Tag Archives: canada

Announcement: Working with Dr. Shabir Ally

As Salaamu ‘Alaykum,

Allah says in His Qur’an, 42:15:

So to that [religion of Allah ] invite, [O Muhammad], and remain on a right course as you are commanded and do not follow their inclinations but say, “I have believed in what Allah has revealed of the Qur’an, and I have been commanded to do justice among you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. For us are our deeds, and for you your deeds. There is no [need for] argument between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and to Him is the [final] destination.”

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, I am happy to announce that as of this week I have joined Dr. Shabir Ally’s team at the Islamic Information and Dawah Centre International in Toronto, Canada. By the grace and mercy of Allah, we intend to embark upon several significant projects to better serve the Muslim community both here locally and internationally by combining our efforts, studies and goals.

Alternative: Watch the video on Facebook!

Be sure to like the Islamic Information and Dawah Centre International on Facebook to see our latest updates.

There are two new events we will be having for the month of April, a one month Class for New Muslims and a weekly interfaith dialogue series, both of which require registration at this point in time, for more information please message us on Facebook or send me an email at ejaaz@islaminfo.com

and Allah knows best!

Post-Debate Remarks: What is the True Faith of Jesus’ Disciples

My friend and EAM Associate Apologist, Luis sent these books with Steven. Thanks Louie!

My friend and EAM Associate Apologist, Luis sent these books with Steven. Thanks Louie!

I’ve taken some time to think about the debate I had on Friday past with Reverend Steven Martins. Before, I speak on the debate itself I’d like to thank Br. Asad – the event’s host, Br. Haseeb – the videographer, MYTT – the organizers, and Pastor Kris – first time debate moderator and local host of Reverend Stevens. The event was well attended, some 200 – 300 persons, although we got off to a late start ~30 minutes, by the time the opening statements began we had a sizable crowd which grew steadily throughout our presentations. Due to our late start, we also had a late conclusion to the event, close to midnight according to our host and organizers. I however, having just come out of surgery, left 30 minutes after the debate. Reverend Steven’s timing wasn’t the best, but having just come out of surgery two weeks prior to the event, I was skeptical as to how I’d be able to manage a first time stage debate in front of such a large crowd. Thankfully, I was able to hold down my own and go through with the event.

The crowd seemed very well pleased with both presentations, occasionally I’d glance at the crowd and see quite a number of smiling faces, as well as a swelling crowd of guests. I have to admit that I was completely thrown aback by both Reverend Stevens and Pastor Kris’s (on the ‘s, see William Strunk Jr. and EB White’s, “The Elements of Style”) kind words. Pastor Kris’s introduction of, “I’ve only met Ijaz a few minutes now, but I must say he is a handsome young man”, was an excellent start to the night’s proceedings. No doubt, I do agree with the Pastor (why yes, I am being cheeky). Reverend Stevens is a very good orator and I must applaud him for speaking clearly, consistently and loudly enough. Myself on the other hand, had the mic adjusted a few minutes into the debate but the audio recording was not affected (the audience may have been affected, but that was a minor issue as far as I was told). Unfortunately, the Christian videographer had issues with his recording and thus despite having two cameras present, only one actually recorded the event.

Beyond that hiccup, the event proceeded smoothly. I have been told by persons who were at the event that the one on one between myself and the Reverend during our crossfire section was extremely thrilling and quite the spectacle to have watched. The question and answer following the main debate was quite interesting. Unfortunately there was one belligerent (Christian?) man who found my comments in relation to 2 Corinthians 12:6-7 to be somewhat offensive. Although my memory could be wrong, I have conferred with several others and they have agreed that my recounting of the events is indeed accurate (if I’m wrong, shoot me an email or place a comment, I’ll gladly correct myself), it proceeded as follows:

Questioner: Why are you using your intellect in reading scripture? The message of the cross is foolish to those who think they are wise! (He then proceeds to ask me a series of loosely related questions).

Me: I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you’re asking, can you please clarify?

Questioner: (Expressing his ire with my not understanding him proceeds to ask several more questions and shout after the mic has been taken from him; both Christian and Muslim sides agreed this would be done in the event someone wanted to start their own debate.)

 

I do fear that my reaction may have gone over his head. I have been told that some of my comments were too witty for certain sections of the crowd (I’m not sure how to respond to that), but essentially, if I turned off my intellect as the man was demanding I do, then it’s quite clear I wouldn’t be able to understand what he was asking. I will excuse him though, his anger and emotions may have gotten the better of him. Although the irony is difficult to escape, there was a deeper level of irony that occurred to me then but alas there was no time to mention it (time limit of 2 minutes had rushed quickly by!), here is a man who reads his scripture without using intellect, while those who constructed his scripture (textual critics) are required to use their intellects in their discipline! I seem to have angered the man with my being unable to understand him, but perhaps if he used his – intellect – it may have helped. Nonetheless, that was the only odd event for the evening and we proceeded to finish line shortly thereafter.

Following the event, I’ve received great feedback from both sides on the presentations for the debate. Fortunately, the questions the audience asked were directly relevant to the next topic, “What is the True Path of Salvation: Islam or Christianity?”, which sets a great stage for the next debate. I’m concerned that the Christian side which is arranging the recording may not be able to follow through on those arrangements for the next debate. I’d be quite disappointed if that is the case, but I do hope and pray that this next event goes as smoothly if not more smoothly than the first. Reverend Stevens and myself do certainly approach these topics quite differently, and I think the audience benefits greatly from our differences. I do look forward to our second and last event for his Trinidad Mission’s Trip. Please keep us in your prayers.

Debate Special: Introducing Reverend Steven Martins

As the debate events reach ever closer, both Reverend Stevens and myself have authored introductory pieces on our mission, our works and our backgrounds. You can read my introduction at the E&AM website, below you’d find Reverend Steven’s introduction. As he has mentioned on the E&AM website, we’re expecting and catering for ~400+ for each of the two debates. We’re both excited, thrilled and most definitely humbled to be at the service of our religious communities.


 

Rev. Steven Martins

Rev. Steven Martins

I would firstly like to thank Bro. Ijaz Ahmad of Calling Christians for this opportunity to introduce myself to the Muslim community and to the people of Trinidad & Tobago. I also would like to express my thankfulness to his team who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to put together our first debate on “What is the True Faith of Jesus’ Disciples?” along with Pstr. Kris Maharaj of the Jesus Worship Centre for receiving us and co-ordinating our itinerary.

My name is Rev. Steven Martins and I am the founder and lead-apologist for Evangelium & Apologia Ministries, a Christian apologetics organization stationed in Toronto, Canada. I am a York University graduate and am working towards a Masters of Arts in Christian Apologetics at Veritas Evangelical Seminary.

 

I have studied and developed my ministry under the tutelage of RZIM Canada’s Dr. Andy Bannister, Dr. Tony Costa and Dr. Joseph Boot. I have also served as the chief-organizer of 2014’s Classical Debate between Jay Smith and Dr. Shabir Ally.

I am traveling down to Trinidad with my beloved wife Cindy from February 18 to March 1 to speak at schools, churches, colleges and Universities on apologetic topics such as The Problem of Evil, The Question of Suffering, Biblical Creation, Biblical Archaeology and other topics that we are requested to cover. Amongst our bookings, we have two debates with Bro. Ijaz, one of which takes place on Friday February 20 (topic mentioned above) and the second on Saturday February 28 on “Islam or Christianity: Which is the True Path of Faith?” In truth, although our ministry currently had its sights on Latin-America for this year, God opened the door for us to arrive in Trinidad & Tobago for His divine will and purposes.

As a Christian, I have often been asked why I have endorsed or participated in debates with different faith communities. My response has always been consistent with my faith and worldview, that I am concerned for the salvation of other people and would like to communicate the truth of the Gospel to all nations and cultures. However, I can certainly do that through other mediums, why then choose a debate? Because I also believe that multi-faith communities should engage each other in great positive discussions on theology and spirituality. Instead of embracing misconceptions derived from other people’s opinions, why not ask a Muslim why he believes what he believes on certain topics and issues? Why not hear what other people have to say? Why not present our arguments and cases on the table, and have a civilized discussion where disagreements and arguments can be explored, tested, and refined? Debates and dialogues are a great way to instill peace through respectful and honorable communication, while also getting to know our respective neighbors and friends. We can either isolate our communities from each other, or we can promote engaging discussions which will only better improve society and its internal relations through respect and honor for one another.

Thank you for receiving my wife and I into your beloved country; it will be an honor to meet with you and to engage in fruitful discussion on the dates of our debates.

May God Bless you,

Steven Martins
Executive Director
Evangelium & Apologia Ministries
www.eamcanada.org

Jay Smith’s Story Does Not Add Up

On Sunday 16th November, two prominent UK Muslim speakers/ debaters, Br. Ayaz and Br. Zakir Hussein both went to Speaker’s Corner, Hyde Park (London) to confront Jay Smith. They had decided to challenge him to a debate, the video of that challenge will be uploaded soon. The reason I’m mentioning this, is that while speaking to Smith, they told him that, “Ijaz says hi!“, to which he responded that I was a liar and that he’s preparing a response to my paper.

The problem is, and I hope he realises this soon so that he can stop embarrassing himself – he doesn’t need to prepare a response to me. Following the debate, Smith released an email in which he explains that he’s been studying the topic of Qur’anic manuscripts for sometime, with the dates of January 2014 and March 2014 being mentioned. Given that the debate happened at the end of September, it would then mean that Smith had been preparing for this debate for some 9 months or so.

With 9 months of preparation, research and study, he entered into the debate with what appeared to be a large stack of papers which contained that very research, of which he shared several of them with the audience:

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At one point in the debate, he remarked that he’d share his research with the public, and that it was available for anyone to see should they request it. So what does this all mean? Since the day of his debate with Dr. Shabir, he has possessed 9 months of research, collected into that large stack of papers several inches thick on the table beside him. So, the problem is, what does he need to prepare in response to me, if he already has 9 months of research several inches thick already prepared?

Especially when he declared that the research was ready for anyone to see! So what exactly does he need to prepare? Either he did his research over a period of 9 months and had it ready on the day of the debate, or, given the countless errors and lies I found him making during the debate, he really has no research to present for us and is now scrambling to get something done. So Smith, which is it? It’s time for you to clear the air. Either you lied during the debate or you lied after the debate and on Sunday when you made those remarks. Which is it? Can’t get your story straight it seems.

Since you said the research would be shared with anyone who requests it, then I proudly declare that on this day, I request it! Send it over to callingchristians@gmail.com, I’ll be waiting! For everyone else, you can download and view the 53 page paper on Qur’anic manuscripts here.

and Allah knows best.

Pregnant Muslim Woman Attacked for Wearing a Hijab

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Shocking news from Canada today, where news of a violent attack on a pregnant Muslim woman has caused outrage and despair throughout the Muslim minority community. Global News (Canada) had this to report:

Toronto police say a male suspect allegedly hit and harassed a pregnant woman on the street because she was wearing a hijab.

Police allege a jogger went out of his way to strike the woman in two separate incidents during the last month (on Yonge Street near Eglington Avenue) in the city’s midtown area.

Const. Wendy Drummond says police believe the woman was not known by the suspect and was targeted because of her head scarf.

Drummond says the suspect also made remarks to the woman on five other occasions, but she did not comment on what was allegedly said.

Shawn Sable, 43, is charged with two counts of assault and one count of criminal harassment.

Drummond says the nature of the comments allegedly made by the suspect lead investigators to believe other people may also have been targeted.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam.