Friday, 28 April 2017

A Few Thoughts on Jonathan McLatchie's Arguments for the Holy Spirit

Jonathan McLatchie claims the evidence for the Holy Spirit is the continuous sanctification of the believer, causing him or her to grow in holiness. 

But this is at loggerheads with what we observe within Christian communities. If Jonathan truly believes the Holy Spirit works within Christians then how can he explain why Christians are often surpassed by other faith groups in self-discipline (avoiding sins) or the fact 75% of Christians are mired with struggle with pornography?

Christian men view Internet porn more than once a month, with a further 20% admitting that they succumb to temptation every so often. That’s 75% of Christian men engaging with pornography on, let’s say, a monthly basis. [Martin Saunders]

If, as Jonathan believes, the Holy Spirit is working on these people and leading them to become holier then why can’t they break free from their struggles with pornography? Now, other men of other faiths can manage to resist the temptation of pornography, Jonathan McLatchie presumably believes this is done without the Holy Spirit. So is this not proof enough to suggest Jon’s argument for the Holy Spirit being within Christians is spurious at the very least. Surely, Jon as a fundamentalist Christian, would not want to suggest non-Christians are capable of greater moral feats than those led by the Holy Spirit?

Sourced from Ed Atkinson's FB comments

To throw another problem at Jon’s reasoning, what of those Christians who have been in the church for decades promoting and defending church doctrines and then leave the church because they apostatize? Doesn’t that not throw a spanner in the works for Jon’s claims of the Holy Spirit working within Christians and causing them to grow in [Christian] holiness. If this is the case why are we seeing older Christians leaving Christianity, surely if this was the case no decades-old Christian would leave the faith?

The Bible Answer Man, Hank Haanegraaff, is thought to have left Biblical Christianity, in some quarters, recently despite his long term service for Jonathan’s beliefs. I’m sure Jon, I and others can find other such examples.

Paul of Tarsus in Galatians 5 lists what he believes is the fruit of the Spirit:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Notice, this is stuff you can observe in a Buddhist, Muslim, Sikh, Jew or even dare I say an Atheist. But also notice the words peace, gentleness and meekness – our Christian friends may be a little surprised to see a couple of rabbis suggesting Christians are arguably the most violent people in history. How is this if Christians have the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit leads to peace and gentleness? How can other groups (Buddhists, Sikhs, Muslims etc.) be seen as more peaceful and gentle than Christians?

So what exactly do Christians believe the Holy Spirit gives them that others cannot achieve in character and moral standing? Should Christians not rethink their beliefs about the Holy Spirit?

Jonathan McLatchie also cites radical transformations in lives as evidence for the Holy Spirit. But hold on, non-Christians have radical transformations in their lives too.

Lastly, Jon claims Jesus was resurrected and thus believes everything ascribed to Jesus in the Bible. This is circular reasoning. He gets the view that Jesus was resurrected from the Bible. Jon then uses this as a premise to accept everything else ascribed to Jesus in the Bible. Circular.

Actor Riz Ahmed Abused by Islamophobes

Actor Riz Ahmed, who plays Bhodi Rook in the Star Wars movie Rogue One, has not escaped the abuse of online Islamophobes/racists.

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Image may contain: 1 person, text

Christians having dreams and converting to Islam

Learn about Islam


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Justin Brierley, do you Believe Jay Smith's "Hyperbole" Excuse?

Also uploaded here and here

Jay Smith of Pfander Centre for Apologetics  made the claim of Muslims banning ham in Harrow. Harrow is an area in London of 200,000 people.

Jay Smith got caught out on this. He got mocked online and was confronted in person over his claims to the amusement of his colleague Lizzie Schofield. I think Justin Brierley of Premier Christian radio was notified about hamgate too.

Jay Smith, being the man of self-preservation he is, jamp on camera and claimed to have been using “hyperbole”. Guess he must have thought Christians will just believe him by accepting his words uncritically. Jay Smith, there are smart Christians out there who will feel uneasy with your “hyperbole” explanation. Remember, you’re not only talking to people who are part of your group and presumably receive wages from your organisation or asylum seekers who have converted to (or pretended to convert to) Christianity to help with their asylum stay in Europe who presumably don’t have a clue what Harrow is or are worried they will get sent back to Iraq to be bombed by other Iraqis or by Christian nations like America.

I hope those other Christians do have a word with you.

As for his “hyperbole” claims, they don’t compute with what he actually said. Smith made the claim he cannot get ham anymore in Jarrow because Muslims/Islam banned it.

He’s now back-tracked claiming he was only talking about a local Subway. Hmmm, OK, why didn’t you just say it was one store near you in the first place (if that was the actual case)?!

But having said that, if you search Subway's store-finder you’ll see there are Subway outlets in that area search which do serve ham (i.e. they are not halal). I did call a few of the branches that came up after searching for “Harrow”. Some did sell ham and others didn’t . You can see from the search results which are halal and which are not halal.

Not only this, the biggest claim of them all is that which breeds resentment amongst the far-right and fires bigots up to even attack Muslims. It’s the claim that Muslims have banned ham.

This again, is just not true. Smith has a habit of making statements that just aren’t true.

A spokesperson for Subway said the halal-only stores reflect the diversity of Subway customers.
[Plymouth Herald]

Subway are on record indicating they choose which stores are halal-only based on the demographic:

“We put a programme into place in 2007 to ensure that the population demographic is taken into account when new store openings are considered in order that we meet consumer demand in each location.
[Plymouth Herald]

As the Plymouth Herald points out none of the branches in Plymouth are going to become halal because there are only about 2000 Muslims in Plymouth according to the 2011 census.

It’s business sense from Subway. Subway aren’t being forced by Muslims to do this. Subway has simply targeted Muslim custom by making some branches in areas populated with more Muslims halal-only. The hate preacher Jay Smith can surely see this or is he so self-radicalised that he cannot see how wild-eyed he comes off as?

Let me get this straight, Jay Smith, if not lying (or perhaps in his vernacular using “hyperbole”), has a local Subway which is halal-only. He’s upset about this. What do you want that Subway to do? They are probably competing with a load of halal takeaways and other food outlets etc. in an area packed with Muslims. Do you want them to not try and get their custom and thus probably fold (meaning people lose their jobs!) or do you want them to try and get Muslim custom?

And why in the world are you, a bloke who “expects” to be killed by Muslims someday, living amongst so many Muslims? Perhaps you’re just lying about your locality and you don't actually live in a highly Muslim area where there is a halal-only Subway – I wouldn’t rule that out. Lizzie Schofield, Sarah Foster or Beth Grove can you help us out?

Does your Bible* not teach double minded men are unstable in all their ways? See James 1:8

Oh Jay would you like to go on record and claim you were using “hyperbole” when you claimed a crowd of Muslims (40/50) told you they will kill you at Hyde Park Speakers Corner? And how about that nutty Petra conspiracy theory stuff you come out with, is that “hyperbole” too?

*In case you’re wondering what the Bible is Jay, it’s the book you lost confidence in a looong time ago, I suspect you used have confidence in it being inerrant in your early years. Perhaps this is behind your antagonism and resentment towards Islam and Muslims, your dialogue with Muslims made you see your fundamentalist Christian views were false. Am I reading you like a book, Jay?

James White's Comments Rebuke Arguments of Jay Smith and David Wood

How Jay Smith, Beth Grove, Usama Dakdok and David Wood contribute to the apostasy of Christians

Pfander Films Questioned Over Conversion Figures. Speakers Corner

A few comments from James McGrath on Resurrection and Claims of History

A few comments from Prof. James McGrath I want to share pertaining to the historical method and the way Christian apologists try to argue for the resurrection story historically.

Since historical study deals only in probability, if Christians’ affirmation of Jesus’ resurrection is about the historical question of what happened to his body after being placed in the tomb, then the most Christians can affirm is that the body of Jesus had almost certainly vanished from the tomb. They could presumably further assert, without transgressing the limits of historical inquiry, that it is not impossible that Jesus rose from the grave. Clearly such language will seem a poor and inadequate expression of Christian faith. Even if it were possible to have more confidence about the matter using historical tools, it would still only allow one to say that Jesus probably rose from the dead – a statement that would still be judged a far cry from a Gospel that one can proclaim!

The problem is not with either history or faith at this point. The problem is that Christians often wish to make historical claims without having sufficient historical evidence, as well as at times confusing theological affirmations with historical ones. The question will need to be asked therefore whether resurrection faith is really supposed to be about history at all, whether it is an affirmation about the whereabouts of a corpse. To many Christians, resurrection faith seems to be an affirmation of a different sort altogether.

I am grateful to Kris Komarnitsky for sending me a copy of his book
Doubting Jesus’ Resurrection: What Happened in the Black Box? For some, the title may seem appealing, while to others it may be disturbing, but when it comes to historical study, the simple fact is that there is no way for a historian not to doubt the resurrection – or to put it more precisely, a historian cannot but raise questions about the historical factuality of the early narratives that tell the resurrection story. To paraphrase Bart Ehrman (the actual quote is here), there are any number of improbable historical scenarios for which there is no evidence whatsoever, but which are nevertheless inherently more likely than that an individual who had been dead entered into the resurrection life of the age to come. In addition to legitimate skepticism about unparalleled claims, a historian is trained to ask about cultural-historical dynamics and other forms of explanation on a human level.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Solas CPC Rebuked by Muslim

This was a testament to the inconsistent way in which minimalists in the apologetics community argue, specifically minimalists who rely on Dr Mike Licona.

Dr Andy Bannister shared his Solas video on the resurrection story on a FB group:

Did Jesus really rise from the dead? The story of Jesus’ resurrection is central to Christianity but few people are aware that there are powerful historical reasons for believing in it. This Easter, perhaps the choice isn’t lazy skepticism or blind faith, but faith in the Jesus of history. This latest SHORT/ANSWERS episode will help you see Easter in a fresh light

My response to Dr Bannister was to probe his views on the biggest resurrection story in the Gospels (that of the many saints in Matthew):

Wonder if Dr Bannister believes in the biggest resurrection story in the Gospels. That's the one of the many saints in Matthew. Clearly folks at that time were making up resurrection stories - Matthew clearly did make up the biggest resurrection story. So if they could make up the biggest story about resurrection what of the story about Jesus? Hmm

Dr Andy Bannister’s response was polite enough but he did fall in to obvious inconsistency by picking on my use of Prof Geza Vermes and describing it as inconsistent as I don’t agree with all of the late Prof. Vermes’views.

Thanks, Yahya. In return, perhaps I should ask if you agree with Muslim scholar Tarif Khalidi that the Qur'an's presentation of Jesus is "non-historical" and "not historical, but an argument" — see Khalidi's excellent little book "The Muslim Jesus". On the issue above, have a read of Mike Licona's massive — it covers the issues you raise among others. (I'm intrigued to find you recommending Geza Vermes, given the implications of what he argues for the Islamic view of things ... you wouldn't be cherry-picking, now, would you? :-)

Now, this notion that anybody you cite must agree with everything you believe is a fallacy. Nobody holds to this notion – it’s simply an apologetics stick to try and beat one’s opponent with. Even Christians like Dr Bannister don’t hold to it when they quote their Bible: Jesus and Paul didn’t believe in the Trinity so I guess Dr Bannister will not be quoting any purported words of such men. However, Dr Bannister cites Dr Mike Licona which puts Dr Bannister’s position in hot water as Dr Mike Licona has some very interesting views which I’d love to hear whether Dr Bannister agrees with Dr Licona:

Dr Bannister, it seems you're guilty of what you're accusing me of. Cherry picking :)

I assume you agree with everything Khalidi believes? In that case you wouldn't be a Christian...

I find it fascinating you cite Dr Licona and also talk about using scholars who agree with all of one's worldview. OK guess you will follow Dr Licona in believing the Gospel attributed to Matthew may have been changed and heavily edited

Whilst we are at it, I assume you also believe the NT could change in the future with the addition of another book

And you also believe Mark (who traditionalists believe was inspired by God) was confused

Guess you also agree with Mike on the 4th century doctrine of the Trinity - you don't know whether it is something a Christian has to believe

And how about the fact Paul of Tarsus thought Jesus was going to return in his own lifetime before he began to have second thoughts..

Look, we can all play cute games of oh if you quote such and such guy then you must believe everything he says. Life doesn't work like that.

At the end of the day we need to start looking at the theology of Christians and start asking whether it conforms to the theology of Jesus. Jesus didn't believe in the Trinity, so why do you believe in it? Jesus didn't believe in blood sacrifice, why do you believe in it?

Theology matters. Let's discourage folks from being bound by the religion of their friends of family because of some sort of indentitarianism - let's encourage truth seeking. Ask yourself about the Trinity. If the doctrine of the Trinity is refuted it shows Christianity to be a false ideology. It has been refuted. Nobody in the first century had any knowledge of this ideology. This is so important for Christians to see, associating partners with God is a departure from the 1st commandment. Please look into this. I say this because I care. I say it with a loving heart.

Analysing Richard Lucas' Heretical Understanding of Trinity

Solas' Andy Bannister Presenting Intellectually Dishonest Arguments on New Testament Reliability

Christian Missionaries and Pakistan's Valentines Day Ban

A Muslim's Thoughts on Solas CPC's + Other Christian Campagins Against Same Sex Marriage in the UK

Did Ignatius Teach the Trinity?

Thoughts on the Hamza Myatt, Liz Mooney, Chris Claus and Jonathan McLatchie Exchanges

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Lizzie Schofield Ignoring Facts and Reasoning - Child Brides

Lizzie Schofield of Pfander Films really tries her best to shoehorn religion (well, Islam) into the factors behind child marriage although the ICRW, who know much more than her about the topic, don’t put it down to any religion. But hey, Lizzie has an anti-Islam agenda and even has the effrontery to claim she's doing such (i.e. her propaganda)for the sake of the child brides:

What are the contributory factors in child marriage? According to Girls Not Brides, poverty, lack of education, cultural practices and gender inequality are the problem. What about religion? Girls Not Brides doesn’t mention it, though there are (coded?) references to “patriarchal values.” The ICRW states “no one religious affiliation is associated with child marriage. Rather, a variety of religions are associated with child marriage in countries throughout the world.” Hang on: isn’t that a bit vague? Don’t we owe child brides something a bit more specific than this? Especially when the rest of their website crackles with statistics.

“If present trends continue, 150 million girls will be married before their 18th birthday over the next decade. That’s an average of 15 million girls each year.”

For the sake of 150 million girls, shouldn’t we also do the neglected work of scrutinising the religious reasons that might also contribute to this practice? Or are we too afraid to?

I'm on the same ICRW page as Lizzie. She either overlooked an important point or two or just didn't read it fully. Along with the ICRW stating no religion is to blame, which to her credit she acknowledges, the ICRW mentions countries/regions of various majority religions which have high child marriage rates or which have seen a decline based on educational initiatives.

Countries with the highest prevalence of child marriages are concentrated in West and Sub Saharan Africa according to the ICRW. Liberia (85% Christian), Uganda (85% Christian) and Cameroon (70% Christian) are all in Unicef's top 6 for women aged 20-24 who had their first birth before the age of 18.

Notice, all these countries are CHRISTIAN majority nations!

It kind of stops Lizzie in her tracks! But she's doing it "for the sake of" all these girls, right? Wrong, she appears to be circumnavigating the facts and the experts on the ground in an effort to spread propaganda for the sake of her agenda – an anti-Islam agenda. Sad.

Clearly it's poverty which is directly proportional to higher prevalence of child marriage. Lizzie would have accepted this if she chose to simply take the ICWR at face value rather than entertaining a wild Jay Smith-esque conspiracy theory of the researchers being afraid to list Islam as a factor!

Folks like those at Lizzie's Pfander Centre for Apologetics are residing in bubbles of Western liberalism and seem to equate British laws with Christianity. Yeah, like gambling, sex-before-marriage, adultery, divorce and gay marriage are all Biblical! And to shove the proverbial pin into Pfander Ministries's bubble, I’ll tell Lizzie that Britain’s age of consent of 16 is not Biblical – the Bible allows sex before the age of 16. Are you shocked and horrified? If you are then you’ve been living in that bubble, welcome to a world of clarity. Biblical age of consent is puberty.

Something else which Lizzie has not factored into her views:

Girls living in poor households are almost twice as likely to marry before 18 than girls in higher income households. More than half of the girls in Bangladesh, Mali, Mozambique and Niger are married before age 18. In these same countries, more than 75 percent of people live on less than $2 a day. [ICWR]

In her attempt to shoehorn Islam in as a factor, Lizzie (predictably) goes on to talk about the marriage to Aisha. She then gets to her crescendo where she suggests Christianity as a "solution" to child marriage.

Well this imaginary solution hasn't worked for the Christians in Uganda, Liberia and Cameroon. Clearly Christianity isn't taking anybody out of poverty so they can have the luxury of marrying their daughters off at more advanced ages.

Here's the thing, not everybody lives in a region of the world where we are free from poverty and have educational programs for males and females so they aren't left with the sole option of marrying daughters off early.

To be truly loving and thoughtful one needs to look at the context and recognise female infanticide and infanticide in general is more prevalent in poverty stricken regions as a "means" of restricting poverty in one's family.

Typically, in many cultures this would mean the male child is favoured over the female (as the male is more likely to be employable). Child brides are part of this poverty restricting option. If one imposes a Western standard on other regions which enjoy diametrically opposed socio-economic climates is in effect pushing people to infanticide (especially female infanticide) as the prospect of feeding and clothing daughters until 16, 18 or whichever arbitrary age the West impose on the said country is seen as bleak if not impossible for many.

This is why child marriage happens, let's be brutally honest. For many it’s literally a choice between child marriage or child (female) infanticide.

A faith which restricts marriage to a certain age (16 or 18) as Lizzie's Westernised form of Christianity seems to be doing (although Biblical Christianity does not) is pushing poorer people further towards female infanticide. Such a religion cannot be considered to be relevant to every culture and region. In fact, it can be argued that it is cruel to try an enforce those liberal values on to poor people in West and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Christianity in an earlier form (before the invention of Westernised/liberal Christianity) never had such a restriction. In fact its consent age is similar to that of Islam and Judaism

Here's a piece on Prophet Muhammad's marriage to Aisha. 

Lizzie and others who operate as "evangelists" would be better advised to spend their energy in helping to reduce poverty around the world rather than abusing the plight of these people through  obnoxious propaganda tactics.

Christian Evangelical Propagandizes Distortion of Bill in Turkey

A Christian lady called Lizzie Schofield decided to add an evangelistic tilt to a proposed bill in Turkey.

Lizzie's opening gambit betrays a simplistic and even misleading understanding of this bill, she writes, "A new law is being proposed in Turkey that will let men off assaulting underage girls if they agree to marry their victims"
No, Lizzie, you're misleading your readers here. – it is not about “assaulting” anybody. The bill specifically excludes those who used force:

The act cannot have been committed with “force, threat, or any other restriction on consent” to qualify for the pardon. [Source]

The Turkish PM was not targeting assaults but rather was focussing on couples. In Turkey when a couple have an "unofficial union" if the female happens to be under-age at the time of childbirth (presumably 18 as this is the age of consent in Turkey) her partner is sentenced to prison. This separates the father from his partner and new born. Not only this, it places an increased economic burden on the mother:

Yet the justice minister claimed campaigners were “distorting” the issue and denied the bill would legitimise rape.

“What we do is to find a solution to an ongoing problem, it is not to protect rape nor protect rapists,” he told state-owned news agency Anadolu. Instead, he argued the bill would help couples who have consensual sex when they are underage and want to marry.

“When a child is then born from this non-official union, the doctor warns the prosecutor and the man is sent to prison, putting the child and mother into financial difficulties,” he told the AFP news agency. Although the legal age of consent is 18 in Turkey, child marriage is widespread, particularly in the southeast.

So from my understanding, it seems a 20 year old male can be separated from his 16 year old partner and placed in prison based on a blanket age-of consent law (18) albeit it being a consensual relationship. This is the type of situation Erdogan's AKP political party seem to view as problematic, especially in rural regions where it is common for females to marry under the age of 18. There are various age permutations but the thrust of this bill was to ensure consensual relationships in rural areas were allowed to continue.

To even suggest the Turkish democratically elected party is going to let men off for "assaulting underage girls” is to effectively distort the bill - as the justice minister mentions. This extends way beyond distasteful propaganda narratives such as those which Lizzie is wading in. There's a lot more to it, let's try to understand a bit more rather than attempting to propagandize it for our own agendas.

The irony is, there are parallels with Lizzie's distorted take on the bill and Deut 22:28-29, which evangelicals believe is from Jesus (as the 2nd person of the Trinity doctrine). Here, it seems to be teaching a rapist is to marriage his rape victim and never divorce. Lizzie, read the NIV translation of Deuteronomy 22:28-29:

If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
I’m not entirely sure why Lizzie Schofield of Pfander Ministries is not criticising her Bible rather than trying to "evangelise" based on a distorted view of a now scrapped bill in Turkish politics. I would also urge evangelicals like Lizzie to be responsible, if you write stuff that could make a particular nationality, ethnicity or religious group appear to be condoning rape of underage girls then you're involved in demonization of the said group - knowingly or unknowingly.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Police Report Claim and Jay Smith's Pfander Centre for Apologetics

Right, a few days ago, on Friday the 24th of March, Lizzie Schofield of Jay Smith’s Pfander Centre for Apologetics alerted me to a video in which she claimed somebody simulated her being shot via special video effect:

Lizzie Schofield Yahya Snow Do you have any comment on this video? This video that accuses me of being from a 'hate group' while including a special effect of me being shot in the head?

As for her being part of a hate group, Pfander Ministries, I do believe Jay Smith and his group do regularly spew Islamophobic sentiment and comments but this is not a discussion for now.

Lizzie goes on to claim she has reported the video in question to the police and the Home Office (an organisation which deals with counter terrorism):

Lizzie Schofield I've reported it to the police and the home office.

My initial thoughts must have been, oh no we have an idiot on the loose who has literally simulated the shooting of someone, hence my comment:

Yahya Snow Lizzie no I don't agree with that video. I absolutely deplore any intimidation or anything immature that will leave somebody intimidated. Much less a mother and wife like yourself. I have a sense of respect for you and I recognise you to be he most willing person out of Smith's group to attempt to converse.
I will try to investigate it. It's certainly nothing to do with me.
PM me if you want to message in private. Will try to get back to you after doing some investigations. I've got a meeting right now. Promise to look into it ASAP and relay back to you. God bless.

However, after viewing what the fuss was about I didn't feel anybody was simulating shooting Lizzie or anybody else for that matter, I just recognised it to be a video effect that other debate channels feature such as Sa Neter TV and Titans TV. These channels regularly clip a few heated moments in the debate for the introduction of the video and have a fireball-type of effect to represent a fired up discussion or a flash point within the discussion. Thus I was confident the gentleman who made the video was not trying to intimidate Lizzie our anybody else:

Yahya Snow Lizzie, whilst waiting fir my colleagues to turn up I have just skimmed that video and I assume you were referencing the effects at the start of the video. I think you've misunderstood that effect, it is an imitation of what Kamal from Titans TV does at the beginning of his vids. Check his vids out. In turn i think he vipied from Sa Neter TV based in the US ft amateur street debates.
I am confident this had no ill intent behind it.

Lizzie Schofield There's no ambiguity. It's clearly designed to simulate me being shot in the back if the head. Are you seriously telling me he intended something else? A firework? Come on.

Yahya Snow Lizzie come on. I can hand on heart say this is not a simulation of some violent act. The guy has just copied those effects. Let me get in touch with him.

My confidence grew in this regard in my subsequent dialogues with the video maker. He was completely calm and went to the police station that night – I believe he went to two but they were closed (both in East London).

Yahya Snow Spoken to the guy and he's explained it too. He said he wanted to show it was a heated dialogue. Anyways I do feel it is an over reaction. I've told him to go into the police station himself.

I did get a few messages from the gentleman in question after he got in touch with the police over the weekend. I reported this back to Lizzie. Not only did the police consider it to be a laughable accusation they also found no record of a police report being filed.

Yahya Snow Hi Lizzie, I just got a few messages from the gentleman who made the video. He has been to the police station, the police laughed it off and actually thought one of the hate comments thought to be from a Pfander Ministries supporter in the comment section on YouTube was more serious than the video effect!

They did say there's no record of any police report filed - they could not find any such report. It's a good thing you didn't file a report as it would have just been wasting police time I assume. They also told him if it was a terrorism matter he would have received a knock on his door within a day or two so it doesn't look like the Home Office received a report either.
Anyways I do think that gentleman is too gentle as the police gave him the option to report the hateful comment by the Pfander supporter, he declined.

The message from the gentleman in question:

Ok the police laughed it off and they said there was no report that they can find on the system , and there is no way police will arrest me or something like that , they actually said the Cooke [he meant “comment”] the I showed them about me , that is more of a thing than my special Fx , and asked me do I want to make a report , I said no it's ok , as I know it's just hot air and I DNT want to make a big thing out it , and they said anything inciting hate etc Youtube etc have their on code of conducts and if they deem that its with in there guide line then it's ok and I got nothing to worry about .!!

[NOTE: to say Lizzie lied based on this will be unfair as she may have filed it at a local station etc. - she can explain whether she did or didn't file a report]

Another word on the video effect, the inception point of the effect is on a frame where Lizzie Schofield is not even in. Slow it down and you will see. The camera man in the background and Paul Williams' hand are in and around the inception point of the effect - not Lizzie. Lizzie does enter the frame and the effect culminates covering her head (which I would advise anybody making videos not to do in the future).

Here's a similar effect from Titans TV ( a channel which I do not recommend):

Are Hamza Myatt and SaRa going to lodge complaints to the police and claim Titans TV are simulating some sort of harm against them? Nope. They understand the video effect. This is the inception of the video effect before Lizzie enters the frame

Now I understand Jay Smith attempts to radicalise and manipulate his followers by over-exaggerating the threat from Muslims. He is even on record saying he “expects to be killed by Muslims” someday and that Muslims are meant to kill him (and all Christians)! This is the Christian persecution complex, it’s delusional on the part of Pfander Ministries' Smith, Jay Smith has been operating amongst Muslims for decades in Africa and Europe. Nobody has killed him.

It gets more ironic as Lizzie in the video says “Muslims, I love you” while waving at some Muslims who are standing a matter of feet away, I found this to come across as infantilizing these Muslims which is completely in sync with the way Jay Smith regularly speaks to Muslims, the issue here is that it would be quite natural to assume the person who posted the video was one of the individuals who was only a matter of feet away from you (i.e. one of those who you claimed to love). Rather than jumping to the conclusion of your beloved threatening you by simulating you being shot why not hang fire (pun intended) and just get in touch with those who you love and ask them what the special effect signified as well as expressing any concerns you may have.

Isn’t that better than jumping to the most sinister and paranoid conclusion about a Muslim you just, a matter of days ago, told you loved. Not to mention then subsequently claiming you’ve reported him to the Home Office and the police (which seems to be a false claim unless evidence to the contrary crops up)?

I suspect Lizzie Schofield is more rattled at being accused of being part of a "hate group" hence her this saga.

This folks is the product of Jay Smith’s toxicity. Lizzie, I’ve been made to understand was a nicer and friendlier individual before joining Jay Smith’s and Beth Grove’s Pfander Centre for Apologetics.

Now I’m not entirely sure if it is an offence to claim you’ve reported something to the police while you have not. If it is an offence, I would strongly recommend folks do not report Lizzie Schofield. She has a family and it would be unfair on her family to put that type of stress on them.

I would put a lot of the blame of the big wigs at Pfander Centre for Apologetics. Jay Smith has a lot of explaining to do. Smith is a man who is near retirement, he’s made his money and he has no interest in proper employment for the future – he has nothing to lose in ratcheting up anti-Muslim and anti-Islam friction. He's not even planning on staying in Britain any longer despite his decades of sowing more division between Muslims and Christians in Britain!

 I wouldn't be surprised if Jay Smith is looking to step things up to try and fulfil his “expectation” that Muslims will kill him. He’s and Islamophobe, Muslims should stay well away from him and certainly not allow themselves to be provoked into rash actions. He is a provocateur. Leave him be, nobody of a serious-mindset takes him serious. Neither should you!

Here's a video where the Islamophobe Jay Smith states he expects to be killed by Muslims. This explains the paranoia around Muslims from his followers - he drums it into them that Muslims want to kill him (and presumably them!)

Here's a video of more fear-mongering from Jay Smith of a similar nature in keeping with his attempts to instil paranoia into the minds of his followers concerning Muslims, he even claims Muslims are meant to kill him (and other Christians!) [2.10 time frame]

Here's the video in question featuring Lizzie and the fire effect:

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Pfander Ministries Blog on Hijab by Lizzie Schofield

A few bits of commentary on some statements made by Lizzie Schofield who works (?) for Jay Smith’s group called Pfander Centre for Apologetics. Lizzie proffers her unfortunate and misguided view on hijab which is effectively a smear:

What is the hijab all about? It’s an outward reminder of female oppression by a religion that subjugates women in almost every area of life.

Firstly, this is not true – we can discuss all this at a later date.

Secondly, when she says the hijab is “a reminder of female oppression by a religion that subjugates women in almost every area of life” it’s actually not the religion she is attacking – she’s actually attacking Muslim men. The religion cannot practically enforce anything – never mind female subjugation – it’s the adherents of that faith who practically enforce and encourage religious practices. For instance the Biblical teaching of no remarriage after divorce is not a case of the Bible/Christianity subjugating women to this law but rather the Christian community.

This, “I’m attacking Islam not Muslims” slogan in many cases is a sneaky cop-out used by Islamophobes which sadly many people (Muslims included!) don’t cotton on to. Critics like Lizzie Schofield are criticising Muslims and dressing it up as solely a criticism of Islam. They may not notice that they are actually attacking Muslims hence their howls of protest when called Islamophobes but in all reality they are attacking Muslims. But, what type of Muslims is Lizzie targeting here?

Lizzie draws a dichotomy between Muslims in the East and Muslims in the West:

There are two narratives around the hijab. The first is that of the Western muslimah, which says “I like wearing the veil. It’s my way of expressing my faith. No-one forces me to do it, it’s my choice.” And because running and swimming is awkward with a hijab, when companies produce Muslim-friendly sportswear making it easier for these women to exercise, this improves their choices. This is a good thing.

Then there is the other narrative, or rather the uncomfortable reality that wearing the hijab for most Muslim women around the world is not a meaningful choice, either because it is illegal or due to prohibitive social pressure. How often do Saudi or Afghan or Somali women wander the streets of their countries without a hijab? Even if they say to themselves “I don’t feel like wearing it today,” they cannot act on their feeling without consequences.

This is not the first time Pfander have drawn an uncomfortable dichotomy between Easterners and Westerners – see Jay Smith’s degrading comments on non-Westerners.

It’s great Lizzie Schofield is not plying the propaganda narrative of oppressed Muslim women in Britain and the rest of the West. I appreciate that but I assume the copious number of Muslim ladies in the West who have communicated the hijab is worn as a choice, specifically their choice, has something to do with her not willing to impugn Muslims in the West of such a charge.

But why treat the Muslims in the East differently?

I suspect Lizzie Schofield and her cohorts on the right wing, be they “Christian evangelists” or just regular right wingers with or without the jackboots, don’t really hear much from or about Muslim women in the East and the little they do hear is filtered to portray a certain narrative. To be fair, this will be the case for pretty much most people in the West albeit those not marooned in the right wing are more willing to look at alternative views to scope a wider perspective.

As examples of Muslim ladies being forced to wear the hijab, Lizzie picks Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Somalia. Afghanistan is a war-torn country, the Christians in the West really know how to turn weaker countries into those, so let’s discount Afghanistan. Somalia’s population according to Worldometers is less than 11.5m and Saudi’s is just over 32.5m.

Why didn’t Lizzie not go to the most populous Muslim country, Indonesia? The population of Indonesia is over 260m. A quarter of a billion! There’s no country-wide hijab law as far as I’m aware. Correct me if I’m wrong, the same applies to Pakistan – the second largest Muslim country (over 160m). And how about India, a non-Muslim country, which has the 2nd greatest number of Muslims living in it after Indonesia.

There’s no country-wide law enforcing hijab in any of those countries. It seems Lizzie is being quite selective. Sadly, this is not uncommon for Pfander Ministiries.

But let’s go back to Saudi Arabia and Somalia (I haven’t checked the law in Somalia but let’s just assume Lizzie is correct and the hijab is mandated by the law of the land there), none of this would support Lizzie’s assertion that there’s no meaningful choice. Generally, countries mandate laws which the majority of the population support, has Lizzie ever thought that most of the women in those two countries actually agree with their respective laws on hijab?

Is this a Western supremacist idea playing out? A case of “oh those Easterners don’t really want to live by such and such laws, they want to live like Westerners, so clearly their governments are forcing laws on to them”?

I do wonder if Lizzie and her fellow right wing evangelical colleagues in the West say the same thing about places like Uganda and their anti-gay laws, is Lizzie really willing to say the Christians there are forced to oppose homosexuality?

Be honest Lizzie, how many Somali and Saudi women have you spoken to? Let’s pay for your ticket to Saudi Arabia and jet you off there – I’m not willing to send you off to Afghanistan as I’m worried some Christian plane flying overhead will drop a bomb on your head. We wouldn’t want you to experience the misery inflicted on Afghans simply because some Christian soldiers, who are squatting on Native American land (post the genocide of said natives), are puppets for their natural-resources addicted elite who “serve” a growing number of civilians drunk on Islamophobia.

Anyways, pack your burkha and let’s jet you off to Saudi! [Note before you do jet off please remove your reference to Aqsa Parvez, to misuse her murder for your propaganda is shameless. Utterly shameless.]

Lizzie also mentions some small protest in Iran against the law on hijab. I didn’t check it out but hey, let’s run with it. OK, so there’s a small Iranian group protesting against one of their laws. There’s many small groups protesting against certain things in Europe i.e against abortion, immigration (Muslim immigration!) and gay marriage or those protesting against bans on acts such as bestiality. There are people protesting all sorts of laws in every country – perhaps not in North Korea. Let’s not make a big deal out of it, Lizzie.

Considering, in my last interaction with Lizzie’s blog material I pointed out Christian countries are the worst behaved sexually than any other countries one would think Lizzie wouldn’t be so quick to jump on the wagon promoting a less moderate environment for others who aren’t inflicted with the same sexually debauched societies as that which Westernised Christians have produced?

Lizzie Schofield, not only lives in one of the most sexually ill-disciplined societies in the world but she lives in one where the female body is used to market anything from cars, movies, casinos, video games etc.. Not to mention, your average woman here really can’t go out without make-up now – such is the point of no return this “Westernised Christian” society has reached. I challenge Lizzie Schofield, Hatun Tash, Sarah Foster and Beth Grove to go sans make-up for a few weeks when on their trips out to Hyde Park. Doubt they will be willing to take it up even if the Islamophobe Jay Smith asks them to!

Folks, when our women dread to go outside without make-up we know our societies have destroyed the self-esteem of women here. Westernised Christian culture is ruining women’s self esteem and confidence. Sadly, Lizzie, a victim of this “Westernised Christian” culture in an effort to avoid dealing with the problems at home wants to point fingers at societies that are purer than those produced by “Westernised Christians”.

Lizzie, you’re not fooling anybody half-way smart. And you’re not attracting anybody smart with your ideas and arguments.

There’s also a shoddy argument from Lizzie that the hijab doesn’t help against sexual harassment. She cites some survey from Egypt indicating 99% of women have experienced sexual harassment – I’m not convinced with that survey.

The problem here is Lizzie isn’t doing a like for like comparison. If you really want to find out if the hijab plays a role in helping women to avoid unwanted attention and advances from strange men the social research has to be conducted in the same place and the results are more credible if the same volunteer is used. Karim Metwaly’s social experiment in New York of the same woman wearing hijab and not wearing hijab whilst walking the streets of NY for 5 hours in each dress code supports the view the hijab does discourage men from sexually harassing women.

Surely the thinking Christian will be asking why Lizzie’s Westernised version of Christianity is inferior to Islam in that it doesn’t help women avoid catcalls and other unwanted harassment from men whilst Islam does offer something very practical which actually works. The same goes for alcohol, Islam offers a better view on alcohol than Westernised Christianity. If the Christians at Pfander Ministries believe Islam is from the devil then they have an issue in trying to explain why this religion has better moral teachings than their Christianity? Another question to lob in if they really believe Muslims follow a satanic faith, why are Muslims better behaved sexually than Christians (Christians believe they have the Holy Spirit guiding them)?

Lizzie in her pre-emptive efforts to fend off shrieks of hypocrisy puts her foot in her mouth as she effectively admits she’s a liberal Christian and that she, if consistent, is arguably closer to believing Paul of Tarsus was oppressing women:

Are Christians being hypocritical here? Occasionally at Speaker’s Corner I get admonished for not wearing a head covering by Muslims. They quote 1 Corinthians 11:4-6:

Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5 but every wife[a] who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6 For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head.

If, for the sake of argument, we take the most conservative interpretation of these verses and assume that married Christian women today are to cover their heads, there are two things to note here. 1. It is a symbolic gesture of submission to her husband, a husband who is instructed to love her “like Christ loves the church, who gave himself up for her “(Ephesians 5:25). 2. It is subject to constraints, i.e. for wives at a church gathering and only when she prays or prophesies. She is not being told to cover her head as she goes about her daily life.

Firstly, saying the headcovering is a conservative Christian understanding is an admission that her group are liberal (Westernised Christians). What else are they liberals on, gay marriage, abortion, sex before marriage, dating, women’s dress codes, female clergy etc.?
Secondly, Paul of Tarsus was ordering women to dress a certain way thus they were meant to submit to a dress code given to them by a man (Paul of Tarsus)

The Jesus scholar, Geza Vermes, thought Paul of Tarsus ordered women to wear veils on their heads because he thought they would tempt angels:

The idea of potential sexual rapport between angels and women continued to float in the air even as late as in the New Testament times. Indeed, when St Paul forbade the female members of the church of Corinth to attend Christian assemblies with the head uncovered, he justified this prohibition by his belief that the sight of their hair might lead astray some passing-by sons of heaven: 'That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels', Paul insisted (1 Cor 11:10).

If Vermes' view concerning Pauls' reasoning is correct one wonders how many early Christians thought hijab-less women as a temptation to sin. After all, if they thought angels could not resist unveiled Christian women then what about the lay Christians? So why in the world are they freely mixing with uncovered Christian women at churches every Sunday? Not only that, what about day to day activities?

Christians need to stop presenting Christianity as secularism with a belief in a trinity and blood sacrifice. It's not.

Paul's alleged precaution against sexual sin (the hijab) has largely been ignored by most Christian women. We would very much encourage Christian women to ignore Paul on his mistakes but act upon the teachings which have a ring of truth to them. The hijab is something Mary wore and something which all women should strive for. Of course, we as Muslims are not going to accept the idea that angels are tempted to sexual sin. Muslims believe angels do not disobey God.

Why are Christian men so lax in encouraging the hijab? For some reason, Christians follow Paul theologically to the letter yet ignore him practically as in this case. I'd like to see Christians ignore Paul theologically and adopt Paul's teaching of hijab...

You don't have to believe Paul's alleged reasoning for the hijab, just start handing out hijabs to women who claim to love Jesus (p).

PS You can get all your hijabs from an Islamic centre near you, please pick some literature up on the way out. Thanks. May God bless you.
Analysed: Lizzie Schofield talking to Muslims about the hijab

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Mike Licona Rebuked by Muslims: Spreading Deceit About Shk Ahmed Deedat

The spin around the speculation that Shk Ahmed Deedat read a bit from Josh McDowell’s book before he passed away is outlandish. It’s disappointing to see somebody like Dr Mike Licona spreading such intellectually dishonest suggestions.

Mike Licona stated “Deedat was apparently having second thoughts about Islam and was taking another look at Jesus”. He bases this wild-eyed suggestion on speculation that Shk. Deedat read a portion from Josh McDowell’s book the day before he passed away.

This claim was out to Shk. Ahmed Deedat’s son who responded by dismissing it as deception and a ploy to promote Josh McDowell’s book. Shk. Deedat’s son also indicated Shk. Deedat would never leave Islam.

It’s well known Shk. Deedat was debating Christians and propagating Islam on his sick bed thus it would come as no surprise that he would read Christian missionary literature as it would be part of his research and debate preparation. Mike Licona and other Christian apologists read material from the likes of Bart Ehrman and Richard Dawkins as part of their apologetics research and debate preparation, it would be dishonest to suggest they were having second thoughts about their faith based on them simply reading such material. Mike Licona should be able to see how wild and deceitful this claim is!

Sadly, Licona doesn’t appear to be the only one who is passing on deceitful rumours about Shk. Deedat. Dr Nabeel Qureshi, in his book, does inform us of "other" people spreading the absurd rumour that Shk. Ahmed Deedat repudiated Islam whilst on his sick bed.
Let’s be clear here, these “other” people who claim Shk Deedat repudiated Islam on his deathbed are internet trolls. There’s no evidence for this whatsoever.

In fact just by reading his biography or news reports concerning Shk. Deedat’s passing away people can see this claim is a load of nonsense as he was serving Islam even whilst bed-ridden up to his passing away:

August 8 marks 10 years since Deedat’s death of kidney failure at the age of 87. He was bedridden for the final 10 years of his life, after suffering a stroke that left him paralysed and unable to speak.

Though doctors initially gave him little chance to live, Deedat continued to engage in religious work until his death – communicating by using a grid of the alphabet, which he used to spell out words letter-by-letter by signalling with his eyes.
[Al Jazeera]

For more in response to Nabeel Qureshi's comments on Shk Deedat please see here

It could well be that this rumour which "other" people were spreading evolved from wishful claims by Josh McDowell:

Josh McDowell said: Amazingly, a close relative of his came to me a few years ago when I was visiting South Africa and said, “I felt you needed to know some details around the death of Ahmad. The day before he died, he asked me to find a copy of your book More Than A Carpenter. So, I brought it to him and he read some of it.” We won’t know until after this life, but there’s a chance Ahmad Deedat is in heaven.

Josh McDowell in this public statement doesn’t go as far as Mike Licona. Mike Licona appears to spin Josh McDowell’s wishful speculation into a suggestion Shk. Deedat was having doubts about Islam. Mike’s comments are certainly deceitful - whether he got them from somebody else or whether he instigated such spin is for him to disclose. Josh McDowell is irresponsible with his comments – they too are misleading. Josh McDowell would surely know that apologists do read material from the other side in order to produce responses to their claims.

What we have here is at least two big name Christian apologists who should be ashamed of themselves. Mike Licona will, if consistent, call himself a “deceitful character and he will also say the same about Josh McDowell seen as he called a Muslim such for simply adopting the logical conclusion, based on Mike’s podcast comments, of Mike believing there’s a false prophecy in the New Testament from Paul of Tarsus.

Mike Licona, at the very least, should apologise publicly.