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What should happen to Ergun Caner? (14th May 2010)

We have been informed that an inquiry will take place at Liberty University regarding Ergun Caner and his lies. You can read about it here.

I was contacted by the associated press regarding this matter, the following are my answers to their questions. 

How did you first come to suspect Ergun Caner wasn't telling the truth about his background?

I first saw his 30 minute testimony taken from the Lee Strobel website; I noticed he was putting on a fake accent in order to deceive people. I have Turkish, Arab and European Muslim friends; none of them say the words the way Ergun says them. Once I heard him attempt to recite the opening segment of the first chapter of the Qur’an I knew he was a fraud. If he was really a Muslim up until the age of 16/18 (depending which of his testimonies you refer to) and Arabic/Turkish was his language before English as he claims, he would never say the words in the manner which he does.

I then watched all the audios/videos of Ergun available and noticed not only discrepancies in the timeline of his testimony, but also in the things he was saying about Islam; he would make the most bizarre errors ever imaginable. If he indeed had an Islamic upbringing like he says he did, then he would not make the kinds of mistakes he has been making. It’s understandable that Ergun merely had a father who was Turkish and thus at a very young age was exposed to minor aspects of an Islamic environment, but for Ergun to say that he himself was a devout Muslim is a complete lie. He was raised mainly by his non-Muslim anti Islamic hippie mother – that’s not very much of an Islamic upbringing if you ask me.

When questioned via his official facebook fan page which is now closed, he would delete our comments which ended up him with him completely shutting down his facebook group with him claiming to have been on the receiving end of “personal attacks”. I can tell you honestly that we did not personally attack him – we merely questioned him and his errors. This was back in September 2009.

This was just a nutshell.

What is your reaction to Liberty University's decision to investigate? Do you feel vindicated?

On the face of it, it is something good. However, having been a recipient of a complaint from the University via YouTube in order to have my channel shut down, I am very suspicious. It does not make sense to me that they will get my videos shut down whilst also claiming to do something about the matter, why would they not want people to see what I have been saying?

I hope they deal with the matter accordingly, but I do have a funny feeling that maybe this is just an act in order to make it seem like the university are doing something about it and at the end of it all they will say that Ergun has not done anything seriously wrong. I hope this is not the case.

I have been trying to inform people of his lies since April 2009, of course it is a relief that people are finally listening, the only sad thing is that I have not even finished the website yet, there are so many more issues I have not made apparent or explained! :) Hence the “website under construction” on the homepage.

What do you hope will be the outcome of the investigation? If the university finds that Caner lied about his biography, should he lose his position as head of the seminary?

If the university deal with this honestly, they will easily conclude that Ergun has been lying about his biography.

If we look at the issues raised by me and many others, we can conclude that the foundation of Ergun’s fame, position and “credibility” are his lies of being a former devout Sunni Muslim who moved to America as a teenager. Where would Ergun be if he was just “E. Michael Butch Caner from Columbus, Ohio” as opposed to “Ergun Mehmet Caner the ex devout Muslim Turkish immigrant”?

He’s even been claiming to have earned a Ph.D. He doesn’t have one, he has a Th.D.

I have two opinions regarding what should be done to Ergun:

First: A fair thing to happen would be for Ergun to be relieved of his services at Liberty University. In addition to his biographical deceptions; having watched and analysed most, if not all of his testimonies and conferences, he has been teaching many lies not only about Islam, but about Hinduism and Buddhism too. There should be no place for con artists in educational institutions, because teachers and lecturers are the role models of our youth.

Second: Ergun’s lies are backfiring, I know of many people who embrace Islam because of the lies of these anti-Islamic hate preachers – the open-minded listeners go to verify the lies that are being said, they then read the Qur’an and find that they were being lied to and instead find a belief system which they acknowledge as being the true religion of God. I think it will continue to be beneficial for the spread of Islam that Ergun remains in power at Liberty University, his falsehood arms his students with incorrect understandings of Islam – so when these students approach Muslims with these falsehoods thinking they are “ready” for us, they will be gracefully corrected and not only will they realise Ergun lied to them, but they will understand Islam correctly.

So whether Ergun stays or not does not harm Muslims or Islam in anyway whatsoever. Nevertheless, the good Christians are interested in the spreading of their faith to the Muslim world; having a person who has lied about his Islamic upbringing as their “expert” in this field would not be in their best interests. We Muslims can spot his lies with ease; he is hindering the spread of the Christian faith, not helping it.

In addition to either of the two opinions mentioned above, I think Ergun should take his own advice as written in Chapter 16 of Unveiling Islam (Page 223):

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 REBUILDING TRUST”

This is exactly what Ergun has done (offend us). He calls Muhammad (pbuh) a towel head, he makes racist comments about our Muslim brethren, and he labels Muhammad (pbuh) as a Prophet of Hell and many other deliberate falsehoods he speaks of our religion. Going by the standards set in his own book, he should admit that he has offended us and apologise publicly to the Muslims. The things that Ergun says are totally inappropriate and offensive to say the least, these things are most certainly not aiding his supposed goal – “winning people to Christ”.  Offending us is not going to make us want to be like him.

Back in July 2009 when Christians did not really comprehend Ergun’s falsehood, he said he was laughing these allegations off, I wonder if this is still the case.


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