The Rev. Franklin Graham says President Barack Obama has “given Islam a pass,” including ignoring atrocities against Christians in the Muslim world – so much so that the evangelist says he cannot “categorically” say Obama is not a Muslim.
In a stunning interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday, the renowned Christian leader and son of the Rev. Billy Graham expressed shock that Obama was doing little to protect Christians across the Muslim world against a wave of persecution.
MSNBC’s liberal hosts were flummoxed by Graham’s strong rebuke of Obama, and they asked him whether he believes the president is a Christian.
“You have to ask that of President Obama,” Graham shot back. “You can ask me do I believe you’re a Christian. I think people have to ask Barack Obama. He’s come out saying he’s a Christian. So I think the question is, what is a Christian?”
Graham said he asked Obama about his faith when he was first running for president.
Graham related their conversation: “He said that he was working on the south side of Chicago in the community and they asked him what church he went to.
“He said I don’t go to church. Then they said if you are going to work in our community you have to join one of the churches. Then, of course, he joined Reverend Jeremiah’s church. So that’s what his answer to my question was.”
Again queried about Obama’s faith, Graham repeated: “You have to ask him. I cannot answer that question for anybody…”
Graham added that he accepts Obama’s claim he’s a Christian at face value, but said ultimately only God knows his heart.
He did note that Obama has shown strong empathy toward Muslims, and the president has an Islamic background.
“Under Islamic law, under Shariah law, Islam sees him as a son of Islam, because his father was a Muslim, his grandfather was a Muslim, his great-grandfather was a Muslim,” Graham said.
“So under Islamic law, the Muslim world sees President Obama as a Muslim, as a son of Islam. That’s just the way it works. That’s the way they see him.”
Asked whether he believes Obama is “categorically not a Muslim,” Graham said, “I can’t say categorically because Islam has gotten a free a pass under Obama.”
Graham noted that Obama’s Middle East policies have helped Islamists while hurting Christian minorities throughout the region.
“We see the Arab Spring, and coming out of the Arab Spring, the Islamists are taking control of the Middle East. And people like [Hosni] Mubarak was a dictator, but he kept the peace with Israel and the Christian minorities in Egypt were protected.
“Now those Christian minorities throughout the entire Arab world are under attack. A Newsweek magazine cover story last week [was about] was the massacre of Christians in the Islamic world. From Europe all the way through the Middle East to Africa into East Asia, Muslims are killing Christians.
“The president can come out and make a statement demanding that if these countries do not protect their minorities, no more foreign aid from the United States. They are not protecting the minorities. The society in these Islamic countries is not protecting the Christians anymore.”
Graham added: “And hopefully, the people that are in power are going to protect the minorities, and Christians in the Muslim world are the minority. Egypt is like 13 million in the minority. Nigeria is 80-some million, but they’re still a minority.
“These Christians are having their churches burned. They’re being raped. Women are being raped. They’re being murdered. Because under Shariah law Muslims can take a Christian’s property, take a Christian’s life, can take his daughter. And this is what is happening. The governments are not able to protect the minorities in the society. And they’re unwilling to protect them. If a government is not going to protect the minorities, we should not give them one dollar of U.S. aid.”
Graham claimed Obama is doing little to nothing to help persecuted Christians.
“And he’s got the power of the White House,” Graham complained. “He could be speaking to these countries right now, demanding that they protect the Christians in those countries. He’s been quiet about it.
“We have an aid station in Southern Sudan. The Sudanese dropped bombs on it… We have a Bible school. Just two weeks ago the Sudanese air force dropped eight bombs on that Bible school. Why doesn’t the president come out and try to bring peace to the Sudan?”