Sunday, May 30, 2010

Abdullah al-Andalusi: Does MDI Need New Leadership?

Well, we finally have the missing piece of the debate-cancellation puzzle. As it turns out, my first suspicion was spot on. If you recall, I initially accused Yahya Snow and the Muslim Debate Initiative of conspiring to shut down open dialogue. When two members of MDI (Sami and Yahya Seymour) said they didn’t know what I was talking about and that there was no ban from MDI, I removed all mention of MDI from my initial post.

Alas, I acted too soon, not because I pointed a finger at MDI, but because I excused the organization. The primary culprit in ending several public debates next month was none other than MDI’s director, Abdullah al-Andalusi. (I assume Sami and Yahya weren’t aware of Abdullah’s actions when they posted their comments here.)

The results have been disastrous. Locations had been rented, a professional film crew hired for all of the debates, and advertisements sent out. When Sheikh Awal backed out of his debates with me, Sam no longer wanted to debate him. Since Sheikh Awal’s cancellations had such a negative effect on next month’s plans, the Center for Religious Debate is no longer willing to work with him for future debates (which put an end to two debate series in September and November, and to most of Sheikh Awal’s debate opportunities in the U.S.). Due to MDI’s underhanded involvement in the cancellations, the Center for Religious Debate has decided not to work with MDI in the future. (Note: The vast majority of Christian-Muslim debates in America are arranged by the Center for Religious Debate.) In other words, somewhere in the ballpark of 90% of the Christian-Muslim debates that would have taken place over the next few years are now officially over.

So why did the leader of a group called the “Muslim Debate Initiative” work behind the scenes to put an end to public debates? I debated Abdullah three times less than a year ago (see here, here, and here). What’s changed since then to account for his move from “Let’s debate David” to “Let’s ban David”? Only one thing. I drew attention to Abdullah’s comments on terrorism. When Abdullah defended the Fort Hood Massacre, I pointed out what he said (and allowed him to respond, giving readers the opportunity to make up their own minds). Not long after, Abdullah called in to “Jesus or Muhammad” during our discussion of the Fort Hood Massacre, and he admitted that he agrees with some of the most violent teachings of classical Muslim scholars (properly interpreted, of course). Interestingly, after a call for peace from Sami Zaatari, I never posted the clip. But since things have changed a bit, consider what Abdullah says.

Abdullah was in a position that no debater wants to be in. He was applying his “Argument from Orthodoxy” against us. If he were consistent, he’d have to agree with the violent teachings I quoted (which would get him into quite a bit of trouble). If he doesn’t agree with the violent teachings I quoted, then he would have to admit that he doesn’t really believe the “orthodoxy” criterion he so vehemently applies to Christians (meaning that he was being deceptive or illogical in applying it to us). His solution? He says he agrees with the violent passages . . . without the spin. Unfortunately for Abdullah, we didn’t spin any of the passages, and the meanings were perfectly clear to our viewers.

So what does a young debater do when his true views start rising to the surface? Does he apologize for what he’s said? Does he try to keep a tighter reign on his words? No. Abdullah’s solution is to silence anyone who would dare expose him. Normally, this would be impossible. But Abdullah has been spending all his time over the last two years getting Muslims around the world to join his group. Why? To debate? Obviously not. It seems that Abdullah wants to control the debate spectrum. He wants to control who debates, when they debate, what topics they debate, and so on.

There is one thing that bothers me more than anything else, however. Instead of openly declaring some sort of “Anti-David” boycott, Abdullah decided to work behind the scenes, shutting down opposition under cover of darkness. What’s worse, he was completely willing to let Yahya Snow take the fall for his manipulation. If you recall, Yahya Snow had proclaimed a boycott by a Muslim apologetics group. When MDI assured me that there was no such ban, and Yahya refused to identify a group, I accused Yahya of telling tall tales. In reality, Abdullah was secretly shutting down debates, and he apparently convinced Yahya to keep quiet (which ultimately didn’t work too well, since Yahya decided to point me in the right direction). But what did Abdullah do when I was accusing Yahya? Did he jump in and say, “Don’t blame him. I did it. I’m responsible.” Not at all. He was completely willing to let Yahya take the fall, despite the fact that Abdullah played a much larger (and more sinister) roll. While Yahya has always been open about his desire to shut down public debates, Abdullah continued to portray himself as a champion of public debates (even though he was behind the scenes plotting to overthrow anyone who dares challenge him, all the while letting other people take the blame).

Is this the sort of person who should be running a debate organization—a man who can’t handle criticism, who uses his position to thwart those who expose his statements, who throws his fellow Muslims under the bus to further his own selfish agenda, and who lets his fellow Muslims take the fall for his deceptive and manipulative misdeeds?

Abdullah al-Andalusi (like Yahya Snow, leaders of CAIR, etc.) portrays himself as a respectful Muslim. But there’s a massive difference between what Abdullah says to your face and what he says behind your back. Is anyone surprised? As Muhammad’s companion Abu Darda put it, "We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.''

I have no desire to continue debating in an atmosphere of deception, manipulation, intimidation, and cowardice. It seems I’ll now be turning to atheists for a good debate. (Sadly, I suspect I’ll find more integrity among atheists than I have found with Abdullah.) I will continue to expose Islam on this blog, on YouTube, and on “Jesus or Muhammad.” But after the events that have already been scheduled for next month, I will not engage in public debates with Muslims.

In case anyone wants the context to the above video, here’s the full discussion with Abdullah. (Note: This was shortly after the Fort Hood Massacre, which Abdullah had already defended. After going through Major Nidal Malik Hassan’s PowerPoint presentation, a Muslim called in to defend the massacre. Needless to say, with temperatures running high, Abdullah’s attempts to distort the Bible and evade questions were not well-received. As a rule, don’t expect a perfectly polite exchange following terrorist attacks!)


Tizita said...

Ok i know this has nothing 2 do with what David posted. But i would really like for u guys 2 check this video out. it is beyond funny.
Go to Youtube and type in Burka & spaghetti and watch the video. im still laughing!!!!

Dk said...

David said:

"But after the events that have already been scheduled for next month, I will not engage in public debates with Muslims."

David this isn't original sin, you shouldn't really punish the rest of the "willing to debate Muslims" for MDI and Yahya Snow.

Btw, I was wondering who this Abdallah was, and when I heard his voice the above clips I realised I meet Abdallah Al-Andalusi on Paltalk a couple of weeks back he was engaged with a fellow Atheist friend, he was slandering the West and advocating Islamic imperialism.

Then I had a few flash backs. I've meet this guy twice before. Sami was trying to organise a debate for us, where he refused to defend the existance of his specific deity Allah, he wanted to defend monotheism in general, so we didn't proceed.

Anyway I don't even think you should even punish Sami or Yahya unless they make it clear that they *agree* with Abdallah about debating with you.

And that's my two cents.


mkvine said...

Yep, Abu Dardu did sum it up best, "We smile in their faces and curse them in our hearts." What else would we expect? It's a shame Abdullah has come to such deceptive and childish tactics. No one should ever debate him again. I was not surprised that Abdullah did this, not at all.

Fernando said...

Oh man...

Yahya Snow was, we all knew, a bastard debatour: an non-legitimous debatour full off devious strategies (treats, lies, etc...), butt Al-Andalusi? The Star Wars folk?

I'm disgusted... can't we trust a muslim debatour anymore? how can this be?

hugh watt said...

Ok, before i make a comment on the main topic, you must watch the 'Burkha and spaghetti;' and that guy who was sitting close by, - cool!

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Hey David,

Please don’t stop doing debates with muslims. If you did it would mean they win.

You have a gift don’t let the enemy keep you from using it for the glory of Christ.

If Muslims refuse to participate respectfully call them out and point out their cowardice. Eventually someone will accept the challenge.

It might help if you consider the hassle and persecution you endure to be filling up what is lacking for the sake of those who are suffering at the hands of these folks. (Col 1:24)

It might also be helpful to remember that this hardship will be rewarded. People will be freed. Christ will be glorified. The truth will be exalted.Timid Christians will be emboldened.

That always is the way the kingdom advances. Christ never said it would be easy.

Please don’t take this as a rebuke only as an encouragement. You’ve already done more than I will ever do in this regard.

You are my hero. Your ministry makes me want to boldly share my faith and let the chips fall where they may.

I will continue to pray for you


back to lurking

Verumi said...

I'm sorry to hear this, David, but I hope it is only a temporary setback.

David Wood said...

DK said: "David this isn't original sin, you shouldn't really punish the rest of the "willing to debate Muslims" for MDI and Yahya Snow."

I think you mean Yahya Seymour. Yahya Snow is one of the Muslims calling for a ban to debates. He's childish, rude, deceptive, and arrogant to the extreme. And yet, in true Taqiyya fashion, he pretends to be respectful.

As for Sami and Yahya Seymour, I have no problem with them whatsoever. I saw an advertisement saying that Sami was going to debate an atheist. I hope Sami crushed him. (Had to get that one in, DK!)

My retirement from debate isn't to punish anyone (let alone Sami and Yahya). I just don't have the time or the desire to put up with this nonsense whenever a group like the Center for Religious Debate decides to set up an event. On any given day, there are thousands of things I could be doing. Given the choice between (a) spending time haggling over a debate when people like Abdullah are manipulating behind the scenes in order to have the debates canceled, and (b) doing something meaningful, I choose (b).

hugh watt said...

Islam/ Muhammad are being exposed and Muslims don't like it, which was very like Muhammad. Their arguments cannot stand up to scrutiny so they have to try deception mostly.

Abdullah, like some Muslims i've met claim they were 'Christians!' Well, he didn't know the Bible very well from his Luke 14 misapplication.

I would not waste my time with these time wasters. Better to direct your time and energy into something more useful i say.

sam said...


burka and spagetti was too funny.
the thing that got me was y were these two muslim women sitting in the public by themselves and where were there husbands?

Oh i forgot, they r in north america. cause we all know if they were to do that without there husband or guardian in saudiarabia for instance they wud get a million lashes. they dont knw how lucky they r to have this kinda freedom. and yet they want sharia law in the west. i wud be the first to break such a shameful deceiveful law.

Unknown said...

David Wood: "I saw an advertisement saying that Sami was going to debate an atheist. I hope Sami crushed him. (Had to get that one in, DK!)"

Well I wouldnt hold my breath. I saw some of the videos on Sami's YouTube page against atheism. I'm still shaking my head at Sami's arguments.


Radical Moderate said...

Wasnt it Abdullah who cam here and said that MDI had nothing to do with the shameful video of the Mary Jo debate.

I wonder now if he was being decitfull then?

John Lollard said...


When you first announced that you were going to focus on debating atheists, I got really excited. The Juggernaut is unstoppable! I would like to see more debates between you and atheists.

I gotta say, though, it has blessed me a lot to obsessively watch your work in debating and presenting Islam. I think the Fifth Monarchy Man said it better than I can. Even if it is frustrating, the chances you have to share the faith with Muslims in the audience and to encourage our oppressed brothers and sisters in Muslim lands who see your bold stance is a powerful service to God and his people.

I mean, you've got them on the run! You don't give up when the enemy is retreating!

That's my opinion at any rate.

Love in Christ,

Anonymous said...

Hi David,

I am so grateful with all your effort to present the case for Christianity against an evil belief system that has deeply blinded themselves thus can't differentiate between truth and falsehood, right and wrong or even after truth is laid in front of their noses but the love of evil prophet is far more likened to the love of truth and reality.

Your ministry has helped a lot to the under persecuted Christians. I can't name Christians from the country I dont know but Christians in Indonesia is certainly gains lots of ground to stand up for their faith now. While before, they were attacked doctrinally and physically but now they are more prepared to do apologetics while physically they just lift it up to the LORD.

I must say (BORROWING MUSLIMS ATTITUDE IN GENERAL), Abdullah and Yahya Snow are 2 COWARDS. They ran away from you and they also made Sheikh Awal to be the 3rd coward muslim that scared of defending the undefendable belief. You run !!! Run!!! Sheik Awal !!!! RUN!!! HIDE YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND JUST LIKE AN OSTREICH!!!

Sorry, I am not saying those words are originally from me.. not at all.. I just borrow from general muslims apologists...

David, I believe that your ministry on ABN will benefit lots of people as it directly communicates with the needy muslims for the right answer rather than with the muslim apologists who exercise taqiyya to the fullest extent should they are cornered.

Love in Christ

The Berean Search said...


I would be sad if your post about no longer debating Muslims is your final decision. I agree with the comments above that a decision to do that seems to be a victory for the opposition. They didn't want to see you debating, and now you are giving them that. However, I think I understand why you may feel the way you do. You clearly put a lot of time and effort into your debates.

I only urge you with a brotherly reminder to be sure that you have the Lord's clear counsel on this matter and have sought counsel with Elders and brothers/sisters in Christ. I will be praying for you David, and you have my eager support in whatever manner you proceed.

God bless you.

Jay44 said...

This is just a comment on the videos posted. All of the points put forward by Shamoun, Wood and the host seemed eminently reasonable. That said, I think someone needs to seriously give Mr. Shamoun (and to a lesser extent the host) a dose of proper conduct and civility. His overly rhetorical tone, his almost blatant insults and generalization of Muslims is so off-putting. It's hard to take someone seriously for their intellectual arguments when they bring so much emotionally loaded language to the debate. Other than that, it was fine.

minoria said...

Hello Gem:
The good news is that Muslims ARE hearing the Christian arguments in THEIR language.They don't have to learn English.

Every day his program is watched by 50 MILLION Arab-speakers(and there are 250 million in all).Only 15 million Arabs are Christian.

It is every Thursday.Watched by 100-120 in ARABIC,every week.He is an ex-Muslim,now Christian.

Rashid in Daring Questions did an 1 1/2 hr show on "Jihad:Between Doctrine and Reality"(subtitled):

HORMOZ SHARIAT(ex-Muslim,now Christian).He is in youtube.

His DAILY programs in FARSI,of Iran,are watched by 7-9 MILLION every day(Iran has 74 million in all),or 10% of the population.

Rashid,Hormoz,Botros should DUBB or SUBTITLE Nabeel and David's debates and broadcast them.David,maybe Nabeel can sub-title the debates into URDU?

In fact you can say we are almost not needed.

Traeh said...

I think you three guys are the greatest.

And I think you should have let Abdullah finish a sentence a little more.

Traeh said...

Those three guys are not usually as harsh as they were in this show, and usually don't fall into over-generalization, which did seem at one or two points to appear on this particular show.

If I recall correctly, one of the intros to this particular video says that the show got heated because it was the day after a terror attack...

David Wood said...

Hi ChristianJR4,

As I said in the post, this was shortly after the Fort Hood Massacre. On the program, we discussed the Qur'anic commands to kill unbelievers. A Muslim called in and defended the massacre. Abdullah defended the massacre on this blog. Then he came on the program and admitted that he approves of violent jihadist teachings, and he proceeded to attack Christianity using his typical distortions. Like you, I would prefer a more polite and cordial exchange. However, given the circumstances (and the fact that the program is geared towards Arab-background viewers, who aren't typically governed by Western politeness), I think some degree of understanding towards Sam and Pastor Joseph is in order. (And think of the comparison. On one side, we have Abdullah, who defends the Fort Hood Massacre, agrees with his scholars that unbelievers who reject Islam should be fought, deceives and manipulates people, ruining debate series, etc. On the other side, we have Sam, who isn't very polite when confronting someone like Abdullah. See the difference?)

Traeh said...

I suspect what ChristianJR4 found off-putting was the words from Sam, "your kind", as in, "your kind always does this" or something to that effect. And perhaps Pastor Joseph said something similar at one point. I think by "your kind" Sam had in his mind perhaps a different meaning than ChristianJR4 understood.

Adam said...


Mr Naik is due to appear in London and Sheffield on his British tour.

AN Islamic preacher branded a “hate-monger” can enter Britain despite a Conservative pledge of a crackdown on radicals, it emerged yesterday.

In a tough test for new Home Secretary Theresa May, officials have ruled there is no reason to refuse entry to Zakir Naik.

But this flies in the face of previous Tory pledges and Mrs May has to decide whether she will enforce the option of revoking such visas.

Indian televangelist Mr Naik is described by some moderate Muslims as a “truth-twister” and was labelled a “hate-monger” by Conservative MP David Davies in 2006.

Mr Naik says Western women make themselves “more susceptible to rape” by wearing revealing clothing.

He has reportedly called for the execution of Muslims who change their faith, described Americans as “pigs” and said that “every Muslim should be a terrorist”.

In recent comments he said he was “with” Osama Bin Laden over the attacks on “terrorist America” and claimed the 9/11 hijackings were an inside job by President George W. Bush.

In Opposition the Tories frequently criticised Labour for allowing radical preachers into Britain to stir up hatred on lecture tours.

David Cameron also campaigned to get Egyptian radical Yusuf al-Qaradawi banned from Britain. Their handling of the Naik case will test their willingness to act. One insider said: “Zakir Naik is a nasty man who makes al-Qaradawi look like a participant at a teddy bears’ picnic. He shouldn’t be allowed into the country.”

Yesterday the Home Office said it had seen no evidence that Mr Naik had broken immigration rules.
“That is the position,” said an official.

The UK Border Agency said: “Each case is considered on its own merits. When assessing a visa application, we will consider the previous conduct of the individual and we will ensure the UK does not provide a platform for the promotion of violent extremism.”

Dk said...

Hey David

I'll try to make my statement more clear: "David this isn't original sin, you shouldn't really punish the rest of the "willing to debate Muslims" for THE BEHAVIOUR OF MDI and Yahya Snow."

I was meaning despite the way Yahya Snow and MDI (or particular member of it) behaves, please continue to debate the rest of the Muslims and don't punish them because of these guys.

And i'm glad you don't have a problem with public debates with Yahya Seymour and Sami then, maybe I misunderstood your article.

You said: "I hope Sami crushed him. (Had to get that one in, DK!)"

Yeah i'm sure Sami "tore him apart". haha.

But seriously..:P

Nak is right that Sami's arguments are very poor, but Sami has a good idea, he wants to make it simple for the average joe.

In fact I watched the Bill Maher documentary on his rejection of religion last night, there was some silly material in there (like the copycat hypothesis) and although he didn't provide any clear arguments, everything seemed to be implict, it was so simple that even the average Theist might be able to come out of the movie theater after watching it and think how absurd they really come across to others and why it is so easy to be an atheist. You don't have to be Hawkins to step into our shoes. BTW I saw it on youtube if anyone wants the links.

Lastly for anyone who thinks David is a TITAN of christian apologetics etc, you might want to watch "Exposing Atheism" on youtube with David and Matt Slick, the level of argumentation dramatically SINK when it comes to arguing against non-belief over Islam. I remember one person rang in and started proclaiming that "Jesus will even send genuine nice people to hell" then the pastor Joesph starting quoing Psalm 14 "The fool says in his heart there is no God"..

C'mon.. what a load of b.s.

It's like watching a bunch of extremists rant and shout and support each other. (David and Matt being the exceptions since they generally are polite although irrational).

Matt Slick who tries to come across more intelligent, comparing Atheist political regimes with all religious warfare in history, and then claiming the Athiest death-toll is worse, DUDE LEARN WHAT A FALSE ANALOGY IS.

Actually I will say Matt Slick and David come across as far better speakers than Sami. The arguments also seem slightly more advanced and thought out.

Sam said...

Traeh, by your kind I meant Muslim apologists/polemicists. If you pay attention you will see that many, if not most, of them do the same thing that Abdullah did, namely twist the scriptures out of context and apply inconsistent standards. It gets to be sickening after awhile.

John Lollard said...


I'm afraid I must not know what a false analogy is, or else my religious mind is too miniscule to understand it completely. Luckily, though, I have an enlightened and rational clear-thinking atheist to explain it to me.

So, Dk, how on earth is it a "false analogy", in light of deaths from religious regimes, to point to deaths from explicitly atheist political regimes?

And as to Religulous, do you mean the part where Bill Maher goes to debate theology with TRUCK DRIVERS? Yeah, your average Christian truck driver probably knows enough to know that God loves him and to love others, and that's probably 'bout it. Your average atheist truck driver probably knows enough to know that he's smarter than all the other truck drivers because he trusts in science to solve all of his problems.

I know that all Christians are your intellectual inferiors, Dk, and that you rise above us in your logical approach to all knowledge because you are willing to use science and reason and we aren't, and so to you David's argument about how his debate with John Loftus could not have be taking place if there were no God might sound to your advanced brain like shouting and raving, but to my lesser, more simian it sounded like an argument that completely decimated his opponent and I think there is little question of who won the debate.

Hopefully future debates of David versus atheists will feature better atheist opponents. Dk, you should volunteer!

Love in Christ,

hugh watt said...


You an atheist, if so, why?

otto said...

Mr. David Wood,

Words cannot describe the sadness I felt when I read: But month, I will not engage in public debates with Muslims.

Please (one day?)say it ain’t so.

Anonymous said...

Hi David

I wouldn't normally post comments on your blog as it is not a welcoming place for anyone who is not a fundamentalist Christian.

But you ask: 'Abdullah al-Andalusi: Does MDI Need New Leadership?'.

The short answer is NO.

Abdullah, myself and two others founded MDI last year and we democratically elected him as the MDI Director. Under his leadership MDI has gone from strength to strength. I can speak for all the speakers and members of MDI when I state that we are all very pleased with his leadership of the Muslim Debate Initiative.

On another matter I have taken note of your statement that 'I will not engage in public debates with Muslims'.

Paul Williams
MDI Co-founder and Speaker.

minoria said...

Hello DK:

The atheist political regimes to which Matt Slick alluded to are COMMUNISTIC,where atheism is part of the party's ideology.

Matt Slick was sayin that SO FAR those who believe they are accountable to a God have,even when killing for God,killed less because in communism there have been no limits.

Look at Pol Pot,he killed ALL the intellectuals in his country,the killing fields.Only for their education,not even the Inquisition would go so far,they would say it was craziness,stupid.

Traeh said...

I've seen that.

Sam said...

John Lollard, read my comments in the John Loftus debate which are directed to DK-man and his co-religionist cobohrson, the latter of which pretty much destroys DK's man appeal to logic to crtique people's views. It is hilarious to see how cobohrson's honest admission ends up pretty muchproving that his fellow coreligionist DK is simply inconsistent and outright deceptive. DK is trying hard to make sense of his irrational religious beliefs using metaphysical concepts such as logic when he count account for them in his atheistic, naturalistic, materialistic worldview.

So I eagerly await DK's responses so I can proceed to show why he is inconsistent and outright deceptive and that atheists live by faith.

Sam said...

BTW, I would like David to make sure that all comments related to atheism and DK's inconsistency be posted on comments section of your the John Loftus debate since they have nothing to do with this post and we shouldn't get distracted discussing by something other than the topic of the post itself.

Michelle Qureshi said...

I have actually wanted to get out of the debating game for a while, but stayed at David's insistence. Now that he has come to see the light, I might also get out... I wont declare anything binding, like "I will not debate again", etc. But I just doubt I'll be doing as much of it.

In fact, this whole "arguing with Muslims directly" thing is beginning to suck up all my time and it's pretty useless. I might just start focusing on the Gospel and preaching the Gospel to Muslims instead of raising flags of concern about Islam -- David, Sam, Spencer, Geller, these guys have it covered.

I'm praying over these issues now - please keep me in your prayers, specifically that God will keep me clear minded in seeking His will for my life.

John Lollard said...


I have no doubt atheism is self-defeating, self-refuting, and irrational. I just also have no doubt that atheists think of themselves as the paragons of intelligence who have risen above the sheepish folds of the mindless religious zombies who foam at the mouth about magical sky hooks. Since I knew the rhetoric was coming one way or another, I figured I'd just go ahead and get it all out there myself and save him some time so that he can skip it and just go straight to my question. Sort of the "now, I might be just an old country lawyer..." approach.

Love in Christ,

John Lollard said...

Paul Williams, the moderator in the debates? I was actually really intrigued by you. If you've done any debates or the like, I'd be interested in viewing them.

I'm curious if "fundamentalist Christian" means something different in England than it does in the US. In the US it's almost a pejorative, but maybe in the UK it's just a descriptive term for people holding Christianity at a fundamental level?

Am I to take your statement that you are pleased with his leadership to mean that you are pleased that he has shut down very many potential Muslim-Christian debates for the upcoming year? If so, could you explain why you are pleased with this?

I gathered from the three sentences you spoke in the debates that you were a respectable fellow with a genuine intellectual curiosity, which is why it would surprise me if you are pleased that your leader has stopped interfaith discourse.

Anyway, I hope that longing for Jesus the Son of God will bring you back to Him. And God Bless.

Love in Christ,

Sam said...

Nabeel, it seems you and agree since I don't like debates either, at least I don't like doing them personally. I prefer to write for the website and lecture on various Christian versus Muslim issues. I really prefer educating Christians about Islam's challenges to our faith and helping them by God's grace.

David Wood said...

Wowsers. There are only four debaters in the U.S. who focus on regularly debating Muslims in public--James, Sam, Nabeel, and me. It sounds like three of the four are stepping out of the debate world. Nabeel will be focusing on evangelism, Sam on writing and teaching, me on drawing attention to the dangers of Islam. It's sad that recent events have led to this, but I have to say I'm pleased with the alternatives to debate (evangelism, teaching, and warning).

hugh watt said...

I found it time consuming and rather pointless 'debating' Muslims. They have that predictable way of repeating the same old zombie-like nonsense. When needs be i use their sources, but i prefer evangelism and exposing Islam through other channels such as this. Perhaps if they stopped and thought independently to what they've been brainwashed with they might see through the deceit.

The Berean Search said...

David, Nabeel, and Sam,

As much as I know I would miss seeing you guys mix it up in debates, I have to say I am excited to see the wealth of materials and resources you three would generate if you move in new directions.

The Berean Search said...

"I wouldn't normally post comments on your blog as it is not a welcoming place for anyone who is not a fundamentalist Christian."

Welcome Paul Williams! It is exceedingly nice to have your participation here. We can always use another poster that throws around labels and veiled insults to the participants.

Since you are comfortable painting others with the broad brush of labels, I would imagine you feel just capital if we all call you a fundamentalist Muslim. I mean, you certainly don't hold others to standards of behavior that differ from those which you hold yourself to, right?

A fine salutation to you Paul Williams, our fundamentalist Muslim friend, and founder of the fundamentalist Muslim organization Muslim Debate Initiative.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go clean my shotgun, check on my moonshine, and have the barber pull my sore tooth (Dentistry hasn't made it to our fundamentalist compound yet...maybe next year).

Francisco said...

Paul Williams,

So you are pleased that Abdullah was responsible for cancelling the debates in June? So you are pleased that many of the year's upcoming debates have been cancelled due to MDI's irresponsible behavior? So you are pleased that the Center for Religious Debate has decided not to work with MDI anymore? That is truly sick. I thought MDI stood for dialogue? Seems like they stand for silencing the opposition. You said that MDI's leadership has gone from "strength to strength." I guess "strength" means manipulating, intimidating and decieving the opposition. MDI's behavior is unacceptable and very unprofessional, in short it is trash. No wonder MDI elected a person like Abdullah, it only reflects what kind of twisted orginization they really are. Mr. Williams, why do you refuse to pick up the mess MDI made, why do you refuse to pick up the dirt they dropped? You are a hypocrite.

Michelle Qureshi said...


Paul Williams speaks quite pejoratively of "fundamentalist" Christians in debates and on his blog, though he's much more congenial in person.

His blog is:


Confident Christianity said...

I am still going through the available information concerning this situation. However, I'm not sure I agree with the idea of Christians who study Islam at an in-depth level and are skilled in debate taking themselves out of debate with Muslims altogether. Let me quote to you from a recent interview I did with Dr. Mike Licona:

In response to the negative aspects of debate, Mike "figures that if he is not involved in debating the topics in which he is skilled, then someone else will. Some people are just better for some topics (due to area of interest, research, etc.). Why would it be preferable to either pass this responsibility to a less knowledgeable person or to not debate at all? The skeptics are still going to be vocal whether or not Christians choose to address them publicly. The person whose faith is likely to be shaken should be hearing the best people for each topic so they are more likely to have good answers and not fall away." (From "The Merits of Debate - Part Two," posted on May 3, 2010.)

Of course, Mike is appealing more so to atheist and Christian debates. Yet, I found it to be applicable here as well. There are so many positives to debates that I believe the positives outweigh the negatives. Other resources are good, but are usually very one-sided as far as publicity and exposure. Debates seem to have much more of a two-sided appeal to them.

Now, granted, you have to do what is right for you in accordance with your personal relationship with God and your conscience. Also, you know the situation better. I hope, though, you will not step away from Christian-Muslim debates indefinitely. These debates are encouraging and edifying to the fellowship of the believers. They build up the body of Christ in the knowledge of God. Specifically, Christians are encouraged due to the fact that they get to watch the arguments "in action." Debates spur Christians onto greater involvement in ministry and to a greater commitment to their own growth in the God.

There are many resources out there, but few debaters who put the arguments to the scrutiny of the public eye (or ear :-) in such a riveting and passionate manner.

That being said, I realize that I do not have all of the information in order to assess the circumstances fully; other than what I have read here. So I ask for your understanding in that aspect.

One thing further: In the message from Paul of MDI, he wanted to make sure that he publicly noted what David said about not debating Muslims anymore. This appears as though he is attempting now to establish some kind of 'gotcha' situation if David were to go ahead and choose to debate Muslims in the future. Perhaps he is attempting to use this statement later as a means to discredit David's integrity or slander him in some way. I just thought it should be explicitly stated instead of leaving it implicitly stated as it was in the posting by Paul.

If this interpretation is untrue, it should be explicitly stated that this was not written in order to be used against David in the future. I will take silence on the matter as confirmation of my interpretation.

I will continue to assess the debate situation.


minoria said...

Paul Williams,when you are him directly,YES or NO,does not condemn punishing non-Muslims for criticism of Islam in Muslim lands.He will debate or already has debated the famous RICHARD SWINBURNE(who in a book said that using Baye's Theorem,the resurrection of Jesus is 97% probable).
He would be in favor of punishing SWINBURNE for criticism of Islam.It is sad he has taken such a sorry path.I know that mentality,he will never change.I have met people like him before.It is a fact of life.

John Lollard said...


I'm actually a mathematician. Thank you for bringing Richard Swinburne's statistical findings to my attention. I have looked up his book just now.

I would advise you to be cautious about his results. Bayesian statistics is highly subjective and the results depend upon the statistician's presuppositions. If a Muslim were to engage in the same argument as Swinburne, but instead inform his prior distribution with a Muslim's presuppositions, he would just say the probability of God becoming incarnate is 0% and now the probability of the Resurrection is 0%.

There's also some other problems in his statistical method that I am seeing in reviews. I would just be cautious in reporting his results.

I have seen another use of Bayesian statistics on the claims of the "Lost Tomb of Jesus" movie, and there the author used a very rigorous approach and allowed the user to enter his own presuppositions into a sort of Java calculator and get an estimation of the probability of the tomb being Jesus' tomb. It was very well done, and the author even went through calculations for several different presuppositions (they were all very low).

I might go and purchase the book. Thank you for telling me about it. I think it is a very good approach to the question. Lord willing, I'd like to find a way to improve the statistical technique to make the argument stronger. All said, I think the evidence for the Resurrection is strong enough on its own without having to use a Bayesian approach, but I think using Bayesian analysis can only help the situation.

Now I'm done talking about mathematics. Hopefully :P

Love in Christ,

Traeh said...

I'll be glad if Sam, David, and Pastor Joseph continue to appear on Jesus or Muhammad. I've given more attention to that show than to the debates.

Royal Son said...

MDI must be jumping up and down with glee at all this. I wouldn't be surprised if pretty soon they started making debate challenges to try and draw less informed christians like how deedat used to debate people who clearly did not know how to debate.

Regardless, much grace to all the team here at

May the Lord continue to bless you in whichever way He leads you.

Much grace.

minoria said...

Hello John Lollard:
Thank you for your comment.I had written an article about SWINBURNE.I agree his suppositions could be stronger if he had used more evidence....I refer to Messianic prophecies evidence in the OT.I believe he did NOT use it.

Can a Muslim use the OT prophecies for Mohammed?NO,no,no.We all know that.

I had included it in my article on him:

Here is the critique by another(notice it does not mention any OT prophecies use by SWINBURN):

I saw the documentary also and in LEE STROBEL's "The Case for the Real Jesus"MICHAEL LICONA (pages 148-151)gives the evidence that Cameron really er,like manipulated evidence to get his results.Read it,it is shocking.
LICONA is a reliable scholar.

Anonymous said...

Nabeel you posted a comment above:


Paul Williams speaks quite pejoratively of "fundamentalist" Christians in debates and on his blog, though he's much more congenial in person.

His blog is:


Nabeel (and I mean this sincerely) thanks for the sweet comment.

Likewise, I find you to be a very nice person when you are not speaking about Islam :)

Radical Moderate said...

Paul I was reading your blog today. And I noticed that you have a few articles on Israel and Anti Zionim. I am curious were you a Anti Zionist before you became a muslim?

The Berean Search said...

The Fat Man,

I would also like Paul to define what he means when he says "Zionism".

My understanding of Zionism is that it means the Jews have a right to live in the state of Israel, and according to that definition Allah and the Quran are both Zionist.

Al-Maida 5:20-21 (Y. Ali) Remember Moses said to his people: "O my people! Call in remembrance the favour of Allah unto you, when He produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to any other among the peoples. "O my people! Enter the holy land which Allah hath assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin."

The Tafsir make it even more clear that Allah gave the Holy Land as a possession for the Jews.

Zack_Tiang said...

Hi there.

Can anyone point me to where I can get other debate videos of Qureshi, Wood, Shamoun or White against other opponents besides Islam? i.e. Atheist, other religions, etc.

Please and thank you. Much appreciated.

Imraan said...

I'm intrigued - though I don't agree with Abdullah's total formulation of arguing 'from orthodoxy' - there is an important point that has to be made here. That 'orthodoxy' does not imply unanimity nor that there is a monolith that is Islamic teachings. Thus, when he says 'the stronger position' he is equally arguing from orthodoxy because Islamic scholarship is in some discussion about what these verses mean, or what the charge from God actually is.

Remember, ibn Taymiya, whom Wood quoted, is widely held to be in the minority in a lot of what he argued; there are many issues of theology and jurisprudence in which the 'orthodox scholars' (that is, scholars who use orthodox methodology for the most part) came to a different conclusion - their reasoning might be 'sound' from an orthodox standpoint - but other scholars judge whether or not they are actually sound arguments that they put forward.

The appeal to orthodoxy isn't controversial - in fact, if more Christian apologists acquainted themselves with the methodologies of the scholars whom they quote (rather than just taking the quotes at face value), they too would understand that the statements they quoted aren't just to be taken at face value - they have a hermeneutic background to them. David, I would urge you to take some time to go to al-Azhar or find yourself a 'Shaikh' in the States who has been 'classically' trained and spend a couple of years with him, going through the Islamic sciences. You quoted a Hanafi scholar (a jurist), Ibn Kathir (an exegete) and ibn Taymiyya (a theologian) - you have to understand that how they would have reached their conclusions, even if they are similar at face value, would probably have had their own internal logic and methodology.

The reason why Muslims appeal to scholars is because of their vast expertise and countless hours spent studying the Islamic texts and methodologies before coming to these conclusions that you so easily read off a screen as if they're a dime a dozen; whether or not you or other Muslims agree with them is a different matter - the point is that your approach is too simplistic.

In the same way the passage that Sam quoted in the video as having been treated too simplistically by Muslims, you must realise that as an apologist to Muslims, he, you and others can often be guilty of the same. Using various quotes from various scholars to back up your view of what Islam actually is isn't serious scholarship, with all due respect; this is an appeal to you as an educated person who has been to university, who can read, who understands that there is an intellectual process to religious studies.

Unknown said...

The little section there at the beginning by Pastor Joseph on heaven is one of my most favourite things ever. Very moving and very helpful to myself personally.