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May 4th, 2011
12:48 PM ET

Maine mosque vandalized

Members of southern Maine's Muslim community are expressing outrage after their community center was spray painted with hurtful messages in response to the death of Osama bin Laden.

Some time after morning prayer at the Maine Muslim Community Center on Andersen Street in Portland ended Monday, someone spray painted 'Osama Today, Islam Tomorrow' and 'Go Home' on the front and side of the building.

Read the full story on WCSH.com
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam

May 4th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

My Take: No apology for celebrating after bin Laden's death

Editor's Note: Lauren Kolodkin is an undergraduate student at Boston University; among her professors is CNN Belief Blog contributor Stephen Prothero, who wrote that the celebrations that followed bin Laden's death made him cringe.

By Lauren Kolodkin, Special to CNN

For the past 10 years, my generation has had it pretty bad.

Our youth was taken away by the attacks on 9/11 and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our teen years were pockmarked by the Great Recession. Our college days are splattered with political unrest. And when we graduate from college, we will emerge overeducated and underprepared into an America with no jobs, no opportunities and no hope.

My generation has been told for years that our world is a place where there is little reason to celebrate anything.

But then, on Sunday night, President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden, leader of al Qaeda, mastermind of the attacks of September 11, 2001, was killed in Pakistan. The man who murdered thousands of Americans and instigated the war on terror is finally gone. And my generation celebrated.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 9/11 • Death • My Take • Osama bin Laden • Terrorism

CNN Poll: Majority in U.S. say bin Laden in Hell
May 4th, 2011
11:52 AM ET

CNN Poll: Majority in U.S. say bin Laden in Hell

Washington (CNN) – Of all the newspaper headlines covering the death of Osama bin Laden, the most provocative may have been the New York Daily News.

Their "Rot in Hell" Monday headline, with a full front-page photo of bin Laden, was mentioned by the cable news networks and generated buzz on the on-line social networks.

So do Americans think that the founder and leader of the al Qaeda terrorist network is now in Hell?

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday, 61 percent of the public says yes, with one in ten saying no and nearly a quarter unsure.

"Not all Americans believe in Hell – a point of view reflected in the relatively large number of 'don't know' responses – and many religions don't include punishment in an afterlife as part of their teachings," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Nonetheless, the six in ten who say bin Laden is in Hell reflects how strongly many Americans feel that bin Laden was an evil figure."

Read the full story on CNN's Political Ticker. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 9/11 • Belief • Osama bin Laden • Politics • United States

May 4th, 2011
10:02 AM ET

Imam talks of bin Laden's death and beyond

Imam Johari Abdul-Malik taks with CNN about the reaction to Osama bin Laden's death, his burial at sea and what's to come.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Osama bin Laden

Bin Laden's theology a radical break with traditional Islam
May 4th, 2011
03:00 AM ET

Bin Laden's theology a radical break with traditional Islam

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) – Osama bin Laden wore the mantle of a religious leader. He looked the part and talked a good game, but his theology was a radical departure from traditional orthodox Islam.

The pitch to join al Qaeda did not start with an invitation to put on a suicide vest but, like other religious splinter groups and cults, took advantage of disenfranchisement and poverty.

Bin Laden had no official religious training but developed his own theology of Islam.

"We don't know that (bin Laden) was ever exposed to orthodox Islamic teachings," said Ebrahim Moosa, a professor of religion and Islamic studies at Duke University.

The writing of ideologues in the Muslim Brotherhood influenced bin Laden heavily, Moosa said.

"He takes scriptural imperatives at their face value and believes this is the only instruction and command God has given him - unmediated by history, unmediated by understanding, unmediated by human experience. Now that's a difference between Muslim orthodoxy and what I would call uber- or hyperscripturalists," Moosa said.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 9/11 • Egypt • Faith Now • Islam • Islamic law • Leaders • Middle East • Osama bin Laden • Quran • Sharia • Terrorism • Violence

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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.

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