Monday, June 22, 2009

ArabFest Invasion 2009 - Dearborn, USA

When Acts 17 Apologetics produced it first YouTube video, I was quite pleased. Here, there was finally someone that seemed to fit the actual claim of an "Ex-Muslim Christian" who was interested in serious but sincere respectful dialogue. I suppose I was let down on many fronts, but it was my own fault, I set myself up for this one and I should have known better.

I read Dr Nabeel Qureshi's testimony and was moved by it, in terms of the feelings his family went through. I told him so via email. I re-read it a little while back and noticed the small print, you would almost miss it if you blinked, I did the first time. He was an Ahmadi, a group that is regarded by Muslims of all sects, unanimously, as being outside of Islam. 

Strike ONE.

But thats not all that bad, at least he would have read the Quran and have a reasonable amount of knowledge about Islam. The debut YouTube video of Acts 17 Apologetics seemed very good superficially but any slightly detailed look demonstrated the error of the position put forward by Dr Nabeel Qureshi.

I did just that, took a detailed look at the position he put forward and showed the deficiencies in a two part video response:

Which Dr Nabeel Qureshi said that he liked in a private message to me.

I was looking forward to another YouTube video from Acts 17 Apologetics and was rewarded, so I thought initially, by not one but TWO YouTube videos:

These videos can be paraphrased as follows:

An Arab/Islam Festival called Arab Fest 2009 was taking place in Dearborn USA. Glorious sunshine light the streets and smiling families eating ice-cream wonder past giddily revolving children's rides. The hubbub of gentle talking and children's laughter ripples across the scene. Momentarily, there is peace on God's earth.

In this serene setting Dr Nabeel Qureshi, Mr Wood and others in a crew of debaters with a camera in hand were on a mission. Having obtained a leaflet that claimed that Islam was a peaceful religion Dr Qureshi authoritatively quotes Surah 9 verse 29 to his camera wielding crew member in an effort to "demonstrate" that Islam is not a peaceful religion.

A few clouds are now beginning to gather on this idealic scene and a few nervous glances are cast by passersby at this threatening camera crew and women glance around to see if their children are within sight.

Dr Qureshi followed by his camera wielding crew now make their way to an Islam Information Stand, in a live demonstration of "I iz right". A short young man turns towards the voice of Dr Qureshi, who towers over him and who is waving said pamphlet in his face (like a subpoena or a warrant) demanding an answer to his "question".

[This young man reminds me momentarily of Prophet David (pbuh) faced with Goliath (Dr Qureshi's Masters in Christian Apologetics certainly adds to my perception)]

I dont really know what goes through the young man's mind, it may have been arrest and detention without charge, extra-ordinary rendition, Gitmo (surely thats closed?) or another of a plethora of Gulag's in which Muslims are held and tortured but his response is virtually automatic. "Turn off the camera".

Dr Qureshi, immediately and triumphantly turns to his camera wielding crew and claims that the refusal to answer his question is "evidence" that the pamphlet is a deception and the Muslims are hiding something.

Sigh. Strike TWO.

Dr Qureshi's use of Surah 9 to "demonstrate" Islam is not a peaceful religion is truly deserving of strike in its own right but I am generous. I would have expected Dr Qureshi to know that Surah 9 is not what he claims it to be. In fact, this is such a widely misused piece of Quran that has so often been refuted, I am sure by Dr Qureshi himself in his Ahmadi days, that I will not bother to quote it. I was disappointed to say the least.

The saga however is not over.

Mr Woods then claims, facing his camera wielder, that he was almost tricked in to handing out a Christian Pamphlet, in a effort to have him removed from the fest. So, to clarify, Mr Wood, a Christian Evangelist, Apologist and Propagator, had Christian Pamphlets with him which he brought to the ArabFest 2009 to NOT distribute [eyes roll upwards].

The indignation in Mr Wood's eyes is matched for a moment by the Dr Qureshi's anguish that this "virtual almost trapping" of Mr Wood was not caught on camera. Mr Wood then remonstrates about the Freedom that Islam inevitably removes from this American street and Dr Qureshi welcomes the audience to "Shariah".

Strike THREE. Your OUT.

I wonder what would happen to some Muslims turning up at a Christian festival, carrying out similar antics? Walking around with a camera (whilst Muslim - probably a Federal offense anyway), being confrontational to stand volunteers?

What disappoints me the most is that, here, Acts 17 Apologetics are moving away from any real attempt at a discussion to try and establish Islam's or Christianity's position on any given topic and we have a moving towards a fear-mongering "Islam is taking over the USA and imposing Shariah law on us" proof by overt suggestion methodology.

I wish Dr Qureshi and Mr Wood all the best and would advise that to improve their attempts at teaching Muslims about Christianity they will have to change their approach. I hope that future Acts 17 Apologetics YouTube videos are not so insubstantial and so obviously fear-mongering.

For me and for many other Muslims, the resort to the tactics mentioned above is a sign of a weak position and not a strong one. To help Muslims with the many dilemmas within Christianity, please deal with the substantial issues: Original Sin, Trinitarianism and Monotheism, Can God Forgive sin?... to name but a few.

For example, Muslims dont believe that God made all of Mankind bear the guilt of the sin of just two people, that is unjust and Muslims dont believe that God is unable to forgive sin and requires payment, even if that meant paying Himself by becoming a man and committing suicide (or killing another innocent), that a weakness and another injustice.

Peace, fot
May God guide us all always closer to His Truth. Ameen.


  1. >What disappoints me the most is that, here, Acts 17 Apologetics are moving away from any real attempt at a discussion to try and establish Islam's or Christianity's position on any given topic and we have a moving towards a fear-mongering "Islam is taking over the USA and imposing Shariah law on us" proof by overt suggestion methodology.<

    Obviously, you missed (or simply omitted) the coinciding DEBATE SERIES currently going on with both of these men.

    Click here to determine if FOT's assessment is accurate:

    Roger Sharp
    Confident Christianity Apologetics

  2. dear asharpfamily,

    I welcome the debate series you link, for what thats worth, debates have a habit of fermenting an us-and-them mentality, but sometimes can be useful.

    This still of course does not detract from the methods used, which are below any decent conduct and pander to those that wish Islam and Muslims to be both hated and feared.


  3. well a Muslim want freedom to practice and critize others religion but he never allows to do same by Non-Muslims.Islam is indeed peaceful religion!!!

  4. If memory serves, this is the same methodology used by folks like Michael Moore (whose camera has probably been hit with some regularity). In other words, anyone plugged-in to contemporary culture would react in the same manor as the "Question Booth Guy," because they recognize this style as aggressive and non-conducive to civil discussion. Anyone approaching a question booth with a camera and a camera crew, who isn't local media, probably has an agenda.

    Somehow I suspect the purpose of the Question Booth, and the Apologists desired use of it, weren't in line. In other words, the question booth was were there to answer questions of a factual nature, while the debate team wished to debate the facts themselves.

    That, and my "common sense meter" suggests to me that going into an Arab Festival to debate Isalm seems inherently antagonistic to me. It doesn't sit well.

  5. Assalamalaikum ,

    Shouldn't this be expected from the folks of acts17? In their bible there are even worse verses of killing but its ok with them. These are hardcore followers of paul who tries to catch people by guile and deceit ; (2cor12:16).

  6. Dear yahwehthegreat,

    "my "common sense meter" suggests to me that going into an Arab Festival to debate Isalm seems inherently antagonistic to me. It doesn't sit well."

    I applaud your common sense meter.

  7. Hello all,

    I stumbled upon this blog through Acts17Apologetics on Youtube. Acts17 has responded to the Muslim comments expressing displeasure about the approach of Acts17 at the Arab/Muslim Festival in Dearborn. If you haven't seen the vid yet, here it is:

    "please deal with the substantial issues: Original Sin, Trinitarianism and Monotheism, Can God Forgive sin?..." - Fot

    I think it's great that you seem eager to seek Truth (I pray you are!) and as a Christian, it is an honour to declare Jesus Christ, The Truth. Please read & study The Gospel of John - even if you already have, you can never do it enough. And earnestly pray to God about it too.

    [Romans 3]


  8. The anti-islamic parrnoia that has hit this country is representated by a small group of fringe lunatics. However , they are louder and more pushy than the normal people of the US who know that islamic people in the US are not "out to get them". I have nothing but pity for these sickos who use christianity to spew hate and bile.

  9. Miami, Florida:

    Where is the "anti-islamic parrnoia [sic]"?

    Where did anyone in the video claim "islamic people" are "out to get them"?

    Where is the "hate and bile"?

    As far as I can tell you are just making things up that you wish to be true, based on your own presuppositions and biases. I hardly call that a meaningful method for comment.

  10. There seems to be a need in all humans to hate something. It is not a matter of hating Muslims or Christians or Jews or a race or a person of a particular economic status. It is a very dark hunger to hate, brought on by fear. By needing something to fear and therefore hate. I saw the video as well. I have never seen the debates nor do I wish to. I am a witch, feared and hated by many. That is really what this comes down to. Dr Nabeel Qureshi, Michael Moore, Rush Limbaugh,...etc... it has become their job to feed the hate.

  11. I am not impressed by aggressive scientific analysis of the Koran's common sense references to sexual fluids and functions as any kind of validation. Sex has more power, exploitation and worshipers than any other aspect of man since the dawn of human history. If Mohammad didn't know the least of this then he knew nothing at all. It's disingenuous to color yourself as being "quite pleased" regarding Dr. Nabeel Qureshi's anti-Islamic mission in the hopes of appearing objective or leading your audience to believe that you may be capable of giving any credence to the Dr.'s media you viewed or to even intimate that your ability to assess the Dr.'s points is on a level field with the Dr's ability to do the same. You are biased towards Islam just as life long Christians are biased towards Christianity. Dr. Nabeel Qureshi's background gives him a unique and powerful testimony. Please don't patronize your Christian audience. You are a very intelligent and highly educated man but that doesn't mean we are stupid.