Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Liberty University - Superconference 2005 - Ergun Caner

All times are approximate:

0:19 In introducing Caner, Jerry Fallwell says: "The dean of liberty theological seminary, Dr. Ergun Caner, is a converted Muslim. He's told you his own story. And God saved him and his brothers as young men growing up in America. They'd come from Turkey. ... "

24:30 Caner, discussing the story of Abraham's near sacrifice of his son states: "Islam teaches that it was Ishmael. Do you know how I felt when I got to Genesis and I found out the truth of the book. That 2200 years after Moses wrote it, 2700 years after it happened, Mohammed changed the story."

This is actually a widespread modern Islamic view, namely that Abraham nearly sacrificed Ishmael, not Isaac. Sam Shamoun points out, however, that the early Islamic literature actually supports the fact that it was Isaac. The idea that nearly sacrificed son was Ishmael is apparently a later Islamic development (see Sam's excellent discussion here). So, it's probably not accurate to say that Mohammed changed the story, but rather that his followers did.

24:50 "So, when I take the students under the Dome of the Rock, I tell them, 'this is what I'm gonna do. We're gonna do it in Arabic. You guys don't know Arabic, but what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna tell it, because there's six Muslims who are stationed here all the way along, who are listening to everything that's being said. And we're gonna tell the story the right way.' And they lose their mind, when they hear you say 'Abraham and Isaac.' [Some gibberish] 'Shut him up!'"

I would welcome any Arabic speakers to listen and tell me whether Caner's gibberish there is actually Arabic for "shut him up." In fact, I don't think there is any evidence we can find of Caner actually speaking Arabic, except for the Basmala and the Shahada. In other words, how could Caner tell a story in Arabic?

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