Franklin Graham: ‘Islam is a religion of war’

In a recent interview on christiantoday.com, Franklin Graham, one of Billy Graham’s children, repeated his assertion that Islam is a “very wicked and evil religion”. He said he looked at Islamic State, at the Taliban and Boko Haram and thought: “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.”

He added:

I think it is very important that we do all that we can to try to share God’s love with Muslims because they have no hope outside of dying in Jihad. I want them to know, you do not have to die for God. God died for us. He sent His Son to die for us. We do not have to kill ourselves to please God. I want them to know that they can have eternal life.

…The God of Islam is not the same God of the Judaeo-Christian faith. The God that we worship in Christianity is a God that has a Son. To Islam, that is blasphemy, to say that God has a son. Therefore, they do not worship the God that we worship.

I want to answer this in three different ways.

Treatment of Non-Whites in America

First, I want to point at the way non-white inhabitants have been treated by the Christians of the US. Despite saying in the constitution that all men are created equal, non-whites had fewer rights in the US. Even after slavery was abolished non-whites were not allowed to go to the same schools as whites, the Ku Klux Klan, whose members killed non-whites with impunity were all god-fearing Christians, and even today non-white Americans are killed by white policemen with impunity because they know well that they will not be indicted by any Grand Jury.

Is this not wickedness and evil? Mr Graham knows full well that all this, as well as the persecution, torture and killing of non-whites in South Africa were carried out in the name of Christianity. This has been the history of Christianity – that its followers have tortured and brutally murdered Jews, Muslims and their co-religists. Hitler was a Christian but it is strange that Mr Graham does not use his actions to define Christian teaching and call Christianity an evil religion.

What the Old & New Testament say

Second, I want to look at the Old Testament and the New Testament to see what they say about killing. The Old Testament God is neither patient or kind. He is jealous, he boasts, and he is proud. He is rude, self-seeking, easily angered, and remembers wrongs for all eternity. We all know what He did to Egyptian babies (Exodus 2:29-30). Mr Grahnam’s God murders innocent babies for the crimes of Pharoah. The Old Testament says “there was not a house without someone dead.”

Mr Graham’s God wants sorcerers and those who sacrifice to another God to be put to death (Exodus 22:18-20). Punishment of working on the Sabbath is death (Exodus 31:15). Exodus (32:27-28,35) tells us that 3000 people were put to death for worshipping the golden calf. These are not exceptions, pick up Leviticus, Numbers and better still Deuteronomy. This tells the Israelites to destroy every single person who lived in Palestine when the Israelites arrived. It even asks the Jews to kill their own family if they want to follow another religion.

Christians say that Jesus died for our sins and that their God is a God of love. Indeed, Mr Graham goes so far as to say that the God of Jews and Christians is the same because their God had a son whom he sacrificed for the sake of mankind. There are many difficulties with this argument. For a start Jesus said that he had come to fulfil the law and not to abolish it and he approves of what the prophet’s of the Old Testament said (Mathew 5:17).

Mathew 10:14-15 tells us that Jesus said that the cities which do not receive his disciples and hear them shall be treated worse than Sodom and Gomorrah and we know from Genesis that people living there were buried under burning sulphur by God. In Mathew 10:34-36 Jesus clearly says that he has come to spread not peace but sword. In Luke 12:5 Jesus says we should fear God because he has the power not just to kill us but to torment us forever in hell. Indeed, it is a cornerstone of Christian belief that all those who are not baptised in the name of Jesus shall suffer everlasting damnation.

What the Holy Quran says

On the contrary the Holy Quran tells people that the truth has come and it is up to them to accept it or not (18:29). It clearly says that every soul (not just Muslims) shall be rewarded for the good it does. It tells the Holy Prophet (s) not to compel anyone to embrace Islam (50:45) as opposed to the Old Testament which asked the Jews to kill anyone who wanted to leave Judaism. It is true that Islam allows Muslims to fight but it clearly says that those who are persecuted for their beliefs are allowed to fight (22:39-40). How different is this from the New Testament, which threatens anyone who does not hear Jesus’ disciples with burning Sulphur. And it tells Muslims to make peace if the other party offers it (8:61-62)

Islam, as opposed to Mr Graham’s God, says Allah is the Lord of everyone and not just Christians and Jews. He says: “I think it is very important that we do all that we can to try to share God’s love with Muslims . . .” and yet every word he speaks is full of hatred for the non-Christian World, not just Muslims. I wonder how the Western Media would have reacted if a Muslim religious leader had made similar violent statements about Jews or Christians?

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