Message: Mr. White
If you want me to stop spamming and telling everyone you have a Bogus and Fake PhD and ThD then take down that discussion video. If not, the spamming continues. You have till Friday to do so.
You meet some interesting folks on Twitter these days. I received this e-mail from Ehteshaam Gulam, a less-than-pleasant young man I had the misfortune of encountering last June in the Detroit area. I reported on our encounter .
A little while ago Mr. Gulam started showing up in my Twitter feed, rehashing decades old (and long refuted) foolishness. I would simply block him and move on, but over the past few days he has seemingly had nothing better to do with his life than open Twitter accounts and spam everyone who follows me with the same lies. So this morning I get this e-mail, sent through the ministry contact page, in essence demanding that I remove the video from my YouTube page showing our “discussion.” Now, let me be very clear: I do not include our “discussion” as one of my debates (though some people I could mention would count it as half a dozen debates, in Arabic, in Nebraska). It was not helpful outside of exposing the confusion, double standards, and darkness of the mind of a young Muslim who shows not the slightest bit of interest in self-reflection. It was never, ever my intention to post the video, and I never would have, except, Yes, on our FaceBook page back in August of 2010 Gulam accused me of “hiding” the video of our encounter! So, what do you do when someone accuses you of hiding something? You produce it, of course, and that is what I did, posting it on YouTube. Now, when I wrote to Mr. Gulam expressing my amazement at his having made such an accusation, his response was just as confused and muddled as his responses had been in Detroit. Here is what he wrote when I asked him directly if he had been the one to make the accusation on our FaceBook page:
No, it was unintentional. I apologize. In any case you own the rights to the footage thus you have every right to do what you please with it. I would however in the future like to do a debate on that topic or the preservation of the N.T.— if your interested.
This was August 20, 2010. His tone hardened, and harshened, in follow up e-mails. But note the first statement: how can you “unintentionally” post such an accusation on FaceBook? Did his fingers just start typing it out and he could not stop them? Did a jinn take over his computer because he did not utter the proper pleas for protection from them? It is hard to say, but what does seem obvious is that in August of last year Mr. Gulam himself challenged us to provide the video of our discussion, and we did so.
Now, all of a sudden, Mr. Gulam has become an Internet stalker making blackmail demands that we the video that he himself demanded we post in the first place! At one point Ehteshaam said I had “ruined his life” by posting it–and in the next tweet said he was kidding. In any case, he has taken to creating new Twitter accounts each time I, and others, block him, all to spam everyone with links to his lame attempts to attack me personally, all because he won’t do his own homework and deal with what I have said openly and consistently about my educational background. The cost for him to start acting his age and not like a twelve year old with a fast internet connection? I must remove that video.
Now, some might be tempted to connect Ehteshaam’s behavior to Islam, and say he is seeking to put me in a position of dhimmitude. Well, he may well be thinking that, but I do not see it that way. There are lots of immature, mean-spirited people out there who harass us regularly. Many of them claim to be Christians and wouldn’t know how to spell dhimmitude, let alone know what it means. So I see Mr. Gulam as simply an angry cyber-stalker who, for some reason, has decided to lash out at some perceived injury, all the while knowing inside he is the one who brought the injury on himself, both by foolishly engaging in the “discussion” we had, and then foolishly demanding I post it publicly!
Now this has become a matter of principle. The video is entertaining, but it really has no major theological worth. It shows Ehteshaam Gulam throwing out a wild variety of inconsistent and self-contradictory arguments, and as such is a good warning against this kind of unthinking, non-reflective anti-Christian rhetoric. But there are far better sources for that on our video page already. Nothing would be lost by pulling it down, to be sure.
So why not do so? Simple. You don’t negotiate with terrorists is the old adage, and there is a reason for that. Let’s say I remove the video. What surety do I have that Ehteshaam will stop his spamming runs if I do so? None. And what if he decides he doesn’t want to see something else on my YouTube page, and starts again? I’ve already started down the road of compromise, and there is no logical stopping point. You can only negotiate with someone who has honor and is rational in his behavior and thinking, and neither of those elements are present here.
Instead, I will gather up all his tweets where he has made it very clear he is violating Twitter’s TOS, along with this e-mail, and submit it to Twitter, hoping there is a way to identify his IP address and block his further childish behavior. Will that work? I don’t know. Might I eventually just have to leave the Twitter world because of his cyber-stalking? It’s a possibility. I guess that’s what Google+ is for! You can pick and choose who gets in your “circles,” and it would be easy to exclude Gulam, no matter how many different screen names and accounts he wasted his life creating on different computers. We will just have to see.