ADC Calls on Christian, Jewish Leaders to Condemn Evangelists’ Attacks

1. ADL condemns Falwell’s remarks and asks for an apology
2. National Council of Churches strongly condemns Falwell

WASHINGTON DC – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) today urged Christian and Jewish religious leaders to condemn an increasingly vicious campaign of defamation against Islam and the Prophet Mohammed by leading evangelical figures. Media reports indicate that in an interview on CBS’ highly rated program “60 Minutes” which was broadcast on Sunday, Oct. 6th, the Rev. Jerry Falwell calls the Prophet Mohammed a “terrorist.”
Falwell is quoted as saying, “I think Mohammed was a terrorist. I read enough, by both Muslims and non-Muslims, [to decide] that he was a violent man, a man of war.” Send him an e-mail at:
Falwell is also reported to have said, “In my opinion, Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses, and I think Mohammed set an opposite example.”
This vicious attack on Islam and the Prophet Mohammed is only the latest in an escalating campaign of vilification emanating from right-wing Christian evangelical figures. In the past, Falwell and other Southern Baptist leaders have described the Prophet Mohammed as a “demon-possessed pedophile.” In a recent appearance on the Fox News Channel, the Rev. Pat Robertson described the Prophet Mohammed as “an absolute wild-eyed fanatic. He was a robber and a brigand. And to say that these terrorists distort Islam, they’re carrying out Islam. I mean, this man [Mohammed] was a killer. And to think that this is a peaceful religion is fraudulent.” The Rev. Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham and head of Billy Graham Ministries Inc. and who led the prayer at President Bush’s inauguration ceremony, has repeatedly described Islam as “a very evil and wicked religion.”
ADC president Ziad Asali said, “we urge mainstream Christian and Jewish religious leaders to strongly and forthrightly condemn this sustained campaign of hatred, defamation and vilification against Islam coming from the evangelical Christian right.
This is the kind of outright bigotry that lays the groundwork for hate crimes and discrimination, and for the ugliest forms of intolerance. This growing campaign of prejudice needs to be confronted and repudiated before it can spread any further. It is hate speech pure and simple.”
Dr. Asali explained that, “every time one of these people launches another outrageous attack against Muslims and Islam, and is not immediately subjected to repudiation and condemnation, the impression grows than such bigoted attacks are tolerable. Over recent years, and particularly in 2002, the space for promoting hatred of Islam and Muslims has been growing even in our mainstream media. It has got to stop.” He concluded, “Mr. Falwell, Mr. Robertson, Mr. Graham and their ilk need to be told in no uncertain terms that their hatred is unacceptable and places them squarely outside the religious, political and social mainstream of American society.”

See President Bush’s remarks on Islam >>

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