Caner will no longer be dean at Liberty University
Ergun Caner will no longer be dean of Liberty University’s theological seminary.
Caner, a Baptist minister, gained fame as a Muslim-turned-Christian who spoke across the country and on television of his conversion, and was considered an expert on Islam. When he joined Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in 2005 enrollment trebled, the AP said.
However the university’s board of trustees concluded after an investigation that Caner made contradictory statements, fabrications and embellishments in a number of public speeches and in his book, particularly with reference to names, places he claimed to have lived in and dates, the AP said.
The story of Caner has led to a rise in skepticism about other ex-Muslims turned Christian, some of whom claimed to be former terrorists and who found welcome among Christian fundamentalists, the Washington Post said.
Other Muslims turned Christian who claim to have formerly been terrorists are U.S. citizens Walid Shoebat who wrote the book, “Why We Want to Kill You,” and Kamal Saleem, author of “The Blood of Lambs,” the Washington Post said.
Concern has been raised that some are even accepted as experts on terrorism by the media, Congress and the military. They have delivered speeches at Harvard Law School and made appearances at Fox News and CNN, the Washington Post said.
They have also given talks at a terrorism conference and the findings were sent to Capitol Hill and the Pentagon. Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, has called this a national security threat, the Washington Post said.
Weinstein expressed concern that they were spreading fear of Islam and fomenting prejudice, the Washington Post said.
According to the AP, Caner will still be part of the faculty of the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. The school has cited his cooperation with the investigation and issued an apology for misstatements.
The investigation of Caner came about when Muslim and Christian bloggers cited irregularities in Caner’s claims on YouTube. This led other apologists and pastors to raise questions about the contradictions, the AP said.
When the issues arose, Caner changed the biography on his website and asked some groups to remove damaging video clips from their own websites. Nonetheless the questions remained, and Liberty University conducted their investigation, the AP said.