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September 8th, 2010
11:20 PM ET

5 surprises from Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s CNN interview

Five big surprises from Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s interview with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien on Wednesday night:

1. Rauf regrets locating the Islamic center near ground zero. “If I knew that this would happen, cause this kind of pain,” he said Wednesday night, “I wouldn’t have done it.”

2. Rauf says the reason he can’t move the Islamic center now is because of national security concerns, saying parts of the Muslim world would be violently inflamed at the news of the center’s relocation.

“The headlines in the Muslim world will be that Islam is under attack… (there’s) the danger of the radicals in the Muslim world to our national security, to the national security of our troops,” he said.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • Muslim

September 8th, 2010
11:03 PM ET

Sarah Palin: Quran burning insensitive and un-American

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Yesterday, I called on Christian politicians who had opposed, on the grounds of “sensitivity,” the Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan to denounce the insensitivity of the pastor provocateur Terry Jones, who is planning to burn Qurans at his Gainesville, Florida, church on September 11.  I also called out Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich by name.

Today, Sarah Palin, at least, weighed in.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Christianity • Culture wars • Florida • Islam • Leaders • Quran

September 8th, 2010
10:17 PM ET

Imam says religion, Islamic center should not be 'politicized'

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the religious leader behind plans to erect an Islamic center and mosque a few blocks from New York's ground zero, said Wednesday night that moving it to another location would embolden Islamic radicals and help them incite violence against Americans.

"If we move from that location, the story will be the radicals have taken over the discourse," Rauf told CNN's Soledad O'Brien on "Larry King Live."

Rauf said he was speaking about "radicals" on both sides of the debate on the Islamic center. "Our national security now hinges on how we negotiate this, how we speak about it."

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque

September 8th, 2010
10:13 PM ET

Clinton condemns Quran-burning plan

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has condemned the planned burning of Qurans on the anniversary of the 2001 attacks on the United States as criticism mounts from Muslims around the world.

Speaking Tuesday at an iftar meal in Washington to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Clinton said she welcomed the concerns.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Islam • Politics • Quran

September 8th, 2010
09:07 PM ET

Live blogging CNN's interview with imam behind NYC Islamic center

CNN's Soledad O'Brien has an exclusive interview with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf on "Larry King Live" happening now. CNN is live blogging it at This Just In.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • Muslim

September 8th, 2010
08:34 PM ET

Opinion: How the Florida pastor and the New York imam can live their faiths

Editor's note: Akbar Ahmed is professor and Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington and the former high commissioner from Pakistan to the United Kingdom. He is author of "Journey Into America: The Challenge of Islam" (Brookings Press). He appears tonight at 9 ET on "Larry King Live."

By Akbar Ahmed, Special to CNN

Both Pastor Terry Jones and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf broke their strange silence, and we got a glimpse into the state of their minds Tuesday - Jones on CNN's "AC360°" with Anderson Cooper and Feisal in a New York Times op-ed piece.

In both venues, I was struck by how the two men appeared to be disconnected from the storms they have created, unaware of the sociological laws of cause and effect.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • Muslim • Opinion

September 8th, 2010
08:23 PM ET

Opinion: Islamic center is historic mark of freedom

Editor's note: Hamid Dabashi is the author of "Iran: A People Interrupted." He is the Hagop Kevorkian professor of Iranian studies and comparative literature at Columbia University in New York. Dabashi's book "Shi'ism: A Religion of Protest" is being published by Harvard University Press in February.

By Hamid Dabashi, Special to CNN

"We are proceeding with the community center, Cordoba House. More important, we are doing so with the support of the downtown community, government at all levels and leaders from across the religious spectrum, who will be our partners. I am convinced that it is the right thing to do for many reasons."

The confident and reassuring words of Feisal Abdul Rauf, the chairman of the Cordoba Initiative and the imam of the Farah mosque in Lower Manhattan in his New York Times op-ed piece Tuesday, just four days shy of the ninth anniversary of the horrors of 9/11, speak of a vision always dreamt of - and occasionally delivered - in this country.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • Muslim • Opinion

September 8th, 2010
08:16 PM ET

Profile: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the NYC Islamic center

The imam has stepped into the fray before.

Once, it was to address a French ban on girls wearing face-covering veils in public schools, other times, a Swiss prohibition on minarets and the burning of churches in Malaysia.

In those instances, he reminded his fellow Muslims of Islam's teachings: The burqa is a matter of style that only some Muslim countries embrace; the minarets are a matter of architecture, not religion; and firebombing churches did not sit well with Allah.

"If Muslims curse the Christians," he wrote for a Malaysian newspaper in January, "then the Christians will curse the Muslims. And people will curse Allah, and Allah will hold us responsible for that."

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • Muslim

September 8th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

How the military is preparing for Quran burning

Editor's Note: CNN Pentagon Correspondent Chris Lawrence recently returned from Iraq. He filed this report from the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., looking at how the U.S. Military is preparing to deal with a planned Quran burning in Florida on Saturday and how it operates with heightened awareness regarding religious sensibilities when operating in majority Muslim countries.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture wars • Foreign policy • Islam • Military • Muslim • Quran

September 8th, 2010
04:53 PM ET

Larry King to interview Stephen Hawking

Editor's Note: Stephen Hawking will be Larry King's guest on Friday night. In his latest book Hawking claims God didn't create the universe and aims to banish a divine creator from physics.

You can leave your comments on the LKL Blog here.

You can see the Belief Blog's coverage here on Hawking's new book and the response by religious leaders here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Culture & Science • Europe • News media • TV • United Kingdom

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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.

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