Long before Donald Trump's call for a temporary ban on Muslims coming into the U.S., Franklin Graham made a similar proposal, with the evangelist sparking a myriad of controversy when he first detailed his beliefs on the matter after the Chattanooga shooting last summer.
Graham once again took to his Facebook page on Wednesday to double down on his views about Islam, extremism and Muslim immigration — and to take critics to task, saying that "politicians in Washington seem to be totally disconnected with reality."
"For some time I have been saying that Muslim immigration into the United States should be stopped until we can properly vet them or until the war with Islam is over. Donald J. Trump has been criticized by some for saying something similar," Graham wrote. "The new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said yesterday that he disagrees — saying that 'such views are not what this party stands for and more importantly it’s not what this country stands for.'"
The evangelist, who is president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, proceeded to push back against Ryan, among others who have been speaking out in the wake of Trump's proposed ban, calling them out of touch with reality.
To corroborate his point, Graham cited polling statistics from the Center for Security Policy, a conservative think tank, that purportedly showed "frightening" trends among American Muslims, though some critics have taken aim at the research, calling it inaccurate.
"Research shows that there are 2.75 million Muslims living in the U.S. According to a poll commissioned by the Center for Security Policy, 51% of Muslims living in America believe 'Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to sharia' (Islamic law) instead of the U.S. Constitution," Graham wrote, in part.
He concluded by stating that he believes politicians aren't "listening to the truth" and that he prays that "God will open their eyes," encouraging people to email their representatives in Congress in an effort to make their voices heard.
In a separate Facebook post written last month, Graham also proclaimed that "Islam is not a peaceful religion as George W. Bush told us and as President Barack Obama has said — that is just not true."
He also defended his immigration stance in an October interview with The Church Boys podcast.
“By letting Muslims come into this country at this time [there's] the potential for some of these people to turn on this nation for our kindness and our gratitude and commit murder,” Graham said in an interview that was conducted at TheBlaze’s New York City newsroom this fall. “And it’s not just the murder of just one or two, but it could be a large event that could take the lives of many people.”
Listen to Graham discuss Muslim immigration below: