NORTH CAROLINA BNI readers should attend this forum Saturday where this imam, a Catholic convert to Islam, will try to convince you that the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam

Imam John Ederer, an Oklahoma native who grew up Catholic and converted to Islam at 18, will speak Saturday night in Concord at a forum called “Should We Fear Islam?” Below are several graphics which you can use to debate him.

Imam John Ederer will speak at 7 p.m. this Saturday at Embassy Suites, 5400 John Q. Hammons Drive NW in Concord. Admission is free. The event is sponsored by the American Islamic Outreach Foundation.

IMAM JOHN EDERER

IMAM JOHN EDERER

Charlotte Observer  Ederer, 36, is an imam, or Muslim community leader, who also says that ISIS is a heretical cult that is “completely distorting Islam.” Ederer, an Oklahoma native who grew up Catholic and converted to Islam at 18, will speak this Saturday night in Concord at a forum called “Should We Fear Islam?”

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His answer is an emphatic “No,” and points out that Islam means “To live for the will of God to attain peace.”“Islam is a spiritual lifestyle, similar to devout Christianity and Judaism,” says Ederer, the imam at the Muslim Society of Charlotte from 2010 to 2014 and now the imam at the Islamic Society of Tulsa, Okla.

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To call ISIS Islamic, Ederer told me, “is like saying the KKK is Christian” because it uses Christian symbols – burning crosses – and cherry-picked Bible verses to justify its violence and hate. And for those outside Islam who claim that the Koran, the Muslims’ holy book, condones killing, he asks that they acknowledge that the Bible has some bloodthirsty passages that can also be taken out of context or cast as representative of the whole book.

What he will tell you:

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What you should show him:

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Ederer is a harsh critic of the Israeli government – he is respectful of Judaism, but not of modern Israel’s treatment of Palestinian Muslims and Christians.

But his denunciations of ISIS are tough: “very barbaric, inhumane, ignorant, sinister – and the complete antithesis of Islam.” (So how does he explain all the hate speech against non-believers all throughout the quran?)

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And if he still denies all the evidence you have shown him by saying it is out of context, remind him of this:

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