On October 6, Jerry Falwell's appearance in a 60 Minutes segment sparked international Islamic protest, political fallout, and a fatwa calling for his death. Christianity Today spoke to Islamic experts, Christian theologians, and observers to summarize the events and put it into perspective.

According to the CBS transcript of the program, CBS's Bob Simon asked Falwell in an interview prior to the October 6 airdate, "You wrote an approving piece recently about a book called Unveiling Islam … The authors of that book wrote, 'The Muslim who commits acts of violence in jihad does so with the approval of Mohammad.' Do you believe that?"

The question was in reference to an article Falwell wrote defending Florida pastor Jerry Vines's claim at the Southern Baptist Convention that Muhammad was a "demon-possessed pedophile." Falwell said Vines's comment was in the context of Ergun and Emir Caner's Unveiling Islam: An Insider's Look at Muslim Life and Beliefs (Kregel Publications). Falwell's column discussed the book and some of its claims.

Falwell responded to Simon's question by saying:

Muhammad was a terrorist. I read enough of the history of his life written by both Muslims and non-Muslims [to know] that he was a violent man, a man of war. In my opinion … Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses. And I think that Muhammad set an opposite example.

After intense public outcry and protests, Falwell issued a "Statement of Reconciliation" on October 12. "I sincerely apologize that certain statements of mine made during an interview for … CBS's 60 Minutes were hurtful to the feelings of many Muslims," the statement said. "I intended no disrespect to any sincere, law-abiding Muslim."

Falwell also said that he always shows respect to other ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Current IssueImmigrants Are Reshaping American Missions
Immigrants Are Reshaping American Missions Subscriber Access Only
Latino congregations are launching their own international partnerships to support ministries and churches in their homelands.
RecommendedCambodians Usher in a Miraculous Moment for Christianity
Cambodians Usher in a Miraculous Moment for ChristianitySubscriber Access Only
How the Southeast Asian country went from an underground church to a church-planting boom.
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickFinding My ‘True Self’ As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
Finding My ‘True Self’ As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
In my young-adult struggle with sexual identity, both legalistic condemnation and progressive license left me floundering.
Christianity Today
Riots, Condemnation, Fatwa, and Apology Follow ...
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

October 2002

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.