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A 2nd Response to Norman Geisler  (7th July 2010)

Norman Geisler has decided to once again, humiliate himself by publishing a silly and illogical case to back up Ergun Caner's lies. Is this guy deliberately trying to ruin his reputation?

His entire statement can be read here.

If for some reason he decides to remove his statement, it has been saved here.

The following is a section by section evaluation of what he has stated without going into too much detail:

Since issuing a recent defense of Ergun Caner against his critics, a number of unjustified attacks have come to my attention.  Many of them are just a rehash of old ones already answered with a futile attempt to prove his intent to embellish and deceive.  Not one of these charges is substantial, involving any major doctrinal or moral issue.  Nonetheless, since left unanswered they tend in the minds of some to imply moral guilt; a brief response to them will be helpful.  It is charged that many times Caner embellished and deceived in that:

Sorry, but not a single issue has been properly answered. All the “answers” have just been digging Ergun bigger holes. And yes, Ergun is guilty of not only embellishing, but fraudulence and lying.

1. Ergun Caner claimed to have been born in Istanbul when he was actually born in Sweden.

Response: All of Caner’s books (see Unveiling Islam, 17) and nearly all of his interviews and sermons state that he was born in Sweden.  Since both Ergun and his father were Turkish citizens, he strongly identified with that ancestry.  Thus, an occasional misspoken word about his birthplace is understandable.  Nonetheless, Ergun publically apologized for this and other mistakes on February 25, 2010 (see “Sixth” below).   

Ergun Caner did not misspeak. He gave an entire story and even went on to say that he had come through Beirut and Cairo, or did he misspeak this also? Whilst telling people he was born in Turkey, he gave in-depth detail to his upbringing IN TURKEY of how he has never fished, how he has never had a lawn to mow, how he spoke Arabic, how he and his brothers were raised in a devout Muslim environment, how he moved to America at the of 14 even though this is a lie. So to say that this was merely a misstatement is a joke and this guy really needs to reassess his approach to this matter; he is making himself and Ergun look stupid with these infantile excuses. Not to mention that Ergun claims to have had an Islamic upbringing in Istanbul!  

2. Caner claimed to have once lived in Ankara (Turkey) and along the Iraqi border which he did not.

Response: Ergun traveled with his father to Turkey several times. Later, he was along the Iraqi border as he said he was.  It should not be deemed strange that Ergun has spent time in Turkey.  After all, he has a Turkish father and was a Turkish citizen who came to America on a Turkish passport.  This allegation against him is a mere assumption without evidence which illustrates the desire to defame Ergun by his critics.

He is right. There is no evidence to 100% prove otherwise. On the other hand, with all evidences collected, one can easily conclude that Ergun was born in Sweden and moved to America whilst being a toddler. There is even evidence showing how his father was a student in Stockholm where he met Ergun’s mother, married her and then moved to the United States for a better lifestyle. I do not find it logical to constantly give Ergun the benefit of the doubt even though he is clearly lying. If the writer wants to justify Ergun’s obvious dishonesty, then let him carry on, he is making himself look foolish.

3. He claimed to have watched Dukes of Hazard and longed to marry Daisy Duke while growing up in Turkey before the show was even on TV in 1979.

Response: This statement was intended as humor and was taken as such by the audience.  Indeed, Ergun has made this joke for more than a decade and never once was it taken as a matter of fact.  He was illustrating the misconceptions between Americans and Muslims.

I have listened to this audio in great detail, and yes it was intended as humour. However, whilst the intent was to make people laugh; he was telling the story as though it was real and that was his upbringing. He was not illustrating the misconceptions between Americans and Muslims, he was illustrating his fabricated upbringing.

4. He claimed in one place to have become a US citizenship in 1978 and in another place he claimed that it was in 1982.

Response: It is well known that Caner became a US citizen in 1978.  The other date is from the period of his call to the ministry and is sometimes lumped together with the earlier date in his testimony.  No intent to deceive existed, nor has it been established by this conflation of dates.  Since it is well known by Bible scholars that this kind of thing is found in the Scriptures (which are without error), then any Christian pressing this charge would, by the same logic, have to impugn the Bible as well (see The Bible Knowledge Commentary, vol. 2, p. 40).

Not bothered when he attained US citizenship.

5. Caner claims to have worn a Muslim "keffiyeh"(head covering) before his conversion to Christianity, yet photos show him with his head uncovered.  This reveals that he was not a devout Muslim and that he intended to deceive when claiming to be one. 

Response: Ergun’s brother Emir vouches for their devout Muslim background.  He has provided a picture (below) of Ergun with his head covered (sitting down).   

Of course, there were other times when he had no covering on which would be natural. 

Other evidence of his being a devout Muslim is available, such as Ergun’s circumcision ceremony and participation in the reading and recitation of the Qur’an.  Further, that Ergun was reared a devout Muslim is proven by his father’s testimony recorded in the divorce proceedings documents which ironically Ergun’s critic placed on the internet.

That picture does not prove anything. That is not a Keffiyeh. In addition to this, the Keffiyeh is not a strictly a Muslim dress as the writer has written. It is actually worn by Arab Christians too. Ergun says he even wore his Islamic dress to school (that's how devout he was), so of all the places to be wearing his "Islamic" dress would surely be during religious events, but none of the pictures demonstrate this.

The divorce papers would obviously show Ergun’s father wanting to raise his children as Muslims, albeit to merely raise them as nominal ones. As the vast amounts of evidence prove, Ergun knows nothing about Islam and has not really had the Islamic upbringing he has claimed to have had. A piece of paper from the court saying that the children are to be raised as Muslims does not necessarily mean that this is what happened; afterall, they were in the custody and mostly raised by their Islam-opposing mother and grandmother.

6. Ergun claims he was saved in 1982 but also claims his brother Emir was converted in 1982, yet elsewhere Emir’s conversion is said to be a year later (1983).

Response: Both men agree that Emir was saved a year after Ergun.  There is some confusion about the exact year.  Given that Ergun was converted in 1982 (as he claims), this would put Emir’s conversion “a year later” (as they both acknowledge).  Again, there is no intention to deceive here but simply a problem of memory about exact dates.

If they both acknowledge that Ergun converted in November of 1982 and that Emir converted a year later, then why do I have an audio clip of Ergun and Emir sitting together live on radio saying that Ergun converted in 1981 and Emir in 1982? And why did Emir say that he converted in November of 1982 whilst Ergun also claims to have converted in November of 1982? That doesn’t look like a year apart if you ask me. Furthermore, why would their book say that Emir converted in November 1982 if that were not the case? Their book Unveiling Islam has a second revised edition which consists of the same information, did they not notice that they had written the wrong date after having revised it? Why so much confusion with the most memorable days of their lives?

7. Ergun claimed his father had many wives and two half-brothers and two half-sisters, but there is no evidence for the half-brothers.

Response: Ergun’s father did have two wives, having divorced the first one.  He had three sons by his first wife (Ergun and his two brothers).  So, Ergun has two full brothers and two step-sisters (from his father’s second wife).  While speaking quickly on one occasion, he mistakenly called his brothers his “half” brothers.  This is hardly evidence of an attempt to embellish or deceive.  After all, he had the right number of each sibling, and he didn’t claim to have ten brothers or sisters!

Well, Ergun shouldn’t be running around telling people that he has many half brothers and half sisters when he only has 2 half sisters who he has only met on one occasion in 1999 then should he? He shouldn't be ranting on about how large his family is because of his fathers alleged polygamy!

It is true, Ergun’s father had two wives, but not simultaneously as he led you all to believe. The exact words of Ergun is "HE HAD MANY WIVES"! Why say "many wives" if there were only two? And even these two were not exactly married to him at the same time!

Ergun constantly spoke of how his father was engaged in polygamy which is obviously a lie in order to make it seem as though his father was a “typical” polygamous “devout” Muslim.

Finally,  a Note about Ergun’s Critic:

First, Ergun is an outspoken converted Muslim which in Muslim lands is a capital crime.  Since this is contrary to law in the United States, his Muslim critics have resorted to character assassination instead.  Unfortunately, other extremists who disagree with some of his theological views, have piled on and are kicking him while he is down. 

This is the writer trying to deceive people into thinking that we Muslims have a hatred towards Ergun for having “converted from Islam”. This is a lie. I am not a Muslim extremist either. This man is merely playing off the pre-conceived notions instilled into the minds of many Christians, i.e. Muslims are bad. He doesn't want you to think for yourself.

Second, a blogger-critic refuses to give his real name, using a pseudonym.  This violates a moral and legal rule that one has a right to face his accusers. [This is also a good way to avoid libel charges.] 

Third, his critics often assume, contrary to American law, that one is guilty until proven innocent.  Really, the burden of proof for these allegations is on the accuser, not on the accused.

Correct. But when we have presented evidence proving his fraudulence, then the tables turn, and subsequently the burden of disproving lies upon the defendant.

Fourth, not one of these accusations is about any serious doctrinal or moral issue.  Ergun has never been found guilty of either of these.

Ok, so it’s okay to lie when delivering the Gospel? Good one Norman.

Fifth, out of a couple thousand sermons, nearly twenty books, and hundreds of media interviews, the relatively few mistakes are trivial by comparison.  It is like looking at a glass 97% full and complaining that it is 3% empty!   I am sure that anyone who wished to do a search on other leaders who have communicated as much in the past decade or so could do a hatchet job on some of them too.

Sixth, Ergun has readily admitted the mistakes he has made and has apologized for them publically.  In February, 2010, he said in part on his Web site that he “never intentionally misled anyone…. For those times where I misspoke, said it wrong, scrambled words, or was just outright confusing, I apologize and will strive to do better.”   Even the public statement made by Liberty University on June 29, 2010 made this clear when it said, “Dr. Caner has cooperated with the Board committee and has apologized for the discrepancies and misstatements that led to this review.”

Ergun deleted this statement. You can read about this statement here and here.

Seventh, by comparison, his critics have not apologized for anything they have done, even though they have wrongly:  a) assumed Ergun’s guilt without proof, b) impugned his intentions, and c) assassinated his character.  This is to say nothing of the pain, misery, and agony they have afflicted on Ergun, his family, and the problems this has caused at Liberty University.  For this they owe Dr. Caner a clear and contrite public apology.

Apologise for what? For catching a filthy liar who deliberately deceived thousands of people? Ergun should take the advice of his own book and apologise to us!:

"We've all heard of these tales wherein a Christian, motivated to share the gospel with a certain people group or culture, negates his or her witness by somehow OFFENDING the culture, heritages of practices of that group. Although the person is well-intentioned, he or she ruins the opportunity by some oversight or misstatement and must begin again BY APOLOGIZING AND REBUIDLING TRUST" 

The writer really needs to stop making it seem as though Ergun is the victim in the situation, he isn't.

Finally, his critics have not followed the instructions of Matthew 18 by going first to their brother and then to his church privately on these allegations.  Rather, they have practiced unbiblical gossip in passing on defaming charges about another brother in Christ to others—indeed, making these charges public.

Christians did contact Ergun personally, he refused to properly cooperate. I myself have sent him a message to which he could have easily responded if he was telling the truth. Before September 2009 we asked him on several occasions on facebook to explain himself but he deleted our comments, blocked us, shut down his public facebook account (the one he ran, not the one you see today) and then told everyone that he was being attacked, which was of course, a lie. This also demonstrates the hypocrisy of Ergun because he claims to be a person who stands up to critics and answers them face to face – something he has not done.

My experience with Ergun, as that of those who know him well, is that he is a devout zealous believer who lives a life in obedience to Christ and who works diligently to extend his kingdom. 

He’s a liar too.

It is a crying shame that other believers have jumped on a band-wagon which is discrediting this sincere, earnest, and faithful follower of Christ.

All he wants is for people to be blind followers and to never question anything anybody says.

conclusion

I like it when people like Norman make these kind of lame responses; because then the people who actually use their logic and reasoning will come to know how stupid Ergun's defence really is. They should keep it up; they are exposing themselves whilst also digging Ergun bigger holes to fill.

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