our continued discussion of Dr. Caner simply because Liberty decided against making its report public is not justified. In fact, we should laud Liberty for not availing information that detractors of ex-Muslims could use as a trophy. (Some Muslims are waiting to put an icing on their cake.) The more we discuss this now irrelevant issue, the more irrelevant our ministries will become. Instead, let us employ the same fervor and vigor we exhibited in our discussion of Dr. Caner in our outreach and evangelism efforts. We must overcome our manmade theological differences. The time for healing division among Christians has come.

To read the first four chapters of Cracks in the Crescent on Google Books, click here.