Imam Mustafa Umar at Cal Poly

Earlier this year the Muslims Student Association at Cal Poly Pomona had a local imam from the Islamic Society of Corona-Norco address the student body on the Islamic view of Jesus as a prophet. The event was originally scheduled as a debate between the Imam and Sam Shamoun, but the debate was scrapped when the MSA and Campus Crusade failed to come to agreement on the terms of the debate. Essentially, the MSA wanted the right to openly challenge and critique Jesus as God, as the Bible proclaims, but would not extend the same sort of critical analysis of Muhammad as a prophet in a different event later in the day. Apparently it is perfectly fine to criticize Christianity in a public forum but critical analysis of Islam is off limits. What happened to the idea that our universities ought to be venues where the exchange of diverse ideas and opinions is encouraged, not stifled?

At any rate, I decided to video tape the Imam’s presentation, which ran for about 48 minutes. I have uploaded the unedited video of the Imam’s presentation to YouTube.

After listening to the Imam’s presentation, I could not let some of his comments go unchallenged. He spent about the first 17 minutes of his presentation achieving his goal of presenting the Islamic concept of Jesus as a prophet and nothing more. For the remainder of his time, he argued why the Christian understanding of Jesus as God was flawed; essentially he attacked the Christian position with no chance of rebuttal by anyone.

Well, here’s a rebuttal. I put together a new video with excerpts of the Imam’s statements against Christianity and inserted my own responses to the Iman’s claims. I sent Imam Mustafa an email asking him to view the video. Our exchange is below for all to see.

Dear Imam,

I attended the event at Cal Poly Pomona earlier this year where you spoke about the Islamic conception to Jesus as merely a prophet. I recorded the event with my video camera (for which the MSA was grateful, because their camera broke midway through your presentation). I have posted the unedited video on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_6bFkQMzdk

However, I could not let pass without comment several statements you made. As you are well aware, this originally was to be a debate and as such, your statements are open to challenge and correction. Since the Christian debater was unable to attend, I have taken it upon myself to respond to certain statements about the Bible and Christianity you made. Note that, although you said several times throughout your comments that you were not there to attack Christianity, you in fact did just that. I offer my comments as a corrective response to misleading statements that you made, and I would welcome your feedback, just as if we were debating in an open forum.

Edited video with responses to your comments: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ktyghz25RD4

Best regards,

Joe Carey

Imam Mustafa responded with the following:

Dear Joe,

You definitely put a lot of work into your response. However, I’m very busy with other things. If you could put your comments in text, I could go through it much faster and respond.

I appreciate you uploading the full video and it a great sign of your fairness.

Mustafa Umar

Imam & Associate Director – Islamic Society of Corona-Norco

In other words, the Imam does not want to take the time to view the video. It would be of no advantage to put everything in writing because I would write exactly what I recorded in the video. This is nothing more than an attempt to save face.

This is not my first encounter with this particular Imam. A local “Christian” church had this same Imam speak for four consecutive Sundays last October. After hearing the distortions of Islam presented by him, I wrote a letter to the pastor of the church to correct the Imam’s comments. My letter fell on deaf ears.

Here is the video:

 

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