Public debates had been decided by Sakshi Apologetics Network and the Niche of Truth on October 3&4, 2009. However, due to the disagreements over one point- the discussion for the finalization of the debate is not making any progress and debate is almost cancelled. You decide who is trying to evade the debate.
Why Are We Publishing This?
It has been our deep desire to answer the baseless criticisms and claims of the Dawwah preacher Janab MM Akbar. It must be recalled here that Dawwah preacher Janab Akbar has been viciously attacking the Holy Bible through his books (e.g. visit http://www.nicheoftruth.org/default.asp > Books & Cassettes>Malayalam Books List>Biblinte Daiveekatha), and public talks while at the same time making totally unfounded claims for the Quran.
We as an apologetics organization had received requests from public to respond to these claims and criticisms. We believe such criticisms should be responded in public and particularly at the presence of Janab Akbar so that audience can hear both the sides including the responses to the questions and answers. A public debate is the ideal format for that.
Keeping this in mind, we had approached Niche of Truth a few times for a public debate (and not closed room debates). At times, we received no responses but at other times they came forward only to cite some lame excuses to evade the debate.
After evading the debate, strangely Muslims have approached us asking why we are not debating though it was the Niche of Truth who evaded the debate. We wondered if anyone was spreading false rumors.
Therefore, this time, after Janab Akbar stubbornly insisted on unreasonable clauses again to evade the debate, we intend to set the record on public so that Christians, Muslims, any others who are interested can judge for themselves on who is evading the debate.
Background to this Debate:
As mentioned, after hearing from Muslims that we are not debating with Janab Akbar, we thought we would publish our invitation along with the topics in a magazine. We published 13 topics to choose from for Janab Akbar. Many Muslims who seems to have read this, seems to have requested Janab Akbar to accept the invitation.
To please them (or fool them), the Niche of Truth informed us that they are ready for the debate on the following topics:
1) Wahi of Quran: Is it from God?
2) Is Bible the Word of God?
As a result, our representatives met them and agreed on an initial agreement to have debates on August 21 and August 22, 2009. This we accept that was only an initial agreement and not a finalized one.
However, the Niche of Truth approached us again for a change in date citing that Ramadan was beginning on those days and it may not be ideal dates for the debates. In the initial agreement itself, there was a provision to ask for any reasonable change. Further, it was not the final agreement.
Having considered the request, we agreed for the change. The dates were then agreed for October 3 and 4, 2009.
There have been reasonable suggestions for changes from both the sides to the initial draft of agreement. And we note it with due credit to the Niche of Truth that they too agreed for some changes.
However, sadly, one change we requested for the initial draft as we felt that it was very unfair, unreasonable and unwarranted was not only rejected by the Niche of Truth but they came up with another equally unfair, unreasonable and unwarranted clause to be added to the final draft.
The Change that We Requested; the Clause that Janab Akbar Wanted to Add:
In the initial draft it was stated that while the authoritative book for the Christians is the Holy Bible, the authoritative books for the Muslims are Quran and Sahih Hadiths and the speakers are restricted to these books.
The change that we requested was as follows:
Sakshi and the Niche of Truth can state in the agreement what they consider as authoritative but there should not be any restriction on the speakers. They should be given the freedom to use the resources that they consider as scholarly and authoritative. If the speaker from the opposite side considers those as unacceptable, he has the opportunity and time to declare it in the stage that he considers those as unauthentic and therefore reject the argument based on that.
The Reasons for Our Request:
1) This is a scholarly debate. Scholars should be given the liberty to choose the sources which they consider as reliable and authentic.
2) Many of the criticisms that Janab Akbar raised against the Holy Bible in his books and public talks are based on liberal scholarship. In fact, in many of the debates in the past, when Janab Akbar debated publicly with Christian pastors and priests who were not apologists and untrained in comparative religions though otherwise qualified, Janab Akbar had used this methodology.
Now, as we are debating the topic of Quran, it is our responsibility as Christian apologists to demonstrate it to the public that if the same methodology is applied against the Quran, it cannot even stand anywhere closer to the Holy Bible. The Holy Bible is incomparably superior to the Quran.
If Janab Akbar does not want us to use his own methodology against the Quran, why is he using it against the Holy Bible? Is it not plain hypocrisy and deception? You decide.
3) There are many scholarly Islamic institutions which are widely respected among Orthodox (not even liberal) believing Muslims who have from time to time produced their opinions on certain passages of the Quran. Why cannot we use them?
4) There are other books which Muslims considers as authoritative including Janab Akbar’s sect.
The earliest Sira’s (biography of Muhammad written by Ibn Ishaq and later Ibn Hisham) are more authentic even from an academic point of view. Those were written BEFORE Sahih Hadiths by the very EMINENET BELIEVING MUSLIM scholars. Objectively, Siras comes as more authentic than Sahih Hadiths while discussing about the Quran
Further, one of the best commentators on Quran as per the Muslims themselves is Ibn Katheer. Muslims all over the entire world, including Janab Akbar’s sect (Salafi) consider Ibn Ishaq Ibn Katheer, as an authority (for examp
le, you can refer it here: http://www.salafipublications.com/sps//sp.cfm?subsecID=SLF02&articleID=SLF020001&articlePages=1)
If Janab Akbar’s sect can use these scholars, why cannot we use them as our resources on studying Islam? Is this not a double standard?
However, the Niche of Truth without giving any valid reason continued to stubbornly insist on us not using any other resources. Because of our desire to see this debate happening, we further gave concessions from our side.
Our Compromise to the Request:
Sakshi, due to its desire to see this debate happening, offered a compromise.
1) We will not use any non Muslim source to base our argument. Remember, this itself is a big compromise. You can visit http://www.faithfreedom.org/ and see how effectively they have argued against the Quran. Further, you can read ‘What is the Koran?’ in the Atlantic Magazine by Tony Lester (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/199901/koran). No one can accuse them of shoddy scholarship. We have every right to use them. However, for the sake of conducting this debate, we gave up our right and told we will not use non Muslim resources.
2) We will not use liberal Muslim scholarship: There has been extensive research done by Liberal Muslims on the Quran. If Janab Akbar can use Christian Liberal scholars in his books, we have every right to use Liberal Muslim scholars to study Quran. There has been enough resources to show that Quran has been changed many times by the so-called righteous Caliphs. However, for the sake of conducting this debate, we gave up our right and told we will not use liberal scholarship.
3) We will not use even orthodox Muslim resources apart from those accepted by Janab Akbar’s sect: This, as you would agree, is something that we should never give up. We have every right to use orthodox Muslim resources to study Quran. This means we cannot use resources from eminent academic institutions resources such as Ali Gargh University from where we have enough resources to point out the many scribal errors in the Quran. However, for the sake of conducting this debate, we gave up our right on this too.
4) We only insisted on using the resources accepted by Janab Akbar’s sect: This we told explicitly that we can never compromise. Is this wrong?
However, Janab Akbar knows for sure that we can easily prove the corruption of Quran by using his own resources. Further, he knows that we can easily prove that his prophet Muhammad received diabolical revelation by using only his own authoritative resources which demolishes his deity, prophet and scripture. He is afraid that many such real truths about Islam will come out, not from our mouth, but from his own resources. He can never defend it. So he wants to deny using those resources. Can he be ever called as a honest person? You decide. Further, we told that if he still considers these resources as unauthentic, he can declare that in public and openly that he considers these resources as unauthentic and therefore reject arguments based on that. Why is he afraid to declare this in public? You think about it.
Remember, all this when we explicitly told them that though we consider the Holy Bible as our only authoritative source, he can use ANY resources to study the Holy Bible. We are confident that we can demolish any misconstructions by Janab Akbar in public itself. When we were ready for this change, why is he afraid to give the least which is due for us?
Now, the jokes of all jokes. Not only that Janab Akbar wants us not to use his own resources, he wants to narrowly define Quran which is even against the authentic Sahih Hadiths.
Janab Akbar’s Additional Clause:
Probably realizing that even the use of Sahih Hadiths can be quite damaging to the hollow claim that Quran is unchanged and uncorrupted, Janab Akbar wanted to add this clause:
Quran is defined as that Arabic Quran which is codified by the third Caliph Uthaman.
For those who might wonder why this new clause, here is one reason (there are many more):
As per Sahih Hadiths (and that too Bukhari who comes first in the list of Sahih hadiths), there were four people whom Muhammad himself recommended as the master teachers of Quran.
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 150: I heard the Prophet saying, "Learn the recitation of Qur'an from four persons: (1)Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud, (2)Salim (who was killed in the 633 CE battle), the freed slave of Abu Hudhaifa, (3)Ubayy B. Ka'ab and (4)Muadh bin Jabal."
NONE of these people were involved when third Caliph Uthaman codified the Quran. There are numerous differences (including deletions, additions and changes) from the Quran recited by these masters and the Uthamanic Quran. Evidences for these are there in the Sahih Hadiths themselves though the third Caliph BURNED the other Qurans.
Probably realizing that he can never defend the hollow claim for Quran that it is unchanged even from Sahih Hadiths, the Niche of Truth representatives came up with this laughable clause which we
rejected without compromise.
Will anyone accept such clauses for a debate? Debate is a forum where the most cherished beliefs can be questioned by the opponent speaker. One can insist that the opponent speaker should never use double standards (one standard for the Holy Bible and one for the Quran) and the opponent speaker should not use unaccepted materials.
If Janab Akbar is afraid to use his own methodology for the Bible against the Quran also, then our advice is: withdraw all the books/DVDs/materials in any form, where he has criticized the Holy Bible by using this method. He will have none left.
If he is afraid to debate openly on fair and equal terms for his religion also, he should have never ever dared to speak on other faiths.
Still We Invite Janab Akbar:
There might be many Muslims who read this and hear about this and not believe us still. We can understand their disappointment on all these. However, those Muslim friends must be fair to us also.
We are publishing the terms and conditions for the debate along with this of which most of are agreed by the Niche of Truth. You can read it yourself and verify if there is a SINGLE unfair or unequal point in that. If we have missed on anything by oversight we are ready to add/modify/delete that also.
It is only the Niche of Truth that is evading the debate and insisting on unwarranted, unequal and unfair means.
We are ready to SIGN the agreement and conduct the debate on these fair and equal terms at a mutually convenient day in neutral place.
If you still doubt us, you can contact the Niche of Truth on below addresses and ask them to be ready for the debate.
We repeat- we are ready for the debate. Let only the venue, time and date be discussed and agreed by both the sides. The terms and conditions will remain the same.
Now, you decide, who is evading this debate? What are the reasons behind those? Draft for the Agreement can be Accessed Here.
We are ready to sign. Is Janab Akbar ready?
How to Contact the Niche of Truth:
Official Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Niche of Truth Administrator: email@example.com
Niche of Truth website: http://www.nicheoftruth.org/
How to Contact Sakshi Apologetics Network:
Official Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please Forward This Link to All Dawwah Muslim Fans. Let Them Know the Real Face of Their Scholars.