Skip to comments.Islam Unveiled -Dr. Ergun Caner
Posted on 04/02/2002 5:19:53 AM PST by tutstar
By The 700 Club
Think you know what Islam is all about? What former-Muslim-turned-Christian-theologian Ergun Caner reveals may shock you.
CBN.com - Born into a family of Muslim clerics, Dr. Ergun Caner is now a professor of Christian theology and has written a new book called Unveiling Islam. In this interview, Caner shares the truth about the Islamic faith.
Pat Robertson: It is a pleasure to welcome to The 700 Club Dr. Caner. You have a Muslim background.
Dr. Ergun Caner: My father was the one who would do the call to prayer. In a mosque the only person who has a title is the imam. My father was very active and helped found the mosque in Columbus, Ohio, after we came to America.
Pat Robertson: What happened to you? You were brought up as a good Muslim boy. What happened?
Ergun Caner: I was the equivalent of a preachers kid, if you can imagine, and then I came to the point where I was invited to church by a friend who didn't care how I dressed or what I looked like. I found the Lord on a Thursday and went back to the mosque on Friday assuming they wanted to hear about this grace that I had received from Christ. That was not the case.
Pat Robertson: What did they do to you?
Ergun Caner: They beat me up.
Pat Robertson: When you say beat you up, what does that mean?
Ergun Caner: Exactly what it sounds like.
Pat Robertson: With fists or clubs?
Ergun Caner: With fists.
Pat Robertson: Who did this, the leadership or your fellow employees?
Ergun Caner: The ones who were in the youth jihad.
Pat Robertson: Really? That drove you closer to the Lord, I guess, didn't it?
Ergun Caner: What's wonderful is that day my father disowned me, but both of my brothers accepted Christ. My younger brother teaches at a seminary, I teach at a Christian College, my middle brother is a strong Christian and a member of a church, our mother accepted the Lord and is married to a church planter, and my grandmother accepted the Lord right before she died.
Pat Robertson: The president of the United States has said over and over again that Islam is a religion of peace, but these terrorists are an aberration. Tell us about that.
Ergun Caner: I have heard it over and over, as have you, 'How can they do this? Islam is just a religion of peace.' We are taught jihad from our youth. We are taught jihad in the hadith and the Koran from our youth. As a matter of fact, I am under the sentence of death, as is any Muslim who finds Christ, because the Koran says and the hadith teaches that anyone who changes his Islamic religion must be killed.
Pat Robertson: Just like that?
Ergun Caner: Hadith 957. It is one thing to say that they don't accept jihad. They can say that. They can be the equivalent of liberal Muslims, if they wish. But it is another thing to say that the Koran and Muhammad and the hadith does not teach it, because we are taught to convert or to conquer.
Pat Robertson: Jihad is explained as resist evil.
Ergun Caner: No.
Pat Robertson: You say not true.
Ergun Caner: Muhammad's last words were 'Push the infidels out of the Arabian Peninsula.' Those were the last words that he said. Anyone who does not worship Allah in the last day, it will not be accepted of him, paradise is under the shades of the sword -- these are the teachings of the Koran. The promise of forgiveness for men like Muhammad Atta was that you would be translated to paradise if you died in Allahs cause.
Pat Robertson: Why don't Americans know this? Why doesn't our president know this? He has advisors. Surely someone up there has read the Koran.
Ergun Caner: I wish he had more contact with you, Dr. Robertson.
Pat Robertson: Regrettably he doesn't.
Ergun Caner: Last week while you were in China, he sat at a Ramadan iftaar, the meal that they have after they break the fast at night. This is the Muslim equivalent of a closed communion. Anyone who sits at that table has to pledge allegiance to the Muslim faith. Thus, at that meal, our president professed Allah.
Pat Robertson: Did he know he was doing that?
Ergun Caner: I do not know.
Pat Robertson: Everybody says Allah and God are the same.
Ergun Caner: I consider it the Oprah-ization of our culture. You know the national cathedral and the prayer service at the stadium and they said, 'I pray in the name of Allah and Jehovah and Jesus.' It was offensive to me as a Muslim to say that Allah and Jehovah are the same. It is blasphemous to us as Christians. It is not an issue of semantics. Allah has no son. The Koran teaches that. There is no way an intellectual and honest Muslim would ever say that they are the same.
Pat Robertson: I have heard that Allah was one of the genies that hung out at Mecca. He was sort of like a demonic spirit. Were did he come from?
Ergun Caner: I think the terminology is as you said. But Muhammad had this view of a god who is remote and removed. The most amazing thing to me as a Christian, when I became a believer in Jesus, was the intimacy and the relationship with Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And so a Muslim views Allah as remote and as judge. As a matter of fact, the only intimate term that Muslims know about Allah is as a threat. Allah is as close as your jugular.
Pat Robertson: So, the God of love, there is no such thing?
Ergun Caner: No.
Pat Robertson: How does a Muslim get saved besides blowing up the World Trade Center?
Ergun Caner: Since the events at the World Trade Center, I have spoken at the United Nations and I have preached around, and I get the same question from the media that you do: 'When did you switch?' I didn't switch anything. I got saved. The distinction is that I found grace, where as before I had lived with works. Muslim boys and girls and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said they train us from youth to die for our faith, hoping to shed our own blood so that we can find forgiveness, the release from our scales.
Pat Robertson: What about the concept of kismet? It is fate. Isn't that deeply involved in the Muslim religion?
Ergun Caner: Absolutely. I always say to my students that Islam is hyper Calvinist. Islam believes that if you are a believer in Islam, a believer in Allah, great. If not, it is our job to kill you and send you to hell faster. If you kill us, we go to paradise. Its the only eternal security that a Muslim has.
Pat Robertson: That's it? In other words, if you live your life and you die, you have no knowledge of where you are going to go eternally?
Ergun Caner: Muhammad even said, 'I don't even know where I will go.' He said, 'Only Allah knows.' The founder of the faith in which I was raised had no assurance of his own salvation.
Pat Robertson: What about the satanic verses? Salman Rushdie said that in the Koran Muhammad admitted that certain of it came from Satan. I have not read the Koran and certainly not in Arabic. Is that true?
Ergun Caner: He started to have seizures at the age of 40 and his wife assured him it was from god and not demonic. What Salman Rushdie did was he switched it. He asked, What if the seizures and the visions that Muhammad received were from Satan? That's why it is called the 'Satanic Verses'.
Pat Robertson: I was under the impression that Rushdie found something where Muhammad was questioning if it was from Satan.
Ergun Caner: He did. Muhammad did question that. His wife said it was from god. She is the one who told him, 'God is trying to reveal something new to you.' Muslims who become Christians who speak Arabic, they don't even use the word Allah. When they speak of God, they call him 'Khoda,' a Persian word, because we are so terrified of confusing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with Allah, the false god that we served as Muslims.
Pat Robertson: There is so much misinformation in this nation about Islam. We have been given a massive public relations snow job, and unfortunately at the highest level of our country. These are questions from the Internet:
Internet Question: What do you think is the best way to encounter a Muslim and by God's help and grace lead him or her to Christ?
Ergun Caner: For me, the most liberating thing was hearing about grace, not the fear of the scales. You have to earn a hearing with a Muslim. But hearing that Jesus Christ not only died for me but that He did for me what I couldn't do for myself and promised to give me peace was huge.
Internet Question: Does the Koran contradict itself in the area of violence to other human beings?
Ergun Caner: It doesn't contradict itself. Islam at its core is a religion of warfare. Muhammad was a warrior. We are taught to conquer. We are taught to fight. If anyone says in the media that Islam is a religion of peace, they either don't know their faith, dont know the Koran, or they are lying.
Pat Robertson: Strong words, ladies and gentlemen. You heard it here.
DALLAS (BP)--Ergun Caner spent the first half of his life devoted to Islam. Raised as the son of Acar Mehmet Caner, he practiced the Kalima, Islam's creed; the Salat, praying to Mecca five times a day; the Zakat, contributing a specified portion of his income to the faith; the Sawn, fasting during Ramadan; and awaited the opportunity to participate in the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca.
Seventeen years later, Muslims would call him a "kafir" of the worst type, he told an overflow crowd at First Baptist Church in Dallas, using the term for an infidel declared to be as good as dead. Several hundred Kurdish Muslims were among those invited to hear Caner describe how his life changed in 1982 when he converted to Christianity.
Citing the Koran's words in Hadith in 9:57, Caner said, "Mohammed says anyone who changes his Islamic religion, 'Kill him.' But I also know, my Kurdish friends, that you have given me this hour the greatest gift that I have ever had in my ministry -- your presence here."
Caner told the Christians in the audience, "For 17 years of my life, I assumed you hated me." Similarly, Muslims living in America have similar expectations, he said, in light of the recent attacks justified by members of the Islamic Jihad. "There are those that expect retribution. They expect revenge. But, believers in Jesus Christ, do you know what they do not expect?" Caner asked. "They do not expect you to love them in spite of themselves. And why would you do so? Because that's exactly how he [Jesus] loved you."
Such an outward expression of love won Caner over when he accepted a friend's invitation to Steltzer Road Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio. "I didn't walk in there and see them spit upon me. They didn't smack me down or call me a sand nigger. Instead they loved me. And when I asked them why they loved me, they said it was because Christ first loved us."
Refusing to back away from a gospel message in the presence of diverse religious groups in his Sept. 16 message, Caner said, "The one thing good Muslims and good Christians agree upon is that we are confounded by the media that keeps insisting that we all offer up prayers to the same God." He added, "I did not switch religions nor did I trade teams. I was saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ and thus I am born again. What has happened to me was done to me, not through anything I have done. And it is that gospel, that hope in that name that I preach tonight."
All of the television network affiliates sent camera crews to the church service in downtown Dallas. A local Muslim prince offered words of condolence to Americans during the service. Caner, who serves as assistant professor of theology and church history at Criswell College, has spoken in mosques and debated Muslim scholars.
He turned to Book of Habakkuk to describe another time when people asked, "Where is God in all of this?" While stating that there is no sin in asking such a question, Caner said the answer can only come by asking the right person. "Even in the midst of this cacophony of questions, the plethora of issues that he [Habakkuk] asks, with every worry and every pain, he says, 'The Lord is still in his temple. Let all the earth be silent before him.'"
Habakkuk's passionate prayer stands in contrast with the "pundits pontificating on television in dry tones as if this is some sort of political or cultural issue," Caner said of the passage. "Habakuk takes his question directly to a God who is listening. Don't think for a moment that we have all the answers. We don't," Caner insisted. "But I know the One who does. And be he silent or revelatory, I'm just going to have to trust him on this. And so we believe in victory, but we only trust in God."
Caner empathized with the rage that Americans feel over the acts of terrorism. "We ask the question, 'How could a religion do this?'" And yet, Christianity has in its history a time when warriors were promised that Jesus would forgive all their sins if they died on the battlefield during the Crusades. "While we may have forgotten the Crusades, they have not," Caner said of the Muslims. "We must admit that we, on our side, have had the same testimony of our own type of Christian jihad."
Such accounts from the history of religion reveal the distinction between "man seeking God" through a religious activity and "God seeking man" as expressed in Christianity, Caner explained. "Religion is trying to do things to earn God's favor. But Christianity says there is nothing you can do to make God love you any more."
While practicing the pillars of Islam, Caner said he began to realize that the terror he felt was "the terror of religion" as he sought to earn God's favor. "And before you think that's only a Muslim thing, oh, no, no," he reminded. "There are those of us in this room who think, 'God, if I just lose weight, if I read my Bible a little more, if I pray a little bit more, if I'm a nicer person,'" such works can earn salvation.
"The wages of sin is death and the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord," Caner said, quoting Romans 6:23. "There are no works that could save me. There is nothing to equal out those scales. And while I may have followed the five pillars and said my rak'ahs and followed my imam, I was desperate."
Caner said he tired of a fear that Allah would not accept him. "When I heard about mercy and grace, I felt a release of love and liberation that I cannot explain." In subsequent years, his brother, Emir, accepted Christ and now teaches Anabaptist history at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in North Carolina. Another brother, Erdum, also professed Christ and now lives in Indianapolis.
"In 1991, my mother got saved and I got to baptize my mamma in the water," he said to an applauding crowd. "But it gets better. In 1995, at almost the age of 100, my grandmother, speaking no English, with a Bible that Emir duplicated and enlarged, came forward on a walker and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior."
From the third chapter of Habakkuk, Caner found hope in God's promise of eternity. "Christianity is not just getting your soul into heaven, but getting heaven into you to become salt and light to a world that is putrifying and dark." He asked, "Why do you think God has left you on this earth? Why do you think that you have breath and nigh unto ten thousand do not?"
And from Habakkuk 3:18-19, Caner appealed to Christians to "rejoice in the God of my salvation." He urged them to "do war on the floor" by expressing their desperation for God. "We're wanting revival, but there has never been a revival on this earth that did not begin with repentance."
To the Muslim visitors, Caner reminded, "Jesus will do for you what you cannot do for yourself and liberate you from the bondage of works and give you grace and salvation the moment you repent and turn to him."
While Caner's first copy of the Koran was given to him at age 13, his second copy was presented to him by his father in 1989 who urged in an inscription to "read each and every word for you and for me." As a muazzein in the local mosque, Caner's father took a role of helper and aid, comparable to a servant deacon in the practice of Christianity.
"The day that I surrendered to the gospel ministry was the last time that I saw my father until three days before his death. My father was a good Muslim, but according to his testimony, he went to a devil's hell." Acknowledging the horror of such a statement, Caner added, "Good Baptists also go to hell. God doesn't care whether you're a good Baptist, Methodist, Catholic or anything else. God cares what you did with his Son, Jesus Christ."
Adding that his father died in the shadow of three churches, Caner said, "Not a one of them ever came to his door in the 15 years that he lived there. Who lives in the shadow of this church and has not heard the precious gospel of Christ?" Caner asked. "Who lives next door to you on their way to a devil's hell and you haven't told them?"
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: ERGUN CANER.
They also allow beating of their wives.
If you want on or off me Israel/MidEast ping list please let me know.............
Mohammed headed a robber band. His religion is a justification for doing what the head of a robber band does, stealing, murder, rape, sexual with 9 year old girls (no I'm not making that up).
Jews wouldn't recognize Mohammed as one of their prophets, so he murdered hundreds of them. Islam spread as a robber band grew and attacked their neighbors as sources of loot, slaves and sex.
Once it reached its limit, ie neighbors strong enough to stop them, Islam has stagnated. They're primarily parasitical and require a healthy body to live on. Where would Moslem North Africa and the Middle East be without oil revenues? They're living off stuff coming out of the ground and building nothing with the "free money". 4 million Israelis produce more than 100 million Arabs. At some point, we need to cut off their oil money, either take their oil or cut them off. They cannot handle the responsibility such great wealth and power oil brings to them. They can't handle reality.
Why I Am Not a Muslim
by Ibn Warraq
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Midwest Book Review
This is the first book written by a former Muslim to critically consider the major principles of Islam. From the religion's origins and the nature of Mohammed's message and laws to Islamic views of women, politics and society, this provides a strong critical view of the Koran and its associated societies.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
Good start, but not flawless, May 3, 1998
Reviewer: M. N. Islam (email@example.com) from Baltimore, MD
I have, like Warraq, undertaken the odyssey past the "sea of faith"- from being a believing and religious Muslim to giving up Islam in my early adulthood. People like us can resonate the most with Warraq's thoughts. It's the first book I have seen, that goes beyond the shallow criticism of Islam that one sees in the media every day. It is also good to see that Islam is not presented as the evil threat to the Christian world in an inevitable clash of civilization. All superstition stands indicted as something that opposes and stunts reason.
The author is quite candid about his distaste for Islam. That's understandable. But on occasion, he tries to present Islam in the worst possible way. For example, he chooses the most damning translations of the Qur'an. Being a little generous wouldn't have hurt. There's still plenty that can be and should be critiqued.
21 of 35 people found the following review helpful:
Read good non-Muslim scholarship, not this nonsense, December 11, 1999
Reviewer: Kamran Pasha (see more about me) from New York
If you are interested in intelligent and objective scholarship on Islam written by non-Muslims, may I suggest excellent works by famous scholars such as Montgomery Watt, Karen Armstrong, and Annemarie Schimmel, all available on Amazon. John Esposito's book "Islam: The Straight Path" is an execellent example of an objective study of Islam by a non-Muslim. Ibn-Warraq recycles poor scholarship of turn-of-the century orientalists that has long been rejected by Western academics. One does not need to believe in a religion to treat its historical origins and current situation honestly. If you passionately believe that Muhammad was not a true Prophet of God, that's certainly your perogative. But at least be honest about the religion from a historical perspective. Negative generalizations of any community, particularly one that has 1 billion followers and continues to win converts faster than any other religion, is dishonest and silly. If your beliefs are true, whether you are a Christian, Muslim, atheist or whatever, they should be able to withstand objective scholarship about Islam that is not motivated by either a desire to proselytize or debunk. Ibn Warraq is motivated by hatred for Islam. Try reading some Western scholars who study Islam just for the sake of understanding the faith and its historical significance. If your faith (whether Muslim or non-Muslim) is strong, it will survive a fair rendering of history. Unfortunately, this book, is not a scholarly rendering of history, but a propaganda sheet.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Truth is shoking to a Billion, March 15, 2002
Reviewer: (see more about me) from Astoria, NY United States
The Author in his book is telling the truth through documented texts of History as well as the views of great thinkers both Arabs and Western. This truth comes as a shok to millions of muslim who never learn any thing about their religion except that from their fanatic shekhs. Interesting to know that the auther has put a whole chapter in his book about the great Arab Philosopher and Poet El-Mua'ary who lived more than a 1000 years ago and wrote elegant poetry and prose critical and mocking of Islam and Mohamed, yet he was not excuted, for the political lif of the eastern medeterrainian was in turmoil and the rulers didn't have time to try him
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
The Truth about Islam, March 12, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Overland Park, KS United States
Ibn Warraq has written a masterful work that exposes Islam for what it is. I have found that in discussing Islam with Muslims most of them have a fairy tale belief in Mohammed and his message that has nothing to do with what the religion and its history is all about.
Not content to accept the author's word, I checked his sources and studied the Koran, itself. What I found in the actual Koran is very disturbing. The vengeful nature and violence of this "so called" faith is truly frightening and puts the events of 9/11 into perspective.
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by Ergun Mehmet Caner, Emir Fethi Caner
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Islam is often obscured by a veil of unfamiliar beliefs, customs, and practices. We watch intriguing images of Islamic nations on our televisions. We hear words like Muslim and Jihad defined in conflicting terms.
What is Islam, truly, when you peek behind the veil? Who can explain this culture with clarity and precision?
Raised as Sunni Muslims by a leader in the Muslim faith, brothers Ergun and Emir Caner have lived the Muslim life. Now Christians and highly respected theology professors,... read more
He certainly should be. It would probably be feasible to have him as a guest speaker at local churches also.
He was on tv in the immediate days after 9/11. O'Reilly Factor would probably be a good possibility, I think I'll email him.
Dr. Caner said in his most recent visit to our church, that when he flies guess who they choose to search? Him.
I wish you all could hear him.
Introducing the "REASON" Why Islam is so violent is met with contempt and laughter..Mankind in general refuses to believe in "Principalities and Powers".
The Spirit that rules over the Mid-east is known as the "Prince of Persia"..we find this confirmed via the Book of Daniel.
Lesser regional spirits..some having names which go back thousands of years,recorded for us...Ba-al whose seat of power is in Lebanon..Dagon,the God of the Philistines,Molech,Chemosh..etc.
Where ever these spirits reign..their presesnce is manifest in the people serving them,the result.."Human sacrifice"[Martyrdom]..violence..hate rhetoric..extortion..racism.
As mentioned..Ba-al..the God Jezebell brought to Israel from Lebanon via marriage to the Jewish king Ahab.
Lebanon...the litteral seat of "Terrorism"..One see's 200,000 psychopaths dressed in their death outfits..Hizbullah foams at the mouth like some "Rabid Animal".
Fom Gaza to Pakistan..this religion is led by fallen spirits ..fallen spirits at war with Heaven.
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