Rev. Franklin Graham (AP).
Commenting on the five U.S. military service members killed by Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez last week in Chattanooga, Tenn., Rev. Franklin Graham said we need to face up to the fact that “we are under attack by Muslims at home and abroad,” and advised that America “should stop all immigration of Muslims” into this country until the threat from radical Islam ends.
“Four innocent Marines (United States Marine Corps) killed and three others wounded in #Chattanooga yesterday [July 16] including a policeman and another Marine -- all by a radical Muslim whose family was allowed to immigrate to this country from Kuwait,” said Rev. Graham in a July 17 post on Facebook.
“We are under attack by Muslims at home and abroad,” he said. “We should stop all immigration of Muslims to the U.S. until this threat with Islam has been settled.”
“Every Muslim that comes into this country has the potential to be radicalized -- and they do their killing to honor their religion and Muhammad,” said the reverend, who is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and also runs the international Christian relief group Samaritan’s Purse.
“During World War 2, we didn't allow Japanese to immigrate to America, nor did we allow Germans,” said Rev. Graham.
He continued, “Why are we allowing Muslims now? Do you agree? Let your Congressman know that we've got to put a stop to this and close the flood gates. Pray for the men and women who serve this nation in uniform, that God would protect them.”
CNN reported on July 18 that Abdulazeez “was a devout Muslim” although it is unclear whether he was a radical-type Islamist, according to some of the people that knew him. Abdulazeez was born in Kuwait and was a naturalized U.S. citizen.
CNN further reported that Abdulazeez had been in Jordan in 2014, and had been in Kuwait and Jordan again in 2010. The Washington Post, citing U.S. law enforcement officials, saud Abdulazeez had been to Jordan at least four times prior to the shootings.
The Post further reported that while Jordan apparently is a "popular tourist destination," it "has been a way station for foreign fighters attempting to enter Syria, including a 22-year-old U.S. citizen who similarly went undetected during trips to Jordan before carrying out a suicide attack in Syria last year."
Abdulazeez came to the United States with his parents from Kuwait in 1996.
The five U.S. military personnel shot and killed by Abdulazeez are: USMC Sgt. Carson Holmquist, 25; USMC Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, 40; USMC Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” Wells, 21; USMC Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, 37; and USN Logistics Specialist Randall Smith, 26.
A Marine recruiter was also shot in the leg and wounded by Abdulazeez, and a police sergeant, Dennis Pedigo Jr., was shot in the ankle by Abdulazeez. The shooter was killed in a gunfight with authorities near a naval reserve center on the highway in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Rev. Graham, 62, is the son of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham. Franklin Graham is married, has five children, and lives in Boone, N.C. He frequently preaches in the United States and around the globe.