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Hal Lindsey, considered the best-selling non-fiction writer alive today, has notified the Trinity Broadcasting Network he will not return to his twice-weekly Christian commentary program, “The International Intelligence Briefing,” because of what he considers to be efforts to muzzle his opinions about radical Islam.
Lindsey, author of “The Late Great Planet Earth” and many other best-selling books and a weekly columnist for WND, has anchored the program for the last 12 years on the world’s largest Christian network.
The announcement follows an abrupt six-week suspension of the popular TBN-sponsored program by Jan Crouch, TBN’s vice president for programming.
Though John Casoria, TBN’s general counsel first told WorldNetDaily the show’s suspension was simply a traditional hiatus in lieu of seasonal programming, that statement was later revised to confirm that the network believed Lindsey’s program “placed Arabs in a negative light.”
Lindsey responded to this allegation: “I don’t have to cast radical Muslims in a bad light. If the intimidation and persecution of moderate Muslims makes radical Islam look bad, that is because it is bad – not that I ‘cast’ them in a bad light. But I have never cast the Arabs as a race in a bad light.”
“I also seek to show that radical Islam poses the greatest danger ever faced by the United States,” he added. “I believe that God called me as ‘a watchman on the wall’ to warn America and I must obey – although it is sometimes unpopular.”
On the other hand, Casoria told WND he believes the extremists are not Muslims at all but have “hijacked the religion.”
Lindsey contends that “the extremists are the ones most literally following the Quran and the Hadith, which are the most holy and authoritative books of the Muslim religion. This is why violence has erupted from Muslims in virtually every century since its birth.”
Casoria said he could not recall specific examples from Lindsey’s programs that were anti-Arab or anti-Muslim, but he expressed the network’s concern about how Muslims are portrayed.
“TBN is a worldwide ministry; we have an entire channel that airs 24 hours a day, seven days a week in Arabic,” he said. “We are trying to reach the Islamic world and open a dialogue with them regarding Christ and Christianity.”
Casoria explained, “We do not feel that the best witness of Christ is to bash them but rather to show them the nature of Christ – the way Christ said to present himself – and that is through love, understanding and the presentation of the gospel to them.”
Lindsey argued, however, his program is not shown in the Middle East.
“My show is produced for the Western world and for Christians who are at the most risk from radical Islam,” he said.
Lindsey has been associated with TBN since its inception in the early 1970s.
He told WND that he has “no ax to grind” with TBN, saying, “I’ve been happy with my opportunities for ministry at TBN. I’m thankful for the platform TBN gave me. I will speak at the gates of hell as long as they don’t tell me what to say. But it appears that they are now telling me what not to say – so sadly, it’s time to move on.”
Lindsey also announced that he is taking his popular television program to other outlets beginning in early February. His new half-hour news and commentary series will be called “The Hal Lindsey Report.” A new video version of it will also be streamed on Lindsey’s website.
When the New York Times surveyed all book sales for the decade of the 1970s, it found that Lindsey’s had far outsold all other authors. His “Late Great Planet Earth” alone sold more than 32 million copies.