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Inside Muslim summer camp in southern Spain
August 18th, 2010
03:54 PM ET

Inside Muslim summer camp in southern Spain

CNN’s Atika Shubert filed this report from Spain:

Islam is often called the fastest growing religion in Europe, thanks to the tremendous growth in migration and a galloping birth rate in Muslim communities.

But Islam is not new to Europe. The religion has been a part of the European cultural fabric for hundreds of years.

You can see it in the majestic Islamic architecture that graces the landscape of southern Spain. It thrives in the Muslim majority nations of Bosnia and Albania. And, of course, there is Turkey, the bridge between Europe and the Middle East.

Then there are the growing Muslim communities that have come from abroad to settle in Europe: Pakistani and Bengali-run shops are commonplace on the streets of London; the many dialects of Arabic from Morocco to Somalia compete to be heard from Stockholm to Amsterdam.

It’s clear that a “European Islam” is emerging from the interaction of all these communities.

In Spain, “new Muslims”–converts to Islam–are clustered in the country's southern Andalusia region. They practice a more liberal interpretation of Sufi Islam that takes its inspiration from Spain’s Muslim history.

I got the chance to spend two nights at Al-Madrassa, an Islamic center founded by new Muslims in Andalusia's Alqueria de Rosales. Every year, the center host a two-week summer camp for kids of all faiths aged 8-16.

This year, the last two days of camp coincided with the beginning of Ramadan. For many of the younger children, it was an opportunity to try fasting for the first time.

We got up before sunrise for a bleary-eyed breakfast of honeyed doughnuts and coffee at the canteen and then quickly made our way to the mosque for prayer at dawn.

At prayer, I couldn’t help but notice how children here looked like any other streetwise kids you would see in Europe. One had a tilted baseball cap that he quickly removed; a set of flashy white headphones permanently hung from his neck. The girls chose to cover their heads with brightly coloured scarves inside the mosque, but fashionably wrapped the cloth around their shoulders when they left.

Their daily routine was much like any other camp, with a few modifications: Archery lessons mid-morning, Arabic class in the afternoon. Sometimes, they did ceramics learning how to make the famous Moorish tiles of Southern Spain. Other times, they headed outdoors for horse-riding, hiking or camping.

During Ramadan fasting, there was plenty of down time for kids, conserving their energy during the hottest time of the day.

The call to prayer sounded five times a day, but children were not required to be at every one. Non-Muslim children did not participate in the prayer, but sometimes lingered in the mosque to join their friends before and after.

The kitchen remained open for anyone who wanted to eat or drink during Ramadan fasting, including Muslim children. The idea was not to force anyone to participate in the fasting but to encourage spiritual reflection, even if only for a few hours.

“This place is about learning and understanding. Above all, this is the most important to us,” Abdussamad Antonio Romero the camp’s director told me.

He and his wife are Muslim converts and they founded Al-Madrasa 17 years ago. The idea was to create a haven for a uniquely Spanish view of Islam that follows a liberal Sufi ideology of Islamic learning and tolerance of other faiths.

Al-Madrasa now has visitors from all over Europe, but also the U.S. and Canada and has become a popular stop on Muslim tours of Spain. It has quietly become one example of this “European Islam” now being forged.

I’ll be doing several stories for CNN’s Muslim in 2010 series looking at how Islam in Europe is growing. And Al-Madrasa, it seems, is a fine place to start.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Europe • Islam • Muslim

soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. george

    Islam is not a religion it is a political ruse to impose Sharia law on the rest of the world. Hear about it. Google, "What the west needs to know about Islam."

    August 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
    • the choobs

      Okay, you've put that google reference in a few times now. Try Articulating a coherent argument instead of pointing people to propaganda, okay?

      August 18, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      americans are already practicing sharia law! you do not need muslims to impose anything! over one thousand criminals have had their "heads cho pped off" since 1979 in the USA. thats sharia law!

      August 19, 2010 at 2:36 am |
  2. Dont Care

    frankly i dont care what you people think.. why should i have to justify my belief to you when you have already made up your minds. You guys are just blinded by the media that feeds you garbage. If you want a proper dialogue approach any of the islamic centers close by and engage in a healthy and balanced dialogue. Just shooting random out of context verses from the Quran is frankly getting quite old.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  3. george

    All Muslims are not terrorists, BUT, all terrorists are Muslims! Google, "What the west needs to know about Islam" and be shocked...and educated.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
    • Sanela

      What about Irish Catholic terrorists? Or Kali sect of Hindu robber killers? or Hutaris in the U.S.?

      August 18, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
    • the choobs

      ALL terrorists are Muslims?! Does that include Timothy McVeigh? How about the guy who shot Dr. Tiller? How about the wingnut who tried to attack the Tides Foundation a few weeks ago? And make no mistake, the US Military is (arguably justifiably) considered a terrorist organization by millions, not all of them Muslim. Stop being an ass and try to have a civilized debate please.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
    • Adnan Khan

      Or a large majority of the IDF, who chooses to raze buildings of Palestinians living in the West Bank (occupied land), and treat Palestinians like they are sub-human. (Does that ring a bell? Oh, yes it does, ADOLF HITLER).

      Also, don't forget the brand of "terrorism" now employed by Iraqi and Taliban insurgents was started by Jews, read up on the King David Hotel bombing in 1946 prior to the founding of Israel, when the land was Mandate Palestine.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
    • sameeker

      The terrorists you people like to mention (Mcveigh etc.) did not kill in the name of their religion. If they had, they would have been denounced by everyone else in the religion. the muzzies use the same tired argument every time. The 9-11 terrorists are honored throughout the muzzie community. The Pan Am bomber was greeted by cheering crowds in Libya. Islam is a terror cult and nothing more.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      how about international terr orists George Bush and Tony Bla ir who illegally invaded Iraq and terrorized millions of Iraqis by bom bing them from the sky?

      August 19, 2010 at 2:33 am |
  4. islamakesmesad

    The mantra of Mohammad and the Koran: "Allah has no son." The mantra of Holy Scripture: "Jesus is the Son of God." 1 John 2:22 says, "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
    • islamakesmesad

      meant to end with quotation marks

      August 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
    • Sanela

      So, you call Muslims "antichrist", simply because they deny his "divinity" but believe him to be one of the most important Prophets pbuh, and the Messiah.
      Yet, you have Jews, who completely deny Jesus totally. For them, he is not even a Prophet, let alone the Messiah or 'divine.' So, who is a true antichrist here, then?

      August 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
    • islamakesmesad

      Anyone who denies the Son is inspired by the antichrist spirit. But I see all people as potential Christ followers and do not condemn them. The Gospel message Jesus commissioned us with is to be proclaimed, namely forgiveness and repentance from sin in His name, by the power of His blood. He received in His body punishment for our sin and releases us from eternal damnation and the imprisonment and power of sin.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
    • islamakesmesad

      Whoever would follow Him, let him deny himself, pick up his cross (so to speak) and follow Him.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
    • islamakesmesad

      Death could not hold the holy Son of God, hence the Resurrection.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
    • islamakesmesad

      So, Sanela, anyone who denies the Son is under the judgment of the Almighty until they repent, whether Jew, "Christian," Muslim... He is gracious, slow to anger, not wishing any to perish.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      Jesus repeatedly calls himself, "Son of Man" in the Gospel accounts!! you do not need the Koran, you just need a new pair of reading glasses to figure that out!

      August 19, 2010 at 2:32 am |
    • citygirl98

      you can't quote something if you can't even spell ..its Quran

      August 19, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      (B)iraq Hussein Osama,

      Jesus is the Son of God and the Son of Man. He has a divine nature and a human nature.
      His time had not yet come to be crucified; He had His ministry to fulfill. If He had constantly called Himself the Son of God they would have taken Him and nailed Him to the Cross before He had done all He was SENT by the Father to do.

      He often said to ‘go and tell no one’…..
      You can understand why....

      August 19, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  5. aaron

    you know whats even funnier. Spain got conquered, hardcore. Their women raped. And everyone forced to convert. Man that must have sucked. having your kids forced into a religion by conquest. Islam truly sucks.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  6. Kenny

    I have walked among you for over 100 years now and I have seen how you love war. It is such a shame to see how slow you develope when your brains are capable of so much more. You all still cling to the idea of being rich or climbing your social ladder by taking advantage of those who have less. We can never expose our existance to such a weak minded people.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  7. chef Sun

    Hey idiot Nick. It's "you're" not "your".

    August 18, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
    • muhammed sucks big time

      whooaa relax english grammer teacher

      August 18, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  8. aaron

    this thread is so pointless i love how CNN tries to cater to muslim BS its funny, isalm is such a nightmare and people soak it up. dark ages here we come

    August 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  9. L Hewitt

    Kristen - THANK YOU! I am so tired of seeing ignorant, ethnocentric people post about the evils of such a general population. Honestly, I wonder if most of them have stepped foot outside of the US. Not every Muslim is evil – not every Muslim is a terrorist. The vast majority are –just people– like us - who are trying to live richly, maybe raise a family and live a content life. They don't go out and commit murders, they don't steal babies in the night... come on.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
    • aaron

      awwwwwwww hewitt weve all heard this response before go sell that BS elsewhere.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
    • watersnoopy

      If not every Islam is terrorist, why we do not hear criticism and rebuttal from moderate or conservative Muslim in US or the World? Because they know this is in the teaching of QURAN. Calling out another Muslim is death wish.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
    • Adnan Khan

      @watersnoopy Sure we do, it's just that the majority of media chooses not to publish it, or buries in in a small section of a newspaper, or shows up as a little blip on a website for a few minutes before being pushed where it can only be found by searching for it.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
    • muhammed sucks big time

      ethnocentric??

      August 18, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
    • Amelia

      Thank you.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  10. whoami

    @Ricky
    "Please read about the scientific miracles in the Quran. It is indeed the true book of God"..

    I've heard this a lot...from maurive bucaille, naek zakir, ahmed didat, and so on...

    those scientific miracles you mentioned were wishful and fabricated as islam needs it so much to justify its claim ....
    The prophet of islam muhammad preached one thing but did the other... and got away with so many sins in the name of previlleges as being a prophet..
    And everything about islam is fabricated by muhammad and is not trustworthy...

    August 18, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
    • aaron

      thank you

      August 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
    • cub77

      I bet you're a scholar that has devoted your life to the study of world religions and therefor qualified enough to post on CNN. But the reality is that you're a poor little boy that was molested by your priest at a very young age and take out your anger on all world religions that are not based on Christian teachings.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
    • Watchout

      @cub77
      Mohammed was a pedophile. I have quoted the Hadith (the sayings and teachings of Mohammed earlier).

      Muslim (8:3309) – Muhammad consummated his marriage to Aisha when she was only nine. (See also Bukhari 58:234 and many other places)

      Bukhari (6:298) – Muhammad would take a bath with the little girl and fondle her.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      Muhammad being a pedophille or a hom osexual or a serial rapist does not change the fact that Islam is one of histories most successful religions. It is full of deep meaningful spiritual advice and encapsulates the ideals of self sacrifice, community development and austere living. Muhammad died 1400 years ago. Islam lives on and is vibrant and thriving in all manner of cultures and environments and languages all over the globe.

      August 19, 2010 at 2:30 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      Muhammad being a pedophille or a hom osex ual or a serial ra pist does not change the fact that Islam is one of histories most successful religions. It is full of deep meaningful spiritual advice and encapsulates the ideals of self sacrifice, community development and austere living. Muhammad died 1400 years ago. Islam lives on and is vibrant and thriving in all manner of cultures and environments and languages all over the globe.

      August 19, 2010 at 2:40 am |
    • I'mMusliimandI'mProudOfIit!

      what siins did the prohet comit? how dare yu!

      August 21, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • I-eat-pork

      Good post whoami. Also, Muslims like to piece-meal their thoughts and ideas on Islam to avoid discussing the pedophilia that Mohammad acted upon with young girls. That is sick behavor and that is enough for me to ever give this so-called religion any respect.

      August 23, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  11. Jim

    Muhammad was a pedophile. In the Qur'an, it says he took a six year old girl as his bride and then consummated the marriage when she was nine.

    I didn't make this up. It's not an opinion. It IS written in the Qur'an!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
    • Jen

      you are a liar. prove that you are not and just post the verse from the quran where it says this. it isn't there...

      August 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
    • Sam

      And you have read this in what version of the Qur'an exactly? Is it a version made just for you? There is no such thing in the Qur'an. Ediots should go and learn before making ediotic statements like this.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
    • Sanela

      Jim–
      NO WHERE in the Noble Qur'an does it state that "Muhammad took a six year old in marriage and then consumated it when she was nine."
      That information is found in hadiths (a non-qur'anic compilation of writings consisting of sayings believed to be that of Prophet Muhammad).
      Your claim that "it is in the Qur'an" show how little knowledge you have about other (in this case Islam), how ignorant you actually are and how racist, hateful a person you must be.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
    • Sanela

      In regards to hadiths, many are contradictory in themselves, and many oppose the Holy Qur'an. Unfortunately, for many Muslims in the Middle East, the hadiths are believed 100%. That is why you find them practicing many NON-QUR'ANIC ways, such as stonign (which is actually from the Old Testament), the "honor killings" (again from the Old Testament), etc. In fact, many hadiths not only do they insult women, Prophet Muhammad himself, but Allah (meaning "The God" in Arabic language) as well.
      Different sects of Muslims follow different hadith compilations. The Qur'an version remains the same for each sect, but the hadiths vary. And that is why so much division among Muslims as well.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
    • dingdong

      Really Mr. Jim?! I would like a reference with a PAGE NUMBER 'cause you're smokin crack!

      August 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • Yorker

      Mohammed had 13 wives. Ayesha was the youngest, and was married to him at the age of 6, when Mohammed was 54 years old.

      Read the Hadiths – the life and sayings of Mohammed!

      August 18, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
    • Watchout

      From the Hadith, the sayings and teachings of Mohammed:

      Muslim (8:3309) – Muhammad consummated his marriage to Aisha when she was only nine. (See also Bukhari 58:234 and many other places). (Remember Mohammed had married her at age 6).

      Bukhari (6:298) – Muhammad would take a bath with the little girl and fondle her.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
    • David

      Hey Yorker, Muhammad had 9 wives and he never had more than one at a time. According to Muhammad, a man can not live a fully happy life without a women. In histoical proof, it is shown that aiysha was 17 – 19 ears old and he never sex with her. Get your facts straight. The quran is a lot more believable than the bible. Time and again, the bible is proven to giv false information.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
    • WiDawg

      Read "The Life of Muhammad" by Ibn Ishaq - that's where you'll find the truth about Islam

      August 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
    • Amelia

      In the Qur'an? Sure it is.

      I can't explain to you what you aren't ready to believe; and that's absolutely your right – to not believe. But for Muslims, the Prophet was a great man – the greatest – and there is no one who could be better than him. The social rules of today are not the social rules of that day and age, and they are defintiely not the social rules that applied to a Prophet. Any Prophet is going to be more pure, kind, gentle, good and self-controlling that any other person in existance because they are the ideal we are supposed to follow. Ayesha was promised to the Prophet at a young age and married to him after she reached puberty. Rules of the world today would frown upon this; they didn't in that day and age.

      "The Prophet was a pedophile!" is not an argument that applies here, but only Muslims or true believers are going to understand that.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
    • fuyuko

      Sick!

      August 18, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
    • Jim

      I see others have pointed you to A'isha. Enjoy your crow Jen and others. Big deal if it isn't in that particular book. To me, it's more damning since his admission of pedophilia is written by his own hand!!!

      Any Muslim who would accept the excuse that God gave a six year old girl to a man is sick in the head. Having sex with a prepubescent adolescent is NOT divine. It's sick. Ergo, your Prophet was a phony!

      August 18, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
    • nk

      Amelia, If you trust your prophet, would you give your child (if you have one) at the age of six.. All religions are nothing but BS..

      August 18, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
    • Adam

      Jim reading the coran, interpret it and understand it it is a another thing plus if it is illegal God would not allow it but i see you are just ignorant like the rest of your people that hate islam but hey i am not upset at your ignorance but stop insulting my prophet (saw) i wish you are closer here i would be going to jail that is for sure and don't say that to a muslim in his face because you will end up let;s say in a bad way believe me.

      August 19, 2010 at 4:34 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Adam,
      Many people say horrid things about Jesus, the Son of God; Jesus would not want us to harm one hair on their head for what they said. Would Muhammad want you to be violent towards others?

      August 19, 2010 at 8:04 am |
      • babyblue36

        if you have studied anything about Muhammad AT all, and I mean study from the Quran not from random websites and books you find of the shelves, you would know how peaceful of a man he really was. People would throw stones at him and he would be walking with blood filled in his shoes and still he would even lift his head as to look at the people doing wrong to him. he never took revenge on people that did bad to him instead waited patiently for them to understand what they were doing was wrong. ...its not that hard to just do some research jeez

        August 19, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
      • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

        The person of Jesus is impractical. No one in christiandom can emulate him. Muhammad is a more practical role model. If attacked, pick a gun and defend yourself. works like a charm and IN REAL LIFE, most christians actually practice what Muhammad preached (smile).

        August 19, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
        • Reality

          Osama, Osama, Osama,

          Mohammed preaching came from his mythical communications with the mythical "pretty wingie thingie" aka Gabriel i.e. the foundations of Islam fall into to the sands of Mecca forever lost in myth. Christians fall into analogous myths produced by Paul et al.

          August 19, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
        • CatholicMom

          Speaking of Paul...

          The Cross in Our Bodies .....
          This is a pretty neat story and an interesting thing that few of us know. It's brief, so please read. (FROM A DOCTOR)

          A couple of days ago I was running (I use that term very loosely) on my treadmill, watching a DVD sermon by Louie Giglio... And I was BLOWN AWAY! I want to share what I learned.... But I fear not being able to convey it as well as I want. I will share anyway.

          He (Louie) was talking about how inconceivably BIG our God is. How He spoke the universe into being. How He breathes stars out of His mouth that are huge raging balls of fire etc. etc. Then he went on to speak of how this star-breathing, universe creating God ALSO knitted our human bodies together with amazing detail and wonder. At this point I am LOVING it (fascinating from a medical standpoint, you know.) And I was remembering how I was constantly amazed during medical school as I learned more and more about God's handiwork. I remember so many times thinking,'How can ANYONE deny that a Creator did all of this?'

          Louie went on to talk about how we can trust that the God who created all this, also has the power to hold it all together when things seem to be falling apart; how our loving Creator is also our sustainer.

          And then I lost my breath. And it wasn't because I was running on my treadmill, either!
          It was because he started talking about laminin. I knew about laminin! Here is how Wikipedia describes them: 'Laminins are a family of proteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding of basement membranes in almost every animal tissue'. You see Laminins are what hold us together...LITERALLY. They are cell adhesion molecules. They are what holds one cell of our bodies to the next cell. Without them, we would literally fall apart. And I knew all this already. But what I didn't know is what they LOOKED LIKE.

          But now I do. And I have thought about it a thousand times since (already)....Here is what the structure of laminin looks like... AND THIS IS NOT a 'Christian portrayal' of it. If you look up laminin in any scientific/medical piece of literature, this is what you will see.

          Now tell me that our God is not the coolest! Amazing. The glue that holds us together. ALL of us....Is in the shape of the cross.
          Immediately Colossians 1:15-17 comes to mind.

          'He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
          For by him all things were created;
          things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
          whether thrones or powers or rulers or Authorities;
          All things were created by him and for him.
          He is before all things, and in him All things HOLD TOGETHER.'
          Colossians 1:15-17

          Call me crazy. I just think that is very, very, very cool. Thousands of years before the world knew anything about laminin, Paul penned those words. And now we see that from a very LITERAL standpoint, we are held together... One cell to another By the cross.

          You would never in a quadrillion years convince me that is anything other than the mark of a Creator who knew EXACTLY what laminin 'glue' would look like long before Adam breathed his first breath!!

          August 19, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
        • CatholicMom

          Google... laminin

          August 19, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
        • verify

          Even better... look up 'laminin' on Snopes.

          (looks like you are in the same e-rumor, glurge, chain mail fwd./fwd/fwd loop as a friend of mine is)

          August 19, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
        • Reality

          CatholicMom,

          Even Catholic schools teach that the story of Adam is pure allegory.

          August 19, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  12. dawn

    I've studied various religions. The best one by far to follow is the teachings of Jesus. His teachings, along with his life is without any spot or blemish.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
    • Does It Matter?

      Too bad no one (or at least VERY few) follows it the way it was intended.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      ....or wrinkle! Just like His Church.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      Jesus life is spotless, but it seems his followers have a great affinity for being spotted hyenas!

      August 19, 2010 at 2:25 am |
    • citygirl98

      too bad no christian actually follows the life of Jesus. the teachings of jesus don't include getting drunk, raping people, commiting sexual assults, being high all the time,commiting murder, and walking around naked with all your body parts exposed to the world

      August 19, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  13. Aaron

    This is pretty scary stuff, Islam is the most brainwashing disgusting plague this planet has ever seen. Muslims mock everybody that does not follow the BS. They are not fooling anyone. This is a war. We will fight these towel heads to the death.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
    • BlaiseHarman

      Hey, y dont i give u the address to your local library, so you can go learn somethn thats not fiction, cuz to me it seems like ur pretty smart, except ur lacking the knowlegde to know what u hear from unreliable sources is 90% untru, including the fact u just stated, so do us all (and mostly urself) a favr, and read the translation of the Holy Quran and Hadith, and hopefully I will see you starting on the right path. And yes, Muslims DO respect all cultures, and are expected to. The tru muslims anyway

      August 18, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
      • islamakesmesad

        And they deny the divinity of Jesus, the Son of God.

        1st John 2:22:
        "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son."

        August 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
        • doh

          go suck on your jesus dck..and shut the fcuk up..

          August 18, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
        • Reality

          A German scholar named Gustav Adolph Deissmann, got on a train and a boat and a horse and went around the Pauline sites and saw the inscriptions that say that Caesar Augustus was divine, was the son of god, was god, was lord, was redeemer, was savior of the world. They saw all that and they said, as it were: Oh, my God! That is what it's all about! They saw that when Jesus was called by those same titles it was not simply the result of picking up the cultural debris of his contemporary world. It was saying, in effect: these are the titles of Caesar, but we refuse them to Caesar and assign them instead to Jesus. – JD Crossan

          August 18, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
        • Reality

          A German scholar named Gustav Ad-olph Deissmann, got on a train and a boat and a horse and went around the Pauline sites and saw the inscriptions that say that Caesar Augustus was divine, was the son of god, was god, was lord, was redeemer, was savior of the world. They saw all that and they said, as it were: Oh, my God! That is what it's all about! They saw that when Jesus was called by those same ti-tles it was not simply the result of picking up the cultural debris of his contemporary world. It was saying, in effect: these are the ti-tles of Caesar, but we refuse them to Caesar and assign them instead to Jesus.

          August 18, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
        • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

          Mark 8:31-32:38
          He then began to teach them that the SON OF MAN must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him....If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the SON OF MAN will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."

          August 19, 2010 at 5:19 am |
        • Reality

          Osama, Osama, Osama,

          Gerd Lüdemann

          Lüdemann [Jesus, 344] states " this is a prophetic admonition from the post-Easter community i.e. Mark 8:38.

          The Jesus Se-minar and also Professor JD Crossan after careful studies of all the appropriate scriptural documents concluded/voted the following NT passages were not authentic Jesus but were, as is most of the NT, myths and embellishments added by the authors of the NT:

          Mark 8:31-33
          Luke 9:22
          Matt 16:21-23
          Mark 9:30-32
          Luke 9:43-45
          Matt 17:22-23
          Mark 10:32-34
          Luke 18:31-34
          Matt 20:17-19
          Luke 17:25
          Matt 26:2

          August 19, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
      • muhammed sucks big time

        ok what about the millions yes millions of muslims who are in the service of jihad. I mean seriously people keep recycling this idea that isalm is peaceful it is such f$%ing BS.

        August 18, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
        • salmirabilis

          Where do you get those figures?

          August 19, 2010 at 6:25 am |
  14. DJ

    Islam is a hard sell, but CNN keeps trying!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
    • dingdong

      'cause you know nothing about it!

      August 18, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
    • DJ

      right. and you know all about what I know.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
    • WiDawg

      CNN sure does...when are they going to get a clue about reality?

      August 18, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
    • Jeff

      @widawg

      I was wondering the same thing

      August 18, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • No Dhimmi

      Yes, let's learn more about Islam:

      http://thereligionofpeace.com/

      August 18, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
    • Justina

      They are simply trying to level down all religions, especially Christianity, so that they can deny the thought of the Judgment every human faces after death. No salvation for anyone if he or she has no Savior(Jesus Christ).

      August 18, 2010 at 11:09 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      actually CNN is looking into the future!!! they see only muslims, so they are trying to build their customer base. with christian women all acting like men. and christian men all interested in other men, where are the children going to come in the future to keep western civilization going? from no where! only muslim children and their Islam will be left in the future.

      August 19, 2010 at 2:24 am |
    • babyblue36

      maybe because CNN ain't got nothing else to talk about! so they keep covering the most popular topic out there! ..muslims making news media 24/7

      August 19, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
    • citygirl98

      "looking into the future" ..too bad islam did not just sprout out in 2001 ..its been a valid religion for ages and centuries; it's not a newly invented religion just because recently it started making news don't mean it just came about ..its been around for so long that if they really wanted to take over the world it would have been done centuries ago.

      August 19, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
    • chase

      We know enough "dingdong" to know that we don't want it. It's not rocket-science to figure out that it is not a life-serving doctrine but a life-taking doctrine.

      August 23, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  15. g

    Do they have the Narrative as parat of the curriculem?

    August 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  16. tintin

    Abrahamic religions and their proselytizing ways...

    August 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  17. Sam

    WWI, WWII, Vietnam War, Cold War, now Islam, so what is next? You ppl never learn!!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
    • Truthwillsetyoufree

      America always needs an enemy to perpetuate its hegemony and control over the world's resources. First it was the Native Americans, then came the Japanese, then came the Commies, and now it's the Muslims. Continue living in your ignorance and you will pay a hefty price. The big corporations and the elite control you.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
    • Lollerskates

      Well we wont' have a communist revolution that kills 70 million. That's for sure!

      August 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
    • Lollerskates

      Like China did . Hey lets get rid of the educated people and turn everyone into farmers and have a bajillion kids. That sounds like a smart idea!

      August 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
    • salma

      how dare you insist on building a mosque where you killed 3000 humanbeing, and you are not allowing christians to build churches in their own countries, just to have a roof over their head when they stand to pray, as in Egypt for example.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
    • No Dhimmi

      You mean the Islam that has already murdered 270 million people? Golly, let's not put a stop to that!

      http://www.politicalislam.com/tears/pages/tears-of-jihad/

      August 18, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      imagine! if islam murdered 270 million, how many must have been murdered by non-muslims 2,700 million? given how most of the world wars and extermina tion camps and ultra violent ideologies like communism are all a legacy of non-muslims.

      August 19, 2010 at 2:20 am |
  18. Ricky

    Please read about the scientific miracles in the Quran. It is indeed the true book of God

    August 18, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
    • g

      Is it like the Nazrrative?

      August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
    • Yorker

      ...like when the Quran says that the "Sun sets in murky waters" ???

      August 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
    • Yorker

      ...again the Quran claims in different chapters that man was created from blood (where did the blood come from?), water, semen (again, where did this semen come from), clay, dirt..etc

      August 18, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
    • theTruth

      Arabs and muslims stole science from India and passed it as their own, including in Quran. For example, the celebrated Arabic numerals are of Indian origin.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • Non-believer

      I am sad for you Ricky, you find miracles where none exist.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
    • Jeff

      yorker, you have no business discussing miracles of the Quran because you have no knowledge about it, do not know arabic so all you can quote are someone's translation of their understanding. Arabic is a very very meticulous language and has a larger vocabulary than any other language.

      The quote you pulled out about the sun setting in murky water is from a very beautiful story about Zulqanain. The arabic word there is 'wajada' which means "it appeared to...," in this case, Zulqanain. Another important point to note, and shouldn't even need to point this out, but when we say, "the sun set...in the west" we do not mean the sun actually set in the West. And fortunately we do not have to go around explaining this to people because people who speak and understand our language are aware of this. In the same sense, when Allah swt is saying in the Quran that it appeared to Zulqanain that the sun set in murky water, is is merely describing the scene taking place, and very beatifully for those of us who know Arabic.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
    • phgonzal

      And yet, with all this scientific knowledge supposedly in the Quran, it was up to others to actually uncover it, using scientific methods and not the Quran. It was only after the knowledge was found did people try and go back to find passages which vaguely allude to something scientific in a pathetic attempt to lend weight to their holy book. Some Christens try and do the same thing. Not very impressive or persuasive.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
    • No Dhimmi

      Love the fake name, "Ricky." Just call me Abdullah.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
    • aj

      whao, it's amazing reading all this bs that these people are writting. all of a sudden they all are experts on islam. they all have these claims that they probably read on the internet because they are too dumb to actually read about it on their own. They claim all these killings by muslims, 3000 in new york, yeah that's true, but it's also true that out ot those 3000, 570 were muslims. But why is everyone avoiding the christian murders. who were the crusaders? christians, who were the Nazi's?, christians, who did genocide in Bosnia and Africa? christians, who threw atomic bombs on hiroshima and nagasaki killing kids, and innocent civilians? americans did, who by the way were christians,,,, this was just to name few. Now should we really be afraid of Muslims???? I HIGHLY DOUBT WE SHOULD

      August 19, 2010 at 1:44 am |
    • Ricky

      I'm an idiot

      August 19, 2010 at 9:16 am |
    • chase

      Scientific miracles in the Quran? Who's kidding who. Those so-called miracles are nothing more that regurgitated stories that science had already shown to be factual and the writers of the Quran implied them to be first-hand accounts as though the Quran was the first book to mention them. The writer of these stories also imply that this area of the world created these miracles. Hardly.

      I've noticed a similarity in idiot-logic among Muslims and one is the manipulating tactics to imply truth where no truth exists. Most of it is double-speak with loose ends as though trying to connect the dots with their faith-based discussions. It is like a dog chasing its tail.

      Lastly, the stories in the Quran come from the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. The bible’s writers had already written the accounts of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, etc., long before Mohammed ever lived; yet, Muslims think that Mohammed was the first to dictate these events. Even for a non-believer of both Islam and Christianity, it is extremely easy to research history and facts into the origins of both religions. Islam came much later as re-written tales that had already taken place and it is shown to be more of a political doctrine that anything else.

      August 23, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  19. Kristen

    Reality-you left out a bit. The Prophet was indeed a sinner of the worst sort-then God spoke to him. Very few prophets in the other two religions of this faith were saints prior to God choosing them. The only one who was actually perfect was Christ. Tolerance for other faiths, particularly those that worship the same God, should be the basis of ALL religions. But there always has to be some idiot who only sees the terrorists and dictatorships masquerading as theocracies and ignores the millions and millions of peaceful and peaceable Muslims world wide. As Jesus said "Let he who is without sin..."

    August 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
    • Does It Matter?

      Even though Christ may have been perfect, his followers are far from it. The twisting of Christianity has killed just as many people as extreme Islam, if not more. It's amazing because people do the exact opposite of what Christ tried to teach yet people think their following in his footsteps.

      Religion is pointless. What isn't pointless, however, is a belief-system with a community like Buddhism. The whole "My God is better than your God" game that gets played by both Muslims and Christians is part of what causes these deaths. If we can just have a guideline of how to behave without it being for someone or to please someone or something then there would be far fewer issues.

      Even if someone disagrees with you or does something that would "send them to hell", why do you care? Why does it matter that someone is doing something that your belief system or you as a person disagree with? As long as it doesn't directly affect you then you shouldn't care.

      In my eyes, religion is nothing but a way to influence people to do things for you or a way for someone else to get what he/she wants. We are in a dark age and we will continue to be in one until we can make religion a guideline and not a law. I'm not saying you can't practice but keep it to yourself and for those who want to hear it. That goes for Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Sikhs, Shintoists, Confucians, etc. etc. etc.

      Just my thoughts.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
    • Loren, Chicago

      Kristen, Christ was not perfect, that is the point of the New Testament, that even though we are born sinners, we can be redeemed. (To clarify the point about perfection, when Jesus went to John The Baptist for his Baptism, John intially refused, but Jesus, born of Man, knew that he must be baptzed to be freed of sin.)

      August 18, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
      • Reality

        How did JB know that?

        August 19, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
      • I-eat-pork

        Hey Loren,
        Why was Jesus baptized? Jesus did not seek baptism for the same purpose we do. As Christains are baptized into a new of life, the baptism of Jesus fulfilled all righteousness.
        Why was Jesus baptized? To fulfill all righteousness! He wasn’t baptized to fulfill his own righteousness, since he was already ‘righteousness fulfilled’. All righteousness! Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. Full Stop! This is what that means; the baptism of Jesus made your righteousness, and mine, possible to achieve! How is that possible?
        The ordinance of baptism is a symbolic act on our part that acts out our rebirth on the narrow path. God has commanded this to be the way that we ‘sign the contract’ with Jesus, so that we shall never forget the wonderful blessings that comes from obeying the baptism-covenant;
        3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
        4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
        5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
        6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
        7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
        8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: (Romans 6:3-8)
        Symbolically, you place your old, wicked, self for dead in the watery grave, as a request to Jesus to die for real the death of your old wicked self. As you stand up, you are freed from your past transgressions, prepared to take on the good life in Jesus, and by maintaining a life within the covenant, be invited into God’s Kingdom.
        Why was Jesus baptized? Our symbolism doesn’t fit him! He had no wicked life; he had no reason to stand up to a new life, having always lived a life of perfection.
        The symbolism of Jesus’ baptism: Jesus entered into the waters of baptism pure and undefiled; the same water that had been awfully stained by everyone who will ever be baptized as long as the earth will stand. When he came out of the waters of baptism, all the dirt and filth that we left there had been soaked up by this sacrificial lamb, as a symbol unto the Father that he was prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for all men. So, the baptism of Jesus was the initial phase of the atoning sacrifice! Jesus did not take our sins upon him at his baptism, but at his baptism he completed the symbolic contract between men, the Lamb, and the Father;
        Men were baptized as a contract with the Father to start a new life, accepting Jesus to be their Sacrificial Lamb;
        Jesus was baptized to make the contract between men and the Father possible, by becoming the Sacrificial Lamb.
        Now, all we have to wait for is the Father to accept the Sacrificial Lamb, and a witness to attest to the contract, then the contract, or covenant, will be binding on all three parties.
        And as soon as Jesus came out of the water, the voice of the Father was heard:” This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”. By this confirmation of the Father that Jesus was pleasing to him as the sacrifice that would save man from death and hell, everything was now in place. Now it was time for the testator (the Holy Ghost) to appear to testify to all men everywhere that Jesus is the by God approved saviour.
        So, The Holy Ghost came down to testify of Jesus. Seeing Jesus being baptized as his commitment to complete his sacrifice for men, definitely makes it clear why the Father spoke at this time to testify of his Son, and how come Jesus was sustained by the Holy Ghost.
        Now we can understand how, by being baptized, Jesus fulfils all righteousness; If Jesus had not been baptized, as a symbol to take upon him our sins, there would be no point in us being baptized; we could not just leave the sins there in the water! Justice demands that someone picks them up to suffer for them!
        Jesus did not take upon himself our sins at his baptism. But he committed to take upon him our sins, which he also did, three years later, in Gethsemane. So, why was Jesus baptized? It was his reply to your baptism; his way to volunteer to take your deserved death, and mine.

        August 23, 2010 at 11:29 am |
    • LR

      Listen to yourselves. You call everyone who disagrees with you wrong, and youbget a response from an Islamust who call you a moron. Isn't religion wonderful? You are all shining examples of how we aren't meant to live. You are the reason why I am moving further from any organized faith. Thank you for re-affirming my choice.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
    • TheAnswer

      @Lauren, Lets see what scripture says:-

      Hebrews 4:15 (New International Version) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.

      1 Peter 2:22 (New International Version) "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.

      Jesus was without sin.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
    • Steven

      The Problem I have with what you are saying Kristen is that NOT ONE BLESSED MUSLIM OUT OF THESE SO CALLED MILLION AND MILLIONS OF PEACEFULL MUSLIMS EVER SAYS OR DOES ANYTHING TO STOP OR WARN THE MUSLIMS THAT DO IN FACT COMMIT MURDER {AMONG OTHER CRIMES} IN THE NAME OF "ALLAH".
      IN FACT, THERE ARE SEVERAL PASSAGES IN THE QURAN THAT SPEFICICALY STATE THAT ALL"INFIDELS" MEANING ANYONE WHO DOPES NOT PRACTICE ISLAM ARE TO BE BEHEADED. IT IS THE ONLY SINGLE RELIGION ON EARTH THAT COINSIDERS ITSELF ABOVE ANY CRITISISM FROM OUTSIDERS AND IS DEFINITIVE IN IT'S STTED GOAL WHGICH IS COMTROL OF WORLD POLITICS AND WORLD DOMINATION. AND IT'S ALL RIGHT THERE IN THE QURAN.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
      • R

        Not true, Steven

        There are far too many instances of muslims speaking out against terrorism to list. How about you take a couple of minutes and Google "muslims speaking out against terrorism" and "fatwa against terrorism." But let me just cite three examples here:

        – March 2, 2010 – Muslim cleric delivers fatwa against terrorism in London (there was an article in Time).
        – CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) has been denouncing terrorism for years.
        – July 28, 2005 U.S Muslims issue edict against terrorism.

        I will also categorically state that killing people in the name of God is a heinous crime and WRONG. Period.

        Lets also be clear that Taliban in Afghanistan do not represent Islam – they are abhorred by the vast majority of Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They're record against women is horrific and completely contrary to Islamic teachings.

        As a muslim, I welcome your right to disagree, criticize or even hate Islam – that is your choice. Islam specifies that there shall be no compulsion in religion, and I for one have friends who are Christian, Jewish, Hindu and even atheists. I feel no compulsion to stamp my beliefs on them, and respect them for who they are.

        One last point about the passages from the Quran being quoted. Please keep in mind that the Quran was revealed (as Muslims believe) over 23 years, bit by bit and the passages have to be read in conjunction with historical context of the time. These passages you refer to were at a time of battle/war and were in relation to specific tribes that were at war with or plotting against the prophet - they do not apply wholesale to every single individual. And yes, the extremists and fanatics are just as guilty of justifying their misguided and abhorrent philosophy by selective quoting from the Quran.

        If you, or others, are interested, read Karen Armstrong. She has written several books about Islam, Judaism and other religions. I find her to be very informative (and far more knowledgeable than myself).

        August 19, 2010 at 3:46 am |
        • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

          "Lets also be clear that Taliban in Afghanistan do not represent Islam"

          The Taliban do represent Islam. You are welcome to your opinion, but the Taliban are pious Muslims trying to rule a war-ravaged Afghanistan to the best of their ability using Shariah Islamic laws. If you read the life of the Prophet and the wars and the tribal fighting and the harsh laws, it reads like a chapter out of a book on the Taliban.

          They even dress like Muhammad! Its spooky really, they even have kaffir enemies that come to attack them and destroy them. Straight out of the Life of Muhammad is the story of the Taliban, from their humble beginnings in Pakistan.

          August 19, 2010 at 4:26 am |
        • Steve

          "Lets also be clear that Taliban in Afghanistan do not represent Islam"

          The Taliban do represent Islam. You are welcome to your opinion, but the Taliban are pious Muslims trying to rule a war-ravaged Afghanistan to the best of their ability using Shariah Islamic laws. If you read the life of the Prophet and the wars and the tribal fighting and the harsh laws, it reads like a chapter out of a book on the Taliban.

          They even dress like Muhammad! Its spooky really, they even have kaffir enemies that come to attack them and destroy them. Straight out of the Life of Muhammad is the story of the Taliban, from their humble beginnings in Pakistan.

          August 19, 2010 at 4:36 am |
        • Blue

          Finally, someone said something that I was waiting to hear! Thank you.

          August 19, 2010 at 11:55 am |
        • Reality

          R,

          Apparently the Muslims responsible for the following koranic-driven acts of terror and horror did not heed the messages:

          1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

          1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

          2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

          3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat, 97,172 – 106,047 Iraqi civilians killed,

          4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

          5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

          6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

          7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

          8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

          9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

          10) Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,116 killed in action, 902 killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. Aproximately 40,000 Afghan civilians have been killed by direct and indirect armed conflict to date.

          11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

          12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

          13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

          14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations

          August 19, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
        • The Voice

          My message to everyone is get a translation of the Quran and read it ! Before making an opnion.

          The prophet Moses and Jesus is mentioned more than Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon them all) in the Quran!

          1. Islam does not advocate Peace at all cost ! If there is injustice and oppresion. It is due of every Muslim to fight that oppresion. It does not matter who is committing the oppresion or which group of people are being oppressed.
          Muslims share the concept of One Nation (Ummah), were everyone belongs to the family of Humanity and it is the duty of every muslim to look after the welfare of the Ummah.

          2. Unlike Christain and Jews faith, there is no one absolute theological Muslim authority in the World. The beauti of Islam it is accessible to everyone. If you master the classic Arabic and history of Islam, you can claim to be a scholar. There is no International recognised Universty body that valids your Islamic "Degree" and credentials.

          3. Also the so called muslim countries in the Middle East, are "Autocratic dictatorships", were difference of opinions are not tolerated. Most of theses "Dictatorial Leaders" have been educated in UK & USA & France Universities. For all it's fault Israel is the only "Democracy" in the middle east, where all it's people have a voice.

          4. So any self appointed scholar can talk about these things and point to the Western Capatilist values as the root cause of muslims problems around the world. When you combine all these factors together, why are people surprised that extremist violent form Islamic theology exists?

          The question is what can you do fix the problem?
          If everyone in the world made efforts to ensure the well being of there neighbours and people around them. Alot of the World problems would be solved.

          This is the message I have taken from the Quran, the Quran is a book stories and examples for Mankind to learn lessons from. Some people choose to take a message of violence, that does not mean Quran preaches violence!

          August 21, 2010 at 6:01 am |
    • verify

      TheAnswer: "Jesus was without sin." Of course your promotional sales manual (Bible) would have to say that. Would they get any customers (followers) if they said, "We have a flawed product, but we want you to buy it anyway"...?

      August 18, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
    • Thinker

      @the author- "The idea was to create a haven for a uniquely Spanish view of Islam that follows a liberal Sufi ideology of Islamic learning and tolerance of other faiths" That is not unique to sufi ideology. That is actually what all true muslims believe. The terrorists are the ones with the unique view of nontolerance and extremism. That should be clear.

      @Kristen- Seriously? Perfect? Come on, that was the whole reason Christ was baptized, so obviously he was not always perfect. Go read the Quran, and then you can make comments about the prophet without sounding ignorant to everyone who has.

      @Truth-sayer- You, on the other hand, have obivously never read the Quran, because if you did you would see that jihad is not the foundation of Islam at all. Have you ever heard of the 5 pillars? Maybe if you spent as much time studying that which you do not know as you do believing what you are told by others, you would be able to have a conversation with someone where they actually examine their own beliefs. You say christians may have killed in the name of their religion but that was ok because thats contrary to the primary rule of faith, well please show me where the Quran calls killing others or jihad a primary rule of faith because the one ive read front to back doesnt say that. If you read the first 10 pages you would read the exact opposite of what you say muslims believe. Ive read the bible twice so I can understand what christians believe, and I've found many many contridictions, so give me a break and give your self a reality check and read through the Quran, think for your self, and then make comments.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
    • George

      @Kristen, I am glad you are taking interest in commenting, but your information is inaccurate. The prophet was not a sinner or a sinner of worst-kind. In fact, Islamic teaching, unlike christian teaching states that all prophets were noble with impeccable characters, and this is the reason why God choose them for there task. God did not choose sinners or people with bad character to send his message and nor does it make sense for God to do that. Prophets were role models for humanity to follow and learn from. The Quran is filled with versus that state "There is no compulsion in religion" and christian and jews are given a special place in the Quran as "people of the book". Furthermore, Islam allows for other religions and beliefs of people to exist in Muslim land as well as under Muslim Rule. If anyone studied Islamic history, they would only come to conclude that Islam is far more tolerant than christianity or other religions when accepting other religions. To this day, there are jews, christians, and other people of faith living in Muslim countries all over the middle east. They have been there for centuries and they were even allowed to practice there own family law, as Islam and Muslims were sensitive to there religion. Find me one western country in Europe and the US, that allows Muslims to practice there own family law?..

      August 18, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
    • TheAnswer

      @verify:
      In the Old Testament of the Bible whenever a person sinned they had to go out and find a spotless lamb that was without blemish (blemish signified sin), one that was without defect and then give it's blood to the high priest who would then present that blood on the alter to God for the remission of their sins.

      All this was done as a foreshadowing of how He, Christ who is sinless would die and sacrifice himself for us sinners in so that we can be forgiven by God through faith in him.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
    • Amelia

      I'd like to see some proof regarding your statement that the Prophet Muhammad was "a sinner of the worst sort" before God spoke to him. The community he was born into was no doubt filled with moral strife, yet even as a young man, all those around him acknowledged his truthfullness and trustworthiness. Even his enemies at that time agreed to this. People used to say ‘If you go on a journey and need someone to whose safeguarding you will entrust your family and belongings, you can entrust them to Muhammad without hesitation.’

      When the Kaaba was restored and the people could not decide who should set in the Black Stone (because it was n honor) they asked Muhammad to give his advice.

      His absolute honesty – he had never once been know to lie – was why, when he was forty and he began to spread the message of Islam, so many people chose to follow him (when all of them could have simply rejected him as a liar). Why would a man who has gone forty years without uttering any falshood suddenly decide he needed to?

      If we're talking pure logical fact, then the following example may be scorned, but since we're talking about Muhammad being a sinner or not, it should also be known that as a child, when he was inclined to take part in festivities that may have corrupted his purity, he was overcome by sleep. So if we're talking about pure and perfect, Prophet Muhammad absolutely was.

      There is absolutely no denying that Jesus was perfect as well and completely pure. That is what any man must be if God is going to make him a messenger. If you know Islam, then you know that Muslims believe in and deeply respect Jesus. He is our prophet too. But we also believe that every messenger was followed by another until God felt it that humans were ready to receive the final and true revelation, which, we believe is Islam. What you believe is your own business but to imply that Muhammad was sinner is wrong.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
    • anne

      If The Prophet was a sinner, why would God speak to him? He obviously was not, so that is why He was chosen to be spoken to. If He was such a sinner so would every else around that time, so why didn't God reach out to everyone? He choose The Prophet for a reason, and the one you wrote is not the answer.
      If you have any questions about Islam I would be more than happy to explain you, so that you can understand it better. It is good for every religion to know a little about each of the other religions. It is one thing to just read about it, but is the source reliable and did you actually understand what you read?
      For instance: I am assuming your Christian, sorry if I am wrong, so I'll use this as an example. When you read from the Bible, you read it and just understand immediately what it says? Or do you have to ask about the meaning? The language of the time the book was created was not of this age, so words and meanings are different now, so when you read about something and you are new or still learning about a particular subject ask about it instead of assuming you know everything.

      thanks
      -anne

      August 18, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
    • islamakesmesad

      Holy Scriptures, 1st John 2:22 :

      "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son."

      The Koran and Mohammad deny the divinity of Jesus and relegate Him to "prophet."

      August 18, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
    • Mookster

      Muslims don't worship the same god as jews and christians, they worship the devil. Thats why they are from the middle east, the closest thing to hell on earth. Since they worship the devil, they have been given terrible body odors which makes them quite repugnant to the rest of the world. As devil worshippers, muslims seek to conquer the earth and the heavens, wiping out all non-muslims and any good person left alive. Why do you think they burn down schools, kill teachers, etc etc? They rule their population by ignorance and fear mongering. People think its the Arabs that are the problem, but Arabs without Islam are wonderful and just as good as any other people. The problem is with the religion. As soon as people start to realize this, the world will be a much better place. Tolerating the spread of Islam is like tolerating the spread of Aids, its just wrong.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
    • COSMICGOD

      I don't know much about ISLAM/MUSLIM but it sure is the religion that is being used/praised by Terrorist. Outside looking in, when I hear the word "MUSLIM" on TV or radio, it usually accompanied by VIOLENCE. Why is that? I don't side with any religion nor I go to church, but if I do, ISLAM would never be on my list. I have also heard that the QURAN, despite what MUSLIM people say that it preaches all the good things in life, it truly is the devil's bible, I could be wrong, I'm glad we have freedom so we are free to put in our own 2 cents.

      August 18, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
    • MIKE

      Show me one RELIGION that did NOT kill people in the name of GOD?
      Let us not talk about something that we dont know; rather talk about what we know is GOOD... PEACE

      August 18, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
    • Rebecca

      Some of these posts refer to Mohammad as a "perfect" man. How does that work? Have you not read your history? How do you think Islam spread so quickly? Through wars and pilaging and raping every village, town and city that his follows came in contact with. Are you telling me God told him to do this? Are you really defending this religion as peaceful? Wake-up! Your political correctness only makes you look ignorant.

      August 18, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
      • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

        actually Islam spread because it is a great spiritual system that embodies most of the Noble traits in humanity. There were a lot of early conquests in the Islamic History, because the Eastern Roman and Persian Empires were on the decline and had just fought a series of exhausting wars. Opportunistic Muslim rulers quickly overwhelmed large parts of the Middle East and North Africa within a short span of 30 years. Islam spread in these areas over time as people were impressed with the Islamic religion and the zeal of the islamic missionaries.

        People who think you can conquer someone else and force a "violent, spiritually empty religion or ideology" upon the conquerer need to read some history books!! No one forgets their immediate past and humans in general are very rebellious and immune to foreign ideas. Islam has spread because it has something, which a spiritually bankrupt person like you fails to see. The vast number of converts outside the Muslim World are a living proof of this. No one is pointing a gun or a sword at them to convert to Islam.

        August 19, 2010 at 5:16 am |
        • Rray

          They weren't impressed!! they were "pressed" by the tip of their swords, and seeing blood everywhere ..... islam spread because of Persian Empire ..... when mohamad sent his top officers there to learn about science and war .... even mosque is not an islamic built ..... it is a replica of Zorostrian temples ......
          islam never spread but by sword, blood, force, and tyrany ....

          August 19, 2010 at 10:49 am |
        • Reality

          John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

          August 19, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
    • Diane

      Kristen: Your ignorance is appalling. Prophet Mohammad before his prophethood, was well known for his manners and titled "the honest and the truthteller" it was in having such a reputation that many followers accepted his message. In fact, ALL God's prophets were "chosen" by God and they were the absolute BEST of mankind! It is sad that yet another positive news article on Islam is HIJACKED by the HATERS and the spreaders of propaganda against Muslims. Shameful.

      August 18, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
    • TammyB

      @ Rebecca....Christianity spread exactly the same way....conquest, domineering, pillaging all in the name of God and Jesus. Religion makes some people power hungry and terrorists in their own right. You should not say that it is Islam only that kills people in its name as history would contradict that (such as the Crusades).

      August 18, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Does it matter?...said…
      ‘Even if someone disagrees with you or does something that would "send them to hell", why do you care? Why does it matter that someone is doing something that your belief system or you as a person disagree with? As long as it doesn't directly affect you then you shouldn't care.’
      Why do we care? We are called to care about humanity.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      The Answer,
      We can also answer the Truth about Christ's baptism here:

      The Truth about Christ is: He was PERFECT and did NOT need to be baptized…

      When Christ asked John the Baptist to baptize Him, St. John correctly stated that Christ did NOT need baptism because He was sinless; Christ used His baptism as a prefiguring of His own Death and Resurrection, and to reveal who He Was….. [Matthew 3:16-17, 16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”] NASB….and to institute the Sacrament of Baptism which is our sharing in His Death and Resurrection. Christ’s baptism was to fulfill all righteousness and prophecy.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
    • No Dhimmi

      "The Prophet was indeed a sinner of the worst sort-then God spoke to him."

      And then he became an even worse sinner, murdering hundreds of people, kidnapping sex slaves and having sex with a little girl. THIS is the vile creature Muslims follow.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  20. Reality

    For the safety of the world, this is what any school should teach Muslim and non-Muslim children (and their parents):

    Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

    This agenda continues as shown by the massacre in Mumbai, the assassinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, and the Filipino “koranics”.

    And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

    Current crises:

    The centuries-long Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
    • Luke

      Can you please stop spamming same thing over and over in every thread?

      August 18, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
    • Reality

      Reiteration of the truth is a necessary part of education. Those like Luke have already absorbed the needed facts and should simply skip said reiteration. For those still learning, read about and memorize all there is to learn about the evils of Islam!!!

      August 18, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
      • nick

        DID YOU NOT HEAR ME YOUR AN IDIOT

        August 18, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
        • progressv.skywizard

          really? Because I only see one person using all caps. AND IT IS ONLY THE LAZY AND FURIOUS WHO USE THAT KEY.

          August 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
    • adam

      You have proved the accuracy of the following verse:

      "You will surely be tested in your possessions and in yourselves. And you will surely hear from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with Allah much abuse. But if you are patient and fear Allah – indeed, that is of the matters [worthy] of determination" (Quran 3:186)

      August 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
    • nick

      REALITY. DO YOU REALIZE THAT WHAT YOU ARE DOING HAS THE OPPOSITE EFFECT ON ALL OF US. IN FACT I THINK I AM GOING TO CONVERT TO ISLAM JUST BECAUSE OF YOU. YOUR AN IDIOT.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
      • Sammy

        They(Muslims) might have paid you$$$$$ big$$$$ time......Probably you wont get in your life time...YOU SUCK !

        August 18, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
    • Reality

      More teachings for the topic summer camp:

      What drove the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon? The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means. Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed. Then we can talk about the safety of mosques, summer camps and what is taught therein. Until then, no male Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:22 pm |
    • Reality

      One more time:

      Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity by the "bowers", "kneelers" and "pew peasants" will quickly converge these religions into some simple rules of life. No clerics, imams, rabbis, professors of religion and priests needed or desired. Ditto for their houses and classes of "worthless worship". It will be called the great "Pink Slipping" of religion and its leaders.

      John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

      The Situation Today

      Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed.

      It is therefore very disturbing that such religious violence and hatred continues unabated due to radomness of birth. Maybe just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.