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Rev. Franklin Graham: Apostle of Hatred - CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

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Message Rev. William E. Alberts, Ph.D

Franklin Graham Festioweal Nadziei
Franklin Graham Festioweal Nadziei
(Image by (From Wikimedia) Leszek Jańczuk, Author: Leszek Jańczuk)
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Reprinted from counterpunch.org

If America is to protect itself by "countering violent extremism," as President Obama's recent summit intends, it must first hold accountable its own violent patriotic and Christocentric extremists. A violence-arouser to start with is Rev. Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, who is called the "pastor to presidents" and who led former president George W. Bush to "commit my heart to Jesus Christ." ("Billy Graham: Pastor to Presidents," By Janet Chismar, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, billygraham.org)

Rev. Franklin Graham, now leader of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and international aid group Samaritan's Purse, has left a trail of Islamophobic rants since the horrible 9/11 attacks against America. His response then was not to call America to engage in national soul-searching--as prophets of The Bible might have done. Rather, he blamed 9/11 on Islam, calling it a "very wicked and evil religion." ("Franklin Graham: 'Islam is a religion of war,'" By Ruth Gledhill, Christian Today, Dec. 6, 2014)

Never mind the documentation that shows Muslims do not "hate our freedom," as former president George W. Bush charged to explain 9/11. They hate our so-called Christian nation's support of tyrannies in their countries, and favoring Israel at the expense of Palestinian rights. (See "'They hate our policies, not our freedom': Quietly released Pentagon report," By Tom Regan, Christian Science Monitor, 11/30/2004)

Rev. Graham's glorification of his brand of Christianity depends on him condemning Islam as a "violent form of faith," which led him to do violence to Islam with this glaring lie: "'Nowhere in its history gives proof of peace (italics added).'" He continued, "'Islam itself has not changed at all in 1500 years . . . It is the same. It is a religion of war.'" He cited the Islamic State, the Taliban and Boko Haram, and concluded, "This is Islam. It has not been hijacked by radicals. This is the faith, this is the religion. It is what it is. It speaks for itself." (Ibid)

If Rev. Graham had studied the history of Islam, he might have read Dr. Najib Saliba documented essay on "Christians and Jews Under Islam," which concludes, "I would like to emphasize that the treatment of Christians and Jews in Muslim states, Arab or Ottoman, was far superior to the treatment Muslims and Jews received at the hands of Christian states, or Palestinians at the hands of the Jewish state of Israel." (www.alhewar.com)

"Nowhere in its history gives proof of peace." Evidently Rev. Graham is not aware of the revered Muslim leader, "Saladin: A Benevolent Man Respected By Christians." Faysal Burhan wrote about him this way: "In 1099 Jerusalem had fallen to the First Crusaders slaughtering its Christian, Muslim and Jewish inhabitants, after promising them safety, but did not spare the lives of children, women or elderly." Burhan continued, when Saladin retook Jerusalem 88 years later, "Adhering to the teachings of Islam" (italics added), he "did not slaughter the city's Christian inhabitants. Saladin's noble act won the respect of his opponents and many more people throughout the world."(www.omnislam.net, Aug . 26, 2012)

Rev. Graham would have benefited from reading Robert Fisk's description of viewing the screening of The Kingdom of Heaven film in Beirut, in a theatre filled with young Muslims. Fisk's description is moving:

At the end of the film, after [Christian crusader]Balian has surrendered Jerusalem, Saladin enters the city and finds a crucifix lying on the floor of a church, knocked off the altar during the three-day siege. And he carefully picks up the cross and places it reverently back on the altar. And at this point the audience rose to their feet and clapped and shouted their appreciation. They loved the gesture of honour. They wanted Islam to be merciful as well as strong. ("Screening of Kingdom of Heaven in Beirut, Counterpunch, June 10-12, 2005)

On his Facebook page, Rev. Graham refers to the Islamic State's brutal beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians kidnapped in Libya. "Can you imagine the outcry if 21 Muslims had been beheaded by Christians?," he asked. "Where is the universal condemnation by Muslin leaders around the world? As we mourn with the families of these 21 martyrs," he wrote, "we'd better take this warning seriously as these acts of terror will only spread throughout Europe and the United States." His closing words: "If this concerns you like it does me, share this. The storm is coming." (www.facebook.com)

"Where is the universal condemnation by Muslim leaders around the world?" Apparently, Rev. Graham was not paying attention when, five months ago, a Huffington Post headline declared, "Muslim Scholars Release Open Letter to Islamic State Meticulously Blasting Its Ideology." The story began, "More than 120 Muslim scholars around the world joined an open letter to the 'fighters and followers' of the Islamic State, denouncing them as un-Islamic by using the most Islamic of terms. Relying heavily on the Qur'an, the 18-page letter released Wednesday (Sept. 24) picks apart the extremist ideology of the militants who have left a wake of brutal death and destruction in their bid to establish a transnational Islamic state in Iraq and Syria." (By lauren Markoe, 9/24/2014, Updated 9/25/2014) Nor does it appear that Rev. Graham read the headline of a piece by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) entitled, "U.S., World Muslim Leaders' Open Letter Refutes Isis's Ideology, Urges Supporters to 'Repent,' 'Return to the Religion of Mercy.'" (www.cair.com, Sept. 24, 2014)

Rev. Graham would have everyone believe numerous other violent characteristics he attributes to Islam. Like, "You have to look at their religion and what they teach," he told Greta Van Susteren of Fox News. "You have to look at the religion and . . . what the Qur'an actually teaches. It says you cannot take a Christian to be your friend, you cannot take a Jew to be your friend. And Greta," he continued, "if you were a Muslim and wanted to convert to Christianity or Judaism, if you did not repent and turn back to Islam, your family would kill you." ("Rev. Franklin Graham: 'Is Islam Really a Religion of Peace?,"www.teaparty.org, Oct. 21, 2014)

Rev. Graham told Campbell Brown of CNN that "true Islam cannot be practiced in this country." Why? "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 disinvited from prayer event over Islam comments," By the CNN Wire Staff, Apr. 23, 2010)

He also said, "They teach that you're to kill Jews and you're to kill Christians . . . And the U.N. and others have been helping to support this. And I think we're going to have to take a close look at this." And "the United States gives money to this." ("Rev. Graham: 'Islam Is Not a Religion of Peace . . . It is a Violent Form of Faith,'" By Michael W. Chapman, ensnews.com, Jan. 15, 2015)

This apostle of hatred seems bent on avoiding any dialogue with Muslim leaders that would correct misconceptions and create understanding and unity. After the 9/11 attacks against America, Rev. Graham charged, "We're not attacking Islam but Islam has attacked us. The God of Islam is not the same God," he continued. "He's not the son of God of the Christian or Judeo-Christian faith. It's a different God, and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion." ("CAIR: Franklin Graham Repeats Attack on Islam," PRNewswire-USNewswire, www.prnmewswire.co,Dec. 11

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Rev. William E. Alberts, Ph.D., a former hospital chaplain at Boston Medical Center, is both a Unitarian Universalist and United Methodist minister. His new book, The Counterpunching Minister (who couldn’t be (more...)
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Rev. Franklin Graham: Apostle of Hatred - CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

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