The Rev. Franklin Graham says that just as he tries to "emulate" Jesus, who was "a man of peace," Muslims try to emulate their leader, who "was a man of war."
"Muhammad was a man of war and he killed many people," Graham told Tucker Carlson on "Fox & Friends Weekend" on Sunday. "Jesus Christ came as a man of peace, and as a follower of Christ I follow him and I want to emulate Him. But the followers of Islam are emulating the prophet Muhammad, and that’s what you’re seeing carried out."
"We have to be very careful and understand that Islam — the teachings of Islam — are militant," the president of the Samaritan's Purse charity said. " I’m talking about, when you read the Quran, when you read the Surra, it’s very militant."
According to Graham, one of the reasons for the rise of Christian persecution in the Middle East was the fall of the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
"When Iraq was invaded by our country — and I’m not saying this was right or wrong, I’m just saying it’s a fact — there was a large Christian minority. Saddam Hussein gave them quite a lot of freedom," he explained.
"But when that government fell and the new government came to power, the Islamists in the country, al-Qaida and others, began to attack and burn churches," Graham said.
"We’ve seen that happen throughout Iraq, and now it’s happening in Syria," he explained.
And now as a result, "the Christian community is being slaughtered by the Muslims, and they’re being forced to leave," he said.
According to Graham, "there used to be large Christian and Jewish communities in Saudi Arabia. But over the centuries they have been exterminated by the Muslims.
"This isn’t something that has just happened with ISIS. This has been going on for centuries, and has been going on in Egypt," he said.
"When those Egyptian men [Coptic Christians] had their heads cut off, that’s not the first time," he said. "That’s been going on in Egypt for a long time."
However, Graham made it clear that he doesn't "want the Muslims out there to think that I'm bashing them. I'm not. I love Muslims and I want them to know what I know — that God loves them, that Jesus Christ died for their sins, that he rose from the grave, he can come into the heart, and they can have that hope of heaven and that hope of eternal life."
The son of the Rev. Billy Graham said that he is also concerned about "persecution [coming] in this country. We've already seen many laws that have been passed that restrict our freedom as Christians.
"I believe it's going to get worse."
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