Falwell on Muhammad
Jerry Falwell’s absurd charge on CBS’s Sixty Minutes on Oct. 6 that the Prophet Muhammad was a terrorist was leaked late last week and has attracted some reaction in the Gulf region and farther afield.
According to Agence France Presse, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi responded by saying, “This insult of the holy Prophet Mohammed by a Christian priest is part of a propaganda war by the US mass media and the Zionists.”
The Secretary General of the organization that groups the foreign ministers of Muslim countries (Organization of the the Islamic conference), Abdul Wahed Belqeziz, commented that the remarks were “proof that the US wants political, cultural and military domination of the world.” He added that “Islamic countries, and above all the OIC, must not stay silent in the face of such unashamed accusations, and must not permit this clash of religions and civilisations sought by the expansionist and aggressive Zionists.”
Kashmiri Muslims, already pretty upset over their living conditions, rioted over the remark, clashing with Indian police. There were calmer processions of protest among Muslims in India, who were targeted earlier this year by the Hindu nationalist government of Gujerat for widespread massacre.
In contrast to the general feeling in the Gulf region that Zionists put Falwell up to this statement, the Anti-Discrimination League’s Abraham Foxman condemned Falwell’s statements. Falwell is part of a fundamentalist movement known as Christian Zionism, and has often championed what he perceives as Israeli interests, but seasoned observers stress that the fundamentalists have their own agenda and do not need or take direction from others.
My own response to Falwell’s comments has appeared at the History News Network: