Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Ergun Caner "The Secret of Islam"

Apparently, on October 29, 2011 (link to partial audio)(notes from an attendee) Dr. Ergun Caner presented a talk on Islam.  The audio recording is only the last twenty minutes or so of the presentation.  If someone has a more complete recording, I'd be interested to hear it.

A lot of the presentation was on making parallels between Islam and Mormonism, many of which are legitimate and interesting.  It was a humorous presentation with plenty of jokes, including some self-deprecating humor.  Nevertheless, there were at least two points where I think Caner was inaccurate in his account of Islam:

1. Ergun Caner says: "As a matter of fact, one of the keys, one of the celebrations at the end of Ramadan, you take the child, you take the commemoration of Ibrahim (Abraham) taking his son, placing him on the altar, bringing down the knife, at the last moment, Allah saves the life of Ishmael." (2:53 - 3:11)

The celebration of Abraham's sacrifice of his son in Islam (Eid al-Adha) takes places two months and ten days after the end of Ramadan (see here).  It seems that Caner has accidentally confused Eid al-Adha with the other, lesser "Eid" of Islam, Eid al-Fitr (aka Eid as-Saghir), which takes place the first day of the month after Ramadan (i.e. the day after the last day of Ramadan) and can last up to three days.

2. Ergun Caner says: "What is Shahada in Islam, what is Kalima, what is the creed? 'There is only one God, Allah, and Mohammed is his final prophet.'" (3:52 - 4:00)

While most Muslims may believe that Mohammed is the final prophet, that's not what the Shahada says.  The Sunni Shahada says simply that "There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God."  There is no "final" in the Shahada.  Even the longer Shia Shahada does not include that "final" characterization (see discussion here).

On the bright side, it seems that Caner is now confirming the story his blogger critics had presented: "And when I first came to America in 1969, and Emir was born in 1970 ... " (15:02 - 15:05)

It's good that he's being frank about that.  I don't know Caner's heart and I don't know whether there is some reason he cannot overtly repent of his prior autobiographical claims.  There is more than can and maybe should be said, but I'll leave it at that.



Puritanchristian said...

Since you've written of Harold Camping will you have anything to say about his so-called mea culpa on the family radio website? I forget where I read it, but I think a mainstream media article characterized it as Camping admitting he was wrong, but I didn't hear much of that if any at all in the message. He seems as arrogant as ever really.

MENJ said...

" It seems that Caner has accidentally confused Eid al-Adha with the other, lesser "Eid" of Islam, Eid al-Fitr (aka Eid as-Saghir), which does take place about three days after the end of Ramadan."

Sorry, but no. Eid al-Fitr doesn't "...take place about three days after the end of Ramadan". It takes place immediately after the month of Ramadhan itself, on the 1st of Shawwal, the month right after Ramadhan. If you who are unfamiliar with Islam can make a serious blunder like that, imagine the seriousness of Caner's own mistake, considering the fact that he considers himself a "former Muslim".

turretinfan said...

Thanks for the correction. I updated the post.

Caner is a former Muslim, although perhaps never a very devout Muslim.