No apology, no explanation and no backpedaling for Franklin Graham following a controversial interview where he called Islam “evil” and “wicked.”
Graham, son of well-known evangelist Billy Graham, made the remarks in an interview last month near Wilkesboro, N.C., at the dedication of a chapel in his parents’ name, the Charlotte Observer reported. NBC News obtained a copy of the interview and publicized the remarks Nov. 16.
“We’re not attacking Islam but Islam has attacked us,” Graham said in the interview. “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.”
Graham’s comments came as President Bush, a good friend of the Grahams, wished the world’s 1 billion Muslims “health, prosperity and happiness during Ramadan,” reported MSNBC.com. Ramadan is the Muslim holy month that began Nov. 16.
When NBC News asked Graham to clarify his earlier statement, he repeated his belief that Islam is evil, according to MSNBC.com.
“I don’t believe this is a wonderful, peaceful religion,” Graham told NBC News. “When you read the Koran and you read the verses from the Koran, it instructs the killing of the infidel, for those that are non-Muslim.”
Graham’s comments stand in contrast to his own father’s remarks at the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance service at the National Cathedral in Washington.
“We come together today to affirm our conviction that God cares for us, whatever our ethnic, religious or political background may be,” Billy Graham preached at the Sept. 14 service, according to Associated Press. “The Bible says that he is ‘the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles.'”
Billy Graham had not released a statement about his son’s remarks as of press time.
Jodi Mathews is BCE’s communications director.