Muslims in America express anger after Christian clerics call Prophet Muhammad ''killer and terrorist''
The Rev. Jerry Falwell said "I think Muhammad was a terrorist" in an interview to be broadcast Sunday on the CBS program "60 Minutes."
The conservative Baptist minister told correspondent Bob Simon he has concluded from reading Muslim and non-Muslim writers that Islam's prophet "was a - a violent man, a man of war."
"Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses," Falwell said. "I think Muhammad set an opposite example."
"I've said often and many places that most Muslims are people of peace and want peace and tranquility for their families and abhor terrorism," Falwell told later AP. "Islam, like most faiths, has a fringe of radicals who carry on bloodshed wherever they are. They do not represent Islam."
In response to Falwell's remarks, Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relation (CAIR) in Washington, said: "Anybody is free to be a bigot if they want to. What really concerns us is the lack of reaction by mainstream religious and political leaders, who say nothing when these bigots voice these attacks."
Hooper noted that Falwell and televangelist Pat Robertson would speak at next week's Christian Coalition convention in Washington alongside House Majority Whip Tom DeLay and other politicians.
"How can these elected representatives legitimize this kind of hate speech by appearing on the same platform with Islamophobes and Muslim-bashers?" Hooper asked.
CAIR said Robertson, who also called Prophet Muhammad "killer", is unworthy to receive one of the first “faith-based” government grants because of his attacks on the faith of Islam and Muhammad and asked that the decision to give his group a grant be reconsidered.
Operation Blessing International, a charity created by Robertson, is scheduled to receive $500,000 in the first wave of grants to be distributed under President Bush’s faith-based initiative, a program that Robertson himself denounced earlier this year. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)