August 14, 2002

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (AP)--The son of evangelist Billy Graham, adding to his harsh criticism of Islam, said Muslim leaders haven't done enough to show their sorrow over Sept. 11, and he challenged them to help rebuild New York or compensate the victims families.

``I'm certainly not preaching against Muslim people,'' Franklin Graham said Wednesday on WBT-AM radio. ``I am concerned about our nation, and on Sept. 11 last year, we were attacked by followers of Islam, claiming to do this in the name of Islam.''

``The silence of the clerics around the world is frightening to me,'' he said. ``How come they haven't come to this country, how come they haven't apologized to the American people, how come they haven't reassured the American people that this is not true Islam and that these people are not acting in the name of Allah, they're not acting in the name of Islam?''

Franklin Graham, his 83-year-old father's chosen successor to lead the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, also spoke at a book signing in Charlotte on Tuesday and suggested the compensation for victims' families.

Dr. Masood Khan, chairman of the Charlotte Islamic School board, said local Muslims were outraged by Graham's statements.

``What surprised us is that he's a leader of such stature. But instead of respecting other faiths, he's spreading hate,'' Khan said.

Graham writes in his new book, ``The Name,'' that ``Islam--unlike Christianity--has among its basic teachings a deep intolerance for those who follow other faiths.''

Graham also drew widespread criticism in October after he called Islam ``a very evil and wicked religion.''

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus