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Falwell Berates Islam's Foremost Prophet
The Associated Press, Oct. 3, 2002
"Falwell stood by his opinion [that Muhammad was a 'terrorist'] in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. He said Simon asked directly whether Falwell considered Muhammad a terrorist and he tried to reply honestly. The minister said he would never state his opinion in a sermon or book."
" '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 said. 'Islam, like most faiths, has a fringe of radicals who carry on bloodshed wherever they are. They do not represent Islam.' "
"Other conservative Protestant clergy have made sharply critical remarks about Islam and Muhammad in the past year. They include Franklin Graham, Billy Graham's son and successor, T.V. evangelist Pat Robertson and leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention."
"In response to Falwell's remarks, Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relation 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 Robertson will 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."
"Falwell was widely criticized last year after he said on Robertson's TV show that pagans, abortionists, feminists, homosexuals and civil liberties groups had secularized the nation and helped the Sep. 11 attacks happen. Falwell later apologized."