Franklin Graham, the son of famous evangelist Billy Graham, posted a statement on December 14th 2016 regarding unfair treatment towards Jakarta’s governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok). This Facebook statement gets viral among Indonesians, and has been shared by various religious cults up until now, with the title “Heboh di Luar Negeri, Penginjil Ternama Franklin Graham Mengajak Umat Kristen Berdoa untuk Ahok” (The Famous Evangelist Franklin Graham Asks All Christians to Pray for Ahok). As a result, most Christians see this as an opportunity to justify themselves being prejudiced towards Muslims, assuming that they are supported by an internationally-acclaimed Caucasian evangelist Franklin Graham. Here in Indonesia, everything said by a Caucasian — or bule, as we like to call them — seems just right and educational. Is Franklin Graham really right, though?
Without any real acknowledgement about Indonesia’s political climate, Franklin Graham proceeded to say stuff like, “They are coming after him (Ahok) because he’s a Christian” or “This is the kind of persecution that is going on around the world that is controlled by Islam”. It’s true that Indonesia is a Muslim majority country, and it’s true that Ahok is experiencing difficulties due to his ethnicity & religion. However, to generalize and associate Muslim-majority countries with the word “persecution” is extreme — it only advocates more hatred among the citizens. What about the persecution that is happening under Donald Trump’s presidency in America, a Christian-majority country, right now? That’s saying something, isn’t it? Persecution only happens when there is hatred; it does not see both religion and ethnicity. Franklin Graham’s statement is uncalled for, especially when he has no single clue about Indonesia’s political history. Democracy in Indonesia is not as transparent as it may seem — it is flawed, mostly by the corruptions among the elites and hardcore religious cults. Most countries also experience the same thing, even in developed ones like South Korea and America, so the thing happening in Indonesia right now is not new. Obviously, some people from certain religious cults are coming after Ahok because he is a minority: a Chinese and a Christian governor who isn’t afraid to literally say offensive shit. When someone is a minority, he/she is most likely to be oppressed by a majority, isn’t that true? Especially when Ahok disagrees with corruption and favors transparency. That is the risk of being a minority, and Ahok knows he has to own up to his offensive actions — this remarkable Jakarta Governor apologizes to the public and dutifully follows the legal hearings. Thus, why does Franklin Graham feel the need to stir up more hate on a topic in which he refuses to fully educate himself? It’s ironic to see how Franklin dismisses countries led by Muslims, yet his ultimate wish is to put God (his Christian God) back to the U.S political process. What a hypocrite.
My question is: if Ahok is not a Christian, if he is a Chinese-Buddhist, will Franklin Graham still support him?
By doing a bit of research here and there, you will know how racist Franklin Graham is. Franklin, a supporter of the Iraq Invasion in 2003, came under criticism for comments he made about Islam when he referred it as “a very evil and wicked religion”. Franklin has also made controversial remarks against Islam by saying “True Islam cannot be practiced in this country”, as told in December 2009 on CNN, “You can’t beat your wife. You cannot murder your children if you think they’ve committed adultery or something like that, which they do practice in these other countries.” How can a full-on white man be skeptically preaching about a religion that he knows nothing about, except from a few simple readings here and there? When you want to learn about something as vast as a religion, you have to be open-minded. Surely, Franklin Graham is far from it — this man is a hard-line, conservative Christian who opposes gay marriage. He calls gay liberation as “same-sex propaganda that needs to be erased, because it saddens God”. He degrades Hinduism by saying, “No elephant with 100 arms can do anything for me. None of their 9,000 gods is going to lead me to salvation”. Let’s just call him a radical Christian, because why not. As you have probably read from the information above, you can conclude that Franklin Graham supports racism against certain religions and oppresses homosexuals. If you still agree with his notion, you are a racist too — as simple as that. I know there is something wrong about this guy, ever since a news source said that he occasionally visited North Korea.