Franklin Graham Religion of Peace

Franklin Graham quoted an ex-CIA employee to substantiate his views

Evangelical leader Franklin Graham wrote on August 26 that politicians must resist from describing Islam as a “religion of peace.” In a politically incorrect Facebook post, which was clearly written as a reaction to the Barcelona attacks, the evangelist referred to an article penned by Bryan Dean Wright, a former career CIA officer. The article was unimaginatively named “Islam is at war with itself and the West isn't helping,” and was commissioned by Fox News.

Graham, who is 65-years-old, had noted what the former CIA official has said in his article. Graham said politicians must make it clear the United States is fighting a certain religious ideology and not a scattered cluster of fanatics. He also said the phrase concerning Islam and peace should no longer be used. The evangelist said, “we are making a mistake by allowing the operation and spread of the dark and dangerous teachings of Islam.”

Graham's Facebook post immediately became popular. Within a span of a few hours, there were 15,000 “likes.” The post was shared over 5,000 times. A Twitter message with the same content also enjoyed such phenomenal support. Many people grasped the essence of what the reverend tried to convey: radicalism is not an abnormality of Islam; it is an integrated feature. The evangelist wrote although millions of Muslims do not participate in violence or agree with it, they are unable to exit the religion as if they do so, their families will be compelled to kill them. He added that Islam reins in followers through intimidation and fear.

Wright, in his article, wrote that Islamists who carried out terror attacks in the West were inspired by Salafi Islamic ideology, an ultra-conservative strand of Sunni Islam. The latter is a dominant Islamic faith, superseding Shia and other sects in terms of followers. He pointed out that different sects exist within Sunnis. Most Sunnis are moderate and peace loving, willing to live in a diverse society made of Christians and even atheists. Salafis, in contrast, reject separation of state and mosque. They believe that religious clerics should only administer the country, drawing political sustenance from the Quran. The Salafist ideology forms the spine of jihadist groups like ISIS and al-Qaida.

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