While commenting on whether Western countries can unite to defeat Islamic radicals, Rev. Franklin Graham said one of the major problems is that Western governments have “been infiltrated by Muslims,” and in the United States in particular Muslims “are advising the White House.”
They “are part of the problem,” said Rev. Graham. “And we see this also in Western Europe. They have gotten into the halls of power and they are an influence.”
The reverend made his remarks on the Feb. 26 edition of The O’Reilly Factor. Asked by host Bill O'Reilly why he thinks "the world will not unite to stop ISIS," the Islamic State, Rev. Graham said, "First, Bill, I think it's important for Muslims that are watching this program know that we love them and pray for them, and I want Muslims everywhere to know that God loves them and he sent his Son from Heaven to this Earth, Jesus Christ, for them."
"And Bill, one of the problems that we have in the West is that our governments, especially in Washington, has been infiltrated by Muslims who are advising the White House who I think are part of the problem," said the reverend. "And we see this also in Western Europe. They have gotten into the halls of power and they are an influence."
Host Bill O’Reilly then asked Rev. Graham for names and the latter said,"I can get those for you Bill. But I do know that they are there. And I've been told this by a number of people that they influence."
"I'm not saying they're sitting next to the president whispering in his ear," said Rev. Graham, "but they are in the halls and they are speaking to the --"
O'Reilly then mentioned pro-Muslim lobby groups, such as CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), which influence the U.S. government.
O’Reilly also said that the inability or unwillingness of the West to confront Adolf Hitler in the 1930s is “the same exact historical mistake” being made today in failing to quickly and forcefully stop the Islamic State.
Rev. Graham agreed with that analysis and added that leaders in Washington also need to call “on this nation to pray.”
“We need God’s help,” he said. “This is a huge crisis. This isn’t something small. This is huge.”
“And you look at the entire Middle East, how it's been destabilized since the Gulf War,” said Rev. Graham, who runs the international aid group Samaritan’s Purse. “The Christians are the ones that have suffered in Iraq. (inaudible) that several million population, now it's down to a few hundred thousand that have fled.”
“The few Christians that are not able to run are being persecuted,” he said. “Their churches are being burned. They are being persecuted as you know, being beheaded. One of the few safe places is northern Iraq in the Kurdish areas.”
Rev. Graham also noted the persecution of Christians in Iran, saying there are about 90 pastors who are in Iranian prisons. “[T]hey’re not allowed to convert [from Islam to Christianity there], they’re not allowed to baptize,” he said. “They’re not allowed to ordain.”
“Yes, and Saudi Arabia also,” said O’Reilly.
O’Reilly then remarked that Franklin Graham’s father, Billy Graham, “had the ear of the presidents,” and asked, “Do you have the ear of President Obama? Can you get him on the phone and say why don’t you do something about this?”
Rev. Graham said, “I have talked to him on several times for Pastor Saeed Abedini who's the American who's in a prison in Iran for his [Christian] faith. I have talked to him about the Kurdish people, asking him to help the Kurdish people. It's the only safe place left in that part of the world. But as to whether I have his ear or not, I don't know.”
Reverend Graham, 62, in addition to running Samaritan’s Purse, is president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He has spoken out against radical Islam for many years and stressed that Islam itself has not changed in 1,500 years: “It is a religion of war.”
In a May 5, 2010 interview with Fox’s Greta Van Susteren, the evangelical Rev. Graham commented that “after 9/11, I said that Islam was wicked and evil. I don’t believe that Mohammed can lead anybody to God. I believe Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and life.”
“[Y]ou have to look at the religion and what they teach,” said the reverend. “What the Qur'an actually teaches. It says you cannot take a Christian to be your friend, you cannot take a Jew to be your friend. And Greta, if you were a Muslim and wanted to convert to Christianity or Judaism, if you did not repent and turn back to Islam, your family would kill you.”