Franklin Graham shows no fear
Evangelist says Koran preaches
violence, terrorism in Islam
(WASHINGTON, D.C. - 8/6/02)
On Fox News cable network's "Hannity & Colmes"
program, Franklin Graham said:
"I think it's
[terrorism] more mainstream. And it's not just a handful of
extremists. If you buy the Koran, read it for yourself, and it's in
there. The violence that it preaches is there."
Hannity responded by saying:
"But this then raises
a question. If this is not, Reverend, the extremist fanatical
interpretation of the Quran, then we do have a big problem."
Graham replied: "Big
Earlier in the day, Graham appeared on Hannity's
nationally-syndicated radio program where he made similar remarks and
noted Muslim leaders have failed to condemn terrorism.
Franklin Graham is the son of Billy Graham, an
internationally-known minister who has counseled a number of world
leaders. The younger Graham offered the benediction at President
Bush's swearing-in ceremony.
In June, leaders of the Southern Baptist
Convention (SBC) refused to repudiate statements made at the group's
FOX NEWS: HANNITY & COLMES
INTERVIEW WITH FRANKLIN GRAHAM, 8/5/02
COLMES: We now continue with Franklin Graham. You
were talking about tolerance, you know. And you were widely quoted as
saying after September 11 that Islam is a very evil and wicked
religion on an NBC show. Do you regret that? And do you feel that that
could be interpreted as not being the most tolerant comment?
GRAHAM: Well, first of all, let me just put it
this way. If a Roman Catholic put on dynamite and walked into a mosque
in Saudi Arabia, in Medina or Mecca and said in the name of Jesus
Christ and the church of Rome, I now blow you all up, and then took
his life and killed everybody around him, the pope would be on
television within hours denouncing this man and saying he does not
represent the church. He doesn't represent Jesus Christ. And they
would be raising money, not for the family of this man, but they would
be raising money for those Muslim victims that died. There has not
been the condemnation of the clerics.
COLMES: You're right about that.
GRAHAM: Around the world.
COLMES: But the religion itself is not an evil
GRAHAM: Well, there is no condemnation. Instead
the Saudis are raising funds for not the victims that have been killed
in Israel, but for the families...
GRAHAM: ...of those that are blowing themselves
up, that encourage more bombings.
COLMES: But is the religion itself evil, in fact?
GRAHAM: Well, you tell me. I mean, just what you
see. When people go up and blow themselves up, and the religious
leaders of this religion say nothing, something's wrong here. And two
plus two doesn't add up.
COLMES: But a lot of people would say that
doesn't define the entire religion. Those are extremists who are not
definitive of the religion.
GRAHAM: But I'm asking, you know, why doesn't the
COLMES: Well, I agree with you. I think they...
GRAHAM: ...the Muslim world.
COLMES: ...should be outspoken about it.
GRAHAM: ...how come the clerics in Egypt and the
clerics in Saudi Arabia, the great muftis that are over there, how
come they don't stand --come on your program and say...
COLMES: They should.
GRAHAM: ...what they did is evil, wrong? And it's
COLMES: I agree with you there.
HANNITY: Well, wait a minute. I want to go a
little further here, because Reverend, you're saying something that
I've been saying since September 11. The silence has been deafening.
HANNITY: Why is that? Is it that it is more
mainstream than anybody -- we always say.
GRAHAM: I think it is. I think it's more
mainstream. And it's not just a handful of extremists. If you buy the
Koran, read it for yourself, and it's in there. The violence that it
preaches is there.
HANNITY: Holy war. Take neither Christians nor
Jews for your friends. Now I'll play devil's advocate. I've invited
people on. And almost -- they'll always say that is the
GRAHAM: Well, first of all, remember, Islam in
this country can -- is not permitted to be taught and carried out.
GRAHAM: People are protected. Muslims in this
country are protected...
GRAHAM: ...by the Constitution. They're not
allowed to treat women in this country the way they do in other
nations around the world, Islamic nations. So the Islam you see in
this country isn't the same as you see it around the world. And so
Muslims here don't quite have the same understanding as they do for
those that are raised in places like Saudi Arabia, where a woman
cannot even have a passport unless her father or her husband gives it
to her. She can't drive a car. She has to be veiled.
HANNITY: But this then raises a question. If
this is not, reverend, the extremist fanatical interpretation of the
Koran, then we do have a big problem...
GRAHAM: Big problem.
HANNITY: ...with one billion people on the face
of this earth that buy into that.
GRAHAM: Well, no, I believe there are hundreds
of millions that are nominal Muslims. They're not really practicing
Muslims. Like a lot of people in this country claim to be Christians
when they're just nominal Christians. They may go to church once a
GRAHAM: But I think it's the same in the Islamic
world. There are many who don't really buy into this.
HANNITY: You deal with this in your book, the
crucial differences between Islam and Christianity.
GRAHAM: I do.
HANNITY: But the point I was trying to make here
then, is it a matter that we have to persuade or inform? Persuade
people not to go with the literal interpretation or...
HANNITY: ...inform people that this could be a
greater threat than anyone is willing to speak of?
GRAHAM: It is a greater threat than anyone's
willing to speak. And it's...
HANNITY: That's scary.
GRAHAM: It is scary.
HANNITY: You scare me.
HANNITY: But those -- that literal
interpretation scares me.
GRAHAM: Well, it is scary. But listen, my hope is
an almighty God. And he sits on the throne of heaven.