Posts tagged ‘Muslim’

May 20th, 2011

Islamophobia and a Christian: Is it a Sin?

The term islamophobia isn’t in the dictionary yet. In a matter of time, it will find its place. Even though this term should exclusively deal with an irrational dread, fear or hatred of Islam, Muslim organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have broadened it to include muslimophobia—irrational fear of Muslims. Why would an organization as organized as CAIR jumble these terms? Not especially when it wants to end them. We shouldn’t confuse islamophobia with muslimophobia. We can only effectively fight any kind of phobia if we know what it is.

I was saddened to read in the news two Muslim clerics who were headed to an islamophobia conference were deplaned two weeks ago. Why should these clerics miss their flight when they were subjected to and passed all airport security screening twice. Apparently, some passengers were uncomfortable with their mere presence on the flight and the pilot decided against having them aboard. This is a classic example of muslimophobia.

Islamophobia is also a problem and it is not endemic just to non-Muslims. Even Muslims suffer from it. Most Muslims who make media appearances in the West quote mostly abrogated verses of the Qur’an perhaps fearing their audience might not accept authentic Islam’s message. Even one of the Muslim clerics who was a victim of muslimophobia exhibited some signs of islamophobia in ensuing media interviews.

Imam Masudur Rahman, a professor of Arabic at the University of Memphis, in an interview with the Charlotte Observer said, “We need to tell people the truth about Islam: It is a religion of peace, a religion of justice, a religion honoring other people, regardless of color or religion.” He continued to say, “The Quran says: You practice your religion, I practice mine. There should be no compulsion in religion.” [Emphasis Mine.]

Imam Rahman quoted two verses from the Qur’an and totally misled reporter Tim Funk and every person who read his statement. Surah 109 verse 6 reads, “You shall have your religion and I shall have my religion.” All commentaries of the Qur’an agree this verse was revealed when Prophet Muhammad was dealing with idolaters in Mecca when Islam was in its nascent stage and had just a few followers. However, later on when Muhammad gained more followers “he was commanded to wage war [against the idolaters].”

I wish Muslims who quote verses from the Qur’an would tell non-Muslims the meanings behind them. So much for Imam Rahman claiming Islam leaves non-Muslims to have their own religions. Contrary to what this verse remotely portrays, Prophet Muhammad ended up eradicating all religions that preceded Islam from the Arabian Peninsula and then declared, “Two deens [religions] shall not co-exist in the Arabian Peninsula.” Whatever happened to freedom of religion in Islam Imam Rahman claimed to exist!

Another part of Imam Rahman’s quote in the interview addresses Surah 2 verse 256 which wholly reads, “There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower.” The Imam once again did not tell Mr. Funk this verse—CAIR and most Muslims in the media quote to show how Islam is about religious freedom—was abrogated. It was revealed in Medina when Prophet Muhammad had just migrated from Mecca and Islam still had only a few followers. Qur’an commentaries show this verse was revealed when the Ansar—Arabs of Medina who had embraced Islam—tried to convert their sons to Islam. The commentaries further show later, when two Muslims apostatized and Prophet Muhammad heard about their apostasy, he recited the same verse and said, “May Allah banish both of them. They are the first to disbelieve.” The founder of Islam cursed the first Muslims who apostatized because he did not have the power to kill them. He decreed later three times here, here, and here, every Muslim who apostatized should be killed. Muslims are required to obey Muhammad’s commands. Allah said twenty-nine times in the Qur’an a Muslim must also obey Muhammad. How could Islam be (quoting Imam Rahman again)  “a religion honoring other people, regardless of … religion,” when the command against apostasy is very explicit?

Imam Rahman and CAIR spokespersons exhibit symptoms of islamophobia. How else would someone as knowledgeable as he or an organization as organized as CAIR mislead reporters about the meaning of verses of the Qur’an they quote?

We can only deal with islamophobia candidly if we can separate it from muslimophobia. The latter is unmerited. It is a sin for a Christian to hate a Muslim. We are called to love even our enemies. Most Muslims are peaceful and would not harm anyone. There is no point of being afraid of them. On the other hand, Islam is an ideology and the violent kind as practiced by “extremists” is authentic Islam. There is nothing wrong with a Christian raising an alarm about the violent aspect of Islam, especially when prominent Muslims aren’t brave enough to acknowledge it, instead call any critic of Islam a bigot.

Let us end muslimophobia and leave islamophobia to Muslims. Perhaps when Muslims agree with Irshad Manji and Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser there is a dire need for reform in Islam and publicly distinguish islamophobia from muslimophobia, then maybe islamophobia might face its demise as well.

 

 

 

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

May 4th, 2011

Was Osama bin Laden a Muslim Leader? Qur’an’s unpopular and politically incorrect Verdict

إِنَّمَا ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ ثُمَّ لَمۡ يَرۡتَابُواْ وَجَـٰهَدُواْ بِأَمۡوَٲلِهِمۡ وَأَنفُسِهِمۡ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِۚ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلصَّـٰدِقُونَ

“The (true) believers are those only who believe in Allah and His messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah. Such are the sincere.” (Al-Hujraat, 49:15, Pickthall).

There has been a lot of chatter this week whether Osama bin Laden was a Muslim leader. Muslims and non-Muslims have equally dismissed him. Even US President Barack Obama when announcing his death clearly said bin Laden “was not a Muslim leader.” The Qur’an is the highest authority in Islam and the Hadith—saying of Prophet Muhammad—the second. Only these two sources can show whether bin Laden was a Muslim leader.

The Qur’an verse I quoted above is from a chapter of the Qur’an people who engage in interfaith dialogue and reconciliation erroneously quote. Verse 13 of the same chapter starts with “Oh Mankind.” Muslims have used to draw even Christians into dialogues. That is a topic for another time. This verse has nothing to do with non-Muslims but everything to do with Muslims. I engaged two Muslims: a Saudi and a Moroccan; and an American Christian and renowned international expert on Islam Carl Medearis discussing this verse. Please read the exchange under the post “Reconciliation: The choice of peacemakers.” It might help you understand the context of this Qur’an chapter.

The above verse shows one rank of Muslims. Yes, you have read it correctly. Allah ranks Muslims. Muslims are ranked in categories called darajat. They are Muslim, Mu’min and Muhsin. Muslim doesn’t necessarily mean someone who has embraced Muhammad as a prophet. Jesus disciples were called Muslim. Mu’min means “believer” in Arabic. Dr. Sayyed Hossein Nasr is Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University explained the darajat:

Not everyone who is a Muslim is a mu’min and not everyone one who is a mu’min is a muhsin, but a muhsin must also be a mu’min and a mu’min a Muslim… In any case, throughout Islamic history there have been the ordinary believers, or Muslims, or those of intense piety, m’umins, and those who have sought God here and now, or muhsins.[1]

Muhsin is the highest rank of a Muslim. He or she believes in everything that is written in the Qur’an and acts upon it without wavering. Those Muslims who fought alongside Prophet Muhammad were muhsin. They did not doubt the message of the Qur’an or what Muhammad said in the Hadith. Though the message was at times equivocal and unpopular or even politically incorrect, they heeded it. Unlike mainstream Muslims, they strove “with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah” because they were “the sincere,” muhsin.

Who are ordinary Muslims to question whether Osama bin Laden was a Muslim, let alone a Muslim leader? He used his wealth and gave life for the cause of the Qur’an. He even spurred other Muslims to do the same. Let not some Muslims and non-Muslims mislead you. Although Osama bin Laden preached unpopular message, he was not only a Muslim leader but also a leader of the muhsin. This is the verdict of the Qur’an. It just shows another Crack in the Crescent.


[1] Seyyed Hossein Nasr, The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2004), 62.

May 2nd, 2011

Why did it take so long to find Osama bin Laden? Islam Prohibits…

Have you wondered why it took more than nine years to get Osama bin Laden? Only the Hadith—sayings of Prophet Muhammad—can explain it. He said, “A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim. So he should neither oppress him nor hand him over to an oppressor.” US Special Forces killed him without the help of the Pakistani government. According to ABC News, his hideout was a mere 1000 yards from Pakistan’s main military installation and he lived there for six years before he was killed. Why did it take this long? There is no doubt someone in the Pakistani government provided him with this hideout.

I am not making a political statement but just underscoring how militant Muslims abide by Prophet Muhammad’s teachings in waging terror against infidels and renegades and Pakistan, in this case, was playing by the rules. I had quoted this Hadith in a post on February 20, 2010 when the Associated Press reported the Pakistani government had refused to hand over Taliban militants to the United States for prosecution.

March 28th, 2011

Allah, Prophet Muhammad, Muslims and Hell

There has been a lot of discussion about “Hell” lately, courtesy of Rob Bell and his new book Love Wins. I have heard cases the news coverage of this book has made some conversations with non-believers possible.

What does Islam teach about Hell and who goes in it? Prophet Muhammad—the closest Muslim to Allah—said in the Hadith that he did not know if Allah would let him into paradise or send him to Hell. This happened when he was asked whether a pious Muslim man who had died would go to paradise. He didn’t just answer the question but dropped a bombshell. He responded, “As to him, by Allah, death has overtaken him, and I hope the best for him. By Allah, though I am the Apostle of Allah, yet I do not know what Allah will do to me (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 266.).”[1] Do ordinary Muslims stand any chance of escaping Hell?

Allah said in the Qur’an, in Suratul Al-Maryam, 19:71, “There is not one of you but shall come to it, that is, [but] shall enter Hell. That is an inevitability [already] decreed by your Lord, [something which] He made inevitable and [which] He decreed; He will not waive it.”

This verse is pretty clear Allah said all Muslims will go to Hell, regardless of their pious lives. Some Muslim scholars disagree. However, they are in disagreement with Prophet Muhammad who said, “The believers, after being saved from the (Hell) Fire, will be stopped at a bridge between Paradise and Hell.”[2] Who are the believers who are “saved from Hell”?

What is this Bridge? A widely used Qur’an commentary written by Abdullah Yusuf Ali states “the Bridge over Hell, the Bridge Sirat, over which all must pass to their final Destiny. This Bridge is not mentioned in the Qur’an.” Yusuf Ali was forthright in bringing to his readers’ attention the bridge Muslims widely believe would stretch over Hell is not mentioned in the Qur’an. Since Allah didn’t reveal it to Prophet Muhammad, where did Muhammad get it? That is another Crack in the Crescent for another time.[3]

 

 

 


[1] Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 266.

[2] Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 542.

[3] Chapter 12 of Cracks in the Crescent.

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 542.
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 24th, 2010

Effective Method(s) for Christian Outreach to Muslims

I recently participated in a panel discussion at Wheaton College. The panelists—seven in total—were Christians of Muslim background who are natives of various countries with minority and majority Muslim populations. The moderator asked us various questions, among them, “How long was it between when you first heard about the gospel before you accepted Christ?” [Emphasis mine.] None of us answered this question directly because we could not pinpoint exactly how long it took us from the time we heard about Christ to embracing him as our Lord and Savior. I wasn’t surprised it was equally challenging for my fellow panelists. Here are a few things I observed about Christian outreach to Muslims:

First, none of the panelists came to salvation in Jesus Christ from reading the Qur’an. It didn’t surprise me but I should be surprised especially because the current trend in Christian outreach to Muslim advocates for “bridge” building, which includes using the Qur’an as an evangelism tool. The Camel Method and Jesus in the Quran (JIQ) are notable examples. They are gaining ground in the United States. JIQ has the backing of Christian mega churches and has weekend seminars around the country with the introduction, “Jesus in the Qur’an is, in some ways, an entirely new paradigm and, in other ways, an ancient one dating back to the days of Jesus.” [Emphasis mine.]

The sad thing is, the Jesus both these organizations promote is the Jesus of Islam—of Prophet Muhammad’s own making—who is an immediate nephew of Moses and Aaron in the Qur’an and the Hadith. This clue should be conspicuous enough to ground these projects but they are going strong.

Secondly, even though the panelists answered the question “How does your community view Christians and Jews?” negatively; some of them decided to follow Christ because of exemplary lives of Christians they had encountered. Typical mistrust of Christians widespread among Muslims, which both the Qur’an and the Hadith promote, did not hinder these ex-Muslims from wanting to know why their Christian neighbors and friends’ character was different. No wonder Allah commands a Muslim in the Qur’an not to take a Christian as a friend. They meet Jesus! How many Muslims would our living a Christlike life affect if we only let our light shine? Muslims have misconceptions about Jesus, Christians and the Bible. We should make every effort to reach out to them.

Thirdly, none of the panelists had a Christian sit down with him or her to show faults in Islam. There are Christians who have copies of the Qur’an and the Hadith to show Muslims what is wrong with Islam. There is plenty of wrong with Islam but a Muslim should hear the Gospel first. Unlike the Qur’an, which Muslims cannot defend without first trying to discredit the Bible, the message is self-sufficient. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” [1st Cor. 1:17. NIV, Emphasis Mine.] Our efforts to make the Gospel palatable to Muslims are undermining the Gospel. Why do we need to innovate in order to “gain” a few for the Lord?

There were more questions. The discussion was very encouraging to me. Hearing all testimonies of how my fellow panelists came to the Lord and what persecution they had faced and overcome was uplifting. I was very blessed to meet fellow believers with shared background and who still have family troubles because of their new identity in Christ.

Hussein Wario is a former Kenyan Sunni Muslim. He is the author of Cracks in the Crescent. 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

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.