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August 24th, 2010
10:35 AM ET

Opinion: Islam is a religion, not a terror ideology

Editor's note: Jocelyne Cesari is director of the Islam in the West Program at Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University.

By Jocelyne Cesari, Special to CNN

Opponents of an Islamic community center and mosque planned to be built near ground zero say it would desecrate hallowed ground. But suspicion has greeted proposed mosque projects in places less hallowed than ground zero - in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Temecula, California; and elsewhere.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Islam • Opinion

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soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. moncler outlet zone

    moncler outlet locations Opinion: Islam is a religion, not a terror ideology – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs
    moncler outlet zone http://www.moncler-and-outlet.com

    November 28, 2013 at 12:02 am |
  2. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi

    Now I give Radhasoami Faith view of Creation Theory. In Sar Bachan (Poetry) composed by His Holiness Soamiji Maharaj the August Founder of Radhasoami Faith the details of creation and dissolution has been described very scientifically. It is written in this Holy Book: Only He Himself (Supreme Father)and none else was there. There issued forth a great current of spirituality, love and grace (In scientific terminology we may call this current as gravitational wave). This is called His Mauj (Divine Ordainment). This was the first manifestation of Supreme Being. This Divine Ordainment brought into being three regions, viz., Agam, Alakh, and Satnam of eternal bliss. Then a current emerged with a powerful sound. It brought forth the creation of seven Surats or currents of various shades and colours (in scientific terminology we may call it electromagnetic waves). Here the true Jaman or coagulant was given (in scientific terminology this coagulant may be called as weak nuclear force and strong nuclear force). Surats, among themselves, brought the creation into being.

    These currents descended down further and brought the whole universe/multi verse into being i.e. black holes, galaxies etc. were born.

    November 4, 2010 at 2:09 am |
  3. Iqbal khan

    Want to learn more about islam, check out:
    http://www.911Bible.com

    September 26, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
  4. Iqbal khan

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpsQaY5oH2c&w=640&h=390]

    September 23, 2010 at 10:06 pm |
  5. Iqbal khan

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vF9xQyXzD4&w=640&h=390]

    Now check how other religeons call for prayer

    September 7, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  6. Iqbal khan

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFZrSPUoH3I&w=640&h=390]

    September 5, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
  7. Khadija Echevarria

    I happen to be a Muslim but that does not mean I agree with everything Muslims do. For instance, in my opinion, ground zero should be respected as a national shrine. Imam Rauf should have some consideration and empathy for our feelings as Americans. I think the millions he is spending to build these buildings could be better spent in Pakistan helping out with the flood victims who are also Muslims. Their plight is more urgent. Where is his compassion? Granted, the US Constitution gives Muslims the right to build whatever wherever, but it would be more thoughtful to help your own Muslim brethren in their hour of need. Just imagine, there are thousands and thousands of Muslims right now in Pakistan who have no food, drinking water, clothes or shelter. Those millions of dollars could be better spent in Pakistan, don't you think?

    September 4, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  8. Bill

    Why would women in the 21st century stay in a 7th century religion that think's of them as cattle? Open a shelter for women who want to get themselves and their daughters away from Muslim men and Islam and it would overflow. The Superdome would have been perfect! In my opinion.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:28 am |
    • Iqbal khan

      Bill, please check what Yvonne Ridley is saying.....you will find the answer to your questions check the link..

      Home – Yvonne Ridley, Former Taliban Captive, Convert to Islam
      Yvonne Ridley Former Taliban Captive and Convert to Islam

      yvonneridley.org

      September 4, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  9. Bill

    Would someone please answer this one question I have asked for the past 9 years without a response.

    Why are American's told to accept without question a 7th century religion that historically documents that its founding Prophet Mohammed was a mass-murderer, a slave trader and a pedophile? Islam's own history which anyone can read on their own seem's to feel that everything negative about its Prophet's violent action's and distorted, sick personality should be overlooked and accepted, no question's asked.

    Why are Catholic priest vilified and persecuted as pedophile's and my religion used and abused as a joke? Place a Bible in vat of urine or paint a picture of the 'Virgin Mary' in feces and it's called ART, but any negative comment's about Islam or its Ko'ran makes one a Bigot or Islamiphobe with death threats attached?

    One pedophile, mass-murderer, and slave trader is considered a Prophet of GOD! The other Christian pedophile's were just Father Bob's from Anytown, USA, NOT Prophet's of GOD! Just curious?

    An answer would be greatly appreciated Ms. Cesari by many American's who don't understand the double standards applied to Islam and Christianity. In my opinion!

    PS: I've read were they're planning an ART show on 9/11 in Gainsville, FL. They plan to burn the Ko'ran!
    That's art, right Ms. Cesari? Acceptable to everyone, you, Mayor Bloomburg and Imam Rauf included

    September 1, 2010 at 1:28 am |
  10. AGA

    http://www.whyislam.org

    I urge everyone to visit this site to clear their misconceptions about Islam.

    Cheers! 🙂

    August 31, 2010 at 12:30 am |
  11. andysmovieblog

    Sorry but those of you spreading hate against Islam are simply misguided. You claim there are examples all over the place. The same can be pointed in the American direction. We started a war in Iraq that had no point. So we brought on waves of violence and death in that region. So you can't exactly blame Islam for that. Blame Cheney and the companies that made millions from the war. Also do not forget our Christian past where Americans came and wiped out the Indians who lived here. There were ways to make peace but they decided to wipe them out because they would not convert. So Christians are just as bad as Muslims when it comes to violence. Don't let hate take us over. Not allowing Mosque's to be built, why? Because we're afraid? That is so un-American it's not even funny. Don't let terrorists erode what our country is about. If you don't understand Islam that's fine, go read a book or take a class. Don't blindly hate a religion due to violence around the world or what some crazy people in certain political parties tell you. Any group, religion, or race can be made to look bad. Just take some time to learn about Islam and it won't be that scary I promise you. To those rallying against the Mosque's being constructed you are the real threat to America. You are breaking apart what it means to be American and you should be ashamed of yourself.

    August 29, 2010 at 11:51 pm |
  12. Howneffon

    Very similar.

    August 29, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  13. Iqbal Khan

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSsgYax7EWs&w=640&h=390]

    August 28, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • Qanat

      @Iqbal Khan

      If you have something to say, why do you not write it out so we can see it? I cannot view your little movies. Please state your position or whatever it is that you are trying to say. Otherwise your posts just take up space and say nothing.

      August 28, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
    • Bill

      So the Qur'an is amazing and beautiful even though it call's for the death of Jews and Infidel's and the Christian Bible which call's for peace to all people can be placed in a vat of urine and it's called ART! Something strange is happening in our USA, folk's. Our leaders have their hands on all of that oil money and screw the rest of us and our country. Gay's march against Christianity about the right to marry and say nothing about Islam that call's for their death's. They've got some DUMB people in that movement. I've seen bowel's move better. In my opinion!

      September 1, 2010 at 5:35 am |
    • Bill

      It's not what's 'ROTE'. It's what is well written. The Bible! In my opinion! Islam teaches its followers how to wipe their backside. Does anyone you know need instruction's in this area above 3?

      September 1, 2010 at 5:38 am |
  14. Iqbal Khan

    Hello, Check out...www.911bible.com
    and watch
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfzFYEOVDgM&w=640&h=390]

    August 28, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  15. AmericanPatriot

    The Quran uses the carrot and stick to reinforce behavior. Throughout the book are vivid descriptions of hell, where sinners and non-Muslims have to drink boiling, stinking water, are thrown face down into a raging fire, and have to be there for eternity, suffering endless torments in agony.

    There are also vivid descriptions of Paradise. In Paradise, believers wear green silk robes and recline on plush couches. Trees shade them, fruit dangles nearby. Believers have tasty food and refreshing drinks served to them in silver goblets.

    But to have a chance of reaching Paradise, they must be devout Muslims. To guarantee it, they must die in jihad (for men) or make sure their husbands are always happy with them (for women).

    August 27, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  16. American Girl

    I can't believe this woman trots out that old tired academic refrain of "the Other." Muslims are definitely "the Other." Here is a little list of what I think SHOULD be called "the other."

    Divinely authorized wife-beating: Koran 4:29
    Polygamy: Koran 4:29
    Women's testimony valued as less than a man's
    Women's entire bodies being classified as equivalent to a genital zone requiring total covering in public.
    Restricted travel by women
    Divorce at will by men; practically no divorce allowed for women
    Women's inheritance rights set at half of a man's
    Prohibition against images of people
    Prohibitions which strangle the arts of dance and painting, sculpture and drama
    First cousin marriages endorsed and promoted
    No freedom of speech
    No freedom of thought
    No freedom of religion

    Yes, lady, these people are "the Other." They are the "Other" that our ancestors fought against. America stood tall and fought off the Barbary Pirates who were Muslim pirates who believed they had the right to enslave any non-Muslim they could capture. We need to fight back now just as we did then.

    August 26, 2010 at 10:03 pm |
  17. American Girl

    It is amazing that a person claiming to possess an educated view of Islam can promote this nonsense. The blinders are amazing. It is that difficult to find the literature lady, look at the Koran, the Reliance of the Traveler, the six sets of recognized Hadith. This author has to know that Islam does not permit freedom of thought. There is no country with a Muslim majority that allows freedom of religion or free thought. Criticizing any part of Islam or Mohammed is dangerous to your health. How can this woman not know this? How does she think Islam was spread? By conquering armies. Christianity existed 300 years before it gained any temporal power, by then it had swept through the Roman Empire. Islam was spread by the sword from the beginning. The Koran is full of quotes instructing its followers to conquer the world. The Koran and its attendant supporting literature most definitely instruct Muslims to war against all non-Muslims. Christ taught His followers to "turn the other cheek.' A radical Christian is a pacifist, not a violent person. Christ never sanctioned violence in his name, those who committed it in His name sinned. A woman claiming the status of someone associated with Harvard clearly has not read the basic texts. BTW, has anyone looked into how much Saudi money Harvard is getting? These are the same people who protested the exclusion of gays from the U.S. military but greedily take money from people who would kill any gay person. Here's a recommendation for this author. Read Ayaan Ali Hirsi and get a clue.

    August 26, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
  18. AmericanPatriot

    You can't leave Islam once you're in. This is an interesting one. It is actually illegal in Islamic states to convert out of Islam. This is a critical part of Shari'a law. Someone who has rejected Islam who was once a Muslim is an "apostate." This is a crime and a sin, and the punishment for it is death (and eternal damnation in hell thereafter).

    Obviously, you can see why this idea has been included in the collection, but this one has actually caused Islam a problem because those who are following Islam to the letter consider more "moderate" Muslims (those who want to ignore or alter the more violent passages of the Quran) to be apostates. Since the punishment for apostates is death, fundamentalist Muslims are fighting modernizing Muslims all over the world, and keeping many rebellious, modernizing Muslims from speaking up for fear of death.

    Every time a group of Muslims decides that maybe Islam should be updated for the 21st century and maybe women should have some rights and maybe the government should be more democratic, the devout Muslims call them apostates and try to kill them.

    In this and in many other ways, Islam protects its own fidelity (in other words, the original idea-collection cannot be altered).

    Another idea in Shari'a law says it's against the law for anyone to try to convert a Muslim to another religion.

    August 26, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      Allah is a just God!!
      Had He required that converts be put to death and then placed the entire earth under shariah law, one could make the accusation that this was a gross injustice. But things have not been that way. 65% – 85% of the world has always been outside the folds of islamic empires in history.

      So if you want to convert out of Islam into some other religion, you can do so and emigrate to some other lands and start a new life. But if you wish to stay where you are and convert out of Islam, the penalty is indeed severe. Given the spiritual depth and relative lack of theological complexities of the islamic religion, there is little incentive for a Muslim to convert to another religion. Whatever good they have, most likely is already institutionalized in Islam.

      If you simply want to be irreligious and atheistic, that is not a conversion! That is a discarding of your religion, which you can do quietly and go about your business. There are millions and millions and millions of people in the islamic world who are non-practicing, often non-believing. No one is putting them to death anywhere.

      But if you discard Islam and then go about making a public spectacle of it, showing off, inviting others to do the same, you are going to get your head chopped off, and rightly so. Why? because you are leading others astray, its one thing to have no sense of God and morality oneself, its entirely another thing to make other peoples lives miserable as well.

      August 26, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  19. JohnQuest

    Reality, as we have disagreed in the past we shall do so again; Do you really think a backward group of people would care about you (us, the west) if we didn't influence and replaced their government for our own best interest, steal their natural resources for our own use, interfere with and interrupt their access to basic needs (think water rights). Subvert their population especially their women and children, and drop bombs on their loved ones. I think you give the Quran too much credit. Ultimate, you are concerned that the Muslim are going to do to the west what the west has been doing to Muslims for the last 100 years or more.

    Peace my brother Reality start with respect, it is obvious we in the west do not respect them, even I have a hard time respecting people that treat women like property. However, if we are willing to destroy their way of life we should expect them to be willing to stop us in any way they can. If you are that concerned join the fight we can always use more Cannon Fodder . You stated earlier that the Iraqis lied about WMDs, the last administration lied about the reasons for war, this administration lied about ending the war, (having our boys and girls die for a lie is using them like Cannon Fodder), wonder how many more. I think you have such a dislike and distrust in Muslims that you don't see our guilt in the whole bloody mess.

    No I am not naive enough to think that if we stopped now the bad guys will go away just recognized that we had a big hand in this global conflict, we could have done things differently if peace was our goal, which it was not.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  20. Frogist

    The attempt to separate a people from their religion is a barely veiled attempt to dehumanize them. The less you see a person as human the more you are likely to treat them inhumanely. I wholeheartedly agree with the article's idea of the Other and our need to distinguish ourselves from it. But as much as we would like to align ourselves with a group, we must try not to villify the outsiders. Or we are just as small-minded as our counterparts. Our focus must be on recognizing the similarites between each other because that is the only way towards a lasting civil peace.

    August 25, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Frogist, I don't usually see much humanity in religion. It seems to me that religion treats people with less humanity than the State.

      August 25, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
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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.