home
RSS
Muslim Americans are most optimistic religious group, study says
Owla Awada manages a popular bakery in Dearborn, Michigan, one of the largest U.S. Muslim communities.
August 2nd, 2011
10:00 AM ET

Muslim Americans are most optimistic religious group, study says

By Alan Duke, CNN

(CNN) - Muslim Americans are more optimistic about their future than members of any other religious group in the United States, according to a Gallup report released Tuesday.

"They have generally optimistic and positive views about government, its agencies and the future of America, but they report a significant level of prejudice and discrimination," said Ahmed Younis, an analyst for the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center.

Nearly half of the Muslim Americans surveyed by Gallup said they have experienced racial or religious discrimination in the United States, according to the report, which was compiled by the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center from two years of polling.

"The American Muslim story is the American story in many ways," said Younis.

The report assessed the group's perceptions and attitudes and those of other religious groups toward Muslim Americans a decade after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Polling of Americans of other religions supported the Muslim American perceptions of prejudice, Younis said.

"The opinion of Americans is still divided and the perception of loyalty of Muslim Americans is still questioned by a considerable portion of Americans," he said.

They express loyalty to the United States, but face distrust from a significant minority of other citizens, the report said.

The polling found that 69% identified strongly with the United States while 65% said the same about their faith.

"Muslim Americans are thoroughly American in their allegiance and identity and don't see a conflict between that and being thoroughly Muslim," Younis said.

Ninety-three percent of U.S. Muslims said they believe other Muslim Americans are loyal to the country, while significant minorities in other religious groups doubted that loyalty, the report said.

Thirty-seven percent of American Protestants and 35% of Catholics said they didn't agree that Muslims living in the United States were loyal to the country.

Nearly all Muslim Americans, 92%, said they believed that Muslims living in United States had no sympathy for al Qaeda, the terror group responsible or the 9/11 attacks.

They are, as a group, critical of counter-terrorism measures imposed since the terror attacks and a large percentage distrust the FBI, the report said.

There is evidence of "a big friction" between Muslim Americans and federal law enforcement, Younis said.

Just 60% of Muslim Americans said they have confidence in the FBI, compared to 75% or more of Americans of other major faiths, the report said.

While 81% believe it is not possible to profile a terrorist based on demographic traits, just 49% of other Americans agree.

"There's a significant percentage of Americans that believe racial profiling is an efficient way of conducting law enforcement activities," Younis said.

Attitudes about racial profiling are also reflected in what Muslim Americans say about prejudice they face. Sixty percent of U.S. Muslims say other Americans pre-judge them based on their ethnicity.

"At 48%, Muslim Americans are by far the most likely of major faith groups surveyed to say they have personally experienced racial or religious discrimination in the past year," the report said. "The next most likely are Mormon Americans, although less than one-third of U.S. Mormons say this."

Just 63% of Muslim Americans said they feel respected when they practice their religion in public. Eighty-one percent of all Protestants and Catholics and 85% of Mormon Americans said they felt respected.

"There is still a little bit of hostility in the public square as it relates to Muslim Americans and their place in society," Younis said.

Muslim Americans generally feel better off and more hopeful in 2011 than they were in 2008, when a similar Gallup report was produced. While 60% said they were thriving, about the same level as most major religious groups, they are the most optimistic about their lives in five years.

Americans overall rate their future a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10, but Muslim Americans rate theirs at 8.4, the report said.

Jewish Americans ranked as second most optimistic at 8.0, following by nonreligious, atheists and agnostic respondants at 7.9.

Mormans' optimism was rated at 7.8 and Catholics at 7.7, while American Protestants were the least optimistic about the future with 7.4, the report said.

One explanation for their optimism is that Muslim Americans were hurt more than other major religious groups by the recession and have experienced more improvement in the recovery, the report said.

The election in 2008 of President Obama, a Christian with Muslim roots, may be one factor in their optimism, the report said. They give Obama's performance an 80% approval rating, the highest of any religious group. President Bush's approval rating among Muslim Americans was just 7% near the end of 2008.

With the exception of Jewish Americans, all other religious groups rate Obama below 50%, the report said.

Muslim Americans represent the most racially diverse religious community in the United States, the Gallup report said.

"For instance, Asian Muslims are easily the most likely in America to be thriving," it said. "Black Muslims report more financial hardship than do white Muslims, and black Muslims are somewhat less likely than other Muslims in the U.S. to be satisfied with their standard of living."

One "intriguing finding" of the analysis is the indication that "frequent mosque attendance might lessen stress and anger," the report said.

"It also takes away from the theory that mosque attendance stokes Muslims' anger and radicalizes them," it said. "Rather, Muslim Americans are no different from other major U.S. religious communities who appear to draw peace of mind from their faith."

The Abu Dhabi Gallup Center is a partnership between the opinion research firm Gallup and the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 9/11 • Islam • Muslim • United States

soundoff (603 Responses)
  1. Quest

    I am a Muslim American and I would like to say that Muslims are very optimistic because they are still hopeful of this country, the values upon which it was founded and goodwill of its people. While there are many who try to sell hate wrapped in ignorant messages, I would argue the majority of these hate is originating out of ignorance and not out of someone's evil nature. When you have fox type channels, radio talk shows and other mass media that constantly bombard negative perspective in an effort to sell their news, it's not surprising to see these ignorant out there who listen and recite fox 24/7. However, I would challenge such people to take the time and read something about Islam from its sources, read some history, read about socio-political effects of colonization of last two centuries and read about the contributions of Islamic civilization. While it's true that Muslims and Islam are going through a rough time due to an extremist fringe and mass media campaign, if you really want to see how main stream Muslims live, think and behave, go visit some Muslim country and see that man in the street who works hard and struggles for the well being of his children just like you do everyday. You can choose to educate yourself and interact with Muslims to overcome your prejudgements or you can choose to stay ignorant by surrendering your intellect in front of this mass campaign by accepting manufactured opinions and allow to be manipulated. God gave you intellect, you use it or not choice is yours.

    August 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • denver2

      Unfortunately most will choose not to use that intellect. For what it is worth, America does this to every social group. 100 years ago Catholics were in hot water. There are still a lot of people here who can't abide Jews. The Irish, the Italians, and now the Mexicans endure(d) endless character assassination for nothing other than being foreign. One hopes we can all look back on this period in America's history several decades from now and finally learn the lesson we just can't seem to learn: Different isn't bad and ignorance is a poor basis for reaching conclusions.

      August 2, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Atlas

      So you believe Sharia is bad and women are equal to men and should be allowed to do what they want and wear what they want and smile at you as you pass in the street. That kind of contradicts the teachings of Islam as it is proclaimed in all the Islamic countries I have been to. So please, tell all of the American women that they can dress how they want and they are your equals. It's OK, Muhammed says you can lie to infedels.

      August 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • denver2

      "It's OK, Muhammed says you can lie to infedels."

      Way to be the very embodiment of intolerance. Do you agree with everything that is the Bible, by the way?

      August 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Amit-Atlanta-USA

      @denver2: I am a proud Hindu, and can VOUCH that Americans have been largely fair to my religion. There have been some criticism especially dealing with Hindu practice of casteism which I acknowledge is valid.

      I am sure other religious groups do feel the same, even though there have been instances where there has been some misunderstanding such as some ignorant Americans mistaking Sikhs for Muslims etc.

      But none of us blame any wilful across the board discrimination the way MUSLIMS do, not just here in America, but even in India and other countries where they have lived for 100's of years (after being forcibly converted by Islamic marauders!) .

      WHY? Has that got to do something to do with Muslim adaptability?

      Even educated, so-called moderate, Muslim elites like mr. FAREED ZAKARIA sing the same tune? Has that got to do more with their religion and their Islamic texts than anything else.

      August 2, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Quest

      @Atlas you are just proving my point by your ignorant comments. Typical example of someone using Islamic terms like Sharia without having a clue what it means. You have no clue that lying a major sin in Islam but are bringing these ideas that your heard or read somewhere on fox. Go read it. And if you have a problem with Islamic dress code look at Mary's picture next time you go to your church or perhaps read your own bible to get some insight.

      August 2, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Quest

      @Amit-Atlanta-USA, Muslims ruled south east Asian continent for over 4 centuries before British colonized it. There was no forced compulsion – bring your proof. If that was the case, 4 centuries are long enough time to force everyone. The fact is Muslims are still in minority on that continent, Hindus are still majority with all their faith and religious freedom in tact. Other minorities Sikhs, Christians etc. were all preserved as well. This actually demonstrates the tolerance Muslims have towards other faiths.

      August 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Atlas

      Quest, I have traveled to several muslim countries and have learned about the tolerance of muslims first hand. So just answer the question. Do you admit that sharia is bad or do you support it as a way of life? Yes or no? We Americans are tolerant of your dress and culture, although we may not understand it. If you write a cartoon about Jesus we may, at worst, look scournfully in your direction. What is the punishment for depicting Muhammed in this manner in muslim countries? My point is simply that before you come here and claim us to be intolerant, you look at yourselves first. BTW< I also studied Sharia law in college, and I for one would never live under this type of law. Most Americans wouldn't either. And yet some many of the liberals that try to so PC have no idea what it cost in the end.

      August 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • denver2

      "But none of us blame any wilful across the board discrimination the way MUSLIMS do"

      You can do better than this. Care to substantiate this sweeping generalization?

      August 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • denver2

      "And yet some many of the liberals that try to so PC have no idea what it cost in the end."

      Most liberals also have the education and historical perspective to recognize that any number of groups throughout time have been the subject of such fear mongering. And that's what this is. Fear mongering. Name one first world western democracy that has been forcibly converted to Sharia law.

      August 2, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  2. J.W

    I still havent gotten a Muslim woman on this blog to propose marriage to me. I am very sad.

    August 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  3. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy renowned Pakistani Nuclear scientist and Fullbright Scholar says, “I have never seen a first-rate Muslim scientist become an Islamist or a terrorist even when he or she is a strong believer. But second-and third-rate technologists are more susceptible. These are people who use science in some capacity but without any need to understand it very much—engineers, doctors, technicians, etc.—all of whom are more inclined towards radicalism. They have been trained to absorb facts without thinking, and this makes them more susceptible to the inducements of holy books and preachers.”
    The steady diet of religious fundamentalism and blind faith has clouded objective and rational thinking, and transformed Pakistan from a moderate Muslim-majority country into one where the majority wants Islam to play a key role in politics.

    http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/01/the-ideology-of-thought-control.html

    August 2, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • denver2

      The implication that engineers (who basically function on critical thought and skepticism) are somehow more susceptible to religious indoctrination than "first-rate scientists" is an example of the absurd culture of pretense that pervades the phd world. The world works because of engineers. All those neat experiments that theoreticians dream up are carried out by engineers. This conversation, engineers. Sheesh.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      So... You live in a place where engineers are taught *not* to think critically? I fear for your safety... And not due to religious indoctrination.

      August 2, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  4. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    Pervez Hoodbhoy – Well known Pakistani Nuclear Scientist & Fullbright Scholar – “Pakistani Americans MUST combat radicalism NOT just complain – Certainly no country is free of religious discrimination. But the Secular west is INFINETLY LESS DISRIMINATORY than ANY MUSLIM COUNTRY.........How many Churches are there in Saudi Arabia? Yet Muslims have built hundreds of new mosques in America with Saudi money and many after 9/11. NEW CHURCHES & TEMPLES ARE IMPOSSIBLE IN PAKISTAN. EVEN OLD ONE’s ARE BURNED DOWN BY RAMPAGING MOBS. If Pakistani Americans MUST FEEL WELCOME in the country they have chosen they MUST judge the West and Pakistan using EXACTLY THE SAME CRITERIA. It’s a LIE THAT AMERICAN MUSLIMS ARE VICTIMS OF EXTREME RELIGIOUS PREJUDICE. It’s a lie that American Muslims are PHYSICALLY ENDANGERED. Muslims are SAFER IN THE US than in PAKISTAN!."

    http://www.thepakistanupdate.com/2010/05/why-faisal-shahzad-bombed-times-square/#more-1380

    August 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Atlas

      This underscores my points exactly. We should not discreminate, but all the western sympathisizing, tree hugging liberal hippie folk better understand how they would be treated in pakistan etc... and then better realize that, allowed to continue unchecked, muslim birthrates alone will give them a majority in short order. Once that happens, the push for sharia will begin in ernest, and will eventually succeed. This is how it has gone in other muslim countries already and is seriously ramping up in Europe. If you believe that people have the right to be free and do live how they want, then you have to take freedom from certain people. It is a serious catch 22, I know. Pick a side soon.

      August 2, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • J.W

      But wont all the Muslims die out since they are all suicide bombers?

      August 2, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  5. Reality

    It is called the Infamous Angelic Con:

    Joe Smith had his Moroni.

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.
    ===========================================================================================

    August 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      h how i pine for the good ol days when the Sons Of GOD were the Gods who defamed the daughters of worldly manhoods thus creating disharmony in the eyes of GOD who sought to avenge his principalities by sending the God called Satan and His hordes of satan worshippers to lay waste upon this world! Way to go GOD,,,,, way to go,,,,,,:-(

      August 2, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      "Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile."

      Source?

      August 2, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Reality

      H.S. Reimarus
      R. Bultmann
      E. Kasemann
      Earl Doherty
      Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy
      Alvar Ellegård
      G. A. Wells
      Gregory Riley
      Robert Eisenman
      John Dominic Crossan
      Robert Funk
      Burton Mack
      Stephen J. Patterson
      Marcus Borg
      Stevan Davies
      Geza Vermes
      Richard Horsley
      Hyam Maccoby
      Gerd Theissen
      Bart Ehrman
      Paula Fredriksen
      Gerd Lüdemann
      John P. Meier
      E. P. Sanders
      Robert H. Stein
      Karen Armstrong
      Albert Schweitzer (The Quest for the Historical Jesus)
      Mahlon Smith
      Karen Pagels

      http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/Works_Cited

      August 2, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  6. Wow Grown Ups acting like Babies

    @Doesn't matter and @Fidei Coticula Crux
    Thank You

    August 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Doesn't matter

      @Wow Grown Ups acting like Babies

      You're welcome, and remember don't let being "politically correct" be subst-i-tued for being truthful...

      August 2, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  7. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Only Christians really believe in God! But only protestants are real Christians. And only Americans are truely protestant. And only republicans are real Americans. And just to be safe, let's exclude any gay republicans, moderate republicans, or republicans who don't live in red states. Oh, and only small town folk are REAL Americans with REAL Christian Americans... Heck, Sarah Palin is the only one who truly believes in God!

    Exclude, exclude, exclude, just to justify your own vanity. 'Only I truly am holy and superior to everyone else!'

    August 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • denver2

      This is actually what religion is for.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  8. Wow Grown Ups acting like Babies

    Okay first of all I'm 13 and kids younger than I am are reading this so one thing clear up your potty mouths. 2nd thing you all or a bunch of idiots right now. You wanna know why because your posting terrible things like this and have no respect for what each other are saying. I know a lot of Muslims and they are some of the sweetest people you will ever meet, because they respect me for who I am. You know what Jesus, Moses, Muhammad, and etc taught us, to Respect each other. How would you feel if you went to a middle-eastern country and were called a terrorist right in front of your child. It doesn't feel good. You are making a terrible impact on lots of children and your teaching them to judge before you get to know. And the definition of a terrorist is someone who causes terror. A rapist, kidnapper, or even a bully is someone who causes these things. Osama Bin Laden is a terrorist but does that mean his religion is teaching him this? NO! Adolf Hitler was a terrorist but did his religion teach him this? NO! So you grown ups should start acting like adults and be more mature and learn to give each other Respect!!! I KNOW I'M NOT BEING RESPECTFUL BUT IT'S BECAUSE YOU DON'T DESERVE ANY!

    August 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Laughing

      Hey Kiddo,

      I'll let you in on a little secret, this IS how adults act, its just now they're grown up enough that they have the right to do this. Aren't you excited that this is what you get to look forward to when you lose all your baby teeth?

      August 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Wow Grown Ups acting like Babies

      @Laughing
      I lost all my baby teeth just to let you know and learn something! SHUT UP!

      August 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Atlas

      A little lesson on respect for you: If you travel to afghanistan, pakistan, etc... under shaira law you could be stoned to death just for wearing western clothing. You are the one assuming all muslims are sweat because of the few you personally know. I have met many intheir own homeland, and they would sooner see you dead than spit on you if you were on fire. You go ahead and lump them all under sweat and respectful and I will assume they all want to kill us until I get to know them personally. Now, I will admit some are nice, loving people. The muslims in the mid east do not even consider these people as true muslims though. I don't judge anyone I personally meet based on race or religion. I try to get to know the individual first. But when dealing with groups, it only makes sense to err on the side of caution. Good luck to you and I hope you live long enough to see the world for what it truely is. BTW, I used to be liberal too, you'll be fine in time.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Doesn't matter

      @Wow Grown Ups acting like Babies

      It's unfortunate that most of what you are saying is true, so hopefully as you grow up you won't become like what you have seen here and at large in the world around you...hopefully you will lead change and not follow the status quo...I wish you the best of luck...

      August 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      Like in the story “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, it usually takes a child to clarify what is truly wrong here.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Wow Grown Ups acting like Babies

      @Laughing
      BTW You just got schooled

      August 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • denver2

      Ah, the naivete of youth. Just because adults tell kids to behave doesn't mean that adults themselves behave. If you pay attention at all to this or any other issue common to American political discourse, you must certainly have noticed a complete lack of civility in all arenas by now....

      "Do as I say, not as I do."

      August 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • denver2

      "schooled?"

      ...you really are 13, aren't you?

      August 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Laughing

      @ Wow Grown Ups acting like Babies

      So when does school start back up, I remember 7th grade math was a KILLER, but hey you are so smart you're trolling cnn blogs on subjects you know nothing about, you're bound to do so well! I had no idea you lost all your baby teeth already, proud of you champ! have you grown your first pubes also?

      August 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Doesn't matter

      @Laughing

      Really? What's wrong with you? Who is the real child here????

      August 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Laughing

      @ Doesn't Matter

      THIS GUY!!!!!

      also, I'm fairly certain this guy really isn't 13 really. As a 13 year old what you rather do on a beaut.iful summer day, be inside, and read a religion blogg on CNN or outside enjoying the last days of summer.......

      Then again, if you believe whatever anyone says they are on this blog, then I have news for you. My name is Barak Obama, live from the whitehouse and boy am is my toast burnt after the rep.ubs getting everything they want and are st.ill acting like a-ho.les about it!

      August 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • J.W

      Oh no you are telling me I voted for an atheist last election?

      August 2, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Laughing

      @J.W

      You got it! Remember that whole "Obama is a Muslim" thing? Yeah some really just caught me laughing while I was reading the bible and implied the wrong thing. Don't worry though, We'll do just fine as long as these darn republicans stop giving me so much sh.it all the time and just work with me here.

      August 2, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • J.W

      Well you know now that your secret is out there will be plenty of Republicans trying to convert you.

      August 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Laughing

      @J.W

      Yeah, I wish they still thought I was a muslim, at least then they'd call me a terrorist and call it a day, now that it's out I'm an atheist all he.ll is going to break loose. Hold on to your hat! It's going to be a bumpy ride!

      August 2, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  9. buzzard

    I certainly do not accept Timothy McVee and his terrrorist act, but..did he say "Praise Jesus" when he committed it? Probably not. But, you Muslims commit terrorist acts in the name of Allah, i.e., Allah Akbar. That is the difference. Also, how many Muslims have killed throughout the world in the name of your Allah over the past ten years and prior to that? How many Christians or Jews have killed others in the name of our God? I am not considering the many killers worldwide who may be Christians or Jews, but the ones who do it in the name of God. Why do so many of your kind want to kill us Americans? NO, I do not trust your kind nor will I ever trust you as long as many of your kind want to kill me and my fellow Americans. I know there are many good Muslims, but how can I know which ones are good and which ones are not and are potential terrorists. It is a problem, so you Muslims need to root out the bad ones and get rid of them before you are in serious trouble one day in our nation. I also say you have the right to practice your religeon as well as any other group, but DO NOT force your religeon or Shariah on us Christians, Jews or other denominations. We detest your Shariah law and will NEVER accept it.

    August 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • jgb24

      I feel bad for you. You must never be able to go outside with all the fear that is surrounding you.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • denver2

      It may interest you to know that, even by the most generous estimates, less than 0.07% of the world's Muslims have been involved in an act of terrorism. Your skepticism would serve you better if you applied it to statements that challenge your preconceived notions and those that confirm them in equal measure.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  10. washingtonpharmgirl

    Yawn. I would be happy too, If I worked in a pastry shop.

    August 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      yeah, me too!

      August 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      You know I was looking at that cute chubby faced girl and I was thinking the same thing. I would happy working in a pastry shop as well.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  11. ATR

    I dont even have to read the comments to know they are hateful.

    August 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  12. SS

    For those who truly want to understand Islam, go straight to the source. Get yourself a reputable translation of a Quran and read it for yourself. You can even read it online at searchtruth.com. Or just get a high level overview at http://www.allahsquran.com/all_about_the_quran.php.

    Decide for yourself whether Islam is or isn't a religion of peace and why it is such a fast growing religion.

    Peace to all.

    August 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Big Bob

      Somehow I think that the English translation will be a tad different from the Arabic version.

      Taqiyya!

      August 2, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  13. nonPCrealist

    Of course they are optimistic, they are winning!

    August 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Winning? Seriously? What is it that you think that they are winning? A safe place to live, work and raise their families? Keep lumping people together. Your ignorance is your bliss alone.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Yusuf

      Like Charlie Sheen

      August 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  14. Mark Yelka

    Weak people find comfort in strong religion. Maybe that's why they're optimistic.

    August 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • denver2

      Weak people everywhere take comfort in religion. The central psychological attraction for all the Abrahamic religions is that they fill the hole where "daddy" is supposed to be in the minds of adults who can't self actualize.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  15. mynamewas

    Those who say that the Koran preaches no violence:

    Quran (2:191-193) – “And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]…and fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.”
    Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”.
    Quran (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”
    Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” No reasonable person would interpret this to mean a spiritual struggle.
    Quran (9:5) – “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.”
    From the Hadith:
    Bukhari (52:177) – Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.”
    Bukhari (52:256) – The Prophet… was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, “They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans).” In this command, Muhammad establishes that it is permissible to kill non-combatants in the process of killing a perceived enemy. This provides justification for the many Islamic terror bombings.
    Muslim (19:4321-4323) – Three separate hadith in which Muhammad shrugs over the news that innocent children were killed in a raid by his men against unbelievers. His response: “They are of them (meaning the enemy).”
    Tabari 7:97 The morning after the murder of Ashraf, the Prophet declared, “Kill any Jew who falls under your power.” Ashraf was a poet, killed by Muhammad’s men because he insulted Islam. Here, Muhammad widens the scope of his orders to kill. An innocent Jewish businessman was then slain by his Muslim partner, merely for being non-Muslim.
    Tabari 9:69 “Killing Unbelievers is a small matter to us” The words of Muhammad, prophet of Islam.
    Ibn Ishaq: 327 – “Allah said, ‘A prophet must slaughter before collecting captives. A slaughtered enemy is driven from the land. Muhammad, you craved the desires of this world, its goods and the ransom captives would bring. But Allah desires killing them to manifest the religion.’”

    August 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Limbaugh is a liberal

      As opposed to the hundreds of passages in the Bible advocating the death of all who oppose Israel or Christ...

      August 2, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Oh goodie, quotes taken out of context! All those who are too lazy to think and/or read will surely follow your lead. Irgorance is cancer.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • SS

      Yeah right. Did you actually read the verses before and after or does this suit your agenda?

      For those who truly want to understand Islam, go straight to the source. Get yourself a reputable translation of a Quran and read it for yourself including the verses the ill informed poster cited. Read the Hadith too. You can even read them online at searchtruth.com. Or just get a high level overview at http://www.allahsquran.com/all_about_the_quran.php.

      Then decide for yourself whether Islam is or isn't a religion of peace and why it is such a fast growing religion.

      Peace to all.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • denver2

      Deuteronomy 13:13-15
      "that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, 'Let us go and worship other gods' (gods you have not known), then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. You must destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock."

      ...there are others.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • ibivi

      Islam contains many very troubling writings about what is permissible to do on behalf of the faith. In many ways it is in direct conflict with a western style democracy. How these issues can be reconciled will be the true test of whether muslims can truly assimilate into modern secular societies.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • denver2

      Ibivi said: "How these issues can be reconciled will be the true test of whether muslims can truly assimilate into modern secular societies."

      Is it then your contention that American moderate Muslims haven't assimilated into America's (debatably secular) society?

      August 2, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Peter E

      Yes, the Bible was NEVER used as justification for violence, war, or the enslavement of millions... cough cough!

      The crusades never happened. The war against, conquest, and enslavement of millions of non-believers in Africa, the Americas, or in Asia never happened by European monarchies who were just trying to spread the good word of the Lord through peaceful missionaries...

      And Hitler's speeches and writings were not full of references to God and the Bible either...

      August 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • jgb24

      how many verses are there in the Quran? Thousands? Ten Thousand? And you can come up with only 5? Seems to me that these verses comprise a very, very small, part of the Quran, and of course are also contradicted by other verses found in the Quran.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>And Hitler's speeches and writings were not full of references to God and the Bible either...

      Rev .Martin Luther King preached peace through Faith and God, are we to only recognize the negatives or can we offer up both? Same with Ghandi... Mother Teresa...

      August 2, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • DownWithIslam

      [quote]how many verses are there in the Quran? Thousands? Ten Thousand? And you can come up with only 5? [/quote]
      Do you really see this as a logical argument? So say the bible had a verse that said, " You must kill all non Christians", but all the other verses said, " Live peacefully" and similar verses, would that be ok?
      No of course not. Islam is a religion of hate. If people want to practice this religion they should do so in their territory. Go back where they came from and stop forcing their beliefs on civilized countries of the world. The sly islamification that's becoming a huge reality in our world now is a very scary thought and needs to be stopped. People are so ignorant and blind now days it's disgusting. Muslims are a very sly people. I don't trust them.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Reality

      Then after Ramadan:

      The koranic/mosque-driven acts of terror and horror will continue:

      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.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • denver2

      If you guys spent one-tenth of the effort you spend trying to prove Islam is evil to instead find examples of decency in the Quaran and modern Muslims you'd invalidate your own point. Well under one-tenth of one percent of the world's Muslim population has anything to do with terrorism. Muslims all over the world live peacefully in societies right alongside other religions. But you'll cherry pick verses all day and blame 1.5 million Muslims for the actions of 100 to prove your wacky point. Don't let facts and reason get in your way.

      August 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Yusuf

      @ DownwithIslam, The bible does contain verses to kill all non Christians, have you never read it?

      August 2, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • DownWithIslam

      Yusuf mohammad or whatever your name is, show me a quote of a verse from the bible stating we need to kill non Christians.

      August 2, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • J.W

      downwithislam, read the Old Testament. That is what people use to justify violence in the name of Christianity. I am not agreeing with that, but that is what people look at. The verses of the Koran used to justify violence are probably equally taken out of context

      August 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • DownWithIslam

      The new testament is post Jesus Christ. The old testament was changed for obvious reasons. Islam can't seem to change for the better. Also isn't there plans to build a mosque on the 9/11 site? Wow! Way to go.. Now that's disrespectful.

      August 2, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • DownWithIslam

      I'd also like to say I was born Catholic, however I follow no religion. I think most religions are dangerous. I believe there is a god but I believe religion is a man made creation used to control people. Islam uses this control in very negative ways.

      August 2, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • J.W

      I agree with you about Jesus. I think that the Old Testament is misused in this way. I think parts of the Koran are probably misused by a few, but there are also parts of the Koran that advocate peace.

      August 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • denver2

      DownWithIslam, two things:
      1) Christians can't get away from the Old Testament. Jesus says as much in Matthew 5:17-18.
      2) There are many verses in the Bible which recommend killing non-Christians. I've cited one in this very thread by way of Deuteronomy 13:13-15.

      August 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • J.W

      In Mathew 5:17 I dont think that Jesus meant that we must follow the law as written in the OT, but rather as Jesus explains it in the following verses. Jesus himself contradicts many things said in the OT. In fact he does much of that in Matthew 5.

      August 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • denver2

      J.W.,
      The Bible is a mass of contradictions and everyone in it contradicts themselves from time-to-time. This is what happens when a book is compiled by several people over several hundred years. That said, this is pretty darn clear to me:
      "Do not think that I [Jesus] have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."

      August 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • denver2

      I mean, Jesus goes on to say this in verses 18 and 19:
      "For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but is not "The Law" the laws of the OT? The laws of the OT that are good unto "the least stroke of a pen" in Jesus' own words?

      August 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • J.W

      Well I guess where the confusion comes in there is that we dont know exactly what the Law is. There were things written in the OT that Jesus contradicts just a few verses later. To me I have always considered the Ten Commandments to be the only important part of the law. I think that there was a reason that those laws were set aside, because they were rule that would always apply no matter the culture or the time.

      August 2, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • denver2

      I'm not trying to pass myself off as some sort of Biblical scholar (I'm just a curious atheist) but I'm fairly certain that commonly accepted significance of phrase "The Law" in academic circles is that it refers to the five books of the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy). I'm sure you could make an argument that Jesus only meant the Ten Commandments, but I don't think you'd find much traction in the world of Biblical scholarship with that view.

      August 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Amit-Atlanta-USA

      @denver2: YOU SAID "Well under one-tenth of one percent of the world's Muslim population has anything to do with terrorism. "

      ONLY Allah knows wher you got that fig. from!

      Here's what a Pakistani radio Host Fazi Zaka said: (Again, NOT my word plz.)

      "The silent majority does not want to take out a gun and shoot anyone, but at the same time they're not appalled by it when somebody else does", "THE MAJORITY ARE ENABLERS"

      August 2, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • J.W

      Perhaps that is true, but if Jesus was talking about those 5 books, then perhaps what he meant was more that he was clarifying them. Throughout the Sermon on the Mount, he basically nullifies much of the laws there. for instance “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?" matthew6:25.

      August 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • denver2

      Re: "ONLY Allah knows wher you got that fig. from!"

      I'll explain: There are 1.57B Muslims. If the U.S. state department reports some 11,000 terrorist attacks every year *and* all terrorist attacks are carried out by Muslims *and* each attack takes 100 terrorists *and* none of the terrorists participate in multiple attacks, that is 1.1M Muslim terrorists. With that in mind, divide 1.1M by 1.57B (and multply by 100 to get a percentage) and you'll find you end up with 0.07%.

      I assume you have a different number in mind. I invite you to share the number and your rationale. You'll forgive me if I don't take anecdote from a Pakistani radio host as fact.

      August 2, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • denver2

      Re: "Perhaps that is true, but if Jesus was talking about those 5 books, then perhaps what he meant was more that he was clarifying them."

      Ignoring the elephant in the room (that so much of the Bible is inconsistent because it is largely fabricated) it would have been nice if Jesus had said he was just clarifying The Law instead of saying the opposite of that before contradicting himself. Either way, it isn't worth arguing I suppose since I don't believe any of it anyway.

      I feel pretty good about my stance on the matter and you are, of course, welcome to your own. Anyone who claims to know precisely what the Bible has to say about anything is probably overestimating their own knowledge. Same goes for the Quaran. Thanks for not being a total nut like so many of the people here.

      August 2, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • J.W

      I wont claim that I have all the answers as far as this goes. That is just the way I have interpreted it. It seems like the OT and NT are almost 2 different worlds, and that things were supposed to change after that. I think Christians and Muslims should be responsible for denouncing the violence that is happening, because I dont think either religion is in favor of it.

      August 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  16. Peter E

    There are thousands of murders in our country every single year, perpetrated by average Americans, who, as it turns out, are also regular church-going Christians. (it's what happens when you are in a poor neighborhood. Corporations robbed you of your wages so you only have religion to turn to)
    Shouldn't we be dealing with THAT problem first? With the problem that causes a lot more death and misery? The problem of Americans killing Americans?
    But of course politically it is much more easy to blame outsiders. That way you can justify pork spending in your district for 'security' purposes against 'terrorists.'

    August 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  17. abd

    The americans are so lazy that they don't know whom to love and whom to hate, so FOX news and other agencies tell them to hate this and love that. Those who knew muslims they don't give a damn about the bad things news say, but those who don't know muslims they there you go, they listen easily. go and grab a book written by a mulsim to know islam. I thought america is a nation that likes reading. so go ahead, you may start with books for zakir nayek.

    August 2, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • mynamewas

      Zakir nayek?

      You mean the guy who was denied a visa by the UK for his fundamentalist preaching?

      August 2, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      You are correct, but I think that most Americans need to start with Thomas the Train.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • abd

      @mynamewas;

      Yes he is the one I am talking about, that is good that you know his name. So you don't like him becasue he was not given a visa becasue others think he fundamentalist, THAT is exactly what my comment was about, others tell you who is good and who is bad. President bush told you Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, which is not true, so just because someone told you one guy is bad that doesn't make him bad.

      August 2, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Big Bob

      Like Sayad Qtub?

      August 2, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  18. Utah Mormon

    Mormons are Christians! Check it out! Attend our services and you will be enlightened!

    August 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Jerry

      Sorry Mormons are not Christians. They do not belive that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that the only way to heaven is by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, the scarifce He made on the cross for our sins, and the only way to heaven.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Would I have to have on those funny underpants?

      August 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Ron

      I try to imagine Jesus agreeing with this Jerry character. "Yes Jerry, you have listed the qualifications for being a Christ follower." then follows with "never mind your an as.hole." It's dbags like Jerry that make America's version of Christianity a joke!

      August 2, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  19. Limbaugh is a liberal

    The number one domestic (i.e., somebody who called themselves American or were born in America) terrorist in the United States in history was Timothy McVeigh. He was a war veteran, a registered republican, and a very active and vocal member of the NRA. He killed hundreds of civilians, including children.
    Should we now start giving patriotism tests to NRA members because of him? There are thousands of NRA members around the country in militia groups who have been vocal about opposing the American government. (yes, even during the Bush years)
    Or how about all those separatists living in Alaska or in Southern states? Should we revoke the citizenship of Gov. Rick Perry because he publically advocated for the independence of Texas?
    How come these people aren' questioned?

    August 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Jerry

      You are talking about Rush Limbaugh while replying to an article about Mus Lim's in America?

      August 2, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      You want everybody that disagrees with the government to be questioned? I thought we were allowed to disagree in this country, and that is what makes it great. You should move to China.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Limbaugh is a liberal

      You are missing the point. The comment is about the hypocrisy of singling out American muslims, as opposed to other people, like the militias made up of NRA members in the country who explicitely oppose the American government and organize in militias with weapons against it.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  20. paul

    Just behave as human beings and things will be all right.

    August 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Chris

      Have you met humanity?

      August 2, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      I usually get a little nervous when "humanity" is involved.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Chris,
      I just had to chuckle at that one. Nice!

      August 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.