Fanatic Christian evangelicals attack Islam and Muslims
I can say with all honesty, being a former one myself, that there is
nothing more intolerant, racist, bigoted, and outright dangerous than
these evangelicals. Half of my family subscribe to this world view, and
although I have never abused their beliefs, I am constantly subjected to
ridicule by them for mine. Thankfully I was delivered from this perversion
long ago and have since learned to respect other people's beliefs.
I think Hinn has used just a bit too much hair spray and it has gone to
Hinn finds audience for criticism of Islam
By DARREN BARBEE and JOSH SHAFFER
Star-Telegram Staff Writers
With a voice like a conquering general, Benny Hinn walked to the edge of
the stage and proclaimed to thousands of worshippers, "The Muslim
population is going down!"
Cheers erupted like thunder.
The applause grew louder when the celebrated faith healer invited an
Israeli tourism official on stage and offered his support to the war-torn
"We are on God's side," Hinn said. "This is not a war between Arabs and
Jews. It's a war between God and the devil."
Several area ministers, joining the Grapevine-based Pentecostal on stage
last week at American Airlines Center in Dallas, clapped and nodded their
approval. The line between Christians and Muslims, they said later, is the
difference between good and evil.
Scholars believe their condemnation points to a growing intolerance among
Christian denominations. They see more of the faithful drifting to
conservative camps, drawn by the easy explanations of a world divided
neatly between friends and foes.
And since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Muslims are increasingly being
pushed into the evil category.
"This is all part of a very depressing pattern in right-wing and
evangelical circles," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Dallas
chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "The demonizing of
Islam. The actual call for the elimination of Islam. It's disturbing."
The shift to the right among Christians can be traced to the same
political drift toward conservatism, said Ronald Flowers, a religion
professor at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.
Those who are drawn to fundamentalism tend to seek an uncomplicated,
old-fashioned world with enemies that can be easily identified, he said.
"It's a search for certainty in an uncertain world," Flowers said. "The
fact that Muslims and Christians worship the same God seems to escape
Hinn drew huge crowds last week to the 20,000-seat American Airlines
Center. Many came in wheelchairs or on crutches, hoping to be healed, and
they listened raptly to many hours of sermons and hymns.
Several Metroplex pastors joined Hinn on stage during his two-day Miracle
Crusade. Most declined to be interviewed or respond to faxed questions
about whether they endorsed Hinn's remarks.
Others backed Hinn, but on Tuesday Hinn's ministry reversed course.
Spokesman David Brokaw said Hinn was demonizing the strife in the Middle
East, not Palestinians, Arabs or Muslims.
J. Don George, head of Calvary Temple in Irving who clapped and prayed
alongside Hinn on Thursday, said he agreed in principle with the comments
Hinn made in Dallas.
"Our faith is in Jesus Christ, and the Muslim community does not accept
Jesus and God, and therefore we're at odds with Muslims," George said.
He said that he would defend the right of people to worship as they choose
and that he recognizes that Muslims believe Jesus to be a prophet. But
Muslims do not recognize Jesus as the son of God.
"Any religion or ideology that refuses to acknowledge the lordship of
Jesus Christ could be typified as a war against Satan," George said.
Paul Mills, pastor of Arlington Faith Chapel, said about 20 members of his
congregation attended the Miracle Crusade, but he did not.
Mills said that Muslims would find Hinn's statement inappropriate but that
their complaints would be irrelevant because Jesus is the only way to
"The religion [of Islam] is a false religion as far as we believe," he
There is no reason, Mills said, to criticize Hinn's speech when it is
biblically based. "When we don't want to call it truth," Mills said, "we
call it hate speech."
Brent Arterbury, pastor of Life Church in Haltom City, said he sometimes
disagrees with Hinn, especially his refusal to be financially accountable.
But Arterbury said he identifies with the idea of Christians being engaged
in a spiritual war.
"From a biblical standpoint, I have to agree that there is good and there
is evil," he said. "From that standpoint, I believe what he said is in
line with what the Scriptures say."
Hinn's comments do not demonize or belittle Muslims, Arterbury said,
adding that Islam "is a very destructive type of faith."
"They're a revengeful people," Arterbury said. "... We as Christians don't
despise the Muslims. We love them. We just don't like what they stand
Dr. Nasir Ahmad, an imam with the Muslim American Society in Dallas, said
that Arterbury's comments are irresponsible and that his statement is
untrue, adding that the nature of Islam is peace.
"In the Torah and the Bible you can pick out a sentence, pick out many
things distasteful to even the adherents of that faith," Ahmad said. "...
At least I have the integrity to quote the [Christian] religion
Hinn's comments follow a string of recent anti-Muslim statements across
the nation. At last month's Southern Baptist meeting in St. Louis, the
Rev. Jerry Vines described the prophet Muhammad as a "demon-possessed
In November, evangelist Franklin Graham called the Islamic faith "wicked,
violent and not of the same God."
Last week, Hinn's crusade extended the remarks to Buddhists as well. Hinn
introduced Ralph Wilkerson, a pastor from California, who had recently
been to Tibet.
"We went to some of these temples, laid hands on some of these Buddhists
and cast the devil out," Wilkerson said.
Ahmad said Hinn is out of step with the majority of Christians. Hinn plays
to base emotions and a crowd mentality, Ahmad said.
"There are demigod leaders in politics, religion and education that play
upon the blind emotions of the masses," Ahmad said. "He's playing on the
emotions of the people. Those persons [Hinn preaches to] are kept in the
dark and out of light of what's really going on."
Hinn's comments would likely repel more mainstream Christians, Flowers
"Ike" Cowell, pastor of Grace Evangelical Methodist Church in Fort Worth,
said the dialogue between Christians and Muslims should involve some
disagreement but should also involve some outreach and respect.
"I would not be combative myself," he said. "I would want there to be a
dialogue, to hear what they have to say. All I know about [Muslims] is
what I read or hear."
Darren Barbee, (817) 685-3818 dbarbee@...
Josh Shaffer, (817) 685-3957 jshaffer@...
ININ List Archives Found Here: http://www.egroups.com/messages/inin
TO SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE PLEASE VISIT: http://www.inin.net/subscribe.htm
ISLAMIC NEWS AND INFORMATION NETWORK: HTTP://WWW.ININ.NET
WE AFFIRM THAT INJUSTICE ANYWHERE IS A THREAT TO JUSTICE EVERYWHERE!!!!