Church council joins Muslims in denouncing Falwell's comment that Muhammad was a ''terrorist''

Posted: Friday, October 11, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- The executive board of the National Council of Churches said the Rev. Jerry Falwell's remark in an interview that ''Muhammad was a terrorist'' was uninformed and dangerous.

The council called on President Bush to repudiate Falwell's words.

Thousands of Muslims marched in India's Jammu-Kashmir state Monday to protest Falwell's statement, while Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad advised Muslims not to take comments from such people seriously because ''they don't understand Islam.''

Falwell made the statement in an interview with the CBS program ''60 Minutes'' that aired Sunday.

Falwell explained that he wouldn't make such remarks in a sermon or book but that correspondent Bob Simon had asked whether he considered Muhammad a terrorist and he replied honestly.

In response, CBS said its transcript shows Simon asked: ''You wrote an approving piece recently about a book called 'Unveiling Islam.' And you -- the authors of that book wrote, 'The Muslim who commits acts of violence in jihad does so with the approval of Muhammad.' Do you believe that?''

Falwell replied: ''I do. I think Mohammed was a terrorist. He -- I read enough of the history of his life written by both Muslims and, and non-Muslims, that he was a -- a violent man, a man of war.''

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