International Judge the Koran Day … One Juror's Perspective
The following was sent to us by Mrs JoBeth Gerrard of Marietta, Georgia:
There is a lot of mockery going on concerning the events of yesterday. Before you mock this event, allow me to share with you what I saw.
What it was not was a mock trial. Rather, it was a sincere attempt by some considerate and learned Christian men and women to explain to the jury why they left Islam, to examine the actual Koranic texts and its interpretation, and to expose their personal experience of how Islam, based on the Qur’an, is being used to inflict bodily harm and death on people whose only crime is not being a Muslim or not being Muslim enough.
International Judge the Qur’an Day
The event was held SUNDAY, MARCH 20th, 4pm-10pm, 2011
It was streamed live on Truthsat-tv. You can listen to the ongoing discussion here:
Prosecuting Attorney, Ahmed Abaza - Mr. Abaza is the Founder of the International Christian TV (The Truth TV). Mr. Abaza is a former Muslim who accepted the Lord Jesus in 1987.
Mr. Ahmed Abaza, and The Truth TV, arranged and sponsored Sheikh Imam Mohamed El Hassan, Mr. Ahmed Paul, Sheikh Abdulla Al Sabah, and Mrs. Manal Faragalla to be a part of this event.
Ahmed is from Egypt. He has dark straight hair and dark skin. He wore a Western suit and tie and wore shoes with slight heels, but he is not imposing in his height. He speaks fluent Arabic. His English is heavily accented, and we often had trouble understanding him. For example, at one point he was saying “mask”, but we thought he was saying “Mosque”. Using a hand gesture, he was able to make himself understood.
Ahmed conducted himself much like a prosecuting attorney in the U.S. He gave opening remarks and during the second phase of the trial, he called several witnesses, all of whom I will describe here briefly. Later on, he cross-examined the only witness for the defense, and then he gave his closing argument.
The case he presented was well-prepared. During the Defense’s opening statement, Abaza made one objection, which was overruled. I think we were all a bit startled, at first, by the Defense’s case, and where it appeared to be going. We felt that Ahmed’s objection gave voice to our own silent frustration, but the court ruled to allow the Defense to make his opening statement uninterrupted.
Abaza’s personal testimony was not presented during the trial. But it is available online
Defense Attorney, Sheikh Imam Mohamed El Hassan– Mr. Hassan ran for President of Sudan in April 2010. He is the President of the Islamic Center in Texas, USA, and the Sheikh of the Islamic Sofia Way.
Sheikh Mohamed is a Sufi Muslim Imam. His opening remarks were given in Arabic and translated into English by an interpreter provided by TruthTV. Sheikh Mohamed arrived a few minutes late, after having received a death threat that morning because of his participation in this event. We were all very pleased to have him serve as the Defense. The Sheikh is originally from Sudan. He was dressed formally in a traditional long white gown, gold-corded robe and colorful head covering. His wife and children and other family members accompanied him. They did not participate, but sat in the audience during the proceedings.
I made some notes from his arguments. He explained that a right understanding of Islam does not depend exclusively on the Qur’an because we know that many of the so-called violent and inciteful verses in the Qur’an have been abrogated (nullified/voided). He further explained that the Qur’an was written a long time ago, and we need to understand that time frame to understand the logic and appropriateness of the objectionable verses. For instance, he explained that in the days long ago, compared with the number of women, there were fewer men available for marriage and that it made sense back then for men to take multiple wives into their charge. But, as he explained, we live in a different age and time now which would not mandate or necessitate a man to take multiple wives.
During his closing arguments, Mohamed insisted that a right understanding of the Qur’an would depend on first of all being able to read and understand the original Arabic text, and secondly a right understanding would require the assistance of a qualified Sheikh, although he denied that even he could completely be understood in the limited time-frame of this courtroom venue, but that he can help you understand the right way. He asserted that Muslims are not monolithic in their thinking, and that we would need another court to explain all the abrogated verses.
1st Expert Witness, Mr. Ahmed Paulwas a Presidential guard, which is equivalent to a secret service agent, in Egypt. Mr. Paul is a former Muslim who accepted the Lord Jesus in 1997 and has served the Lord since that time.
Ahmed Paul is a large Egyptian man who wore a Western suit and tie. Ahmed told me afterward that he was educated at the university in Egypt in Islamic evangelism, which he explained to me was like a missionary and that his education qualifies him to teach the Qur’an to other Sheikhs.
Ahmed gave testimony from the Qur’an where he quoted in Arabic and then translated the verses for us which command the (Muslim) believers to “kill” (sometimes mis-translated as “fight”) non-believers (non-Muslims). [Note: The Haddith and other Islamic books were previously agreed by both parties deemed excluded from these proceedings. All testimony was restricted to verses in the Qur’an.]
Next, Sheikh Mohamed, made rebuttal for the Defense that the verses Ahmed Paul referred to have all been abrogated, after which a short recess was called. It was during this first recess that the one and only heated outburst occurred in which Ahmed yelled out that the verses he had cited have not been abrogated, which Sheikh Mohamed then denied. Security came forward and the two men immediately retreated. I couldn’t understand everything they were saying because some of it was in Arabic, but it appeared to have something to do with the Mecca and Medina verses and which of those have been abrogated and whether you can pick and choose which verses were abrogated.
Expert Witness, Shaikh Abdulla Al Sabah, from the Royal family of Kuwait is a former Muslim. He was imprisoned for becoming a Christian. Muslims made many attempts to kill him by lethal injection. He accepted the Lord Jesus in 1995.
Shaikh Abdulla appeared on the stand wearing a long-sleeved white robe and red head covering, which he explained to me privately is typical dress for all Kuwaiti men, royal or not. Abdulla gave testimony to the ill-treatment he received while he was a Kuwaiti POW in an Iraqi prison during the first Gulf War (early 1990’s). [Note: At that time, the U.S. was allied with Kuwait to force Saddam Hussein to withdraw Iraqi occupation from Kuwait.] Shaikh Abdulla testified that he is a close relative of the Emir (King) of Kuwait. He apologized for all the money he spent to support Jihad. To see the kind of money he is talking about see:
Abdulla confided that since he became a Christian, his life is under constant threat to this day. These death threats, we can presume from the testimony of the Defense, come mainly from the misunderstanders of Islam both here in the West and abroad in the East. But Skaikh Abdulla also testified that he was brainwashed as a child to unquestionably accept the teachings of the Qur’an and the Shaikhs and that the understanding that apostates (people who reject Qur’an) must be killed according to the teaching in Qur’an.
Expert Witness and Translator, Mrs. Manal Faragalla, whose father was killed by Islamic Sharia Law because of his faith and preaching of the Word of God. The Lord Jesus trained and educated her to be one of His soldiers for the sake of His people who are under the yoke of Sharia Law.
Mrs. Faragalla is a young Egyptian Christian woman who wore a Western-styled dress. She gave a very emotional account of her life in Egypt and the tragic torture and murder there of her father who was a Christian in Egypt. She also gave tragic testimony to how women and children and minorities are treated under Islam in obedience to the Qur’an. It was Mrs. Faragalla, alternately with Ahmed Paul who served as translators during the court proceedings.
There was one otherExpert Witness, another apostate from here in Florida. She testified to her life as the wife of an Egyptian Muslim man who in obedience to his understanding of the Qur’an beat her repeatedly. She gave testimony to the fact that at the time she also understood that if she did not obey her husband and submit to his beating of her, the angels would curse her all night. She lived in fear of her life for the many years of her marriage. She also testified about how Muslim men justify having multiple wives based on Mo-hammed’s commands in the Qur’an and that if a man divorces his wife, he can remarry her but only after she has become the wife of another man. She explained that this means a husband can prostitute his wife to his friends at will and are justified by Mo-hammed’s own words in the Qur’an in doing so.
I was asked and agreed to serve on the jury. I made a 6 hour drive from my home to Gainesville, FL in order to attend the event. The jury consisted of 3 men and 9 women. Most of the jurors were born in the U.S., both black and white. Others originated from European countries. Dr. Terry Jones presided.
The Qur’an was found guilty by unanimous consent of the jury on all three (3) counts brought against it.
There is much more I could tell you about the case, but I wanted to give you my first impressions.
Mrs JoBeth Gerrard of Marietta, Georgia