Vitriol Against, and Interest in, Islam Increased

September 11, 2002

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On September 11, 2002 The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "Cable television news shows and talk-radio programs have criticized the Quran. The Rev. Franklin Graham called Islam "wicked, violent and not of the same God" to which Christians pray. Jerry Vines, the former president of the Southern Baptists, said the Prophet Muhammad was a "demon-possessed pedophile." In some places, the vitriol spilled into violence, even though most Muslims condemned the actions of al-Qaida. But there was another side to post-9/11 life for Muslims. Americans had a new interest in Islam. People bought books about the religion, neighbors delivered food and flowers to mosques, and folks reached out to Muslims, wanting to know what the religion was about. In his Sept. 20 [2001] speech to Congress, President Bush made it clear: 'The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends.'"