Franklin Graham has asserted that Sharia law should be "banned" from the United States and all countries that "cherish freedom and liberty" in response to an article detailing life under harsh ISIS rule.
On Tuesday, the BBC published a disturbing report titled "Inside Mosul: What's life like under Islamic State?" revealing how the Islamic State "wields power over people's everyday lives in Iraq's second city, Mosul, a year after it was captured."
On Thursday, Graham, who is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, weighed in on the report in a lengthy Facebook post: "The BBC just published a story about life under radical Islam-what it's really like," he writes. "This is a vivid reminder of why Sharia law should be banned in the U.S. and all countries that cherish freedom and liberty. Some western governments are actually considering allowing Sharia law in certain Muslim communities in their countries-can you believe it? ISIS is imposing Sharia law on hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Syrians who want to be free. Women are oppressed, Christians and minorities are persecuted and murdered, homosexuals are tortured and killed. President Obama seems to be at a loss as to what to do. Pray that God will give him and our leaders wisdom, and pray for all those living under Islam."
The BBC article gleans its information from secretly filmed videos obtained by the BBC's Ghadi Sary. Video footage incorporated into the report shows mosques being blown up, abandoned schools, and women being forced to cover up their bodies. The article also details ISIS' horrific persecution of religious minorities, the indoctrination of Mosul's residents, and the brutal punishments inflicted on anyone who violates the jihadists' interpretation of Islamic law, which is imposed across the "caliphate" whose creation they announced weeks after seizing the predominantly Christian city.
"Since IS took the city, it has been applying the 'Laws of the Caliphate', as it calls them. The minimum punishment is flogging, which is applied for things like smoking a cigarette," one Mosul resident named Zaid told the news source. "Theft is punished by amputating a hand, adultery by men by throwing the offender from a high building, and adultery by women by stoning to death. The punishments are carried out in public to intimidate people, who are often forced to watch."
He continued, "They tortured me... The guy who did it wouldn't stop unless he got tired. I know many people who have been arrested by IS. Some of them are my relatives. Some were killed because they were in the security services. Others have been released. They tell unimaginable stories of atrocities committed by IS in its prisons."
"Many who come out prefer not to speak. They stay silent, because they're terrified that if they speak, they'll be rearrested," he said.
Since last summer, the U.S. has been conducting air strikes alongside a broad coalition of international allies against the Islamic militants, who have captured significant territory in Iraq and Syria. However, despite opposition, the jihadist group experienced one of their biggest victories in May, successfully seizing the Iraqi city of Ramadi.
In the wake of the city's capture, U.S. President Obama has been heavily criticized for failing to present a real strategy on how to effectively fight ISIS.
"With new gains made by ISIL in Ramadi, we know that hope is not a strategy," House Speaker John Boehner was quoted as saying by ABC News. "The president's plan isn't working. It's time for him to come up with a real, overarching strategy to defeat the ongoing terrorist threat."