Tag Archives: bnp

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.

Missionary Mishap: Jonathan McLatchie Doesn’t Understand How Debates Work

Earlier today I watched a dialogue between Jonathan and someone named Inamullah on the topic of, “Is Jesus God?”. I found a statement of Jonathan’s to be quite peculiar and made a post about it. If you’re unfamiliar with Jonathan, he’s the guy that referred to immigrants in Europe as “cancers” and “viruses”. Also the guy that believes Br. Khalid Yasin, is a Caucasian man, despite being…..African American. So what was the problem?

Moderated debates follow formats. Typically, something along the lines of:

  1. Speaker 1’s Opening Statements.
  2. Speaker 2’s Opening Statements.
  3. Speaker 1’s 1st Rebuttal.
  4. Speaker 2’s 1st Rebuttal.
  5. Speaker 1’s 2nd Rebuttal.
  6. Speaker 2’s 2nd Rebuttal.
  7. Speaker 1’s Concluding Statements.
  8. Speaker 2’s Concluding Statements.

There’s an alternation between the speakers, as can be seen above. What should also be noticed is that there are Opening Statements and then Rebuttals. This is common sense, but Jonathan does not seem to understand this. In the Opening Statements, each speaker open’s….with….their…..statements! Shocking, I know! This is where each speaker presents their arguments, their research, their ideas. Following this, the speakers then rebut, that is, respond to the arguments and claims made in each others’ Opening Statements. That’s not difficult to understand, it’s pretty much common sense. Jonathan however, does not seem to understand this basic concept. In his dialogue with Inamullah, following Inamullah’s Opening Statements, Jonathan during his 1st Rebuttal asks Inamullah why he (Inamullah) did not rebut Jonathan during his (Inamullah’s) Opening Statement.

In other words, Jonathan gave his Opening Statement. Then Inamullah gave his Opening Statement. Then Jonathan gave his 1st Rebuttal. However, it is during this 1st Rebuttal that Jonathan asks why Inamullah did not respond to Jonathan’s Opening Statement. I made a post on Facebook asking Jonathan why he expected Inamullah to rebut him, when his (Inamullah’s) 1st Rebuttal had not yet occurred. He replied:

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You’d notice that Jonathan immediately falls into his Christian character and must find a need to insult me. I don’t mind this behaviour, after all, Jonathan did mention that Muslims were like cancer, so his hate is understandable. Follow what he says carefully though. While he acknowledges that his opponent’s rebuttal should have come during his rebuttal period, he still and amazingly so….argues that his opponent must also rebut him during their Opening Statement. I agree with Jonathan, your opponent does have a responsibility to engage with your material, that’s why there’s a Rebuttal period! There’s a solution for that Jonathan, it’s built into the format of the debate, it’s called Rebuttal periods.

The problem here is quite a good example of Jonathan’s inability to deal with criticism. There was no need for him to be condescending and rude during the debate, by speaking down to his opponent directly after his Opening Statement. You don’t demand things of people during a debate, you most certainly don’t order them around if you don’t like what they’re saying. If only there wasn’t a moderator, how much more uncouth would he have been?

and God knows best.

Are there Chains of Transmissions for Early Patristic Witnesses?

Question:

A Christian polemicist who previously compared Muslims to a cancer in Europe, and who denied that God inscribed the 10 commandments on tablets to Moses, has claimed that there is a chain of transmission linking the apostles of Jesus to the early Church Fathers. Is this true? How, do we respond to this?

Answer:

There is nothing to respond to. The author of the aforementioned article does not seem to understand the basics of hadith criticism, and reduces the science of hadith criticism to merely throwing some names together and linking them through obscurity. It should be noted that in reading that poor article, the author depends solely on one disciple and solely on one Patristic, with two extremely obscure quotes whose works we no longer have the autographs (originals) for. After several hundred words, the author could not sum his evidences to provide a basis for a single da’eef (weak) chain of transmission. Under hadith criticism, especially that of mustalah or rijal, the hadith sciences would have no other option to regard that claim of a “chain”, as nothing more than hearsay.

Regarding his quotes, Papias and Polycarp are said to have been contemporaries of each other. Eusebius in the 4th century, corrects Papias in his assertion that he knew John the apostle. It is disputed which John that Papias knew. If Papias and Polycarp were contemporaries, and the Christians of the 4th century couldn’t identify which of the four Johns he knew (John the apostle, John the elder, John of Patmos or a John with a combination of any of the previous identities), how can someone 2000 years later claim to make that identification for Papias’ contemporary, Polycarp? Furthermore, it should be noted that Polycarp himself not once quotes or references John the apostle in any of his extant writings, and Iraeneus who in the late second century recorded the claim that Polycarp knew John, heard this in his childhood. There are literally no other sources which can corroborate something that Iraeneus writing in the late second century, claims to have heard in his childhood, much less so from any of the extant writings of Polycarp himself.

The author of the aforementioned article, in a case of pure desperation attempts to quote Ignatius’ work to qualify the claim of early Trinitarian beliefs, whereas it should be known that Ignatius’ works are only survived through Eusebius in the 4th century, with absolutely no verifiable chain of transmission between the two. In other words, it has been demonstrated that the author himself is unfamiliar with the hadith sciences to the point he could not offer a single chain of transmission or the chain’s grading, or a jarh of any of the names mentioned in the overly lengthy article. His sole reliance on one obscure quote without any other witness or comment by Iraeneus himself, demonstrates the desperation of the author to forcibly create an instance of a chain of transmission. In my debate earlier this year, I consulted with a New Testament Professor and a scholar of the hadith sciences to examine the chains of transmission in the early Church. A basic summary of the results of our labour can be found in that debate:

It is clear that the author of the article was not attempting to present a studied argument. Due to the nature of the blog he posted the article to, it can thus be deduced that he was pandering to lay-Christians with no scholastic interest in either Christianity or Islam. I forwarded his article to both the New Testament Professor and hadith scholar I worked with on examining Patristic chains of transmission, and both of them replied quite negatively. Another brother, who discussed this topic with a prominent Christian New Testament scholar and historian, also replied negatively to the claims in the article (not to the article itself). I have not sought permission from any of these persons to reproduce their comments on this website. Should the case arise for me to do so, I will, with great pleasure. However, it is saddening that the Christian author has chosen to align himself with an anti-immigrant polemicist, whose venom Dr. James White in a recent video attempted to dissuade Christians from endorsing. It would then seem, that the author is more interested in pandering to a racist crowd, that conforms to his views, than to do objective, intelligent and honest academic research.

In this article, using a single criteria from the hadith sciences, I demonstrated that the New Testament does not meet the criteria of a da’eef (weak) narration.

In this article, using a single criteria from the hadith sciences, I demonstrated that none of the New Testament literature, can be validated or verified as being from Jesus ‘alayhi as salaam or his apostles, since none of the alleged transmitters can stand up to rijal al hadith.

and Allah knows best.

 

 

Jonathan McLatchie: ‘Self-Professed Expert’ on Islam Gets the Basics Wrong

Following in the footsteps of now disgraced pseudo-academic (false credentials regarding the teachings of Islam – Alpha and Omega Ministry), Ergun Caner, Jonathan McLatchie is now advertising himself as an “expert on Islam”. According to an August 2nd post advertising his lecture in which he claimed that “France has a problem with Islam”, and that Islam and Muslims were “tantamount to inviting a virus into your civilization“, Jonathan is described as an “expert on Islam“:

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“Expert on Islam”

In a private interview conducted with myself, meant for publication, I decided to ask Jonathan questions about Shari’ah law, given his previous xenophobic comments regarding Muslims and Islam. A portion (in chronological order) is given as follows:

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So how did the ‘expert on Islam’ do? Not so well….

According to Ahlus Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah, there are four sources of Islamic law:

  1. Qur’an
  2. Hadith
  3. ‘Ijma
  4. Qiyaas

Shari’ah law, also includes what the English would refer to as “common law” and “civil law” with deep considerations taken of ‘Urf (العرف) – cultural norms and values. Shari’ah law, also includes the corpus of laws a Muslim would adhere to in his daily life: how do I pray, what is the Shari’ah ruling on food cooked in the same pot as pork or ham, what does the Shari’ah say regarding fasting if I’m traveling, etc. So not only does this ‘expert on Islam’, not know the basics, he relegated it only to crime, politics and economics.

It was at this point I realised he did not know what he was talking about and I decided to ask him a very basic question regarding Shari’ah law. Immediately, he renounced his ‘expertise’, despite having advertised himself as such on Christian apologetics websites and on ABN/ Trinity TV’s shows last week. Jonathan was clearly caught off guard and quickly realised he needed to mitigate the situation, thereby relinquishing his claim to be an ‘expert’. This was a live interview, so he had no time to Google the answer, and he was live on Skype with me, I would have noticed if he was trying to Google search the answer to my question. So caught between a rock and a hard place, the ‘expert’ then, ‘not an expert’, who returned to being an ‘expert’ last week did indeed get the question wrong.

The Hadd laws, refer to very specific punishments within the Shari’ah. This would include stoning and cutting of the hands, which do require in and of themselves, very specific evidences for the punishment to be meted out (which is difficult to attain in most cases). These are not Ta’zir laws, which are discretionary judgments by an Islamic judge (qadhi). So the well advertised and self-proclaimed ‘expert’ on Islam needs to publicly correct himself. His rabid tirades against the Islamic Shari’ah, when he clearly does not understand it are very worrisome. He’s arguing and hating against something of which he has no idea about. Clearly then, when confronted with a difficult situation, he quickly discarded his ‘expert’ title and rightfully accepted his position as being theological unqualified about Islam.

I advise Jonathan, to fully discard the title, you sir are not an ‘expert on Islam’.

and God knows best.