"Pentagon pressured to cancel event hosting anti-Muslim evangelist speaker."
Franklin Graham, the son of famous evangelist Billy Graham, is slated to speak at the Pentagon next month for National Prayer Day. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an organization dedicated to “ensuring that all members” of the Armed Forces have their religious rights respected, is calling on the Pentagon to cancel the controversial speech due to inflammatory remarks Graham has made in the past, like calling Islam a “wicked and evil religion”:
A watchdog group objected Tuesday to an evangelist’s invitation to speak at the Pentagon next month, saying his past description of Islam as “evil” offended Muslims who work for the Department of Defense and the appearance should be canceled.
Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said inviting evangelist Franklin Graham to speak May 6, the National Day of Prayer, “would be like bringing someone in on national prayer day madly denigrating Christianity” or other religious groups. [...] Graham hasn’t changed his views on Islam, said his spokesman, Mark DeMoss.
The Pentagon previously hosted Graham for a 2003 Good Friday event, which was also held despite protests by religious freedom and civil liberties groups. At the time, “Army Col. George Campbell Jr., the Pentagon’s deputy chaplain,” said that “while [he], personally, would not agree with some of Rev. Graham’s comments and observations, [he] would defend his right to have his religious views as part of the freedom we have as Americans.”