Category Archives: Other Speakers

Ravi Zacharias Caught Lying About Credentials Again

In 2015, Ravi Zacharias was outed for manufacturing claims about his scholarship regarding being a visiting scholar at Cambridge University. This led to him acknowledging and then removing the claim from his website. This year, the same person who did the first investigation has done a second video demonstrating that Ravi has lied again, this time about studying quantum physics at Cambridge University:

Why does Ravi have the need to continuously pad his credentials? We all agree that lying is a sin, therefore as a leader of an international ministry, why doesn’t he seem to understand that making fraudulent claims about oneself is wrong? It’s simply unjustifiable. To call Ravi to be truthful in his actions and descriptions about himself, we are asking those who are interested in the truth to send Ravi an email at the following address: PR@RZIM.ORG

The subject line is as follows: Did Ravi Zacharias really study quantum physics at Cambridge?

The email body is as follows:

Dear Mr. Zacharias and Ms. Malhotra:

I write you in a spirit of inquiry, not challenge. Serious allegations, purporting to be carefully-researched and based on publicly available information, have been made that Mr. Zacharias has systematically exaggerated his academic credentials.

And while I have formed no conclusion as to the merits of these charges, I can see no harm in Mr. Zacharias publicly responding to them. Indeed, given the growing concern about these allegations, it seems that no legitimate purpose will be served by Mr. Zacharias continuing to remain silent.

In furtherance of the truth, might you kindly address the following questions?

Did Ravi Zacharias ever enroll in, or audit, a physics class taught by John Polkinghorne at Cambridge University?

Was Mr. Zacharias ever “a visiting scholar at Cambridge University”? If so, is there a reason that this claim was removed from his website after he was criticized for making it? How does Mr. Zacharias respond to the email statement allegedly made by the Cambridge Office of External Affairs that his attending classes at the University whilst on sabbatical at Ridley Hall would not have made him a visiting scholar at their University?

At page 205 of his autobiography, Mr. Zacharias writes about spending time at Cambridge University where, he says, “I was invited to be a visiting scholar.” Given that Mr. Zacharias’ sabbatical supervisor, Jeremy Begbie, has stated, in writing, that Mr. Zacharias was only a “visiting scholar” at Ridley Hall (which is not a constituent part of the University), might you kindly state who it was who invited Mr. Zacharias to be a visiting scholar at Cambridge University itself?

Mr. Zacharias has claimed to have been “a senior research fellow” at Oxford University. Is this claim true? Was the position in fact an honorary one? If so, is there a reason that in February of 2103 Mr. Zacharias said in an Apologetics315 interview “If I’m in an academic forum, then the fact that I’m a senior research fellow at Wycliffe Hall Oxford University, that’s a credential with which I work in the academy”? Is there a reason the entire Senior Research Fellow claim has been removed from his website?

Mr. Zacharias’s bio and publicity materials refer to him as “Dr. Zacharias.” Does Mr. Zacharias have a PhD or other academic doctorate? If not, how might he reply to the concern that his routine use of the title “Dr.” is likely to create a false impression in significant numbers of people?

The jacket of Mr. Zacharias’s book New Birth or Rebirth? says “Zacharias holds three doctoral degrees.” His publisher bios at Random House and Penguin refer to him holding multiple doctoral degrees. These make no mention of such degrees being honorary. What responsibility does Mr. Zacharias have to ensure that those promoting the sales of his books make clear that his doctorates are exclusively honorary? (This question may, of course, be disregarded if Mr. Zacharias has in fact earned an academic doctorate.)

Thank you very much for your anticipated cooperation in shedding light on these important issues.

Sincerely,
[Your Name Here]

More details to follow.

The Rise of Modern Christian Extremism

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The following are quotes from Christian author and journalist, Chris Hedges’ book “Wages of Rebellion”:

The breakdown of American society will trigger a popular backlash, which we glimpsed in the Occupy movement, but it will also energize the traditional armed vigilante groups that embrace a version of American fascism that fuses Christian and national symbols.

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Gabrielle Giffords, a member of the US House of Representatives, was shot in the head in January 2011 as she held a meeting in a supermarket parking lot in Arizona. Eighteen other people were wounded. Six of them died. Sarah Palin’s political action committee had previously targeted Giffords and other Democrats with crosshairs on an electoral map. When someone like Palin posts a map with crosshairs, saying, “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” there are desperate, enraged people with weapons who act. When Christian fascists stand in the pulpits of megachurches and denounce Barack Obama as the Antichrist, there are messianic believers who believe it. When a Republican lawmaker shouts “Baby killer!” at Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak, there are violent extremists who see the mission of saving the unborn as a sacred duty. They have little left to lose.

The kind of extremism that Hedges refers to, can be seen in the vitriol of Christian extremists such as Robert Spencer and Jonathan McLatchie. The next quote more accurately refers to these two missionaries:

Left unchecked, the hatred for radical Islam will transform itself into a hatred for Muslims. The hatred for undocumented workers will become a hatred for Mexicans and Central Americans.

More specifically, their self-delusion in referring to groups they dislike, as in the case of Jonathan McLatchie referring to Muslims as a cancer in European civilization speaks to their extremism. Hedges further says:

The ethnic groups, worshiping their own mythic virtues and courage and wallowing in historical examples of their own victimhood, vomited up demagogues and murderers such as Radovan Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic. To restore this mythological past they sought to remove, through exclusion and finally violence, competing ethnicities. The embrace of non-reality-based belief systems made communication among ethnic groups impossible. They no longer spoke the same cultural or historical language. They believed in their private fantasy. And because they believed in fantasy, they had no common historical narrative built around verifiable truth and no way finally to communicate with anyone who did not share their self-delusion.

In conclusion about these extremists, he says:

Those who retreat into fantasy cannot be engaged in rational discussion, for fantasy is all that is left of their tattered self-esteem. Attacks on their myths as untrue trigger not a discussion of facts and evidence but a ferocious emotional backlash.

That last quote reminds me solely of Sam Shamoun. Rather than engage in intellectual dialogue, he copy pastes articles, and insults those he disagrees with. Thus, the rise of Christian fascism, and its role in spreading hatred and violence towards Muslims is a growing pattern among polemicists such as Robert Spencer, David Wood, Sam Shamoun and now recently Jonathan McLatchie. The result of this hate can only be expressed as follows:

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and God knows best.

Between Ehrman and Error

Recently on Blogging Theology I posted a video on the tenacity of the proposed ausgangstext which filled the lacuna of John 20:28. The vast majority of Muslims (expectedly) were enthusiastic about discussing the tenacity of Doubting Thomas’ alleged statement. The vast majority of Christians were not, which was also understandable. Then there were those caught in-between, educated enough to know that there had to be, or that there was more evidence behind what I had published, and there were others who were incredulous as to what that evidence could have been. Upon release of my second response video, I took a little more time, some 20 minutes and expanded on the rationale leading to the conclusions I mentioned in my first video on the topic.

Everyone knows about Dr. Ehrman’s famous statement, “copies of copies of copies of copies”. Yet the only two arguments I received in return were quite amusing. The first of which was that some people were curious as to whether Dr. Ehrman had commented on this passage or not. For some reason I have yet to discover, some Muslims’ hold on simple textual criticism of the New Testament is limited to only what Dr. Ehrman says, yet at the same time they are fully willing to simultaneously argue against his famous aforementioned quote. I duly provided a list of scholarship that not only knew of the work I gained the reference from John 20:28 on, I also provided the name of a seminary which uses the work itself, while also foregoing to mention that the scholar in question has been cited by Dr. Ehrman himself – one of the Muslims who opposed me in those comments had perhaps not yet read Dr. Ehrman’s references to this scholar (and his conclusions).

Nonetheless, the second argument I received was that no other variant of John 20:28 existed post p66, although I did point out that this was the case in Codex Bezae, as minor of a variant as it is, the challenge that not one variant exists has thoroughly been debunked (for those unread, the manuscript was eventually edited by a scribe).

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Following from this ignorant argument, was the case that since we know what every text post p66 said, then we must know what p66 itself said. This again, coming from those who agree with Dr. Ehrman’s aforementioned statement. We are therefore left with the following problem. Hence the title, Between Ehrman and Error. We have the following from the gracious Dr. Ehrman (emphasis mine own):

My point has always been (for example, in Misquoting Jesus) that we can’t know with absolute complete certainty what was said in each and every passage of the NT. That point – which I think cannot be refuted – is principally directed against fundamentalists who want to claim that every word of the Bible is inspired by God. How can we say the words were inspired if we don’t know in a lot of cases what the words were???Source.

I don’t think there’s an easy answer to these questions.  But they shouldn’t be ignored, as they ALWAYS are (in my experience) by people who want to assure us that we “know the original text in 99% of all cases.”   Really?   Which original?

If it were just up to me, I would say that the “original” is the first form of the text that was placed in circulation.  But since that in fact is not the oldest form of the text, maybe we shouldn’t call it the original. – Source.

One very interesting piece of evidence for this view involves a fact that is not widely known outside the ranks of the professional textual critics.  It is this:  new papyri manuscripts – relatively very old ones – do show up all the time (several in the past few years).  Whenever a new papyrus turns up, it almost NEVER contains a textual variant that is completely new.  The variants are almost always variants that we know about from our later manuscripts.  This shows, the argument goes, that variants were not created later.  Our later manuscripts preserved variants, they didn’t create them.  And this shows, it is argued, that all of the earlier variants are to be found even in the later manuscripts.

This is a terrific argument, and very interesting.  On the surface, it seems pretty convincing.  But in fact, in my view, it does not actually show that we have the original reading or that we can know that we do.  I will explain why in the next post. – Source.

I don’t think our New Testaments are likely ever to change much.  And I don’t think we know in a lot of places what the originals said.  Where’s the contradiction?  I’m not saying that we *know* that we have the original text in 99.9% of the passages of the NT.  I’m saying we *don’t* know – for a wide variety of reasons that I haven’t gotten into very much here.   But I’m emphasizing the word “know.”  We simply don’t know.

Do I *suspect* that most of the time we are pretty close or even there?  Yes, that would be my guess.  But it’s just a guess based on scholarly assumption and suspicion. – Source.

During those 300 years, Mark was being copied, and recopied, and recopied, by scribes.  Until we get our first full copy.  Can we know that this copy from 300 years later was 99% like the version that came directly from the pen of the author?  Of course we can’t know.  How would we know?Source.

Between Ehrman and Error. It’s really as simple as that. Dr. Ehrman used the word “guess”, I used the word “guesswork”. Dr. Ehrman used the word “suspicion”, I used the word “speculation”. Dr. Ehrman repeatedly points out that we cannot know what the original text said. He repeatedly points out that most variant units are decided on guesses and suspicion. So the question begs itself, how far are the conclusions in my video, different from that of Dr. Ehrman’s himself?

The problem presents itself, as he described regarding Mark, we don’t know what version of what copy we received. Given that basic, common sense principle, extend that to John 20:28, given that p66 is our earliest and we have no intermediate text (that is, the text between what the original author(s) wrote and the text of p66 itself), and that it has a lacuna or gap for the famous, “and my God” – then there is no way of certainty of knowing what p66 itself said or what the intermediate text(s) said, what the archetypal text said, or what the autographic text said. To require that we must need a variant before being able to dispute what a missing text says, is essentially self-refuting, the gap itself presents us with a problem, we don’t know what it said and we don’t know if any of the intermediate texts said something variable. We simply cannot know, just as Dr. Ehrman says.

So between Ehrman and Error, I agree with him, we cannot know, it involves guessing and suspicion. Those who disagree, disagree with the very goodly Dr. they appealed to in the first place and are as such, in error.

and Allah knows best.

Sam & John: Partners in Fraud?

In a recent article, I brought to light claims by Sam Shamoun about theft and fraud ongoing at the Trinity Channel. I indicated that Sam’s friend, Jonathan McLatchie would know whether Sam was lying about his own Christian brothers and sisters, or if Sam was being truthful. The consequences of which project badly on both Sam and Jonathan. As it turns out, my article raised questions that many in the interfaith community have been bothered about.

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Having published my article merely asking about Sam’s statements, in a fit of rage, Jonthan McLatchie, rather than clear the air on his position on this serious issue, has decided to end communication on this and similar topics with me. The question needs to be asked, if Jonathan and his friend, mentor and partner in….God knows what…are not bothered by the consequences of Sam’s claims, then why the sudden disconnect? Their silence says more than they think.

and God knows best.

Christian Apologists Disagree on God’s Real Name

Many people are familiar with Dr. Michael Brown and Matt Slick of CARM. They are after all, Christian apologists. Knowing God’s name is a pretty straightforward topic, not so for Christianity. Matt Slick writes:

For people to say that Jesus’ real name is Yashua or Yahusha or Yahushua, etc., is Jesus’ real name is just a statement of pushing an agenda and not believing the New Testament text.

Interestingly, Dr. Michael Brown accuses Matt of being wrong on knowing the true name of God. In a discussion with Br. Mustafa Sahin of Australia, Browns says:

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What can we learn from this? Brown considers people like Matt Slick who argues that Jesus is God’s real name are incorrect and wasting their time. On the other hand, Matt considers people like Dr. Michael Brown who argue that Jesus isn’t God’s real name are pushing an agenda and not believing in the New Testament text.

The question is, since Dr. Michael Brown rejects that Jesus is God’s real name, is Matt Slick correct in referring to him as a disbeliever in the New Testament?

and God knows best.

Quick Responses to Claims About the Eternal Word of God

I’ve been busy the past few days and had not noticed that Br. Yahya Snow published an article and created a video about me. The article can be read here and concerns debate challenges and the glib behaviour of some missionaries.Br. Yahya states:

Now I must say, it’s curious to see Jonathan angle for a debate with Yusuf Bux after he intimated Yusuf’s arguments are dated and weak. Admittedly, I do have reservations about some of the arguments that do come out of SA. Nevertheless, the point here is why would Jonathan decide to target Yusuf for a debate while Jonathan continually avoids Ijaz Ahmad’s debate challenges. Ijaz is a hardened apologist and debater who chooses to involve himself in technical discussions about Christian theology – it’s what he specialises in.

You see, Jonathan has come off really poorly in his interactions with experienced Muslim apologists. He struggled in his debate with Shabir Ally and struggled in his debate with Yusuf Ismail. Ijaz Ahmad and myself have corrected him and refuted him on many points over the last few months – at times on some very basic stuff highlighting his inability in dialogue with Muslims who are more experienced and aware apologetically.

We’ve corrected Jonathan McLatchie a number of times, here are some examples:

  1. Jonathan rejected the belief that God in the Bible literally inscribed revelation.
  2. Jonathan argued that Br. Khalid Yasin was a white man.
  3. Jonathan claimed that nowhere in the Qur’an does Allah say: I am God Worship me.
  4. Jonathan forgot how debates work.

I actually have quite a couple more screenshots of never before released mistakes by Jonathan. However, they will not be posted. There’s a difference between correcting a public figure and caricaturing someone, and I do not want to cross that line. On the other hand, Br. Yahya also produced a video with me responding to some missionary claims regarding the speech of God, the preservation of the Qur’an and of Jesus’s nature:

I’m not particularly fond of seeing my name and face mentioned this much. While I am thankful for the efforts many brothers have made, it’s still a bit unsettling to see my face and name everywhere. In this case though, it is a video debate and so there’s no choice but to show my face. I am appreciative of Br. Yahya’s comments regarding me and for the video he’s made. I pray that many can benefit from the work that our little community of Muslim apologists, bloggers and du’at do.

and Allah knows best.

 

Tony Costa – Pretending to Know Arabic

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Tony Costa

The Claims

The missionary Tony Costa recently responded to one of my articles correcting him on being dishonest about the Arabic language. What is the problem? Tony is claiming that the feminine form of أله is لت. He says:

In a commentary piece where I was reviewing a debate I had with my good friend Sadat Anwar I spoke about the daughters of Allah in the Qur’an 53:19-20. I then made this statement, “Al-Lat is actually the feminine form of ‘Al-ilah’ or ‘Allah’”

I would like to mention that I have linked to Tony’s article and I am quoting what he says so as to demonstrate to him that there is no sleight of hand at work, I’m using his words against him. In the above quote, he is making a claim about the Arabic language. He then goes on to say:

I have never pretended to know the Arabic language, nor did I make such a claim. In fact I openly admitted in my debate with Sadat Anwar that I am presently learning and studying Arabic.

How is it, that he says in one sentence he made a claim and statement about the Arabic language, and then in another he claims that he did not make such a claim? The problem is that Tony freely admits he does not know the Arabic language, yet is insistent that his derivation of the word أله in its female form is لت. This is grammatically impossible. I have explained this to Tony, yet he insists he is correct. He goes on to state:

Why would I give the morphology of the term أله when I never addressed the forms of words in Arabic?

Let’s establish some facts:

  1. Tony claims he does not know the Arabic language.
  2. Tony admits he made a claim about words in the Arabic language.
  3. Tony admits he made claims about words in the Arabic language for which he does not know the morphology of the words themselves.

In other words, someone ignorant about the Arabic language is making a claim about the Arabic language, without being able to qualify his claim using the Arabic language. To prove that he is correct, Tony then copy-pasted a few quotes from a Google Search Result he sent me via e-mail. Yes. Tony insists he is correct because he Googled a question and sent me the results. He did this in an e-mail thread with Dr. Shabir Ally, Dr. James White, Br. Yusuf Ismail, Br. Yahya Snow, Br. Yusuf Bux, Br. Paul Williams, and I corrected him in this e-mail thread. Several others corrected him and he continued to insist that he did not need to know the Arabic language to make claims about the Arabic language. As such, Tony is guilty of a number of fallacies.

The Fallacies

Special Pleading

You moved the goalposts or made up an exception when your claim was shown to be false.

After showing Tony that he was wrong in the Arabic language using Arabic lexicons, Arabic Bibles and explaining basic Arabic grammatical rules, Tony now insists he never meant to address the derivations of the word أله in Arabic, he only meant to do so in English. The problem here is that أله is not an English word, it’s an Arabic word.

Appeal to Authority

You said that because an authority thinks something, it must therefore be true.

Tony claims that his quotes in English prove his claim. Yet, this is not the case. None of these quotes demonstrate how they derive لت from أله. Just because they claim they have, does not make it true. To qualify this as true, all Tony has to do is show the derivation. Since he is unable to do that, and I have contradicted this claim by actually providing the female form, the rules of logic (proof by contradiction) render Tony wrong.

Appeal to Authority

You appealed to popularity or the fact that many people do something as an attempted form of validation.

Seven people repeating a false claim, does not make it true. It makes it wrong each and every time it is repeated. I can also go on Google and claim that at the Council of Nicaea the canon of the New Testament was decided. I can provide hundreds of quotes claiming this. Yet it isn’t true. This is common sense for some of us, not all of us.

The Correction

To begin with, in the Arabic language you derive the forms of a word using its root. This is known as morphology or Sarf (صرف). It is grammatically impossible to derive لت from أله. As previously mentioned in my original article, it’s akin to trying to derive oranges from the word range. This is grammatically impossible. Oranges comes from orange. Oranges does not come from range. This is abecedarian stuff, but Tony does not seem to grasp this concept. We therefore ask the question, what do the Arabic Bibles claim the feminine form of أله is? Millions of Arabic Christians and Jews, use the SVD Arabic Bible. All Tony has to do is go to an Arabic Bible and see what the feminine form of أله is. The Arabic Bibles do not say لت, they say إلهة. See the following examples (emphasis is mine own):

فَذَهَبَ سُلَيْمَانُ وَرَاءَ عَشْتُورَثَ إِلَهَةِ الصَّيْدُونِيِّينَ وَمَلْكُومَ رِجْسِ الْعَمُّونِيِّينَ.
1 Kings 11:5.

لأَنَّهُمْ تَرَكُونِي وَسَجَدُوا لِعَشْتُورَثَ إِلَهَةُ الصَّيْدُونِيِّينَ وَلِكَمُوشَ إِلَهِ الْمُوآبِيِّينَ وَلِمَلْكُومَ إِلَهِ بَنِي عَمُّونَ، وَلَمْ يَسْلُكُوا فِي طُرُقِي لِيَعْمَلُوا الْمُسْتَقِيمَ فِي عَيْنَيَّ وَفَرَائِضِي وَأَحْكَامِي كَدَاوُدَ أَبِيهِ.
1 Kings 11:33.

لأَنَّكُمْ أَتَيْتُمْ بِهَذَيْنِ الرَّجُلَيْنِ وَهُمَا لَيْسَا سَارِقَيْ هَيَاكِلَ وَلاَ مُجَدِّفَيْنِ عَلَى إِلَهَتِكُمْ.
Acts 19:37.

Tony, this is known as proof by contradiction. I did not need to open Google to qualify my claims as you did, I simply went to the Arabic Bible that the Coptic Church uses. Tony therefore claims that he is correct, while the Coptic Church, the Smith and Van Dyke Arabic Bible and the American Bible Society with its translation committees spanning more than 100 years are all wrong. I therefore call upon Tony to contact the Coptic Church and the American Bible Society and let them both know that their Bibles have an error in their scriptures which they have not noticed for over 100 years, but that he, a man who does not know the Arabic language is correct.

To further correct Tony, here are some lexicons. Tony, lexicons explain the roots of words, their derivations and their meanings. They are considered authorities on language. I am quite shocked that you do not know this, but I am here to help you.

Lanes Lexicon

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This is from page 82 of Lane’s lexicon, Tony would do well to read the last line. The plural of أله is إلهة. Next we go to لت:

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لت has nothing to do with أله. These are two different root words. Let’s say لت is A and أله is B. Tony is trying to derive A from B, yet A and B are two root words. They are not derivatives of each other, they are root words from which their own derivatives can be formed. They have nothing to do with each other. One does not come from the other, A is not B and B is not A. A does not come from B and B does not come from A. It should be noted that these two words are 2649 pages apart, they literally have no connection with each other. If one was derived from the other, why are neither included in each other’s lexical derivatives? Next, we go to the Hans-Wehr dictionary.

Hans-Wehr

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Again, another authority in the Arabic language, in Arabic, showing the derivatives/ morphology of the words themselves disagrees with Tony. Anyone interested in seeing the many more lexicons and dictionaries that discredit, disagree and disavow Tony Costa can click here.

Ibn Kathir

Tony makes the mistake of attributing a quote to Ibn Kathir, rather the quote literally says who it is from. Ibn Jarir. I asked Tony during our email discourse if he knew who Ibn Jarir was. Tony did not respond to that question. This is basic comprehension skills, it is not Ibn Kathir who makes the statement it is Ibn Jarir (Source):

و كانوا قد اشتقوا اسمها من اسم الله فقالوا الات

“They derived Al-Lat’s name from Allah’s Name, and made it feminine. Allah is far removed from what they ascribe to Him. It was reported that Al-Lat is pronounced Al-Lat because, according to `Abdullah bin `Abbas, Mujahid, and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Al-Lat was a man who used to mix Sawiq (a kind of barley mash) with water for the pilgrims during the time of Jahiliyyah. When he died, they remained next to his grave and worshipped him.”

Common sense is not common. How did they derive Al-Lat from Allah? By using a name of similar pronunciation as is stated above in Lane’s lexicon, page 2649:

“Some say that the ت is originally without tashdeed, and to denote the feminine gender: Ks used to pronounce the word in a case of pause اللاة : and Aboo Ishak says, that this is agreeable with analogy…”

They didn’t derive it from using the word for God in Arabic: أله  , they derived it by using the word لت in its form of اللاة because they sounded similar to each other. Even the narrator himself rebuffs the claim by saying:

“Allah is far removed from what they ascribe to Him.”

In other words, Tony is using  quote he does not understand, and once put into context, it completely refutes his accusations en toto.

Conclusion 

It has been proven, using basic Arabic grammar rules, Arabic lexicons, Arabic dictionaries, Arabic Bibles, the Coptic Church’s Bible and from Arab historians, that لت is impossible to get from أله. I therefore challenge Tony to eight (8) things:

  1. Using the word أله, derive the word لت.
  2. Using any Arabic source to qualify #1.
  3. To explain what grammatical rules he used to prove #1.
  4. To explain how he used the root of one word, to derive root of another completely unrelated word.
  5. To contact the Coptic Church and let them know they have got the wrong word in their Bibles.
  6. To contact the American Bible Society and let them know they have translated a word incorrectly for over 100 years and that their translation committees comprising of experts in the Arabic language have got it wrong because you found some quotes in English on Google.
  7. To explain تاء التأنيث of the noun لت.
  8. To explain where the أ and the ه disappeared when using #7.

Challenge 

I also challenge Dr. Tony Costa to a public debate in Toronto on any topic of his choosing. It is most likely that he will not respond to this challenge, as much as he will never concede his ignorance of the Arabic language led him to commit an error so embarrassing that even Arabic speaking children can tell him he’s wrong.

Second Challenge

A former Maronite Christian from Lebanon is willing to talk with Tony and explain to him why he’s wrong and why he is embarrassing himself. Tony can send me an e-mail to be put in contact with this person.

Lessons Learned

Tony accuses me of raising irrelevant arguments in responding to him. This is problematic because Tony conceded he does not know the Arabic language, therefore on what basis does he rationalize my corrections of him as being irrelevant? In any language, if we are discussing a word or term used, it is impossible to discuss its meaning, its application and its context without understanding the word itself. Especially in Arabic, we can only know the meaning of a word by going to its root, which is why Sarf (صرف) is one of the first things taught in basic Arabic. Tony sees me correcting him as an attack on his person. I want to make it clear that I am not attacking Tony in any way, however, he did make claims and I am dutifully responding to those claims. It is impossible to discuss one’s claim without first providing context. Tony is the one who made the claim in an e-mail chain, and therefore he is the one who is responded to. If Jack or Jill or Paul made such a claim, I’d also be responding to them.

One of the more disappointing realizations to have arised out of this, is that Tony admits that he is making a claim he does not understand. All he knows, is to repeat that someone has claimed al-Lat is from Allah. He does not know, nor does he care to know how or if al-Lat is derived from Allah. For an academic, he is setting a very low standard for scholarship. He is simply making a claim he does not understand and when asked to explain the claim rather than repeating it, he immediately claims he is being attacked. I’m sorry Tony but that cop-out does not work on me. I am holding you to the standard of an academic, as someone with a PhD. I demand of you the kind of scholarship that your title should befit, not the kind of scholarship that is beholden to Google Searches and parroting incorrect claims incessantly. 

Therefore, I call upon Tony to apologize for his blatant dishonesty, insults and recalcitrance. Perhaps what is most disappointing is that Tony decided to title his article by referencing my illness. He seems to take it as a joke. To me, it is not a joke. Tony’s ignorance did send me to the hospital due to my frail state. It’s no use to throw a prayer into the end of his article, after having disparaged my character and my illness in some attempt to justify his absolutely fraudulent claims about the Arabic language. In the same breath that he chastised Br. Yusuf Ismail regarding a Koine grammatical rule, he needs to also rebuke himself for his dishonesty. In the end, I forgive Tony for mocking my illness, after all, he is human.

Notified Tony of this Post and of its Challenges to Him

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All I Have Left to Say is –

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and Allah knows best.

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