Franklin Graham disinvited from Pentagon over critical statements about Islam

People should not get indignant about Graham’s being disinvited from a Defense Department function. The reason is that his exclusion is not some unfair or arbitrary act; it is made necessary by our entire belief system; and therefore the issue cannot be resolved satisfactorily so long as we hold to that belief system. Our present, liberal view is that we tolerate all religions and treat all religions equally. It follows that a person who says that Islam does not belong in the United States, which is what Graham said, cannot expect to be invited to speak at a government function.

The issue can be resolved satisfactorily only when we recognize as a society that Islam is not like other religions, that it is incompatible with and threatening to our way of life, and therefore that statements criticizing Islam are correct and appropriate. If we want a Franklin Graham to be able to speak at the Pentagon, we must overthrow the liberal belief that discrimination is the greatest sin.

Here is the CNN article:

Washington (CNN)—The Army rescinded its invitation to evangelist Franklin Graham for the upcoming National Day of Prayer at the Pentagon over controversial remarks he made about Islam.

“True Islam cannot be practiced in this country,” he told CNN’s Campbell Brown last December. “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 later tried to temper his remarks by saying that he had Muslim friends. However, the son of famed evangelist Billy Graham has a history of comments that bothered the Pentagon. Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 2001, for instance, Graham called Islam a “very evil and wicked religion.”

Graham, who said a prayer at the inauguration of President George W. Bush, said he regretted the Army’s decision but stood by his comments.

“I don’t like the way they treat women, the way they treat minorities. I just find it horrific. But I love the people of Islam,” he said, adding some of his work has been in Muslim nations. For instance, Samaritan’s Purse, the international charity that he heads, works with Iraqi refugees in Jordan.

“It’s a part of the world I love very much,” Graham said. “And I understand it. But I certainly disagree with their teaching.”

“I want to express my strong support for the United States military and all our troops,” he said. “I’m very proud of them and it’s just unfortunate that I won’t be able to participate on May 6th.”

The Army, which oversees the National Day of Prayer ceremonies at the Pentagon, feared that if Graham spoke at the Pentagon, Islamic militants would publicize his comments, potentially fueling tensions in Muslim nations like Iraq and Afghanistan, where U.S. troops are deployed.

Concerns about Graham were flagged by the watchdog group Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which also raised objections that the Pentagon prayer ceremony had become a fundamentalist Christian event. The group penned a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates on behalf of Muslim military members and defense department employees. It said that Franklin’s remarks had sparked outrage.

“Mr. Graham has never retracted or apologized for these statements,” the letter said.

But Graham’s supporters disagreed with the Army’s decision.

“What are they afraid Franklin Graham is going to say?” said Rep. Randy Forbes of Virginia. “I think again we are getting to the point in the country where we are trying to exclude everybody from speaking if I disagree with what they are going to say.”

Graham’s invitation was not the only controversy swirling about the National Day of Prayer this year. Last week, a federal judge struck down as unconstitutional the 1952 law that established the day, saying it violated the ban on government-backed religion.

On Thursday, the Justice Department informed a federal appeals court that the Obama administration will appeal that decision.

[end of article]

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Daniel S. writes (4/23):

There have been two recent acts of censorship in the U.S. in an effort to appease Islam that require attention and to be placed within a larger context. The Rev. Franklin Graham has been uninvited from then Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer event due to his (accurate) criticisms of Islam. The campaign to bar Graham from the event was led by the terrorist-linked Islamic organization CAIR. It goes without saying that the same military establishment that has decided to ban Graham refused to act against the Fort Hood mujahid Major Nidal Malik Hasan, despite his persistent jihadist rhetoric and communications with an al-Qaeda-linked Muslim cleric. This is yet another example of the dhimmi attitude, which developed as a result of liberalism, which is prevalent among the military establishment, and lest we forget, an attitude best exemplified by General George Casey and his comments about “diversity” in the wake of the Fort Hood jihad attack.

In a similar vein, the left-wing Comedy Central network has decided to censor the cartoon “South Park” over its caricatures of the Islamic founder Muhammad after the program’s cartoonists were threatened by U.S.-based Muslim activists. Comedy Central has never had any problem airing any and every mocking or insulting caricatures of the Catholic church, Mormons, and other religious groups, so the exception made for Islam must be seriously noted. As with the Franklin Graham situation, a segment of our society bends over backwards to appease Muslims.

So what do these two episodes tell us? Well, these events show the failure and hypocrisy of liberalism, both in the military and in the media. Of equal importance is the self-evident fact that Muslims cannot live in the West. Yet again, instead of accommodating themselves to the West, Muslims demand that the West change to accommodate them or else face violence or other forms of retribution and as such do not belong here. So why is no one of prominence linking these various events, instead of seeing them in isolation, and asking the hard questions and offering the hard, but right, solutions?

Daniel S. writes (4-24):

Lost in all of this controversy related to Rev. Graham was any objective evaluation of his comments about Islam. The liberal mindset assumes a priori that Graham is wrong and is being a malicious Islamophobe without actually rising to counter any of his claims. Rev. Graham claimed that “true” Islam (i.e. traditional, orthodox Islam) cannot truly be practiced in the US as American law prevents the implementation of many of the more draconian aspects of shari’ah law, such as punishing one’s wife by striking her and stoning adulterers (both of which are legalized in the Qur’an). Both of these practices are sanctioned in the Qur’an and are practiced in Muslim countries from Nigeria to Iran. As far is this claim goes, it is undeniably true.

Rev. Graham’s comments about women and religious minorities under Islam is again undeniably true. It is instituted in Islamic law (which is ultimately derived from the Qur’an) that Jews and Christians must live in a humiliated, second-class status under Islamic rule. This is still quite pronounced in places like Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Kosovo, Sudan, Turkey, Somalia, Iran, and Indonesia where Christians are routinely persecuted, discriminated against, and are the frequent subjects of unprovoked violent attacks. Likewise, Muslims who convert to Christianity are frequently murdered or hounded into hiding or exile (again, with the sanction of Islamic law). Likewise, across the Muslim world women are treated as little more then chattel. Even in the so-called “moderate” Muslim countries women are pressured (either legally or socially) to where the burqa, are denied the same legal rights as their male counterparts, and are the targets of honor killings. So Rev. Graham has not said anything false here.

As for the claim that Islam is a wicked and evil religion, this cannot be established using the moral relativism of liberalism, but has its premise based on an objective morality. To make such a claim is not only a charge against Islam, but a swipe against liberalism. Nevertheless, using moral and ethical tradition that has been handed down to us from the Bible, Plato, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, and others we can come to the truth of Rev. Graham’s claim. Now this is a topic on which whole books could and have been written on, but I’m going to try to summarize things here in a few sentences. Despite the deceitful objections of the assorted fork-tongued Muslim apologists, Islamic doctrine does clearly mandate offensive jihad warfare against non-Muslims (especially, though not exclusively, Jews and Christians) and demands that assorted non-Muslim either convert to Islam or accept to be second-class citizens (i.e. dhimmis). Now the issue here is whether we are prepared to make a moral judgment on such beliefs. Now I’ll let people answer for themselves as what moral judgment they will make here, but for me the answer seems quite obvious.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 24, 2010 01:28 AM | Send

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