New voices, including an ex-Muslim, have come to the defense of Franklin Graham recently, after the Pentagon disinvited him from appearing on the National Day of Prayer.
Franklin Graham at the podium and on the big screen at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Wash. in 2007. Credit:Flikr-publicjill
According to the Christian Post Sabatina James, the granddaughter of a Mullah and a well-known Pakistani convert to Christianity, said there is a difference between criticizing Islam and Muslims.
“Don’t say that every Muslim is a terrorist and every Muslim is bad because that is just not true. But there are definitely things that need to be changed in Islam or else you can’t live in a democracy,” James said.
James is living under police protection and is constantly on the move because of death threats against her. She said, “…they are teaching the same Quran where it is written ‘beat your wife if she is not obedient.’ They are teaching the same Quran where it is written ‘the Christians and Jewish people are evil.’”
James added, “It is written in the Surah Al-Maidah… ‘don’t take Jewish and Christian people as your friend.’ That is what you are taught in the Quran schools.” James said in the Christian Post story.
Meanwhile, Republican congressman from Georgia Jack Kingston called for a congressional investigation into possible “clerical censorship” involving Graham’s being disinvited to speak at the Pentagon, the Huffington Post reported.
Another publication, The Dallas News, took a poll. Among the comments they garnered was that of Darrell Bock, research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. Bock said, “The way to respond to Graham’s claims is not to wall off who can pray or be asked to do so, but to engage in a discussion of the issues he raises to show whether or not he is correct.”
Another respondent, Lillian Pinkus, executive committee member of the Anti-Defamation League of Dallas said, “…what bothers me is that while members of the Islamic faith are quick to take offense at perceived slights against Islam, in countries where Islam is the law of the land, there is not that same sensibility for others. How is it that they demand fair treatment and practice of their faith, while in Islamic countries where the Koran is their constitution, there is no freedom of worship for people of other faiths? You might say that it’s different in America, but I don’t believe there is a Koran for America and one for Islamic countries.”
Franklin Graham was disinvited by the Pentagon last week because after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks Graham called Islam a “very evil and wicked religion.”
In a CNN interview Graham said, “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.”
Graham said he has Muslim friends and the humanitarian group he heads, Samaritan’s Purse, works in several predominantly Muslim countries. But he told CNN, “…I certainly disagree with their teaching.”