In response to the University of Maryland's decision to cancel a screening of the hugely popular movie "American Sniper" because the school's Muslim Students Association objected, calling it Islamophobic and nationalist, Reverend Franklin Graham said the sniper, Chris Kyle, "was an American hero," and if "these Muslim students can't support the military" who protect us, "let them leave America and go to a Muslim country."
"Can you believe that the University of Maryland canceled a screening of the movie American Sniper after Muslim students complained?" said Rev. Graham in an Apr. 24 post on Facebook. "This afternoon, I’m going to meet with wounded military veterans and their spouses who served this nation with honor--fighting to preserve our freedoms and many times shedding their own blood."
"Chris Kyle was an American hero," said the reverend, son of evangelist Billy Graham. "It’s brave soldiers like these that make all of the freedoms we enjoy possible. Shame on the University of Maryland for listening to these voices!"
"If these Muslim students can’t support the military members who do their job to protect us, let them leave America and go to a Muslim country," he said. "God bless America and our heroes! SHARE this if you agree."
In a petition it sponsored to halt the screening of the film, the Muslim Students Association said "American Sniper," which has grossed $541.3 million worldwide so far, is "war propaganda guised as art [that] reveals a not-so-discreet Islamophobic, violent, and racist nationalist ideology."
Fox News' Todd Starnes reported on Apr. 23 that the University of Maryland had decided to "postpone indefinitely" a screening of "American Sniper."
Franklin Graham, 62, is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the international Christian aid group Samaritan's Purse. He frequently speaks out against the intolerance and dangers of radical Islam.