"I worry because he calls them to Islam, but he affects non-Muslims by speaking about..
..Islam & Christianity. After all, he used to be one and now he's a Muslem. They might see him as intimidating and overbearing. We don't want to upset the non-Muslims. After all we do respect them and their religious beliefs. All we want is someone to tell them, 'Islam is tolerance. Islam is peace.' That is all we want. No talking about differences - just talk about 'love' and 'tolerance' and 'peace' - that's it! ..."
All of this was in June of 2006 - Since then, Yusuf Estes, Yusha Evans, Mutahhir Sabree, Dr. Zakir Naik and the rest of the Share Islam team members have helped many thousands into Islam and countless numbers of Muslims to better understand (and practice) their deen.
But here is how Sheikh Estes replied back to the group who actually blocked him from coming to their community with the above statement...
Bismillah Rahman Raheem
Thank you for writing to me with your concerns regarding the upcoming trip to your community.
To be quite frank with you, I do appreciate the way that you worded your letter to me. You show the highest respect and consideration both to me and to those whom you have built up trust with. And you are most correct in supposing that a presentation by myself to such dignitaries as these might well be presumed to be an effort to proselytize or even outright attack their faith groups. I assure you this is not my intention. I can say that we have had quite happy experiences with other faith groups providing they were not trying to attack any proselytize the Muslims to their faith.
However, you must consider how my presentation might appear to them to be threathening and disruptive to the members of their particular faith groups. After all, I was a Christian for nearly 50 years. I do have background in a number of active Christian roles as does my entire family. My father received his ordination of ministry back in the early 1970's and I began preaching prior to learning about Islam and then making my shahadah in July of 1991.
What would that look like to these people? Might they consider that we are saying, "Hey! Look, here! One of your own preachers became one of us!" - And he has brought thousands of Christians to Islam!
How are they going to preceive that? As a call to joining up together to hold hands and light candles?
I think not.
One must understand that anytime there is a lecture or dialog on any topic, it is presumed that the speakers will endevor to convey their positions and notions in their most convincing ways. Anything short of this would mean that it were not really a lecture but rather just some kind of confirmation to topics on which the listeners already agree.
I would like to share a few examples of the hundreds of dialogs with Christian leaders:
1991 November Arlington, Texas - Catholic priest, Father John, admitted to me "Islam is the best religion" and when I asked him, "Why don't you accept Islam?" He said, "What?? And loose my job??"
1993 San Antonio, Texas - Catholic priest, in U.S. FCI institution, confessed he only loved his religion because it was so easy to change to whatever people wanted to hear and co-worker from Protestant Christians acknowledged Islam had strong good points.
1994 Mexico City, Mexico - Catholic men and women entered Islam at the Miner's Palace during the Book Exhibition.
1995 Bastrop, Texas - Christian preacher sat together with us discussing religion and admitted he knew nothing about Islam but really liked what he heard.
1996 Three Rivers Correctional Facility, Texas - Nation of Islam leaders accepted to learn Arabic from us and share in eid food and some became Muslims, while others became very co-operative and changed their hearts in favor of true Islam.
1997 & 1998 San Antonio, Texas - Lutheran priest invited me (two times) to speak on Islam and Muhammad and the Quran. He would have continued inviting me, but we moved to Washington, DC the end of 1998.
1999 Hagerstown, Maryland - Minister of the Unitarian Church invited me to speak -- his own daughter made shahadah, along with another man (Arab) and they went to the masjid with us the same day and then later married each other. The preacher invited me back again for another program a few months later.
2000 Karachi, Pakistan - Dr. Father De Sosa, priest at St. Patrick's Cathedral and High School (he was in the graduating class with Gen. Musharif) - I interviewed him on our television show - on camera - he admitted that he had a "store front operation" in town to "assist" Muslims to "know Christianity." Then at the end of the program, he declared that he personally thought that the Sufi way of Islam was the best. (I did not comment on any of his beliefs as I was acting only as the moderator in this film.)
2001 Morgantown, West Virginia - Priest of Lutheran Church, video dialog - very positive and constructive dialog - both of us presented our respective faiths. He did not pay attention to most of what I said, yet he did agree when I would ask him about my comments in beliefs.
2001 Indiana - Baptist pastor at a university - He tried to dominate the program and I let him say his piece - when it came my turn to reply, our own Muslim brothers cut me off and said they had to turn the amplifiers and speakers back to the rental company (9 PM deadline) So that one seemed like a failure, until I went to the pastor and asked him to have dinner with me the next night. He agreed and we dined in private at the home of a brother. The pastor finally admitted that he wanted to know more about Islam and that he was wrong in much of what he had thought. He even began giving consideration to Islam for himself, but pulled up at the last moment and said that he had to think about all of this and he left.
2001 College Park, Maryland - Dr. Ted Campbell - professor of Divinity at Weslayan College (he is the one who teaches the Methodist ministers how to be preachers) this is all on video and audio cassette in a program entitled, "God - Why Bother?"
The program was amazing - at first the Christians who organized it wanted to do a debate with a Muslim scholar. I refused, saying that debates bring about a lot of heat, but not very much light. They finally agreed to a "dialog." When I arrived, the professor knew by then who I was and something about my background. He leaned over to me while we were on stage and whispered, "You know this is not a debate, right?" Then he went on to say that he was also from Texas and when he found that I grew up near his town, he mentioned that we used to play football with each others city and I mentioned to him that we always beat them too. (We were the state champs in the 1950s). He agreed.
The program was really something, because I always encouraged him to speak first (I insist on speaking last). He asked who should go first and I said, "Which came first, Christianity or Islam?" He said, "Christianity." I said, "Then you go first." As the night progressed he talked and I listened. I only agreed with the things that he said that were also in Islam. The Muslims seemed disappointed that I was not challenging him or trying to put him down. Then the last question came, I replied as before, "Let him answer and if I have any commentary I'll offer it." The Christian moderator, Noah Smith, replied, "This question is for both speakers, 'Why are you in your religion?"
I was amazed. This would question could only help Islam and not help him at all. After all, he did not have the background of being in both religions as I had. So again, I invited him to go first. He did. And he began by saying, "Let me see, now why am I in my religion?" "I guess I would have to say that, I am a Methodist, because my parents raised me as a Methodist...."
After he finished, I took the floor and immediately applauded him for having said exactly what our prophet, peace be upon him, said 1,400 years ago, that every child is born on the fitrah of Islam (submission to Allah in peace) and it is their parents who raise them up to become Jews, Christians and fire worshippers. But in some cases, like mine, Allah returns them back to the original state and lets them once again become those who surrender, submit and obey Allah in peace as Muslims.
Everyone, including the Christians began to clap and cheer. And before we left the room, one of the students there at the college stood up and made shahadah. Al Hamdulilah. And the professor, shook my hand and thanked me so much for being there with them.
We have many other postive examples as well. But I should also caution you and mention that we have had at least 2 or 3 occassions when the non-Muslims in attendance tried to destroy our programs and speak out in very disturbing terms against Islam, Quran and our beloved prophet, peace be upon him. In each case we kept our cool and tried to provide a suitable reply to these horrible accusations and disruptions. Some of them have been recorded. In at least one case, we have it recorded that before the program was over, the very same person who had been attacking our way of worship, came to understand that the things that he had been told and brought up to understand were most incorrect and in fact, that what Islam stands for is what he also believed and he made shahadah then and there. He is now a very strong Muslim and married to a good Muslim sister.
Last night (June 2006) we were at the University of Texas in Arlington, TX and at the end of the program the only Christian there - made his shahadah. Al Hamdulilah.
If you ask anyone who visits our live online programs or attends our lectures and presentations, they will all tell you that we do in fact encourage people to consider worshipping Allah, Alone and without any partners. That is what Islam is all about and that is what we do.
If this type of programming will not fit in with your project then please except our offer to decline attendance as this is the only agenda that we have.
While we understand that there are many people today who consider it correct to "interfaith" with the Christians and try to work something out so that we can peacefully exist side by side and accept each others religions, we are not in total agreement with some of the methodologies involved in this process.
Why not check out our website for real Interfaith Dialog from the Islamic Prespective: www.BridgeToFaith.com
Jazakumallahu khairan was salam alaykum,
Your Brother in Islam,
Since then we can add to the list of Interfaith Dialogs so many priests, preachers and even an Arch-Bishop who have ALL ACCEPTED ISLAM. And many more have changed their minds about Islam and Muslims and are even helping us to get out the true message of real Islam.
2006 Curacao, 135 stood up for shahadah, on video.
2007 Australia, Uniting Methodist Pastor called for establishment of Shari'ah Law in Australia and two other Christian leaders became friends of the local Muslims, also changing the way Islam was viewed by non-Muslim religious leaders there.
2008 Germany, 1250 people all stood up at the same time for shahadah along with Pierre Vogel (German boxer who converted to Islam), on video.
2009 Tampa, Florida, Over 300 people stood up for shahadah, including Muslims who had never really practiced Islam and this is on video too.
2005 to present time Thousands of people on the Internet and on TV - including Peace TV, Huda TV, Islam Channel, IBN in Trinidad, the UK, Voice of Islam in New Zealand, and around the world - so many places - people chatting or have called in live and after talking with us, entered into Islam on the spot.
Visit www.ChatIslam.com and see every day - scholars presenting Islam in English and giving shahadahs.
Again, we ask you to visit www.BridgeToFaith.com and see the Catholic Church's own TV channel promoting our efforts and even offering to pay for mailing the Quran translation to all of their viewers.
Credentials for Yusuf Estes:
1992 to 1998 - Imam Masjid on Lackland Air Force Base (volunteer)
1993 to 1999 - United States Federal Bureau of Prisons - Contract Chaplain Imam
1999 Islamic Foundation of America, Washington, D.C.
Advisor to Muslim Youth1999 - 2001
2000 - United Nations World Peace Summit - Delegate to Religious Leaders
2000 Full Time National Muslim Chaplain & web designer for Islam Tomorrow Project
Student Dr. Fateeh Al Ghareeb (Egypt); Dr. Sayeed Rizwan Ali (Pakistan); Dr. Jafar Shaykh Idris (Sudan); Dr. Abdullah Hakeem Quick (South Africa); Dr. Bilal Phillips (Qatar); students of Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Baz (Rahimahullaah); Sheikh Muhammad Nasiruddin Al Albany (Rahimahullaah) and others.
> Developer of more than 2,200 websites on Islam, Muslims, Quran and applied religion in the western word for Muslims.
> Author of articles, booklets, pamphlets on Islam, beliefs, evolution vs. creation, etc.
> Lecturer, speaker at hundreds of universities, military installations, prisons, and colleges in North America, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Canada, Mexico, Dutch Antilles and New Zealand.
> Hundreds of TV programs on HUDA TV, PEACE TV, Islam Channel in UK, Discover Islam TV, IBN Trinidad, Voice of Islam New Zealand, Australia, and the list goes on...
> Helped thousands of people in USA, Canada, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Hong Kong (so many more) to come to real Islam in the last 20 years or so.
> Family Background
Married (only one LOL)
Father of 5 children, Al Hamdulillah.
Grandfather of ten, Al Hamdulillah.
Great-grandfather of two (and more coming, inshallah) Al Hamdulillah.
I hope that this will enable you to decide how you wish to proceed with your program and that I will in some way be able to positively influence all those in attendance there, inshallah.
Booking information www.IslamEvents.com/speakers (choose a speaker then click on the booking info on the left of the speaker's picture)
At present, we are receiving thousands of emails and the time is most limited due to the constant daily traveling from place to place to share Islam with the people everywhere. The good news is that when the people hear the truth about Islam, they become most happy and change their minds and hearts, inshallah. Many of them are coming into Islam.
So, Islam remains the fastest growing religion in the world, even though our enemies would like to put out the light of truth.
Director, Guide US TV part of the www.ShareIslam.com project.
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By the way, what do you say about the dawah of Yusuf Estes? (Comment here please)