Pat Robertson Describes Islam as Violent Religion
NORFOLK, VA. - Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson drew criticism Friday from Arab-Americans for describing Islam as a violent religion that wants to "dominate and then, if need be, destroy." Robertson made the comment Thursday on his "700 Club" television program after watching a segment about Muslims' views on terrorism. Co-host Lee Webb asked Robertson why he thought Muslim immigrants would want to live in the United States "if they have such contempt for our foreign policy."
Robertson replied: "Well, as missionaries possibly to spread the doctrine of Islam." He went on to say that Islam "is not a peaceful religion that wants to coexist. They want to coexist until they can control, dominate and then, if need be, destroy."
"The rhetoric is exactly the same as traditional anti-Semitism. All you can do is change the word 'Jew' to 'Arab' or 'Muslim,' " said Hussein Ibish, spokesman for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, a Washington-based civil rights group. He said remarks like Robertson's and the Rev. Franklin Graham's comment to NBC last fall that Islam "is a very evil and wicked religion" are a "slightly warmed-over version of the hatred that led to the Holocaust."
Robertson, whose Christian Broadcasting Network is based in Virginia Beach, had no immediate comment Friday.
After Sept. 11, Robertson was criticized for agreeing with the Rev. Jerry Falwell during a "700 Club" broadcast when Falwell said the attacks happened because Americans had insulted God by allowing abortion, feminism and pornography.
Falwell later apologized and Robertson issued a statement calling Falwell's remarks "severe and harsh in tone" and saying he had not fully understood them.
Associated Press February 22, 2002
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