Franklin Graham launches another attack on Islam, blames Muslims for Christian persecution
Franklin Graham, who heads Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has launched another attack on Islam in an interview with a conservative Christian news channel and condemned President Obama's plans to increase the number of refugees given shelter in the US.
Graham has regularly made headlines for his trenchant views on Islam. In an interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network reported by CNS he spoke of the oppressive nature of Islam, saying: "This is Islam: They persecute the Church, they persecute Christians."
He spoke of the atrocities committed by Islamic State as committed by "the Sunnis", saying: "The Sunnis persecute the Christians. We see in Syria and Iraq where they cut the heads off Christians, they rape the women, take them as sex slaves."
He continued: "They take the Yazidis, the minorities, and they do the same thing. They kill the men but take the women to have sex with them. And then after they have used them for a number of months, they're so distraught mentally and physically that then they may let them go or they may kill them."
He referred to US ally Saudi Arabia and the stringent rules about the observance of other religions in the Kingdom.
"If you go into Saudi Arabia with a Bible, they take it away from you," he said. "If you try to preach or evangelize in Saudi Arabia, they will execute you."
Asked whether he was concerned at President Obama's desire to increase the number of refugees coming to the US, he said: "I would love to see those immigrants be the minorities – the Christians, the Yazidis, and other minorities, the Assyrians, and so forth, that still live in Syria and that are minorities, and allow these Christians and minorities to come to this country would be great."
However, he added: "But to allow more Muslims into this country at this time while we're still fighting against ISIS, and we have these issues, I think it's creating a problem for us."
The current crisis, he said, was the result of Obama's "failed policies".
Graham is part way through his Decision America prayer tour during the election campaign. He has led prayer rallies at polical centres around the country and is set to speak at the Capitol building in Santa Fe, New Mexico today.
He wrote in a Facebook post on Monday: "This past week we saw violent protests at political rallies. One candidate is under investigation by the FBI. Another candidate says we need a political revolution. What America needs is a Godly revolution! Washington is broken. Our nation is broken—politically, spiritually, and morally—and our only hope is Almighty God. Let's take a stand together and pray for God to intervene in this country, to forgive us, and to give us another chance."
Graham has not endorsed any political candidate and resigned from the Republican party in December. However, some of his declared positions align him with policies advocated by Donald Trump, such as his support for banning all Muslims from entering the US.