It is with great sadness that I write on the passing of Br. Michael Samuel, a Roman Catholic stalwart, school principal, teacher and community leader.
The high school (British: secondary school), I attended just a few short years ago would not be the institution it is today without his contribution. A school that’s considered to be the best in the Caribbean, producing two of Trinidad and Tobago’s most recent Prime Ministers, our current President, countless lawyers, doctors, judges, businessmen, scientists, clergymen, music artists, football stars and more, is due to the hard work Brother Michael put into the development of Presentation College, San Fernando.
You can read more on Brother Michael and his contribution to the development of the Caribbean’s premier educational institution, via the Trinidad Express’ article on his passing. The President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago had this to say on his passing:
I am shattered by his sudden death although I was very much aware of his health challenges. He was a guiding light in my life, like so many others, not only as a principal but as a teacher and he was someone I felt proud to call a mentor and a friend.
At Presentation College, San Fernando, he was a firm disciplinarian but someone who cared genuinely for the welfare and upliftment of his charges. There was never a dull moment in his disposition and interaction with others. I can still see that broad engaging smile and recall the magic of his laughter. His joie de vivre was infectious.
Personally, over the years as a state prosecutor, judge and now President, his words of encouragement inspired me. Brother Michael always felt an enormous sense of pride by virtue of his association with Presentation College, San Fernando. His legacy, as an educational luminary that carved and moulded students into men of calibre and substance, is assured. It was an unforgettable and touching honour for me to present him with a national award last year. He never spoke ill of anyone and believed in the best of us. I am simply shattered by his loss.
We are always, Proud to be Pres.
and God knows best.
I’ve just replied to a significant amount of emails from the email@example.com email address and from the contact us page on the website. If you’ve sent an email/ submitted a message through the contact form within the last three months and did not receive a reply, please do check and see if you have now received one. If you still have not received a response, please check your spam/ junk mail folder, if no response can be found, then you are encouraged to re-send your email.
I’ve now finished my response to Jay and I am in the process of checking my sources and quotes for errors before publication. Du’as for the improvement of my health are requested.
Your brother in Islam,
and Allaah knows best.
Without giving away too much personal details, it’s been quite a hectic week health wise and so this is the sole reason for the delay of the PDF’s publication:
The good news, is if I delay much longer, Br. Sami Zataari who has already read it will most likely leak it to the missionaries, so one way or the other it’s going to be published:
The PDF is already done, I just have to add in one or two additions to clarify some dates mentioned and that’s basically it. Not long again inshaAllaah.
and Allaah knows best.
Edit: Delayed to 14th or 15th due to unforeseen circumstances.
My paper critiquing Jay Smith’s allegations and claims in his recent debate with Dr. Shabir Ally, entitled, “The Bible or the Qur’an: Which is the Word of God?“, will be published tomorrow via a PDF on both Scribd and Google Drive. I cannot at this moment give a specific time when the paper would be published, but barring any sudden and unexpected incidents I expect it to be published during the course of tomorrow. At present, the only hindrance to the publishing of the document would be a translation I’m awaiting of a French work that is otherwise not available in English. Considering the inclusion of the French quote’s data as a peripheral to the cause of the paper, when it is made available to me, I shall append it in due course. Following the publishing of my paper, another paper by another Muslim speaker would be subsequently published on a similar theme but more in depth concerning a specific work referenced during the debate. While my response is a point by point rebuttal to Jay’s allegations, this coming work is an overtly critical analysis of an academic work that was mentioned but not really used during the debate. I have not worked in conjunction with this other Muslim speaker, but we have exchanged sources during the course of our writing.
Perhaps what is most interesting is the silly claim that because I have not published any works on this site which include the literature of Deroche or Walid Saleh, it then means that I did not know of them before the debate with Jay hence the lengthy duration of time it took for me to prepare the paper. The assumption or rather the assertion is that I was unfamiliar with their works completely. This is an absurdly baseless allegation. There are many works I read on a daily basis which I do not quote or reference on this site or in my debates, but of which I post to my private Facebook account or which I use in personal correspondence in response to questions. Case in point, I have dug through my personal Facebook timeline, to dig up this post by me on August 4th, 2014:
This is one of the many examples on which I’ve commented on either of these men’s works. I’ve blurred out the name of the evangelical missionary apologist I was condemning in this post which in retrospect was unfair of me and not of proper decorum. For those who are my Facebook friend, you’d be able to see this post on my timeline which I’ve re-posted today so that we all can access it in an easy manner. I have stated before and I will state this again, the only impediment in regard to my writing of the paper has been my health which has been on a steady decline for some two years now via a chronic illness to which no medical institution has been able to adequately decipher. A state of health which most missionaries and apologists are well aware of. Following the publishing of the paper, a video response will accompany it in the coming weeks which at this time I cannot give a definitive date for.
and Allaah knows best.
Jay Smith’s claims during his debate with Dr. Shabir about the Qur’an have seemed to cause more trouble than he initially thought they would. See, during the debate, he claimed to have introduced new research by a colleague of his, Dan Brubaker, based on Dan’s thesis on changes in the (manuscripts of the) Qur’an. Jay had stated that Dan’s thesis would not be published until next year and so Muslims would not have been aware of its contents. However, the University that Dan Brubaker submitted his thesis through, Rice University, made his thesis available publicly. Jay, nor Dan seemed to have known this, which is why Jay assumed Muslims would have to wait one full year before they would be able to read Dan’s thesis and respond to the claims in it. Which also meant Muslims would have to wait one full year to respond to Jay’s claims based on Dan’s thesis which he made during the debate.
Unfortunately for both Dan and Jay, we got our hands on the thesis quite some time ago and already picked it apart. So when Jay was on the stage during his debate with Dr. Shabir, and he assumed that Muslims would have no idea of what he was saying or what the thesis contained, he made some pretty silly claims to bolster his bravado. Jay has now run into a major problem. After I posted that we had possession of Dan’s thesis and proved this with the thesis’ cover image, the University removed the thesis and it is no longer available. So we have a few questions that need to be answered:
- Why was the thesis removed after my article was published?
- Did Jay ask Dan to ask the University to remove it?
- Why would Dan suddenly request for the University to remove the thesis?
- Dan did not request the University to remove the thesis after the debate, so why the day after my article?
- Did Dan give Jay the entire thesis or just a few photos?
- If Dan did give Jay the entire thesis, why did Jay only claim to have taken a few photos?
- If Jay did read Dan’s thesis, is he aware that he openly contradicts what Dan states?
- Is Dan aware that Jay claimed things of Dan’s thesis that do not exist within it?
- Why has the University removed the thesis?
- Who requested the thesis be removed?
For those who’d like to see where Dan’s thesis was once available and now is miraculously removed from the University’s page, please see our Brother Ahmed’s accessing of it:
This article has been sent to Jay Smith. Will he respond to the questions, or does he realise he’s in a bit of a conundrum? Has Jay been put in an awkward position? Its sudden removal is quite telling. Jay does have reason to be concerned, why else would it be removed? Why else would Jay have Dan request the University to remove it? Jay knows that he’s screwed up big time and the fun is only just starting!
and God knows best.
A number of years ago when I debated Anthony Rogers of Answering Islam, a statement I had made during that debate had angered some Christians. I had mentioned that some Christians worshiped the Holy Prepuce, which historically is accurate but was very upsetting to a number of missionaries. What followed was a video by Anthony Rogers, in which he had taken a brother’s personal translation of a narration that was incorrect and unique to his website that was framed in a polemical manner. Using the brother’s mistranslation, the missionaries produced a video that was supposed to be a response to my allegations in the debate. After I had seen their video, I announced that in a few days’ time I would publish a video response. Several days passed and the deadline passed, so I pushed the date back by a few days, again that new deadline was missed and another deadline was declared. The missionaries, seeing that the deadline was constantly being changed assumed that I couldn’t respond to their video, that the arguments they had presented were strong and so I was trying to pretend I could respond to their video when I could not. I saw their comments about me, I saw them boasting and celebrating that they finally got one over on me, they had a victory against Islam!
This however, was not the case. While editing my video response I was contacted by the brother whose mistranslation was used. He showed me how the missionaries had used his website and read word for word from his article. The brother decided that he was at fault and would like to assist in the response video. So, we both began to work on the video. This was a major breakthrough, not only was a response going to be made but I had evidence that the missionaries stole someone’s research, word for word! As we gathered more information to put in our video, the deadlines passed and the missionaries had assumed I was having difficulty in making a response. Rather, so much work was being put into the video, deadlines passed because of the amount of information and sources we kept finding reasons to include. If I could remember clearly, there were three brothers and two sisters who contributed to the video. We were going to correctly translate the Arabic sources the brother had used and subsequently mistranslated. So we had more than one person translate the material, ensure it was valid, authenticate citations, there was a buzz of activity and sure enough, the video was almost done. In the end, the video was released and to all of us involved in producing it, we can say that it was very successful in what we had set out to achieve.
Not only had the missionaries been exposed as plagiarists, they had falsely claimed someone else’s research for themselves, falsely claimed to have access to sources they didn’t have, falsely claimed to be able to translate fusha arabic, etc. The video was successful, so successful that the missionaries appeared on ABN TV and swore to release a second video in response to ours. It’s been three years now and they have yet to release any video. It would seem like deja-vu all over again in regard to my paper about Jay Smith’s mistakes. When I began the paper, I didn’t have the intention to publish something that would be very detailed. However, as my paper began to spread, there were requests to expand on what I had written and suddenly the paper went from responding to a few of Jay’s erratic statements to fully critiquing his opening statement in a minute by minute breakdown. I learned from my mistake the previous time, in this instance I have not yet set a date for when the paper would be published. The draft was made public for a few reasons. Most importantly, it was made public soon after the debate because I wanted to show the missionaries that we knew Jay had lied and lied badly. Jay had my questions sent to him on a number of occasions in which he refused to answer them. Even in a sit down with some persons who had attended the debate and noted his errors, he refused to explain himself.
The funny thing is, Christians were elated, they thought that Jay Smith had academic arguments and sources, until my draft paper was released. Showing the glaring contradictions between Jay’s claims and the works of the author’s he had mentioned, definitely burst their bubble. The fall out of having published the draft paper was that the missionaries went on the attack against me. We have to remember that Jay claimed to have read these academic publications, that he had access to his friend’s private thesis which was not yet published, therefore how could I, a nobody in the Caribbean have access to his friend’s works? How could I have access to Dr. Deroche’s or Dr. Tayyar’s publications? So, the allegations began to flow in that I was pretending to have possession of those works. That’s until I included quotes from Dr. Deroche’s works, even from his 2009 French work – we had it translated. What was worse is that his gang of friends accused me of lying about Dan Brubaker’s thesis, that’s until I published the cover page of his thesis with his supervisors’ approval signatures! Then came the allegation that Jay did read the works of the authors’ names he had mentioned and that I was lying. So, I turned the tables, I said I’ll gladly admit that I am wrong if anyone could prove that Jay did have access to and did read those works accurately.
A missionary friend of Samuel Green and Shamoun and of Jay himself, while commenting on Br. Paul’s blog claimed that he had received a summary of a paper by a Turkish scholar and the paper itself from Jay. I challenged him to forward that email to me to prove me wrong and since then, he’s never replied to the challenge and has not sent any email. Thereby proving his dishonesty. I would like to say though, that if Paulus the missionary does read this and if he would like to prove me wrong, he can send the email and I’d still gladly concede that I was mistaken. Another missionary criticised me for again, lying on Jay. This missionary is also a friend of Jay’s buddies, they were all there to defend Jay’s character. That’s until a missionary posted a quote from one of the Turkish scholar’s works which directly contradicted Jay’s claim, by almost an entire century! To date, that missionary known as Robert Wells/ Radical Moderate has yet to explain how Jay could utter such deceits if he had actually read the scholar’s work. Let’s take a look at their claims and their sudden silence. Here we have the missionary claiming to have received the email with the scholar’s work from Jay:
Here’s my challenge, which I issued for a second time and he has since, yet to respond to:
Here’s Robert Wells/ Radical Moderate’s comment in response to mines. You’d notice that when I mention the glaring error that Jay had made in relation to the fully quoted and cited text from the Turkish scholar’s work, he attempted to evade the evidence and the follow up question. He then sarcastically conceded that I had read Dr. Tayyar’s work more accurately than Jay himself:
The quote he’s responding to is as follows:
“Altıkulaç dates the Topkapi manuscript to “the second half of the first century A.H. and the first half of the second Century A.H. [due to] “vowelling and dotting.” (i.e. early – mid 8th century) (Altıkulaç, ‘Al-Mushaf al-Sharif’ 2007:81)”
Which clearly states that the Topkapi Manuscripts date to the second half of the first century, which would be from 600 CE to 699 CE, or within the 1st year after hijrah, which is clearly not the 8th century as Jay had claimed. So if Jay did read the Turkish scholar’s work, then he either lied by omission or, if I were to give him the benefit of the doubt, he hadn’t read the work at all and had someone inform him that the scholar dated the manuscript to the second century/ 8th century, which is clearly inaccurate and misrepresents what the scholar stated. Unfortunately, both Robert and Paulus have yet to respond. The end result of all of this drama, is that I do possess the works I have publicly claimed to have, for those who viewed the draft paper before I made it private, I utilized several quotes and citations from those works. What is clear is that the missionaries are confused that I had access to those works and more importantly, that I knew their contents better than Jay Smith and by producing a paper with his intentional lies and deceits, I was denigrating the character of Jay Smith which as a result, casts a damning light on the state of Christian Apologetics. While I can’t give a certain date on when the paper would be fully published or when the accompanying video would be released, I can confirm that the only hindrance to its release has been by worsening health which prevents me from working on the paper on a consistent basis. However, I have a few translators preparing some select quotes from the works of a number of the authorities that Jay appealed to, which would surely embarrass him more and expose him for the charlatan that he is. What I can say, is that the paper should be released early next week or possibly this coming weekend, with the video a week after that – God Willing.
wa Allaahu ‘Alam.
Jay, I’d never thought I’d see a day where we’d agree, but I surely do agree with you now:
and God knows best!
If I don’t have it…….then what is this….?
Just a quick heads up for all those trying to access the link to, “Response to Jay Smith’s Mistakes“. I’ve put the document on private as I’m beginning to finish and prepare it for final publishing. I’m still undecided on whether or not I should respond to his statements on the Bible, but given the time frame I’m intending to push this response out at, I think there will end up being two articles. One on Jay’s mistakes about the Qur’aan and another about Jay’s mistakes about the Bible. I’m overwhelmed by the response the document has gotten, I did not expect it to reach so many people or to spread so quickly. I must admit that I’m not a person who likes to have too many eyes on myself, I prefer to be discreet and lead a very private life. So the many emails, the sharing of the link, the discussions about what I wrote really took me by surprise and for a few days I was uncertain on whether or not I’d continue or finish the document. The very moment I chose to make the document private I received an influx of emails asking for permission to view it. That’s been less than an hour ago and there are way too many emails requesting permission.
There were generally two problems with writing this response. Firstly, transcribing what Jay was saying was very difficult. Jay spoke very casually and so it was a problematic decision to transcribe word for word what he said, only for it to make absolutely no sense when completed. After thinking about it, I decided that it was more honest of me to leave his words as is, instead of trying to make them easier to comprehend for the readers. I didn’t want his response or missionaries to claim that I altered his words. As some of you have seen the nearly final draft, you’d notice that I quite literally, wrote word for word what he said. He fumbled a lot and generally was all over the place. While transcribing what he was saying, I found it odd that he was very inconsistent with his presentation. You’d notice he never once gives us a citation or reference. This was important to note, because there was a very clear pattern of intentional dishonest behaviour. He’d first drop a few names and then make an erratic claim, reading from a sheet that he wrote, presenting those statements as quotes! There were a few times I honestly could not believe what he was saying, as compared to what the documents he referred to was saying. The contrast between his claims and what the scholars had said was unbelievable.
The second problem I faced was verifying his claims. I have all the works of the scholars he referenced. Even an unpublished, private thesis by Daniel Brubacker, his personal friend who allowed him to take photos of his thesis. Jay got a few photos, I got the entire thesis, it was then obvious just how wrong he’d been during the debate. To me, it was obvious that he had not read the authors’ works he was referring to. I did not have a single citation from him to work with, so I had to check several works by these authors. There were a number of times I could swear he read a quote from one of the authors, only to realise he was paraphrasing or simply making it up. For those who saw the draft before I made it private, the claims he made of Sadeghi and Deroche were not only outrageous, they were blatantly false! I even had one of the E&AM apologists (the folks who arranged and moderated the debate) check one of Dr. Deroche’s book to verify that what I was reading in contrast to Jay’s statement was true. The pictures he sent, confirmed to me that Jay not only lied, he clearly falsified information on several occasions. Due to the embarrassing amount of errors Jay has intentionally made, I’m currently in talks for a video version of the response to be made. At this point we have several well known Muslim speakers who have volunteered to feature in this video.
Most importantly, I’ve had the document reviewed by several scholars in the field, both of whom are Christian and Muslim. As of the current draft they have found no errors in my citations or quotations and are well pleased with my cohesive and well structured response to Jay’s erratic claims. Perhaps the only criticism I have faced by the scholars for this document, has been that I may have made public information about Jay that should not have been exposed. After several discussions, it was concluded that Jay did make certain statements in 1998 in a public setting in Birmingham and as such, it cannot be considered private information. Nonetheless it is embarrassing and several Christians who witnessed the debate found that my releasing of this information is perfectly fine given the immoral and disrespectful insults Jay threw at Dr. Shabir during the debate. I look forward to Jay’s response and I hope that he does not do as he did with Klingschor’s exposing of him (especially the lies about Tom Holland that he made). Jay has a fanciful imagination, too fanciful. As you would know, in his Islam Origins lecture he claimed that he inspired Tom Holland to write a book about Islam, which led to the controvserial Channel 4 (UK) documentary. Jay claimed that Tom also thanked him for inspiring him on his book and TV Documentary. When asked publicly, Tom Holland denied everything that Jay had claimed. Therefore it is not unusual for Jay to invent stories and to invent claims that are purely figments of his imagination.
Thank you for your patience and I pray that something good comes of all of this.
and Allaah knows best.
Recently Jay Smith sent an email lauding himself for referencing scholars and scholastic work he has not read nor has he studied. He claims in his email:
Dr. Gordon Nickels helped me (via skype) put together the main body of the material I used before the debate itself.
It thus makes sense that someone else told Jay what to say, without Jay having read or studied any of the materials used in the main body of the debate. This also explains why he refused to reference any of the sources he took his information from. As I’ve explained in my response to him, most of what he says and what the people he refers to says, contradicts. The apparent disconnect between Jay and the studies he refers to now makes sense, as he’d never read them before, he had someone else over Skype give him snippets of information that he was not familiar with. He continued:
I made sure to initially highlight the French scholar Dr. Francois Deroche’s research, coupled with the two leading Turkish scholar’s work on the earliest Qur’anic manuscripts (Dr. Tayyar Altikulac, and Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu).
I’m not sure if highlight is the word here to be used. He certainly mentioned Dr. Deroche, but as I’ve explained in my response, what he says of Deroche and what Deroche himself says – wholly contradicts each other. Jay merely referenced a number, 93, without giving Deroche’s explanation but trying to explain it himself, which led to him overstating what Deroche had intended. I’ve referenced the page number and the book where Jay got this number 93 from, but I present the rest of what Deroche says which completely refute’s Jay’s uneducated and baseless statements. One would also notice he mentioned the names of Dr. Tayyar Altikulac, and Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, neither of whom he quotes or refers to again. All he quite literally did was mention their names. So not only has he admitted he got these names over an Evangelical on Skype, he’s also admitted he has no experience with their writings themselves! He continued:
I then introduced Dr. Keith Small’s research concerning his comparisons between the Biblical and Qur’anic manuscripts, and his excellent assessment of the political control in standardizing the Qur’anic text 1-2 centuries after Muhammad.
He keeps using the term introduced and I think this is where he’s being honest. During the debate, you’d notice a very disconcerting pattern. He’d drop a name, explain why the person is important and then proceed to give some snippet of information that he was unfamiliar with and when he expanded on them, began to contradict what the sources themselves had said. Keith Small has already been replied to en masse by scholars and lay men alike. The assertion that the Qur’aan was protected by the Muslim governors and rulers can’t be seen as negative. When the power of the State ensures the validity of the transmission, that in no way can be a negative thing. After all, the State has both the power and the resources to invest in the preservation of such important and sacred documents. Perhaps what is troubling is Jay’s ignorance of New Testament transmission, he claimed during the debate that there was no political power involved in the copying, distribution or preservation of the New Testament. Perhaps he should educate himself, as the Latin Vulgate was produced after Pope Damasus near the end of the 4th century, commissioned Jerome to produce the “best” edition of the New Testament based on the various Latin transmissions of the text during that time. If I cannot expect a man to be honest or to be acquainted with the history of his own text, on what grounds can I expect him to speak truthfully of any other religion’s? He continued:
I also introduced Dr. Andy Bannister’s Formulaic material, pointing out the many instances in the Qur’an where Jewish formulaic apocryphal writings were borrowed.
I think it’s fairly easy to understand that if God sent a message before and He reiterated that message again in another revelation, we’d expect it to say something similar, or repeat the same thing again. I am familiar with Andy’s work, and to be honest, all the poor guy’s done is taken the claim that the Qur’aan is based on Jewish and Gnostic apocryphal writings and stated they have similar words between them. It does not take a genius to make the connection that if two statements convey the same message, they’re going to contain similar terms. It’s one thing to claim though that the Qur’aan literally took from those sources, as opposed to explaining how an Arab had access to lost apocryphal literature in a language he, neither his people can speak or have since been able to speak. It’s a nice conspiracy theory, but on the grounds of objective academic and scholastic work, it’s mere polemics. Dr. Shabir does speak at length about Bannister’s claims and opinions in this recent video. Jay continued:
But most of my time was spent introducing Dr. Dan Brubaker’s new research on the hundreds of variants (up to 800) which he found in the 10 Manuscripts he researched, some written as late as the 9th century. Earlier this month I had spent a day with him at his home, and he let me use pictures from his doctoral thesis to underline the 6 forms of consonantal corrections he found in these manuscripts. So, our best evangelical scholars in this field were well represented in my presentation.
This is perhaps where it gets to be quite interesting. Dan only let Jay take pictures. I own and currently posses the entirety of Dan’s thesis. So while Jay’s arguments are based on photos he took, I have the entirety of Dan’s work and I’ve actually read it. All 45 mb’s of it. So thus far, Jay’s information has been from a Skype conversation on works he does not own and has never read, along with a thesis he took photos from and hasn’t read. Can this get any worse? Yes, it’s Jay Smith, it can get worse.
It was the variants in the manuscripts which pointed to a later standardization of the Qur’an after the 8th century which seemed to especially cause a problem with the Muslims who were present, or were watching, and for good reason. With this evidence Muslims will no longer be able to simply say, as they so often do, that their Qur’an is 1) eternal, 2) sent down 3) complete, and 4) unchanged. Now they will have to prove it, and you can see just how difficult that is now going to be.
The problem is, that nothing Jay stated in the debate is contained within the works of the people he has name dropped. I know full well that Jay has been informed of my response to him, since then, my indication of his errors and mistakes were used in a sit down in which he was unfortunately unable to defend himself and his academic dishonesty. We can say as Muslims with confidence that the Qur’aan was standardized in the 7th century CE, with the orthography as we read today developing further in each century. With the extant evidences we posses, we can say with certainty that the Qur’aan is eternal, sent down, complete and unchanged. We have proved it and I’ve used Jay’s own sources to do so in my draft response to him.
What have we learned? We now have an explanation as to why Jay’s statements in the debate, contradict the works and people he appealed to. This is because he has neither studied those works or read them, instead as he admits, this information was provided to him via a Skype conversation and as he further claimed, this information was taken from a thesis he took a few photos of without having studied or read it, a thesis which I own and posses completely. Have some fun with Jay, demand that he explain his errors and mistakes, his deceits and lies as documented in this article by me.
and God knows best.