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Damage Done to Islamic Cause in Debate with Christians
Unqualified People Should not Pretend to be Scholars of Islam

January 21-22. A whole galaxy of Christian scholars questioned three Muslim "leaders" about Islam on a "Christian-Muslim Relations" program aired repeatedly on C-Span.

We do not want to take names or even mention the groups these Muslims belonged to so that this criticism should not be given a personal tinge, but the program was a disaster for Muslims and should be looked at critically so that such mistakes are not made again.

Muslims who decide to get on TV should have at least basic qualifications to be able to present Islam in America. The three committed every mistake they could have made.

1. They were not well-versed in Islamic knowledge and could not answer specific questions about Quran and Hadith.

2. They were not fluent in English. One of them seemed to have a speech impediment while the other two had difficulty in finding words to express themselves.

3. The three suffered from serious inferiority complex about Islam, Muslims and the Muslim world.

These Muslims allowed themselves to be put in a defensive position. The Christians, well-trained from seminaries and churches, asked the questions while the Muslims answered as if they were being tried in a court of law.

The Muslims accepted the American premise that 9/11 cannot be discussed and there is no way its causes or related issues in the Muslim world can be brought forth. In other words, Muslims accepted self-censorship as the basis of the discussion.

The Christians built on Muslim self-censorship to ask: If you condemn 9/11 attacks on U.S., how can you justify martyrdom attacks on Israel?

The three did not know what to say about Nasikh and Mansukh in the Qur'an. They could not answer specific questions about the "verse of the sword" or the Quranic verse calling for draconian punishments for those who disrupt society and commit highway robbery (which was repeatedly misquoted by the Christian questioner).

They were totally inept in the questions about Islamic "oppression of women" because they wanted to stay away from the Taliban issue (which in turn could lead to the 'bombing of Afghanistan' issue).

The Christians floored the three by talking of the freedom of religion in America as compared to dictatorships in Muslim countries. {The three did not have even the basic understanding of separation of Church and State in America: Here you are free to follow any religion because religion does not matter. In Muslim countries religion can change the State.}

The three could not answer why the Prophet (pbuh) married Ayesha (r.a) when she was so young.

The issue of non-Muslim minorities in Muslim countries was also a disaster for the three.

The Christians knew which questions to ask. The Muslims tried Public Relationing (PR): Islam is a religion of peace. Everything is wrong with Muslim countries (America is the greatest). Jihad has been misunderstood.

To specific questions on Quran, the three would say: You have to know the context or (even worse) that was only for that time! They had no specific answers.

{The biggest absurdity was the Christian claim accepted by the three that such a wonderful discussion could only be held in America. The fact is that such discussions and even those about 9/11 can be held in most Muslim countries as long as you do not attack or try to overthrow the government.}

The self-appointed leaders of America's Muslims have still not given up their ways of hypocrisy and public relationing even in the most serious issues. Every time they come on TV they shame Islam and Muslims.

Can someone tell them: Why do you have to speak? Is TV such a great attraction?

2002-01-22 Tue 16:33ct