Evangelicals and Muslims together denounce Franklin Graham’s anti-Muslim remarks

WASHINGTON (RNS) An evangelical pastor from Texas joined American Muslim leaders Thursday (July 23) in denouncing recent anti-Muslim comments by evangelist Franklin Graham as they announced upcoming efforts to build bridges between their religious communities.

Pastor Bob Roberts Jr. speaks alongside Imam Mohamed Magid on Capitol Hill on Thursday (July 23, 2015) in response to Franklin Graham’s recent anti-Muslim remarks. Religion News Service photo by Sara Weissman
Pastor Bob Roberts Jr. speaks alongside Imam Mohamed Magid on Capitol Hill on Thursday (July 23, 2015) in response to Franklin Graham’s recent anti-Muslim remarks. Religion News Service photo by Sara Weissman

In response to the killing of five service members in Chattanooga, Tenn., last week, Graham, son of evangelical leader Billy Graham, wrote on Facebook that the U.S. should bar Muslims from immigrating.

Billy Graham’s son: Obama, on gay marriage, has shaken fist at God

Franklin Graham — son and legatee of Billy Graham, the traditional spiritual advisor to the nation’s presidents — is lashing out at President Obama for his support of gay marriage, saying that Obama has “shaken his fist” at God, and lamenting “a sad day for America.”

Graham’s three-paragraph statement, released on the association’s website, noted that voters in his home state of North Carolina had approved a constitutional amendment that allows only heterosexual marriage. Overall, 38 states have adopted some kind of prohibition on gay marriage, and the president said that the states should be able to determine whether to accept homosexual unions.

As a senator and presidential candidate, Obama had said that he opposed gay marriage, but more recently said that his position was evolving.

“In changing his position from that of “Senator/candidate Obama, President Obama has, in my view, shaken his fist at the same God who created and defined marriage,” Graham said. “It grieves me that our president would now affirm same-sex marriage, though I believe it grieves God even more.

“The institution of marriage should not be defined by presidents or polls, governors or the media,” Graham continued. “The definition was set long ago and changing legislation or policy will never change God’s definition. This is a sad day for America. God help us.”

Graham, 59, has insinuated previously that he’s not a big fan of the president. On Feb. 21, on MSNBC’s  “Morning Joe” show, he was asked whether Obama was a Christian.

“I think you have to ask President Obama,” he said. Because Obama’s father was a Muslim, Graham added, “under Islamic law, the Muslim world sees Barack Obama as a Muslim.”

Elsewhere, Graham has called Islam “wicked and evil.”

The antidote to terror

Amr Khaled is a British-based preacher who is converting thousands of Muslims to the path of peace – and incurring the wrath of hardline Islam. Lesley White meets _the Arab Billy Graham’ (…) In March, Khaled launched a new show, An Invitation to Coexistence, the first time the four main Arabic cable and satellite stations, including the influential pan-Arab religious satellite channel Al-Risalah, have aired a programme in the same prime 9pm slot. The viewing figures are as yet unannounced, but there is talk of an unprecedented 50m record. Khaled’s shows are a revolution in Islamic broadcasting. On Al-Jazeera the esteemed cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, bearded and cloaked, pronounces from behind a desk; but Amr strolls through a bright, modern studio in a cream linen suit, smiling and chatting as if he’s just arrived for Sunday lunch in the conservatory. The opening of his show Life Makers even features cartoons: ?a wretched little boy wearing a chain and collar engraved No goal in my life is led into the sunshine by an enlightened friend who tells ?him to look outside. On one stone sits a Koran and on another a cog, representing self-transformation through industry and effort.