Falwell apologizes for calling Prophet Muhammad a terrorist

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

The Associated Press

LYNCHBURG, Va. -- The Rev. Jerry Falwell has apologized for calling Islam's founder a terrorist, saying he "intended no disrespect to any sincere, law-abiding Muslim."

In an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes," the conservative Baptist minister said he had concluded from reading Muslim and non-Muslim writers that Muhammad "was a violent man, a man of war."

"I think (Prophet) Muhammad was a terrorist," he said.

Muslims were outraged. A general strike called to protest his comments in Bombay, India, turned into a riot, and five people were killed.

On Saturday, Falwell issued a "statement of reconciliation."

"I sincerely apologize that certain statements of mine made during an interview for the September 30 edition of CBS's '60 Minutes' were hurtful to the feelings of many Muslims," Falwell said.

He said he made the remarks in response to "one controversial and loaded question" at the end of an hourlong interview.

"That was a mistake and I apologize," Falwell said.

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