The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. based Muslim rights group that has enjoyed close ties with President Obama, and was designated by the Justice Department as a terrorist co-conspirator, called on President-elect Donald Trump to drop Rev. Franklin Graham as one of six clergy who will offer prayers at the Jan. 20 inauguration ceremony.
In a press release issued this week, CAIR referred to evangelist Billy Graham’s son as a “notorious Islamophobe”
“If President-elect Trump truly seeks to unite our nation as he promised in his acceptance speech, he will limit the list of those offering prayers at the inauguration to religious leaders who work to bring us together, not to create divisions between faiths,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Rev. Graham’s ill-informed and extremist views are incompatible with the Constitution and with American values of religious liberty and inclusion.”
Awad was linked to the Holy Land Foundation terror-funding case by wiretaps showing him present at a 1993 Philadelphia meeting of Hamas leaders and activists where participants hatched a plot to disguise payments to Hamas terrorists as $12 million in charitable giving. Five of the plotters were given substantial prison sentences and, as WND reported, a new Internet campaign is urging President Obama to provide clemency to the jailed leaders of the foundation before he leaves office.
According to WND, this is not the first time CAIR has attempted to have Graham banned from official Washington functions. In 2010 the group celebrated its success at having Graham dropped from The National Day of Prayer at the Pentagon.
CAIR’s Awad said his organization hailed the decision “as a victory for common sense and good judgment.”
“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,” Awad said.
Graham has been outspoken in his criticism of Islam, saying Muslims are “enslaved by Islam” and characterizing it as a “very evil and wicked religion.” Following the attack by two Muslims that left more than a 14 dead and 22 seriously injured in San Bernardino, Graham warned, “Every Muslim that comes into this country has the potential to be radicalized – and they do their killing to honor their religion and Muhammad.”
CAIR’s demand is unlikely to carry any weight with the Trump transition team. The president-elect, during his thank-you event last month in Mobile, Alabama, praised Graham and credited him for contributing to his victory.
“I want to thank so many great people, but having Franklin Graham, who was so instrumental, we won so big, with evangelical Christians, we won so big,” Trump told the crowd of 20,000.
Read the full story at WND.