(Following letter is in response to an interview with Mr. Jerry Falwell conducted by Deborah Caldwell, Beliefnet’s Religion producer.)
Dear Dr. Reverend Falwell,
I cannot convey to you my personal and deeply felt sense of outrage at your continuing bigoted remarks toward my faith, Islam. From a man who espouses a personal walk with Jesus, peace be upon him, I find it incredulous that your heart and mind can be so exclusionist in their outlook and compassion toward other faiths and other races.
Your antagonism against Islam obviously arises from simple ignorance and an education primarily driven by Middle East politics and a biased media. You do not speak Arabic, your travels to the middle east have primarily been in your role as a Christian Zionist and fund raiser, you have never read the Holy Qur’an nor the teachings of our Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, nor would you have any contact with devout Muslims in your life. You see, Reverend, if you had you would know the following facts about Islam.
1. Islam is not a new faith but a faith confirming the teachings of Moses and Jesus, peace be upon them both. To be a Muslim one must believe in all of God’s messengers and messages.
2. Islam allows marriage of males to Christians and Jews as the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, married a Christian and a Jewish women. I myself am married to a Christian.
3. Islam teaches peace, respect, and tolerance to all peoples and to all faiths but especially to the children of the Holy Prophet Abraham, the People of the Book—Jews and Christians.
4. In the Holy Qur’an Moses, peace be upon him, is mentioned 134 times, Jesus is mentioned 34 times, and our Holy Prophet is only mentioned 4 times by name. There is an entire chapter in the Qur’an named Mary, after the Virgin mother of Jesus, peace be upon them both. There is more about Mary, may she be blessed in the Qur’an than in the Bible.
In addition to your pastoral care you are a Chancellor of a University where rigorous study and research is taught before one reaches conclusions. In this regard you have failed your academic calling. As a pastor you must recognize that many of our social ills, moral decline, decreased church membership, and the ongoing establishment of new directions in the Christian faith is primarily due to non-spiritual teachings and divisive rhetoric of people such as yourself, Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Bakker, Benny Hinn, and so many others who claim a direct line of communication to God and performance of miracles that just coincidentally occur during retreats where people are forking their money out of desperation for something good in their life.
At a time our children are killing each other in schools and hate crimes are rising you Reverend Falwell add flame to the fire through ignorant divisive remarks that can only lead to more racial tensions in a nation saturated and split apart with hate rhetoric.
Since the age of five I’ve been raised and nurtured by good Christian men and women who cared enough to pluck me from one of the world’s poorest nations and offer me their love, homes, support and scholarships. They exemplified the Jesus, peace be upon him, that I studied for years in his love, mercy and compassion for all people especially those not in the moral majority. Until I became an adult I knew more about Christianity than Islam. You, Reverend Falwell, do not exemplify the Jesus I studied nor are you a member of the Christian faith those wonderful people sought to live.
I see you often selling your books and CD’s and courses on television and wonder if you ever knew that the only thing Jesus sold was hope, love, and eternal salvation.
You, Sir, are neither a pastor, an academician, a humanist, nor tragically a follower of Jesus, peace be upon him. The world is in need of tolerance, understanding, compassion and a path of knowing one another so that we may find peace here and in the life after. You chose through your bigoted remarks against Islam to align yourself with hate, bigotry, and racism. The Abrahamic faiths are thankfully reaching out to each other in this country and around the world. I feel sorry for your parishioners who have you as their blind hearted leader.
Christ taught his followers to be pacifists and turn the other cheek if struck. Obviously that does not apply to you for you are the striker.
I pray that God shows you mercy in this life and when you arise to be accountable to Him. You will be accountable for bashing Islam and all “other” faiths including your innate desire to bring the end of the Jews to hasten your dream of Armageddon. May you be forgiven for your onslaught against the faith of 1.3 billion people and millions of Americans.
Perhaps you fear Islam’s rapid growth in this country. Don’t worry Islam wasn’t responsible for the Crusades, Inquisition, Pogroms, Holocaust, worldwide ethnic cleansing of indigent people, and the arrogance and superiority of the white race. Islam came to equalize between the races and the genders.
Mr. Mohamed Khodr is an American Muslim physician and a native from the Middle East. He has worked in Academic Medicine and Public health with national and international health experience. He is a freelance writer who often writes columns on the Palestinian cause, Islam and on America’s Foreign Policy in the Middle East. He lives in the Washington DC area.