When evangelist Franklin Graham – son of the better known Billy Graham – had his invitation to the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer service rescinded after Muslim members of the military complained about comments he made about their religion, Sarah Palin leapt to his defense. “Are we really so hyper-politically correct,” she wrote, “that we can’t abide a Christian minister who expresses his views on matters of faith?”
The complaints about Graham go back to his remark in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks that Islam is “a very evil and wicked religion.” Graham justified his views by saying that “It wasn’t Methodists flying into those buildings, it wasn’t Lutherans. It was an attack on this country by people of the Islamic faith.” He told an interviewer in 2006 that his views hadn’t changed, saying that “If people think Islam is such a wonderful religion, just go to Saudi Arabia and make it your home. Just live there. If you think Islam is such a wonderful religion, I mean, go and live under the Taliban somewhere.” And in the wake of the decision not to invite him the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer service Graham continues to defend his original statement, saying that Muslims were “enslaved” by their religion.