Alarm Over Anti-Muslim Comments at Southern Baptist Convention Meeting

June 12, 2002

Source: The New York Times

On June 12, 2002 The New York Times reported "Church Head Won't Repudiate Comments." The article noted that "the new head of the Southern Baptist Convention has rejected calls to repudiate what a Muslim group is calling 'bigoted' and 'hate-filled' statements made by one of its pastors. The Rev. Jack Graham, elected the convention's president on Tuesday, said the Rev. Jerry Vines' comments about Islam were 'accurate.' Vines, a former convention president, told conventioners at a pastors' conference Monday that many of this country's problems can be blamed on religious pluralism." Vines stated that "'Islam was founded by Muhammad, a demon-possessed pedophile who had 12 wives -- and his last one was a 9-year-old girl. And I will tell you Allah is not Jehovah either. Jehovah's not going to turn you into a terrorist that'll try to bomb people and take the lives of thousands and thousands of people.'" The article quoted Ingrid Mattson, vice president of the Islamic Society of North America and a professor of Islamic studies at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut: "'It makes me wonder what's the hateful religion right now that we should be worried about.'"