(Photo: AP Images / Cliff Owen)
Ahead of the National Day of Prayer, Franklin Graham expressed dismay at how Islam is receiving preferential treatment by the Obama administration.
The evangelist, who was recently disinvited from a Pentagon prayer event over past comments he made about Islam, pointed to the violence against Muslim women.
“It’s just horrific,” Graham said to Newsmax.TV this week. “If you just take women alone … I just don’t understand why the president would be giving Islam a pass.”
Graham wants the president to speak up for women and minorities living in Muslim countries instead of one-sidedly praising Islam.
As a result of Graham speaking up for oppressed women and minorities himself, the army disinvited him from its Pentagon National Day of Prayer event. An army spokesman said Graham’s remarks about Islam were inappropriate and contradicted the military’s inclusive message.
After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Graham called Islam a “very evil and wicked religion.” Then in an interview with CNN’s Campbell Brown in December 2009, he 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.”
In an interview with The Christian Post last week, a former devout Muslim-turned-women’s activist confirmed Graham’s criticisms of Islam. Sabatina James, who is the granddaughter of a mullah and used to read the Quran in Arabic every day, pointed to verse 34 in the fourth Surah (chapter) in the Quran that said if your wife is not obedient then you are allowed to beat her.
Her bestselling book, My Fight for Faith and Freedom, details the gross mistreatment of women in her homeland of Pakistan. As a convert to Christianity, she has endured nine years of continuous death threats. James currently lives under police protection in Germany and has moved 16 times since 2001.
“Is there a different Quran? No 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.' It is written in the Surah Al-Maidah. It is written there 'don’t take Jewish and Christian people as your friend.' That is what you are taught in the Quran schools,” James told The Christian Post.
James said she “can’t imagine” Graham not getting upset if he read or heard those passages.
“We are living in a democracy and everybody can say his opinion,” she stated.
She also defended Graham and said he, like others, are criticizing Islam, not saying they hate Muslims.
“Make the difference between sin and sinner,” she said.
In the interview with Newsmax this week, Graham again stated that he “certainly” loves Muslims.
However, he added, “that (Islam) is not the faith of this country. And that is not the religion that built this nation. The people of the Christian faith and the Jewish faith are the ones who built America, and it is not Islam.”
Graham said the rescinding of his invitation to speak at the Pentagon this week was like “a slap at all evangelical Christians.”
During a recent visit to Billy Graham’s home in North Carolina, President Obama told Franklin that he did not know about the Pentagon incident until two days before the visit. The younger Graham said in the interview with Newsmax that he believes the president, but he also believes that people in the White House knew about the situation and gave the green light to disinvite him.
“This whole secularization [in the government] has come in, creeping in, and it’s getting more and more and more,” the evangelical leader warned.
Graham is still scheduled to speak at the National Day of Prayer event at the Capitol on Thursday.