Again, Saifullah presents his attacks but forgets that I have responded to him as well. Here is my newsgroup response to Saifullah's article Conversion To Christianity: A Missionary Deception that he had previously posted to the newsgroup.

Saifullah, you make me a lot of work digging up those old articles, but if you have to throw them online, then let's see the whole discussion.

Subject:      Re: conversion: a christian deception
From:         Jochen Katz <>
Date:         1997/04/30
Message-Id:   <5k86id$>
Newsgroups:   soc.religion.islam
[More Headers]

In article <5k5967$>,
Metallica  writes:

   On 27 Apr 1997, Jochen Katz wrote:

   assalamu-alaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

No, I didn't write that, but I wish you peace anyway. :->

   > In a sense you are right. Converting to Christianity is not because
   > of Islam, but because of God and the truth.
   > Who will want to continue in illusion if he has found reality?

   jochen likes to make big statements about reality and illusion whereas he
   himself cannot differentiate between them.

ad hominem when you are running out of arguments?

                                               converting to christianity is
   not because of islam, but because of illusion and deception as it will be
   clear on reading the next few paragraphs.

Looking forward to your insights.

   i happen to be given a book called "islam and christian witness" by martin
   goldsmith. who lectures at all nations christian college. the book is
   published by OM Publishing, Carlisle, UK. in a gist this book is all about
   how to convert muslims to christainity. without beating around the bush
   let me quote a few paragraphs from the chapter "how to witness":

I haven't read the book, but let us see what the quotes say that you are
bringing up.

   "PRAYER: orthodox muslims place great empahsis on the importance of prayer
   timings. if they are strict in their religion, they will put other things
   aside at the prayer times in order to pray. it is vital to realize that
   the christian also believes in it and practises it. in some cases, it may
   even be helpful if we can join the muslim in prayer, so that they actually
   hear the christian communing with god through jesus christ." pp. 113

Now what could be the reason, other than deception? Or is it the Muslim way
to assume the worst first? Others can't possibly have honest intentions?

Jesus says this about prayer in Matthew 6:

5    "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to
     pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen
     by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
6    But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your
     Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in
     secret, will reward you.
7    And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think
     they will be heard because of their many words.
8    Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask
9    "This, then, is how you should pray: ...  [read the whole chapter]

Because it is about genuineness and not show, most Christian have their
life of prayer in the privacy of their homes.  This is the teaching of
Jesus. Now, the problem is that Muslims don't SEE us pray and then conclude
that we don't pray at all. This is obviously creating a wrong impression.
Prayer is important to Muslims and it is important to Christians. Martin
Goldsmith calls to reevaluate our ways of praying because the current way
actually deceives [i.e. creates the wrong impression] as if we do not
pray at all. He suggests to pray in public and with the Muslims to let
them see the reality of our prayer life. Not to show off, but to rectify
the wrong conclusions of Muslims.

You want to call it deception but there is no deceptive agenda behind it.
If the Muslim then sees that our prayer doesn't measure up to the prayer
he does himself. So be it. But give the Muslim an opportunity to evaluate
and see how we pray.

By the way, what do you say about the public prayer in Hyde Park? Why do
Muslims make all those big prayer show on the lawn in the Park? Is that
not part of your dawah?

On we go in your quotes:

   "muslims pray regularly five times a day at the set times of prayer, to
   which they are summoned by the call to the prayer. this call is always
   made by human voice, and never with the use of muslical instruments or
   bells." and later on the author states: "...and there is no need to export
   the use of church bells, which may be easily exchanged for a human voice
   calling believers to pray worship and pray." pp. 135

There were no church bells in the early church. The early church was middle
eastern, Jewish. Bells and what sort of instruments are cultural expressions.

Inviting others to the faith should be done in culturally appropriate forms
and not compromising the content. Christianity has many "forms" all around
the world. Whether in the West, Muslim countries, East Asia, Africa, ...
The content is not to be compromised. All the rest is finding culturally
appropriate forms that best express the content we bring. Where is your
problem with this?  Muslims do the same thing in a certain way.

   "the high point of the muslim prayer is the act of prostration in which
   the muslim kneels before god with forehead bowed to ground. in the bible
   too we have accounts of people who demonstrated their worship and awe at
   the presence of god in similar fashion. should christian prayer in a
   muslim society practise such agreed ritual movement." pp. 134.

That last sentence is not complete. Is that a question or a recommendation?
I suppose it is a question or a suggestion to think about. There are no
rules he gives. Christians are different. I do prostrate ever so often, but
not as a rule.

   "the church in a muslim context must ask whether it is helpful for prayer
   to be made in the symbolic direction of jerusalem. muslims must pray
   towards mecca; daniel directed his prayers with his face towards
   jerusalem; should the muslim convert follow the exmaple of daniel? pp.135

He may, but I think that is a rather strange point. Jesus himself talks
about this issue in John chapter 4 and the "pray to this direction" issue
is irrelevant. Any bodily direction is fine as long as the direction of
the heart is right.  Praying to Jerusalem is certainly okay, but any other
direction is just as okay. If it helps anybody to direct the body to a
regular direction, go for it.

   there are a few interesting things about the way a mosque should be

   "should the actual building of the church be more akin to a mosque? are
   the usual european fashions a necessity? do we need seats in the church?
   must the focal point be a table or a pulpit? do we need a special lectern?

Certainly, European churches should be in Europe and anywhere else people
should build culturally appropriate buildings. I would not recommend
"mosque style" though.

   in the conclusion of the chapter "the muslim convert" the author states:

   "in coming years we may see new christian churches which are outwardly as
   closely as akin to muslim mosques as the early christians were to their
   jewish synagogue background." pp. 137

we may or we may not see. Goldsmith is speculating here. This is not a
book of instructions but a list of thoughts for others to pick up and
think about further. It is a chapter on brainstorming as I understand it.

By the way, what about all those churches that are converted into Mosques
in Britain as well as some other places. Don't those "Mosques" look a bit
too much like churches???

   and how to deceptively go for hajj and sacrifice:

   "some of the festivals are based on the annual pilgrimage to mecca with
   its particular background and theological implications. some aspects may
   be celebrated with an eye to their fulfillment in christ, but many
   christians would not feel happy to endorse all that the pilgrimage stands
   for islam." pp 132.

Well, he says explicitely that this is not exactly the best thing to do.
Again he is brainstorming and discussing pro and contra.  Anything wrong
with doing that?

   and a few thoughts about the month of ramadan itself:

   "and then comes the question of the fast month. in connection with prayer,
   fasting is encouraged in the new testament. jesus gives teaching on a
   snare of pride in fasting and the dangers of sanctimonious piety, but true
   fasting has a significant place in christian devotion. is it permissible
   to introduce a fast month along muslim lines into a christian church? of
   course, it must be voluntaryand practised in conjunction with prayer."

Fasting is a christian practise. Praying and fasting for the Muslims that
God might reveal himself to them and show them his truth is a good thing.
No problem. The difference being: Muslims fast in hope to rid themselves
of their sins and to be acceptable to God. Christians fast to become more
useful to God and pray that God may save others, since we are already

   "in some strongly muslim countries conversion from islam into another
   faith is tantamount to suicide. those who come to faith in jesus christ
   must therefore make a radical decision. they can make an open confession
   of jesus as the lord and saviour, be baptised and then probably die the
   death of a martry. otherwise they may perhaps be able to flee the country,
   find anonymity in europe and north america and there develop a true
   christian life. but they then also loose contact with their own people and
   have no testamony to them. this second alternative is generally open to
   the wealthier and more educated. many ordinary people eschew the first
   alternative and cannot afford the second. the opt for a third possibility,
   namely, to continue the outward forms of islam while adding in their
   hearts a new spiritual dimension based on a person and work of jesus
   christ." pp. 130-131.

If there wouldn't be hundreds and thousands imprisoned and tortured and
killed every year in the Islamic countries just for their faith in Christ,
there would be no need to even think about option three.

This is actually the problem of Islam, who condemns hypocrisy but punishes
harshly those who are honest. Give the Christians freedom and they will
speak up openly without question.


   after reading the above have a look at this site talking about Christian
   Missionaries Sweeping the Islamic World By Sheikh Salman Al-Odeh @

   according to jochen this page is a "(The Islamic Paranoia Page) If only
   we would have as much impact as he believes Christians have."

   now jochen, you understand the difference between paranoia and reality,
   deception and clarity. jochen professes himself to be a "very fair guy who
   is looking at both islam and christianity in as much fairness as
   possible". well, now we know what jochen and his stuff is all about. and
   it is also quite clear what jochen claims to be the holy spirit guiding
   him. whether it is the righteous god or devil of deception is anybody's

Have I ever "dressed myself" as a Muslim here? Where have I been deceptive?
I see that you are getting desparate and need to accusse me of many things.
But please when you want to accuse me, then accuse me of something with
evidence that is from me.

I am not Martin Goldsmith and I am certainly not pretending anything.

I do speak my mind openly.

   my advice to muslims is very simple. read the quraan and understand it.
   understand the difference between tawheed and shirk and imaan and kufr. do
   not fall into the traps laid by these christian missionaries interested in
   a "fair christian-muslim dialogue" as below:

   > To join the dialog list, send an email to
   > with only this line in the body of the message:
   > subscribe mcd

I never said you have to join. If you are afraid, stay away. No problem.
There are others who are genuinely interested.

Also, you talk about something you are not part of and as such you are
slandering and giving false testimony. The model of a good muslim, right?

By the way, for a long time, I have been thinking of getting some of
the "how to do dawah in the West" books .... I haven't bought any of
them yet, but maybe this is the time.... and I am sure I will find some
interesting quotes in there...

May God open your eyes to the web of deception you are caught in.


Jochen Katz

Responses to Saifullah
Answering Islam Home Page