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July 22nd, 2011
12:44 PM ET

New reality series tracks lives of American Muslims

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - TLC is premiering a reality series about the lives of American Muslims this fall,  "All American Muslim," the cable TV network announced this week.

The series tracks five Muslim families living around Dearborn, Michigan, home to one of the nation's largest Muslim enclaves.

The series is about “inviting viewers into a world they might not otherwise experience,” said TLC's general manager Amy Winter in a press release.

"Through these families and their diverse experiences, we will explore how they blend their values and traditions with everyday life in America," Winter said in the Thursday release, "providing insight into their culture with care and compassion.”

The series, which premieres in November, tracks "very distinct lives that often times challenge the Muslim stereotype," according to the release.

Characters include a pair of tight-knit sisters, one of whom wears a traditional Islamic headscarf and one who sports piercings and tattoos and has recently married an Irish Catholic man who is converting to Islam.

Another character is a consultant to big auto manufacturer and struggles to strike a balance between work and raising a modern Muslim family, according to the TLC release.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released earlier this year found that 46% of all Americans have a favorable view of American Muslims, while 26% have an unfavorable view.

"Overall, positive views of American Muslims have risen since 2002, when memories of 9/11 were still fresh in most Americans' minds," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland in March, when the poll was released.

In 2002, only 39% of all Americans said they had a favorable view of Muslims.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Michigan • TV

soundoff (533 Responses)
  1. FDNorth

    Apparently they have already canceled the show. Someone blew up the set.

    July 24, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • Wzrd1

      So, a reality show "set", based in the homes and businesses, had its "set" blown up?
      Must be those Christian fundamentalist terrorists again. They're ALWAYS blowing things up. Abortion clinics, doctors, black churches...

      July 24, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  2. Bam bam

    Why? no one cares about them, another wasted reality show that won't last

    July 24, 2011 at 9:31 am |
  3. JERSEYTOMATO

    Reality shows are never reality, just people posing for the camera trying to create an image of themselves while editors are in the back room trying to create an image they want portrayed for best ratings. We will not learn anything from this cheap entertainment vehicle. Turn the TV off, step into real life, read the news, meet Muslims. As in any culture or ethnic group you will find the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    July 24, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Wzrd1

      Due to the boycott calls here, I'll watch it.
      But then, I and my wife have been in quite a few Muslim homes and are welcome as family in several Arab homes. We're also welcome in an Iranian home as family. And several Indian homes as family.

      July 24, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  4. Tim

    Boycott this show. Tell TLC we don't want it!

    July 24, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • Jay

      correction: YOU don't want it. Speak for yourself

      July 24, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • ou812

      No its WE

      July 24, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Wzrd1

      Well, due to your wish for a boycott, I'll now watch the show. Pity, as I wasn't planning to originally.
      But, whenever an anti-American wants something destroyed, it typically has some value.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  5. Sam

    @Scott in re to non-believers: this is allowed for in Shariah (sp?) Law, they merely have to live under control of their Islamic neighbors and pay an annual fee for the privilege of continuing to draw breath.

    @Beatrice in re to how women are treated in the "West": you've been reading rap star tweets and grocery store rags, and watching way too much television (CSI, Criminal Minds, etc. etc.). Most women in the "West" are treated like anyone else. They have jobs, opinions, own property (try that in a "real" Muslim country), are allowed to have the same vices as the men (unlike Hena Akhter whose fellow conspirator suffered what fate?) and generally carry on with their lives without a gang of their male relatives following them around to see what possible "sin" they might be committing next!!

    July 24, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • tom

      Sam,

      I feel so sorry for you being such an ignorant person. And don't bother insulting me with your anti-muslim comments because I am of the same religion as most Americans. If you are a Christian then you desperately need to attend confession.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • Beatrice

      Sam, but the exports and news from the West sure make it look like a Sodom. All free, rich countries corrupted their ways and the middle-class nations are following them while the planet is being baked nicely.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • Wzrd1

      I lived and worked in THREE Arab Muslim countries. I paid no tax there at all, save US taxes.
      I could own property in two, the third I wasn't interested in, as they had a major housing bubble going on and the property was overvalued, so I didn't check (MANY foreign nations won't let a foreigner own any property, nations that are not Muslim).
      Try learning the truth, rather than parroting what you're told.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:48 am |
  6. Anna

    This will incite more hate towards the Muslims.

    July 24, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • tom

      Why Anna? I think it will show that Muslim Americans live the same lives with the same issues as everyone else. The hate that exists is driven by ignorance.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:16 am |
  7. will i am

    The show is going to bo mb

    July 24, 2011 at 8:56 am |
  8. bill082543

    Are you kidding me, who would watch a show like that

    July 24, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • tom

      You.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:17 am |
  9. Wendy

    "All I need to know about Islam, I learned on 9/11."

    July 24, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • baker mustafa

      Extremist can hijack any religion it claims to represent, but it doesn't mean that religion is extreme.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • Tubby's

      Wendy not all Muslims are the same. There are radicals in every religion. That is like me saying that all Christians are terrorists like Timothy Mcveigh that blew up the building in oklahoma
      ]

      July 24, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • tom

      How ignorant you are Wendy. And so as Americans I guess we should say "All I need to know about Christianity, I learned on April 19th, 1995" (Timothy McVeigh – Oklahoma city bombing). I feel sorry for you.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • Tim

      You are absolutely right Wendy. I will boycott the show.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • FDNorth

      It is true that all Muslims are NOT the same. But until we create a scientific way to pick them out, we should suppress them all.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • Wzrd1

      All I need to know about Christianity I learned from abortion clinic bombings, KKK lynchings and KKK burning of occupied churches. From the Olympic Park bombing. From the Protestant-Catholic street religious wars.
      Funny how that argument sounds like heresy and sedition when said factually, huh?
      And BTW, I lost a cousin on the 84th floor of the south tower of the WTC on 9/11. I lost 27 men from these wars, during my near 5 years of deployment. I've also dined in Arab and Afghan homes, secondary to my duties.
      So, I'm quite certain I know a LOT more than you on the subject of Islam and Muslim families.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:52 am |
  10. afkbrad

    Will they show their back rooms filled with fertilizer and diesel?

    July 24, 2011 at 8:23 am |
    • Cedar rapids

      This show is about American Muslims, not Norweigan Christians.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:12 am |
    • Wzrd1

      This show is to be about American Muslims, not an Irish American veteran who attacked his own government.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:55 am |
  11. afkbrad

    I've lived in Muslim countries for many years. They don't allow their women to do anything, have no problem with raping little boys, and will kill you if you insult their religion. Religion of peace? I think not.

    July 24, 2011 at 8:20 am |
    • Javier

      I think you need to wake up here. There is wrong doers were ever you go in this world, whether it be a majority christian or muslim country.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • Blahhh

      Excuse me @afkbrab, but where is this Muslim country and what is it called? Because let's get real. What country, Muslim or not, lets that happen to their people. And there is not once place where You will find only Muslims living there. Its always mixed. I live in a Arab country and the girls here have equal rights as the men. They have jobs, go to college, support their families. And they won't kill you if you insult their religion! There are many different religions here. Atheists, Christians, Muslims, you name it.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • Wzrd1

      Blahhh, so, you're in Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE or even Iran (for starters)? 🙂
      Qatar state sponsored a handful of Christian churches and built them.
      In the three I was in, I paid no taxes. In three I had my wife with me in, she could come and go freely, drive, be in public with western clothing, etc. She especially liked Kuwait and Qatar.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  12. Beatrice

    I'd like to see Reality TV on infidels and apostates living in the Muslim-majority land.

    July 24, 2011 at 5:28 am |
    • Wzrd1

      No, you wouldn't. You wouldn't, because it would contradict your inaccurate world view and "vast" experience gained on your twinkie encrusted sofa.
      Because, *I* have lived and worked in three Muslim countries, pure Arab ones and Afghanistan. Afghanistan is to Islam what hillbillies are to Christianity. And I know hillbillies, some of my inlaws are hill folks, complete with stills in the woods.
      What you'd find is everyday people, regardless of WHERE in the world you go.
      Except that Arab nations have a 48 hour work week.

      July 24, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  13. JLS639

    We learned all about surviving on a remote island on survivor... We learn about dealing with roommates on The Real World... We learned about living on a farm in The Simple Life... Oh, wait, none of those were remotely realistic, were they? Based on previous experience, we can expect to know even less about American Muslims as a result of this show than we did before watching it. And by "we" I mean "not me."

    July 24, 2011 at 4:33 am |
    • Wzrd1

      Not necessarily. From Wife Swap, I learned a fair amount about Judaism, especially dietary requirements.
      Knowledge is where you find it, separating the wheat from the chaff, the wheat being the minority.
      Wisdom is knowing that.

      July 24, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  14. Lanre

    True talk katherine! Congratulations for your unbiased opinion. People should judge Islam by its teachings and not by few muslims misbehaviour.

    July 24, 2011 at 3:07 am |
  15. theresa

    9/11 was an inside job.

    July 24, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • will i am

      Yes and you did it.

      July 24, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • Wzrd1

      Yep! Absolutely. Why, it was SUCH an inside job, no leaks have occurred from the hundreds that would be required to pull it off.
      Meanwhile, a similar number of folks were involved in a couple of accidental shootings of civilians in Iraq, yet every video of such events leaked.
      Yep! We're GOOD at keeping secrets.
      All part of the grand conspiracy of the space aliens.

      July 24, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  16. theresa

    Infiltration by Paul Sperry.

    July 24, 2011 at 12:57 am |
  17. maya

    honestly i think this is just going to start more crap, Americans are going to look for any thing to judge just to make more stuff up about Muslims especially Islam all these fake web sites that u people go to read about us are pathetic u wanna know about Islam and Muslims read the Qur'an then ask the questions u want

    July 23, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • Scott

      What's with the big push of the Islamic religion? Is a reality show really necessary? If you want to believe in Islam whatever but why do I have to have it rammed down my throat? NO...I am not going to watch it. What would happen, not that it will of course if a reality show was put on about Christianity? It would never be allowed as it would be considered to insulting to too many people but if you talk about Islam people are just scared to death to say anything about it. Why is that?

      July 24, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Cedar rapids

      'What would happen, not that it will of course if a reality show was put on about Christianity? It would never be allowed as it would be considered to insulting to too many people '
      yeah becasue there is nothing religious about the Duggars at all is there?

      July 24, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • Wzrd1

      Scott, so a minority should not be permitted a voice in the media? It was right, not permitting black politicians air time before the mid 1970's in the south?

      Maya, I agree wholeheartedly. I DID read the Quran. I read it as part of my evaluation of the threat for my unit, while I was deployed. I ended up arriving at the same conclusion that my predecessor did, the RELIGION isn't a threat, the abuse by power seeking individuals is the threat.
      I even had discussions with Muslims about their faith. I even corrected Saudis on a few odd tidbits of their faith, the room consensus was, I was right every time.
      Unfortunately, there as well as here, fools will follow the power seeking individual and willingly screw up their own lives supporting that power grabbing, money hungry critter.
      Because, after over 27 years of military experience all over this world, one thing I know always to be true:
      People are people, regardless of where you find them. They ALL feel the same emotions, they ALL want to get up in the morning, observe their faith as needed, wash up, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, clean up, eat dinner, play with the kids, go to bed, rinse, repeat.
      How a person responds to stimuli is cultural, the emotions are still the same.
      People are people.

      July 24, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • Muneef

      Wzrd1.

      My dear you are a wise,pure,fair and square in your words here...no need for me to comment.thank you.

      July 24, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  18. Muneef

    The month of Ramadan is at the Doors and only few days left;
    http://leadingproductivelives.com/

    July 23, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Reality

      Mohammed supposedly 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" named Gabriel. Common sense demands a neuron deletion of the Ramadan legend. It is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      July 23, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Reality, I've NEVER heard of hunger induced hallucinations. But, what would *I* know?
      Ever been to Eritrea? Ethiopia? Djibouti? I've personally MET starving people. Zero hallucinations.

      As for Ramadan, that is a bummer, the whole (lunar) month of August. Summer Ramadan can be triple tough in the region.

      July 24, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Muneef

      Wzrd1.
      You are right about the heat of the month and fasting do reduce the body heat and energy to be able to stand the month passing heat... There as well were the voyages of Winter and Summer where people of the Penisular would go in big camel caravans as verses below speak;

      [106:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

      [106:1] This should be cherished by Quraish.

      [106:2] The way they cherish the caravans of the winter and the summer.

      [106:3] They shall worship the Lord of this shrine.

      [106:4] For He is the One who fed them after hunger, and provided them with security after fear.

      July 24, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  19. Muneef

    Worship in Islam is every thing a person does ;

    The concept of worship in Islam is misunderstood by many people including some Muslims. Worship is commonly taken to mean performing ritualistic acts such as prayers, fasting, charity, etc. This limited understanding of worship is only one part of the meaning of worship in Islam. That is why the traditional definition that includes almost everything in any individual's activities. The definition goes something like this, "Worship is an all inclusive term for all that Gods love of external and internal sayings and actions of a person." In other words, worship is everything one says or does for the pleasure of Allah. This, of course, includes rituals as well as beliefs, social activities, and personal contributions to the welfare of one's fellow human beings.

     [5:2] You shall cooperate in matters of righteousness and piety; do not cooperate in matters that are sinful and evil. You shall observe GOD. GOD is strict in enforcing retribution.

    http://islam4all.com/concept_of_worship_in_islam.htm

    July 23, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • Reality

      o Even farting is "controlled" in Islam:

      To wit:

      (function() { var scribd = document.createElement("script"); scribd.type = "text/javascript"; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = "#{root_url}javascripts/embed_code/inject.js"; var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })()

      "Farting is problematic in Islam. During prayer, a worshipper must not fart. Sahih Bukhari (1.4.137) writes that Allah will not accept a Muslim's prayer if he/she passes wind during the ritual.

      The exception occurs if the worshipper farts silently, or the fart does not smell. In such a case, he/she may continue with the prayer (ibid, 1.4.139).Sunaan Nasai (1.162) writes that if you fart during a prayer you must redo ablution. Sahih Bukhari (9.86.86) says that for a "farter" Allah will not accept his/her prayer until he/she performs another ablution."

      July 23, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Scott

      Well...I think it may be safe to say that Islam is not all inclusive. OK to all the Islam believers, you want to be the dominate religion, what are you going to do to the people who don't conform? I am asking a real question not looking for an argument.

      July 24, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • rob

      @ reality

      hahahahah thats a hillarious find.

      July 24, 2011 at 4:36 am |
    • Wzrd1

      Reality, you nearly made me fall off of my chair, that was so absurd. OK, how many farts did you hear in our Christian churches? I've heard a few, the gasser tried to sink beneath the pew. Wow, so much stupid, so few years of life!

      Muneef, that is a commonality to Christianity and Islam, the notion that life behavior is part of the expression of faith. Hence, the term used here in the US of "Christian Charity" or the term "Good Christian act" and similar expressions.
      But, I also look at voluntary contributions to charities here in the US vs in the Muslim world, the Muslim world wins hands down for charitable contributions. Even from the poor. Where here, charities have to beg.

      July 24, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Reality

      Wzrd1,

      Might want to check out the Gates Foundation.

      Then there is World Visions. Total contributions for 2008 were $1,113,918,057 with the US taxpayers donating $280,590,001 to this total.

      July 24, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Muneef

      Stingy to Cry over Charity...! 😕

      July 24, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  20. katherine

    I am a Christian woman married to a Muslim man. I didn't convert and won't, and he respects the fact that I have my own beliefs and loves that I have strong opinions. Before we married I had three long term relationships. No man has ever treated me with so much respect, nor loved me in such a beautiful way. Our backgrounds are as different as night and day in so many ways, yet we have the exact same sense of humor. I have never laughed so much with any other person I have ever met. The majority of Muslims don't approve of terrorist acts.

    July 23, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • Muneef

      Well am a Muslim and do not approve into terror nor into wars...but rather approve into justice and peace...

      July 23, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Reality

      "The majority of Muslims don't approve of terrorist acts." Hmmm?

      Just a few examples of koranic/mosque-driven acts of terror and horror :

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,483 and 925 in non combat roles. 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      July 23, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • katherine

      How many people were actually involved in those acts? What percentage of the muslim population are made up of the people that participated, and those that approve of the acts they did, the way they were accomplished? I assure you the percentage is quite small. Many people may agree that change needs to happen, but not with violent acts. By your reasoning Reality, the 300+billion people in the US approve of the wars overseas that we are involved in, and all the innocent lives that are lost, children being killed or maimed. By your reasoning, we approve of it simply because we are American citizens. You are mistaken.

      July 24, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • Scott

      Well...then I would say you are fortunate because the majority of women are treated as property and not as individuals. Good luck to you.

      July 24, 2011 at 12:32 am |
    • Beatrice

      Scott, in the West, men treat most girls and women like pro-sti-tutes. The West is in a worse shape.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:34 am |
    • leveltheplayingfield

      Glad you're happy Katherine as one of my relatives married an Iranian in Canada. She's now finding it was mistake as once he got his immigration status in order he's caused her lots of grief. He was pretty meek and mild in the beginning and now disrespects her and her family and religious beliefs. He can't find work and leeches off her. Needles to say he is not very popular in the family and a divisive force.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • JR

      The problem is katherine, that so much of it is going on in so many places. These aren't stray events, or something from the historical past, anymore. The other problem is, if there are over a billion people of the Islamic faith and the number of people who are 'problematic' are supposedly 'tiny', it's then a simple math problem There are more non-violent people then violent people (either in action or in support of the action), then the 'good guys' would obviously vastly outnumber the 'bad guys'. If the religion is so important to the good guys....why aren't THEY stopping the bad guys? Standing up and saying NO YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR US and then DOING something big in response...? Even better, YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR MY GOD? Or do they?

      It's the sound of a billion crickets. Oh yes we'll get people who say 'this is a wonderful peaceful religion' but they're not taking big stands against the violent ones. Matter of fact, they're condemn those who do stand up against the violent ones and say that the religion/cultures/etc are misunderstood.

      When you do a body count, no one is misunderstanding. When you look at the billions of dollars and massive loss of life that has been spent in not just retaliation but to try to stem the tide of violence that is literally sweeping the world, how can you expect those who are non-believers to buy the peaceful aspect?

      I think that it's actually irrational to ask peaceful non-believers to buy the peace aspect if they're not fighting for peace. If they're not standing up to the terrible wrongs that have been committed in the name of Islam.

      I have met and known peaceful Muslims. I have never had issue with the religion of any type unless there was some sort of acting out against others. I went about my business and supported them to go about their's...Fast forward to 9/11 and then the second infitada and then ultimately the beheadings of hostages and that's where it started to break downfor me. I had a conversation back then wtih a Muslim aquaintance who was attempting to sell me that this was merely some old people with old ideas going off and that it was the young people who would turn things around.

      And I said to him 'I don't care who you worship, I don't care if you spend all day and all night worshipping something that absolutely has no bearing on my life or where I come from. None, whatsoever. But it's the exportation of violence that is the problem'.

      Violence is being exported, all around the globe, in the name of Allah. So many people dead and maimed and still it continues. From wars to bombs going off in schools and restaurants, resorts to office buildings. And I'm supposed to look at them and their belief systems exactly...how?

      Yes, I have the ability to look at those in the west and see a westernized version of the religion and still have no issue with them in general. They're peaceful, I'm peaceful, viya con Dios.

      But it's smoke blowing to act like there isn't a lot of violence going on in the name of this religion . It's disingenuous to say that there isn't a lot of non-acting out folks who are supporting in thought, word and deed the actions of the violent ones...else there would be a huge outcry and reaction....and just exactly, where is THAT?

      Where are the millions of people taking a stand against the Taliban? Al Queda? If a cartoon is insulting, isn't inappropriate violence even more insulting? Isn't the wholesale destruction of this religion's reputation a serious matter that all peaceful muslims should take a stand against?

      Why is there so much SILENCE and non-action if the violent wrongs are wrong? How can the bulk of an entire religion stand back and go 'uhhhhh'......

      This much silence in the face of this much violence is just plain wrong. Cartoons? Pfffttt. Easy to condemn non violent cartoonists or someone that looks at you funny. What about the guys with the bombs and the machetes?

      I think that if there was a vast movement against violent jihad by Muslim believers, we wouldn't be having this conversation. Matter of fact, there would be a HUGE deal of respect by those in the west of other beliefs/faiths/non-faiths. It would look more like the civil rights movement of the 60s to us in the USA.

      But as long as the faithful support the violence or don't take a stand against it, the longer the non believers will at the minimum, look at them sideways. In other words, it's the faithful themselves that have created their own public relations problem.

      Instead of pointing fingers, Islam needs to take a hard look in it's own mirror.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • TechnicallyRight

      @katherine
      "300+Billion in the US approved-" let me just stop you right there; that's roughly 50x times the WORLDS ENTIRE POPULATION.
      I'm a Veteran of Iraq, and while I can attest there are SOME level-headed, rational human beings who are of muslim heritage, a VAST majority of them live in what we in the west would call "Pre-Industrial Revolution" standard of living. Yeah, sure, SOME are luckier than others and live in '2nd-world-esque' "cities", but by and large a great deal of the opinions that the muslim world holds about the "West" in general is largely one of hostility and animosity. Which is describing it rather lightly.

      You can say whatever you want to about Islam being a religion of peace, but let's be honest- No belief structure that has a "good vs evil" dichotomy is peaceful. People always manage to find the "Devil" in someone/something they don't agree with.

      Further more, you should really stop what you're doing and get off the computer before your husband comes home and beats the ever living hell out of you for speaking your opinions without his consent and conversing with men not of your direct family.

      Have fun in marital purgatory, you married a muslim.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:40 am |
    • Wzrd1

      Katherine, you remind me of a family we're extremely close to. I met that family after my wife and I "adopted" one contractor family, whose husband worked on one of our bases. He rather disliked most of the contractors, I couldn't blame them, many were not very good people. So, we hung out with him and his family, advised them when their children were born and even played with the kids on a daily basis, after duty.
      His family came to visit from Saudi. He had been telling them about us and we were invited into their home, as usual, when his parents first arrived.
      His father and mother hit it off well with us. His father had met his mother while he was living here in the US and they married. She, being Italian American Roman Catholic. He, being 100% Saudi and Muslim.
      They announced to all that MY family and theirs are one family and hold that to this day.
      Of course, they were highly devout in their faith. Drinking the haram with me late into the night...
      Or, as I've said before, "good Catholics".
      Or more accurately, regular people.

      July 24, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • katherine

      @ Technically Right – Yes, I wrote the wrong number – 300+million. If we had arabs occupying our country with guns and bombs, you would probably feel the same as those people. Just like many people here assume all Muslims support terrorist acts and jihad, In the arab countries they think all US Citizens support the wars and killing of innocents. And while the may live in lower standards of living than most places in the US, if they have a little extra food on the table after dinner, they will walk around to see if any of their neighbors are hungry. How many times have you heard about that in the US? My husband would never raise a hand at me. He just isn't that type of person.

      @leveltheplayingfield – my husband was a US citizen years before we met. He also works harder than any person I have ever met. He worked 7 days a week for 13 years, only stopping when he was hospitalized for exhaustion. Now he works 5 days a week. I refused to marry him, unless he had more time to spend with me.

      July 24, 2011 at 2:58 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.