And here we come to the heart of the purpose of OCC. For, according to the boss and guiding force of OCC, Franklin Graham – son of the evangelist Billy Graham – Islam is not just wrong, it is “a very wicked and evil religion”. And by that he does not mean that Islam has been taken over by dangerous radicals, but that Islam itself is intrinsically evil. He recently told the British journalist Ruth Gledhill that Islam has been the same for 1,500 years. It “has not been hijacked by radicals” but is essentially a “religion of war”. But this comes from someone who, when recently asked about Muslim fundamentalism, insisted that “they only respond to force… I think there is going to have to be much large US involvement militarily.”
Indeed, this is a man who was seen as so politically toxic that he was refused an invitation by the Pentagon to speak at their National Day of Prayer event. This is also a man who thinks the Muslim Brotherhood has “infiltrated every level of our government” and that President Obama’s “problem” is that “he was born a Muslim, his father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father”.
A lot of fuss has been made about Muslim charities like Islamic Relief supporting the political agenda of violent religious radicalism, something of which it has been cleared. But we seem unconcerned that many of our schools might be supporting something remarkably similar – in Christian form. More than a decade ago, in this paper, I wrote a column criticising OCC for “giftwapping Islamophobia”. It is depressing to find that, since then, very little has changed.
An important point. Just as the NRA should be consistent, so should those who criticize Islamic charities.