Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Responding to "Fake Ex Muslims" Site Regarding Ergun Caner

The "Fake Ex Muslims" (FxM) site has a page of "issues" that are identified with respect to Ergun Caner (link to page).

I'd like to respond to a few of these "issues."

1) Injeel means Angel?

In one video that FxM has identified, Ergun Caner stumbles over the Arabic word for an evil spirit. The Arabic-root word he was looking for (and initially says) is Djinn (from Arabic جني jinnī). Then, however, Caner makes a terrible blunder and follows Djinn with "Injeel" which is an Arabic word for the Gospel.

Result: Embarrassing slip of the tongue that suggests that Caner's Arabic is not fluent.

2) Prophet Bahruch

In one video that FxM has identified, Ergun Caner lists something that sounds like "Bahruch" as one of the prophets of Islam. It may be that Caner is referring to the Old Testament dubious military hero Barak, who famously was afraid to go to battle without Deborah by his side. This is still a bit strange, because Barak is not really referred to in the Old Testament as a prophet, although Islam tends to claim the Old Testament prophets as being among her prophets.

Result: Puzzling comment from Caner.

3) 40 Days of Ramadan

In one video that FxM has identified, Ergun Caner slips up and says that there are 40 days in the lunar month of Ramadan. This is, of course, simply a conflation in Caner's mind between the 40 days of Lent in Romanism (and Eastern Orthodoxy) and the shorter 29-30 day months that are lunar months.

Result: Embarrassing conflation between Romanist and Muslim fasting practices.

4) Ergun's Shahada

In one video that FxM has identified, Ergun Caner slips up in two ways. First, he recites the wrong Arabic text when trying to state the Shahada (he quotes instead the opening lines of the Koran). Second, when he gives the translation of the Shahada in English he adds "final" or "greatest" into the translation, although there is no literal basis for that expression in the Arabic.

Result: Embarrassing pair of mistakes that strongly suggest that Caner is not very familiar with Arabic.

5) Jesus is the Messiah

In one video that FxM has identified, Ergun Caner suggests that Muslims believe that Jesus was only a messenger and not the Messiah. However, of course, Muslims also call Jesus the Messiah. It's unclear from the clip whether Caner is aware or unaware of the Muslim claims. Christians recognize that being the Messiah involves being the Son of God. Muslims reject the idea that there is such a thing as the Son of God. Thus, even if they us the term "Messiah," they mean something different by it than what we mean.

Result: Ambiguous alleged error.

6) Shabir Ally Dead?

In one video that FxM has identified, Ergun Caner refers to someone he calls "Shabir Ally" and states that this man was a leader, a debater, and is now dead. That's troubling, because Shabir Ally (one of Islam's leading debaters in North America) is very much alive. What Caner almost certainly meant to refer to is the late Ahmed Deedat. However, Caner used the wrong name.

Result: Embarrassing transposition of names, confusing that of one famous Muslim debater for that of another famous Muslim debater.

Conclusion

I haven't addressed all of the alleged errors attributed to Ergun Caner, but I've addressed some of the big ones. Others include some of the details surrounding Caner's conversion (the exact dates and relative dates between Caner's conversion and the conversion of his two brothers). Also, the birthplace issue that I've already mentioned in a previous post is brought up.

What is the conclusion of all this, though? The impression that I get is that Caner doesn't seem to remember that much Arabic from 25 years ago, assuming he ever understood Arabic at that time. It also appears that Caner has a tendency to get some of the details mixed up during his oral presentations. However, nevertheless, it does not seem to be reasonable to suggest that Ergun Caner is faking the whole fact that he was a Muslim as a child.

Ergun Caner has himself responded to these (at least I think it is these, or at least some similar charges) and his response can be found at the following link (link). His comments there are unequivocal and maintain his claim to having been a Muslim. However, as noted in a number of the videos, he was converted as a teenager in 1982. So, it has been over 27 years (at this time) since he was Muslim. Does that make some of his mistakes (identified above) less embarrassing? Only a little.

- TurretinFan

14 comments:

OumAmir said...

Given that he's Turkish, and not a native Arabic speaker, I'd be willing to overlook all of the linguistic blunders he's made. A lot of Muslims are nominal at best, and I can't fault an ex-Muslim for gaps in knowledge.

I do, however, have a big issue with his being the head of the Islamic Studies program at Liberty (it's been a while since I've looked, so if it's changed, let me know). I speak some Arabic and have a pretty good familiarity with Islam, and it just baffles me that he can make basic mistakes like these.

On the whole, Caner is more counterproductive than anything else.

Turretinfan said...

LOL - is he seriously the head of the Islamic Studies program there?

OumAmir said...

Yeah, seriously.

Puts a different spin on the whole thing, doen't it?

I was going to pursue a degree in Islamic studies (which I still might do that here at a Salafi (!) Islamic University near where I live) and I remember looking at Liberty. Wasn't particularly impress by "Unveiling Islam" and, glory and praise to God who works out all things by His sovereign decree, I didn't persue that route.

Turretinfan said...

Yes, it does. That's more troubling than the extremely unlikely option of him not having been a Muslim.

Carla said...

I think what may stand out for many as being highly suspect is what stands out to me.

Ergun Caner is often called an expert on Islam. I still don't know for sure if that is the work of others calling him that or if he calls himself that. Many have said Caner himself calls himself an expert on Islam.

While I concede that even experts make mistakes, it would appear Caner's many mistakes happen far too often for him to genuinely be considered any kind of "expert" on Islam.

That, coupled with all his unverified claims of debates, and his apparent unwillingness to respond publicly to these questions (legitimate, honest questions I believe) only serves to cause many to believe he's been untruthful for the purpose of a type of self-promotion within the Christian community.

Just thinking outloud here. Much of this recent controversy could easily be settled if Ergun Caner himself would simply answer some reasonable questions about his own claims.

natamllc said...

Carla,

I believe you are hitting on something here. As I have listened to Dr. Caner through this medium, the variety of clips available online, I get a sense that he is strongly controlling just who he will come into a public forum with and who he will debate.

I get a sense that he is in a dilemma such as we see here:::>

Joh 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Joh 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Joh 3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
Joh 3:20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
Joh 3:21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God."

It is a sense that he is still holding onto some "perceived" identity that in his own mind brings glory to God, all the while, we witness it and wonder, "what is he afraid of or hiding because he won't come into the light and be examined by the likes of men with the integrity of a Dr. White"?

Andrew Suttles said...

Although I agree with everything said here, and I am really turned off by EC's self promotion, and I thank TF for bringing this info to our attention, let's be careful not to develop a party spirit. Caner hates Calvinists for some reasons, so he takes pot shots at them on occasion. That is wrong. BUT, let us not be found equally wrong by circling our wagons and taking pot shots at him. Substantive differences should be debated, but let us not be petty. Bro Caner is a brother in the Lord and should be treated as a child of God. If he is childish, let's rise above it.

Turretinfan said...

I'm really doing this to defend Caner from the charge of not having been a Muslim.

One can see his father here (link)

kelvington said...

Turretinfan,

Hey bro. I have to admit, this guy has a point about Caner. Even James White is onto this guy. Checkout White's latest video about him. Caner just simply makes stuff up. He's the Al Gore of Christianity. We, as Christians need to stand up against this type of pseudo-leader. I hope the people of Liberty wake-up to this guys charade and gets rid of him. He needs to be exposed by Christians, not a Muslim. Christians will fall for anything...

Anonymous said...

this has been responded to @ http://www.fakeexmuslims.com/returretinfanrefuation.htm

charmedshiva said...

To a Muslim, those errors are very serious. Anyone who was involved with the Islamic faith would know very well not to make those errors. They are not simply a mistake of Arabic, but mistakes of very basic knowledge about the religion of Islam. Those Arabic words and concepts are central to Islam and anyone who messes up with those concepts is clearly not someone who was knowledgeable about Islam even at it's bare bone basics.

Making a mistake in shahada by reciting the opening of the Quran is a serious matter. It clearly shows the lack of the basic most requirement of being a Muslim. The shahada is a must recitation for each Muslim. It in ingrained into the Muslim brain and every Muslim knows it is totally separate from the opening verses of the Quran, which are verses recited every single day in prayer. Stumbling on the opening verses themselves is proof enough of one not having practiced much Islam at all.

Every practicing and minutely educated Muslim knows what the words "Jinn" and "Injeel" mean and there is absolutely no confusion between the two. By the way, there are also good Jinn, according to Islam. So the word Jinn in itself does not indicate whether you are talking about good or evil spirits.

Jesus being Messiah is bare basic Islamic knowledge. We all know that because the Quran calls him Isa al Masih which literally means "Jesus Christ" or "Jesus the Messiah."

The rest of the problems listed are very evident indication that the person was clearly confused and ignorant.

turretinfan said...

I don't doubt that the errors are serious and show confusion and ignorance. I documented a lot more in later posts:

http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/search/label/Ergun%20Caner

MENJ said...

The first point is already enough proof to show that Caner was never a Muslim.

"Jinn" is not the Arabic for "angel". "Injeel" is definitely far from it as well. The word that you are looking for is "Mala'ikah" or "Malaikat". A totally different word, unrelated in even sound to give the excuse of a mere "slip of the tongue".

turretinfan said...

MENJ: As you will see if you search this site, I learned a lot more after posting this item. But among the things I learned was that Caner was undeniably the son of a Muslim man. Whether Caner was ever devout, God knows, but I think it is safe to say he probably said the Shahada.