The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today applauded the Pentagon's decision to disinvite a scheduled speaker, controversial Christian evangelist Franklin Graham, who has called Islam a "very evil and wicked religion" and this morning said Muslims are "enslaved by Islam."
CAIR had earlier today called for such a move on the part of military officials. Graham was scheduled to speak May 6 - the National Day of Prayer - at the Pentagon.
"We applaud this decision as a victory for common sense and good judgment," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "Promoting one's own religious beliefs is something to be defended and encouraged, but other faiths should not be attacked or misrepresented in the process."
In an interview today about the controversy on Fox News, Graham refused to revise his past comments that Islam is evil and claimed that Muslims are "enslaved by Islam."
In a 2009 CNN interview, Graham stated in part: "[T]rue Islam cannot be practiced in this country. You can't beat your wife. You cannot murder your children if you think they've committed adultery or something like that, which they do practice in these other countries... I don't agree with the teachings of Islam and I find it to be a very violent religion."
In 2002, Graham said terrorism is part of "mainstream" Islam and claimed the Quran, Islam's revealed text, "preaches violence."
In 2001, Graham stood by remarks he made about Islam at the dedication of a chapel in North Carolina. At that event, he said: "We're not attacking Islam but Islam has attacked us. The God of Islam is not the same God. He's not the son of God of the Christian or Judeo-Christian faith. It's a different God, and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion."
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