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June 14th, 2011
04:40 PM ET

Muslim leader says violence in Nigeria is political, not religious

By Christian Purefoy, CNN

Every week CNN International's African Voices highlights Africa's most engaging personalities, exploring the lives and passions of people who rarely open themselves up to the camera. 

With some 70 million followers, Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar is the spiritual leader of Nigeria's Muslim population.

As heir to the 200-year-old throne of West Africa's 19th-century Caliphate Empire, Abubakar is one of the most influential traditional rulers in the region.

Four years after he was appointed Sultan of Sokoto, he reigns at a time of deepening religious division in Nigeria, a nation almost evenly divided between Muslims and Christians.

Read the full story on the rise of Islam in Nigeria
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Nigeria • Violence

soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    [7:94] Whenever we sent a prophet to any com-m-unity, we afflicted its people with adversity and hardship, that they may implore.

    [7:95] Then we sub-sti-tuted peace and prosperity in place of that hardship. But alas, they turned heedless and said, "It was our parents who experienced that hardship before prosperity." Consequently, we punished them suddenly when they least expected.

    [7:96] Had the people of those com-m-unities believed and turned righteous, we would have showered them with blessings from the heaven and the earth. Since they decided to disbelieve, we punished them for what they earned.

    [7:97] Did the people of the present com-m-unities guarantee that our retribution will not come to them in the night as they sleep?

    [7:98] Did the people of today's com-m-unities guarantee that our retribution will not come to them in the daytime while they play?

    [7:99] Have they taken GOD's plans for granted? None takes GOD's plans for granted except the losers.

    [7:100] Does it ever occur to those who inherit the earth after previous generations that, if we will, we can punish them for their sins, and seal their hearts, causing them to turn deaf?

    [7:101] We narrate to you the history of those com-m-unities: their messengers went to them with clear proofs, but they were not to believe in what they had rejected before. GOD thus seals the hearts of the disbelievers.

    [7:102] We found that most of them disregard their covenant; we found most of them wicked.
    -------

    [7:142] We summoned Moses for thirty* nights, and completed them by adding ten. Thus, the audience with his Lord lasted forty * nights. Moses said to his brother Aaron, "Stay here with my people, maintain righteousness, and do not follow the ways of the corrupters."

    [7:143] When Moses came at our appointed time, and his Lord spoke with him, he said, "My Lord, let me look and see You." He said, "You cannot see Me. Look at that mountain; if it stays in its place, then you can see Me." Then, his Lord manifested Himself to the mountain, and this caused it to crumble. Moses fell unconscious. When he came to, he said, "Be You glorified. I repent to You, and I am the most convinced believer."

    [7:144] He said, "O Moses, I have chosen you, out of all the people, with My messages and by speaking to you. Therefore, take what I have given you and be appreciative."

    [7:145] We wrote for him on the tablets all kinds of enlightenments and details of everything: "You shall uphold these teachings strongly, and exhort your people to uphold them – these are the best teachings. I will point out for you the fate of the wicked."

    [7:146] I will divert from My revelations those who are arrogant on earth, without justification. Consequently, when they see every kind of proof they will not believe. And when they see the path of guidance they will not adopt it as their path, but when they see the path of straying they will adopt it as their path. This is the consequence of their rejecting our proofs, and being totally heedless thereof.

    [7:147] Those who reject our revelations and the meeting of the Hereafter, their works are nullified. Are they requited only for what they committed?
    -------

    [7:156] "And decree for us righteousness in this world, and in the Hereafter. We have repented to You." He said, "My retribution befalls whomever I will. But My mercy encompasses all things. However, I will specify it for those who (1) lead a righteous life, (2) give the obligatory charity (Zakat), (3) believe in our revelations, and

    [7:157] "(4) follow the messenger, the gentile prophet (Muhammad), whom they find written in their Torah and Gospel. He exhorts them to be righteous, enjoins them from evil, allows for them all good food, and prohibits that which is bad, and unloads the burdens and the shackles imposed upon them. Those who believe in him, respect him, support him, and follow the light that came with him are the successful ones."

    [7:158] Say, "O people, I am GOD's messenger to all of you. To Him belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. There is no god except He. He controls life and death." Therefore, you shall believe in GOD and His messenger, the gentile prophet, who believes in GOD and His words. Follow him, that you may be guided.

    [7:159] Among the followers of Moses there are those who guide in accordance with the truth, and the truth renders them righteous.

    June 19, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • biologixco

      Islam/koran is blasphemy, just like mormonism and the book of mormon.
      You keep posting the same drivel here.

      April 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  2. Muneef

    Prof. Wagner: I believe that the Holy God speaks to us in the Quran

    Professor Walter Wagner, a professor of theology, shared his vision of the Quran with Sunday’s Zaman readers.
    After carefully reading the Quran and examining it based on his many years of study, a leading American theologian has concluded that via the holy book God is speaking to all human beings around the world, a voice that, in his astonishing book, he said he tried to transmit to readers and students, as well to himself, to deepen his understanding.

    Professor Walter Wagner’s fascinating book “Opening the Qur’an: Introducing Islam’s Holy Book” is definitely a bewildering and inspiring book, not only for the non-Muslim and English-speaking readers, but also Muslim readers. Wagner “opens” the Quran by offering a comprehensive and extraordinarily readable, step-by-step introduction to the text, making it accessible to everyone who is interested in Islam and Islam’s holy book.

    Watch: http://www.ebru.tv/en/genres/TalkShow/footnote/episodes/4/402-walter-h-wagner 

    http://www.todayszaman.com/news-246986-prof-wagner-i-believe-that-the-holy-god-speaks-to-us-in-the-quran.html

    June 18, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
  3. James Black

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig&w=640&h=360]
    .

    June 18, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
  4. Muneef

    [18:27] You shall recite what is revealed to you of your Lord's scripture. Nothing shall abro-gate His words, and you shall not find any other source beside it.

    [18:28] You shall force yourself to be with those who worship their Lord day and night, seeking Him alone. Do not turn your eyes away from them, seeking the vanities of this world. Nor shall you obey one whose heart we rendered obl-ivi-ous to our message; one who pursues his own desires, and whose priorities are confused.

    [18:29] Proclaim: "This is the truth from your Lord," then whoever wills let him believe, and whoever wills let him disbelieve. We have prepared for the transgressors a fire that will completely surround them. When they scream for help, they will be given a liquid like concent-rated a-cid that sca-lds the faces. What a miserable drink! What a miserable destiny!

    [18:30] As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, we never fail to recompense those who work righteousness.

    [18:31] They have deserved gardens of Eden wherein rivers flow. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and will wear clothes of green silk and velvet, and will rest on comfortable furnishings. What a wonderful reward; what a wonderful abode!
    ----–

    June 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Muneef

      [18:43] No force on earth could have helped him against GOD, nor was it possible for him to receive any help.

      [18:44] That is because the only true Lord and master is GOD; He provides the best recompense, and with Him is the best destiny.

      [18:45] Cite for them the example of this life as water that we send down from the sky to produce plants of the earth, then they turn into hay that is blown away by the wind. GOD is able to do all things.

      [18:46] Money and children are the joys of this life, but the righteous works provide an eternal recompense from your Lord, and a far better hope.

      [18:47] The day will come when we wipe out the mountains, and you will see the earth barren. We will summon them all, not leaving out a single one of them.

      [18:48] They will be presented before your Lord in a row. You have come to us as individuals, just as we created you initially. Indeed, this is what you claimed will never happen.

      [18:49] The record will be shown, and you will see the guilty fearful of its contents. They will say, "Woe to us. How come this book leaves nothing, small or large, without counting it?" They will find everything they had done brought forth. Your Lord is never unjust towards anyone.
      ------

      June 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Muneef

      [18:54] We have cited in this Quran every kind of example, but the human being is the most argumentative creature.

      [18:55] Nothing prevented the people from believing, when the guidance came to them, and from seeking the forgiveness of their Lord, except that they demanded to see the same (kind of miracles) as the previous generations, or challenged to see the retribution beforehand.

      [18:56] We only send the messengers as simply deliverers of good news, as well as warners. Those who disbelieve argue with falsehood to defeat the truth, and they take My proofs and warnings in vain.

      [18:57] Who are more evil than those who are reminded of their Lord's proofs, then disregard them, without realizing what they are doing. Consequently, we place shields on their hearts to prevent them from understanding it (the Quran), and deafness in their ears. Thus, no matter what you do to guide them, they can never ever be guided.

      [18:58] Yet, your Lord is the Forgiver, full of mercy. If He called them to account for their deeds, He would annihilate them right there and then. Instead, He gives them a respite until a specific, predetermined time; then they can never escape.

      [18:59] Many a com-m-unity we annihilated because of their transgressions; we designated a specific time for their annihilation.
      ------

      June 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Muneef

      [18:100] We will present Hell, on that day, to the disbelievers.

      [18:101] They are the ones whose eyes were too veiled to see My message. Nor could they hear.

      [18:102] Do those who disbelieve think that they can get away with setting up My servants as gods beside Me? We have prepared for the disbelievers Hell as an eternal abode.

      [18:103] Say, "Shall I tell you who the worst losers are?

      [18:104] "They are the ones whose works in this life are totally astray, but they think that they are doing good."

      [18:105] Such are the ones who disbelieved in the revelations of their Lord and in meeting Him. Therefore, their works are in vain; on the Day of Resurrection, they have no weight.

      [18:106] Their just requital is Hell, in return for their disbelief, and for mocking My revelations and My messengers.

      [18:107] As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, they have deserved a blissful Paradise as their abode.

      [18:108] Forever they abide therein; they will never want any other sub-sti-tute.

      [18:109] Say, "If the ocean were ink for the words of my Lord, the ocean would run out, before the words of my Lord run out, even if we double the ink supply."

      [18:110] Say, "I am no more than a human like you, being inspired that your god is one god. Those who hope to meet their Lord shall work righteousness, and never worship any other god beside his Lord."

      June 17, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  5. Muneef

    MANNERS AND MORALS OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD 
    http://www.elazhar.com/prophetstories/Chapter1-2.htm

    EISA 'Jesus'
    http://elazhar.com/prophetstories_u/Chapter2.asp

    June 16, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
  6. Student of World Religion

    Why is it so hard for people to stay on topic here?

    June 15, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Muneef

      Would you know the following;

      How many from the other side were killed ? Who is using such created conflicts to steal crude oils or be questioned about the caused environmental pollutions by drilling? The ex president was Muslim and now a Christian which means powers are being shuffled and will have it's causalities before it settles down in justice otherwise will carry on endlessly since religions could become as worse as racial related issues...!

      June 15, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • FairGarden

      Muneef, Muslims don't have a sense of fairness because of your doctrines on infidels. Work to change your fellow Muslims if you really love and honor Islam. Many people would die rather than converting to Islam; Muslims must learn to co-exist with infidels on earth, whether the infidels are mightier or powerless. Jesus will come back and punish all villains whatever names they claimed.

      June 15, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • FairGarden

      Muneef, learn the un-con-ditional trans-parency, quest for ob-jective truth and charity, forgive-ness and justice for all – Those are the strength of the Christian West which exist in no other civil-zations. Secularism is a toxic bi-pro-duct.

      June 15, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Muneef

      Should the innocents peaceful ones be held responsible or punished or rejected for an act of some hostile political groups or terrorists ?!         

      Wonder if such an act is considered fair ? Don't you think such act will only drive them into becoming as them out of injured pride and hostility ?
      After all Islam is like Christianity consists out of many sectors where you can not hold guilty all sectors for one or two sectors hostile teachings or acts;

      Verses from the Quran;

      [6:159] Those who divide themselves into sects do not belong with you. Their judgment rests with GOD, then He will inform them of everything they had done.

      [6:160] Whoever does a righteous work receives the reward for ten, and the one who commits a sin is requited for only one. No one suffers the slightest injustice.

      [6:161] Say, "My Lord has guided me in a straight path – the perfect religion of Abraham, monotheism. He never was an idol worshiper."

      [6:162] Say, "My Contact Prayers (Salat), my worship practices, my life and my death, are all devoted absolutely to GOD alone, the Lord of the universe.

      [6:163] "He has no partner. This is what I am commanded to believe, and I am the first to submit."

      [6:164] Say, "Shall I seek other than GOD as a lord, when He is the Lord of all things? No soul benefits except from its own works, and none bears the burden of another. Ultimately, you return to your Lord, then He informs you regarding all your disputes."

      [6:165] He is the One who made you inheritors of the earth, and He raised some of you above others in rank, in order to test you in accordance with what He has given you. Surely, your Lord is efficient in enforcing retribution, and He is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

      June 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Muneef

      Maybe you should read this very interesting text book which I came to by considance;

      http://www.hudson.org/files/pdf_upload/saudi_textbooks_final.pdf

      June 16, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  7. JohnQuest

    Rainer Braendlein

    "The whole content of the Holy Bible confirms that Jesus Christ is the rock or the head of the Church. I know, this interpretation is beyond reason."

    That statement says three things:
    1. You (Christians) do not worship God (you Worship Jesus, think of the Pope).
    2. You (Christians) know how ridiculous that is.
    3. You (Christians) are Polytheistic at best and Idolatrous at worst.

    According to your own beliefs you are wrong

    June 15, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @JohnQuest

      Are you an Imam?

      June 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      No, I am a non believer, Islam is no better (or worse) than Christianity. But what if I were, the truth is the truth no matter who says it.

      June 15, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • FairGarden

      Islam has no Savior thus no salvation. Pagans including Muslims and atheists don't understnd the concept of the Holy Trinity because they try to put the transcedent God in their own small box.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • Muneef

      From 3D Now they have 4D with more effects....while we Muslims still are on the 1D of Abraham faith s.a.w...! Well I guess I prefer being with the One rather than many confusing my self with some thing he knows better about him self rather me imposing on him that he is Three and not One as he stipulates...! Again why should I bother I God has taken Jesus as son or not why should I worship the created than the creator when the created was sent to his people as a miracle messenger to straighten the children of Isreal but not lasted due the wickedness of the non believers...

      June 17, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  8. Rainer Braendlein

    @Stevie7

    Do you mean the passage, where Jesus says the following (Matthew 16:18)?:

    And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    Jesus doesn't say, Peter you are the rock, but he says, Peter you are just Peter, but my Church I will build on a rock. The Father spoke through Jesus and meant Jesus himself. Jesus had foreseen that Peter could become too dominant within the Church and so he made it clear that he (Jesus) himself is the rock. The whole content of the Holy Bible confirms that Jesus Christ is the rock or the head of the Church. I know, this interpretation is beyond reason.

    June 15, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Stevie7

      I think RCC doctrine would agree with this completely. Jesus is head of the church and the pope is his human representative.

      June 15, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  9. It is USA that will bring PEACE to the world! USA USA USA!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Gzyeo1Z1I4&w=640&h=390]

    June 15, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Muneef

      It is their land that they fight for...

      June 17, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  10. As-Salamu Alaykum!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_45IcWCvF5I&w=640&h=390]

    June 15, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  11. Rainer Braendlein

    The video is somewhat frightening. I see a man, enjoying, when people kneel down before him. That gives rise to great concern about the character of the man.

    One of the greatest leaders of the Christian Church, St. Paul, abandoned his right to be payed by the Church of Corinth, because some Corinthians implied, St. Paul would preach the gospel, in order to earn money. St. Paul started to work manually and shared his income with people, who were in need. What about the character of St. Paul?

    There is a big difference between Christianity and Islam.

    June 15, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Rainer Braendlein, not really fair, you are comparing religious leaders from different areas, times and beliefs. Have you not looked at the Christian leaders today, they suffer with megalomania as much as any other religious leaders throughout history. In Catholicism worshipers bow and kiss the Ring, in Christianity, worshipers give vast amounts of their money. What's the difference?

      June 15, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) is not a Christian Church, because she is not ruled by Jesus Christ himself, but by the pope. The pope has stolen Christ's office, to be the head of the Church. Thus you cannot take the RCC as an example for abuses within the Christian Churches.

      June 15, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Stevie7

      So who, then, fits your definition of a Christian Church? I mean, if you just exclude the RCC, you're still left with thousands of other denominations? And I think that the RCC has a pretty good defense of the pope given the jesus supposedly annoited Peter as the head of the church in his absence.

      I'm an atheist, btw, but I think your knowledge of catholic doctrine is lacking.

      June 15, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @JohnQuest

      I guess, you have a wrong imagination of Christianity. Do you think of Benny Hinn and his congregations? Probably he is not better than the pope and he and his congregations do not belong to the Christian Church, but they are more or less Christian cults.

      June 15, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Stevie7

      You must understand that the Father is in Jesus and Jesus is in the Father.

      Do you mean the passage, where Jesus says the following (Matthew 16:18)?:

      And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

      Jesus doesn't say, Peter you are the rock, but he says, Peter you are just Peter, but my Church I will build on a rock. The Father spoke through Jesus and meant Jesus himself. Jesus had foreseen that Peter could become too dominant within the Church and so he made it clear that he (Jesus) himself is the rock. The whole content of the Holy Bible confirms that Jesus Christ is the rock or the head of the Church. I know, this interpretation is beyond reason.

      June 15, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Muneef

      No actually I find this interpretation is beyond reason;

      "You must understand that the Father is in Jesus and Jesus is in the Father."

      What a mess you are getting your selves into by forcing upon God what he is and what he isn't as if you know of him more than what he knows about him self??!

      June 18, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • Muneef

      [21:25] We did not send any messenger before you except with the inspiration: "There is no god except Me; you shall worship Me alone."

      [21:26] Yet, they said, "The Most Gracious has begotten a son!" Glory be to Him. All (messengers) are (His) honored servants.

      [21:27] They never speak on their own, and they strictly follow His commands.

      [21:28] He knows their future and their past. They do not intercede, except for those already accepted by Him, and they are worried about their own necks.

      [21:29] If any of them claims to be a god beside Him, we requite him with Hell; we thus requite the wicked.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  12. Student of World Religion

    Cause for Concern
    (A list of terror attacks by the Boko Haram Islamists for the past 2 months in Nigeria)

    06/13/2011 (Bulunkutu, Nigeria) Four drinkers at a beer garden are taken out by religious radicals.
    06/09/2011 (Maiduguri, Nigeria) A pastor at a Church of Christ and his secretary are brutally gunned down by Religion of Peace loyalists.
    06/08/2011 (Bauchi, Nigeria) A man is lured out of his home and then murdered by Boko Haram gunmen.
    06/07/2011 (Borno, Nigeria) Boko Haram Islamists assault two police stations with bombs and bullets, killing five officers.
    06/07/2011 (Maiduguri, Nigeria) Two innocents bleed to death after Islamists detonate a bomb outside a church.
    06/06/2011 (Biu, Nigeria) A cleric is shot to death by Religion of Peace rivals at his home.
    05/30/2011 (Bauchi, Nigeria) Ten people are torn to shreds by an Islamist bomb planted in a bar.
    05/29/2011 (Maiduguri, Nigeria) A civilian is killed in the crossfire when Boko Haram Islamists shoot at police.
    05/27/2011 (Damboa, Nigeria) At least thirteen people are killed when Muslim fundamentalists assault a bank building.
    05/24/2011 (Maiduguri, Nigeria) Islamists murder a guard outside a Catholic church.
    05/19/2011 (Maiduguri, Nigeria) One person is killed in a Boko Haram bomb blast.
    05/18/2011 (Maiduguri, Nigeria) Boko Haram Islamists assault a police station, shooting ten people to death.
    05/13/2011 (Maiduguri, Nigeria) Two men waiting for a bus are blown to bits by Boko Haram Islamists.
    05/13/2011 (Borno, Nigeria) Religious radicals shoot a chauffeur to death.
    05/12/2011 (Maiduguri, Nigeria) Boko Haram radicals murder a union official and his son.
    05/12/2011 (Borno, Nigeria) Muslim extremists assassinate a local elder.
    05/06/2011 (Kano, Nigeria) Seventeen residents of a Christian village, including a pastor's wife and three children are massacred in a pre-dawn Muslim attack.
    05/05/2011 (Maiduguri, Nigeria) A child is among two people shot to death by Boko Haram Islamists.
    05/04/2011 (Borno, Nigeria) A woman is among two people taken down by Islamist assassins.
    05/04/2011 (Maiduguri, Nigeria) Three guards are killed in a Boko Haram shooting at a prison.
    04/25/2011 (Maiduguri, Nigeria) Boko Haram members bomb a bus stop and a hotel, killing three people.
    04/20/2011 (Bauchi, Nigeria) Women are among a group of young Christians murdered by a Muslim mob.
    04/20/2011 (Maiduguri, Nigeria) Islamists gun down a rival cleric.
    04/19/2011 (Kaduna, Nigeria) Angry Muslims go on a two-day bender, torching over forty churches and hacking and burning over three hundred Christians to death.
    04/16/2011 (Maiduguri, Nigeria) A cop is gunned down by local Islamists.
    04/15/2011 (Maiduguri, Nigeria) Boko Haram Islamists gun down two innocents.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:35 am |
    • Muneef

      How many from the other side? Who is using such created conflicts to steal crude oils or be questioned about the caused environmental pollutions by drilling? The ex president was Muslim and now a Christian which means powers are being shuffled and will have it's causalities before it settles down in justice otherwise will carry on endlessly since religions could become as worse as racial related issues...!

      June 15, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  13. Ron

    Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar said that the "violence in Nigeria is political, not religious."
    It is my understanding that to Muslims, political and religious are all the same thing because they view their belief system is all encompassing. If that's the case, the guy is giving a half truth to cover the real motivation.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:34 am |
  14. FairGarden

    Another lie from a Muslim. However, Muslims are far better than the atheistic American bullies who act worse than Soviets.

    June 14, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
  15. Anderson Cooper's Heroic Life-Long Battle with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    Well this topic is a total snoozer. Since CNN does not have much going on in the way of content, how about we hijack this thread and list why your choice regarding religion must be correct, preferrably with no bashing of the other side. Make the best case you can in favor of your choice.

    Here's mine:

    Non-religion is best because it deals with reality as it is, without reliance on supernatural explanations for natural phenomenon or coincidence. Things are the way they are, and we deal with that instead of trying to alter reality with prayer and

    Non-religion does not waste time in worship nor money on supporting the worship.

    Non-religion does not force others to obey supersti-tions and does not try to make supersti-tions the law of the land.

    Non-religious people do not waste time trying to understand and conform to anachronistic texts.

    Non-religious people have lower rates of major crime, are very unlikely to go to prison, are better educated, are less likely to support war and torture, and have amongst the lowest rate of divorce.

    Now it's your turn. Don't argue what I have said; make the best case you can for your choice.

    June 14, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • Gary M

      Exactly what are you asking for? My justification? Or justification acceptable to you? Simply put, my beliefs give me peace and contentment; I'm just an overall better person.

      June 14, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Anderson Cooper's Heroic Life-Long Battle with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

      Your last sentence was fine, Gary. I'm not looking for a fight. I thought some people might want to go positive for a while.

      Your correct use of a semicolon in a properly-written complex sentence is much appreciated. That's pretty rare here.

      June 14, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Speaking

      @Anderson Cooper's Heroic Life-Long Battle with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

      So what, if anything, do you have against Anderson Cooper anyway? That's my big question for you.

      June 15, 2011 at 2:24 am |
    • Speaking

      btw, I am an atheist, and would argue your expressing your "list" in the way that you did. You do not speak for me.

      June 15, 2011 at 2:28 am |
    • The Nail in the Atheist's Coffin

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

      June 15, 2011 at 2:30 am |
    • Speaking

      I cannot view videos in my browser. Could you try saying what you are trying to say with that video?

      June 15, 2011 at 2:34 am |
    • Student of World Religion

      Does it even matter what I believe?

      June 15, 2011 at 7:41 am |
    • Anderson Cooper's Heroic Life-Long Battle with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

      What a fun bunch you are. Nevermind.

      June 15, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  16. Muneef

    When religion is being politicalized that we mankind suffer bloodsheds...

    June 14, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • Muneef

      It is all about land...it is about how much land is conquered by each faith..specially for those who have cattles and need pasture when human population is on the increase while green pastures and rain waters are on the decrease...!!

      June 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • Reality

      It is all about the koran:

      To wit:

      o More on the koranic passages and world domination:

      "Mohammed could not have known the size of the world, but several passages in the Koran show that he envisioned Islam dominating all of it, however large it might be: “He it is who sent his messenger . . . that he may cause it [Islam] to prevail over all religions´(Koran 9:33, M.M. Ali; see also 48:28 and 61:9). M.M. Ali designates these three passages as “the prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam in the whole world.”

      Mohammed’s successors, the caliphs, quoted passages like these to inspire Muslim armies as they advanced out of Arabia, imposing Islam by the sword upon a peacefully unsuspecting Middle East and North Africa, as I described in the previous chapter.

      Islamic armies, imbued with what Mohammed claimed was divine authorization, imposed Islam by force over vast areas, all the while extorting wealth from subjugated Jews and Christians to fund their ongoing conquests. As I noted, major defeats at Tours, France, in A.D. 732, and again at Vienna, Austria, in A.D. 1683, halted Islam’s attempt to take all of Europe by force. Gradually Islamic forces were forced to retreat from Europe, except for part of the Balkans. But Islam has again set its sights on a conquest of Europe and of European civilization, wherever the latter has spread to North and South America and other regions. Muslim strategists ask their followers, Why do we find in these modern times that Allah has entrusted most of the world’s oil wealth primarily to Muslim nations?

      Their answer: Allah foresaw Islam’s need for funds to finance a final politico-religious victory over what Islam perceives as its ultimate enemy: Christianized Euro-American civilization. So, Islam follows Nazism, fascism and communism as the world’s latest hostile takeover aspirant.

      Nazis, fascists and communists failed. Does Islam have a better chance at success? I believe it will flounder if we awaken to its threat in time; yet, if there is not adequate planned resistance, Islam does have a better chance of succeeding. Communism’s world takeover attempt was guaranteed to fail because its economic policy was naively contrary to human nature. Advocating the rubric What is mine is thine, and what is thine is mine, communism failed to see that human nature will not keep those two balanced propositions in equilibrium. Like a female black widow spider consuming her mate, the latter part of the formula makes a meal of the former, leading to the collapse of any system based upon that formula.
      In contrast, political systems do well if they can persuade people to adhere to What’s mine is mine and What’s thine is thine maxims.

      Only if a strong religious incentive is added does such an idealistic formula have any long-term chance. Even then success will be spotty. But communism (and Nazism, for that matter) excluded religion. And that mistake was the final nail eventually clamping a lid on communism’s coffin. Communism, on a historical scale, perished while still in its childhood.
      Islam is not repeating communism’s mistake. Mating political cunning and incredible wealth with religious zeal, Islam does have a chance to succeed and will succeed unless major parts of the Western world unite to take appropriate countermeasures. But many Western leaders, unable to believe that a mere religion could possible be a serious political threat, keep proclaiming themselves as Islam-friendly, reasoning that all religions are good-aren’t they?
      A Muslim strategist in Beverly Hills, California, declared several years ago, as quoted by a friend of mine: “Now that the struggle between Western democracies and international communism is winding down, it is time for the real and final struggle to begin, and we are going to win!”- D. Richardson

      June 14, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Hi Muneef,

      don't tell us stories. It is a matter of fact that Islam is always connected with politics. Have a look on history, how the Islam was distributed by the califs. Don't deny that you love calif Umar ibn al-Chattab, who extended the Islamic empire by military means.

      June 15, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • Muneef

      Hi there;

      Actually all had done that and not Islam alone ? Roman Catholics were there even before Islam in war in the Mideast and Arabian Penisular....!

      Guess all religions by now plays roles in politics of many nations?this is democracy,isn't it?

      June 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Muneef

      The reality is that;

      [17:11] The human being often prays for something that may hurt him, thinking that he is praying for something good. The human being is impatient.
      ----–

      [17:67] If you are afflicted in the middle of the sea, you forget your idols and sincerely implore Him alone. But as soon as He saves you to the shore, you revert. Indeed, the human being is unappreciative.
      -----

      [17:100] Proclaim, "If you possessed my Lord's treasures of mercy, you would have withheld them, fearing that you might exhaust them. The human being is stingy."
      ----–

      [18:54] We have cited in this Quran every kind of example, but the human being is the most argumentative creature.

      [18:55] Nothing prevented the people from believing, when the guidance came to them, and from seeking the forgiveness of their Lord, except that they demanded to see the same (kind of miracles) as the previous generations, or challenged to see the retribution beforehand.

      [18:56] We only send the messengers as simply deliverers of good news, as well as warners. Those who disbelieve argue with falsehood to defeat the truth, and they take My proofs and warnings in vain.
      --------

      June 15, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Reality

      The reality of the koran:

      o the koranic passages and world domination:

      "Mohammed could not have known the size of the world, but several passages in the Koran show that he envisioned Islam dominating all of it, however large it might be: “He it is who sent his messenger . . . that he may cause it [Islam] to prevail over all religions´(Koran 9:33, M.M. Ali; see also 48:28 and 61:9). M.M. Ali designates these three passages as “the prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam in the whole world.”

      Mohammed’s successors, the caliphs, quoted passages like these to inspire Muslim armies as they advanced out of Arabia, imposing Islam by the sword upon a peacefully unsuspecting Middle East and North Africa, as I described in the previous chapter.

      Islamic armies, imbued with what Mohammed claimed was divine authorization, imposed Islam by force over vast areas, all the while extorting wealth from subjugated Jews and Christians to fund their ongoing conquests. As I noted, major defeats at Tours, France, in A.D. 732, and again at Vienna, Austria, in A.D. 1683, halted Islam’s attempt to take all of Europe by force. Gradually Islamic forces were forced to retreat from Europe, except for part of the Balkans. But Islam has again set its sights on a conquest of Europe and of European civilization, wherever the latter has spread to North and South America and other regions. Muslim strategists ask their followers, Why do we find in these modern times that Allah has entrusted most of the world’s oil wealth primarily to Muslim nations?

      Their answer: Allah foresaw Islam’s need for funds to finance a final politico-religious victory over what Islam perceives as its ultimate enemy: Christianized Euro-American civilization. So, Islam follows Nazism, fascism and communism as the world’s latest hostile takeover aspirant.

      Nazis, fascists and communists failed. Does Islam have a better chance at success? I believe it will flounder if we awaken to its threat in time; yet, if there is not adequate planned resistance, Islam does have a better chance of succeeding. Communism’s world takeover attempt was guaranteed to fail because its economic policy was naively contrary to human nature. Advocating the rubric What is mine is thine, and what is thine is mine, communism failed to see that human nature will not keep those two balanced propositions in equilibrium. Like a female black widow spider consuming her mate, the latter part of the formula makes a meal of the former, leading to the collapse of any system based upon that formula.
      In contrast, political systems do well if they can persuade people to adhere to What’s mine is mine and What’s thine is thine maxims.

      Only if a strong religious incentive is added does such an idealistic formula have any long-term chance. Even then success will be spotty. But communism (and Nazism, for that matter) excluded religion. And that mistake was the final nail eventually clamping a lid on communism’s coffin. Communism, on a historical scale, perished while still in its childhood.
      Islam is not repeating communism’s mistake. Mating political cunning and incredible wealth with religious zeal, Islam does have a chance to succeed and will succeed unless major parts of the Western world unite to take appropriate countermeasures. But many Western leaders, unable to believe that a mere religion could possible be a serious political threat, keep proclaiming themselves as Islam-friendly, reasoning that all religions are good-aren’t they?
      A Muslim strategist in Beverly Hills, California, declared several years ago, as quoted by a friend of mine: “Now that the struggle between Western democracies and international communism is winding down, it is time for the real and final struggle to begin, and we are going to win!”- D. Richardson

      June 15, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  17. John Richardson

    There is no contradiction between a conflict being both sectarian and political, as sectarianism is pretty much inherently political and the reason why it is so important for society to be secular ESPECIALLY when there are a lot of fervent believers around.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  18. Reality

    Saving two billion Christians in less than two minutes:

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
    http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    o An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

    o p.4

    o "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    o p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    o So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  19. Reality

    Saving Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar and 1.5 billion other Muslims in less than 2 minutes:

    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..

    June 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • judas

      omg dolt, waste of time, i still can't believe people quote books that were written by a madman, and can't see past their own brainwashed head. i feel sorry for everyone born into islam, it's so hard to escape because of the disappointment you think you will cause your parents, not to mention the fear everyone instills in you. too bad you can't just say it isn't real, and not be afraid. btw nothing will happen to you, you will be exactly the same as before, so will the world, actually the world will be a better place with one less krazy muslim in it. there is no such thing as god, wat a waste of time to have to defend some krazy faith

      June 14, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Reading Miss

      I think someone didn't take the time to read your post, Reality. What else is new, eh?

      June 14, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Reality

      For those who are "reading challenged":

      1. There was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

      2. There was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

      3. There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

      4. There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

      5. There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

      6. Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

      7. Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

      June 14, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • Muneef

      Reality.
      Do not agree with you for your points (1-2-3) but the rest of points i agree with you for being out of line...

      Judas.

      Suggest feel sorry for your life after death....your return to your creator;

      [21:16] We did not create the heavens and the earth, and everything between them just for amusement.

      [21:17] If we needed amusement, we could have initiated it without any of this, if that is what we wanted to do.

      [21:18] Instead, it is our plan to support the truth against falsehood, in order to defeat it. Woe to you for the utterances you utter.

      [21:19] To Him belongs everyone in the heavens and the earth, and those at Him are never too arrogant to worship Him, nor do they ever waver.

      [21:20] They glorify night and day, without ever tiring.

      [21:21] Have they found gods on earth who can create?

      [21:22] If there were in them (the heavens and the earth) other gods beside GOD, there would have been chaos. Glory be to GOD; the Lord with absolute authority. He is high above their claims.

      [21:23] He is never to be asked about anything He does, while all others are questioned.

      [21:24] Have they found other gods beside Him? Say, "Show me your proof. This is the message to my generation, consummating all previous messages." Indeed, most of them do not recognize the truth; this is why they are so hostile.

      [21:25] We did not send any messenger before you except with the inspiration: "There is no god except Me; you shall worship Me alone."

      [21:26] Yet, they said, "The Most Gracious has begotten a son!" Glory be to Him. All (messengers) are (His) honored servants.

      [21:27] They never speak on their own, and they strictly follow His commands.

      [21:28] He knows their future and their past. They do not intercede, except for those already accepted by Him, and they are worried about their own necks.

      [21:29] If any of them claims to be a god beside Him, we requite him with Hell; we thus requite the wicked.
      ------

      The Purpose of Our Existence

      [51:55] And remind, for the reminder benefits the believers.

      [51:56] I did not create the jinns and the humans except to worship Me alone.

      [51:57] I need no provisions from them, nor do I need them to feed Me.

      [51:58] GOD is the Provider, the Possessor of all power, the Supreme.

      [51:59] The transgressors have incurred the same fate as their previous counterparts; they should not challenge.

      [51:60] Woe to those who disbelieved from the day that is awaiting them.
      -------

      June 20, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
  20. Marie Kidman

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig&w=640&h=360]

    June 14, 2011 at 4:52 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.