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AMBASSADOR FRANKLIN--(Help or Hindrance?)
World Online ^ | April 12, 2003 | Mindy Belz

Posted on 04/15/2003 7:17:12 PM PDT by WomanofStandard


Ambassador Franklin

Graham was helping Muslims before helping Muslims was cool: Since when did that become a threat to U.S. interests?

By Mindy Belz

Franklin Graham was handing out shoeboxes to Bosnian Muslim children before most Americans knew where Bosnia was. Longstanding humanitarian work in Muslim countries, however, didn't stop members of the press from pouncing on the son of evangelist Billy Graham for planning to help people in Iraq.

Mr. Graham, who heads the humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse, told the website Beliefnet that his organization was "poised and ready" to move emergency supplies into Iraq once the conditions were secure enough to permit relief work. He wrote an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times and appeared on Fox News to discuss postwar needs in Iraq and ways his group planned to help. "[I]t just may be an ambassador of Christ, not of the United Nations," Mr. Graham said in the Times, "who holds the lifesaving hope for thousands of desperate Iraqis. We intend to be there with outstretched arms."

Religion news outlets were among the first to cry foul, saying Mr. Graham's statements about Islam made him unfit to serve in Iraq. Religion News Service carried a story questioning Mr. Graham's motives in light of his post-9/11 statements calling Islam "a very evil and wicked religion." Beliefnet posted an interview with Mr. Graham followed by an April 2 column from editor Steven Waldman. The piece ran under a banner headline, "Who Does Bush Fear More?" accompanied by photos of Franklin Graham and Saddam Hussein.

Mr. Waldman wrote that because Mr. Graham's statements on Islam have "infuriated Muslim leaders," the president should prevent Mr. Graham from doing charity work in Iraq. Going ahead, Mr. Waldman told WORLD, "demonstrates a lack of understanding on the part of the administration and Mr. Graham for the tinderbox it is and how this undermines American interests."

In response to questions from the press, Ellen Yount, spokesman for the U.S. Agency for International Development, was quick to give reporters a lesson in First Amendment rights: "What private charitable organizations choose to do without U.S. government funding is ultimately their decision."

The religious relativists also missed Samaritan's Purse's history of working in Muslim majority countries, including those with radical ties like Sudan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan. Samaritan's Purse projects director Ken Isaacs said, "The irony is we have excellent solid relationships on the ground because we love people without condition and they respect us for that. The platform of our witness is built on the quality of our work."

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bosnia; firstamendment; franklin; franklingraham; graham; humanitarian; iraq; islam; muslim; relief; religion; samaratians; waldman
Last Saturday my car radio was set on WABC Talk radio because during the week if I'm driving around I like to hear what Rush and Sean have to say. On Saturday when I got in my car Richard Bey had his one man show on. I like listening to him and Steve Marlsberg during the week the rare times I'm in the car during their show, but listening to Bey alone can be frustrating without Steve there to lend balance!

This time I heard Bey lamenting the fact that Franklin Graham was going into Iraq to provide humanitarian aide and what a terrible mess he, Graham, would make for the U.S. in doing so. Bey went on and on about how we are not interested as a nation in taking over, conquering or occupying Iraq and how very important it was that the Iraqi's understand that. Yet, according to Bey, Franklin Graham was going to go into Iraq and hookwink those poor Iraqi's into Christianity and thus create an international crisis! Guess Bey had no clue that Samaritian's Purse has been working in Muslim countries for years providing relief with no complaints.

1 posted on 04/15/2003 7:17:13 PM PDT by WomanofStandard
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2 posted on 04/15/2003 7:17:59 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: WomanofStandard
My apologies for duplicating this post. I did a search for the post I put up just before this but forgot to do a search on this one until afterward. I see it was already posted here
3 posted on 04/15/2003 7:21:17 PM PDT by WomanofStandard (Life is Hard, but God is Good)
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To: Support Free Republic
Helps-- that's what Liberty, Justice & Democracy is all about.
4 posted on 04/15/2003 7:35:33 PM PDT by FreeRep
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To: WomanofStandard
5 posted on 04/15/2003 8:31:15 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: FreeRep
I finally gave my donation last night, shortly before the goal mark was achieved. Long Live FreeRepublic!
6 posted on 04/16/2003 12:56:40 AM PDT by WomanofStandard (Life is Hard, but God is Good)
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