“I would fight and die for a Muslim’s right to build a mosque in every city in America.” That’s a line taken from what Caner’s website in 2005 described this way:
He debated Michael Moore in a nationally syndicated column entitled “Hatriotism.”
I found what appears to be the colorful column (part 1)(part 2). The article is critical of Michael Moore, but it seems questionable to say that “He debated Michael Moore” based on the article, any more than I debated William Lane Craig by posting criticism of one of his articles (link).
The article itself raises a lot of good points. Nevertheless, mixed in there are some odd comments. Caner states, for example: “I am a Persian Turkish immigrant raised as a Sunni Muslim, and in the interest of full disclosure, I must state that I left Islam in 1982, the same year I became an American citizen.” But elsewhere I recall him specifically saying he was Anatolian, not Persian. (see more examples here) Similarly his old bio page at Liberty (now gone) and his current bio page at TrueLife.org (link to bio including rather distinctive beard photo) say that he obtained citizenship in 1984, which would make more sense, since that is when he turned 18. One also might ask whether “full disclosure” might have been better served by providing a caveat such as “I was raised in suburban central Ohio.” And Caner’s book, Unveiling Islam suggests that Caner’s conversion was the year before 1982: “Ergun then invited Emir to a revival service the following year. … On November 4, 1982, Emir was born again.” (Unveiling Islam, page 19)
I’ve posted a lot of documentation on the topic of the Caner saga. (indexed here) If I had limitless time, money, and interest, I suppose I could track down the data to prove whether Caner’s background is Anatolian Turkish or Persian Turkish on his father’s side. I could track down, I presume, what year he obtained citizenship – there must be an official record of it somewhere. Perhaps we could get someone with firsthand knowledge to confirm one of the two or more accounts regarding when Ergun came to Christ. But I lack the time and more importantly I lack the interest in pursuing these things further. It’s sad enough that I found two different accounts of such things.
In fact, the whole saga brings me great sadness. I began looking more closely at the facts to rebut the false charge that Dr. Caner is a “fake ex-Muslim.” And despite the inconsistencies, Dr. Caner is still a real ex-Muslim. Nevertheless, there are a number of troubling issues. I trust that God will work this out to the good of the called, though right now I do not see how.