Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rick Love on the Ergun Caner Scandal

Rick Love on Ergun Caner, Evangelicals, Muslims and the Media: Bearing False Witness:

The media has bombarded us with sound bites and stereotypes about Muslims. Sometimes we are told that Islam is a religion of peace. Yet the more disturbing and frequent picture painted is of militant Islam. Many articles, books and websites about Muslims and terrorism present an alarmist and fear-inducing approach. These authors focus mainly on negative elements of Islam and the threat posed by radical Islam. They tend to project onto all Muslims a radical agenda espoused by only a few. The result: fear and alienation…

This is the context that made Dr. Caner a celebrity among many fundamentalists and some evangelicals. Here was a man who was the “real deal.” As a former Muslim and terrorist, he was an authority that demanded our attention and deserved our devotion.  So now it’s easy to point our finger at Dr. Caner when we realize he has not been truthful about his background.

I am more concerned, however, about pointing the finger at evangelicals (and journalists of all types) who frequently exaggerate or make misstatements about Muslims. While this kind of commentary sells books and appeals to our fears, the Bible calls this bearing false witness.  In fact, overstatement, exaggeration and words taken out of context should not be found among followers of Jesus.

Read his whole post.

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2 comments:

Jacob S. Wells said...

I wholeheartedly empathize with your distress over Christians and others who pander to the fears of people by exaggerating and painting stereotypes of Muslims. The best way to deal with panderers is to shed light on the facts by speaking the truth in love. Christians who are trapped in the fear that the lies have created need loving correction and not the pointing of the finger. Accusations will only put them on the defensive. If Christians continue to follow Christ, they will know the truth and the truth will set them free.
The vast majority of Muslims do not adhere to a belief in violence to extend their faith, and that's a fact.

Warrick Farah said...

Thanks Jacob. Well said.