Evangelist Franklin Graham published a fiery rhetorical question about Islam on his Facebook page on Thursday — then promptly offered up an equally controversial response.
"Why does Islam hate so much?" he wrote. "It’s because the Quran teaches its followers to hate."
And Graham wasn't done there. The faith leader, who is the son of the Rev. Billy Graham and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, went on to say that "Jews, Christians and others are to be subdued so that Islam may 'prevail over all religions.'"
He cited a recent USA Today op-ed in which Nabeel Qureshi, a Muslim convert to Christianity, wrote that he left Islam after realizing that "the pages of Islamic history are filled with violence."
Graham concluded his post by writing, "It’s all in the final chapter of the Quran — "Kill or be killed in battle, and paradise awaits." This Koranic reference is discussed in more detail in Qureshi's op-ed. He wrote:
The Quran itself reveals a trajectory of jihad reflected in the almost 23 years of Muhammad’s prophetic career. As I demonstrate carefully in my book, "Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward," starting with peaceful teachings and proclamations of monotheism, Muhammad's message featured violence with increasing intensity, culminating in surah 9, chronologically the last major chapter of the Quran, and its most expansively violent teaching. Throughout history, Muslim theologians have understood and taught this progression, that the message of the Quran culminates in its ninth chapter.
Surah 9 is a command to disavow all treaties with polytheists and to subjugate Jews and Christians (9.29) so that Islam may “prevail over all religions” (9.33). It is fair to wonder whether any non-Muslims in the world are immune from being attacked, subdued or assimilated under this command. Muslims must fight, according to this final chapter of the Quran, and if they do not, then their faith is called into question and they are counted among the hypocrites (9.44-45). If they do fight, they are promised one of two rewards, either spoils of war or heaven through martyrdom. Allah has made a bargain with the mujahid who obeys: Kill or be killed in battle, and paradise awaits (9.111).
Read the op-ed in its entirety here.
Many Muslims have pushed back against these interpretations of the Koran, placing the verses in a context that they believe would not allow for them to be used in a general sense.
As TheBlaze previously reported, Graham is no stranger to criticizing Islam, saying in a separate Facebook post last November that “Islam is not a peaceful religion” and that Muslim immigration cannot continue.
“We cannot allow Muslim immigrants to come across our borders unchecked while we are fighting this war on terror,” Graham wrote at the time. “If we continue to allow Muslim immigration, we’ll see much more of what happened in Paris — it’s on our doorstep.”
He also defended these stances in an interview last fall on 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. “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 that interview below:
Front page image via Shutterstock.com.