Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Hussein Wario and the Cultural Chasm
05/14/2010 - James WhiteHussein Wario is a former Muslim. He has decided to take up not so much a defense of the Caners (he has, so far, only defended minor points---he has so far mainly ignored the legal documentation that has been provided and the issues that data raises) but to use the "attack the messenger" methodology of argumentation. In the process I am really, really hoping that we are seeing a good and educational example of the "cultural chasm." Mr. Wario is not a Westerner in outlook. Sometimes this leads to not only linguistic, but logical problems. Let's look at how this plays out.
I have heard Ergun Caner, in his public talks, speak of "Hadith 9:57." I was taken aback by this, since that makes as much sense as saying "Bible 3:16." No one who actually engages in the study of the hadith on any level at all speaks like this. We would immediately identify a person who said, "Well, it says in Bible 3:16 that Jesus isn't God" as a person fundamentally ignorant of the Bible and Christian theology in general. When I then found that the Caner brothers do this frequently, in their talks and in their published works, I raised this as a question regarding their automatic elevation to the level of "experts" on the subject of Islam. Recently TurretinFan went through the book and provided the following list:
"hadith 9.57" (pp. 19 and 187)
"hadith 5.266" (p. 31)
"hadith 2.460" (p. 32)
"Hadith ... (2.375)" (p. 32)
"hadith 2.448" (p. 33)
"hadith 7.619" (p. 33)
"hadith 1.35" (p. 35)
"Hadith ... (52.42)" (p. 35)
"hadith 7.590" (p. 37)
"hadith 3.826" (p. 42)
"Hadith ... (8.419)" (p. 110)
"hadith 6.60.336" (p. 114)
"The Hadith illustrates ... (2.486) ... (2.498) ... (2.514)" (p. 126)
"hadith 3.826" (p. 134)
"hadith 2.541" (p. 134)
"hadith 1.268" (p. 135)
"hadith 7.62.77" (p. 139)
"Hadith 7.30, 33. Hadith chapter seven also includes ... (7.133)" (p. 140)
"Hadith 7.64" (p. 141)
"hadith 8.76.481" (p. 144)
"The Hadith expounds ... (3.57)" (p. 146)
"hadith 3.46.724" (p. 186)
"hadith 5.716" (p. 188)
"hadith 4.52.79" (p. 188)
"hadith 4.53.412" (p. 189)
"hadith 4.52.317" (p. 189)
"hadith 5.58.240; repeated in 5.59.602" (p. 190)
"hadith 5.59.599" (p. 191)
"hadith 8.73.1" (p. 192)
"Hadith 5.42.85" (p. 192)
"hadith 9.50" (p. 192)
"hadith 4.52.127" (p. 193)
"hadith 4.52.85" (p. 194)
"hadith 5.58.240; see also 4.42. This verse is repeated in 5.59.602" (p. 195)
"hadith 9.93.549" (p. 195)
"hadith 9.93.555" (p. 195)
"Hadith volume 9, book 93" (p. 195)
"hadith 9.93.519" (p. 196)
"hadith 4.73" (p. 196)
There were also a second category of odd references:
"Bukhari, 784" (p. 100)
"Bukhari, 1598" (p. 100)
"Muslim, 3785" (p. 100)
"Bukhari, 4813" (p. 100)
"Sahih Muslim hadith 5339" (p. 114)
"Sahih Muslim hadith 2214" (p. 115)
"Sahih Muslim hadith 6595" (p. 115)
Not every reference appeared to be incomplete. The following references were provided in a more complete form:
"Hadith of Sahih al-Bukhari, explains [quotation] (hadith 1.1.3)" (p. 41)
"Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith, 6.477" (p. 92)
"Hadith ... (7.590) ... (7.619) ... (4.537) ... (5.275) ... (7.636) ... (7.747)" (p. 98) (see note below about chapter 5)
"Sunan Abu Daawuud hadith 23.3444" (p. 112)
"Sunan Abu Daawuud hadith 41.4937" (p. 112)
"Sahih Al-Bukhari hadith 2.21.221" (p. 116)
"Sahih Muslim hadith 36.6631" (p. 116)
"Book 52 of Bukhari's Hadith ... In the volume ... (4.52.42)" (p. 186)
"Bukhari Hadith 9.57-58" (p. 249)
The facts show a mixture of correct and incorrect citations. I noted on the DL yesterday that various printed editions of the Hadith collections use different referencing systems, and this makes looking up particular texts very difficult. Upon the basis of this information I suggested two things: first, it shows an inconsistency in writing and editing that suggests multiple authors (possibly a different level of knowledge between the authors themselves?) and secondly, any author who writes such things should be careful in the editing process to make these citations consistent, which they did not. I do not understand how any author could read the proofs of their book and miss these problems, but, given that Ergun Caner has been recorded saying "Hadith 9:57," it does not seem to follow that they would see this as an error since they use this incomplete terminology in their spoken presentations.
Now, you will note that I have sought to bring all of these facts together and come up with an explanation that takes all the data as a whole. I am seeking consistency and coherence.
Now compare the approach of Hussein Wario. In a number of Tweets posted today he has challenged not the above information, but instead the entire process of thought behind it. Note the last reference above, "Bukhari Hadith 9.57-58." Taking that one single reference (ignoring the entire list of references that do not distinguish between the collections) Mr. Wario concludes that the case is closed. All the errant citations are irrelevant, if they got it right once, well, they must be experts on Islam! All the rest is to be ignored! And so we read him saying,
@DrOakley1689 "Hadith 9.57" quoted correctly as "Bukhari hadith 9.57" in Unveiling Islam, page 249, r u going to apologize 2 @erguncaner?
@DrOakley1689 You publicly dismiss @erguncaner and @emircaner Objectivity matters. page 249 U.I. answers that link. Will email Turretin now.
[Note how it seems Mr. Wario did not even notice that TurretinFan listed the same reference in his blog article: often Mr. Wario ignores entire points you have made in your presentations, such as when I noted the possibility that Emir Caner was relying upon secondary sources for his "Jesus is named 93 times in the Qur'an" statement. Mr. Wario found secondary statements and on that basis assumed I had been proven wrong, when I had been the one to first raise the issue!]
@DrOakley1689 R u going to stop ur haidth 9.57 and John 3:16 discourse? Revising your open letter to @libertyu ? @erguncaner and @emircaner
[Note how Mr. Wario thinks a single semi-correct reference makes all the errant ones disappear. He does not seem to be able to grasp the relationship between pieces of data and the entire picture, resulting in tunnel vision.]
@DrOakley1689 Your arrogance is what makes me ashamed of you being a reformed theologian. You need to apologize 2 @erguncaner @emircaner
And so on its goes. I pointed out his bias and his irrationality (one is rational when one sees the relationship of distinct points of data or fact; if one cannot see how facts relate to one another--context, flow, argument--one is not rational, i.e., irrational) and he immediately interpreted this as an "insult." There is a fair amount of emotion involved here, it seems.
So aside from providing a rebuttal to what Mr. Wario is claiming (the rebuttal is found in allowing my entire statements to stand as a whole) I think we have here an example of the cultural chasm as well. Often Westerners are left standing with their mouths open at the kinds of arguments Muslims find convincing. Ahmed Deedat is a great example of this. So often his arguments were so shallow, so poor, so disjointed, and yet you will find men shouting Allahu akhbar! in response. Why? There seems to be a cultural chasm at times that is difficult to bridge. Part of it may be language based, but much of it goes beyond mere language. Insistence upon logical thought, coherence, context, argument, is not necessarily the same across cultural boundaries.
I am sorry Brother Wario has chosen to ignore the weight of my statements. I'm sorry he has chosen to oppose me personally rather than thinking fairly and without bias and prejudice, on the greater issues. He is convinced this is a personal issue with the Caners (it is not). I have failed, despite trying (you can listen to the DL where Mr. Wario called in), to communicate to him that this matter transcends personalities. It transcends our current generation or situation. It is a matter of biblical principle and Christian integrity. I hope and pray someone else may be able to find a way to communicate this reality to Brother Wario.
Update: Brother Wario has responded to this attempt to explain his less-than-rational handling of factual information as evidence of prejudice on my part. The amount of emotional fog in the brother's thinking has led me to write to him, "@HusseinWario I leave it to our Lord to judge. No matter what I say, you will interpret it negatively, even when I am trying to be fair." If I try to find a reason for his ignoring facts outside of simply calling him a liar, and his response is, "I can't believe u bring up my background to score a point. Now that is cheap." So, evidently, it is the old "darned if you do, darned if you don't" situation. So, I leave it to the reader to judge, and to our Lord to decide. So as I said to him via Twitter, "I hope someone can explain things to you, brother! May God bless you and keep you."