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My Take: Defending TLC’s ‘All-American Muslim’ against Muslim complaints
Samira Amen, who's featured in "All-American Muslim."
November 28th, 2011
02:38 PM ET

My Take: Defending TLC’s ‘All-American Muslim’ against Muslim complaints

Editor's Note: Khurram Dara is the author of "The Crescent Directive: An essay on improving the image of Islam in America," coming this winter (Tensile). He tweets @KhurramDara.

By Khurram Dara, Special to CNN.com

For the last decade, Islam has been under a lot of scrutiny, and understandably so. When you’ve got terrorists all over the world declaring war on America and the West in the name of Islam, it’s only natural that people will have questions.

But this reasonable concern has rapidly turned into irrational suspicion, with anti-Muslim groups seizing on the opportunity to paint all Muslims in America as radical-loving, violence-approving foreigners.

The problem is that the response from American Muslims has been about as effective as Herman Cain’s PR strategy in the face of sexual harassment allegations. Instead of pooling our resources to combat radicalism, or taking a more active role in our communities so that other Americans better understand us, we’ve resorted to defense tactics.

We tell people that the Quran is being taken out of context. We focus on efforts to try to “educate” the American public. And we desperately cling to the idea that if people just had a better grasp of the facts on Islam, they wouldn’t buy into anti-Muslim propaganda.

Unsurprisingly, none of that has changed Americans' view of Islam.

So when I heard that TLC was doing a reality show about several American Muslim families, I was intrigued. The show wasn’t going to feature scholars refuting the (ridiculous) claims made about Islam. It was going to show regular Muslim families living in America. It was going to show, rather than simply tell, people about Muslims and Islam.

After three weeks of airing, “All-American Muslim” has done just that. Whether it was Mr. Aoude prepping his pregnant wife for that hectic hospital trip, or newlyweds Jeff and Shadia worrying about how their families will get along, it has shown viewers the single most important truth that will change the perceptions of Muslims: We are just like everyone else.

There has been widespread praise from TV critics, calling the show "intimate and heartfelt" and "as good as it gets" and praising TLC for how it has "upended the conventions of reality television."

The show’s premiere had 1.7 million viewers, making it the No. 2 program in its time slot among key demographics and scoring TLC's best Sunday prime time performance in more than a year.

Predictably, the show was also met with harsh and unfair criticism. Anti-Muslim groups wasted no time citing this as another example of Muslims trying to “take over” America.

This was expected. What wasn’t expected was the reaction from some other American Muslims.

“The families aren’t Muslim enough.”

“They aren’t good role models.”

"They don't represent all American Muslims."

Is the show a perfect cross-section of the American Muslim demographic? Are they the most religious families? Is it full of people you aspire to be one day?

No, of course not. It’s reality TV. It’s entertainment. We American Muslims ought to look at it in the grand scheme of things instead of just criticizing the show by saying it “doesn’t represent me.”

You’re right. It doesn’t represent you.

That’s because no TV show, no organization, no movement is ever going to represent you better than you can represent yourself.

“All-American Muslim” is not going to change the image of Muslims on its own. But it’s got the right idea. It’s premised on the fact that people judge a group not just on its beliefs, but also on their interactions with members of that group.

So if you don’t think “All-American Muslim” represents you, then go out into your community and show people what being Muslim is all about, from your perspective. Whether it’s a book club or a basketball league, we can all have our own “All-American Muslim” moments.

The most important take-away from a show like “All-American Muslim” is that we Muslims should focus our efforts on showing average Americans that we share far more in common with them than some would like them to believe.

And you don’t need a TV show to do that, you just have to have the courage to break out of your shell and share in those experiences with your American brethren.

Don’t treat TLC’s reality show as the only hope for changing our image, or as our one shot at showing America what Islam is all about. Don’t treat it as needing to be a flawless, immaculate portrayal of Muslims in America.

Treat it as a first step. Consider it a new approach. Look at it as the beginning of the long journey we have ahead, in changing the negative stereotypes about Muslims in America.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Khurram Dara.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Opinion • TV

soundoff (2,050 Responses)
  1. T-Bone Lover Not a Fighter

    Once upon a time, I used to watch TV to get away from reality.... I miss those times... 😦 TV = Garbage!

    November 29, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Mymainman

      I concur. Television is nearly worthless these days.

      Oh, and to muslim women: Stop being oppressed! Throw off the hijabs and headscarves! Embrace your freedoms that all other women observe. I can't stand how islam treats women in its passages within the Quran.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Ram

      Reply to S –

      (Here are my comments):

      It is disgusting to stereotype or engage in closet (or open) bigotry of anyone because of their religion – and this certainly includes Muslim-American citizens.

      At the same time, it is a curious artifact of American Muslim life whey they remain generally silent in the fact of radical Muslim terror.

      Why haven't American Muslims had the equivalent of a million man/woman march on Washington?

      Why aren't they demonstrating and demanding that Radical Muslims cease their worldwide killing of innocents?

      Why aren't they highly visible protesting that Wahibists and Muslim extremists have perverted the name of Allah with mass murder, and that they have highjacked the religion itself?

      For the life of me – I can't understand the general silence of the American Muslim community when they seem to have so mucht to gain by these and similar acts of solidarity against the reign of terror here and around the world.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • angryAmerican

      I still use TV to avoid reality, I watched Big Bang Theory last night and Two and a Half men, drank a couple beers, played a Need for Speed viideo game with my kid and went to bed to get up and work my butt off. We choose our reality.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • Wendy

      Muslim women are NOT oppressed, again, another huge generalization, they actually wear the pants! I lived there and not on a compound, they were my neighbours and friends and I took interest in their lives to learn more! Don't paint them all with the same brush! PEOPLE, learn more before you speak, educate yourselves, ask if you don't understand and travel the world so that you see there is more to this world than America!!

      November 29, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Peter

      RAM: Google "Muslims against terrorism" and learn something. Especially freemuslims dot org.

      November 29, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
  2. S

    You people make me sick. It is digusting how much hate there is in this world. I only feel bad for my children who have to grow up in such a sick world with sick people like you all. Does Christianity say it is alright to bash people or put people down? I think not. I am not going to sit here and say you all should educate yourself because your too ignorant to do so. I am a proud American Muslim born and raised in America and I deserve to live in America just as much as everyone else does. And for the record, the land of America was never yours...so maybe you all should go back to whereever in the world you monsters came from.

    November 29, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • truth

      please dont blow us up or try to oppress our women

      November 29, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Ram

      Please see my comments, "S"...I'd love to hear your reply.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • Jake

      Agreed!

      November 29, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • DrDoITT

      Just make sure you leave your suicide bomber vest outside the USA before entering OK?

      November 29, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • barbara

      are you that muslim that will only condemn israel and never condemn any muslims for killing innocent people?

      November 29, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • S

      What comments Ram?? And for the record Truth I am a woman.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • richunix

      S, if you are born American, then you are American, your religious beliefs has nothing to do with your status within our nation. Just call yourself an American...and be done with it. Also please don't quote nonsenical statements shuch as: the land of America was never yours" as they cloud the issue you are tying to make.

      richunix Athiest American....sounds cool

      November 29, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Shannon

      The land is not yours either.....and Jesus is the son of God.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Wendy

      TO: truth,

      You are narrow minded idiot! Every post of yours screams ignorance and a lack of education and worldly exposure! Go back to your hole!

      November 29, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Peter

      "S" wrote: "I am a proud American Muslim born and raised in America and I deserve to live in America just as much as everyone else does"

      Note "born and raised in America". Yet, get a load of these bird brained responses:

      "Just make sure you leave you suicide bomber vest outside the USA before entering, OK?"

      "Please don't blow us up or try to oppress our women"

      Gawd, the ignorance on this board is astonishing. Just astonishing.

      November 29, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • S

      I feel the same way Peter. INGNORANT!!!

      November 30, 2011 at 10:39 am |
  3. jona

    I visit CNN every day just for the "stupid factor" If it isn't LZ its some stupid article like this one.. thanks CNN!

    November 29, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • Peter

      Waht is so stupid about the article? Explain.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  4. Bob

    Now, fred, you still haven't escaped the question, after all your dodging. Here we go again. We're on to you:

    Buck up and answer: do you condemn the eternal torture that your god metes out for even minor transgressions during a short mortal life?

    Answer up. It's smack down time on your sicko Christian beliefs.

    November 29, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • SeanNJ

      The cognitive dissonance is strong with this one.

      November 29, 2011 at 9:48 am |
  5. Brian

    I am Roman Catholic. Where I grew up we had a community pot of religions. My church shares parking lot with a Southern Baptist Church. Down the street is a Lutheran Church not that far away is a Mosque next to a Synagogue. Where I went to high school we had everyone from every faith together. None of it was a big deal I had friends with people of many faiths and the same even my Muslim friends had friends of other faiths. We all talked and learned about each other's faiths. Our places of worship encouraged it and our religious leaders all knew each other. The Synagogue and the Mosque have a bizarre every year in the Synagogue parking lot. None of this hate crap that is being spilled now. I met the Iman, Rabbis, Pastors of my friends places of worship and vice versa. There was none of this religious hate crap that hate mongers claim there is.
    When 9/11 happened the Mosque jumped and helped organize all of local places of worship together to get help for the victims. Charity drives and donations. The people there were horrified. Our religious leaders told us in Mass, Church, Temple etc that do not let fear and ignorance spread and control us. Not all Muslims are this way. Many of us knew this others jumped on the hate bandwagon looking for someone to blame.
    Saying that, my wife and I watch All American Muslim, many of the people on this show remind me of the families and friends I had that are Muslim when growing up. The Hate Mongers who know jack of what they talk about with Islam of course hate this show because wow Muslims are not a bunch of terrorists. Of course the Qur'an is at times misinterpreted so is the Bible. I did a basic study for the year of the Qur'an through my church and with the local Iman helping. This was 20 years ago. When I talk to these Hate Mongers who tell me what is in the Qur'an many of what they say is not and when I tell them what is in it they tell me I am a liar. They never opened the book, they never studied it they listen to a bunch of Hate Mongers who never did as well.
    I pray All American Muslim catches on. People need to see that the Hate Monger's stereotype is not true and it is a hard pill for many to swallow to think that Muslims fight to defend this country as well like US Government Agent in the series. The Muslim Cop in the series. Etc.

    November 29, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • AGuest9

      My favorite inter-faith story came by way of the nun's at my mother's grade school, who told the children that when they walked home, to walk across the street from the protestant church with the big stone lions in front because if you don't confess all of your sins, they come to live and eat you. Got to love that old-time "peaceful" religion.

      November 29, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • BioHzrd

      But I'm sure guest that happened to your mom and not to you. Yes, there are cases of inter-faith interactions not being positive, but here is someone who completely bixxh-slapped you with a positive inspiring story and you should maybe take notice that it doesn't have to be negative. I think the lesson from both stories is that if we take the time to learn from each other we will grow together, but if not, we tear each other apart.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • AGuest9

      Or, we just ignore it all, because it's ALL BS!

      November 29, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  6. Jose M. Pulido

    Samira Amen reminds me of "Bertha...Bertha Butt, one of the Butt sisters," as the song says.

    November 29, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  7. Tim

    IMPEACH HUSSEIN! Stop the muslim invasion in 2012!

    November 29, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • AGuest9

      Obviously, another clueless right-wing extremist.

      November 29, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • BioHzrd

      Someone forgot their tinfoil hat this morning.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • Peter

      If this were 1911 instead of 2011, you would be yelling about stopping the Catholic invasion. That is what people like you were railing against back then....that Catholics were going to take over the USA and the country would end up being run by the Pope. Sound familiar?

      November 29, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • DrDoITT

      Bravo, Tim. these PC do-gooders dont want to hear the truth. down with president hussein!

      November 29, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Peter

      Dr.DoITT: So what is "the truth"? That all Muslims are bloodthirsty cutthroats? That Obama is actually a Muslim agent? What other whack job, paranoid nonsense are you going to spew?

      November 29, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • DrDoITT

      Peter: Lets ask the zoroastrians in iran 500 years ago, the hindus in India 1000 years ago, and (non-arab) north africans how 'peaceful' islam really is.. lets do a simple MATH excercise: take ALL the terrorist activities in the past 20 years, put into two categories. 1. by muslim 2. by non-muslim. then see the tally.

      The muslim creed says when in majority oppress everyone else and spread islam. When in minority, take a strategic retreat till you reach majority. google "peace of the quraysh" to see what was done to a neighboring jewish tribe by Mohd himself.. dont become a dhimmi. fight back else like in europe you will have cartoonists being killed and cars being burned on the streets while you have politicians fecklessly standing by.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Sam

      Bro! you are and idiot.
      As long as we have smarter people than you obviously are, I drather them take over this country rather than have a MORON like you have any saying in it.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Peter

      Dr.DoITT: Oh brother. Let's go back 500 years to The Spanish Inquisition. How would you like me to use that historical episode as a justification to hate all Christians? Should I use the IRA as another example? How about Christians who bomb abortion clinics? No, I won't lump all Christians into the radical pile. Nor should you with all Muslims. I have two Muslim families who have worked for me for 20 years. Their kids play with my kids. 3rd generaton family. Should I feat that one day one of them will knife me? Get real and stop your paranoid nonsense. People like you went nuts over the "Catholic Invasion" 100 years ago.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • DrDoITT

      Peter: three words. Theo Van Gogh

      November 29, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Peter

      Dr.DoITT: Theo Van Gogh was murdered by radical Muslims who belonged to the Hofstad Network. This is a fringe group whose beliefs and actions no more resmble that of most Muslims (especially 2nd and 3rd generation American citizens!) any more than the KKK burning the cross of Jesus Christ on a lawn is representaive of most Christians. You still didn't answer my question as to whether one of my long time co-workers is going to knife me someday.

      November 29, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  8. Kristi

    Haven't watched TLC since they switched to all "reality" programming. Saw commercials for this show and thought it was the dumbest idea in a long time. No doubt it will be a major hit with sheeple who watch whatever is in front of them.

    November 29, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      anything to make money.

      November 29, 2011 at 9:10 am |
    • Peter

      Why is it a dumb idea to show many clueless Americans that most Muslims are not bloodthirsty cutthroats?

      November 29, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • AGuest9

      Because, Peter, NOTHING makes a bigger statement than 3,000 people in 4 jets and 3 of the largest buildings in the world.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  9. Reality

    THE ANSWER IS EASY:

    (from the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi)

    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 self-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..

    ------------------------------------------------------

    November 29, 2011 at 7:25 am |
    • Timothy C

      Clearly you need to be deprogrammed of the use of unnecessary hyphens!

      November 29, 2011 at 7:38 am |
    • Reality Check

      Its amazing the efforts some go through to prove the Creator doesn't exist. I see more prove in the existence than not.

      November 29, 2011 at 8:34 am |
    • Mirosal

      Might I inquire as to what proof you can provide, please?

      November 29, 2011 at 8:42 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Mirosal: As always we're stuck asking the same question we always ask and once again, they run scared b/c they can't answer it without use of of some buybull-sh!t answer. For once I would like a physical description of their god and how they are so certain they are correct. They do not seem to understand that when they make such a claim the burden lies on them to prove it and in 2000 years they have not managed to do so...not to likely they ever will. Thankfully we have people who understand this and have chosen to live as you and I do...in this century.

      November 29, 2011 at 9:16 am |
    • Reality

      The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

      • Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

      Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

      Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".

      And said moderators still have not solved the chronological placement of comments once the number of comments gets above about 100. They recently have taken to dividing the comments in batches of 50 or so, for some strange reason. Maybe they did this to solve the chronology problem only to make comment reviews beyond the tedious.
      Zeb’s alphabetical listing

      o “bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN "awaiting moderation" filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      --–
      ar-se.....as in Car-se, etc.
      ba-stard
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      do-uche
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
      fu-ck......!
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      ji-sm
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
      sh-it
      sl-ut
      sn-atch
      sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.
      -–
      Allowed words / not blocked at all:
      anal
      anus
      ass
      boob
      crap
      damn
      execute
      hell
      kill
      masturbation
      murder
      penis
      pubic
      raping (ra-pe is not ok)
      shat (sh-@t is not ok)
      sphincter
      testes
      testicles

      The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • Peter

      Reality: Well, I see which words are so important to you.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  10. The TRUE Muslim

    Wage a war of words using black leaders like Louis Farrakhan, Rev. Jesse Jackson and other religious personalities who promote Islam as the religion of African-Americans while insisting Christianity is for whites only.
    What they fail to tell African-Americans is that it was Arab Muslims who captured them and sold them as slaves. In fact, the Arabic word for black and slave is the same, "Abed."

    November 29, 2011 at 7:20 am |
    • dmjk

      o, ok. So now it wasn't white ppl who came to africa and captured blacks and took them to America- huh? lol uh , ok . I hope no one really believes what your saying- absolute BS

      November 29, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • AGuest9

      No, dmjk, if you look into the history, it was MUCH more sinister than that.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  11. Black Saturday

    Wow the WW3 is coming .. first on CNN ..

    "I don't know which weapon they used on WW3 but surely rock and stone on WW4" – Albert Einstein

    November 29, 2011 at 5:10 am |
  12. Bobo

    I wanted to contest a statement the author made, "for the last decade Islam has been under a lot of scrutiny". Try the last millennia chief, at the very least.

    November 29, 2011 at 4:53 am |
    • AGuest9

      Since 622.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  13. Eli

    Like most religions, the most sure-fire way to get someone to view Islam as a vile, hateful ideology is to give them a Qu'ran, a highlighter, and tell them to mark everything that is intolerant or violent or both.

    "go out into your community and show people what being Muslim is all about"

    No, please don't, since this would involve lashing adulterers (24:2), confining "lewd" women in their homes until death (4:15), making women legally equal to half a man (2:282), and cutting off the hands of petty criminals (5:38). Instead, why don't you go out into your community and show people what being a good PERSON is all about–it's quite the opposite of being a "good Muslim".

    November 29, 2011 at 4:39 am |
    • Mark

      Perhaps you should review the Bible. You will be surprised to find similar stories in the book:

      "Stone disobedient children" (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)
      1 Timothy 2:15 says only women who have children will be spared hell
      "Men are worth more than women" – Leviticus 27:1-7

      And the list goes on...

      I agree though, we should just be good people.

      November 29, 2011 at 5:03 am |
    • JohnE

      How about taking the Bible and a highlighter and doing the same thing? Results would be almost identical...

      November 29, 2011 at 7:14 am |
    • EndTheHate

      Here are some more quotes from the Bible that you never hear "Christians" reference:

      Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:15 NAB)
      All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)
      If a man commits adultery with another man's wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)
      A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)
      Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)
      When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)
      If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her. (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT)

      November 29, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • dmjk

      I find it funny that you r interpreting the bible that way. red the entire passage- 13. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

      So, it says- IF THEY CONTINUE IN FAITH AND CHARITY AND HOLINESS WITH SOBRIETY SHE ( EVE) WILL BE SAVED DURING CHILD BEARDING- WHICH WAS HER FORM OF PUNISHMENT FOR DISOBEDIENCE IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN. ( pain during child birth)

      What I also find laughable is that your quoting the old testemant. Did u know that the new testemant was put into place – FOR A NEW COVENANT WITH MAN. Jesus came because CLEARLY ppl couldn't follow the rules God put in order.

      November 29, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Jose M. Pulido

      Mark and EndTheHate: All the verses you mentioned belong to the Old Testament (OT), except one; therefore, they apply only to Israel. Then again, what do such verses have to do with Christianity? The fact that death and adultery and its punishment are mentioned in the OT, does mean that Israel was trying to impose such laws in every country of the world. Israel never had the intention to conquer all countries of the world and impose its laws by force as Islamists do. The Israelites took only the land God, the Father of all Realtors gave them. Even today, no Christian is trying to impose such OT Israelite laws to anyone.
      The verse of Ephesians 6:5 pertains to Greece where they had slavery but that does not mean the author condones slavery neither that modern Christians should have slaves; it is just that slavery probbaly existed in Greece, that is why the author mentions it. Evidently, both of you believe that just because such laws and punishments are mentioned in the OT, they should be reinstated today; no Christian believes such laws should still be active today. Such belief goes to show how ignorant and narrow-minded many Muslims are if they think like both of you. If both of you are not smart enough to open your mind and understand simple biblical concepts and writings within contest, we cannot trust you. Then you, as Muslims, wonder why we take defensive mesures to protect ourselves against your terrorist activities.
      Contrary to Chritianity, Islam does have the intention and purpose to enslave all countries of the world even by force as they did in North Africa and many other countries. Now you know you do ot impress us by mentioning OT verses.

      November 30, 2011 at 6:22 am |
  14. theSmartone

    CONCLUSION:
    moslems must be REAL STUPID. if they think, they can come to america and demolish
    – the entire banking system
    – alcohol, tobacco and gambling industry
    – p orn and soft p orn industry
    – jewish lobby
    – republican party (aka christian right)

    and take over america as a result!!
    the entire american population can't fight these powerful groups, and moslems are expecting to come in with empty pockets and money from saudi financers (who get their money from the above groups to start with) and are expected to "take over america".

    Either the Moslems are Stupid and Out of Touch with reality
    OR
    the people who claim Moslems are "Coming to take Over America" are Stupid and Out of Touch with reality
    OR
    BOTH!!!

    November 29, 2011 at 4:18 am |
    • Reality Check

      No Muslim wants to take over the US. We just want to peacefully exist. It was the European emigrants that came and attempted to annihilate the Native Americans and exercise their right to violently control slavery.

      November 29, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Reality: And it's the christians who promote slavery!

      November 29, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • EndTheHate

      The republican party is no longer Christian or right, just as the "religious right" is neither.

      November 29, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  15. YAM

    Do you realize how easy it would be to be accepted into our society?. How easy it would be to walk down the street and be ignored?.
    Here's what you do...ready...TAKE OFF THE DAMN VEIL AND HEADSCARF. This doesn't make yoy any less a muslim or whatever. Change NOTHING else about your life in this country, and watch things change in your life. As long as you keep waving a rad cape, you will attract adverse attention..
    People have never accepted thosde who insist yes, INSIST on being different and standing ouit. As "un noble" as it sounds..it's human nature.
    Dump the headress for a week, and see what you think.

    November 29, 2011 at 3:31 am |
    • Realist

      Why would anyone compromise their belief just to be accepted in a judgmental society? The point is to be accepted as one's true self, not what anyone else believes they should be.

      November 29, 2011 at 4:59 am |
    • Timothy C

      Really? I suppose Catholic nuns should remove their habit as well. We will never accept them until they do!

      November 29, 2011 at 7:40 am |
    • Agha Ata (USA)

      Very well said. How true. 🙂

      November 29, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • JoeG

      You gonna tell Jews to remove their yarmulkes as well? Or Christians to stop wearing crosses around their necks?

      November 29, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  16. B

    When I read comments such as many of these I feel physically ill. I am Christian. I am fourth generation German American. I believe that Islam is not the true religion, but it disgusts me that such ignorance exists against Islam. To all of you who say such negative things toward Islam, you have not done your research of both the Islamic religion, the Christian religion, and American policies. Your background is not even half as clean and pure as you believe. Christians have participated in just as much terrorism and Islamic extremists and you're not afraid to walk by a church. The Qur'an does not preach violence. In fact, I'd think about arguing that it is more peaceful than the Christian religion. Before you pronounce judgement on any belief, please do your homework. Understand what you declare to hate. Otherwise, you appear entirely idiotic. Your mind is closed and your message of hate is no better than a suicide bomb because you spread harm and fear to people who in no way deserve it. Shame on you.

    November 29, 2011 at 3:08 am |
    • Eli

      Oh, the Qu'ran preaches violence alright. Warfare is an obligation in Islam (2:216), and non-Muslims are sentenced to death (4:89). The only exceptions to this are those non-Muslims who have a contract with their Muslim overlords, agreeing to pay them money in exchange for not being killed. This system is called the jizya tax.

      "I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Break their necks and smite each of their fingers." (8:12)

      But you're quite right, Christianity also has a violent past. Let's just get rid of all religions, yeah?

      November 29, 2011 at 4:44 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Christianity also has a violent past. Let's just get rid of all religions, yeah?"

      Hmm... My parents, grandparents and most of my family were born, raised and lived in the South decades ago.

      Guess who a few of my hate filled relatives feel that we should get rid of because of the actions of others that share their pigmentation.

      I do not want to even want to bring up the radical feminist who no matter Religious or Atheist... how they feel that the evils of men deserve that they find a way to rid the world of men.

      So .... Let's just get rid of all " _____________" , yeah?

      November 29, 2011 at 5:37 am |
  17. Edwin

    I have to say, the show's premise didn't really interest me. Nothing against muslims, but I'd rather watch something with space ships or explosions in it.

    November 29, 2011 at 2:55 am |
    • Flatsguide

      or even "The Jeffersons" reruns.

      November 29, 2011 at 4:28 am |
  18. Kat

    for those that are truely interested in learning how islamphobes are fooling the public into hate (The Norwegian mass murder terrorist was a faithful follower of islamphobic sites), go to loonwatch

    November 29, 2011 at 2:46 am |
    • theSmartone

      also remember to visit anwar awlaki sites from where "anti-islamophobe' US Army Major Hassan Nadal got his fix.

      November 29, 2011 at 3:27 am |
  19. Heero Yuy

    'Those who stand for nothing fall for anything"

    November 29, 2011 at 2:42 am |
  20. Txdude311

    They should make a Religious Radicals TV show. That way fanatical Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus can all portrayed. People forget that within their own religions there are people just as radical and violent as the "enemy". The only real enemy is claiming to be absolutely true and other absolutely false, now that's fanaticism! I'm sure your preacher teaches it on Sunday 🙂

    November 29, 2011 at 2:38 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Gotta throw in a few radical Atheist. The extremist of the Atheistic belief who believe that they are right is as high as those of Faith at the extremes. 🙂

      November 29, 2011 at 3:04 am |
    • theSmartone

      Gotta have an Atheist (Stalin) or Secular (Hitler) type in there too.

      November 29, 2011 at 3:25 am |
    • AGuest9

      I'm still waiting to see what "an Atheist" is. The word atheist means a disbelief in a god or gods, not a group that has members. It is neither a corporation, like the Roman church.

      November 29, 2011 at 7:22 am |
    • BioHzrd

      Well considering they were able to erect billboards pronouncing their disbelief in god, I would say they have gotten pretty organized.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:10 am |
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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.