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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. Stevie7

    Wow. Lots of ignorant, hate-spewing posts by unpatriotic 'Christians' this morning. A word of advice – read your own religious text before telling others how violent their religious text are. Also, read the first amendment.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Mycology

      CONTENTS

      are not

      DIRECTIVES

      The bible is a collection of stories,

      The quran is a collection of -ORDERS- to the faithful.

      Its amazing how uneducated and ignorant people have to be to not see the difference.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Stevie7

      So the ten commandments were what, then ... just the ten suggestions? Have you ever read Leviticus? It's just one commandment after another. Like stoning disobedient children.

      That being said, I agree with you. The bible is just a bunch of stories.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • ALL RELIGION IS VIOLENT

      all the religions tales instruct violence on those who do not fall in line. in the west, those instructions arent acted upon, in the ME, they are.

      religion of pieces

      May 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Nick

      UM WRONG. THE BIBLE WAS A COLLECTION OF ORDERS UNTIL IT WAS CHANGED.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Mycology

      Steve, you are ignorant of yourself as well as others.

      Your own response contained the answer to your sarcastic question.

      the

      -10 commandments-

      were the

      -10 commandments-

      not the

      -10 commandments and the Bible commandments and the Do as Moses did commandments and the do as X Y and Z prophets / holy figures did commandments-

      10 = 10, 10 does not = 20, 10 does not = the entire bible.

      Please master basic mathmatics, then come see me.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Mycology – again, ever read Leviticus? The bible contains TONS of rules. I guess you'd actually have to read it to find out. For someone who likes to call others ignorant, you sure spout out a lot of half-truths and misinformation. Again, which one – the pot or the kettle?

      May 23, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  2. Mycology

    Muslims claim respect for jesus / abraham / david / jacob / issac / mary / moses /etc

    because they believe they were all -MUSLIM-

    They do not respect them as Jews or Christians, and they do not respect YOU as a Jew or Christian to worship them as Jews / Christians

    And if you are a hindu / buddhist / ba'hai / atheist / wiccan / whaaateevverrr

    – you would already be dead in a country with Islamic law. Or in the process of being sold off to a believer following in the footsteps of his "prophet" the "ideal man" mohammed.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Um ... not one person on your list was a Christian. You're doing the same thing as Muslims who want to categorize everyone as Muslim. So which are you, the pot, or the kettle?

      May 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • paperjihad

      Well, muslim with a little "m". The Arabic word "muslim" literally means "one who submits", and in that sense obedience to God has been the core of all true religion. All the prophets ihave been "muslims" and followed "islam" (submission). Islam , with a big "I" was established by the Prophet Muhammad, and those who follow "Islam" are "Muslims" (with a big "M").

      May 23, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  3. David Johnson

    The religion of Islam is just as much a religion as Christianity. Its followers feel their god in their hearts. They pray to their god and He answers their prayers. Just like Christians.

    Did I mention all religion and all gods are false? Consider it mentioned.

    Cheers!

    May 23, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  4. The Truth About Islam

    Please get educated about Islam and read this to clear up your misconceptions about Islam – http://www.whyislam.org/index.php/faq-2/

    May 23, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • The Truth About Islam

      Dont spread lies.. get enlightened and read this – http://www.whyislam.org/index.php/faq-2/#Q2

      May 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  5. Ahhhhhh

    All these Christian posts claiming Islam and the Koran is steeped in war and violence, why don't you also look at your own dribble...sorry – Bible. There is plenty of it there, and if you can choose not to recognize it, then why can't Muslims in America, who are raised in a moderate culture, also recognize the violence promoted in the Koran as useless while still practicing their religion? And if you want to make a false argument that the Dribble is about love and compassion, then why don't you follow what Jesus said, to love your enemy, let them be and SHUT THE FK UP ABOUT THINGS THAT ARE NOT YOUR BUSINESS.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Nationof786

      You"re right. Here are some violent verses in the BIBLE:

      Ezekiel 9:6 "Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women . . . "

      Isaiah 13:16 "Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished."

      Deuteronomy 13:15 "Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly . . . "

      Leviticus 20:9 "For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death . . . "

      Exodus 32:27 ". . . Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour."

      Deut 21:10-12 "When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; "

      Exodus 31:15 " . . . whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death."

      Deut 21:21 "And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die . . . "

      May 23, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Donodron

      I respect and appreciate modesty (and don't appreciate Britney Spears definition) but I don't think you're last statement is accurate across the board. Modesty is not a mandate in the United States, but the U.S. also has a small Muslim population relative to the world population and has a secular government. I recognize that different interpretations of Islam exist, but in general, Muslim women are required to cover up either by their religious leaders or by a culture shaped by their religion.

      I can't speak very knowledgeably to Judaism, so I won't. For Christianity, both husband and wife are commanded to live as if the other is more important. Specifically, husbands are told to be willing to give up their lives and desires for their wives. You are right that the husband is assigned the final decision making role, but that's not the same thing as a woman automatically deferring "to his needs and decisions" and it certainly doesn't equal inferiority

      May 23, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Donodron

      Sorry, replied to the wrong post...

      May 23, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Mycology

      Nation-

      MISQUOTES.

      You are taking those out of context,

      Those were directives from -GOD-

      to X / Y / Z people, to carry out those directives. They were not directives from -GOD- to -YOU-, or to -ME-, or to -ANYONE ALIVE TODAY-.

      Contrast with the cult of mohammed and his hate book,

      those were directives from

      MOHAMMED (allah? yeah right)

      to -HIS FOLLOWERS-

      to be carried out

      -TODAY-

      and

      -FOREVER-

      christ almighty... you folks are sheep and you're asking to be slaughtered. You make me want to convert to Islam just for the lulz.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  6. larry

    ok, ABD, here are your teachings;

    VARIOUS SAYINGS OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD (P):

    1) "The strong one is not he who knocks out his adversary; the strong one is he who keeps control over his temper." Reported by Abu Hurairah and recorded by Imam Bukhari and Muslim. (#45)

    2)"A person who gives surety to (safeguard) the thing between the jaws (tongue) and the thing between his two legs (private organs), I guarantee his entrance into Paradise." Reported by Sahl bin Sa'd and recorded by Imam Bukhari and Muslim. (#1513) please explain this one

    3) Let no Muslim male entertain any malice against a Muslim female. He may dislike one habit in her, but may find another in her which is pleasing." Reported by Abu Hurairah and recorded by Imam Muslim. (#275)
    How are you doing with this one!, no where in the world are woman treated worse then Muslim nations!!!!

    The Qur’an, it is true, affirms that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah and a true prophet of God, that he was virgin-born and performed many miracles. Therefore, Muslims believe today, because the Qur’an teaches these true and proper things about Jesus, that Christians should be lauding them and regarding them accordingly as friendly to Christianity. But the Qur’an also teaches in Sura 5, “The Table,” verses 17 and 72, that it is unbelievers who say that Jesus is God. And in verse 116 the Qur’an teaches that Jesus denied that he was deity:

    In his story of the wicked farmers, Jesus prophetically taught that the nation’s leaders would kill him, the Son, and in his application of his story to his original auditors he taught that he would be raised from death to glory and that the destiny of all mankind would turn on their relation to him (Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10-11; Luke 20:17-18). Two of the best-attested facts of history are his crucifixion and resurrection. But what does Muhammad say about this teaching of the man whom he describes elsewhere as a “true prophet”?

    Well, in Sura 4, “Women,” verse 157, Muhammad denies that Jesus was crucified. He writes: “[The Jews] did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but they thought they did.” According to Muslim tradition the Jews crucified a man who resembled Jesus, perhaps even Judas. Jesus himself was taken unharmed directly to Heaven (see Sura 3, “The Imrans,” verse 55, and Sura 4, “Women,” verses 156-158).14 This means as well, of course, that Islam denies Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. With these denials Muhammad attacks Chris-tianity’s central teaching of Jesus’ cross and resur-rection, both of which are necessary to his substi-tutionary atonement. In Sura 5,

    I better stop, I could go on for hours about Islam teachings that are just wrong, but the actions of Islams speak
    more then there teachings do............It is a culture of hate and death.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Nick

      Nothing you mentioned seems to be a knock on Islam. It is Christianity that has been changed throughout the years. Nothing in the Bible is even true. There is not even a concept of the trinity in the Bible !! Even Jesus (peace be upon him) asks for God to help him, which proves that Jesus and God are not one of the same. What did Prophet Muhammed have to gain by going through all his battles. He did not live lavishly. Despite all your incorrect determinations about Islam it is still the fastest growing religion here in America. By white educated people. go figure. I think you should stop watching Fox and get some real education about Islam. Perhaps Islam for Dummies?

      May 23, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Frankly Speaking..

      I thought you were writing in favor of islam until i read your closing statement..Give your material another read and try to find hate in it, i assure you (you) will be miserably disappointed..

      May 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Nationof786

      Well said Nick well said. Honestly dont waste time on people like him or her. They dont even know their own religion. Jesus never claimed to be "GOD." Here are some verses in the Bible about violence: Ezekiel 9:6 "Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women . . . "

      Isaiah 13:16 "Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished."

      Deuteronomy 13:15 "Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly . . . "

      Leviticus 20:9 "For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death . . . "

      Exodus 32:27 ". . . Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour."

      Deut 21:10-12 "When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; "

      Exodus 31:15 " . . . whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death."

      Deut 21:21 "And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die . . . "

      I can go on and on buddy...So dont make it seem like islam is a hateful religion because the truth is, its a peaceful religion.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • ABD

      HAHAHAH, you are funny man, it looks like you know some about islam, that is good, but you don't understand what you read, if you look at point three, your understanding was that our prophet is humiliating women, which means you don't understand what he was saying, he was saying be gentle to be your wife, probably you will see something bad about her, but sureluy there other good things about her, so don't only think about the bad habits she has, think about the good things she has. I have no Idea what is humiliating about this.

      May 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  7. Myto Senseworth

    All religion is politacal.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  8. Truth sayer

    Read Bible: (Song of Songs 7:1-4, 8-9)

    May 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  9. Keith

    Prothero continues to be the useful idiot of islam. I'll bet he's still smarting over Netanyahu's lecture to our commander in chief on Friday. Ouch!

    May 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • RachelM

      And then folks in Tennessee wonder why they're stereotyped as illiterate inbred hicks. You are the poster child, Keith.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • hawaiiduude

      nuthinyahoo is a terrorist

      May 23, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Mycology

      Netanyahu is a genius, master of 6 languages fluently and probably more languages to a "workable" degree but not fluent.

      He is a man of peace, who knows -No peace- will be found with the fakestinians or their 1.5 billion barbarian allies.

      Anyone care to know why? Just google Zahir Muhsein (PLO executive member) – he admitted the fakestinians were an invented culture, arabs just the same as every other arab they exactly only as a tool to kill jews.

      But lets stay on topic- Islam is a cult, to which he (zahir) and the fakestinians are a part of.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Keith

      RachelM, must be you doin' the stereotypin' Rach, I'm the gun-toting redneck from Michigan, and don't you fergit it!

      May 23, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  10. Abu Yusuf

    Islam is the only religion that truly connects human beings with God-Almighty (Who has no partners and none is like Him). In fact anyone who is against Islam is a follower of satan and a mterialist who follows his/her own desires. Don't get stuck with the penal codes of Islam....there a billion other rulings in Islam that are much more important. It's a shame that we in the west are still so intolerant of other religions.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Nationof786

      Well said my brother. Its sad to see people in the West still discriminating just like they did with African Americans. One would assume that we are far into this world now and we as human are more knowledgeable enough to know that discrimination is wrong, but truth be told discrimination still continues...and it is very very very sad.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Donald

      Sure – Islam connects us with God Almighty when we get LEGALLY MURDERED in Pakistan and Afghanistan and other Muslim countries for converting to Christianity. We get murdered and go straight to heaven.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • nepawoods

      Mind boggling! A shame that we in the west are intolerant of other religions??? Tell us what apostasy is, and what is it's punishment, then talk of intolerance.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Nationof786

      Donald–Buddy, just stop wasting your time. You sound like some idiot who is lacking knowledge in this world. Stop hating and start researching on islam on your own. I can assure you that you will start loving Islam and possibly convert. Good luck and may Allah the almighty guide you to the path of peace and light. Ameen.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Uwana M'Diq

      Americans tend to get a bit nasty when you run around blowing up their children, lovers & friends.

      Maybe Islamists just need to get laid.

      Dirka! Dirka! Muhamed JiHad!

      May 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Julie

      So the first part of your note states that anyone who is not islamic is a follower of Satan, and then you end your statement by saying what a shame it is that we in the west are so intolerant!!! Wow!!! It's always good to listen to yourself when you speak.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Guntown Johnny

      And you know this to be the truth how, oh omnipotent one? Religion is what you make it to be. Islam is no better or worse than any other, despite the outstanding attempts of your compadres to make it the global face of evil in the 21st Century.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • larry

      wow, I am sad for you.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Donald

      you muslims are LOST. Never easier to spot then when truths like the LEGALIZED MURDER of converts from Islam and the pedophile acts of your FOUNDER are recounted to you and all you can do is change the subject or lie about other faiths. Deal with the facts and may God have mercy on your souls and free you from the lie of Islam.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Abu Yusuf

      Hey -Abu...

      One of the main things, among others, that I noticed in your posting was the 'inconsistency' that @Julie above me pointed out.

      You may want to think about things like that before you post.

      Respectfully,

      Peace...

      May 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Mycology

      You guys have -0- ability to make an argument for yourselves.

      You are parrots

      We say you are intolerant, because you are,

      so you say we are intolerant, because we said you are.

      We can proove you are intolerant, and we do

      so you claim our proof is "jew conspiracy and so it is illegitimate" but lets skip to the meat of MY argument:

      You said:

      " In fact anyone who is against Islam is a follower of satan and a mterialist who follows his/her own desires."

      Guess what,

      In your OHHHH SOOOO TOLLERRAAANNNTTT "religion"

      Those who are against Islam get a certain punishment: Can anyone tell me what that punishment is? I bet you -ALL- know it. And guess what, if you aren't a muslim, and you dont plan on converting – you are going to get that punishment.

      Are you infidels ready to fight with me against these barbarians? Or are we going to continue to let them seep into our countries like rats onto a docked ship.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  11. Donald

    learn the horrors of Islam: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com

    May 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Edwin

      Every religion has people eager to commit horrors in its name.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Nationof786

      Edwin well said.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  12. Rebecca

    Islam is NOT a religion. it is a culture of violence, intolerance and death. It would be the best thing for our country to send every single one of them back to their country of origin and free this country of all of them. President Bush was absolutely right when he called islam the axis of evil and the judge that said it is a religion should go with them

    May 23, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Edwin

      You are very confused. Bush never said that. In fact he stated that Islam was NOT the enemy of America. Bush (your hero) believed Islam to be a vibrant religion - so much so that he appointed several advisors to help with outreach to muslims in the United States and worldwide.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • RachelM

      You must be Keith's sister... and wife.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Nationof786

      Lol hey narrow minded woman..open the bible and read: Ezekiel 9:6–"Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women . .
      Exodus 32:27– Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour."
      Deut 21:21–"And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die . . .

      So next time your say anything about Islam, especially false statements, look at yourself and what you believe. Open your eyes. Stop being a hypocrite and study islam and know that it is the ONLY religion that envisions and shows peace. May Allah almighty show you the truth path and that is Islam. Ameen

      May 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Nationof786

      Edwin, dont waste your time on Rebecca. Rebecca is like any hard head, confused, uneducated person. Talking to people like her is like talking to a dog or a wall.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  13. Mycology

    From the mouth of a muslim (1/3 of muslims would call him THE muslim of the past century)

    Ayatollah Khomeini
    Khomeini accordingly delivered notorious rebuke to the Islam-is-a-religion-of-peace crowd:
    “Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]…. Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Qur’anic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.”

    May 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Donald

      Now THAT is education. Good post.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • keeth in cali

      "From the mouth of a muslim (1/3 of muslims would call him THE muslim of the past century)."

      1 Muslim does not equal 1 billion. And what is the source of your 1/3 claim? Did you or your source actually talk to over 300 million people?

      May 23, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Xugos

      You're trying to say that most muslims associate their morals with Whackjob Khomeini?

      That's ridiculous of you to insinuate.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Donald

      Love it. Try to paint Khomeni as some strange minority leader!! He the freaking spiritual leader of IRAN!!!! Loved and followed by hundreds of millions!! How pathetic.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Edwin

      American muslims generally despise him. Funny how you neglected to mention that.

      And most of the rest of the world's muslims FEAR Iran, and consider the country Khomeni built to be dangerous and fundamentally flawed. Funny how THAT also did not make your post.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Mycology

      Edwin- the funniest part is how YOUR POSTS are completely unsupportable by the FACTS. "American muslims despise him" ,

      Really? where are you getting this information? Have you polled all american muslims? Did they tell you they hate him? Shiites – 1/3 of Muslims – respect and adore him.

      "And most of the rest of the world's muslims FEAR Iran"

      WRONG – the world's SUNNIS fear (see: Hate) Iran because iran is SHIITE, and SUNNIS HATE SHIITES – they think shiites are HERETICS and heretics get a certain treatment under islamic law. I bet you already know what treatment they get. Also,

      Sunnis are ARABS, Most Shiites are Persian (iranian), ARABS HATE PERSIANS

      Funny how none of THAT made your post.

      Keep being ignorant though, and twisting my words as if i'm the one being ignorant. You are a typical islamist / islamist apologist.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • civiloutside

      Funny how people can confuse the concepts of "theocratic dictator," with "beloved leader." I guess all those Iranian protectors that got shot last summer were just expressing their love for the guy.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • DaTruth

      "Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin your task right here at the Temple." So they began by killing the seventy leaders. "Defile the Temple!" the LORD commanded. "Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill! Go!" So they went throughout the city and did as they were told." (Ezekiel 9:5-7)

      There are many examples in both the Bible and Koran. The difference I believe is that Christians went through a period of enlightenment through Jesus Christ and Islam has yet to reach that point. At least be fair if you are going to quote.

      May 23, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  14. Donald

    Somebody, anybody. Stop making up lies about the Bible and changing the subject. Prove this wrong: Mohammed – the founder – married a six year old and "consummated" with her when she was NINE YEARS OLD. It only gets worse from there.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Donald
      You said: "Somebody, anybody. Stop making up lies about the Bible and changing the subject. Prove this wrong: Mohammed – the founder – married a six year old and "consummated" with her when she was NINE YEARS OLD. It only gets worse from there."

      Okay, so there was this almighty god, creator of all things who picked a human who was about 12...

      So who is the bigger dirt bag? Hmmm...

      Cheers!

      May 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • meghan

      the virgin mary is estimated by theologians to have given birth to Jesus around the age of 11... it was actually customary for women of ALL religions to marry and give birth at such a young age. i mean – life expectancy was only 20 at best.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Donald

      I am in agreement with my fellow poster, -David Johnson here.

      Peace...

      May 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Nationof786

      Couldn't agree more with David Johnson. Well said.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  15. MoHam

    Is it me or some one also can see/think Anderson Cooper is interviewing a penguin?

    May 23, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  16. Bill Sanford

    Good ole cnn... always promoting the anti-americans... and dissing the real americans.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • paperjihad

      Define "Real American". I am a "Real American" and I believe in an inclusive America, not an exclusive one.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • palintwit

      Do you mean Sarah Palin's " real Americans " ?

      May 23, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  17. I'Sheet M'Drurz

    Allah Akbar! EiEiEiEiEi EiEiEiEi yeyeyeyeye...PQQF! Another suicide bomber with a short fuse.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  18. larry

    Truth sayer..........you are truly a fool to make that statement!

    May 23, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  19. sonotso

    The only concern I have with the debate over Islam being a religion or not is that there are laws tied to it that require specific behaviors on the part of those believing. To many followers, those laws supersede any political systems law. America while being a "Christian" nation, recognizes that the legal system trumps the religious belief and notes that when any religion, Christian or not, steps outside of religious realm and begins to assert itself in the political realm, it loses its status as a non profit. Islam on the other hand appears to be a package deal, political/religious operation all in one and if you don't conform to their way of thinking and live in one of those countries, you have a large problem on your hands. I do not believe for a moment that if Islam gained a foot hold in America, that those of us who don't buy their brand are going to be out of luck. Then there is this nonsense about retribution if you say anything about their religious figures. I guess what I am saying is that their definition of what a religion covers and allows seems a little different than what American law seems to define as the parameters of religion.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  20. Descarado

    A cult debases, persecutes and demeans its mothers, sisters, daughters and counts their testimony in court as equal to one-half of a man's testimony.. A religion honors mothers, sisters and daughters.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • paperjihad

      "And revere the wombs that bore you, for God is ever watchful over you." (Qur'an 4:1) It is well known in authentic Islamic teachings the mother is to be the most revered of either parent.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Donodron

      It seems odd to me that Muslims, in general, cover up and hide women and then claim that the reason is because they are incredibly valuable. Protection is one thing and that's great, but this "protection" looks at best like selfishness in keeping what you value to yourself and at worst like relegating half of the religion's population to not having a public role. If you value something or someone and are proud of it/them, you allow others to see them and you don't hide them behind a curtain.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Edwin

      Donodron:

      Orthodox jews do not let women pray in the same room as men, because it leads to distraction. Many christians in this country strongly believe that a woman is SUPPOSED to be subservient to her husband, to defer to his needs and decisions.

      Islam is not the only religion that considers women inferior. But you should realize that most muslim women in the United States do not cover themselves with burkhas.

      I know several who wear head coverings (scarves, typically) that cover much of their hair but none of their face. In conversations to me, they have explained that they do it because they consider it "modest" - much the same reason most people wear other clothes to cover their "private" areas. Clearly, this muslim modesty is not completely aligned with mainstream definitions of modesty (such as demonstrated by Britney Spears), but equally clearly, it is a conscious choice on the part of the individual woman, not a religious mandate.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Donodron

      I respect and appreciate modesty (and don't appreciate Britney Spears definition) but I don't think you're last statement is accurate across the board. Modesty is not a mandate in the United States, but the U.S. also has a small Muslim population relative to the world population and has a secular government. I recognize that different interpretations of Islam exist, but in general, Muslim women are required to cover up either by their religious leaders or by a culture shaped by their religion.

      I can't speak very knowledgeably to Judaism, so I won't. For Christianity, both husband and wife are commanded to live as if the other is more important. Specifically, husbands are told to be willing to give up their lives and desires for their wives. You are right that the husband is assigned the final decision making role, but that's not the same thing as a woman automatically deferring "to his needs and decisions" and it certainly doesn't equal inferiority

      May 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Donodron: I can attest that in other parts of the world muslim women are not required to cover themselves in any way other than public decency requires. In other words they wear exactly what modern women in America wear. Culture accounts for many differences you are concerned with. Some hindu women also cover their heads as a show of respect. Amish and orthodox jewish women wear very modest clothing. It is even considered very irreverent to wear skimpy clothing for most Christians. The fact of the matter is women on the whole are told to cover themselves in most cultures while men have no similar restrictions. As for behaving modestly and not speaking out of turn or showing up their husbands, you said it yourself "The husband is assigned the final decision making role" in Christianity. That in itself shows a bias against women. To assign that bias solely to Islam just because our culture is different than cultures of some predominantly muslim countries is not a fair comparison.

      May 23, 2011 at 3:56 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.