Sunday, December 13, 2009


In his condescending manner, [Franklin] Graham stated that favorable statements about the Islamic faith made by President Obama were merely political expressions of “what he had to say.”

Ahmadiyya Times | Article | Religion
From Portland Islam Examiner | December 13, 2009
Harris Zafar | Portland, OR

This past Thursday, CNN anchorwoman Campbell Brown sat down with Franklin Graham, son of famous evangelist Billy Graham and also a Christian evangelist and missionary of his own. The troubling moment of this interview began when Brown asked Graham about his controversial post-9/11 comments in which he called Islam an evil and wicked religion. Instead of realizing that such divisive comments do not serve any purpose of building bridges and establishing tolerance and understand between people, Franklin Graham defiantly defended his statements and further elaborated on his hatred for the religion of Islam.

Graham openly declared that “true Islam cannot be practiced in this country. You can't beat your wife. You cannot murder your children if you think they've committed adultery or something like that, which they do practice in these other countries.” How sad it is for a perceived leader within the Christian faith to have such a poor understanding of Islam that he expresses such incorrect and hateful comments about it. His belief that Islam promotes the beating of wives or the murder of children is disgraceful (see “Honor Killings in Islam?”), and expressing such erroneous accusations is deplorable.

In his condescending manner, Graham stated that favorable statements about the Islamic faith made by President Obama were merely political expressions of “what he had to say.” He then continues his patronizing words by describing Saudi Arabia as the perfect model of Islam and telling Campbell Brown “trust me girl, you don't want to live there.”

When Brown respectfully challenged this assertion of Islam as an evil religion by bringing up the fact that there are so many Muslims who do not prescribe to any extremist views but are, rather, peaceful people, Graham responded with a fabricated elucidation that such people “would like to get out of Islam…but you cannot change from Islam. If you're a Muslim and you change your religion, you can be killed. Your family can kill you. They can warn you but if you don't come back, they can take your life. And that is the threat that many of these people live under Islam.”

So apparently, Franklin Graham would have you think that I would like to “get out of Islam” since I am a peaceful, tolerant person, but the only reason I cannot do so is fear for my life. Really? That is his conclusion? Bad people want to be Muslim and good people want to get out of Islam? How can someone with such a rudimentary understanding of religion be seen as a leader of any group?

Sadly, this is not the first occasion in which Graham has openly expressed his blatant ignorance of Islam. After the tragic events of 9/11, he declared “The god of Islam is not the same God of the Christian or the Judeo-Christian faith. It is a different god, and I believe Islam is a very evil and a very wicked religion.” Graham’s attempt to smear the name of Islam through fear tactics and false, divisive accusations is appalling.

It becomes apparent that Graham’s crusade against Islam will only end with the complete destruction of Islam and its followers. But I do not blame all Christians – or even Christianity – for his ignorance and intolerance. Such gross generalizations do no good. Too much harm has been done by people throwing mud on others’ faiths. When will we learn from history about the outcomes of such hatred? When will we rise from the ashes and learn to respect beliefs and ideals that may be different from our own?

Franklin Graham is not alone in this hate-mongering tactic, and it is regrettable that his belief in God has not yet matured to the point where he can rely on facts to evangelize his faith rather than rely on falsehood to tarnish another faith.

(See video and transcript of this interview at CNN Campbell Brown Blog)

Read more: Franklin Graham says Islam is evil

Harris Zafar is a contributing member of Majlis Sultan-ul Qalam, USA (MSQ USA). He speaks and writes about Islamic issues locally and nationally and believes faith does not require one to abandon logic and reason.

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