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Franklin Graham Accuses Obama of 'Rewriting' Orlando Shooting to Protect Islam, Praises Ryan Over 911 Transcripts

( [email protected] ) Jun 22, 2016 09:05 AM EDT
After the Obama administration attempted to redact portions of the 911 call placed by Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, pastor Franklin Graham called out the White House for plotting to "rewrite" the tragedy in an effort to protect Islam.
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement at the Treasury Department in Washington, U.S., June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

After the Obama administration attempted to redact portions of the 911 call placed by Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, pastor Franklin Graham called out the White House for plotting to "rewrite" the tragedy in an effort to protect Islam.

"Did they think the American people were idiots? Did Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Obama administration really think they could get by with scrubbing the transcripts of the Orlando shooter's 911 calls to remove references to Islam?" asked Graham in a Facebook post.

The leader of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse went on to congratulate Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan for challenging the administration on the subject and pushing for the transcript's full release.

"Selectively editing this transcript is preposterous. We know the shooter was a radical Islamist extremist inspired by ISIS. We also know he intentionally targeted the LGBT community," he quoted Ryan as saying.

"The administration should release the full, unredacted transcript so the public is clear-eyed about who did this and why," Ryan continued.

During what is now recognized as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, Orlando nightclub gunman Omar Mateen call police and calmly claimed credit for the massacre. The American-born Muslim identified himself as an "Islamic soldier'' while calling on U.S. authorities to stop the bombing in Iraq and Syria, according to partial transcripts of the attacker's telephone contacts with dispatchers and crisis negotiators released on Monday.

"Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God,'' Mateen told a 911 dispatcher in Arabic just after 2:30 a.m., June 12. "I am in Orlando, and I did the shootings.''

Mateen, who left 49 dead and 53 more wounded, provided his full name during the 50-second call and then went on to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Justice Department officials initially redacted the reference to the terror group and its leader when the exchange was released Monday but quickly reversed the decision following pushback from Republican leaders.

ABC News notes that in a joint statement, Justice and FBI officials said they relented because the redactions had "caused unnecessary distraction'' from the work of law enforcement authorities.

"We also did not want to provide the killer or terrorist organizations with a publicity platform for hateful propaganda,'' according to the statement.

However, Graham accused the Obama administration of once again intentionally "rewriting" the Orlando masacre to protect Islam and its adherants. 

"This administration has long gone out of its way to give Islam a pass and deny their murderous intent," the evangelist contended. "President Barack Obama, don't try to rewrite the narrative on the‪ #‎OrlandoShooting‬. Islam's Koran spells out very clearly their hatred for gays, Christians, and Jews. That's the truth, read it for yourself."

Last year, Graham told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren that Obama, whose "entire life" was shaped by Islam, cannot accept the evil in front of him and apparently is trying to "protect Islam,"

"We have to understand who we're dealing with and you have to deal with it accordingly," he said during an On the Record interview. "The president is ignoring the fact that these are Islamic extremists, these are terrorists, and ISIS is a terrorist organization and they are bent on destroying the West. They've already said they want the flag of Islam to fly over the White House."

"The president, his entire life, his whole influence has been Islam," said Graham. "His mother was married to a Muslim. His father's a Muslim. Then she married a [Muslim] man from Indonesia."

"He [Obama] was raised in Indonesia," said the evangelist. "He went to Islamic schools. I assume she was a Muslim. So, his whole life experiences have been surrounded by Islam. He only knows Islam. And he's given a pass to Islam. He's refusing to accept and understand the evil that is in front of him."