Answering Missionaries

June 16, 2006

Additional input from a Muslim debate attendee who questioned James White

Filed under: Debate reviews,James White — answeringmissionaries @ 11:39 pm

Some noise was raised a little while ago about the conduct of a few Muslim individuals who were alleged to have been quite rude towards James White during the break-time. James White himself says this much in one of his Dividing Line talks. Previously, I argued that if what is alleged was true, then these individuals committed a disgraceful act and that there was no reason whatsoever to be rude and offensive towards James White even if he was distorting the truth at times (the misinformation about Ibn Masud’s fictitious beating. See this and this). I presented this case in the following paper:

Tackling the Butler and White team

Clearly, the misbehaviour of even a few Muslim individuals is instantly used as an excuse by some Christians to paint all the Muslims with the same brush and to stereotype an entire community.

A while ago I received an e-mail from a Muslim who said that he was the one who questioned James White regarding the Ibn Masud saga. On the 11th of June, I posted his interesting exchange with James White on this blog which is to be found here:

Comments from a Muslim who attended the debate: the use of sources

I believe we can see clearly that Muslims rightfully questioned James White and exposed him for committing a very unscholarly act – merely scavenging for “damaging claims” in a well-known polemical Christian website for the purpose of attacking the Quran. It is not difficult to understand why James White, who always seeks to portray himself as a scholar and not just a mere polemicist, would feel exceedingly upset on getting cornered in such a manner.

Some days ago this same Muslim debate attendee sent me an e-mail in which he denied that the Muslim individuals were rude and offensive towards James White and requested me to post his clarification on this blog. Therefore, upon his request, I am posting his statement below:

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Well, I’ve read what some of the Christian attendees have said about Muslims approaching James White in a rude way. Since I was there I can assure you that this is totally false. What I saw was some Muslims talking to James White during the break-time in a regular tone (in fact, I was one of them). There was no hand waving or finger pointing by the Muslims directed at James White, as claimed by some Christians, let alone abuse aimed towards him.

In my opinion, this is an attempt to defame the few Muslims who attended the debate. The reason for this is as follows: during the break-time, I asked James White about his references about the claim regarding Ibn Masud allegedly getting beaten to death for his refusal to hand over his copy of the Quran. It was clear to me that James White either did not check his references for that narration (he just believed whatever was to be found on the polemical answering-islam.org site, as this was his source as he later revealed), or he was simply making the story up. Either way, James White appeared to be at least unscholarly. This was for sure an embarrassment for him, especially in front of his Christian fans, who were surrounding him during this exchange. From this, I think we can see the motivation that led James White and his allies to label the Muslims who exposed him as being “rude” and “abusive.”

I hope that clarified the situation for any one who can reason.

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Personally, I believe that there was no excuse to justify the rude behaviour towards James White, assuming if it really did happen. I believe that the Muslim who sent me the above is honest and sincere. Perhaps, it could be that shortly after he departed, a heated argument did emerge between a few individuals and James White which, however, ceased in a short span of time? It could also be that James White, who, in my opinion (after watching the debate), easily gives into exaggerations, massively exaggerated a minor issue out of proportion? Ultimately, only God knows best!

Regards

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