Ergun Mehmet Caner Another Fake Ex-Terrorist
by Sheila Musaji
Dr. Ergun Caner, the former president of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, was a rising star on the Religious Right, entertaining audiences at major Religious Right gatherings with his hip, irreverent stories about his upbringing as a radical Muslim and his conversion to Christianity. He is also the author of “Unveiling Islam: An Insider’s Look at Muslim Life and Beliefs”.
He is an ex-Muslim who has converted to Christianity, and claims to be a former terrorist. His claims don’t hold up any better than do those of Walid Shoebat, Kamal Saleem and Zachariah Anani.
Rightwing Watch (see full story which includes numerous links) notes
Turns out, according to a growing chorus of critics – many of them Southern Baptists and other Christians – Caner has apparently been lying for years about his childhood and his life story. It’s hard to even summarize the extent of the deceptions being described by his critics, but they include his claims to have grown up in Turkey and to have personally involved in Islamic Jihad, when court records from his parents’ divorce place him in Columbus, Ohio when he was just a few years old. Check some of the critical websites for voluminous debunking of Caner’s colorful (and apparently fanciful) stories about learning about America through TV broadcasts in Turkey and more. Some charges are even more directly related to his ministry, such as his claims to have debated top Muslim scholars around the world. Caner’s critics say there’s no evidence of those debates.
These are no vague or reckless charges, but carefully documented exposes that draw from Caner’s sermons, speeches, and online videos, and other public records. Liberty doesn’t seem to have responded publicly, but recently posted a revised version of Caner’s bio with disputed claims removed.
In May of 2010 Liberty University issued a statement:
“Following inquiries from several members of the mainstream media, Liberty decided to initiate its own investigation. “Liberty does not initiate personnel evaluations based upon accusations from Internet blogs,” Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. said. “However, In light of the fact that several newspapers have raised questions, we felt it necessary to initiate a formal inquiry.”
In June of 2010 Liberty University announced that when Caner’s contract is up at the end of this month, it will not be renewed and Caner will no longer be head of the Seminary, though he will remain at LU as a professor.
Even after all of this, Ergun Caner was listed as a main-stage speaker at the Values Voter Summit.
Jerry Falwell, the founder of Liberty University died in 2007. However, his negative views towards Islam and Muslims were well known. In our TAM collection of anti-Muslim statements by Christian clergy we note the following
Rev. Jerry Falwell said on 60 Minutes “Muhammad was a terrorist”. 2002.
— Rev. Falwell on CROSSFIRE said ”I have not seen in the headlines of Americas major newspapers a single American Muslim organization condemn what happened to Daniel Pearl at the hand of some of these Islamic crazies.” Ibrahim Hooper told Falwell that his organization was quick to condemn Pearl’s brutal murder, as did the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the American Muslim Council, the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America and the ministry of Imam W.D. Muhammed, among others. 2001.
— Rev. Falwell in an interview, expressed “deep concerns” about President George W. Bush’’s faith-based initiative and suggested that Muslims be excluded from federal faith-based initiative money because the religion is “bigoted” and “teaches hate.” 2001
— Falwell also said that “the Antichrist is alive and Jewish.”
Ergun Mehmet Caner: Another “ex-Terrorist” Exposed http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/05/ergun-mehmet-caner-another-ex-terrorist-exposed/
Christian Right’s Favorite Muslim Convert Exposed as Jihadi Fraud, Peter Montgomery http://www.alternet.org/immigration/146797/christian_right%27s_favorite_muslim_convert_exposed_as_jihadi_fraud?page=entire
Evangelicals, Muslims, and the Media: Bearing False Witness http://ricklove.net/?p=637
Ex-Muslim President of Liberty University’s Baptist Theological Seminary Under Fire over Details of Biography, Richard Bartholomew http://barthsnotes.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/ex-muslim-president-of-liberty-university-under-fire-over-details-of-biography/ — Ergun Caner Update http://barthsnotes.wordpress.com/2010/05/13/ergun-caner-update/
Falwell’s Fraud: Masquerading ‘Muslim Convert’ http://www.musalmantimes.com/?p=143
Is Religious Right’s Star Ex-Muslim a Serial Liar? http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/religious-right%E2%80%99s-star-ex-muslim-serial-liar
The Lives and Stories of Ergun “Mehmet” Caner http://muslimmatters.org/2010/12/29/the-lives-and-stories-of-ergun-mehmet-caner/
The Muslim Brand of Liberty’s Ergun Caner, Hussein Rashid http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/husseinrashid/2537/the_muslim_brand_of_liberty%E2%80%99s_ergun_caner
Review of Caner’s book Unveiling Islam: An Insider’s Look at Muslim Life and Beliefs http://i-epistemology.net/psychology/748-unveiling-islam-an-insiders-look-at-muslim-life-and-beliefs.html