Graham Disagrees With McCain: ‘Allahu Akbar’ Is A ‘War Chant’

September 23, 2013 9:35 a.m.

Long-time allies Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. John McCain (R-SC) agree on many things in the world, but their feelings about a widely-used Islamic phrase are not one of them.

“When somebody yells ‘Allahu akbar’ in the Middle East, I duck,”  the senator, who’s running for re-election, told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade on Monday as quoted by The Hill. “It’s not like, ‘Hey, how you doing Lindsey.'”

“’Allahu akbar,’ I associate with a war chant,” he added. “It’s not exclusively owned by al Qaeda. I’ve seen people kill al Qaeda guys and yell, ‘Allahu akbar.’” 

Asked about the phrase by Kilmeade on “Fox and Friends” earlier this month, an annoyed McCain quickly shot down any suggestion that it should insinuate fear, especially when considering whether or not to provide aid to Syrian rebels.

“You have a problem with that? Would you have a problem with an American Christian saying ‘thank God, thank God’?” McCain said. “That’s what they’re saying. Come on. Of course they’re Muslims, but they’re moderates and I guarantee you that they are moderates. I know them and I’ve been with them. For someone to say ‘Allahu Akbar’ is about as offensive as someone saying ‘thank God.'”

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