Monday, July 17, 2006

Muslim Group Wants Christian Leader Barred from Canada

It had to come to this someday, I suppose. The Council on American-Islamic Relations Canada (CAIR-CAN) is challenging the Canadian government to ban Franklin Graham from entering the country in October on the basis of his critical statements concerning Islam. This comes on the heels of the obstacles that were put up by the government to prevent the visit of the controversial British Imam Riyad ul-Haq recently. Because ul-Haq was prevented access into the country because of hateful statements that he has made about Jews, Christians, and other minorities in his sermons, CAIR-CAN has decided that Franklin Graham should face similar obstacles. Otherwise, they claim, the Canadian government is being hypocritical.

What CAIR-CAN seems to fail to recognize is that Graham makes a distinction between Islam and Muslims; something ul-Haq does not do with Judaism and Jews or Christianity and Christians. Graham has gone on record as saying that while he believes that Islam is an evil religion that oppresses its own people and persecutes minorities who live under it, he is also careful to note that he does not believe that Muslims, themselves, are evil people. Nor does he call Muslims dogs, pigs, or monkeys, as ul-Haq is prone to label Jews and Christians. If ul-Haq and his ilk want to criticize Christianity, please let them feel free to do so but without having to resort to name-calling or slurs of Christians themselves. This also includes resisting calling Franklin Graham an Islamaphobe (as CAIR-CAN labels him) just because he dares to challenge Islamic belief and practice. Graham does not fear or hate Muslims; he does not like Islam. There is a difference, as any thinking person should realize.

To hate a belief system for its actions without hating its adherents is not inconsistent. Richard Wurmbrand also used to challenge us to hate Communism but not Communists. Did this make him a Communaphobe?

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