'Extremist' Franklin Graham Must Not Pray At Inauguration, Trump's Team Told
Franklin Graham should be removed from Donald Trump's inauguration line up, the US' largest Muslim civil rights group said on Thursday.
The outspoken conservative pastor and son of evangelist Billy Graham is due to pray at the ceremony next week in Washington.
But the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on the president-elect to drop Franklin, who they described as a "notorious Islamophobe", in order to unite the country.
"If President-elect Trump truly seeks to unite our nation as he promised in his acceptance speech, he will limit the list of those offering prayers at the inauguration to religious leaders who work to bring us together, not to create divisions between faiths," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
"Rev Graham's ill-informed and extremist views are incompatible with the Constitution and with American values of religious liberty and inclusion."
A statement from CAIR pointed to comments from Graham in which he called Islam a "very evil and wicked religion".
Graham also claims Islam is incompatible with American values.
"Every Muslim that comes into this country has the potential to be radicalised – and they do their killing to honour their religion and Muhammad," he wrote on Facebook in 2015.
""[T]rue 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," he once told CNN.
"I don't agree with the teachings of Islam and I find it to be a very violent religion."
Graham is set to pray alongside Hispanic evangelical Samuel Rodriguez and prosperity preacher Paula White. The mainline religious traditions will be represented by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Rabbi Marvin Hier and Bishop Wayne T Jackson.