Muslim civil rights group calls for meeting to clear up 'misconceptions'
WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today requested a meeting with Christian evangelist Franklin Graham to discuss his latest remarks attacking Islam.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said it has received a number of complaints from concerned Muslims who watched an interview last night on CNN during which Graham stated in part: "...we have many Muslims that live in this country. But true Islam cannot be practiced in this country. 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... I don't agree with the teachings of Islam and I find it to be a very violent religion."
SEE: Franklin Graham Repeats Attacks on Islam (Video)
In 2002, Graham said terrorism is part of "mainstream" Islam and claimed the Quran, Islam's revealed text, "preaches violence."
In 2001, Graham stood by remarks he made about Islam at the dedication of a chapel in North Carolina. At that event, he said: "We're not attacking Islam but Islam has attacked us. The God of Islam is not the same God. He's not the son of God of the Christian or Judeo-Christian faith. It's a different God, and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion."
Following that incident, CAIR called for a meeting between Graham and national Muslim leaders to "come together as people of faith to promote inter-religious understanding and mutual respect." Graham did not respond to CAIR's 2001 letter.
In a new letter sent today to Graham, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad again called for a meeting at which Graham could be offered accurate and balanced information about Islam.
Awad wrote: "I believe your views on Islam are unworthy of a respected religious leader and are based on misinformation and misconceptions that could be cleared up in a face-to-face meeting with representatives of the American Muslim community."
In his letter, Awad quoted the Quran, which states: "Invite (all) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for your Lord knows best who have strayed from His Path and who receive guidance." (16:125)
Franklin Graham is the son of Billy Graham, an internationally-known Christian minister who is respected by Muslims worldwide.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, +1-202-488-8787 or +1-202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, +1-202-488-8787 or +1-202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations