CAIRO: American preacher Franklin Graham called on US President Barack Obama to act on the “war on Christians” in the Islamic world being conducted by Muslims.
Graham, the son of famous evangelist Billy Graham, made the comments in response to the ongoing case against a 34-year Iranian pastor who is threatened with execution for his conversion to Christianity when he was 19-years-old.
“There’s millions of Muslims out there that don’t agree with this — they’re wonderful people, Greta — but they’re under the system of Sharia law [that] they can’t get out from under because the law — the Quran — demands if a person leaves Islam, they are to be killed,” Graham told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren.
“They’re given a chance to recant . . . but if they don’t recant, if they don’t denounce their faith, like this man was told to renounce his faith in Jesus Christ, but he refused to do it. And so therefore, they’re going to hang him.
“According to the court records, what we can determine, he never was a Muslim — his parents were Muslim and he [became] a Christian — I think it was at age 19 — and what they have charged him on is apostasy under Islamic law,” Graham said. “But since he hadn’t been a Muslim, they are going hang him anyway because his parents were Muslim.”
The Fox News host then said that Obama and the US administration is unlikely they could do much to intervene in the pastor’s situation. Graham, however, disagreed.
“The president could call for a prayer meeting at the White House. He could make a statement. We apologized to the Afghans because a Qur’an was mistakenly burned . . . and he apologizes to the Afghans after an Afghan soldier killed two Americans,” Graham said. “But why doesn’t he speak out? He could. He could use the power of the White House to call pastors together at the White House and have a prayer meeting for this guy, but he hasn’t done it.”
The statements haven’t gone over well in Egypt, where Christians continue to struggle to ensure full citizenship in the country.
Farid Zaky, a 22-year-old university student and Coptic Christian, told Bikyamasr.com that “these statements are just missing the point and the reality. The entire Islamic world is not Iran and there is not a war against Christians.”
He continued to say that Graham only listens “to certain voices and those people who give a wrong impression of Egypt and Muslims. We have problems, but we are working them out and getting dialogue going.”