Saturday, April 26, 2014 and National Conference On Christian Apologetics - October 2013

National Conference On Christian Apologetics had sessions that were apparently recorded on October 11, 2013, in Charlotte NC (link to page).  Ergun Caner had two sessions respectively titled "Jihad Me At Hello," and "The Allah-leuia Movement."

Apolo13-88 - Ergun Caner - Jihad Me At Hello

2:40 "I will tell the pastors, 'I can do one of two things: I can speak to Christians about Islam, or I can speak to Muslims about Christ, but I can't do both at the same time.' It becomes too combustible."

I am not aware of any recorded cases of Caner speaking to Muslims about Christ.  But why would it be combustible to do both things at once?  That's the very essence of what apologists do in a debate - speak to both groups at the same time.

6:15 "I had not seen my father in 17 years."

That suggests he was disowned by his father in 1982 (which is 1999 - 17).  This is the same information found on April 26, 2014, on his website (link):
I did not see our father for seventeen years after my conversion. In 1999, I got word that my father was dying, and the three brothers decided that we would try and see him. We all flew in, and after some time, I got to see him. He died three days later. He died a devout Muslim.
As noted above, that would imply a conversion in 1982 when Caner was 15 (or 16, if it was the end of the year in 1982).

This is a suitable place to address the next item on that same web page:
Most former Muslims live in fear for their lives because of threats (see the first question above). Thus, those who would ever dare speak or write publicly usually take pseudonyms. Emir and I chose not to use fake names. We are proud of who we are as former Muslims and now Christians. Every book we have written has been under our real names.
Actually, though, Ergun wrote under the name "Ergun Mehmet Caner" instead of his real name of "Ergun Michael Caner."

7:30 "In August of 1999, I was in Aurora, CO, the last church I pastored, before I started teaching full time. I was finishing up my PhD and that church, Central Baptist Church, allowed me to be gone a good portion of the time to-for my study."

Technically, that would be a D. Theol., not a PhD, although as Caner's website (same one as above) says:
From: University of South Africa
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Year: 2001
Thesis: Bellum Justum vs. Bellum Sacrum. I examined the apolgetics of the “Holy War” and “Just War positions in Church History, and the ethical considerations.
NOTES: I get asked often about UNISA (the abbreviation for University of South Africa), because it is a British-system University. The Th.D. at UNISA is the equivalent to the Ph.D., according to the World Education Service (WES). The requirements are the same. Many people attend this school by distance, but I chose to travel there for a series of intensives. Frankly, I loved my experience at UNISA. It was inexpensive, and my promoter (like a mentor) was a great man. I lived in a region called Brooklyn, and truly loved their culture. The university is massive, and the library is amazing. The Pauw Building houses all the Theology faculty, for both the Ph.D. and the Th.D. programs. The British system of post-graduate work is focused on the dissertation, and is called a “thesis.”  Quite a few professors in the United States have been graduated from UNISA, and around the world.
Notice that Caner claims he "chose to travel there for a series of intensives."  I'm not sure what exactly he means by that.  I should note that 2001 is a couple years after 1999.  There is something odd about that 2001 date, though - beyond the claim about finishing up in 1999.  You may recall that some years ago the first page of Dr. Caner's thesis was posted (link to post):

It may be hard to see from the above, but the date on that thesis was 2003.  At the time, I thought perhaps the thesis had been published later as a book, as is sometimes done.  However, upon further research, it turns out that the University of South Africa considers him a 2003 graduate (link).  The university's entry for him states:
DrErgun MichaelCaner
DTH (Systematic Theology)
That makes the "finishing up" in 1999 claim even more odd - as well as raising a question mark as to why Caner would have the 2001 date on his website.

7:55 "My grandmother got saved at the age of 92."

I have no idea when she actually got saved.  Caner has used a number of different ages.

8:50 "When we walk in, the ulima, the scholars, are standing around my father's bed."

Really?  What ulima were in Ohio in 1999?  This is reminiscent of Caner's previous even more grandiose claims about his father's death (link), which included "surrounded by muezzins and mullahs and caliphats, and imams".

42:45 "I'm not Persian, I'm not Arab, I'm a Turk, I'm Anatolian."

He makes a similar claim on his website:
As far as we can tell, those who question our conversion do so for the following reasons:
2. Because we are Turks, and Turks are Anatolian, not Arab or Persian. In history, these three major groups from our region of the world have not gotten along. We were raised speaking Turkish. 
a) Really?  Raised speaking Turkish?  Why couldn't Caner speak Turkish to the Turkish newspaper that interviewed him? (link to evidence)
b) Maybe the real reason people question it is because of the glaring mistakes about Islamic beliefs and the false statements about your immigration and conversion/pre-conversion experiences? Maybe those "factual statements that are self-contradictory" are the reason people question it.

Apolo13-05 - Ergun Caner - The Allah-leuia Movement

12:50 "He's from Possum Kill, NC, outside of Smithfield."

I've looked at a map of North Carolina, and specifically in the area all around Smithfield.  No place called "Possum Kill" was found.

19:25 "That's me in maşallah - I'm not Persian and I'm not Arab, I'm Turk. This is our rite of passage."

The image he's apparently pointing to may have been from a rite of passage, but the term "maşallah / masha'Allah (Mā šāʾ Allāh)" literally means "Allah has willed it" and idiomatically refers to something good happening.

37:10 "In Surah 61, Jesus says 'I must go so that I will send a Parakletos, that's Mohammed, Ma-ha-mood.' He was prophesying the coming of Mohamed."

That's not a particularly accurate paraphrase.  Instead, Caner is conflating the text of Surah 61 and the way that some Muslim apologists attempt to draw a connection to John's gospel.

Surah 61:6 says (in the Sahih International translation):
And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, "O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad." But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, "This is obvious magic."
In the Yusuf Ali translation:
And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: "O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving Glad Tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad." But when he came to them with Clear Signs, they said, "this is evident sorcery!"
A more complete discussion can be found here (link).


Friday, April 25, 2014

Ergun Caner - Janet Parshall's "Talking it Over" - January 10, 2009

Moody Audio has posted audio from Janet Parshall's "Talking It Over" show, featuring Ergun Caner as the guest (link to page for audio).  It apparently aired and/or was recorded on Saturday, January 10, 2009.  All times are approximate

5:10 “I had a gentleman in a debate say that I must have had a mercy bypass.”

I wonder what debate that was?

11:05 “It's like someone quoting Scripture to me in a debate - and they'll say, 'well the Bible says' - you know - I had a debate with homosexuals just very recently, and he said 'the Bible says, judge not that ye shall not be judged,' and I go 'that's a wonderful quote, where is that," and he said 'you should know! you should know!' I said, 'I do know, I'm asking you,' and he gave his little talk but he never gave the answer. And I said, 'I'll tell you what, I won't quote from your authors, if you don't quote from mine'.”

Which debate was this?

22:30 EC: "I said that - you know -  'I've been called every name in the book, towel-head, camel-jockey, sand-monkey, etc. but I don't care'" JP: " and by the way, Ergun, at that point you need to tell people that's because at one time you were Muslim." EC: "Oh, yeah, and ethnically I'm Turkish, 100%, raised as Muslim, came to America as an immigrant."

He was raised more after coming to America than before, and his mother is Swedish as is his grandmother, who only spoke Swedish.

34:20 “I mean I came out of Islam. I was raised in it until I was 18.”

By 18, he was apparently in Bible college.

35:00 “You know, I have a nickname. My full name, Ergun Mehmet Caner, is tough on a southern tongue - so my nickname is Butch.”

No, his full name is Ergun Michael Caner.

Moody Audio also has another recording allegedly of Ergun Caner (link to page for audio). Unfortunately, that audio is actually Walid Shoebat.

- TurretinFan

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ergun Caner - Shades Mountain Independent Church - Missions Conference 2010

"See the Fields," is the title of a message that Dr. Ergun Caner apparently preached at Shades Mountain Independent Church (SMIC) at the Missions Conference 2010, on February 21, 2010 (link to page - you may need to scroll almost to the bottom). All times below are approximate:

1:30 "He was in my dorm, eight months after I got saved, in college!"

That does seem to suggest he was saved during his senior year in high school. That does not align with some of his other claims about when he got saved.

2:15 "I am a Turk. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, but Turk."

It is nice to hear him acknowledging his real birthplace.

3:35 "Her father is from Possum Kill, NC."

It would be nice if there was any evidence that this was a real place.

28:00 "Turkish kid, active, devout Muslim, living in Gahanna, Ohio. I don't eat with them, I don't talk with them. The Koran teaches, Surah 5, do not take friends from among the Jews and the Christians, you bring their judgment upon you. I have no friends who are Jews or Christians. One guy, Jerry Tackett, who doesn't stop for over three years. He's going at me with the gospel. I eat differently, I speak differently, I pray differently, I'm talkin to a different god, yet here's this guy who won't quit."

I don't think he didn't eat with them or talk with them. He did sports, singing, and theater throughout high school (according to his yearbook).

29:00 "Four days later, when I become a believer and I lose my family, and I lose everything, one church takes me in."

Why would his custodial, hippy-universalist mother care? His non-custodial father may have disowned him, but "lose my family" and "lose everything" looks unsupportable in the face of the facts that we can document.

29:45 "A year later, this boy who had converted from jihad to Christ finds out that both my brothers got saved. All three of us from our father and our mother, our father had other children and another wife, but from our mom, Ergun, Erdem, Emir, all three born again, all three ministers, all three married to amazing, godly, Christian hot wives, and it all goes back to one person."

a) This suggests that Caner was off to school when his brothers were converted.
b) Where is any evidence that Caner was involved in any serious jihad.

30:50 "My grandmother got saved at 93!"

Elsewhere it has been other ages, always over 90, if I'm not mistaken.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ergun Caner - United States Marines New River, NC - September 15, 2005

On September 15, 2005, Ergun Caner delivered two messages that were recorded and subsequently released by the U.S. Marine Corps in response to a Freedom of Information Act request (see the videos here - and more background here).  The two videos are identified as "Base Theater" and "Officer's Club." All times are approximate in the following summary:

Base Theater

2:05 "Just as I only understood American culture by what I'd seen on television, so do too do most Iraqis who only get their television from controlled sources."

He came from Sweden when he was a toddler - so this is hardly surprising.

2:30 "I spend half my time debating in formats. Debating Muslim ulima - those are scholars - or debating imams, the pastors - I spend most of my time cutting through cliches."

Where is the evidence of that half of his life?

3:10 "My father had more than one wife at a time. As you know, the Koran says in Surah 4 you're allowed up to four wives. My father had three."

No, his father didn't have more than one wife at a time.

4:05 "Written on the wall of the mosque in Kabul: [gibberish that is apparently supposed to be Arabic] - do not teach the women to read and write."

It's a shame he has to resort to pretending to speak other languages.

4:15 "Democracy is like cr*p out of a bull, you cannot put it back in. Once you have allowed it free, it's there."

I realize that people use profane language and crude analogies, but it is disappointing to see it from a person who often fills pulpits.

5:55 "'Umm, excuse me, why are you always picking on Canada?' Cuz our Salvation Army could kick your *ss if you wanted us to."

Same comment as above about crude language.

6:15 "Please don't release this to Dr. Falwell, I will so get hammered over this."

This seems to acknowledge that the recording was not Caner's to control.  It also seems to reflect Caner's recognition that he was not acting appropriately.

7:00 "I want you to look very carefully at my face, not because it's worth looking at, but this is the face of the declared enemy. I wasn't just a Muslim.  My training in madrassa was three generations deep as a jihadeen. My father was a jihadeen, my grandfather was a mujihadeen. Welcome to my world."

The idea that Caner or his father (or his grandfather) was a jihadist is not supported by any evidence we've seen.

7:20 "Coming to America I did not wear jeans, pants and I wore keffiyah - I wore my robes."

Considering he was a toddler when he came ...

7:30 "We came in full gear."

That's not what the photographs of his father show.  They always show him wearing normal Western clothes.

8:15 "... pants so tight you can see the seams split the mangina. Did you really think I was going to talk like a professor?"

This question actually elicited a loud "yes" from one leader in the crowd, while most of the crowd was audibly grossed out by the crude speech.

9:00 "My father was an architect, so we came here to build mosques as missionaries to you. Again, welcome to the face of the enemy."

There does not seem to be any evidence supporting this claim that his father was an architect or that he came to America to build mosques or as "missionaries" to non-Muslims.

9:55 "My training in my madrassa in Istanbul, my training in my madrassa in Cairo, before we came to America, I was taught that you hated me."

He came from Sweden to the US as a toddler.

11:15 "Five pillars of Islam: abinadab, salat, zakat, swan, and haj."

The first pillar is the shahada - he often says "abinadab," but where he got that - who knows!

36:50 "Mohammed was a Qureshi tribe, I was a Kurdush tribe."

I would love to see any documentation showing that the Caner family were Kurds rather than Turks, as Caner usually claims.

41:40 "I have heard them, Muslims who were debating me in St. Louis, who said 'Sadat - he was a traitor, he shook hands with the unclean,' meaning he shook hands with a Jew."

I would love to see any documentation of this supposed debate in St. Louis.

43:00 "The Quran supposedly came to Mohammed on his 40th birthday."

No, he was supposedly 40 years old, but it was not supposedly on his birthday.

43:30 "But there is also a collection, called the Hadith. Now this is a term you will hear in Iraq often, because, there are four different collections of the Hadith, Al Bukhari's Hadith, the Hadith are not the sayings of Allah, they are the words and sayings and protocols of Mohammed."

It's interesting that he seems to know that there is more than one collection, and that Al Bukhari's is one, but there are not only four.  There are, however, six major Sunni collections, which are collectively referred to as the Kutub al-Sittah:

  1. Sahih Bukhari, 
  2. Sahih Muslim, 
  3. Sunan al-Sughra,
  4. Sunan Abu Dawood, 
  5. Jami al-Tirmidhi 
  6. Sunan ibn Majah,

There are also other collections, particularly those of other sects of Islam.

45:00 "Hadith, volume 9, number 57"

Even after tipping his hat to the fact that there are multiple collections of hadith, Caner goes back to citing hadith without identifying the collection.

49:45 "Where you stand in the square and you declare yourself, I am now to be a jihadeen."

I mostly provide this to show that when Caner says "jihadeen" he does mean jihadi.

50:10 "When I came to America, in 1978, I ran into the first group I had ever - I had never seen a Nation of Islam person."

He came in the late 60's as a toddler.  I'm sure there weren't any Nation of Islam people in Sweden at that time in any significant numbers.

51:20 "There is two nations of Islam.  As I said, I didn't run into them until '78 when we came here to America. But there are two nations of Islam."

As noted above, he came in the late 60's.

56:00 "Whenever - in a debate with a Muslim - most recently Texas Tech University home of Bobby Knight - and in this genre in Lubbock, TX, the imam that I was debating, he said 'Islam is a religion of peace,' and I said, 'Wonderful - look into that camera' because it was being taped 'look into that camera declare that the jihad was not of Allah, call Muslims to lay down their arms.' And they cannot."

If it was being taped, then the tape hopefully exists. Where is it?

1:00:05 "We got stopped at the border, because my father had listed my mother as property. It's true. And the guy said, 'Your wife's not property,' and he said, 'of course she is.' And then he brought his 'sisters' - it's his other wives, it's how we bring our other wives into America, we call them our 'sister.' "

Caner's dad was not a polygamist.

1:02:10 "One of our celebrations is called Eid al-Fitr, it's at the end of Ramadan. It is the commemoration of Abrahim - Abraham - going to the top of Mt. Moriah to sacrifice his son."

No.  The Eid that celebrates the near sacrifice of Abraham's son is Eid al-Adha, which is on the 10th day of the 12th month, as opposed to the 1st day of the 10th month (the date of the Eid al-Fitr).

1:07:00 "I taught - and our debate, which was subsequent to that - followed that - I taught that Michael Moore was an exponent of Hatriotism.  Hatriotism: mock America, get applause. But the great thing is, as we've discovered, is that that doesn't represent that vast majority of Americans, it may represent some. But it doesn't represent the vast majority of Americans. Neither does it represent the vast majority of Muslims. And so my context in our debate, was that I said, 'Dude, you don't even speak for my people. Oh, you want us out of here, we're the occupying force. Listen, you fat pig! Do you understand that you have every right to  make whatever movie you want. I love fantasy, but I don't look for hobbits underground. But your documentary is being purported to be real when it is much more fantasy than it is truth. 'Well, disprove it!' And I pointed out six things - six things that he taught that were wrong. One, he had a Muslim who was screaming in Arabic and had it - made it look like they were screaming against America, when in fact he was screaming against the Sunni. He was a Shia protesting the Sunni. Then he had another woman, who was weeping and crying and saying, 'look we're exporting America, yada yada yada' and in fact, she was a Christian woman in Iraq whose husband had been killed by the Muslims. And I said, 'Now, are you going to change those things in your movie?' 'Argh-argh-argh-argh' 'You fat pig.' You see, you understand, I like to argue. I get paid to debate. It doesn't bother me. What bothers me is when people swallow what he says hook, line, and sinker."

Caner wrote an article called "Hatriotism" (link to article) against Michael Moore.  But debate him?  Where's the evidence of that? We have records of Caner being interviewed about the article - where is the record of this supposed debate? (link to interview)

Officer's Club

7:10 "I have two half-sisters who are learning how to read for the first time in their lives"

Considering his dad died in 1999 and this was already 2005, I really doubt that Caner's half-sisters were just learning how to read.

8:00 "My full name is Ergun Michael Mehmet Giovanni Caner, Turkish, Sunni, mujihadeen, my father was mujihadeen, my grandfather was mujihadeen, Kurdish - Eastern Turk"

No, his full name is Ergun Michael Caner.  He was not a "holy warrior" and there is no evidence his father or grandfather was, either.  Also, it's very doubtful his family was Kurdish rather than Turkish, as he usually claimed.

8:30 "I get to speak in churches most of my life, or in debates. I debate Muslims and B'hai and Buddhists and Hindi and all types on university campuses. So like I said, I spend most of my time getting yelled at."

Speaking in churches, yes - but where are the records of these debates?

9:25 "I knew nothing about America until I came here when I was 14 years old. Everything I knew about American culture, I learned through American television. Whatever they allowed into the Turkish region, so that they could broadcast for free. And so for me America was anything I saw on television that came from American television that was allowed through by the censors."

He came when he was 4 or less, not 14.  And he was born in Sweden, so Turkish TV doesn't enter into it.

09:50 "Didn't understand what they were saying, there was the captions beneath."

Notice how he implies he can read Turkish.

10:05 "I watched Dukes of Hazzard. I wanted to marry Daisy Duke."

The Dukes of Hazzard didn't air until 1979.

11:05 "They were getting stomped like a preacher at a topless bar."

More of this uncouth speech.

11:20 "The last television show that I watched, I'm embarrassed to tell you. But for the sake of authenticity, I should tell you. I watched, every two weeks, for four hours: Georgia Championship Wrestling."

Notice the allegation of "authenticity"!  Amazing.

15:00 "Her father is from Possum Kill, NC."

We can't find any record of such a place.

16:45 "My little half-breed child who ignores me in two languages."

Unless he means "English" and "Swedish," then this seems hard to believe.

20:35 "My madrassa in Istanbul, Turkey, my madrassa in Cairo, Egypt, there's no question what the doctrine of jihad was."

What madrassa did he ever go to in those countries?  He grew up in the U.S.

20:55 "I was sworn to jihad, at the age of 9. Until I was 18 years old and I became a believer in Jesus Christ. I was sworn to jihad."

They swore him to jihad in Columbus, Ohio?  If so, the government really should be investigating that group.

21:50 "You can see now that when I get into debates, I'm probably not their favorite candidate to debate. Some cracker, telling them that everything's going to be ok, maybe. But if you know the language, and you understand why they say what they say, and you understand the doctrines behind it ..."

Caner himself doesn't know the language and doesn't seem to have a very deep understanding of the doctrines.

23:40 "I was Sunni. What's interesting is that my parents were a mixed marriage, in that we were Kurdish as well, and my mother had Suffi."

His mother was Swedish with a Swedish Lutheran mother.  She later became something of a hippy, apparently, but that's not the same as Suffi.

28:05 "I would sit in the mosque, in the masjid, and I still go to the mosque, because I will go in - I will not take the positions of prayer but I will go and listen to the masjid on jumiyata, I will hear the prayer, I will go hear the sermon. And it is just replete - it is replete with these teachings of [gibberish that is apparently supposed to sound like Arabic] - the Christian Crusaders are coming."

Notice how Caner is pretending to know and speak Arabic.

30:20 "I couldn't imagine when I went to my first church, I had never walked into a church before, and I'm 18 years old, I could not imagine that they were nice to me. And you've gotta picture me now, I'm walking into the church in full gear, in full keffiyah."

You'll have to imagine it, because he was apparently already off to Bible college when he turned 18.

40:05 "But you always see video of us now, saying, reading into the camera 'I am jihadeen,' or 'I am mujihadeen,' if you've made haj."

You have to love this apparent claim that the "mu" means that the person has gone on haj.

42:05 "I tell you these things because most of you have been bored to death with people lecturing about the five pillars of Islam, the six foundations of Islam, abinadab, salat, zakat, swan, haj, the halal and haram the dietary restrictions ..."

As noted above, "abinadab" is not one of the pillars - the one he missed is the shahada.

46:30 "I love asking that question to the Muslims when I debate them."

And when, exactly does he debate them?

49:45 "I often say, 'Freedom is cr*p out of a goose, because you can't put it back.'"

Note my comment above about his crude language.

53:30 "But I did work at 7-11. I worked at a 7-11. I was Apu. Yeah."

Elsewhere he says he did not.

54:15 "This guy comes up and he's trying to hook me up, trying to be my friend, trying to sell me something. and I said, (some gibberish twice) I'm not interested, I'm not interested."

Notice him again trying to suggest he speaks some middle-east language.

54:30 "The really tight, tight, tight - if there wasn't a female here, I would tell you how tight - tight tight jeans I could tell if he was Jewish, tight jeans. And I said, (gibberish) This is violation! This is violation! He said (more gibberish ending in America) Come on, I can be American!"

Note the crude selection of illustrations. Ironically, Muslims are also circumcised.  And note the fake foreign language.

1:13:00 (Similar Michael Moore story to the one provided at the Base Theater at 1:07:00, although without any explicit debate claims.)

1:14:40 "'Raise your right hand, who's the president right now?' 'Ronald Reagan,' 'You're an American citizen.'"

Reagan became president January 20, 1981.  I note this only because some people have claimed that Ergun gained U.S. citizenship in 1978.

UPDATE: Someone made a compilation of clips for many of the items quoted above: