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May 23rd, 2011
10:09 AM ET

My Take: This just in, Tennessee court says Islam is a religion

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

A few months ago I spoke at an interfaith forum at the University of North Alabama. One of the speakers on my panel was Ossama Bahloul, imam of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

Bahloul began his talk by observing that God must have a sense of humor to have given him a name as problematic as Ossama. But the heart of his talk concerned the compatibility of Islam with American values.

What surprised me about Bahloul, in both his public talk and our private conversations, was his deep and abiding faith in America. Signs at the construction site for his planned mosque had been vandalized twice and federal investigators had determined that a fire at the site was intentionally set. Efforts to build that mosque, appropriate for a growing congregation that had been active in the area for roughly two decades, were met not only with protests but also with a lawsuit.

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Yet Bahloul continued to believe that what was right would win out in the end.

In the lawsuit, opponents of the mosque argued, among other things, that Islam was not a religion and therefore was not entitled to the free exercise protections and special zoning treatment given to religious organizations. But last week, a Murfreesboro court ruled for the Islamic center.

In his ruling, judge Robert Corlew announced "that Islam is a religion." The fact that a court of law in the United States would actually have to make such a finding is a sad commentary on where we are today in the United States in terms of religious literacy.

Tennessee imam: My mosque was torched

Islam is not just a religion. It is the second largest religion in the world, with over 1 billion adherents. And as the Murfreesboro case demonstrates, some of these Muslims are our neighbors.

There is still one legal issue unsettled in this case—a technical matter concerning whether a prior proceeding allowing the mosque construction had followed the rules of a local open meetings ordinance. But, as the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro noted on its web page yesterday, the building permit is now in hand.

And, at least for now, the First Amendment is still the law of the land in Tennessee.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Church and state • Courts • Islam • Opinion • Tennessee • United States

soundoff (708 Responses)
  1. Mohammad Qutubuddin Khaja

    I love Allah, and Allah Loves me. I am proud to be a Muslim and I worship only one true GOD(ALLAH) and I dont worship statues and Idols. I respect Prophet Mohammad because he taught me live like a true human ( Live like Jesus, Moses, Noah, Abraham, etc). I love all humans as Allah created all humans from Adam and eve, and all Humans are my relatives. Allah is the creator of all things and all humans. Allah is most loving, most merciful, beneficent. Allah Loves you.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving Muslims is quite easy!!!

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.
      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

      May 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  2. Abdul Rehman

    Azee, I think all you need to do is to read history and update your journal knowledge about what is Islamization doing to the contemporary world. I know the main stream Muslims have become so found of defending what is obviously wrong.
    People actually are proving my point here. Playing the music in the urban middle class cultures where Islam is kept at its bay and playing music in Wazirastan or Taliban occupied areas would be different (you will certainly be killed along with your family). Also doing the modern recreational activities in the rich westernized neighborhoods/schools are much easier than doing so in the ordinary 95% of the countary's schools and colleges where glorious and fundamental principals of Islam are seen at their full swing. Anyways, read you own book and read the history from an un-biased source and you will find that you are a great example of someone who believes in hypocrisy and non-sense.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Ralphie

      There are extremist Christians within our own borders. Some subjugate women and children in horrible ways, some stash arms and plot the overthrow of our Nation. None of that makes Christianity a bad thing. I work with Muslims who think the Talibs are every bit as psycho as we do.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Mohammad Qutubuddin Khaja

      I love Allah, and Allah Loves me. I am proud to be a Muslim and I worship only one true GOD(ALLAH) and I dont worship statues and Idols. I respect Prophet Mohammad because he taught me live like a true human ( Live like Jesus, Moses, Noah, Abraham, etc). I love all humans as Allah created all humans from Adam and eve, and all Humans are my relatives. Allah is the creator of all things and all humans. Allah is most loving, most merciful, beneficent. Allah Loves you. He is love and mercy.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • 9mil

      Pedophile prophet mohammed made it a practice to kill infidels, beat women, and make his wives wash the semen stains out of his clothing because he spent so much time whacking his pud. Or maybe his wives were embarrassed to have the old perv seen in public with unwashed goopy in his pants. What a role model.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  3. Ray

    Bigotry and racism continue to thrive in our nation. Lets concentrate on eliminating terrorists and support God fearing peaceful people regardless of their religion.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Ray

      Ray, in the same way that moslem countries support Christians living in their lands???

      May 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • 9mil

      What bigotry and racism?? Try marrying a muslim girl even in this country if you ain't one. Go touch a koran, infidel and see what happens. It is not bigotry to recognize the threat that muslims themselves prove that they are. Every muslim male on this planet is a future "martyr", terrorist, honor killer, church burner.......it's just a matter of when.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Nonimus

      What have you got against peaceful people who are not "God fearing"?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @9mil,
      I doubt that you can fit any group of 9billion+ into such a narrow sectarian pigeon hole, but I'm sure will continue to try.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Mohammad Qutubuddin Khaja

      Allah Loves you, Peace ( Islam means Peace and surrender to the will of Allah(GOD)),I love Allah, and Allah Loves me. I am proud to be a Muslim and I worship only one true GOD(ALLAH) and I dont worship statues and Idols. I respect Prophet Mohammad because he taught me live like a true human ( Live like Jesus, Moses, Noah, Abraham, etc). I love all humans as Allah created all humans from Adam and eve, and all Humans are my relatives. Allah is the creator of all things and all humans. Allah is most loving, most merciful, beneficent. Allah Loves you.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Nonimus

      should have been 1billion+

      May 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Mycology

      Mohammad Qutubuddin Khaja

      – do you love Jews too?

      how about Hindus?

      What about atheists?

      Do you love them all?

      And now the hard part – regardless of what YOU think of them

      what does SHARI'A DEMAND you / devout muslims do to them , if they are jewish / hindu / atheist.

      This muslim liar wont answer, or wont answer honestly. Because he knows Shari'a demands they all be killed. Men, women, children, babies – ALL OF THEM.

      WAKE UP WORLD – They're making it obvious to us now, and over the past 1,000 years what animals they are. We cannot permit this plague in -our lands-.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  4. Dave

    Don't burn the building, that is silly. Bury a ham on the site. I wish them no harm, but their religion is satanic by its fruits.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Ralphie

      You don't see evil in your own post?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • 9mil

      Ralphie, whatever evil you see in his post is surely dwarfed by the evil of islam and the pedophile prophet.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Albert

      true.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Ralphie

      Supposedly good people have been condemning other religions as Satanic for centuries. Did those that burned 'witches' enter the Kindom of Heaven? Those that fought against 'race mixing' in the 60s? Humans have an amazing capacity to selectively find reasons to dehumanize and hate a particular group.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Truth sayer

      Hi, Joseph, the Husband of Mary( Mother of Fatherless Jesus) was also a paedophilia's. He screwed Mary when she was only 13. She delivered Jesus when she was only 12, and your so called GOD , HOLY SPIRIT screwed her when she was only 11Years.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Ahmed

      Hey dave. I am not a scholar but I believe "HAM" is forbidden in Christianity, and Jewish religion. Please read Holy Bible you may learn some thing. here is the quote; In the book of Leviticus, chapter 11, v. 7, it is recorded that God declares the pig to be unclean for believers. Then, in verse 8, God says: “You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.” This command is repeated in Deuteronomy 14:7-8. Then, in Isaiah 65:2-4, and 66:17, God issues a stern warning against those who eat pork. Need I say more.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Methusalem969

      @Ahmad

      The Bible you tried to quote doesn't say, "You MUST not eat or touch....", rather you MAY or SHALL not eat and touch. It"s recommended, advised.... Can you see the difference? A true GOD let you decide what you may or may not do - FREE WILL.

      May 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • LOVELY ME

      Make sure it's a TURKEY HAM.....PORK will save money in store compared to most meats, but not health wise;-)

      May 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
  5. Albert

    go to http://www.thereligionofpeace.com and read the true teaching of islam and the fruit of those teachings. you will be horrified, but at least you will be educated.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Ralphie

      Could you post some good Klan links too? I really want to be 'educated'.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Stevie7

      http://www.evilbible.com

      See, I can post biased links to support my cause, too! Hooray!

      May 23, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • mattinthehat

      Funny you mention that, ...its not the Klan, but a much more extremist group called the Neoconservatives, which has a stranglehold on our govt and media, that looks to malign Islam for their own political gains (ie going to war against Moslem countries 1) makes them, as investors in the Military Industrial Complex, $millions, 2) is fighting Israel's war for it. They've been yelling "chicken little" - "the moslems are coming, the moslems are coming!" and for the past decade us Americans have naively bought into hook-line and sinker. Look at where it has left our the status of our country and economy. I've felt like a dope long enough, but my eyes are now open.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Truth sayer

      Hi, Joseph, the Husband of Mary( Mother of Fatherless Jesus) was also a paedophilia's. He screwed Mary when she was only 13. She delivered Jesus when she was only 12, and your so called GOD , HOLY SPIRIT screwed her when she was only 11.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  6. CheyneyBush

    I think most of us are being fed LIES and FEAR for no reason. Let Muslims practice their religion freely without any hinderance.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  7. Ray

    why is it that Christians have coffee and doughnuts after sunday services but Moslems riot and bomb after their Friday services??? reliogion of peace and tolerance???? LMAO!!!

    May 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I wonder why you talk about Christians in this country but Muslims from 3rd world countries.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  8. 9mil

    The problem with muslims is that they are not content to simply stay in their mosques and do the 4 times a day knee thing. Once they expand to numbers with political and social clout, its sharia law, honor killings, prohibition of bacon and a host of other demands. If their pleas are not heard, it is those horrible crusading christians who are to blame and the liberals in the courts usually side with these islamic animals. Please remember, libtards, once these muslims get a taste for power given to them by you, you will be next on their lists. Do you really think that once they are entrenched in your neighborhoods that they will allow YOUR women to walk around uncovered???? Even you will be an offense to them.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Opie

      4 times a day? 4!?! times a day? And you claim to be qualified to speak about this issue? HAHAHA!

      May 23, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • 9mil

      Sorry opie, I read that they do the knee thing to their bloodthirsty god 5 times a day. My mistake and i am extremely sorry that you feel you and your liberal, muslim defending ways have been offended. May the pedophile prophet (Pooop be upon him) come out of the grave and do to you what he did to Aisha.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • ZeeMan

      4 times, lol. Shows how enlightened you are. That's like saying Jesus was from California. BTW don't get all worked up about Shria Law. It is not practiced even in countries where muslims are in the majority. Why? Because most people know it is an old law and the the large majority do not want it, or practice it except in bits and pieces like giving charity etc. So it it is not the law of the land in the muslim majority countries then how can it be imposed where the muslims are less than 5%? This is just fear mongering. The first to stand up against the imposition of sharia are the moderate muslims that are in the majority. You are better off worrying about the healthcare, social security, medicare, and the future of our children and forget about sharia law.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Just like the Catholics turned the country over to the Pope... wait that didn't happen.
      Just like those Irish drunks took over every thing.... umm, not that one either.
      Surely the Germans brought this country to ruin... no?
      ... the Chinese? ... those Ja.ps in the US during WWII then? no?

      May 23, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Brian

      I am all for religious freedom...but heaven forgive my wrath if they outlaw bacon....

      May 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • LOVELY ME

      BACON is not prohibited you have differents bacon, sausages, and ham wal-mart sells all kinds ex: pork, turkey, and beef just pick what you want what's the big deal about eating one of the filthy animals on earth when JESUS cast the demands away out of all the animals he choice the pig to cast them away in.....ya'll needs to really chill out this is crazy the world is really showing the end is near

      May 25, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
  9. teepee

    I'll entertain white people about Islam when they confront Devil worship in this nation...

    May 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  10. humtake

    I don't really care about if it goes up or not, what I don't like is the near-Jerusalem mentality they have taken with this site. If America wants to really show what we are about to the rest of the world, then a compromise needs to happen here. It should be moved to a differet location, one that both parties can agree on. Without compromise, we are no better than a bunch of extremists fighting over holy land...sound familiar? If Obama were smart, he would use this as a tool to show th Middle East that Democracy only works when you compromise, not blow things up.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Opie

      Uh? The site in Murfeesboro? It's going to be blocked regardless of where the Muslims propose to put it.

      Why? Because people in America have been brainwashed into this nonsense of believing that Muslims seek to overthrow their government.

      It's a conspiracy theory.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Ralphie

      Are they blowing things up? Why is this site too holy for a mosque?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • StClown

      The federal government does not set local zoning regulations, nor does it provide construction permits. That's why he's not going to interject on this situation, just as he correctly kept the federal government out of the "Ground Zero" mosque debate while others across the nation tried to drag him into it.

      But that's just this conservative libertarian's opinion.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • humtake

      Honestly, the people who think the Fed never steps in on issues that are highly debateable really confuse me. They do it over and over again to the point where people say they do it too much, and then there are people like this who say the Feds don't control zoning so they can't do anything. This topic is high profile enough for the Feds to get involved, they've gotten involved in much lesser issues.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Free

      Opie-
      "Because people in America have been brainwashed into this nonsense of believing that Muslims seek to overthrow their government."

      I think you may need to expand on that idea of brainwashing a bit. It seems that a whole lot of people have been convinced that it's actually right and proper for Christians (and maybe a splattering of Jews) to be represented in government, but no other religious group, especially not atheists. So, it's not that they're against the 'takeover' of government per se, you see what I mean?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  11. Alex

    Just take a Bible for your personal use to Saudi Arabia and see what happens at the airport. We can talk about building churches later. Arabs and the people living now in muslim dominated areas were among the most intelligent people on the face of the earth before 1400 years .Now they are the most stupid; the reason is the arrival of Islam. Islam is intellectual and cultural slavery. The people invented Islam wanted just that. Beware when we welcome Islam into our midst and what happens after their numbers become sizable. They deny libery for their own and what about others.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Opie

      Couple of things to note...

      1.) The golden age happened AFTER the introduction of Islam, not before it.

      2.) You're a fool.

      3.) Saudi Arabia as a medieval monarchy is NOT representative of Islam as the Islamic state has an ELECTED head (see Abu Bakr).

      May 23, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • John

      Uh... Christians believe in a invisible god just as Muslims do. oh yeah and they think were were created several thousand years ago and that man walked with the dinosaurs. Sounds like they are just as dumb. ( Religion makes people stupid period.)

      May 23, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Ralphie

      @John, I'm sure you realize that most Christians do not believe that humans walked with the dinosaurs.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Alan

      Bibles are not forbidden. What is forbidden in some countries, China for example, is distribution of Bibles or proselytizing without permission. Hey, if you don't like the rules then stay home. Not every country is America. We Americans have a tendency toward hegemony. What works here is not going to work anywhere else.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • spy-x

      Your an idiot.... look at the real history before you speak. Islam came in a time and place filled with evil and it got rid of that evil. (kinda funny if i mention what you did to the native americans).
      second America says that its a free country "the land of the free" "give me liberty or give me death" last i checked saudi arabia doesnt so stop comparing the two....
      third islam preaches peace and freedom (limited) giving humans complete freedom is dangerous and history can show you how. islam limits what it needs. those who go agaisnt what islam truely preaches are "muslim" by name only. or perhaps you can name a perfect human ? one who has never lied ? get your facts straight before you get into some serious trouble

      May 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • StClown

      Islamic countries were far ahead of the European Christian nations during the Crusades in terms of technology. It wasn't until the last couple hundred years that a new direction has taken hold, and then it's only in the most extreme branches. Go into Turkey, you'll find a very "European" nation inhabited by an overwhelmingly Muslim population

      Accidentally hit the Report abuse link instead of reply. Whoops.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Ray

      islam was born in violence and thrives on it. It is a regigion of oppression, terror and hatrerd. THAT is a fact!

      May 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • cosmicc

      Rather than call your intelligence into question, I'll raise the quality of your education. I'll give you the benefit of doubt by assuming you are referring to a drop in education rather than intelligence. Clearly, your level of education is insufficient to see the difference. This would, of course, also explain the lack of knowledge about how education and culture flourished in areas controlled by Islam while the Christian church repressed not only new intellectual exploration, but also suppressed many existing areas of knowledge that seemed to contradict religious dogma.
      There are wonderful things called books. They are used to house knowledge. I suggest picking one up rather than listening to hate speach on radio and Faux NEWS (and no, Ann Coulter's hate filled diatribes don't count).

      May 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  12. Casual Observer

    I guess reality has no place in Prothero's thinking – I have read more about Islam then most Muslims and am an ardent student of history and the impact of religion (all religions) on it – all religions have their gray areas
    in my opinion Islam in this country is a cancer – no matter how you look at it objectively their goals are to have all of us surrender our values, our culture and our belief systems and become blind, non-questioning servants of Allah
    this is on almost every Muslim website you go to – there is no misunderstanding as to the end game with them
    alright Islam is a religion – one still floundering in the same manner it was in the 12th century
    it is a religion without a leader – without a consistent theology and without any real value to anyone who can rationally think
    it may have had a purpose in the 7th century – I question whether it has any real relevance in the 21st century
    it's non-religious relevance that a billion Muslims are willing to destroy anything and anyone that gets in the way of "world peace"
    now remember that the Muslims clearly define world peace as a world that is ruled by Sharia Law and is 100% Muslim
    what about the whole concept that while the US may not be at war with Islam – Islam is at war with the US?
    a simple question that even the White House refuses to acknowledge or even ask?
    what do the Murfreesboro Muslims have to say about that? has anyone asked them?

    May 23, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • Opie

      I bet you're as much an expert on Islam as Robert "I have no academic credentials and can't read Arabic" Spencer. Look man, you DON'T actually know anything about Islam much less more than the average Muslim.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • What?

      Watching and reciting Fox doesn't make one a student.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Nate

      @ Casual Observer – Replace the words "Islam," "Mulsim" and "Allah" in your post with "Christianity," "Christian" and "God" and you will have made basically the same point. Choose words describing any other religion and the result will be the same.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • PatMcSwain

      Agreed. Peace is the coexistence of different people with different philosophies. Peace is not a uniform belief that must be shared by everyone under force of arms. The USSR, China, 1930's Germany, the Roman Empire, etc, were not societies you would think of as being "at peace". As long as there numerous countries being besieged by violence in the name of Islam with the goal of forcing their beliefs on the existing population, there is no validity in practice of Islam having the long term goal of peaceful coexistence. No other "religion" in the world is following such a path, so is it a truly just a religion?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Albert

      go to http://www.thereligionofpeace.com and read the true teaching of islam and the fruit of those teachings. you will be horrified, but at least you will be educated.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Mohammad Qutubuddin Khaja

      I love Allah, and Allah Loves me. I am proud to be a Muslim and I worship only one true GOD(ALLAH) and I dont worship statues and Idols. I respect Prophet Mohammad because he taught me live like a true human ( Live like Jesus, Moses, Noah, Abraham, etc). I love all humans as Allah created all humans from Adam and eve, and all Humans are my relatives. Allah is the creator of all things and all humans. Allah is most loving, most merciful, beneficent. Allah Loves you. He loves your family and nation.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  13. shells

    Everyone Please STOP.......Stop and read and Listen to your radical hateful words and how its against your beliefs.....the world solely belongs to Allah in reference GOD....Must we be so hateful and so radical. The land is ours to live on and those countries who does not accept other religions and other beliefs look how they suffer with poverty and violence and killing of men women and children of their own and others Everyday. And if we as Citizens begin to believe and look at each religion in a hateful manner then God's wrath will continue which it has look at the cities and states facing devastation because people are becoming violent hateful and sinful not because of "mother nature". Please stop the hate what those suicide bombers or their assailants did we can't forgive them but we shouldn't be angry because the life here after will justify justice....yes our loved one's died but one day we will too and with all this negativity and hate who knows how severe our death maybe as a Muslim, Christian, Jew, or even Atheist. Also Saudi's have a population of christian and so does Pakistan, Afghan and Palestine but we'd rather not be there because look what violence has done to those who believe in these peaceful religions but over land and power and political corruption they are so illiterate and radical........No country has been at peace for decades and I don't want the American's to become those countries or those people. be thankful where we are and who we are and also yes our political system is corrupt but they aren't making us typical citizens to carry grenades and weapons to kill. Be thankful share the land you don't have to share the ideology or faith....

    May 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
  14. Sad

    " The fact that a court of law in the United States would actually have to make such a finding is a sad commentary on where we are today in the United States in terms of religious literacy."

    Are you kidding me??? Sir, you must be joking! You obviously have not read one verse in the Koran nor did any research on Islam or its history. It is a political ideology, masked as a religion that wishes to control every aspect of a human’s life. To give religious privilege to a dogma that wants you dead is insane....

    Your comments present your ignorance to the topic. Read a few chapters of the koran and lets see how you change your tune!

    May 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • Opie

      Dude, he's a religious scholar. He knows much more about it than you ever could. What ayat seem to be troubling you?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Displeased

      Right, like the bible is full of love. You folks are like children, and your religious wars are getting old.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Casual Observer

      Opie,
      You should be put to sleep – you continued presence on the earth dilutes the gene pool. the phrase religious scholar is a joke.
      Anyone who does any basic research on Islam (and other religions) will see how they are viewed through the lens of history.
      Islam is at best a cult – poorly organized, no leadership, no central dogma and it goes downhill from here ......................
      If there is an ALLAH he must be sorely disappointed in the way his "religion" is being practiced.
      Islam in it's current format has no place in America.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Havewenocommonsense

      Better yet read the whole Quran not just a few chapters. Use your mind and think for yourself, don't let others tell you what to think.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Casual Observer: You tell someone they should be put to sleep and you have the gall to criticise an entire religion's moral stance? Hypocrisy of the highest order.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  15. PatMcSwain

    Sticky situation for sure. Is modern Islam a religion or an army of a nation that has no borders? In many countries that are not predominately Islamic, there are armed insurrections at this time aimed at the overthrow the government through force of arms instead of democratic process. The rhetoric surrounding Islamic Imperialism is constantly trumpeting that "Islam is a religion of peace", yet when you look sharply at actions instead of words, that is not the case currently. It is similar to proclaiming the Crips street gang is a religion. Is this the future? You call your violent gang a religion to get protection for your deeds?

    I'm sure this essay will outrage most all Muslims, but until you can show some evidence that the Islamic Imperialism is focused on peace instead of destruction, overthrow, and enslavement, it's a valid argument to claim Islam is a military operation that has a common religion as a base, not a religion that has fostered peace in various nations.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Opie

      Islam has more than just the trappings of an organized religion. Calling it a political ideology is like calling Judaism a political ideology because it has halakha.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Displeased

      You are referring to the actions of extremists. Do the Christian extremists represent all of Christianity? Terrorists or those uneducated, impoverished extremists from 3rd world countries do not represent all Muslims.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • John

      Christians in this country are no better sir. They preach peace and love but bring death and destruction. Only when they do it it is through the US military. Somewhere between 150k- 600k civilian deaths have been cause by our invasion of Iraq. thats alot of blood on our hands. Especially when we are a so called "christian nation". When was the last time you heard about jesus killing thousands of people?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • mario

      Please do not blur the political ideaologies of a few idiots claiming it as 'Islamic' with true Islam. If you want to find examples of true Islamic work, you will find it in the Muslim communities here in the United States where social services of clinics and homeless care are thriving. Seek the truth where truth exists.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • ZeeMan

      Hmmm. So how many muslim countries you can name that have the spred of Islam to non-mulsim countries as their goal in life? How many muslim countries are waging war in non-muslim countries to propagate Islam? How may christians do yo know who have been forcefully subjected to converting to Islam? I thought so, none. By far most of the muslims are busy trying to put food on the table and to secure a better future for their children, just like christians, jews, hindus etc. If you focus on the individual actions of a small group of radicals then you would draw the wrong conclusions. The same could be said for any religion, all of which have their share of radicals.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  16. MikeBell

    "Renounced 'off-camera' Hamas as a terrorist organization." Why not on camera?

    May 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  17. Maloof

    The situation is utterly hopeless for Christians – why do they not provide minority Christians in their own countries the same courtesy.
    – allow churches in Saudi Arabia
    – stop bombing churches in Middle East and Far East
    – stop killing Christians.

    I guess this is what the Bible prediction is all about – global, world wide persecution and massacre of Christians can only come to pass if this happens.

    May 23, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Monk

      Oh God,who is dropping bombs and killing non christians like insects?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Displeased

      You want to base our laws on what other countries do?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Maloof,
      "...why do they not provide minority Christians in their own countries the same courtesy."
      *Their* own country *is* the USA.

      These are Americans in the US that want to practice their religion. End of story.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  18. Michael, Chapel Hill

    This is how Islam effectively use civilized laws in the US to establish Sharia. As my experience, they still hate America, enjoying the fruits of a civilized society like Bin Laden who used American aircrafts to hit Americans & their propery. Since 600 AD; Islam pushed itself in where they could. Now it is in the US.

    May 23, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • KDog

      It's a good thing Christianity doesn't push themselves on the World.......

      May 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • Opie

      If you didn't want Islam in America, you probably should have stopped slavers from importing Muslim African slaves prior to the creation of the United States. You're worried about shari'a? Do you equally worry about halakha?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • mario

      OOOOO be scared. We'll be ruled by Sharia by this time tomorrow. You have to be scared, even if there is nothing to fear. Moral of my story, Be scared (ignore their smiles).

      May 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Bob Wheeler

      @Michael. Please name names. What Muslims do you know first hand that are American citizens and that hate America? What non-citizens do you know that are Muslim and hate America. Go back and do some basic research and cite your sources for your assertion that the Muslim community wants to impose Sharia on non-muslims or make it the law of the land? I find your remarks disturbing for their reflection of your intolerance and ignorance.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • The Moroccan

      actually not all the arabs or all the muslims hates america and the best example is libya(the american flag is waving in eastern libya,misrata,and the westren mountain) syria(they burnt the russian,iranian,chinese flags because they supported the regime and they are waving the american and french and british and german and turkish flag because they supported the revolution) morocco(first country that declared america as an indepndent country) tunisia(strong ties with amrica before and after the revolution) egypt(strong ties with amrica before and after the revolution) lebanon(always with america) gulf states(very strong relations with america) algeria(very strong relations with america) mauritania the same thing as algeria and sudan except teh president,yemen also and the only arabs taht hates you are iraqis because you inveded their country for something that doesn't exist (total destruction weapons or something like that) and the afghans beacause you are killing them every day by mistake or for fun like few od the american soldiers and I'm arab and I'm muslima and I hate osama bin laden so much and thank you 🙂

      May 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Sulayman F

      Baloney. There are thousands of patriotic American Muslims serving in our armed forces, and many buried in Arlington National Cemetary. They died to protect your freedom, which apparently includes you bashing them even while they're dead.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Nonimus

      These are Americans in the US that want to practice their religion.
      If you are so anti-consti.tution as to want to change to First Amendment and repeal the Free Expression clause, good luck.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  19. msclair

    I love visiting my local mosque during Ramadan.

    May 23, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • ha what a joke

      really, I guess many middle eastern countries do their best in rooting out Christian insects out of their country. Why can't we do that in America, root out the nasty Muslims that try to take advantage of the American system.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • mario

      Wrong again, there's ALOT of Christians in Jordan, Saudi, Syria, Lebanon, UAE (Dubai), even in Palestine (Gaza and West Bank). Wherever there's American oil companies, there's ex-pat Christians. And Saudi is a backward, USA-backed monarchy. They're there because they protect American interest.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Mycology

      I think you mean Israel,

      Palestine is the name the Romans gave to their occupation of the Jews homeland,

      that wrong has been undone. You can call it Israel again. Or do you also want to call Jerusalem "Aelia Capitolina" as they named it during their occupation? Didn't think so.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  20. MikeBell

    The best tool in the hands of any foreign or domestic ill-willed influence is our Liberty.

    May 23, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • mattinthehat

      Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
      -Benjamin Franklin,1759

      We can no longer allow these chickenhawks to scare us into giving up our Liberties and Freedoms, the basis of our great Nation.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Mycology

      Sir Winston Churchill
      “Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step.” Sir Winston Churchill – circa 1899 Sir Winston Churchill…

      May 23, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • D

      This is a reply to Mycolgoy, not MikeBell, but I couldn't seem to get it to work.

      I would not trust Churchill's comments on any non-English culture. The man was a racist through-and-through.

      July 11, 2011 at 8:59 am |
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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.