Many people have asked me, “How could Ergun Caner think he would ever get away with all the tall tales he told in the pulpit?” Good question. I have no idea. If I were to make up fake Arabic while speaking before an audience (not just slaughter it, as I have in the past!), I would always be in fear that someone in the audience would recognize this. Ergun does not seem to have that problem. Or if I was telling different stories to different groups, I would always know it was being recorded, and the Internet is a big place, and someone might compare my statements and document that I was making things up on the fly. But again, Ergun Caner does not seem to have that worry.
Here is my take on this video just posted by Mr. Khan. In one of the instances provided here, I think Caner is trying to repeat something he had memorized (that being the inscription on the wall of the mosque in Afghanistan). I ran that quote by my Arabic tutor over the phone and he recognized a portion of the first word, and a portion of another, but the rest of it just didn’t make any sense. Sounds like Caner read about the inscription, tried to memorize it, and then when he gets into his “persona” (remember, all the accent stuff is about as genuine as any other kid raised in Ohio whose mother tongue was originally Swedish would be) he just lets it fly with lots of glottal stops. There is no question that he is completely in the dark in regards to “strike/beat” in Surah 4:34. The phrase is وَٱضْرِبُوهُنَّ, wadhribun huna. You don’t even have to be able to read Arabic to figure that out (there are sufficient resources on line to do so). I intend to meet with my tutor (a Christian pastor from Syria) next week to go over each of these examples very carefully.
But once again, do you see the real damage being done here? One example is immediately attached to the atonement, the sacrifice of Christ. Another is put in the context of allegedly witnessing to Muslims in Jerusalem, and their allegedly responding with a call to “shut him up.” What if Caner were to actually start blabbering in a tongue he was never taught or studied? What a glorious testimony to any Muslims who might be there! But what kind of mind can make that kind of thing up just to impress an audience?
The title of this entry was taken from Caner’s own “apology” from 2/25/10. His father was Turkish, not Arabic. His brother says their mother tongue was Swedish, not Arabic. Ergun was in the US from 1969 onward. I did not have any idea, until today, how often Caner claimed Arabic fluency. I had heard him make the claim, at least twice. Mr. Khan has collected many more examples than I had encountered. And the saga continues….