Monday, July 17, 2017

Shilling Islamist propaganda

Today I listened to Janet Mefferd's interview with James White:


This is the first and only time I've heard Mefferd's show. The first time I ever heard about her was in connection with her famous takedown interview of Mark Driscoll. 

1. Why do I care? I care because Islam is far and away the world's most dangerous religion. Atheism and Islam are the two most dangerous ideologies in the world today. It is therefore imperative that we have moral clarity on this issue. 


2. I have two disagreements with Mefferd. She began by asking White if there's a Biblical command or Biblical model for his dialogue with Qadhi in church. But that's a loaded question, predicated on a false premise. It reflects a defective understanding of sola scripture. Sola scripture doesn't mean the Bible is an encyclopedia which we consult for guidance on every conceivable issue. Scripture is silent on many issues, including some important issues. In that situation, it's permissible to fall back on unaided reason. 

3. Another mistake she made was demanding that White adjudicate a dispute between Spencer and Qadhi about whether Spencer produced a doctored video of Qadhi. I think that's what Mefferd was alluding to. If so, unless White has independent knowledge about the origin of that video, he's in no position to render an informed judgment on that particular question. 

4. Around the 14-15 min. mark, she played a clip of Qadhi endorsing violent jihad. White responded two ways:

i) He said Qadhi signed letter against ISIS. But the problem with that response, as Spencer pointed out in his debate with White, is that Qadhi's opposition to ISIS does not imply that Qadhi is opposed to terrorism. Rather, it only means that Qadhi belongs to a different Muslim faction.

On the face of it, it's intellectually dishonest for White to recycle a refuted argument.

ii) In addition, White said Qahi takes the traditional Muslim view that unless you have Caliph, you can't have jihad. But once again, the problem with that response, as Spencer pointed out, is that it fails to distinguish between defensive and offensive jihad. Although offensive jihad requires authorization from the Caliph, defensive jihad doesn't. 

Once more, it's intellectually dishonest for White to recycle a refuted argument. In principle, there are two intellectually honest ways that White could respond:

i) He could say Spencer is wrong, and here's why. 

ii) He could concede Spencer's corrections, and withdraw the two arguments he's been using.

But I haven't heard White do either one. Maybe I missed something. 

As a professional Christian apologist, it is incumbent on White to update his arguments when he's shown to be in error. 

5. White said his goal was to accurately represent Islam. Qadhi is believing conservative Muslim. White never identified him as a moderate. Qadhi holds to the jurisprudence of the Islamic faith. He represent historic orthodox Islam. Normal, standard Islam. White chose him because he's clear in his explication. He hasn't been totally westernized.

Now, in one respect, I think White's choice is understandable and justifiable. But in another respect it's in tension with his oft-repeated claim that there's no one true interpretation of Islam. But in that event, why choose an Islamist? Why wouldn't a modernist Muslim be an equally authentic spokesman? 

6. There is, though, a deeper problem. White introduced the first dialogue by saying he wanted to allay "fears" that Christians have about Muslims. But by picking Qadhi, the implication of White's choice is that Americans in general and Christians in particular have nothing to fear from standard, orthodox Islam. This, however, means that White has go over to CAIR's side of the argument. It makes White a collaborator for the enemy by acting as if standard, orthodox Islam isn't dangerous. That's what CAIR spokesmen have been saying ever since 9/11.  

By contrast, Mefferd presented evidence from the FBI and Andrew McCarthy regarding the strategy of stealth jihad. Bringing down the USA from the inside. And she cited evidence of Qadhi's ties to terrorist front organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood. 

7. In response, White said he's taking a gospel perspective rather than a political perspective. It's "just about" the Gospel. That has priority. But there are multiple problems with White's stated position:

i) White is a culture warrior as well as an evangelist. He routinely wades into politically contentious social issues like homosexuality and trangenderism. He routinely takes sides in the culture wars. So why the double standard in the case of Islam?

ii) He erects a false dichotomy between evangelism and ethics. But protecting the innocent from gratuitous, foreseeable, avoidable harm is a Christian duty. Evangelism doesn't supersede Christian ethics. We have a duty to both. 

iii) Moreover, White is perpetuating a harmful stereotype of Christianity. Many men are repelled by Christianity because they think Christianity is a religion for pansies. They think Christianity doesn't allow you to protect your family. 

White is reinforcing that stereotype. In the name of evangelism, he is creating a stumbling block to evangelism by acting as though Christian are not allowed to take public safety seriously.  

8. There's another basic problem with White's position. After White's debate with Spencer, Qadhi posted a screed attacking Spencer and his "ilk". Among other things, Qadhi said:

One of my overriding reasons to wish to speak at a conservative Church was quite simply to dispel the utterly nonsensical notion that the majority of Muslims somehow wish to overthrow the government and install Sharia law in America. The truly terrifying reality for all of us Muslims is the evil nature of the hatred that people like Spencer and people of his ilk perpetrate. That hatred, compounded with the fear-mongering of politicians and the false patriotism of a disgruntled group, whips up the popular support needed to pass such dastardly measures as the recent ban on Muslim immigrants from seven countries. Islamophobic bigots like Spencer have fabricated this myth of us Muslims (less than 1 % of this land!) having desires to subjugate the rest of the 99 % to our laws and religion.


White reposted Qadhi's screed on White's own Facebook wall. Why would White plug Qadhi's tirade unless White is sympathetic to what Qadhi said? By touting Qahi's tirade, White is shilling Islamist propaganda. That has nothing to do with prioritizing evangelism over politics. What is White's excuse for disseminating CAIR-style agitprop? How does attacking Americans who view the spread of Islam with alarm as "Islamophobic bigots" promote evangelism? 

9. On Facebook yesterday, White and I have the following abortive exchange:

James R. White I really have no interest in revisiting this again and again and again, however, your error, Steve, lies in your ambiguous use of 'Islam' and the assumption that the term refers to a monolithic concept that can be identified as you do as 'inherently violent.' There are certainly interpretations of the Islamic documents that are inherently violent; there are other readings that can lead to violence but not necessarily so; etc. and etc.

You've fabricated a hypothetically peaceful Islam that has no basis in the entire history of Islam. Moreover, in your debate with Spencer, you invoked a counterproductive example of Muslims who appeal to the more tolerant Meccan surahs in contrast to the more belligerent Medinan surahs. But the obvious problem with that appeal is that Muhammad's early policy was a ruse de guerre. He was just biding his time until he gained the upper hand, at which point he revealed his true intentions. That's not a true alternative to jihad. To the contrary, that plays directly into the three-stages of jihad. That's the first stage. 

Claiming, as Robert Spencer pointed out, that Islam is meant to eventually dominate the entire world should hardly be a point of wild-eyed panic on the part of so many Christians…

What exactly do you define as "wild-eyed panic"? Do you deny that Islam is currently the world's most dangerous religion–by a very wide margin? Do you deny that Islam is currently an engine of terrorism on a unique scale? Do you deny that Muslim immigrants have introduced a rape culture into Europe? Not to mention other social pathologies. 

What do think were the civic responsibilities of Christians? Do we not have a duty to protect the innocent from gratuitous, predictable, preventable harm?

...who, of course, if they would consider it for a moment, believe the exact same thing about their own faith.

James, that's fatally equivocal inasmuch as we don't believe that Christianity was meant to eventually dominate the entire world by the same means. We believe in conversion by persuasion, not coercion.

Once that little canard is removed…

The "canard" would be your studied equivocation.

And how do we respond? By demanding the right to differentiate, and by making appeal to our founding documents. But if I say, 'Hey, if we do that, we have to allow the Muslims to do that,' I am 'soft' on Islam. Nope, not at all---just trying to avoid being a glowing hypocrite.

James, your attempted parallel is self-contradictory. You believe Christians are entitled to differentiate because you believe there's a true interpretation of our founding documents. That's precisely what you deny in the case of Islam. So your analogy is invalidated by disanalogy at the critical point of comparison. 

BTW, you have yet to explain why you reposted Qadhi's attack on Spencer, his "ilk", "Islamophobic bigots," &c. Do you agree with Qadhi's assessment? 

Rather than answer my question, White proceeded to block me on Facebook. Because he can't defend his position, he blocks people. 

24 comments:

  1. I've never heard of Medford before. Can't say I'm a fan of her interview style.

    That being said,

    1. Does James Whites support a tax payer funded Islamic invasion of Europe?

    2. Does James White believe that Islamic immigrants are a threat to girls and women?

    3. Does James White believe that American military men (such as David French) who have reported negative things about Islam based on their tours of duties are exaggerating things?

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  2. White wasn't as kind to the late Antonin Scalia -- who did his share to fight the moral degeneracy of the USA - as he is to Qhadi.

    Qhadi - with his views of marriage and male/female relationships - makes Scalia look like a saint.

    White couldn't wait to attack Scalia for being a Roman Catholic - what happened to nuance, etc?

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  3. I do think the thing about interreligious dialogue is a side show. White isn't talking about RC ecumenicl confabs such as JP2's Assisi events, for example. I haven't listened to White's debates, but I don't think he is refusing to preach the Gospel like Catholic prelates are (to the extent they believe it).

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  4. Just to comment on White's attempts to justify the "dialogue" he had with Qhadi.

    In Matthew 21:12-13 - The Lord reacted to merchandise being sold in His Father's house.

    Yasir Qhadi was permitted to sell spiritually idolatorous merchandise in the Lord's house.

    Whether people were "fully made aware" or not, whether Dr. White was permitted to likewise sell His Spiritual merchandise in Yasir Qadi's Idolatorous temple is no excuse. The Lord Jesus would not buy such excuses applied to the biblical narrative.

    Just my ten cents.

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    1. You would have to equate a church building with the dedicated Temple of Jerusalem. At the end of the day, getting a devout Muslim to interact with Christians so they can actually understand what Muslims believe is not a big deal.

      Qhadi wasn't giving a sermon at a church service. So while some people don't agree with the methodology, and that's fine, I'm having a hard time seeing their exegesis in Scripture.

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    3. The Church building is dedicated to the Lord is it not?
      The Church building is a "house of prayer" is it not?
      Or are you seriously going to tell me that we cannot glean spiritual principles from Matthew 21:12-13 and apply them to the way we are to treat our places of worship today?

      I never said he gave a sermon at a church service, but he pretty much did give a sermon in a church building and unchallenged at that.

      We are not even supposed to invite people into our HOMES if they want to teach heresy 2 John 1:10, so your point about the dedicated temple is simply a smokescreen.

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    4. One of the main ways to reach Muslims is through hospitality and having them in our homes with a meal and then having a discussion. (both oversees in their culture and here in USA) Street preaching and passing out tracks is fine, but those are not the only ways to do Biblical outreach. I don't think 2 John 1:10 applies to evangelistic outreach to new and unreached unbelievers. It does apply to people who where church-members, claimed to be Christians, started teaching false doctrine in the church or tried to, and were then either ex-communicated or left the fellowship, as in 1 John 2:19. "going to far" and "not abiding in the doctrine of Christ" 2 John 1:9-11 seems to be about apostate false teachers who are deceptively trying to enter into the church (again); not about totally new unbeliers and false teachers.

      2 John 1:11 cannot mean "don't greet a Muslim" or other false religionists, that would contradict Matthew 5:46-47.

      Even someone who has been disciplined and ex-communicated; it is possible to still talk to them, only that the church member makes it clear up front that the only thing they are going to address is their need for repentance and reconciliation. (Matthew 18:15-20)

      see my 2 John 1:9-11 roundup posts, if interested:

      https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/2-john-9-11-roundup/

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  5. In his old Facebook post, Qadhi said " Disagree all you want, but live and let live. "

    That doesn't sound like a man bent on terrorism. I guess we could say Qadhi knows this guy who knows this guy who supports this guy, but at the end of the day, if that's not what he's preaching to the public, take him at his word.

    If you want to talk to a devout Muslim to understand Islam, this would be a good guy to interact with. If he starts blowing stuff up, let the FBI handle him.

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    1. "That doesn't sound like a man bent on terrorism."

      And if he was bent on terrorism, would you expect him to say so in a public western venue?

      Moreover, as Mefferd documented, he also makes very bellicose statements, depending on the audience.

      "I guess we could say Qadhi knows this guy who knows this guy who supports this guy…"

      The point of front organizations is to provide plausible deniability by leaving the connections indirect and shadowy. That's part and parcel of the stealth jihad stratagem. A fog machine that obscures complicity.

      "but at the end of the day, if that's not what he's preaching to the public, take him at his word."

      Unfortunately, jihadists can always count on a pool of willing suckers.

      "If you want to talk to a devout Muslim to understand Islam, this would be a good guy to interact with."

      I never objected to that.

      "If he starts blowing stuff up, let the FBI handle him."

      I don't expect Qadhi to go on a rampage. If he's a stealth jihadi, that would blow his cover.

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    2. Steve, you've essentially set up an unfalsifiable system here for any devout Muslim. If they make any peaceful statements, they don't count as evidence as them being peaceful. They could be practicing secret jihad.

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    3. i) To begin with, Qadhi doesn't just make peaceful statements. He also makes jihadist statements.

      ii) Some Muslims can credibly make peaceful statements consistent with their theology. Modernist Muslims can do that. Ahmadi Muslims can do that. But that's out of the mainstream.

      iii) You've set an unfalsifiable system in which you can't take effective countermeasures against an incremental stratagem. By the time it gains the upper hand, it's too late to thwart. You've set up an unfalsifiable system in which you must never suspect a silent revolution that games the system to subvert the system. You've set up an unfalsifiable system in which subterfuge is indetectable.

      Unfortunately, many Christians are unable to appreciate the danger of Islam–even though the evidence is overwhelming. They remind me of overbred little dogs who've lost their sense of danger because that was domesticated out of them. In addition, they're used to their owner protecting them. As a result, I've seen aggressive little dogs take crazy risks around big dogs which can and will kill them with a single bite if they get a chance. Likewise, there are many overbred Christians who've been domesticated by pacifist-lite theology.

      Moreover, lots of folks are crisis-driven. Heedless to warnings because they don't relate to abstractions. They only learn by personal experience. They only learn the hard way. Unless it happens to them, it isn't real.

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    4. The evidence isn't confined to Qadhi's statements. In addition there's his jihadist affiliations. Finally, his position as a traditional orthodox Muslim cleric commits him to the three stages of jihad.

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    5. That's not an unfalsifiable system of my own making. To the contrary, Islam produces the unfalsifiable system. You've drawn attention to a genuine dilemma, but that''s generated by Islam itself. According to the three-stage jihad paradigm, when Muslims are a politically weak, vulnerable minority group, they feign tolerance. They practice peaceful coexistence. But that's just a temporary expedient. A subterfuge to lull the majority into a false sense of security. If Muslims gain enough power, they crack down on the infidel.

      According to Islam itself, an infidel would be foolhardily to trust a Muslim. According to Islam itself, the infidel should always view Muslims with utmost suspicion.

      The onus is not on Christians to resolve that dilemma. Indeed, there is no resolution within the Muslim paradigm itself. The only resolution is to abandon Islam.

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    6. Geoff: The peaceful Meccan Surahs came first. The violent Medina surahs came last. By the law of abrogation, the latter violent surahs trump the earlier peaceful ones.

      To uphold your points, it seems you hold to one of the following positions is valid:

      1. Earlier verses abrogate latter ones.
      2. Violent verses are symbolic but peaceful verses are literal.
      3. Violent verses are ambiguous but peaceful verses are clear.
      4. Other, please specify.

      Likewise, as Spencer pointed out, all the major schools teach violent Jihad. I never heard a lucid response by Dr. White.

      Finally, it is rather ironic that Dr. White wants to assure Christians that our fears of Islam are mislaid and yet his entire thesis rests upon an inconsistent Islam. So are our fears mislaid or aren't they? Are there valid expressions of Islam that are violent and bad for society and a cause for fear or not? The irony is glaringly obvious.

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  6. I would like to add my two cents worth…

    Steve Hays wrote “i) He said Qadhi signed letter against ISIS. But the problem with that response, as Spencer pointed out in his debate with White, is that Qadhi's opposition to ISIS does not imply that Qadhi is opposed to terrorism. Rather, it only means that Qadhi belongs to a different Muslim faction.”

    While this is all very true, I would just like to point out a few things about this letter against ISIS.

    Point Number 4 in the executive summary states the following
    “It is permissible in Islam [for scholars] to differ on any matter, except those fundamentals of religion that all Muslims must know.”

    The question is what are the “fundamentals of religion that all Muslims must know”?
    All Muslims I have asked have all answered that what is fundamental are the five pillars of Islam and the Shahada.

    As you can see the letter is not worth the hard drive space it takes up, since the establishment of the Caliphate, the implementation and enforcement of Sharia law are not considered “fundamentals of the religion that all Muslims must know.” The Islamic state can and does disagree with everything that is written in the document.

    Another point to expand on is that “Qadhi belongs to a different Muslim faction”. It is a un deniable fact of history, that every Caliphate dynasty, if not EVERY Caliph, (except for a few) had different factions that opposed it. There were even times when there were multiple Caliphs ruling different regions at the same time. The Caliphs of old spent just as much time fighting these various challengers as they did the Kuffar.

    If ISIS is to be defeated as looks to be the case in Iraq and Syria, it’s not with any worthless self-refuting letter from westernized scholars who do not live under ISIS control, but with bombs and bullets, even if they are from the Kuffar or (gasp) the Shia.

    Another point I would like to expand on is “In addition, White said Qahi takes the traditional Muslim view that unless you have Caliph, you can't have jihad. But once again, the problem with that response, as Spencer pointed out, is that it fails to distinguish between defensive and offensive jihad. Although offensive jihad requires authorization from the Caliph, defensive jihad doesn't. “

    First, I find strange the premise that you must have a Caliph for Jihad, while ignoring the fact that they do have a Caliph and hence the Jihad. Even if they reject this Caliph like groups in the past have rejected the Caliphs in their own time, doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a Caliphate and there is Jihad.

    But even lets say for arguments sake that this Caliphate is not a “true Caliphate” how does it make Yasir Qhadi’s belief any less dangerous?

    Listening to Quadi and Whites defense of him, it’s like listening to Jews in 1928 Nazi Germany, who would say “this will pass”, or “yes Hitler says these things but when he comes to power he will soften or back away…”

    The truth is as one survivor stated “When someone says they want to kill you, you should listen to them because they may really want to kill you”.

    So when Yassir Qhadi says “The lives, woman, and property of the Kuffar are halal to the Muslims” he really means if not today then tomorrow.

    Jihad tomorrow is not better than Jihad today, and Jihad delayed is not Jihad denied.

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  7. Does James really think that the Apostle Paul reasoning with the Jews from the scriptures is comparable to what he did? One of Jame's stated purposes for the gathering was so that he and the audience could learn more about Islam. Was that Paul's intent when he reasoned with the Jews, or was he trying to persuade them that Jesus was the Christ?

    James has said on a few occasions that if the encounter had been a debate that there would not have been a mingling between Christians and Muslims afterwards and that he would not have been able to explain to a Muslim woman that the Council of Nicea did not introduce pagan elements into Christianity. So the ends justifies the means? Could he not have corrected all kinds of misconceptions in a debate setting? Is he going to give up debating now bc more "fruit" was born from this encounter than all of his debates with Muslims?

    James always rails against liberals and the social elites and the fact that his days may be numbered for being able to preach the gospel in this country. Yet, he seems to ignore the threat from Islam. What gives?

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  8. Steve, This is a very important thread you began. I so admire your adherence to logic and scripture. This topic and esp your wisdom seriously deserves wide, wide dissemination across our churches and our land. Keep up the great work and faith~ May God bless all your efforts Brother.

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  9. I saw this late.
    Of all the criticisms of Dr. White's dialogue, yours Steve is probably the best. (taken along with the other posts you have done and my interaction)

    . . . as Spencer pointed out in his debate with White, is that Qadhi's opposition to ISIS does not imply that Qadhi is opposed to terrorism. Rather, it only means that Qadhi belongs to a different Muslim faction.

    Spencer and others say that Qadhi and CAIR and Muslim Brotherhood types are "stealth Jihad" and "civilizational Jihad" - using our gracious laws, political correctness, left-wing coalitions until the Muslims have a majority; and then they start doing physical Jihad, etc. ( I agree that that does seem the agenda of Muslim Brotherhood and CAIR, and if Qadhi agreed with that, him too - I have also written on that before
    see here: (2011)
    https://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2011/01/you-become-like-what-you-worship.html?m=0

    ); but the MAIN point is still Dr. White is not waiting until that day might happen 50 years from now after we are dead to try and do some kind of outreach to Muslims such as Qadhi and the other Muslims who attended and who were at the second night in the 2 part dialogue. Dr. Qadhi as a Muslim may want to use our gracious laws and political correctness to advance Islam in our democracy, but I don't see evidence of him wanting to do violent Jihad NOW.

    It is legitimate to ask Qadhi questions about those issues; and challenge him, etc. (But I thing they should come in a second meeting, after those first 2, by priority of spiritual truths, and then those issues, if he even allowed that kind of debate or questioning or dialogue. The problem of the tension in the 2 communities is that once a Christian starts asking questions about those issues; most Muslims respond with liberal talking points of bigotry, racism (though not accurate, they still throw it out, Islamophobia, or something about Trump or right wing politics - overall, Dr. White avoided all that stuff to get to the essential spiritual issues) and I did not know the details of his connections until Spencer and others documented them; but the point is still we cannot wait around until all those other future conditions exist or we gather information on him about all his conference ties and speeches before at least gaining a few meetings where there is opportunity to explain the main doctrines of Christianity.

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    1. I prefer what you say to what White says! :-)

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