Rev. Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition, challenged the media and Jews in the U.S. to read the Koran and "see who your real enemies are." Robertson once again rejected the view that Islam is a religion of peace.
"To say the religion of Islam is peaceful, I do not think that is accurate," Robertson said on his television program, The 700 Club Thursday morning, a day after Bush chastised conservative Christian leaders for their comments on Islam.
Robertson did handle Bush's criticism gently.
"One minor disagreement among friends does not end a friendship ... I appreciate the president, appreciate what he's doing; and I want everybody to know that something like this does not sever the support that I have given him over the years," Robertson said.
However, Robertson left little doubt he was not backing down from his critique of Islam.
"The Koran teaches that the end of the world will not come until every Jew is killed by Muslims. Now that is what it says in the Koran, written by Muhammad," Robertson said.
"Jews in Germany did not want to read [Hitler's autobiography] Mein Kampf and did not want to believe it," he added.
"There is no doubt that the religion of Muhammad and those who adhere to it firmly, such as the [Saudi Arabian] Wahabis, and the Taliban and the Iranian Mullahs and other mullahs operating in other parts of the world, is extreme and violent," Robertson said.
'See Who Your Real Enemies Are'
Robertson, acknowledging the criticism he has received for his critiques of Islam, issued a challenge to the media and the American Jewish community.
"Please read the Koran and see what it says ... Please see what the mullahs are teaching the little children in Palestine and in other parts of the world about you. And when you get through, do us a favor, don't criticize your friends, but see who your real enemies are," Robertson said.
"In today's world, people say it is not possible for us to believe that a religious system could teach what the Koran clearly teaches. It's the religion that's the problem, not necessarily the adherents to it," Robertson explained.
"Yet, if I tell the truth about this, I am criticized," he complained.
Robertson made it clear he does not believe U.S. Muslims are violent.
"We must distinguish between the origin of the religion and those who adhere to it in the United States, who are indeed peaceful," Robertson said. "To say that most of the adherents in America to the Islamic religion are peaceful, is absolutely correct."
On Wednesday, President Bush declared in an Oval Office meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, that, "Some of the comments that have been uttered about Islam do not reflect the sentiments of my government or the sentiments of most Americans."
White House officials said it was a deliberate effort on Bush's part to repudiate several comments made recently by conservative Christian leaders including Robertson, Rev. Jerry Falwell and Rev. Franklin Graham, son of Rev. Billy Graham.
Falwell, in a recent television interview, called the prophet Muhammad a "terrorist." Falwell later apologized for the comment, but not before Muslims, angered by Falwell's comments, rioted in Bombay, India and an Iranian cleric threatened Falwell with death.
On Thursday, Secretary of State Colin Powell joined Bush in condemning the Christian leaders' comments about Islam.
"We will reject the kind of comments you have seen recently, where people in this country say that Muslims are responsible for the killing of all Jews, and who put out hatred. This kind of hatred must be rejected. This kind of language must be spoken out against," Powell said at a meeting of business executives.
\sb100\sa100"We cannot allow this image to go forth of America, because it is an inaccurate image of America. We are a welcoming nation," Powell added.
E-mail a news tip to Marc Morano.
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