|Sent:||01 January 2010 22:48:16|
Thanks for taking the time to contact our program. It’s good to hear that you watched some of the programs on our website.
Regarding the people who have provided the testimonies, they are speaking in their own words. They don’t get paid anything to appear on the program. We don’t stop them and say, “Oh, you made a mistake, you better change that.” Some of the people were very well trained in Islam, and had memorized a lot of the Quran. Others were less observant in their Islamic faith or upbringing. All in all, they tend to be representative of the many countries that Muslims come from, and representative of various types of Muslims, including both men and women.
If there are a couple specific examples you want to refer to regarding “errors,” please reply and we can address them. We cannot respond to a general criticism. If you have something specific, we should be able to respond. However, just because a person makes an error does not mean that they were not a Muslim. There are many misunderstandings that people have. Muslims have misunderstandings about Christianity, and even about Islam. For instance, Islam teaches that the Christian Trinity is the Father, the Mother and the Son. Actually, the Trinity is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That is an example of misunderstanding that even the Prophet of Islam had about the Christian faith.
We ask, do you simply feel that a person is “in error” because he or she leaves Islam? Perhaps that is the bigger question.
God bless you,
Your friends at Muslim Journey to Hope
|Sent:||06 January 2010 21:49:28|
thank you for the quick reply.
I didn't see some of the testimonies. I saw all of them. The errors of most of the testimonies are so many and so serious that it is more than clear that they are being dishonest about being former Muslims.
If they are speaking in their own words, then why is it that almost all of them use the exact same phrases? I have drawn up a list if you like to see. They say they were "empty", they say they were "hungry", they say they were "thirsty" and they say that "allowed Jesus to come into my heart" - there are probably a hundred different words of expressing their feelings, what are the chances of almost all of them using the exact same phrases when they speaking in their own words? You would argue that the fact they are all using the same words means that they have all gone through similar experiences, however, some may say that all of these individuals are being told what to say.
I have not mentioned anything about the individuals being paid, but since you have mentioned it without any instigation on my behalf, this casts further doubts over the testimonies.
In one testimony, Rahim states that he had memorised the full Qur'an in a Madrassa by the time he was 14. When an individual has memorised the full Qur'an in a proper Islamic Madrassa, we not only memorise the Qur'an, but we also understand how to pronounce words and what contexts Qur'anic words can and cannot be used in. He stated he did "Lydle Kabeer" in his house with his family. There is no celebration or festival by the name of "Lydle Kabeer". He also stated that his father would go to Makkah every 3 months (obviously for Umrah, because you cannot usually get a random visa to Makkah unless you get an Umrah Visa). He then went on to say that it takes 3 months to prepare for a trip to Makkah. The focus being on how often his father supposedly went - how can his father go for Umrah every 3 months? even native Arabs do not go to Makkah every 3 months, and he, being an African Muslim who freely admitted that the cost of going to Makkah is very expensive yet emphasised that his father went every 3 months. This was quite obviously a deliberate attempt to misrepresent himself, but due to this lack of basic Islamic knowledge, he did not know.
As stated before, Muslims are aware of when and where Islamic/Qur'anic words can and cannot be used. So for him to say "I did the Ramadan" is a serious error which no person that went to a Madrassa and memorised the full Qur'an would ever make. Ramadan is the name of the calendar month, it is a not a verb - you cannot say "I did the Ramadan", it does not make sense.
He then made the error of suggesting that the grave of Muhammad (peace be upon him) is in Makkah. This is wrong, it is not in Makkah, it is in Madinah. He also went on to say that he was shocked by the events of 9/11 and he went back to the Qur'an in order to see where it states that it is encouraged to kill random non-Muslims because he wanted to understand what the Qur'an is teaching him. Why would one who was a devout Muslim, who prayed five times a day, fasted during Ramadan, understood the five pillars, MEMORISED THE FULL QUR'AN need to go back to the Qur'an in order to understand what the character of a Muslim should be? Had he been a real Muslim, he would know that nowhere in the Qur'an does it justify the killing of random non-Muslims, unless your name is Ergun Caner and you purposely teach lies about Islam.
Another point to note is that Rahim is actually doing the reconstruction acting within his own testimony.
The famous preacher Nasir Siddiki stated that he called out to Muhammad (peace be upon him) and that he did not get a response from him. This is 100% proof that Nasir Siddiki is a fraud. Muslims do not and will not ever call out to Muhammad (peace be upon him) for assistance, healing or any sort of aid. What is funny about this error is that when Shaykh Ahmed Deedat (raheemullah) was having a dialogue with Jimmy Swaggart - Jimmy made the exact same lie up by stating that he witnessed people trying to perform miracles "in the name of Mohammad" which was obviously a lie on his behalf. These televangelists seem to be making the same mistake in order to fool the gullible Christian audience, but Jimmy made the mistake of saying it in the presence of other Muslims.
That testimony of that woman Layla. She, according to the video, calls herself an ex Muslim, however, rather than calling Islam as Islam, she calls it "Islamic". These are the errors of some non-Muslim people who do not have any knowledge of Islam. How could an ex Muslim make such a mistake?
The testimony of the guy named Mohammad, he stated that most of the people in his village were "Islamic". What's that supposed to mean? I have encountered many born-again christians on YouTube who call us "Islams" rather than "Muslims". He as an ex devout Muslim should have said "the people in my village were mostly Muslims", not "Islamic".
Almost all of the testimonies use the same phrase of "God if you're real?"
One of the testimonies (I think Layla again), she stated that had everything but wasn't happy. She even said she had fame! What does she mean by she had fame? It is quite obvious that she is merely reading some sort of script.
It is quite obvious that these testimonies are nothing but a means of reassuring the Christians that they are still upon the "truth". Because there are 68,000 people who accept Islam each day, you need to prevent your people from looking into Islam, this is why I believe these dishonest testimonies have been recorded.
If you are unaware of the errors of these individuals then you as an organisation must ensure that what you are recording is error-free. If a Muslim who was an ex-Christian came on TV and made the mistake of saying he was a "Christee" instead of "Christian" then I can assure you that these individuals would immediately be labelled as frauds, and I, as a Muslim would agree that there is an element of dishonesty.
We Muslims understand the falsehood that these testimonies are showing, so all you are doing fooling your own Christian followers.
You said: "We ask, do you simply feel that a person is “in error” because he or she leaves Islam? Perhaps that is the bigger question."
No. In order for someone to have left Islam, they had to have been in it in the first place. It is quite obvious that most of these individuals were not.
Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner have already been exposed to be frauds. If you are an honest organisation, you would remove their testimonies because they have already been proven to be false.
I look forward to your reply
A quick reply to your email. There are a few important things that must be said. Eternity hangs in the balance. It is apparent you are researching testimony programs and the like. For this you can be credited, as well as for your intelligence.
The Muslim Journey to Hope Program:
First, let us state a few things about the Muslim Journey to Hope program. Three things are required of guests giving testimonies: a) They must have formerly been Muslims, b) They must speak passable English, since this is an English format show, c) They must be willing to come on the air and give a testimony. We do record testimonies we cannot ultimately use because the individual’s English is just too weak. Some are borderline, but usable. This can create bad grammar in English, such as “I did the Ramadan,” instead of “I observed Ramadan,” or “I fasted Ramadan.” These are errors, which you rightly point out. Yet they are, at least in some cases, due to the person speaking poor English, not because they are ignorant about what they are saying.
We do so often get the accusation, “The people on your show were not Muslims. They know nothing of Islam.” Essentially, you have repeated that. It is important to understand, Mohammed, that anyone who is born into a Muslim family is a Muslim. Likewise, anyone who declares the Shahadah with full intention becomes a Muslim. Throughout the world, some Muslims observe the Islamic religion very well, others don’t even pray. Just because a Muslim is not observing all the practices of Islam does not make him a non-Muslim. You are a smart person; you must be able to grasp this. Our guests are representative of the many Muslims worldwide. The show is “Muslim Journey to Hope,” not, “Imams Journey to Hope.”
Regarding “Ladle Kabeer,” this obviously is “Laylat al-Qadr” correctly identified as falling during the month of Ramadan. You were not able to figure that out? A person of your breadth should know that sincere and devout Muslims throughout the world pronounce many Islamic/Arabic words differently. For example, Iranians say “Ramazan” rather than “Ramadan.” They say “Ghoran” instead of “Quran.” It does not mean they are stupid or don’t understand what they believe, it’s just that they are forced to use Arabic words, which they may not pronounce properly. Go to Africa or Indonesia, and treble the effect!
Also, a person who has memorized the Quran may need to go back to it to apply it to current situations. A lot of Muslims memorize many ayat from the Quran but don’t think about what they mean. This is especially true of the 80% or so of Muslims in the world who don’t understand Arabic. You have analyzed the process, but what about the content here? Is Islam a religion of peace or jihad? That was the question raised.
If you have met the Caner brothers personally, and interviewed them, and you still feel their testimonies are fraudulent, then contact us again. They take a lot of heat on the Muslim websites because they are so effective in sharing their stories.
Shiit’es, at least, call out on the name of the imams in a moment of crisis. “Ali!”, etc.
Let’s be honest. A lot of Christians have become Muslims too. They have the right to share their stories, and some reflect mistakes or misunderstandings of what the Bible teaches. That’s OK, let them have their say as well.
One last appeal to logic: If this program was based on fraud and acting, why would we have it so pathetic and riddled with errors, as you suggest?
Dear Mohammed, this was a sincere attempt to address a good number of points you raised. It does not seem that this dialog is progressing further at this time. Should you respond in a similar fashion, we may elect not to respond. That would not be an admission of defeat or wrong on our part, but rather trying to satisfy those who are truly hungry and thirsty for truth. Nevertheless, we pray that Christ will save your soul. He is able to do it.
Your friends at Muslim Journey to Hope
|Sent:||12 January 2010 23:49:47|
Hi friends at Muslim Journey to Hope,
Thank you for your reply, which I must say, consisted of some very well worded content. On the other hand, you skipped quite a few points that I raised, which if you scroll back down you will notice.
I have by no means generalised that all of your testimonies are false. Rather, most of your testimonies consist of errors that are so many and so serious that their claims of being ex Muslims can be disproven. Regarding your statement of anybody being "born into a Muslim family is a Muslim", this is wrong. Just because somebody is born into a Christian family, they are not automatically Christian. Is a person from a Christian family who embraces Islam automatically an ex-Christian? Certainly not. Belonging to a particular belief system is not something which is automatically transferred due to hereditary.
I know your show is called "Muslim Journey to Hope" and not "Imams Journey to Hope". So then why is it that most of your testimonies have the individual painting a picture which is the exact opposite to what you are telling me now? The individuals say they were proper devout Muslims, almost all of them present the gullible viewers with a nice list of all the pillars of Islam as though they memorised it from a book the night before. Most of them say that they used to pray five times a day, but then some even said that they had never heard of Jesus (peace be upon him). So these people who claim to be devout Muslims failed to understand that the belief in Jesus (peace be upon him) is a must in Islam. What kind of ex Muslims are these?
You have played the innocent card by implying that the majority of the Muslims around the world do not practise their religion anyway, thus, their ignorance of Islam within their testimony is likely. This implication of yours further means that the people in the testimonies are being dishonest, because they paint the audience a picture of themselves being super devout Muslims. The people are making mistakes that even young Muslim children the age of 3 would not make. Which former Muslim refers to Muslims as "Islamic people" rather than Muslims? This has nothing to do with the language barrier, or their lack of English, these are serious errors which no real ex Muslim would make.
Regarding your statement of "Lydle Kabeer", it was a good demonstration of brushing the error aside. You fail to remember that "Rahim" claims that he memorised the whole Qur'an when he was 14. There is a full surah in the Qur'an called Surah al Qadr. So you are saying that this individual who memorised the full Qur'an could not say the phrase "Laylatul Qadr", a phrase which even Muslims who lack knowledge about Islam know how to say - that is laughable to say the least.
I have never said that people who say Ghoran instead of Qur'an are stupid, neither have I ever implied the same for people who say Ramazan instead of Ramadan. My comment to you was based upon the statement of "Lydle Kabeer" which is dissimilar to Laylatul Qadr, particularly when the word "kabeer" means big or large.
I never said that I have met the Caner brothers. There are so many mistakes within their testimonies, not only in their interpretation of Islam, but also in their conversion dates which they keep mixing up. Furthermore, Ergun does not even know the shahada - which you and I both know - is something that every single Muslim, practising or non practising fully understands. Ergun does not even know the translation of the shahadah in English. He also continuously lies about his place of birth, he hops from Sweden to Turkey depending on how gullible his audience are - and you keep his testimony on your website? I can present to you over 60 errors in the story of Ergun and Emir Caner, and I am guessing that even if I were to show these errors to you - you would still maintain the stance of believing they are really ex Muslims. Their stories are only effective with the gullible Christian minority, the people in front of which they can make errors without worrying about being caught out.
Nasir Siddiki claims to be an ex Sunni Muslim. So your statement of justifying his call to Muhammad (peace be upon him) is nullified. You cannot justify the error of a person claiming to be an ex Sunni Muslim with the notion of some Shia. Besides, even the Shia who call out to Ali, they do not expect a reply the way Nasir Siddiki was implying, rather, they use Ali as an intermediary.
You say that Christians have become Muslims and they have a right to have their testimonies recorded, which is correct. But none of these ex Christians make stupid mistakes like these "ex Muslims" do. Show me, I am ready for you to show me "fake ex Christians". Show me loop holes in their stories and show me them getting Christian terms wrong, I am ready to listen. But don't show me their "errors" regarding their interpretation of certain verses of the Bible because they are worthless; Muslims and Christians constantly disagree regarding verses in the bible - such as prophecies of Muhammad (peace be upon him).
"If this program was based on fraud and acting, why would we have it so pathetic and riddled with errors, as you suggest? "
I am glad you agree that the program is pathetic. You said it, not me. Maybe you thought that your only audience will be gullible Christians and that Muslims would not watch them.
I understand if you choose not to respond. There are no winners or losers between you and I. However, fooling the gullible Christians is a serious which you as an organisation need to address.
Let me remind you of a statement you made in a message sent to another individual
"These are truthful testimonies as far as it is presented to us by those who are giving them"
May God guide you and all those involved in this big scam that you are fooling your Christian audience with.
Thanks for your reasoned response. You put a lot of time in and that is commendable.
We are not able to deal with every point you raise, but just to pick certain ones that stimulate thought or correct gross errors.
Two points only in what might be a final response:
a.) I will concede that a person’s own perspective on whether they were a “devout” Muslim or Christian is a subjective statement. In the context of this program, and this form of most basic interview, it is not an objective statement. We don’t press people to find out if they prayed 35 times per week, how well they understood the Arabic Qur’an, etc. Basically, people on this show are recounting their life and upbringing. They may feel they were observant and devout, but compared to whom? Same thing can be said for the many Christians who have become Muslims; they are recounting their life in their own words. Basically, this yields subjective statements. A viewer can observe and determine whether or not he or she agrees with the “shahid’s” subjective statement.
a.) I’m not sure where you get the notion that a person who is born into a Muslim family is not automatically considered a Muslim by the Muslim community? In “evangelical” Christianity, which perhaps you have been studying, you can only enter it when you are old enough to make a conscious decision. However, in Islam, you can be born into it. The problem, because of the apostasy law of Islam, is you can never leave…upon pain of death.
So, Mohammad, you deserve some credit. I don’t know if this will be fruitful to go further.
God bless you,
Your friends at Muslim Journey to Hope
Hi friends at Muslim Journey To Hope,
I’m glad that you as the MJTH producer admit that you are not able to deal with every point I raise. I also want to remind you that the issues I have shown you are not even a handful of the vast number of problems in all of your testimonies.
Saying you were a devout Muslim is not a subjective statement. If one claims to be a devout Muslim - it means that they - as a minimum - understand their beliefs and not make the most basic errors regarding Islam. What you are implying is that if an individual wishes to refer to him or herself as an ex devout Muslim - that is based upon their own perspective of what devout actually means - this is wrong. Particularly when you find that these people within the testimonies who claim to be devout - all emphasise their firm faith in the 5 pillars of Islam, thus, they are claiming that they understood the fundamentals of their supposed former faith. So for you to say what you are saying regarding this matter is nothing but a diversion.
Your intention is to make me think that we are in no position to question the devoutness of these supposed former Muslims - in order to divert away from explaining the actual errors within the testimonies. Your method is merely covering the problems in a protective film - so to speak.
You said "I’m not sure where you get the notion that a person who is born into a Muslim family is not automatically considered a Muslim by the Muslim community?"
I assumed that you would have understood the context within which I was speaking when I made such a statement. If a son of a Christian family embraces Islam - does that mean he is an ex devout Christian? Surely not. It would be a complete utter lie for an individual to say that he himself was a devout Christian merely because his parents were Christians. I don't know why I am using my time explaining this similitude’s to you - because it is fairly obvious that these similitudes are not applicable to the fraudulent people in your testimonies.
I deserve some credit? I do not want any credit from anybody. But I "admire" your attempt to belittle by efforts by saying that I deserve "some credit".
I agree with you that that this discussion will not be fruitful because you seem to be ignoring what I say to you. But if you somehow feel as though you are able to respond the points that I raised in my previous messages then please do so - particularly regarding Ergun and Emir Caner who are the most major of frauds in this new trend.
Thank you for your time
May God guide you.