Community call out - Say No To Franklin Graham!

Franklin Graham has publicly engaged in hate speech against multiple minority groups including, but not limited to, Muslims, LGBT+ people, and Migrants. His extreme views promote prejudice and division. Franklin Graham and his followers are everything that Sheffield is proud to stand against, and we need your help to make it clear he isn’t welcome!


Franklin Graham is greeted by President Donald Trump on stage during a rally with an audience in the background.
Franklin Graham is greeted by President Donald Trump during a rally on August 22, 2017 (Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

On May 25th Graham will be speaking at Sheffield Arena, pushing his agenda of hate and division. This is despite both the local authority and the Arena trying to refuse.


Graham has a large public platform (with 2.3 million followers on Twitter alone) and was previously banned from speaking at all eight venues (Glasgow, Sheffield, Liverpool, Birmingham, Newport, Cardiff, Milton Keynes and London) that he was due to appear at in the UK in 2020 [1]. Following threats of legal action for breach of contract, he is now due to appear at four UK venues (Liverpool, Newport, Sheffield and London) in 2022 [2].


The UK currently has the highest level of hate crimes on record and the UK National Terrorism Threat Level has recently been raised from substantial to severe. We believe that given Graham’s previous public statements, his planned UK arena tour both justifies terrorist violence and fosters hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK which would constitute breaches of the home office’s unacceptable behaviours policy.


Some examples of Graham’s hate speech are detailed in the non-exhaustive list below. Graham has claimed that objections against him are objections to his Christian values, however none of the examples listed have anything to do with Christianity, and indeed many of his objectors are from faith leaders and community members.

We are calling on Community Groups to stand with us against hate, stand against discrimination and stand with the LGBT+ Community, Muslims, Migrants, Hindus and all other groups Graham aims his hate at.


We ask that you;
  1. Attend the demonstration at 5:30pm on the 25th of May at Sheffield Arena;

  2. Publicly call out the hate of Franklin Graham and encourage your members to attend;

  3. Share our Facebook event and encourage your members to sign up.


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References and examples of Graham’s hate speech

[1] https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/06/uk/franklin-graham-uk-tour-scli-intl/index.html

[2] https://godlovesyoutour.org.uk/


Support for acts of Terrorism

Stating that Russian President Vladimir Putin “is right” and praised his leadership for "protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda." in response to the state-sanctioned torture and murders of gay and bisexual men.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqlqMvjCOlU

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2014/03/19/franklin-graham-putin-is-better-than-obama-on-gay-rights/?utm_term=.4f7b77379897

https://decisionmagazine.com/putins-olympic-controversy/

Calling on the U.S. "to use weapons of mass destruction if need be" commenting on Islam

https://web.archive.org/web/20151019214710/http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/evangelist-s-views-on-islam-draw-critics-in-winnipeg-1.589396

Argued against the indictment of Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir for acts of genocide.

https://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/opinion/03graham.html?_r=2&scp=2&sq=franklin%20graham&st=cse

Supported the neo-nazis and KKK following the white supremicist fatal violence in Charlottesville

https://www.wyff4.com/article/rev-franklin-graham-blames-charlottesville-leaders-satan-for-violence/12009688

Opposed the impeachment of Trump following the deadly Capitol HIll violence

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/franklin-graham-republicans-trump-impeachment_n_6001ebb6c5b6ffcab9644320

Homophobia

Stating that gay children and gay people are dangerous and should not be allowed into churches or Christian homes.

http://drjamesdobson.org/Broadcasts/Broadcast?i=a3d573e3-9c9c-498a-860b-9c0d6f08ef3a


Opposes bans on conversion therapy - something which the UK is in the process of and may be illegal by the time of his planned visit

https://www.christiantoday.com/amp/franklin-graham-hits-out-at-anti-conversion-therapy-bill-calls-homosexuality-an-abomination/108087.htm


Said celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride is like celebrating “lying, adultery, or murder.”

https://www.advocate.com/religion/2021/7/06/franklin-graham-lgbtq-pride-celebrates-sin-adultery-or-murder?response_type=embed


Stated schools have no right to “teach our children something that is an affront to God” referring to teaching about LGBT+ people in school, something which has been part of the national curriculum in the UK since 2020

https://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/franklin-graham-schools-have-no-right-to-teach-our-children-something-that-is-an-affront-to-god/?response_type=embed


Opened a Covid field hospital which required all staff and volunteers to sign an anti-gay statement

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/19/questions-mount-over-christian-group-behind-central-park-covid-19-hospital

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2020/04/13/franklin-graham-homophobia-gay-drug-addicts-new-york-city-coronavirus-hospital-bill-de-blasio/

Insists that gay and lesbian people cannot have families

https://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/franklin-graham-americans-turned-our-back-on-god-by-re-electing-obama-marriage-equality-takes-the-family-away/#sthash.PBErpSqA.dpuf?response_type=embed


Accuses gay people of “recruiting” children.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqlqMvjCOlU&response_type=embed


Claims gay people ‘steal children’

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/09/20/uk-deny-entry-franklin-graham-steal-children/


Claims LGBT activists help ‘sexual predators and perverts’

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/09/16/christian-charity-head-claims-lgbt-activists-help-sexual-predators-and-perverts/


Advocates for the right to fire people for being LGBT+

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2020/06/16/franklin-graham-supreme-court-lgbt-ruling-discrimination-titile-vii/


Advocates for ‘freedom’ to reject gay customers

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/12/22/trump-inauguration-pastor-christians-should-have-the-freedom-to-reject-gay-customers/


Declared war on gay people – claiming they are “the enemy”

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/01/25/christian-charity-head-declares-gay-people-are-the-enemy/

Transphobia

Refered to trans women as “pedophiles & sexually perverted men”

https://mobile.twitter.com/Franklin_Graham/status/922466186750758912?response_type=embed

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/02/09/christian-charity-head-claims-trans-women-are-sexually-perverted-predators/


Promotes anti-trans legislation

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2020/04/04/franklin-graham-praises-idaho-anti-trans-bills-fairness-womens-sports/


Claims doctors should be free to refuse to treat trans people

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/01/04/trump-pastor-claims-doctors-should-be-free-to-refuse-to-treat-trans-people/

Islamaphobia

Supporting a ban on all Muslims from entering the United States

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/frankling-graham-refugees_us_5889049ce4b061cf898c6c42


Advocating that all Muslims already living in the United States should be interned

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/07/franklin-grahams-turn-toward-intolerance/398924/


Stating that “Islam is ISIS,” “a violent religion,” “wicked and evil”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5VF_0MhE54


More statements describing Islam as a ‘very violent’ religion resulting in the U.S. Army withdrawing an invitation for him to speak at a Pentagon prayer event fearing Graham would fuel tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pentagon-muslims/pentagon-disinvites-evangelist-who-scorned-islam-idUSTRE63L6IU20100422


Said that Islam "is a religion of hatred. It's a religion of war."

http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2011936-3,00.html

Anti-Hindu

Stated "no elephant with 100 arms can do anything for me. None of their 9,000 gods is going to lead me to salvation"

https://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-05-05-graham05_ST_N.htm

Anti-Migrant

Stating that refugees (of any religion) fleeing ISIS in the Middle East should not be offered sanctuary in the United States

https://baptistnews.com/article/franklin-graham-is-dead-wrong/


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