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Franklin Graham is warned not to incite hatred in the UK

Franklin Graham is warned not to incite hatred in the UK

Despite the fact that almost 7,500 people have signed a petition calling for Graham to be barred from entering the UK, he will be in the country in September to lead a ‘Festival of Hope’ evangelical extravaganza in the northern seaside resort of Blackpool.

But, according to this report, he has been warned by local councillors that his little shindig will be cancelled if it is found to incite hatred.

The petition says:

Unlike his father, Billy Graham, Franklin Graham engages in outspoken bigotry targeting refugees, Muslims and LGBT people. His father promoted unity and respect in communities but Franklin Graham’s extreme views promote prejudice and division.

Councillor Maria Kirkland, said:

We shall make the Billy Graham Evangelistic organisation aware that the booking conditions include (explicit or implicit) acknowledgement of compliance with all UK law … the organisers will be invited to attend the Safety Advisory Group at which Lancashire Police will be consulted in relation to any potential Public Disorder at the Event.

If matters are brought to our attention that could constitute incitement to hatred, we will forward these to the relevant public authorities and should this be proved we will not hesitate to terminate this booking.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, of which Franklin Graham is the CEO, is joining Lancashire churches in holding the event at the Blackpool Winter Gardens between Friday 21 and Sunday 23 September.

Blackpool Council said concerns raised about the event have been “explored very carefully” and the authority’s opposition to discrimination is “robust and clear”.

The authority also said it was forwarding concerns about Franklin Graham to the Home Office, which would be in the position to decide whether his conduct contravenes UK law.

Explaining the council’s current plan to honour the venue booking, Maria Kirkland added:

We will have a contractual obligation to The Billy Graham Evangelistic organisation over their booking at the Winter Gardens. Furthermore, we equally accept the crucial democratic principles of free speech and associated rights of religious expression under the Human Rights Act.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said last month:

It will be a positive and encouraging event with music and also a message from Franklin Graham about the hope that can be found through a relationship with Jesus Christ. It will be free and everyone is invited to attend.

In response to the council’s comments, Tell MAMA – a charity which monitors anti-Muslim incidents in the UK – said:

Given the previous statements that we highlighted in detail last year, we are concerned about the visit to the UK and the impacts on the social cohesion of our country.We believe that given the previous statements made by Graham, there will be significant opposition to him attending and speaking in the UK.

Tell Mama reported last month (December) the petition was launched by Nina Parker, a pastor at the inclusive Liberty Church in Blackpool who told the Guardian that she was “horrified” that churches would invite a man with “this record of hate speech”. Back in June, she told the Blackpool Gazette:

This is not what we stand for in Blackpool. We don’t need somebody preaching hate.

10 responses to “Franklin Graham is warned not to incite hatred in the UK”

  1. H3r3tic says:

    Would Tell Mama have been so vocal in their condemnation if he had merely had a go at the LGBT community, rather than also denigrating their beliefs with comments such as Islam being a “very violent religion” and a “very evil and wicked religion?” I think not. Might I suggest that Tell Mama should first deal with the negative impact on social cohesion that arises as a result of believing in the divisive and inherently violent tenets of their own medieval fuckwittery before moving on to the rest of the planet’s numpties.

  2. AgentCormac says:

    It would seem the pieces are all falling neatly into place for Andrea Minichiello Williams and her highly efficacious team of evangelical lawyers to fuck it up again. (Chortle!)

  3. John the Drunkard says:

    Billy may have managed his public reputation more cautiously, but the apple fell directly beneath the tree.

    The elder Graham’s status as a quasi-official First Amendment abrogator is an ongoing scandal for the U.S.

  4. Broga says:

    Odious twerp.

  5. John says:

    Graham is also the twisted mind behind the so-called Samaritan’s Purse – a project which tricks children and parents into providing boxes filled with gifts for third world children; Graham’s lackeys then surreptitiously stuff religious messages (christian only, of course) into the gift boxes before they are sent out to third world countries.
    Graham should be prosecuted for racketeering.

  6. barriejohn says:

    Billy Graham once stated at a Crusade that AIDS was probably God’s judgment against those who were struck down with it, and then retracted his remarks.

    Calling from his home in Montreat, North Carolina, Graham said in the telephone interview regarding his AIDS remark, ‘I don’t believe that and I don’t know why I said it.’ He said he never intended to make the statement and explained he was tired during the service and forgot to retract or clarify the remarks.

    https://www.upi.com/Archives/1993/10/09/Billy-Graham-retracts-statement-on-AIDS-as-Gods-judgment/9945750139200/

    To the best of my knowledge, Ronald Reagan adhered to that belief during his entire presidency, egged on by bigots like the late Jerry Falwell, which is one reason why so many died of the disease.

  7. L.Long says:

    I thought that’s all religion was is hate speech and bigotry!
    And so much of it was self-hate speech, so maybe that don’t count??

  8. 1859 says:

    Let him come and spout his hate – it will only confirm to everyone just how criminally stupid all this evangelising is. Let him stand there screaming bigotry – it will only convince even more people that religion is the hobby of those who are afraid of death, of those who can only think of a candyfloss afterlife.

  9. gedediah says:

    @ L. Long. Self-hate speech – I so want that to be an actual thing!

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