Franklin Graham tells CNN's Campbell Brown "Islam is Evil" surprise, surprise,…

CAMPBELL BROWN

President Obama’s War Doctrine; American Terrorists in Pakistan?

Aired December 10, 2009 – 20:00   ET

I woke up to an email mentioning these comments this morning, and at first I was going to ignore the video link and go on about my day.  I already believed that Franklin Graham was the type of guy who talks out of both sides of his mouth concerning “Christianity” and quite frankly, while I admire his father, I think of him as nothing more than one of the leaders of the white Evangelical movement, who believe in a form of Christianity, I’m culturally unfamiliar with.

That said, imagining Mr. Graham to actually have anything Christian to say in regards to Muslims was the furthest thing from my mind.  I realized nothing good could come of me clicking the YouTube link, yet my morbid curiosity got the best of me.  I wish I had better self control.

Now before I add my diatribe to the discussion about his comments, know that there are already many well-meaning Muslims who have already responded to these comments in a rational, pc, and calm way, therefore, I feel released of my obligation to be as kind.

Mr. Graham’s comments were vile, disgusting, and unbearable in the mind of the conscious and his words would not even be worth mentioning, nor worth the time to waste one key stroke, had it not been for the fact that he has millions of followers who listen to his drivel, many of whom shape public policy and enact laws that affect all Americans.

What should one say in response to one who boldly makes some of the ridiculous claims he has made?  I mean some of this stuff is so stupid that you have to wonder if a child was responsible for writing his anti Islam talking points.  For CNN to even give him a platform to spread his stupidity just highlights part of the problem Muslims face in the war of ideas, civility, and just plain ole common sense.  Every comment Mr. Graham made could be debunked by anyone who took 10 minutes to browse through a Complete idiot’s guide or Islam for Dummies book!

I believe what makes his comments so worth my 10 minutes this Sunday morning is due to the fact that right now somewhere in America he’s probably preparing to or delivering a similar so-called “Christian” message.  A narrative not based on what Christianity has ordinarily meant or espoused theologically, but one of the modern polity which has hijacked this theology to represent the views of a xenophobic group of whites, who despise any ideas or people who do not look, practice, or believe like them.  Some would call them “evangelicals”, others would call them “the Republican Party base”, and many others like my Grandfather a Minister of over 50 years would call them “Pseudo Christians”.  I believe he and his followers are all the above and then some.  This version of Christianity is rarely if ever taught from the pulpits of Christian congregations whose majority consist mainly of minorities.  This version of Christianity is mainly taught right where one should historically expect to hear messages and teachings that are intolerant and hostile toward those who don’t fit the bill in the looks and ideas department.

Why is this important and how does it relate to the commentary on Islam such as Mr. Graham’s?

It is important because we are ignoring the fact that the media is giving a green light and a platform to rhetoric that has at it’s core more in common with the hate speech of 40 plus years ago than the supposed loving message of Jesus the Christ (as).  By allowing these views to become mainstream, we have shown as Americans that while we have made many strides away from our past, we still have a long way to go.

Some may criticize me for bringing race into the discussion, and maybe it’s my cultural “sensibilities” that I have not overcome, but as a black American, what’s going on just seems crystal clear to me.  When I see masses of white Americans being intolerant to a group of people who just happen to be non-whites, I begin to see through the veil of religion.  I do not believe what people like Mr. Graham teach is Christianity.  I believe that Christianity is merely the tool in which they use to congregate and propagate their message.  If you listen very clearly, these messages sound no different than the message of white supremest groups and it’s been this way for centuries.

If you don’t believe race is a factor in this discussion, then explain how it is that  although all the Prophets of God regardless of whether you follow the Bible or Qur’an have been what we would call today men of color, yet from the very beginning, Europeans sought to completely remove this fact from the history.  Instead what we have seen in the West is religion devoid of any representation of people of color.  You have seen the paintings of the Renaissance and even the illustrations of today, that continually portray the Prophets of God (pbut), the people of their era, and even God Himself as Caucasian.  When people of color have been mentioned in the narrative, they have always been labeled as the cursed, the other, and villains of the people of God who just happen to be painted as white.  This produced and continues to produce a mentality among many who call themselves Christian in the West, yet another avenue in which to consider themselves either consciously or subconsciously as superior to those in the world who are of color and often have different faith traditions.  This has produced yet another form of supremist beliefs and rhetoric that is very similar to other forms of supremacy except now codified and sanctioned under the guise of religion.  This in of itself is lengthy discussion that I will revist another day, but how it applies today and with Mr. Grahams commentary, is that I believe these underlying issues and the roots of his religion, help one to understand how people like Mr. Graham come to the ridiculous conclusions they do about the minority group of the week, Muslims, and how these views have less to do with actual religion, but more to do with the age old unfortunate mental disease that produces racism.

This mentality I believe is the root cause of the hostilities between many in the West and Muslims in general.  I have yet to see any minority group in the West come out as strongly and passionate against Muslims as have those who think and believe like Mr. Graham.  Surely some have noticed who the majority group in attendance at these Churches, Schools, town halls, etc. are where anti-Muslim rhetoric is the discussion of the day.  Surely some have noticed who the largest consumers of anti-Muslim propaganda are.  Should we assume this all to be a huge coincidence?  Should we assume that it’s just coincidence that you rarely if ever hear of minority clergymen and women speaking with such hostility toward Islam?  Should we assume that it’s just a coincidence that we have yet to hear of one minority legislator from any country advocating against Muslims/Islam?  Why do you suppose this is?  One does not have to take my word for it, many of you may even label me a radical, racist, etc. for bringing all this up.  Maybe my experience is just different from some of you, however the Christianity I was brought up under, was taught, and know, spends more time talking about love and compassion for all, than talking about how evil others are based on their beliefs.  It’s not a teaching that spends a great deal of time mobilizing it’s congregation to be against the will, choice, or practices of others.  It’s not a political teaching at all.  Maybe some of this rhetoric does occur in some black, Asian, Latino, etc. churches, but I seriously doubt its common place.  But what do I know?

I write all this to say that, I don’t believe Mr. Graham’s comments or those made by, advocated, or supported by others similar in station or ideology as Mr. Graham’s, to be those representative of Christianity in it’s purest theological form and or practiced by the majority of Christians.  I believe that once we look beyond the religion and the rhetoric, that we will find yet another iteration of the ideas that produced conditions in America’s past where humans drank from separate water fountains because of the color of their skin amongst other evils.

How else can you explain his text book anti-Muslim commentary?  He speaks as if one billion Muslims originate from the Middle East and we are all a bunch of savages.  He talks down to the Muslim world from a position of superiority.  In his world view as evidenced by his language, Muslims are just a bunch of Arab savages, just look at the “horrors” they are committing against themselves he goes on to say.  Nevermind, that the majority of Muslims don’t originate from these Middle Eastern countries, and nevermind that the majority doesn’t even practice or agree with the concepts he claims represent “true Islam”, because he said it and since he has “Muslim friends” it must be true.  Where have I heard this type of rhetoric before?

We would not be doing our due diligence if we ignored our history.  It was not long ago where blacks were considered savages and similar propaganda was spread by clergy and other leaders to codify those ideas as facts.  During this period religion was also used (see Hametic curse) as well as broad sweeping generalizing about black culture, history, practices, and ideas.  To put it bluntly as it’s been discussed in various circles since 9/11, Arabs have become the “new niggers” and by extension all Muslims in general, as evidenced by people like Mr. Graham who continually define Islam as an Arab religion.  This kind of rhetoric, tactics, and propaganda is almost identical to how the “niggers” of old were treated.  Just as laws against minorities were created and violence became commonplace against blacks and other undesirables, such is the case today with Muslims in general  as we see in Europe and the many attempts we see here in America.  When an entire people can be publicly discussed in a manner as if they are subhuman and rhetoric that discusses their beliefs as evil become the norm, should there be any surprise that laws are enacted that seek to regulate them such as the recent Swiss Minaret Ban?  Should we be surprised when Mosques are vandalized, Muslims or those who just happen to “look Muslim” are attacked, or in the case of one pregnant sister in Europe killed even in court?

We have to fully examine and be ready to challenge this rhetoric and combat these vicious statements and remind Americans in general that this speech is no different than that of a klansmen or Adolf Hitler.  Some may call that a little extreme way of looking at Franklin Grahams comments, but if we use history as our guide, we would see that what was merely waived off as trivial rhetoric often became institutionalized policy against entire groups of people based on both religion and ethnicity.  Don’t believe me?  Look at the coverage of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many Americans know to the number how many Americans have died or know where to get that info, how many know or care how many Iraqi’s, Afghani’s, etc. have died?  Could it have something to do with the fact that people like Franklin Graham have been repeatedly telling Americans not to care, since after all they are just Arabs, Muslims, etc. who believe in an evil religion and have evil practices.

The easiest way to propagate war, intolerance, etc. against a people is to convince others that they aren’t actually people after all.  We would be wise to not only look to history, but learn from it.

Related Commentary:

Franklin Graham says Islam is evil

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11 Comments

  1. An insightful (to me at least) article,as usual.Now when are you going to cmment on the recent troop surge announced by Obama?Best regards.

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  2. The Catechisms of the Catholic Church (CCC 841)
    –The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims ; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day. (see CCC839-843 for the whole )
    Which would please God?– the Christianity that promotes division and hate, or the one that promotes unity and love?

    Christianity may or may not be an American value—but this certainly is—-all men are created equal, they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    –and if Americans do not uphold their own values—they will lose them—and deserve it………

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  3. i know and i also hear it on bill handles show but whatever people are ignorant when its a faith of peace and love and tranquility

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  4. I remember as a kid seeing him on T.V. talking about “GOD IS WITH AMERICA” and talking about why the US is blessed.

    Yet why then did jesus end up in Jerusalem and not north america or europe?

    It seems the reason Franklin/Pat Robertsons insane form of christianity is so popular because it indulges the ego of the nationality of the followers, white folk of the same background. And why in gods name would jesus be a republican? He doesn’t talk about taxes or poor people pulling themselves up, he talks about helping the poor and needy, tolerance, and not ONE word of nationalism.

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  5. Thank you for opening your blog to people of other faiths. Respectful dialogue can increase understanding. I would like to share my perspective as a Christian along with a little history related to the conflict among Muslims, Jews, and Christians and how it may be solved.

    According to historical accounts, Mohammad had exposure and association to both Judaism and Christianity through his two wives, one Jewish, and the other Christian. Mohammad also recognized Moses and Jesus both to be prophets of God.

    According to the Holy Bible, Abraham had three prominent sons. Many Muslims are Arabs and are descendents of Abraham’s firstborn son, Ishmael. The Jews are descendents of Abraham’s second son, Isaac, through his grandson, Jacob. Christians are descendents of the spiritual seed of a later ancestor or “son” of Abraham, Jesus Christ.

    Abraham dearly loved both Ishmael and Isaac. It grieved him to send away his son, Ishmael, which he did at the command of YHWH. (YHWH, often written as Jehovah or Yahweh, is the covenant name of God in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible.) YHWH later told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and he was prepared to do this.  

    YHWH, the God of Abraham, dearly loves both Muslims and Jews, and longs for them to be reconciled to Him and to each other. Although YHWH prevented Abraham from sacrificing Isaac, He did not prevent the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.  The Holy Bible teaches that all descendants of Abraham can only be truly reconciled through the death of Abraham’s later son, Jesus Christ, which is YHWH’s only provision to be reconciled to Himself.

    The Holy Bible also says that a key test for a true prophet is when he claims to speak for God what he says must come to pass.  False prophets were to be stoned for turning God’s people away from following Him.  Jesus claimed to be equal with God and that He would be bodily resurrected from the dead. If this did not happen, He would be a false prophet and Mohammad would have been mistaken to acknowledge Jesus as a true prophet. This is something for Muslims to think about because Christianity rises or falls on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Ten of the original 12 apostles of Jesus were martyred. One (Judas Iscariot) killed himself after betraying Jesus when he found out that Jesus would be crucified. The other (John) was banished on the Isle of Patmos.

    True Christians are willing to lay down their lives so that others may become Christians. They aren’t willing to kill those who refuse to become Christians. That is one difference between true Islam and true Christianity.

    Franklin Graham has given his life to help all people, including Muslims. He does it in the Name of Jesus Christ. Jesus said that people will be known by their fruits. I believe Franklin Graham is a true Christian and his fruits show this.

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  6. No matter what he does, he did so with the intention to win converts more then help, and he mixes his speaches with nationalism and patriotism, when really Jesus CHrist of the bible and the quran was very a-political, not nationalistic. Graham is is protestent isnt he? One of luthers teachings was faith above good works(or something along those lines) Give someone food and thats it. If they are inspired by your charecter and inquire about the bible, fine, nothing wrong witht hat. But if you give food then hand out a bible…why are you helping these people? To help them or to win converts?
    Graham was selective in his critique. Islam you cannot force someone to convert. Apostacy is an issue with hadith and is hotly disputed…just like it was with christianity. Even the new testament does not speak highly of apostates, and st.Thomas Aquines writes that execution of apostates is allowed in christianity.
    If your going to view quote true islam with that lense, then look at christianity as well, and how classical christians viewed the old testament.

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  7. Okay, Kumonah, since you bring up Muslims’ belief in Moses and Jesus, I would like to add a little bit to that belief.  I discovered an enormous fundamental flaw in all of this.  One so clear and plain to see, I am amazed it is not more widely known.
    Now, I am no “Master of the Universe”, M.E.N.S.A. Society Member, genius level thinker.  I am just an average guy, who enjoys history and loves to read.  My last name is “Jabaley” or “Jabal” which is an Arabic name meaning, “from the hills”.  Being that I am of Arab descent, I feel I can speak frankly without being labeled with all the P.C. terms like, “racist”, “prejudice”, “separatist”, etc. 
    The oldest historically recorded civilizations of man are traced directly to the Middle East.  The Code of Hammurabi, the first written law of man, was written by the Babylonian King bearing the same name, around 1763 BC.  This marks the beginning of the written (documented) history of humans on Earth.  The peoples in the Middle East were a violent, aggressive, warring people, constantly fighting with neighboring tribes.  This continued amongst the Arab people until about 70 AD.
    There began a peace in the region that would last for almost 600 years!  In June of 622 AD, the fighting that had been all that was known of that region for its first 1800 years, resumed.  It has continued without any break, for almost 1400 years, or the present day. 
    Now, both Christianity and Islam believe in the same, all-powerful, all-knowing, always-present God.  Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God, sent to die for their sins and give them ever-lasting life.  Muslims believe that Jesus, just like Muhammad, is a prophet of God. 
    So, as Islam teaches, these two prophets came from the same God that can never be wrong, wouldn’t change his mind (that would be God being wrong initially, in which case, he wouldn’t be God), and these two prophets, separated by 600 years, would deliver the same message from God.  But they didn’t.
    Muhammad told his followers that they must fight for this teaching and be victorious, and that to kill an unbeliever who refuses to recognize him as the Prophet is no sin.
    It is written in the Koran, “Fight the infidel until all resistance is destroyed.”  And, “Slay the idolatrous wherever you shall find them, capture them, besiege them, seek them out in all places.  But if they convert, then let them go in peace.”  This constitutes the backbone of the Islamic, “convert or kill” religious belief. 
    Muhammad also urged his followers that they must pray five times a day, facing Mecca, and to drink no wine.
    Well, the same God that sent Muhammad, sent Jesus 600 years prior, and his message was not the same whatsoever.  He spent time with the sinners, the scum, the lowly.  He showed these people who did not believe and would not convert His love.  He never once told his followers to kill them.  His first miracle was at the wedding in Canaan, when He turned water into wine.  And, seeing as how Jesus performed many historically documented miracles, and Muhammad is credited with not one, it becomes blatantly clear which “prophet” is false and preached a word and belief that completely contradicts itself – Islam.
    Now, I am an Arab.  a true Arab, a Catholic one.  An Arab whose ancestors would not betray their faith when faced with the threats of a false prophet like Muhammad.  My ancestors fought, were martyred, fled, until the land where Catholicism began, was over-run with the same Arabs that existed in the Middle East from 1760 BC to the time of Christ. 
    What is that type of Arab like, you may wonder.  With veins running thick with Arab blood, I can tell you. 
    An Arab is a domineering tyrant, an unforgiving, aggressive warlord-acting, pain-inflicting, self-serving egomaniac, with no limits on the brutality needed to be levied upon all those that oppose him.  Being Arab, I can evoquivicably tell you that this is an Arab’s true self, pure nature of the beast, so to speak. 
    I am not like this.  My many Arab family members and many Arab friends are not like this.  Being the wretched, self-serving, arrogant, sinful and disobedient person that I am, an Arab person, I force myself to go visit and receive Christ every Sunday, so I am humbled and the nature of the beast inside me, continues to stay repressed, defeated, and outmatched by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
    You see, it is not Islam that makes Arabs into terrorists or extremists, that is standard operating procedure for a person of Arab descent.  It is a lack of Christ, that causes these thoughts and behaviors.  It is the unhappiness of a people that deny their Maker when it was these same people that He first revealed Himself to, and chose them and their lands to be the birth place of where Christ would start the Christian Church, His bride.  The absence of Christianity from the time of Hammurabi, to the time of Christ, led to Arabs fighting and killing each other.  The same absence of Christ in the lives of Arabs has resulted in the same behaviors in the Middle East for the past 1400 years. 
    The shame in denying God, and denying His Son, Jesus Christ, has brought that wretched Arab nature to its worst, and resulted in your unhappiness.  If you don’t believe that Muslim-Arabs, or non-Christian Arabs are ashamed of who they worship, then riddle me this:  Why, anytime you see a Catholic Priest on TV, in the news, or in a public setting, his face is in clear view; Yet, anytime you see a devout, extreme follower of Islam, his face is hidden in an effort to hide his true identity, like the Arab-Muslim terrorists that are shown in videos with their AK-47 assault rifles taking target practice of making a prisoner read a statement to the camera, to be sent out to the world.  If he truly believes he is serving God and following his prophet Muhammad, why does he need to hide who he is?  Why is he afraid of death, imprisonment, or retribution for honoring and worshipping as God intended?
    Well, those of you who are Muslim-Arabs, and are preparing for the time when you will act as Muhammad commanded, and you begin your war to, “convert or kill” all the non-believers on the planet, I would think there might be just one thing that you would truly be terrified to face:  An Arab, who is led by the Holy Spirit, and is here on Earth to love, honor, and serve God and His Son Jesus Christ.  An Arab, just like you, only much more powerful because his actions are led by Christ, the Son of God!  We’ll see you on the battlefield!

    I welcome any arguments or rebuttles to my contention here.  Just do not give me your opinion without any facts to back it up.  I will neither consider nor respect your words.  Just as if I said, “I believe the grass is pink with purple poka-dots.”, and gave no facts supporting such a belief, I would not expect anyone to consider or respect my opinion.  If any, still choose to spew their opinion(s) in opposition back at me with no facts to support them, you will just further my cause and my beliefs – that, “You want and believe what you want, what is convenient for you, and do not care if it is right or wrong, true or false, so long as it supports you being a self-serving tyrant.”

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  8. That guy on CNN deserves as much coverage as you guys. Thats what freedom of speech means. You cant use it to protect your interests and ignore it for everyone else. 2 way street

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  9. “True Christians are willing to lay down their lives so that others may become Christians. They aren’t willing to kill those who refuse to become Christians. That is one difference between true Islam and true Christianity.”
    Wait, you just admitted the difference between islam and christianity is islams ARE willing to kill those who dont become muslims

    Reply

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