The statement: In most Muslim countries, "We can't have a church. We're not able to build synagogues. It's forbidden." - Franklin Graham, Sunday, on ABC's This Week
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Graham was incorrect. "There are lots of Christian churches and synagogues in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Jordan, Indonesia, Qatar, Kuwait. ... If you go to any number of so-called Muslim countries you will see thriving Christian and Jewish populations." One member of the Iranian Parliament is Jewish, Hooper noted. "The only one where you don't see it, where you can't have a Christian church or synagogue is Saudi Arabia," Hooper said.
The cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia are the two holiest cities in Islam, said Akbar S. Ahmed, chair of Islamic Studies at American University. So no churches or synagogues are allowed there. He compared them to the Vatican. (More)