Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ergun Caner Faith and Family Interviews

Faith & Family Interview (Richard Land, Interviewer), "More than a Prophet - I" August 27, 2007, with Dr. Ergun Caner (link to mp3)

(3:48) We were the equivalent of PKs in that we were in the church - so to speak - in the mosque every time the doors were opened. And this was our background.
  • Is this an accurate statement? I guess it is hard to know for sure, but it gives the impression of a rather high level of devotion.
(4:19) Interviewer: Now, Ergun you and your brothers were in Islamic Youth Jihad in Ohio, is that right? Ergun: Yes, sir, of course - but also before that in Turkey. The youth teachings - the youth groups are - take on various folds - different works that you do. Ours happened to be that of jihad, and so the jihadeen, up until I became a Christian when I was almost 18 years old.
  • Notice how in this instance, the interviewer gives Caner the opportunity to limit his claim about being in the Islamic Youth Jihad to Ohio. Caner, however, insists that "before that" (not "sometimes, during that") he was in the Islamic Youth Jihad in Turkey.
  • Also notice Caner's use of the apparently made up word "jihadeen."
  • Notice further Caner's claim that he was "almost 18 years old" rather than "15" or "16," which would appear to be more accurate, based on his book Unveiling Islam.
  • Additionally, notice that Caner is suggesting that there are a variety of different kinds of Islamic youth groups, and that his just happened to be one focused on jihad.
(12:41) One of the number one lines that Shabir Ally, the Muslim apologist, gave me at the debate which took place in Nebraska was "Why does one man have to die for me? What does one man's death have to do with my life?"
  • While Ergun Caner and Norman Geisler appear to have conceded that this claim is not true, they insist that Caner was not intentionally misleading anyone. It's hard to understand such a claim, unless Caner was maybe debating someone else with a similar name or appearance in Nebraska. Can Caner or Geisler identify the mystery Nebraskan debater for us?
Faith & Family Interview (Richard Land, Interviewer), "More than a Prophet - II" August 28, 2007, with Dr. Ergun Caner (link to mp3)

(2:04) Jesus is one of the twenty-five major prophets, along with Baruch and Ibrahim and Ishma'il.
  • I have no idea where Dr. Caner got "Baruch" as one of Islam's prophets from. This just looks (to me) like a mistake - not a lie. But this mistake suggests that Caner may not be as familiar with Islam as the claim that he was a essentially a PK would make one think.
(3:00) My father was invested in the jihadeen, trained in the madra - the Islamic training schools. We came to America to build mosques. And while here in America I came to faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, Savior, and God. And subsequent to that, of course, I was disowned by my family. And in the years that followed, both of my brothers accepted Jesus, my mother became a Christian, and my grandmother became a Christian. So that, even though I'd lost all my family - slowly - through the testimony of one young man, a friend of mine - that my family came to faith in Jesus Christ.
  • There's that word "jihadeen" again. There is nothing to indicate that this is a word that means anything that would fit Caner's usage of it.
  • Likewise, "madra" doesn't appear to be a real word, although possibly "madra" is an aborted attempt to say "madrasa."
  • Notice the claim to have have been disowned by his family. Notice also that in the immediate context, he talks about getting his family back through the conversion of his mother and grandmother. However, as far as we can tell, his mother and grandmother did not disown him.
(3:58) And we always challenge them, in the Arabic or in English, to take us on.
  • I don't think, at this point, that anyone believes that Caner can do a debate in Arabic.
(7:44) Religious freedom is defined as, I believe, and I would fight for, and I would die for a Muslim's right to build a mosque in my home town. To build a mosque here in Virginia and to worship Allah. I believe this because religious freedom means you have a right to be religious, or irreligious, or anti-religious. But it also means I have right to stand in front of that mosque and tell them that Jesus Christ loves them.
  • I just included this one, because I think it is interesting. I don't share Dr. Caner's views on religious freedom, but I think that it is important for Muslim readers to see that he is willing to stand up for what he perceives to be their rights.
(17:28) Absolutely. Hadith, volume 9, number 50, says that a person cannot be killed - that a Muslim cannot be killed for killing an infidel.
  • This is just an example of Dr. Caner citing the Hadith without providing the name of the collection - sort of an equivalent of citing the Bible without identifying the book of the Bible.
Faith & Family Interview (Richard Land, Interviewer), "Why Churches Die - I" January 14, 2008, with Dr. Ergun Caner (link to mp3)

(Apparently Re-run as) Faith & Family Interview (Richard Land, Interviewer), "Why Churches Die - I" October 2, 2008, with Dr. Ergun Caner (link to mp3)

(Apparently Re-run - again - as) Faith & Family Interview (Richard Land, Interviewer), "Why Churches Die - I" June 19, 2009, with Dr. Ergun Caner (link to mp3)

(1:37) I was raised as a Sunni Muslim, more specifically, a Sunni with a Wahabi mother. And - uh - came to America in our teenage years to become - uh - missionaries. The term we use is different, masjidatos. But the masjid is the building of the mosques. And we built mosques in Toledo, Ohio, Columbus, Ohio, and it was while I was here in America that I was - uh - a teenage boy and became a believer in Jesus Christ, he would not let go of me - for three years he was relentless in not taking no for an answer. And became a Christian, and lost my family of course, my father - my mother - and my church became my family. It was from there that I started to preach, and brought me on this journey eventually up to Liberty.
  • The claim that his mother was a "Wahabi Muslim" seems unlikely. I wonder if Caner would try to defend that claim today?
  • Notice that he claims to have come to America in his "teenage years." If he came in 1969, he came in something closer to his "toddler years."
  • Notice the claim that he was evangelized for three years.
  • Notice that he again claims to have lost his family, and specifies not only his father, but also his mother.
(4:13) The only two things we've ever given was we have this Turkish coffee which is you eat the grounds. You marinate the grounds in water and that's what I was raised with. I mean its in our baby bottles. And so I come to America and its like this is colored water. And so, yes. I order my coffee and I get it very strong. My wife hates it - she says it peels the paint off of cars. The second thing is that my mother being - from her background - is that the Sufis in Turkey believe that if you lose your mind, you come into union with Allah. It's sort of mysticism, Buddhist concept in Islam. And so we brought to America, the hookah, which is the bong. And so one of my earliest memories is my mom with the munchies, you know, smoking the pipe. Between the two things, I'd rather drink the coffee. That's the short of it.
  • Just a few minutes before he was claiming his mother was Wahabi. Now she's a Sufi?
(6:46) Well, my brothers and I - we all three were saved - our father had many wives, but father and my mother, they had three sons, all three of us got saved - and of course we leave Islam, immediately. And don't know where to go. All three of us became ministers of the gospel.
  • One of many times that Ergun Caner has claimed his father had "many wives," and by "many" I don't mean "two" which is apparently the number of wives Caner's father had, one at a time.
(9:46) They say, "Oh, you know, jihad is not found in the Koran," hey - I'll give you 500 verses. They say, "You don't know the Arabic," well no - actually I do - let's dance.
  • In another clip, I thought he used the expression "let's dance" but it could have been "what's next," so I flip-flopped in my transcription. Here, I'm pretty sure it is "let's dance."
  • Being able to read Arabic phonetically, without understanding its meaning, is not knowing Arabic, certainly not for the purposes of debating a Muslim.
(9:59) They're not 'insurgents,' they're 'jihadeen.'
  • There's that "jihadeen" word again. Can anyone find that word as a plural noun meaning anything like "warriors" in any Arabic dictionary?
(21:05) I tell people, "I fear no man," I feared my grandmother. Five foot tall, never learned English, you know - little Muslim woman coming to America and lived here - and she could never - toward the end of her life - she could never forgive those that hard hurt her.
  • What's this stuff about his grandmother being Muslim? Wasn't she Swedish Lutheran?
  • She may not have learned to speak English well, but her language was Swedish, was it not?
(22:05) You know the hardest thing for me was to forgive my father. Being disowned - and he cut me out of all his pictures - he would send - I would write him five times a year: I'd write him on Father's Day, his birthday, Christmas and Easter, and then one random time - and they'd always get sent back. You know - it's hard. My grandmother taught me to shave. Being Turkish kids you have to shave - you have a time when you learn how to shave your face, and then your eyebrows, and your back and so she taught me by showing how she used to hold the razor - and so I cut my face into ribbons, and the whole time thinking, "If I had a father, I wouldn't have to do this." But God can - But there was only so far that God could take me until I learned how to forgive - because even if he would never speak to me, me forgiving him was not contingent on him hearing it - it's contingent on me voluntarily releasing him.
  • Individually, all these stories may be true. Being disowned was doubtless something very hard to forgive. I believe his story that his father returned mail that Ergun sent. I also believe the story about the grandmother teaching him to shave, etc.
  • What Caner suggests, however, is that the grandmother's aid was needed as a result of the disowning. This shows, of course, that Caner was not a virtual orphan that was disowned by his entire family.
  • More to the point, however, based on other things we have seen (here for example), it appears that the grandmother's raising of her grandsons is something that took place as a result of the divorce between Caner's parents, not the result of Caner's father disowning him. I have no idea whether Caner had already hit puberty by the age of 15 or 16, but one would expect it.
Faith & Family Interview (Richard Land, Interviewer), "Why Churches Die - II" January 15, 2008, with Dr. Ergun Caner (link to mp3)

(Apparently Re-run as) Faith & Family Interview (Richard Land, Interviewer), "Why Churches Die - I" October 3, 2008, with Dr. Ergun Caner (link to mp3)

(2:34) When I went to Bible College, I had been saved eight months.
  • I don't see how this claim could possibly fit with Caner being saved when his book, Unveiling Islam, says he was saved.
  • I also don't see how this claim could possibly fit with Caner being saved on November 4, 1982, since Caner didn't graduate high school until Spring 1984.
(2:49) Interviewer: There were liberals at Criswell College? Ergun: No - there - no sir, I went to another college before. Interviewer: Oh, I was going to say - I can't imagine we had any liberals at Criswell College. Ergun: No, we had - um - We had - uh - We had issues we had to deal with at the college I was going to beforehand.
  • This is the first time I've ever heard about some Bible college that Ergun Caner went to before Criswell College. Can Ergun identify it for us? I wonder if he means Cumberland College, which is where he got his B.A.
(18:06) But for your listeners, so I can be clear, I am an immigrant, I am Turkish, English wasn't my first or my second language, and I can say this, and if they don't like it - tough - I don't care.
  • As far as we can tell, Ergun Caner came to America as a young child. Even if he wants to claim that English was his third language (after what - Swedish and Turkish?), he clearly speaks English natively, and apparently does not speak Turkish fluently (I'm not sure about his Swedish - perhaps it's excellent).
Faith & Family Interview (Richard Land, Interviewer), "Voices Behind the Veil - I" January 31, 2008, with Dr. Ergun Caner and Jill Caner (link to mp3)

(Apparently Re-run as) Faith & Family Interview (Richard Land, Interviewer), "Voices Behind the Veil - I" March 23, 2009, with Dr. Ergun Caner and Jill Caner (link to mp3)

(8:26) I'll give you a great "for instance." When we came to America and came through New York we were stopped at the border because my father had listed my mother as property.
  • I would love to see some documentation of this claim. I'm not sure we can ever disprove it, but are we really to believe that a guy who had been to school in Sweden, Acar, would list his wife as "property" on a custom's manifest?
(9:31) In my family, being the classic Muslim orthodox family, that is, we followed the Koran and the Hadith, my Father had multiple wives, and when the men sat at the table, the women stood. And then only after the men were done, even the youngest boys were done, we got up from the table, then the women could eat.
  • In context does "multiple wives" mean "two, one after the other" or does it suggest that Caner's father was a polygamist?
  • Again, what "women" are intended here? Is Caner speaking of his mother and grandmother or of these supposed "multiple wives" that his father allegedly had?
(16:04) I still have in my collection of things that I had as a child those evil eyes that my mother was told to put around my neck as a child - the fig that my father rubbed on the inside of my mouth to ward of the evil - they're called the injeel - you know the demons - the followers of al-ajal - who are supposed to be following you all through your life - you ward them off with these superstitions.
  • One normally tries to ward off "evil eyes" - not wear them (evidence). A nazar is what one might use to try to ward them off, as an alternative to trusting in God (link to discussion of nazars). I don't doubt Caner has some nazars from his childhood, whether or not he knows what they are called.
  • The term injeel is the term for the gospel - not the term for evil spirits.
  • I have no idea where Caner is going with his "followers of al-ajal" - al-ajal apparently means "hasten" (link to evidence).
Faith & Family Interview (Richard Land, Interviewer), "Voices Behind the Veil - II" February 1, 2008, with Dr. Ergun Caner and Jill Caner (link to mp3)

(Apparently Re-run as) Faith & Family Interview (Richard Land, Interviewer), "Voices Behind the Veil - II" March 24, 2009, with Dr. Ergun Caner (link to mp3)

(0:0) She had three sons who were believers in Jesus, three sons in the gospel ministry. Do you know what reached my mother for the gospel of Christ? Not one of us - it was a woman - a Christian woman. We forget the fact that if it is not the Christian woman who reaches the Muslim woman, it will not get done.
  • This appears to simply be a montage of comments that were later made in the show. I present it here simply as evidence of the effect that Caner's words had on the producer of the show. I submit that the impression given was that Caner's mother was a Muslim woman who was evangelized out of Islam by a Christian woman.
(14:58) If I could say this as clearly as I can, without becoming emotional: I became a Christian in 1982. My brothers became Christians in 1983. But our mother did not become a Christian until 1991. She had three sons who were believers in Jesus, three sons in the gospel ministry. But she remained a woman behind the veil. She remained a woman in the chador. Do you know what reached my mother for the gospel of Christ? Not one of us - it was a woman - a Christian woman.
  • Unveiling Islam clearly states that Caner's brother Emir got saved in 1982.
  • There is good reason, from court documents, to believe that Caner's mother was not a practicing Muslim woman. Caner has provided at least one photo of her, and she was not wearing a chador in the photo.
(19:26) Jesus strapped a cross to his back, so I don't have to strap a bomb to mine.
  • This is one of Caner's favorite catchphrases. However, there does not appear to be any evidence that he was on the verge of doing something precipitous, as the catchphrase suggests.


BibleWheel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BibleWheel said...

Tremendous work! Well done.

FYI - The first two mp3 links don't work for me. It seems they have an extra space at the end that makes them fail. But I was able to download the files by editing the links so all is good.

Turretinfan said...

Thanks for letting me know about the links. I have (I think) fixed them.


Mark said...

Interestingly enough, a new Caner defender has surfaced. He doesn't really offer a defense of Caner. He just makes some false assertions and judges some motives. Unfortunate.

Cheryl Schatz said...

At the end you say:

"There is good reason, from court documents, to believe that Caner's mother was not a practicing woman."

I think you mean practicing "muslim"?

Turretinfan said...

LOL, yes. I mean practicing *Muslim* woman. I will update the post.

Fredericka said...

TF, years ago when I was attending art school in New York I did office work for a company that sent workers overseas to Saudi Arabia. You couldn't send just anybody; some people they didn't like, such as Jews and unaccompanied females. One enterprising Jewish man wrote down, under religion, 'Hebrew, non-practicing.' So a woman who also wanted to go to Saudi Arabia (the pay was good) wrote down, under 'gender,' 'female, non-practicing.'

Turretinfan said...


Ankarite said...

al-ajal... in Turkish, from Arabic, ecel (c is a hard j sound in Turkish, so pronounced ejel -eh-gel) means the fore-ordained moment of death. Azrail is the "death angel"... I think there is probably the confabulator's tendency to use words on the fly to sound good, disregarding the meaning of the word. e.g. mesjidatos?! "masjid" is a place where you perform "sejde" (prostration)... I am not an Arabic expert, but know enough to know there is absolutely no formation that would get you from masjid to masjidatos...maybe in Spanish.

Turretinfan said...


Thanks for the tip about Turkish!

And I concur that the presumed etymology for "masjidatos" is some sort of Spanish-Arabic hybrid.


Anonymous said...


the irony here with this new defender is the header of his blog.

I will paste in a fuller context his verse header then make an observation viz. it:::>

1Pe 3:13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?
1Pe 3:14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,
1Pe 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;
yet do it with gentleness and respect,
1Pe 3:16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
1Pe 3:17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.

Of the video clips and full length videos I have taken the time to watch, one thing stands out about Dr. Caner, head and shoulders over all his lies and misstatements and embellishments. It is his lack of gentleness and respect towards all men.

I am going to make a bold assertion about Dr. Caner. "It does seem to me this man doesn't have the working of the power of God working through him, now, if ever?"

Does this distract me or should it distract you from exercising gentleness and respect for all men, including Dr. Caner?

It is our place, now that we too are being washed, sanctified and justified daily, to hold out to all men, especially to those of the household of the Faith, His Gentle Spirit and Grace!

Psa 139:17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Psa 139:18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.

The Lord is still with us!

sunni said...

Interview is quite interesting !

Fredericka said...

In 20060912.mp3 on the Faith and Family site, Ergun says, "We are Turkish, you know, the Persian/Arab mix." I wonder when he figured out Turks are neither Persian nor Arab, because he finally did learn that: he says on the Pastor's Perspective show in January of this year, "I am neither Persian nor Arab - I'm Turkish, so we're Anatolian." Prior to that there seems to be real confusion on this point. Who told him?

Nora said...


I think Dr. Caner is finally getting around to reading Wikipedia like the rest of us. . .

Moses Model said...

Thank You, this has been a great resource. I guess we will see each other in Hell.

turretinfan said...

I'm not authorized to see that status, LOL.