Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) offered some interesting advice to a viewer named Mohammad, who wrote in with a qualm in the Sept. 7 airing of Robertson's show, "The 700 Club," about fellow Christians reacting negatively to his name.
"I have a problem: I find it difficult to tell people my name at restaurants and coffee shops," Mohammad wrote in.
"The minute they hear my name, I'm treated as a foreigner and a terrorist. I am a Christian, and it's hard because it seems like some of the harshest vitriol directed towards me comes from Christians. What do you suggest?"
"You're named after the founder of Islam, that's where the Mohammad comes from," replied the former television evangelist.
"It's a very popular name, but you're in a country where Mohammad is not. Go on and get your name changed to, like, Mo or something."
"Mo, Pat?" quipped Robertson's co-host Kristi Watts. "Mo?"
Viewers were sorely disappointed with Robertson's "solution," to say the least.
"It would be insensitive for any human being to rudely tell another what they think their name should be," commented one viewer on Cafemom.com. "Do you disagree? It is up to the person, wouldn't you say? Not up to some supposedly religious guy to take a crack at. Some converted Muslims change their names by their own wishes, some do not. Jesus would be a perfectly acceptable name and is often used for Muslims (it is Isa in Arabic) but more often for Christians."
Another viewer commented, "Does a nice Christian guy have to get hassled about his name? How very rude. Is that what Christians do?"