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Fanatic Christian evangelicals attack Islam and Muslims

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  • Islamic News and Information Network
    Assalamu alaikum I can say with all honesty, being a former one myself, that there is nothing more intolerant, racist, bigoted, and outright dangerous than
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 3, 2002

      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
      his brain.


      Hinn finds audience for criticism of Islam

      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
      these people."

      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@...

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