Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's policy statement regarding Muslim immigration has been rebuked seemingly everywhere, but Franklin Graham has a decidedly different take.
The president of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association took to social media Wednesday morning to offer his thoughts. In short, he said, Trump was merely saying what he himself has been suggesting for a long time.
"For some time I have been saying that Muslim immigration into the United States should be stopped until we can properly vet them or until the war with Islam is over," he said. "Donald J. Trump has been criticized by some for saying something similar."
Graham then noted Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) had denounced Trump's statements, linking to a news article in which Ryan said, "Such views are not what this party stands for and more importantly it's not what this country stands for." Graham then dropped the microphone.
"Politicians in Washington seem to be totally disconnected with reality," he said. "Research shows that there are 2.75 million Muslims living in the U.S. According to a poll commissioned by the Center for Security Policy, 51 percent of Muslims living in America believe 'Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah' (Islamic law) instead of the U.S. Constitution."
He further noted the poll found that 29 percent of American Muslims agreed that "violence against those who insult Muhammad is acceptable," and 25 percent agreed that "violence against America can be justified as part of global jihad."
Graham also noted the percentages rise among younger American Muslim men, and that nearly a third of them agree that "violence against America is justified in order to make Shariah the law of the land." He said those stats were "frightening."
At his urging, Graham's message has been shared more than 59,000 times. He also urged his audience to share his message with their representatives in Congress.
Thursday morning, he continued his response to the worldwide outrage with some additional statistics.
"Ever since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, we have heard from scores of political leaders and world experts that 'the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful people,'" he wrote. "Some have suggested that as many as 99 percent fall into this category. Well, we don't have to guess or estimate; the Pew Research Center has released extensive research on how Muslims in the U.S. self-identify on questions of violence—and the conclusions are frightening."
Graham shared a link to the report he quoted, which states of the 1.8 million Muslim adults in the U.S., 8 percent said that suicide bombings and other forms of violence in the name of Islam are "sometimes" or "often" justified.
"Think about it—that's 144,000 Muslims who openly say without hesitation that violence in the name of Islam is justified!" he wrote. "That's not 'peaceful' and that's not a small number—it's about the size of the entire population of Syracuse, New York! I'm not 99%—but I'm 100% sure of this—our nation and our politicians need to realize the dangers of allowing people into this country that are not properly vetted."
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