Jerry Falwell calls Islam's prophet a 'terrorist'

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 5 Oct 2002 12:24:12 +0100

 NEW YORK (AP) -- The Rev. Jerry Falwell says "I think Muhammad was a
terrorist" in an interview to be broadcast Sunday on the CBS program "60

The conservative Baptist minister tells correspondent Bob Simon he has
concluded from reading Muslim and non-Muslim writers that Islam's
prophet "was a -- a violent man, a man of war." 

"Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses," Falwell says. "I think
Muhammad set an opposite example." 

CBS released a partial transcript of the interview Thursday. Falwell's
comments occur in a segment about American conservative Christians'
political support for Israel. 

Falwell stood by his opinion in a telephone interview with The
Associated Press. He said Simon asked directly whether Falwell
considered Muhammad a terrorist and he tried to reply honestly. The
minister said he would never state his opinion in a sermon or book. 

"I've said often and many places that most Muslims are people of peace
and want peace and tranquility for their families and abhor terrorism,"
Falwell said. "Islam, like most faiths, has a fringe of radicals who
carry on bloodshed wherever they are. They do not represent Islam." 

Other conservative Protestant clergy have made sharply critical remarks
about Islam and Muhammad in the past year. They include Franklin Graham,
Billy Graham's son and successor, TV evangelist Pat Robertson and
leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention. 

In response to Falwell's remarks, Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the
Council on American-Islamic Relation in Washington, said: "Anybody is
free to be a bigot if they want to. What really concerns us is the lack
of reaction by mainstream religious and political leaders, who say
nothing when these bigots voice these attacks." 

Hooper noted that Falwell and Robertson will speak at next week's
Christian Coalition convention in Washington alongside House Majority
Whip Tom DeLay and other politicians. 

"How can these elected representatives legitimize this kind of hate
speech by appearing on the same platform with Islamophobes and Muslim-
bashers?" Hooper asked. 

Falwell was widely criticized last year after he said on Robertson's TV
show that pagans, abortionists, feminists, homosexuals and civil
liberties groups had secularized the nation and helped the September 11
attacks happen. Falwell later apologized. 
Source: AP 

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