Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One of Myriad Little Details - the Toledo Mosque

The big picture, that Ergun Caner is a real ex-Muslim is true, but Dr. Caner has muddied that issue with what appear to be a myriad of details that are inconsistent and difficult or impossible to reconcile with one another. One is left wondering where the fiction ends and the fact begins. Here's an example.

"I drove up that highway to go to the mosque in Toledo every Sunday." (40 minutes, 50 seconds into the testimony here)(Note that, according to Google Maps, it is a two hour, thirty minute drive from Gahanna, OH, to Toledo, OH, today. Marion, OH - Emir Caner's Birthplace, is about a one hour, forty minute drive to Toledo, OH)

Entering high school, Ergun was a typical young man, except that he was a devout Muslim. Even through the divorce, our parents had maintained our rearing in the Mosque. Each weekend, we would travel to Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio, where our father had helped found the Islamic Foundation. The mosque in Toledo was too far a drive, so the Foundation Center was established. Father did the call to prayer on occasion.

(Unveiling Islam, p. 17)

And further compare:
Since 1970, the Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio (IFCO) has been serving the educational, social and religious needs of the Muslim families of Central Ohio in the United States of America.

And based on the portions of "One Faith, One Heart" that I've read, it seems to be the case that Acar Caner was involved in the founding of the Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio in 1970. (article available here)

But there is another twist:
The Islamic Center of Greater Toledo is the 3rd Mosque ever bult in America. It has been around since the early 50s and since 1981 has been located off of I-75 in its current iteration. ... It was not until 1954 that Toledo's first Islamic Center was built on East Bancroft Street, near downtown, fulfilling the needs of the Muslim Community. With the influx of many more Muslims to the Greater Toledo area in the late sixties and early seventies, the Bancroft Street Center could not meet the religious and social needs of its members. After much deliberation and soul searching, it was decided to build a bigger and better facility in order to meet the ever increasing needs of our members. The present new Center in Perrysburg Township had been in the planning for over a decade. ... In 1978, forty-eight acres of land was purchased in Perrysburg Township. The foundation of the Center was laid in October 1980, while the actual construction did not begin until September 1982. The building was officially opened on October 22, 1983. Two wings were added in 1991 to accommodate increased enrollment in the weekend school and to expand the social hall facility.

But then in the same sermon that started this post he says:
We came to America in '78 when Ayatollah Khomeini said, "We will not stop until America is an Islamic nation."
(at 41 minutes 15 seconds in this sermon)

One is simply left wondering what to think. Not all of those things can be true, as far as I can see. And it is hard for Caner to mistakenly think he came in 1978 instead of 1970 or earlier. It is hard for Caner to accidentally think that Toledo was too far to drive, or vice versa to think he drove there every week.

- TurretinFan


gypsyrose said...

thank you for following up on this. I was going to write about being Turkish immigrants in the Midwest in the 60's and the 70's, however this is instructive.
There is so much more than this, please keep on digging and good luck.

gary dilworth said...

I believe Ergun Caner was a Muslim. However, let's consider something. Say someone we knew made a confession of faith in Christ when they were young. And for 10 years went to church, prayed, and maybe even went on a mission trip as a boy. Then, at 13 years of age, they convert to Islam and renounce their faith in Christ, and go on to prominence as a religious leader in a Muslim nation. And make statements about Christianity, that we can examine for accuracy. And they refer to Bible 3:16 repeatedly, and do other things.
We would say they were never really saved to begin with because the bible says that. We would point out the errors relating to their statements regarding the bible. And if the persons fellow Muslims called us extremist, what would we think?...
That the truth stands for itself. It really doesn't matter if they call us extremist or not. They can look at the evidence or not.
Now again, I believe that Caner was a real Muslim, unless the Koran has a scripture that says it can't be so, if a Muslim rejects Mohammad, and worships someone else. And I'm not defending MoKahn on this (I looked at one video of his at SBC Today, and 15 seconds of another), as much as I'm pointing out what it could be for us if the shoe were on the other foot. That's what I'm really driving at here. Would we really meet the definition of extremist?

Anonymous said...


while I am finding it more difficult now listening to anything Ergun says I am finding it useful in coming into an understanding of just how the spirit of this age maligns us, "including" the Caner brothers. I deal with the devils everyday and now moreso that I have the Law of Righteousness alive and functioning in my flesh.

In the linked to audio, about 66 minutes in length where you focus us on the myriad of details that are inconsistent and difficult or impossible to reconcile, I want to note three things.

The first and the third have to do with "actual" real time history and the second one has to do with his supposed misspeaking of his credential, does he have a PhD or a ThD?

The first issue I want to note is his referencing the Andy Griffith Show. This show series was quite popular and successful and was produced from "1960 to sometime in the early 1980's. When you overlay that timeline with what we now know as his actual growing up and formative years "in the United States, not Turkey, one could see the pausible stretch marks being made for emphasis by him. After all, both things existed during that timeframe, 1960-1980's and even today, gravely, "youth jihad" in the cultures and countries of the Middle East where the seeds of violent oppression is being sown so forcefully among the youth of those countries and cultures.

The second thing I want to note is the encouragement Dr. Caner gives the students, presumably he was speaking to students and facilty of some Seminary, to "go for a PhD". Why is his justification for this? Well, he isn't the smartest and he got one!

Finally the third thing that seems to make me more suspicious of a spirit of deceitfulness working full blown through his spirit is his reference to "eight track tapes". They came into being in 1960 and were a part of this culture of the United States until around 1968 when the smaller version, the cassette tape was invented.

All these things, in my view, point to the facts of the court records and the factual evidences since, where a driver's license establishes the truth about his past or getting a ticket or or or!

I can remember quite well when my Dad brought home in 1960 an RCA "color" T.V.. We spent hours and hours as a family in those years sitting around that thing. I was hooked on color cartoons in those days and I also remember some of the awful displays of the Vietnam War being piped into our household.

I suppose Dr. Caner, being raised up in a middle to upper class home during the Sixties and Seventies would also have the new, latest and greatest of technological inventions? Look at the frenzy that went on with the advent of the cell phone and then the IPhone? Now, the IPad is the thing to own so as to have a better chance at success in the god of this world's temporal kingdom. Yuck!

Craig Dunning said...


"They [8-tracks] came into being in 1960 and were a part of this culture of the United States until around 1968 when the smaller version, the cassette tape was invented."

I'm not sure where you were during those days, but I bought my first 8-tracks (Ted Nugent and Blue Oyster Cult) in 1978, a full ten years after you suggest they had fallen out of popular use in the United States. By the way, I was an 8th grader in Texas when I made that purchase from a mail order company.

So, I don't think his mentioning 8-tracks should make you suspicious of a spirit of deceitfulness.

Turretinfan said...

8-track tapes did linger for quite a while.

Anonymous said...


yes, you are right, 1960 should have been "1964".

Why I picked up on the "8" track tape comment is because the ministry I am with started in thought in 1969 and was published with the State of California in 1970. The man who the Lord used to start this work in the middle of the "Jesus" movement had already a local t.v. and radio ministry. In the later part of the year 1970 some of the young men convinced the leadership to buy a cassette tape "duplicator" and our media ministry was born. We also started a publishing ministry too.

We had a tape library ministry where we would send out cassette tapes to anyone. People from Asia or Africa could write and request some of our tapes and we would duplicate from the "master" tapes and send them to them free of charge.

In 1975, when I got involved in the tape ministry, we were "upgrading" our duplicator machines so we could mass produce a recorded message because the demand for tapes was increasing.

After listening to the linked recording above I heard Ergun refer to "knowing about 8 track tapes".

I then did some research on the 8 track tape and read one article which made emphasis that the 8 track was a phenomenon of the United States and didn't even make it over to Europe.

Hmmmmm I thought, wait a minute, by court records, we know Ergun came to the United States around 3 years old in 1969 not in 1978 when Iran's spiritual leader was saying Islam is invading America which inspired the Caners to move to Ohio and jihad the Christians of Ohio.

We are disputing his contention that he was born in Sweden, raised in Europe and came to the United States when he was 15 having been trained as an Islamic youth jihadist and was then saved at 18 in Ohio.

I have no doubt he was very familiar with 8 track tapes, whenever that was? It is just that his familiarity with 8 tracks came about because he lived in Ohio during the nineteen seventies when 8 track tapes were one medium of entertainment for young people. He said he still has his 8 track. I clearly remember my sister's joy in "1965" at the fact that her boyfriend bought an "after automotive" 8 track cartridge and had it installed in his 1964 Mustang. The 8 track method, it seems as I recall, in my neck of the woods began to be of no interest to us young people by 1969 when the cassette deck and tapes began to come onto the market. We moved off the cassette to the cd I believe around the beginning of the nineties. Today we have ipods and iphones and now the latest is the ipad or the androit?

I hope that clarifies things here now for you?

I am still convinced Dr. Caner was and is involved in a form of sophistry and deception and is a sophist. It now is beginning to appear this is also true of Emir's lifestyle and quite possibly in a conspiracy with his brother?

Anonymous said...

Also, now that I have done some more research on "Turkish" marriage customs, I find another discrepancy in the 66 minute clip you can link too above.

Ergun tells us in the beginning of the tape how he, as an "old school" suiter, got hitched to his Southern Bell, his baby doll, his sugar. He says he came to her parents to ask for her hand in marriage.

At the end of the tape he talks about Turkish customs how girls were married off as early as 9 years old, "old school" Turkish custom.

Well, Turkish custom is quite different. The "Old" School of marriage for Turks generally is the mother's responsibility out of tradition. Maybe gypsyrose can chime in here on "Turkish marriage customs"?

In Ghana, West Africa, there is a similar custom. Generally it is a "maternal" ruling society.

So, why the discrepancy for Ergun, a Turk, born in Sweden, raised in Istanbul, Turkey and according to his "old school" custom goes as an "old school" suiter and ask her parents for her hand in marriage, a custom that has been apart of the United States? Could it be because he never knew "old school Turkish" marriage customs and learned that in the United States one customarily goes to the father of the bride to be to ask for his daugther's hand? I married in the Philippines. My wife's custom is a bit strange from my point of view. I had to go her "village" and meet with and answer many many question asked of me by all the men of that village. Her father started off the event by simply asking me why he should let me take his daughter away from her village and homeland? There were many men involved that afternoon and evening. And the questions got harder to answer not easier. When peace came over the men, my God, the party began!

So for me, this marriage proposal drama he speaks about is just another sophistry and deception to keep his persona alive, the one he produced after 9/11 so that he could draw more and more attention to who and what; who he is and what he does?

What is wrong with a "true" testimony of a bad family upbringing because a divorced mother struggles to raise three boys in Ohio? No one disputes he comes from 21 generations of Turks. I don't think anyone disputes he was converted at 18 in a Baptist Church.

This house he has built for himself, his ministry, is beginning to look like it was built on sand and not the Rock of Ages, who is Truth.

Fredericka said...

Rules for decoding Ergun's stories:
1.) Earliest story is best.
2.) Ergun's story-telling process heightens and intensifies the drama level, so the least dramatic version of the story is likely closest to primitive.
3.) Ergun's ego sets by-standers to revolving around him like satellites, therefore least Ergun-centric story preferred.
4.) Some animus against the father is betrayed. These stories are not only about Ergun but Acar as well, and when the story about Acar is isolated and framed, it's really harsh: 'My Dad was a murderous terrorist.' Did his Dad beat him? To defeat this bias, hold that version of the story most flattering to Acar likeliest to be true.

gypsyrose said...

The contention that "girls as young as 9 are married in Turkey" is a flat out lie. The majority age is 18, and legally 16 with parental permission, I lived in Kansas and that age, at the time I was 14, without parental permission if I remember correctly.

As for the "marriage custom", (this is really off topic, but I will answer), the mother and her sisters, sisters-in-law, her mother and her aunts decide on several girls for the son to "interview", it is a visiting and only if the girl approves. This is only a formality since the said couple usually knows each other (already dating).
If the girl approves then the parents can formally ask for her hand in marriage for their son.
Customs differ from the West of the country to the East. The West is where you find nude beaches, lots of alcohol and many people "shacking up."
The east is more conservative.
Families usually accept whatever decision their children have made and the few that do not are the ones who are in the news for their "honor" issues.

gypsyrose said...

natamllc said:

What is wrong with a "true" testimony of a bad family upbringing because a divorced mother struggles to raise three boys in Ohio? No one disputes he comes from 21 generations of Turks. I don't think anyone disputes he was converted at 18 in a Baptist Church.

I dispute the "21 generations of Turks". Just because he says so?
He refers to himself as a "Persian Turk", then an "Anatolian", whatever he can say to include as many groups as possible.
I had posted on another thread that the Turkish press considered his family as Azerbaijani from Iran. Most likely his family came across the border before or after WW1.
If he had lived in Turkey as Turks for 21 generations, why is he referring to himself as "Persian Turks".
No Azeri (including me would ever, ever say that.
I would call myself a Turk or an Azeri or an Azeri Turk. Never a Persian Turk.
BTW, given the history of that area, (my background), the story is ridiculous. These people are/were Shi'a and spent many years fighting the Turks (Ottomans), until the middle of the 1820's. Unbelievable what he is spouting.

Turretinfan said...

Yes, actually people dispute that he was 18 at the time. If it was 1982, as he has sometimes said, he was 16. If it was earlier (as it seems it may have been), he was 15.


Anonymous said...


Well, now we have another perspective of the 21 generations claim Ergun makes. It just solidifies what is becoming more and more apparent.

Thank you for sharing that. That information makes things clearer as to things being grappled with in trying to make sense of it all.

"....If he had lived in Turkey as Turks for 21 generations, why is he referring to himself as "Persian Turks".".

I remember several weeks ago making this point too.

I have been with Shi'a and Sunni Muslims from several countries.

In fact I traveled to Africa with a Sunni and a Shi'a and spent time with them. What was odd was how they treated one another when doing business. It was quite different than when they would argue their religious beliefs. Those times things got heated between them and one of them would just get so frustrated, he would get up and walk away. The Sunni was the money man and the Shi'a was hired to accomplish some tasks for him.

Anyway, just a disgressive comment about how they would work together for a common financial cause but couldn't hold a decent conversation about Allah from their Shi'a Sunni perspectives.

Anonymous said...


geeesh, my literary rhetorical flourishes aren't doing so well in here!!!

Plus, I guess it should help thinking through what I post as well as check for gramatical errors before hitting the "publish your comment" button.

You make my point so well! grrrr

In one post I write:

"....We are disputing his contention that he was born in Sweden, raised in Europe and came to the United States when he was 15 having been trained as an Islamic youth jihadist and was then saved at 18 in Ohio.".

And then I write:

"....What is wrong with a "true" testimony of a bad family upbringing because a divorced mother struggles to raise three boys in Ohio? No one disputes he comes from 21 generations of Turks. I don't think anyone disputes he was converted at 18 in a Baptist Church.".

It's times like this I am reminded to laugh at myself!


Andrew Suttles said...

Fredericka -

Funny post! Deciphering Ergun's real biography is like taking a course in textual criticism - is the oldest manuscript most accurate, the majority of texts? etc.

I thought it was odd that he stated that Toledo was 40 minutes away. Away from where, Columbus? Maybe he lived northwest of Columbus.

Turretinfan said...

Does he say it was a forty minute drive? I didn't hear him say that. I have, however, updated the post to show the actual driving time from Gahanna, OH, to Toledo, OH.