Mohler/Caner Panel at SBTS

Someone recently pointed me to audio from a panel at SBTS from several years ago – apparently November 14, 2003, where Mohler and Ergun Caner were speaking about Islam.

Unfortunately, it seems that some of the audio may be missing, as some of the files end a little abruptly. Here are the links: (part 1)(part 2)(part 3)(part 4)

In part 2, Caner speaks. His comments include:

“I was a Muslim for 20 years.” (If he was converted in 1982, as he has said, he was either 15 or 16 when he became a Christian.)

“My father was an ulema – a scholar, a hadithic scholar, more particularly.” (Elsewhere, he claims his father was an architect. Moreover, “ulema” is a plural noun.)

“Everywhere I lived, before we came to America, we were the majority. I come to America, and I have to explain to you, from the Islamic mindset, it is tough, moving to your culture. Because we go from being a majority to all of a sudden becoming a minority and you guys have some annoying commercials and annoying practices. Every time I turned on the television it was another Christmas commercial another thing – I constantly wondered, under this aegis of Christian communication, what did a rabbit have to do with Easter? and what did trees have to do with Christmas? … ” (According to the most recent press release, Caner was 2 or 3 years old when he came to America, having been born in Sweden.)

“I have never, ever – in 41 debates – ever heard one Muslim ever make this statement. As a matter of fact, at a debate at the University of North Texas, I was getting hammered – I was getting beat up like a husband at a Beth Moore conference or something, because question after question after question, coming at me, and the media was hammering me with this – about come back to this group hug kind of thing – and finally I turned to the imam who was with me and I said, ‘Abi, may I ask you a question,’ he said ‘of course,’ ‘do you believe Allah and Jehovah are the same God,’ he said, ‘Oh, of course not, this is ridiculous.'” (We cannot find any record of this debate (or the 40 other alleged debates), despite the alleged presence of media. We cannot find this imam. Moreover, the Koran claims that Christians, Jews, and Muslims worship the same god.)

“It’s not the same god, guys. In fact, any time I come to this moment in this debate where they say it is, I say ‘great, so Allah is triune?'” (Which debate was this? We have been looking and have not found any such debate.)

In part 4, Caner speaks again. His comments include:

“Everything I learned about our country – everything I ever learned about America – I learned by American television, before I came here. For instance, Andy Griffith. I would watch everything on Andy Griffith – so I thought all of America was Mayberry. And I moved to Brooklyn, NY.” (Again, remember that according to most recent press release, Caner came to America when he was 2-3 years old.)

“I don’t wear my laundry on my head. We are not dark. My first job was not a convenience store.”

“I believed you guys hated me.”

“Shabir Ally, when he and I do debate, he will say, ‘you will speak very kindly about Mohammed,’ and I said, ‘as long as you do so about Jesus. You attack Jesus, I’m going after Mohammed.’ And so he said, that’s what I did, and as soon as he did [some describes his gestures as “stone cold Steve Austin”].” (There is no record of Caner debating Shabir Ally, and when Dr. White asked Shabir about this, he is reported to have responded that he had not even met Caner.)

“We were taught as children that the Jews drank the blood of our little Palestinian children. I mean – we were told – we were raised with a tangible, visceral hatred for Israel.”

“This idea of coexisting peacefully with Israel is a silly notion for anyone who knows Arabic. When Arafat in Arabic on Al-Jazeera, he will say ‘[apparently some faux Arabic gibberish] we will push them into the Mediterranean,’ and then turns around in English and he says, ‘We want peace.'” (I would be interested in any Arabic speakers confirming whether the apparent gibberish is really gibberish, or actually something in Arabic. It seems far too short to be the equivalent of “we will push them into the Mediterranean.”

“As far as the translation of the Koran, they believe, and we were taught, that you must know Arabic to understand the Koran completely, however, they work against us by translating the Koran into every language. The one I use up here is by Yusuf Ali, which the Saudi Government paid for back in the 1940’s and they still use it. It’s like the Ryrie Study Bible, so to speak, because it comes with all these prodigious notes at the bottom.” (It’s interesting to see that Caner acknowledges relying on a translation of the Koran here.)

“You gather together, for the recitation of the first Surah of the Koran, five times a day. Either you have your prayer rug in your closet, or you have it in your locker at school, or in our case, you would go to the mosque if you lived close enough.” (Interesting to see the locker story mentioned here.)

“The Imam gives a brief Tawhid, um Talib, the Talib is the sermon, but sometimes its just a basic lecture.” (The name for the sermon at the mosque is the Khutbah, which is delivered by the khatib.

“He is usually trained somewhere else, in a madrassa, he has an ulema, umm – err – he has many ulema, uh ulim, he has a couple of muezzin who do the call to prayer …” (As mentioned above, “ulema” is plural, and the singular of that is “alim.”)

“I would venture to say that a large number of Muslims living in America were shocked by 9-11. I say that because we know the doctrines especially those of us that are first generation immigrants, but here in America that’s precisely what they remained. Jihad – the concepts of Jihad – remained doctrine, theology, Khitab-ology, if you may use the term. For those of us from the other world, it’s more than just doctrine, it’s ethic. We learn to live with jihad. You see a bombing at 8 a.m. and by 2 p.m. you’re back to work.” (Caner was raised in America, as mentioned above.)

“I’ve spent the last 17 years of my life totally devoted to systematic theology and studying church history, but I would go around to churches and speak and talk about reaching Muslims with the gospel. And for the most part, churches were very gracious, very accepting. They would pat me on the head and send me out the door and say, ‘isn’t that interesting.’ And then four planes fly, and then thousands of people get in the backs of pick up trucks and drive to Baghdad from Aman Jordan for the singular honor of dying in the cause against America. And people listen.” (It is interesting to see what we can find about Caner’s pre-9/11 testimony, which was discussed at this link.)

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