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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. TopNews

    Sorry, but I just don't trust any Muslim.

    November 29, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      never trust any religious person. something is not right when they believe something that is completely made up, and completely unprovable but are will to die for it

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

      I trust in alot of scientist that make claims and theorys that are complete unprovable...

      November 29, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • TopNews

      NOT MY CHAIR: Not only willing to die but are willing to murder.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • nerve9

      @AngryAmerican That's why scientists call them "theories" genius. Theories are, by their very definition, unproven. It doesn't mean they will never be proven. What religious zealots have is beliefs that they hold out as facts without any proof.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • angryAmerican

      Ahh nerve 9, but they dont just say they are theories, they are taught in our schools as facts. Evolution is still just a theory, yet taught everyday as being proven when it has not. So how is this any different then some religious group teaching their "theory" that they also believe to be true. So genius, its all the same regardless, people will choose what they want or dont want to believe and as soon as it doesnt matter to the rest of us things can be alot better.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  2. NOT MY CHAIR

    i would have no problems with any religious person if they didn't believe in a religion or magical beings

    November 29, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Ghenghis Khan

      yeah.
      these religious nuts think some being (God) created them

      ha ha ha ha haha ha
      they don't realize like you and me, that we just came about from a loud f art (big bang)!

      November 29, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  3. MIke

    LOL they make a show to portray Muslims as "just like everyone else" and then the Muslims complain that it doesn't represent them...anybody else see the irony in this?

    Another failed exercise in "perception management"

    November 29, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Ghenghis Khan

      probably cause there was no boom boom in the show.
      muslims felt alienated! who are these people?
      why are they wearing scarves and not doing boom boom?

      November 29, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • AlanW

      Do you really have nothing better to do, Genghis Khan? I mean at the very least, you'd think you'd be off in Mongolia reuniting the ancient tribes for a new incursion into China.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  4. Elizabeth

    All four of my grandparents are from Dearborn, MI (where this show is filmed). My parents and their siblings grew up there, and though my childhood home was a few suburbs over, I very much grew up in and around Dearborn. My family, for generations, has had a front row seat to the change and transition Dearborn has gone through to where it is now the largest Arab American community in the country. So I feel very qualified to give my opinions of the city. Dearborn is a beautiful city filled with beautiful people and I have so much love and respect for the journey and transformation it has gone through. When my grandmother stepped off the boat from Italy 70 years ago, she chose to make Dearborn her first home. I can’t help but feel a kindred spirit with the many thousands of more recent immigrants who have done the same.

    I am not Muslim or from an Arab nation however, I personally found this show to be VERY representative of the (many) Arab American families I know. We as a society tend to paint people with a broad brush. I think this show is great at showing the wide variety of family dynamics that we know to be present in our own culture, but are less aware of in others.

    November 29, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • hope

      Voice of Hope within all this Hate.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • Naseer Ahmed

      Thank you Elizabeth for your sane comments. I hope more people behave sensibly and sanely than to demonize one group based on a few bad eggs. There are bad and foolish people in every religion, nation but the world is still a better place to live in today due to the abundance of good people. One can spew hatred all one's life and sermonize about the ideals and yet do nothing when your neighbor needs your help. Remember this thanksgiving fortnight how this great nation was originally built upon different nationalities migrating in search of a new home and truly love thy neighbor.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  5. D

    Considering the MASSIVE amount of violence attributed to the history of pretty much EVERY religion, its amazing how all the anger and hared is pointed at Muslims.

    Then again...if its your religion doing it, its either OK or it happened for good reason...but when its someone else's, they are animals and ALL of their followers are guilty.

    Some of you are such a joke its ridiculous.

    November 29, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • csnord

      The thing about history is that it is history. You are right, almost all religions have, at some point, had a violent period. That is just human nature. The thing is, the Islamic violence is happening now, so we have to be concerned about it now. The fact that Christians were just as radical and ruthless 500 years ago is completely irrelevant and does not justify the actions of radical Muslims now.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • Kevin

      I haven't heard the Pope call for a holy war. I don't think the Dalai Lama is looking to execute people for refusing to believe. Billy Graham seems OK with live and let live. Seems like its only the Islamic clerics calling for blood. Hey, anyone heard from Salmon Rushdie lately? Oh that's right, he's STILL got a Islamic religion-ordered death sentence on him.....

      November 29, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • AlanW

      That's absurd. It's entirely relevant that Christians were just as brutal centuries ago because it speaks to the fact that the abuses in the Middle East are more about poverty and a lack of access to education than it is about the flaws of Islam.

      The point is that when Christians were as poor, ill-educated, and utterly repressed by monarchies as the average Afghani, they were burning witches and calling crusades.

      This is a geopolitical and socioeconomic issue. Not a religious one.

      That's the point being made here.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:34 am |
  6. MobiusEight

    Whoops, sorry about that, here, we'll instead portray them as war-mongering zealots who just want to destroy America, would that be better? Or how about this, all women are sold off into marriage at 13 and forced to do nothing but be a good house wife and never anything else. Am I close yet? Listen, this show portrays AMERICANS. And if you don't like being an America, you can leave. Right now. There are worse things in life than being shown as thus.

    November 29, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • AlanW

      Like having your whole family killed by an American bomb?

      November 29, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • MobiusEight

      Sure, if that's how they'd rather be shown. I don't care how they're shown, as long as they quit whining about it.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • Kevin

      AlanW, I think being aboard a plane flown into a building would be worse.....

      November 29, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • AlanW

      Kevin.

      Oh really? So an innocent person dying instantly in a terrorist attack is somehow "better" than an innocent person who loses their families and lives to errant American bombs? I'm guessing you fit right in in the United States, with that kind of thinking.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  7. csnord

    This article is right on, and completely irrelevant. The problem people have with Islam is not with individuals. He is right, you cannot judge an individual based on their beliefs, or the actions of a group to which they belong. However, when the actions of a group are a concern, then the concern devolves onto the individual members.

    America does not yet have a problem with Muslims because their numbers are too small. However, every single country that has a significant portion of the population that is Muslim does have issues with them. In every single country where the Muslim population has gotten high enough, a tiny fraction of the Muslim population has tried to change the country to an Islamic state. Throughout the Middle East, parts of Africa, and Indonesia, they have succeeded. The Caucuses, Turkey, and Egypt are heading that way. France and England have Muslim populations that are fomenting unrest and have had to resort to legislation to control the problem.

    Don't get me wrong, it is only a tiny fraction of the Muslim population that radicalizes and starts pushing fundamentalism, but because the rest of the Muslim community does nothing about it, they are irrelevant. It doesn't matter if 99.9% of the group are kind and loyal citizens if the .1% are allowed to push their fundamentalist agenda. At that point, the non-Muslim population has to focus on that tiny minority and defend itself from their actions. That defense must necessarily be directed at the group as a whole.

    The 99.9% percent can bleat all they want that the others are not following true Islam; that they don't represent all Muslims; that they are wrong, but if the 99.9% won't do anything about it, their protestations are just noise. The rest of us have to deal with that tiny minority.

    November 29, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • AlanW

      It would seem your objection is to religion in general and in the light, I agree with your comment. But let's not pretend Muslims are any more pushy about infecting politics with their fairytales than the Christians.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Chris R

      I appreciate your position but how is a small group of Muslims trying to reshape America into their own theocratic vision any different than fundamentalist Christians? Here in the United States we already have a small group of religious zealots infiltrating government at every level in an attempt to turn the US into a christian only nation. From the Moral Majority to the Dominionists they've introduced idiocy into our schools in the form of creationism, idiocy into our lives with anti-marriage legislation, idiocy into our politics as candidates try to out Jesus each other. We don't need Muslims to turn our country into a theocratic nightmare – we have plenty of Christians who are more than happy to do that.

      I'm not an atheist by any stretch of the imagination. However, I do believe that the personal relationship one has with God should strictly be *your* personal relationship with God and not an imposition of Christian beliefs and morals on anyone else. Legislating away sin doesn't lead people to grace after all.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • csnord

      Chris R - I completely agree, except that if you reread the original post, I clearly stated that America does not YET have a Muslim problem because their population is too small. If that changes, we'll have problems similar to France and England.

      Yes, we have problems with fundamentalist Christians and are constantly battling to keep them from pushing their agenda. Fortunately, Moral Majority types don't resort to suicide bombers to make their point, and we can deal with it at the political level.

      Yes, all religions have a political component and the faithful of the religion will use their beliefs to try to shape the political agenda. Islam, however, is a complete government with a codified legal system built in. When Islamic fundamentalists push their agenda, it involves the complete overthrow of the government and society. THAT IS NOT HAPPENING HERE ... but it could.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • AlanW

      Chris R, you just restored a sliver of my faith in humanity with that comment. I thought I'd never hear an intelligent, introspective comment from a Christian on these boards.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • AlanW

      And the Muslim communities in France and Britain are resorting to suicide bombers, are they? Silly argument is silly.

      This is about economics and education. Not religion.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • csnord

      AlanW - It might be about economics and education, however, Islam has an answer for those things as well. Islam builds in both the economic and educational structure for an Islamic society. The education component does not have any room for anything other than Islam. The economic component is structured around tribalism. With Islam, you cannot separate religion, law, economics and education. They are all part of the same package.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • Shadowflash1522

      Take a geography lesson, csnord. The Middle East is where Islam originated, therefore it is the single most likely region to have whole governments and nations subscribe to it. All the nations you mentioned are in or around the Middle East (with the exception of France and England, who hardly have "Muslim problems"). And Turkey WAS an Islamic state that was secularized only recently in the past few decades - ever heard of the Ottoman Empire?

      Religions that don't become wildly popular shortly after their inception die out. Christianity originated in the Roman Empire (occupied Palestine), so naturally the Roman Empire was the first government to adopt it. This isn't a conspiracy, it's geography and sociology interacting. As Alan pointed out, it's also about economics and education. I would be more worried if you suggested that Argentina was going to be the home base for the New Islamic Order.

      The situation you describe is in no way unique to Islam. All religions - even Buddhism and Hinduism - go through a violent period in their development. It's a phase, like teenage rebellion: alarming but hardly unusual.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  8. Phil

    As soon as we all stop believing in invisible men up in the sky that tell us to worship only them, and convert or kill all other non-believers of this one particular sky wizard, then we can finally be free. But Islam is no worse than believing you can live forever if you symbolically eat the flesh and drink the blood of a guy who was his own father, who sent himself down to earth so he could be killed in order to save us all from the sin he originally condemned us to – all because a woman made from a rib was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

    November 29, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  9. Toya

    I watched an episode of this show. I liked it. I don't know why people are making such a big about a person's religion though. And I don't get the ones who complain that the families on the show don't represent the entire Muslim community. Duhhhhhh. Reality TV doesn't represent reality.

    November 29, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  10. jdog

    if you do not agree or you are offended then don't watch it – let people say their piece without being told they cannot say it – would you like that. If you are really at odds with its message – go and make your own show and say what you want – then hopefully people with big mouths will NOT shout at you!!!!

    November 29, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  11. Joe

    I like how people say that terrorists that kill in the name of Islam are extremists. They are definitely not. The Koran commands violence against the "pagans", especially Jews and Christians. If you look up the verses Sura 5:33 and 9:5, you will find some interesting things. In Sura 5:33, it says if Islam is resisted "Their punishment is... execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from the opposite sides, or exile from the land." In Sura 9:5 it says "Fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war." Those so called extremists were just doing what the Koran commanded them to do. People forget that after 911, there was cheering in the streets in some Middle Eastern cities. People were celebrating what these men had done. To them, the terrorists were heroes, they had died to kill the "pagans". If you are interested in this, here are some other interesting verses: Sura 5:51-5:74 and 8:59.

    November 29, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Cold_Hard_Facts

      Do you REALLY want people to reply by citing passages of the Bible that you would have to agree reflect poorly on Christianity? Just let us know, Chief.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Ghenghis Khan

      IVerse 5:33 = Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.

      says those who "wage war" against Muslims or Islam! Fair enough, the US has the same policy btw!

      November 29, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • imurfavorite

      stop misinterpreting buddy! and stop spreading hate! it gets you nowhere!

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

      And that proves what, exactly? Shall I quote some of the more colorful passages of the Holy Bible to you?

      Deuteronomy 20:10-14 || Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT || Exodus 21:7-11 NLT || Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT || Leviticus 20:13 NAB || 2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB || 2 Kings 2:23-24 NAB

      What did Jesus have to say about these laws? He said, "The Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35). He referred to Scripture as "the commandment of God" (Matthew 15:3) and as the "Word of God" (Matthew 15:6). He also indicated that it was indestructible: "Until Heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the law, until all is accomplished" (Matthew 5:18). Notice that he mentions even the words and letters!

      Oh but Christians don't follow these laws, you say? Well neither do about a billion Muslims. Pull your head OUT of your behind and start thinking.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Mr. Rubbersuitman

      And the Bible says a lot of things too that either people no longer pay attention too, or are completely taken out of context but Christians

      November 29, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Patricia

      Really?! I mean really... The Bible has just as much violence. Don't generalized so much. There are plenty of passages in the Bible that you can extract as well and use them to "prove a point." It's peopl elike you that make this world a horrible place to live in. Live and let live buddy,...

      November 29, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • Chris R

      Actually, you are completely wrong about who the Koran thinks of as pagans. This is probably because you don't actually know what a pagan is. By definition a pagan is someone who believes in a pantheon of gods. Polytheists in other words. Christians and Jews are therefore, by definition, not pagans.

      When Mohammed was preaching there were still a good number of animists and polytheists in the Arabian Peninsula. The Koran was specifically referring to *those* groups. If you actually have read the Koran or even researched it a tiny bit you'd see it clearly laid out that Muslims see Jews and Christians as true monotheists and worshipers of the same God and religion. For example: Chapter 5 – AL-MAEDA 69 "Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the Christians whoever believes in Allah and the last day and does good– they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve." It is important to note that Allah is the same god as Jehova is the same god as Yaweh is the same god as God. All of them are the God of Abraham (you do know enough about your religion to understand what that means, right?) Sabians, by the way, are a mostly extinct group who were also monotheists descended from one of the sons of Abraham.

      So it is obvious that the Koran does *not* instruct Muslims to kill Christians or Jews.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Mercan

      Sure, take the infamous verse about killing the unbelievers. Yes, it does say that, but in a very specific context: the anticipated conquest of the sanctuary city of Mecca where fighting was usually forbidden. And the permission comes hedged about with qualifiers. NOT, you MUST kill unbelievers in Mecca, but you can, you are allowed to, BUT only after a grace period is over and only if there’s no other pact in place and only if they try to stop you getting to the Kaaba, and only if they attack you first. And even then – God is merciful, forgiveness is supreme – and so, essentially, better if you don’t.

      Yet the fact that so few people do actually read the Koran is precisely why it’s so easy to quote – that is, to misquote. Phrases and snippets taken out of context in what Lesley Hazleton calls the highlighter version, which is the one favored by both Muslim fundamentalists and anti-Muslim Islamophobes.

      November 29, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  12. mae

    You go, girl!!!

    November 29, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  13. Joe

    You are right with this article. After all what spread Islam? Muslims living like Muslims. Those who don't know history may say the sword but that is not the case. Often it took 100-200 years for areas under Muslim rule to actually become Muslim. No one was forced or threatened. They simply saw how Muslims lived their lives and saw something they liked and wanted to become Muslims themselves. Simply being a postive role model in your community is the best thing you can do to let others know what Islam is about and the best way to spread the message of Islam.

    November 29, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • Rob

      I personally want to be a Muslim about as much as I want to be disemboweled with a rusty knife.

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

      Well then you don't have to be a Muslim Rob. No one is forcing you to be one, even if you moved to a Muslim country. The Quran states that belief is a choice and cannot be forced on anyone.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • AlanW

      Don't mind Rob. He's trying to be "edgy" because internet anonymity arouses him in unspeakable ways.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  14. Dolphinvet

    All American propaganda that Joseph Goebbels would be proud of. If you want to improve your image and be accepted by Americans, it might help to get rid of Sharia law, Islamic supremicism, terrorism, etc, that seem to be expressly done in the name of your religion.

    November 29, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  15. NYC1972

    I really don't care

    November 29, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • Dee G.

      I really don't care that you really don't care.

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

    It certainly is a lot better than that Kate and 8 stuff that was on!

    November 29, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  17. not a believer

    American Muslins have not been outspoken on radicals within their religion. They often are silent and look the other way, pointing to unfair treatment by the west of muslins as some form of justification for this odd behavior as Americans. Will this program address this very odd and unacceptble behavior.

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

      Aparently you just care not to listen when American Muslims have spoken out. Which they have time and time again in multiple forums and events.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Dee G.

      Funny you mention that because I did not see Catholics being very outspoken about their priests molesting little children, either. Saw the media hype it, saw other religions denounce it, and saw the Pope act like it was not happening. Things that make you say "Hmmmmm."

      November 29, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • dwech

      American Christians have not been outspoken on radicals within their religion. They often are silent and look the other way, pointing to unfair treatment by other religions or agnostics as some form of justification for their odd behavior as Americans. Will a TV program address this very odd and unacceptable behavior? Probably not.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Chris R

      Tell me, what would make you believe that American Muslims are rejecting violence? A personally engraved note from every Muslim in America? Imams and Muslims all across America have spoken out against violence. The fact that you have decided to ignore them is not their fault.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  18. olepi

    Muslims are like everyone else. They have conflicts with themselves, they are uncertain, they want the best for their families, they are not perfect. Some blindly and imperfectly follow what they think is Islam, just as many "Christians" appear to be the most hateful people around.

    The divisions created by Man's religions have been some of the most destructive ever. Until we learn that all Mankind is truly in this together, no matter what some may believe, we will not have peace.

    November 29, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Ghenghis Khan

      sorry mate,
      muslims are not like everyone else
      i bet you ve never actually met a muslim

      muslims are different
      they are violent and kill
      its their religion you see,
      kill, kill, kill, it says, its a 24/7 kill thing for them

      which actually works out well for the rest of us
      we get to supply them with billions of dollars in killing machines
      good business, these muslims.

      they give us oil, we give them weapons.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • guest1

      get help !

      November 29, 2011 at 10:27 am |
  19. S

    Yes I am an American...An American Muslim that is and VERY PROUD of it. Barbara I don't believe in killing of innocent people.

    November 29, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  20. Lols

    Blind faith in religion is probably the worst quality of man. It's the loud, idiotic, willfully blind, ignorant, and intolerant religious people that keep me far away from any religion. I am not religious, but I do not lack faith. When people do insane things in the name of religion, we should blame the people and not the religion itself.

    Books written and interpreted by men should never be used as a moral guide. Look inward for a moral compass and follow it.

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

      But where does your internal moral compass come from?

      November 29, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Joe

      I agree Blind faith is bad. Islam doesn't advicate blind faith, quite the opposite. Islam advocates education and rationaly thinking about your religion. I was an Athiest before becoming a Muslim. It was a rational and educated decision on my part.

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

      It comes from my understanding of right and wrong. I don't need a higher power to tell me not to cheat, murder, steal, or hurt people and if you do then you are exactly why I'll never put any stock into religion.

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

      @joe: I'm not for or against any religion. I was taught to never blindly accept anything. Always ask questions and always seek transparency.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:27 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.