For Immediate Release
CAIR Urges Trump to Drop Franklin Graham from Inauguration Prayers
WASHINGTON - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on President-elect Donald Trump to drop notorious Islamophobe Rev. Franklin Graham from the list of those invited to pray at the presidential inauguration.
SEE: Meet The 6 Religious Leaders Who Will Pray With Trump On Inauguration Day
"If President-elect Trump truly seeks to unite our nation as he promised in his acceptance speech, he will limit the list of those offering prayers at the inauguration to religious leaders who work to bring us together, not to create divisions between faiths," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "Rev. Graham's ill-informed and extremist views are incompatible with the Constitution and with American values of religious liberty and inclusion."
Graham, who has called Islam a "very evil and wicked religion" and claimed Muslims are "enslaved by Islam," was once disinvited from a similar Pentagon event. He has claimed Islam is incompatible with "American values" and suggested that American mosques could be closed.
Rev. Graham: Islam Is Not Compatible with American Values
In a widely-circulated 2015 Facebook post calling to block the immigration of Muslims to America, Graham wrote in part that: "Every Muslim that comes into this country has the potential to be radicalized--and they do their killing to honor their religion and Muhammad."
SEE: Franklin Graham's Anti-Muslim Facebook Post
Responding to Graham's anti-Muslim Facebook post, Bob Roberts Jr., pastor of NorthWood Church in Keller, Texas, said: "This is not 'evangelical' and even less evangelistic. I don't want American Muslims to think we fear them or that they are our enemies."
In a 2009 CNN interview, Graham stated in part: "[T]rue Islam cannot be practiced in this country. You can't beat your wife. You cannot murder your children if you think they've committed adultery or something like that, which they do practice in these other countries. . .I don't agree with the teachings of Islam and I find it to be a very violent religion."
SEE: Franklin Graham Repeats Attacks on Islam (Video)
In 2002, he said terrorism is part of "mainstream" Islam and claimed the Quran, Islam's revealed text, "preaches violence."
In 2001, Graham stood by remarks he made about Islam at the dedication of a chapel in North Carolina. At that event, he said: "We're not attacking Islam but Islam has attacked us. The God of Islam is not the same God. He's not the son of God of the Christian or Judeo-Christian faith. It's a different God, and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion."
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.