June 24, 2002
A former Southern Baptist Convention President, Rev. Jerry Vines
chose bigotry and hate-filled language against Muslims in a pastors
conference on June 10, 2002.
He told conventioners that many of this country's problems
can be blamed on
religious pluralism. Pluralists "would have us to believe that
just as good as Christianity, but I'm here to tell you, ladies and
gentlemen, that Islam is not just as good as Christianity,"
of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Fla., told several thousand
delegates at the gathering in St. Louis.
"Islam was founded by Muhammad, a demon-possessed pedophile who
wives - and his last one was a 9-year-old girl. And I will tell you
is not Jehovah either. Jehovah's not going to turn you into a
that'll try to bomb people and take the lives of thousands and
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council on
American-Islamic Relations, said the comments were outrageous.
"It's really unfortunate that a top leader in a mainstream
church ... would use such hate-filled and bigoted language in
the faith of one-fifth of the world's population," Hooper said
"This is the level of bigotry that requires a clear statement
top leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention..."
Ingrid Mattson, vice president of the Islamic Society of North America
and a professor of Islamic studies at Hartford Seminary in
called the comments "medieval." She said statements like
this from such
high-placed religious leaders can lead to violence against Muslims.
"It makes me wonder what's the hateful religion right now that we
be worried about," she said.
The above report comes from ALLEN G. BREED, Associated Press, on
6/12/02 and is taken from http://www.cair-net.org
website of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Alas! The world is engulfed in violence and rancor. While there is
a dire need of peace makers and just rulers and there are many among
Muslims, Christians, Jews and other religions who are trying to
promote peace and justice for all, unfortunately, some in Southern
Baptist leadership have chosen to take the Satanic route. Of course
not all Baptists think that way. I have met several Baptists who have
a high moral character and are very loving people. Mr. Vines and the
current Convention President Rev. Jack Graham are unfortunately not
among them. Have they not read their Holy Book, the Bible which says:
Matthew 5:9:"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be
called sons of God."
James 3:18:"Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of
Don't they know that we Muslims love and honor Prophet Muhammad
(peace be on him) and treat the wives of the Prophet as our spiritual
mothers and honor them above our own parents?
When I spoke to a local Baptist about this, he said that the basis
of Rev. Vines' comments are Hadith (Vol. 7, Book 62, number 65) which
states "that the Prophet married her (Aisha) when she was six
years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years
old." Other verses that call for believers to "Slay
the idolators wherever you find them" (Sura 9:5) have been used to
inappropriately justify murder, including the WTC.
This is the worst type of ignorance where things are taken out of
context and without any basic knowledge of Islamic texts. First
of all, statements on the age of Aisha (spiritual mother of all
Muslims) do not appear in the Quran. Statements in Hadith are subject
to classifications in various categories from authentic to false.
Hadith books were written about two hundreds years after the death of
the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). There are at least three
different conclusions on the age of honorable Aisha. Regardless of
what age it was, her marriage was consumated only when she was an
adult and not as a child. As far as the age of adulthood is concerned,
it depends on what it was 1400 years ago in Arabia among Arabs and not
what we have established today in America.
Perhaps we need to find out the age of the mother of Jesus (peace be
on them) when she got married to Joseph according to Christian
writers. Was she not around 15 years old or less according to
Christian scholars?. Are you going to establish then that Mary was
sexually abused as a child? What were the Jewish customs of marital
age then? May peace and blessings be on honorable Mary, Jesus,
Muhammad, Aisha and all other true believers of God.
The most respected Aisha is known as the greatest Muslim woman scholar
of all ages. We honor and respect her as our own mother. Can the
Southern Baptist leadership not follow some basic moral ethics and pay
respect to the honor and dignity of Muslims?
As far as many wives of Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) are
concerned, find out what the Bible says about Israelite prophets. Take
"King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides
Pharaoh's daughter-Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and
Hittites." (1 Kings 11)
If these Baptist leaders do not care to respect any prophets including
Solomon and David, and just want to follow Jesus (peace be on
all prophets), perhaps they should NOT even take ONE wife, since Jesus
never did. Catholic priests don't for that reason. Let me point out
that Islam strongly encourages one wife, which is what most Muslims
do. More than one wife is an exception in some Muslim countries, but
not a rule.
As far as your reference to a passage from the Holy Quran is
concerned, you have once again taken text out of context and out of
hatred towards Islam and Muslims. I can give you many quotations from
the Bible which when taken out of context promote violence.
Let me mention just a few verses from the Old Testament and New
Testament and tell me what do you say about them (see for reference: http://islam101.com/terror/bibleT.htm
“When the LORD your God brings you into the land where you are
entering to possess it, and clears away many nations before you, the
Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and
the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations
greater and stronger than you. And when the LORD your God delivers
them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy
them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them.
“When you approach a city to fight against it, you shall offer it
terms of peace. If it agrees to make peace with you and opens to you,
then all the people who are found in it shall become your forced labor
and shall serve you. However, if it does not make peace with you, but
makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. When the LORD your
God gives it into your hand, you shall strike all the men in it with
the edge of the sword. Only the women and the children and the animals
and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty
for yourself; and you shall use the spoil of your enemies which the
LORD your God has given you… Only in the cities of these peoples
that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not
leave alive anything that breathes (Deuteronomy 20:10-17)
Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every
woman who has known man intimately. But all the girls who have not
known man intimately, spare for yourselves. (Numbers 31:17-18)
Even in the New Testament we read the following statements attributed
to Jesus saying to his disciples:
“I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from
the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.
But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them,
bring them here and slay them in my presence. (Luke 19:26-27)
"Do not think that I have come to send peace on earth. I did not
come to send peace, but a sword. I am sent to set a man against his
father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against
her mother-in-law" (Matthew 10:34-35)
Religion has been used by some Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and
others to promote violence and is not limited to just Islam. There are
enough examples of this if any one knows how to read history
Muslims believe in all Prophets sent by Allah, and so do not misuse
or misinterpret the religious texts of other faiths in order to defame
them. Even in recent times, Muslims have and are facing genocidal
campaigns in Bosnia, Kosova, Chechnia, Kashmir, and Palestine - but
they have not questioned Judaism and Christianity. Such spirit needs
to be reciprocated.
Another point is Rev. Vines comment on Allah. He needs to learn Arabic
and read the Arabic Bible and find out what word Arab Christians use
for God. (Read: http://islam101.com/religions/aibible.htm
Southern Baptist leadership needs to repent and apologize to the
1.2 billion Muslims of the world and work to get rid of terrorism
regardless of who commits it. They need to work for justice for all
the "children of God." Let us all join hands together to
work for peace and justice for all.
While Muslims are deeply hurt and insulted by these remarks, the
following verse from the Holy Quran should heal us:
"Ye shall certainly be tried and tested in your possessions
and in your personal selves; and ye shall certainly hear much that
will grieve you from those who received the Book before you and from
those who worship many gods. But if ye persevere patiently, and
guard against evil, that will be a determining factor in all
With prayers of peace.