The physical damage that was wrought by 9/11 has been, by and large, cleared. The tonnage of debris in New York and Washington resulting from the destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Center and a wing in the Pentagon structure have been hauled away. But the psychological and mental damage that have resulted from the tragic event is still smoldering in the bosoms of people who should know better. There are, of all people, “Christian” figures who are spitting fire when it comes to Muslims and Islam. They interpret the horrible events of 9/11 as acts coming straight out of the Islamic religious texts. And because of this distorted image they fulminate with insidious statements about the Qur’an (the holy book of the Muslims) and Muhammad (the prophet who is considered to be the final prophet by Muslims).
All of this verbal hostility coming predominantly from Christian clerics is tied to the Christian evangelical veneration of the Zionist state of Israel. This “Christian” bad-mouthing of Islam, the Qur’an, and Muhammad may have been dismissed as hardcore ignorance or an individual’s misunderstanding of what Islam, the Qur’an, and Muhammad really are. But as matters stand, these foul statements by “Christian” pastors and figureheads become fighting words when we realize that this evangelical segment of American society claims to be 70 to 90 million strong and has access to the highest offices in the US government.
But before we gauge the blazing temperature of these 9/11 fallout figures we refer you to their exact words. Franklin Graham, eldest son of the Reverend Billy Graham, calls Islam ‘a wicked and evil religion’ and, in a new book, discusses the violent nature of a faith he sees bent on world domination.
“Islam was founded by a mere human being, a warrior by the name of Muhammad, in whose teachings we see the tactic of conversion by conquest, through violence if necessary,” Graham writes in his book, The Name. Graham questions the American media’s portrayal of Islam as a peaceful religion, pointing to various verses in the Qur’an that talk about fighting against non-Muslims or infidels. “Clearly, it appears that the ultimate objective of Islam is world domination,” he writes.
Over the summer, a minister preaching at the annual Southern Baptist Convention blasted Allah as “a violent god alien to the Jehovah of the Bible,’ and he denounced Muhammad as “a demon possessed.” And Christian fundamentalists sued the University of North Carolina because it asked 4,200 incoming freshmen and transfer students to read Approaching the Qur’an: The Early Revelations, a book written by Haverford College religion professor Michael Sells about Islam’s sacred scripture.
As if that was not enough, this was followed by another such profanity.
In an appearance on Fox News Channel’s Hannity and Colmes program, televangelist Pat Robertson said that the Prophet Muhammad was an absolute wild-eyed fanatic. He was a robber and a brigand. And to say that these terrorists distort Islam, they’re carrying out Islamé I mean, this man [Muhammad] was a killer. And to think that this is a peaceful religion is fraudulent.” Islam, said Robertson, is “a monumental scam” and
To add insult to injury Graham and Robertson were joined by Jerry Falwell. “I think Mohammed was a terrorist. I read enoughéby both Muslims and non-Muslims, [to decide] that he was a violent man, a man of war,” Falwell tells CBS’s 60 Minutes.
When President Bush urged Israel to remove its forces from Palestinian towns earlier this year, Falwell sent a letter of protest to President Bush, and the White House received 100,000 e-mail protests from fundamentalist Christians. “There are 70 million of us,” Falwell wrote Bush, and “there’s nothing that would bring the wrath of the Christian public in this country down on this government like abandoning or opposing Israel on a critical matter.”
Add to the above combustible brew the following statements coming non-religious Christian circles and you begin to feel the magnitude of the visceral fire that is stoked inside the belly of beast:
“We should invade Muslim countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”
“Just turn [the sheriff] loose and have him arrest every Muslim that crosses the state line.”
“Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for Him. Christianity is a faith where God sent His son to die for you.”
When the Republican Party is calling the shots in Washington and when the evangelical movement has become the most powerful grassroots component of the Republican Party, and when such statements as the ones quoted above are mostly coming from Republican and evangelical militants, we know that the course of US foreign policy as well as its domestic policy towards its Muslim citizens is becoming more and more intolerant and hostile.
This whole new episode in American political discourse towards the Muslims in the US and the Muslims throughout the world is music to the Zionist ears. The late Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin cultivated ties to emerging evangelical leaders like the Reverend Jerry Falwell, honoring him with a dinner in New York in 1980 and presenting him with a Learjet for his efforts on behalf of Israel. Israel is near the top of the conservative Christian agenda in what is becoming the politics of Armageddon.
President George W. Bush has not come out and rebuked such offensive statements, which gives the general Muslim public the impression that there is compliance from the highest office towards the bigoted statements coming out of “Christian” quarters. Of course, Pres. Bush wants to be re-elected and the evangelical numbers are considerably higher than Muslim Americans. So, naturally, the president wants to be re-elected and he is looking for votes and he sometimes seems less concerned about truth or principle. The whole scenario that is unfolding in the United States leaves an unmistakable impression of what may become standard policy in the United States towards Muslims. No one should underestimate the belligerent words that are coming out of religious mouths against the Islamic faith, religion, and way of life.
In a response to Falwell’s slur of Prophet Mohammed, Sheikh M. H. Fadallah, a prominent Islamic Scholar in Lebanon, said:
“All Muslims must take a stand against this attack on Islam, its prophet and Muslims themselves. We do not desire physical violence against this person and those who share his views, including President Bush, who belongs to Zionised Christianity, buté to stand up to this oppressive campaign against Islam and Muslims. If a preacher, or anyone else, spoke about Judaism and Zionist massacres in Palestineé would the US administration permit this? If one mentioned the crimes of Zionism and Judaism, they would accuse him of anti-Semitism.”
We do not know how far and how long this marriage of convenience between Zionism and Evangelism may continue. It seems like their mutual perception of an “Islamic threat” has trumped all other outstanding issues between them. The Jews most certainly know that the evangelicals are anticipating the time when all Jews will be killed or be converted to Christianity through the Armageddon process. And the subliminal creed that the anti-Christ may be a “Jew” is embedded in some segments of the evangelical belief. Likewise, the Christian reverends and pastors who are busy making high-sounding statements for Israel while defaming Islam are aware of the visceral orthodox view of Jews about “Christianity” itself. But all these Judeo-Christian anathemas have been sidetracked as the political elites in Tel Aviv and Washington are increasingly deploying, or at least tolerating, religious figures to pave the way to Jerusalem by de-humanizing Muslims and slandering Islam.
In the past couple of weeks Pres. Bush signed on to a motion that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This is a weird way of combining religion and politics, but Zionist Israel is realigning “Christian” politicians with “Christian” clerics in what may become the introductory moves to WW III.
We challenge any Zionist Christian or Israeli Jew to quote for us equivalent slanderous statements coming from Muslim scholars about Christianity, Judaism, the Old or New Testament, or Jesus and Moses. It is not possible because Muslims are not hate mongers and war instigators.
We hope, against all odds, that these defamatory and malicious statements by the evangelicals and the Republicans are retracted before it is too late.
Dr. Ahmed Yousef is Director of United Association for Studies and Research (UASR) and Editor-in-Chief, Middle East Affairs Journal.