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Response to: Ergun Caner's Statement (25th Feb 2010)

On the 25th of February 2010, Ergun Caner released a statement on his website regarding the accusations that have been placed on him. His statement can be found here.

The following is my response to what Ergun Caner has stated, Ergun's statements are in red, whilst my responses are black.

Response

Recently a concerted effort has been made by a small group of professing believers, joined with a particular Muslim that posts videos, questioning my conversion, and the conversion of my brothers.

When Ergun says professing believers, he means that the Christians who are questioning him merely profess that they are Christians and aren’t really Christians – if I were on the receiving end of this statement – I would be very much offended. Ergun Caner is not entirely accurate when he says that we question his conversion and the conversion of his brothers – a conversion most probably did take place in Stelzer Road Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio, but the issue is what he converted from – because it most certainly was not Islam – which I have proven already. Having a Turkish father and being cared for by your Swedish mother because of a divorce for most of your life does not mean that when you embrace Christianity – that you are a former devout Muslim. The errors and lies that Ergun speaks regarding “his former faith” clearly show that he was not a Muslim.

And, what saddens my heart immensely is, this small band of professing Christians have now cited the Muslim’s videos as reason to attack my testimony as well.

So what if Christians cite my videos? It should not matter whether I am a Jew, Christian or a Muslim – if what I am presenting is based on clear evidence – then it does not matter. Ergun is trying to berate my proof on the basis that I am a Muslim, but in reality, being a Muslim does not mean that what I present is incorrect. Yet again, we can witness Ergun using the term “professing Christians” – a disguised mockery against the Christians who question him.

Indeed, the Muslims have used clips that attempt to show that through two decades of ministry and hundreds of sermons there exist discrepancies in my testimony.

What Ergun has mentioned here is incorrect. All the clips I have used are from 2004 onwards – whilst the only early clip I have used is the interview with Zola Levitt which was a show that aired in 2002. Ergun is painting the brush as though to say “I am merely human, I am bound to make mistakes during my 20 years of ministry”. He is ignoring how recent the clips I have used are and is diverting the attention of his fans away from the real issues. The real issues are his lies and deliberate misrepresentation of himself and his family. He does not say “Indeed, the Muslims have used clips that attempt to show that through two decades of ministry and hundreds of sermons there exist compulsive lies in my testimony”, rather, he is diverting away from the real issue and used the word “discrepancy” as a substitute for the word “lie”.

In all honesty, I probably could have saved them a lot of time and trouble.

Yeah, he could have saved me a lot of time. He could have saved me a lot time by not lying every time he speaks about himself, and more importantly, when he speaks about Islam and Muslims.

The truth is, I would be surprised if no discrepancies were discovered, given the hundreds of messages I have given during all that time!

Ergun must stop using the word “discrepancy”. It is not a discrepancy to lie about being born in Turkey, and it is not a discrepancy to lie about your mothers’ dress code and so forth. Please refer to the issues section to read more about these so called “discrepancies”.  

Nonetheless, while normally it is wise to ignore these types of attacks, the Muslim’s videos- now surprisingly being cited by professing Christians- have sadly produced such ardor that I feel the need to speak to the issue.

This is not an attack. Ergun must stop making it seem like he himself is a victim in this situation. The only victims here are his gullible fans who have been constantly lied to – and the Muslims who are being constantly lied about.

Yet again, Ergun uses the term “professing Christians” – do these Christians not see Ergun’s implication? As far I am aware – the “professing Christians” that Ergun refers to are the only Christians in this situation who have spoken to me nicely – whilst on the other hand – Ergun’s fans who contacted me through YouTube are the ones who mocked me, swore at me, insulted my mother and not forgetting – resorted to illegitimate attacks on my belief in Islam.

Ergun states that he feels the need to speak to the issue, I am yet to hear Ergun touch upon a single issue I have raised and justify any of his lies he has spoken.

This has been done repeatedly to Muslim converts, but in this instance, I bear some responsibility to clarify.

MY TESTIMONY:

I was born in Sweden, with a Turkish father and our mother who was a Turkish citizen.

This does not explain the statement he made on 1st June 2007 when he told everybody that he was born in Istanbul, Turkey.

This does not explain the statement he made about having a “Madrassa in Istanbul”.

This does not explain why he misleads his audience by saying he used to watch WWF wrestling when he was in Istanbul and he thought it was real.

This does not explain why he stated on his website biography that he was raised in Turkey.

This does not explain why he misleads his audience by telling them he has always lived in countries which are majority Muslim (last time I checked – Sweden and America are not Muslim countries). 

This does not explain why he stated that he lived in Beirut and Cairo when he didn’t.

This does not explain why he intentionally misled his audience by agreeing upon an interview format about himself with Zola Levitt titled “An Arab Christian” in 2002.

This does not explain why he purposely misled people by pasting an erroneous comment made about his book by Ann Coulter which said “two Arab-Christians”.

This does not explain why he purposely misleads people by calling himself a Sand Monkey, Towel Head, Sand Nigger and Camel Jockey – all of which are racist terms used against Arabs.

This does not explain why he purposely misleads people by saying he would wear "a Gafia" (an Arab headdress which until this day of all my whole life of being in an Islamic environment, I have never seen a native Turk wear "a Gafia", let alone a Turk who came from a broken family and was cared for by a Swedish mother).

This does not explain why he purposely misled everybody by saying “there is not much roller skating in the sand” – thus he is implying he has come from the desert lands of Arabia.

The only reason why he now finally clarifies the issue of being born in Stockholm is because of all the controversy surrounding him – but did he admit to lying about the points I have mentioned above? No, of course not, he wouldn’t do that.

I was born and raised a Sunni Muslim, just like my brothers.

There is a world of a difference between merely having a Turkish father and being raised a devout Sunni Muslim.

I was led to Christ at the Stelzer Road Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio, just like my brothers.

I never suggested he didn’t become a Christian in that church.

MISSTATEMENTS:

Now, on to the other issues:

Read how he doesn’t actually get “on to the other issues”.

Every minister has made pulpit mistakes.

Mistakes = errors in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, insufficient knowledge, etc.

Lies = false statements made with deliberate intent to deceive; intentional untruths; falsehoods.

Ergun Caner comes under the category of lies, not mistakes as he is implying.

Being called a “liar,” however, is a serious charge,

Yes it is, so when will the head of Liberty University start taking this seriously?

especially when it is made by Christians.

The faith of the accuser does not matter, if the proof is sound and verifiable then what’s so special about a Christian accusing someone?

That would indicate that (1) the accusers can know the motives of the accused person’s heart, and (2) the accused person intentionally misled people.

Ergun has produced a list of two pre-conditions in order for somebody to be able to call somebody a liar. The first of which is a complete nonsensical pre-condition. If Ergun’s motives were to give good sermons, that does not mean he didn’t lie when he was giving them.

And yes, Ergun Caner has intentionally misled people on countless occasions. Please refer to the YouTube videos, as well as the issues and responses section of fakeexmuslims.com.

I have never intentionally misled anyone.

That’s funny.

What about the time he stated he was born in Istanbul, Turkey?

What about the time when his website had uploaded a picture of the Imaam from the Islamic Centre and stated that it was his father?

What about the time when he uploaded a picture of him celebrating his birthday in Ohio but he wrote that the picture was taken in Turkey?

What about the time he told people that Muhammad (pbuh) said that in order to identify a bossy woman, you must check to see if her second toe is bigger than her big toe?

What about the time he told people that if a Muslim man and wife do not engage in sexual relations for 40 days, then they automatically divorce?

What about the time he told people that Muhammad (pbuh) received the first revlation on his 40th birthday?

What about the time he told people he had a Ph.D when he doesn’t?

What about the time he wrote that he was raised in Turkey on his website?

What about the time he stated that his mother wore the veil?

What about the time he stated that his grandmother also wore the veil?

What about the time he stated that his father was an Islamic Scholar?

What about the time he stated that ALL mosques in the world are funded by Istanbul and Riyadh?

What about when he stated that his father “BUILT” the Islamic Centre?

What about the time when he lied about a Hadith saying “severe their heads slowly”?

What about the time he lied about having a debate with Shabir Ally?

What about the time he said he went to America in 1978, but when you actually do the calculation you come to find that they went to America even before 1970 because that is when and where Emir Caner was born?

What about the time he lied about Muslims beheading captives because “they are doing the Halal”?

What about the time he lied about being able to speak Arabic?

What about the two times he spoke gibberish and tried to pass it off as a foreign tongue?

What about his constant mentioning of having formal debates when he doesn’t actually do formal debates?

These were just a few of the points, there are literally nearly a hundred more! Not forgetting the deliberate attempts to mislead people into thinking he is an Arab mentioned some paragraphs above.

How can he say he has never intentionally misled anyone?

Even within this statement - he has intentionally misled people. He writes about that his “mother was a Turkish citizen”. Is this not intentionally misleading? Why does he not just openly say that his mother was not Turkish and she was Swedish, why does he have to deliberately mislead his fans saying his mother was a Turkish citizen?

If anybody is guilty of misleading people then it is Ergun Caner

I am sure I have made many mistakes in the pulpit in the past 20-plus years, and I am sure I will make some in the future.

Once again, there is a major difference between making a ‘mistake’ and ‘lying’.

For those times where I misspoke, said it wrong, scrambled words, or was just outright confusing, I apologize and will strive to do better.

Scrambling words and misspeaking are not lies. Ergun Caner lies and he is not dealing with the issue of his lies that he speaks. He should strive to disengage from lying!

DEBATES:

A second question raised concerns debates. One gentleman believes it is misleading to call my interaction with people from other faiths and world religions “debates.” Since his definition of debate is limited to moderated, formal debates, that is his prerogative.

Ergun stated that he will debate anybody, anytime and at any place.

What exactly is it implying when you make such a statement?

Does it mean that he will meet you on the street corner for a discussion about Christianity? No, of course not.

It is implying that he is some sort of an invincible debater who is ready to take anybody one, not merely a brief interaction. He is guilty of giving the word ‘debate’ a whole new meaning.

He can call them whatever he wishes.

James White dealt with Ergun accordingly and justly, you should really read what he wrote regarding this issue, he “finishes Ergun” so to speak.

My podcasts are readily available online through this website. If he finds them less than satisfying or helpful, then he does not have to listen to them. I do not offer them for his approval or his attention. Please feel free to look elsewhere. God has been gracious to call many Christians to practice evangelism and apologetics in a variety of ways.

Yes, but did God give him permission to engage in deceptive tactics? Like, to lie about being a former devout Muslim?

The truth is, several evangelical apologists employ the “formal” debate template and are very effective in their presentations. Norman Geisler, Gary Habermas and William Lane Craig come to mind. Nevertheless, I will continue to do exactly as I have done.

I hope he doesn’t mean that he will continue with his lying and deception, that will seriously harm the credibility of Liberty University, or does Liberty University condone deception?

In fact, in order to attempt a measure of peace, I am more than happy to call my engagements “interviews,” or even “dialogues.”

Then what Ergun should have said was “I WILL INTERVIEW ANYBODY, ANYTIME AND AT ANY PLACE”, doesn’t sound good does it? That’s why he has to deceive you by using the word “debate”.

Since this is historically my method of choice, I shall continue to offer these podcasts here, for the edification of those who care to listen.

There is a world of difference between being interviewed and having debates, can you not see the deception?

However, I would caution all evangelicals that no single method meets consensus. Nor is there only one exclusively biblical model. Certainly there is much good to be found in formal debates, and I also believe that there is enough room for all types of interaction. In fact I believe there is great value to be found in all forms, including conversational and informal methods.

But where does any biblical model suggest that you can lie, deceive and mislead?

Finally, there is a legitimate complaint which I must address, namely, referencing a Muslim scholar that I have never met. Listening to the audio, I honestly have no idea who I was referencing, but it certainly could not have been the man I referenced.

I sent this audio clip to James White who then acted upon the issue in a more public manner than I have the ability to. I’m sorry, but Ergun is lying within this statement when he says “I honestly have no idea who I was referencing” – because there are no less than 4 occasions where Ergun is quoted to have mentioned Shabir Ally and the arguments Shabir Ally produces against Christianity. So he mentions his name on no less than 4 occasions but for some reason he “honestly” does not know who he was referencing.

For this unintentional but nevertheless horrible mistake, I repent for saying his name, and I ask the forgiveness of all those who heard it. Sin is sin, and if I am dumb enough to say something like that, I should be man enough to deal with it and aim to never make such a grievous error again. This applies to any time when I wrongly used names. I shall be more careful.

Why does Ergun just not admit that he intentionally wanted to fool people into thinking he has the ability to take on these high profile Muslims in a debate?

How can he say it was unintentional when he claims to have debated Shabir Ally on two separate interviews which took place at two different times?

How can it be unintentional when he specifically mentioned a location of the debate? It was clearly not unintentional, rather, it was deliberate.

Ergun also stated within the same audio compilation that I made – that he debated a Muslim called Abdul Saleeb. To those of you who are unaware – ‘Abd’ means Slave/Servant whilst Saleeb means Cross – thus the name of the person who Ergun claims to have debated was called “Servant of the Cross” – clearly a Christian name. A simple Google search will identify Abdul Saleeb as being a Christian writer. So did Ergun unintentionally mention Abdul Saleeb, or did he say this Arab name, assumed it was a Muslim name and said it in order to deceive his gullible fans? This is quite obviously the case. Besides, how can an all-American audience spot such an error? They can’t, so these things go unnoticed.

OTHER ACCUSATIONS:

As for the countless other volleys aimed at discrediting the work I do, I am unsure how to respond. If my pronunciation of Arabic phrases is not correct, then I apologize. The language of my lineage is Turkish, not Arabic.

Firstly, the critical analysis of Ergun’s testimony is not based upon pronunciation; the speech errors are based upon the use of incorrect terms which all Muslims are aware of.

Nevertheless, all Muslims are aware of Islamic terms, but Ergun lacks the ability to say even the simplest of things. For example – the Hajj pilgrimage – what is the point of Ergun saying “KHAJJ”? I don’t see a “K” at the start of the word, do you? – Ergun is guilty of embellishing words in order to make it seem as though he has the ability to speak Arabic.

The reality of the situation is that Ergun does not know these words because he is not familiar with Islamic doctrine or phrases used within it, despite the fact there is no difference in Islamic terms across the entire the Muslim world – so his excuse is lame to say the least.

Ergun states that the language of his lineage is Turkish, not Arabic. This does not explain why he lied about Arabic being his language before English. This does not explain why he lied about being able to speak Arabic during his formative years. Neither does it justify Ergun’s claim of having the read the Qur’an regularly during his formative years, not only that, he says he would carry it around with him at school! And yet he lacks the ability to say even the most basic Islamic terms? I’m sorry, but that is laughable.

Even Arabic dialects differ regionally, such as Jordanian and Egyptian. Indeed, 80% of the Muslim world does not speak Arabic, so I doubt  anyone will be fully satisfied at this juncture.

Yes, we don’t speak Arabic. But being Muslims, we know how to say the most basic and fundamental things that are related to our faith. For example – Salah, Zakah, Sawm etc. Not “salah, zakah, SWAAN” – what on earth is “SWAAN”?

Besides, all Arabic dialects share the same Islamic terms, as do the rest of us Muslims who are not even Arabs.We all read the Qur'an in its original Arabic no matter where we are from - thus we are all familiar with Islamic terms.

I must add, however, the misguided attempt by Muslim apologists to discredit converts to Christianity is not limited to me; in fact it seems to be standard operating procedure. I do not believe I can do anything to stop these attacks. All I can do is continue to teach as I have for years, and continue to serve the Lord with the best I can give.

Once again, Ergun has attempted to make it seem as though he is being attacked – this is not the case. As stated before – Ergun is by no means a victim in this situation as he is claiming to be. Ergun has been caught lying, but he does not want to admit it – so he is showing the sad puppy dog eyes in order to acquire some sympathy.

A FINAL WORD ABOUT THIS CURRENT SITUATION:

Criticism is many times helpful. In this particular instance, it has enabled me to correct the careless mistakes I addressed above.

This is laughable. Ergun has yet again used the word ‘mistakes’ instead of ‘lies’. Which lie did he correct? He only admits that he has not met Shabir Ally, that’s it! Yet he claims he never said it intentionally! Talk about the “I’m never wrong” mentality….

Nonetheless, I want to be clear about this current situation. This constant stream of criticism, blogging and berating is not acceptable between believers.

Why isn’t it acceptable? He boasted in his testimony he gave to the “Muslim Journey to Hope” team that he and his culture love to ask questions – this is exactly what is happening – but the part being missed out of this situation are the answers – we are not getting any.

I am as guilty as anyone else in instigating such things over the years, but these personal attacks are too much.

Once again, this is not a personal attack. Ergun has been caught lying – I am shedding light upon the lies he has spoken – on the contrary to a personal attack, this is honest criticism based upon statements of Ergun Caner himself.

I shall not participate in this anymore.

He hasn’t participated in it to begin with. Which issue shown on fakeexmuslims.com did he deal with?

This is absolutely of no interest to me.

Right, that explains why he made the effort to write this public statement on his website.

So, may the Lord judge between us.

To all who are reading this, I want you to know– I am a clear example of a person who is constantly in need of God’s grace. Because Jesus Christ died on the Cross for the world, that includes all of us. He died to forgive my sin, and resurrected to give me life. He did the same for you. When I repented of my sin, and put my faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, He gave me new life. He can do the same for you. We  are all sinners, and in need of forgiveness. If you will trust Jesus Christ and turn from your sin, you can find forgiveness and freedom from all the guilt that is upon you. Jesus loves you.

-Ergun Caner

We can conclude that Ergun Caner has attempted to acquire a sympathy vote without actually dealing with any of the issues raised regarding his dishonesty. His use of excellent spelling, grammar and sentencing creates an illusion of a well written response – but that’s all it is – only well written – nothing else. Sadly, the close minded followers of Ergun will most probably see this as a refutation to everything that has been accused of.

This response was not e-mailed to Ergun Caner since he did not respond my open letter back in August 2009.

 

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