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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. Shadowflash1522

    The reason that it *seems* like the Islamic community in the US tacitly approves of extremism is a simple one: how exactly would they express their opposition?

    I mean, it's not like they can hold a protest outside the local Terrorists R Us. They can express their disapproval verbally (which they have - over and over again), but that's pretty much it. Extremists of any breed in America have no centralized authority which one could protest, sanction, or even prosecute. What do you want them to do, march on the capital with signs that say "We Hate Terrorists As Much As You Do!"? As for boycotting their own religion, would you ask Christians to boycott their religion because Brevik is a nutcase?

    Extremism is not something you can easily oppose, lest you become what you seek to erase.

    November 30, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Jack

      Marchinag actually would help. it would show the world that they are two different groups. It would actually be the best answer. They could march in front of embassies

      November 30, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Shadowflash1522

      Embassies for whom? Iran doesn't have an embassy in the US. Iraq is occupied by the US. So is Afghanistan. I suppose they could protest outside the Pakistan Embassy, which handles our interests in Iran, but that seems a little roundabout. Al-Qaeda and its ilk are multinational organizations - whose embassy would you symbolically use?

      November 30, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Jack

      Snowflash... That's thier problem. they should protest somewhere where it will get coverage. I would rather us get along than fight. They really need to do this to show the country they are separate groups because I know the sentiment out here. The average public hasn't seen anything showing a separation. I would welcome it.

      November 30, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Jack

      Snowflash...what about ground zero?

      November 30, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Jose M. Pulido

      Shadowflash1522
      You asked, "how exactly would they (Muslims will) express their opposition (to extremism)? If you mean "to Islamic extremism?", they never will. Didn't you see on 911 how Muslims in all countries opressed by Islam rejoiced and shouted of joy when their fellow Arab murderor brothers crashed the two planes on the WTC in the name of Islam?
      Nowadays many Muslims are quiet and keeping low profile but they silently approve every kind of Islamic/Muslim terrorist act against the USA.
      These Muslim families on TV seem to be as nice as the Addams Family and The Munsters but deep inside, they are like The Sopranos but in the terroristic sense. They are as Muslim-terrorist long term sleeper cells. It may take some more decades but all Muslims in the USA some day will rise and try to destroy this country by force; but they know the logistics–they have to have enough Muslims in enough important places of power and enough resources in order to take over this country. Therefore, no matter how nice a Muslim family portrays itself to be on the "All America Muslim" TV irreality show, their final common denominator is to destroy the USA; so don't be deceived by their fake TV performance.

      December 1, 2011 at 2:49 am |
  2. Jack

    The Muslim religion and all of its followers should be run out of the US. We will run you out

    November 30, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • xyz

      Don't think thats going to happen...

      November 30, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Jack

      XYZ it will happen one day if you don't stand up and separate yourself. There are many like me that's fed up with the indifference you moderates show.

      November 30, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  3. xyz

    Enjoy the show.....and YES we Muslims do need to fight against these Islamic-terrorist groups!!!

    I don't feel that we Muslims in America are doing our part. Love Islam it is a religion of PEACE.
    but, when I see all these extremist bombing all over the world & EXPRESS HATE to American the land WE
    live in, do we not have a responsibility show up and fight against them – fight for our country USA has nothing
    to do with Islam – wrong is wrong no matter what religion........

    SO CONFUSED & WANT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT
    THESE ISLAMIC EXTREEMST THAT HATE OUR COUNTRY 'AMERICA'

    one muslim to another....

    November 30, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Jack

      If I thought all muslims thought like you I would change my position. We only know what we're hearing seeing and reading and it's all violence against the western way

      November 30, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Jack

      It will happen if you moderates don't stand up and separate yourselves from the extremists.

      November 30, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Jack

      i for one am very angry at the muslim community. Not because I just decided not to like you but because we have been attacked along with many in the world and the attempted imposing of the religiions will upon our communities wand workplaces. there are many like me, don't fool yourself.

      November 30, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • WAKE UP AMERICA!!

      Please don't try to act as if your religion is peaceful! I am from the Middle East and know what the TRUE KORAN teaches. There is a revised version here in the US to convert Americans because they are so compassionate towards everyone.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  4. N..

    @ds, what do you mean they do not stand up against it... yes we do. there have been many MANY ppl against it but noone listens. ppl think that when there is a demonstration where there are muslims involved that they are for it... but no one is listening the voices. saying stop the wars or stop the violence... Those ppl arent speaking up or what?

    What about the muslims who help the poor or help feed the homeless. do they not get credit... or community service that we do... does that have another meaning behind it?

    November 30, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • WAKE UP AMERICA!!

      What are you talking about? We are talking about what the teachings of the Koran say!! Come on now!

      December 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  5. ds

    The bottom line is all these so called "good" moslems and their religious leaders will not speak out or denounce acts of terror and violence. This issue needs to be addressed before their religion can be validated as legitimate.

    November 30, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • DeeNYC

      There's good reason for that. They don't think it's wrong. the "good' one just don't participate, doesn't mean they don't support it.

      November 30, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • arshad

      So you are the one that validates religions? If you hold Christianity to the same standard, you will have more credibility.

      November 30, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Shadowflash1522

      They have denounced it. Over and over again, as a matter of fact. A quick Google search of "muslim condemnation of terrorism in US" yields a list of official statements from Muslim organizations as long as my arm.

      But of course, you can't just take their word for it, since they're probably all part of the conspiracy (/sarcasm). So what now?

      November 30, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Jack

      They just can't grasp that. They are too arrogant

      November 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  6. N..

    @bama918 ... In reply to your post.. I have watched the show from day 1 .. There are some things that I do not agree on . ( the short skirts, Tatoos) but to each his own . Who am I to judge waht another person does.. Hence the saying those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.... but .. it shows the different thoughts and lives of my fellow americans..

    November 30, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  7. Oskar BARBAS

    Wow, fun and games about Mohammad. The Muslims will do themselves a service to look up a few pages in history.
    The so called prophet Mohammad was a thief and a killer: He was robbing the merchants passing through to the East from their camels and merchandise.
    He was also a pedophile: His last wife Aisha, was 6 years old. A Prophet of God? Think again.
    He never had any miracle or prophecies. (Forget about splitting the moon).

    He wanted to be a prophet to the Jews and Christians, and when they did not accept him, he killed them.
    South Arabia has no Christians and no Jews today because of him.

    He was send by Satan to counter Jesus. The whole religion of Islam is satanic and promises you no salvation. The only place a muslim goes is Hell.

    Allah was worshipped in the East for thousands of years together with 360 other demons.History does not lie.

    You can rave and you can scream, but is only Jesus that can save you. He proved it. Not only He resurrected people, but He himself was risen from the dead.( Lazarus was buried for four days, and after he was risen from the grave, he was following Jesus.The whole of Jerusalem went to Bethany to see Lazarus. They had buried him).
    Nobody ever disputed that.

    As for Mohammad splitting the moon in two and reconnecting it again, is dreams on a summers night. The muslim people are blinded by satan and are deceived. The Messiah is Jesus Christ, and is calling you right now.

    November 30, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Steve

      Well articulated!

      November 30, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • DeeNYC

      Only Buddha can save you.

      November 30, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • 4158

      To me not all Muslims are as you say satanic if they where then we will all be in an apocalyptic war. Islam is the second largest religion in the world, and a growing one here in the u.s. to think that every single Muslim is out to get us just because we are christian is just plain wrong. Lets not forget the dark chapters in the history of Christianity, there as just as many. This is the kind of fear that the terrorist want us to have, they want us to be afraid of Muslims just because of there religion and they want to use what we dont know about Muslims to there advantage. There main recruiting strategy is to spread fear about Christians and Americans to attract good Muslims the ones who dont hate and want to kill. Peace cannot be kept by force ; It can only be achieved through understanding.
      Albert Einstein.

      November 30, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • arshad

      You sound like Glen Beck! Ode to the wise one that bears the fruits of intellectual immortality.

      November 30, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Iqbal khan

      Please increase your knowledge about Islam the religeon of all Prophets...check out on
      http://www.Islamhouse.com--www.911Bible.com and watch....
      Three Prophets One Message by Abdul Raheem Green on Youtube.com-–Islam The misunderstood Religeon-–check out some lectures by:
      Siraj Wahaj--Gerald Dirks--Gary Miller--Yvonne Ridley--Yusuf Islam-–Khalid Yaseen--Jeffray Lang--Yusuf Estes-
      Yashua Evans-–Bilal Philips--and many others by the way all these that I mentioned have reverted (converted) to Islam after studying about Islam.
      Also the Great warrior of all times from Mongolia Ganghis Khan and his army who conqured all the countries from mongolia to Greece accepted Islam after destroying Iraq the famous Capital of Muslims at that time please read the history.

      November 30, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Iqbal khan

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m4KW-dysKk&w=640&h=360]

      November 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • WAKE UP AMERICA!!

      Exactly!!!! Thank you very much! I am a Christian from the Middle East. Look up Jihad Watch and see what they are doing in Iraq now to the Christians. It's a video. They have been raping, killing women and children in their homes and churches. I know of a story of a teenage girl who was missing and found skinned and thrown on the street. They try to make everyone believe that the religion is peaceful. I have met some nice Muslims, but the ones that actually follow the Koran are trying to fool us into thinking that their intentions are so amazing. AMERICANS IF YOU WANT TO CONVERT TO A PEACEFUL RELIGION AND ARE NOT 100% FOR CHRISTIANITY, TRUE BUDDISM NOT ISLAM.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  8. N..

    @Shari I am happy that you realize that our husbands do care for us. There is a lot of misconception in this world, Yes there are men who might not care about there wives but that is any religion . The MAJORITY care deeply and want the best for there wives AND only want the best for there children. I look at my husband and see him stress if he is raising our child with respect for others and not have hatred. but when we walk out of the house the hatred comes to us... When my 4 yr old comes to me and says why did that person say that . I just explain that it is not that they dont like you .. It is that they don't know you...
    If this show lets 1 person know who we are ( we being AMERICANS and MUSLIMS) then the hatred is 1 less..

    November 30, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  9. N..

    @Shari I am happy that you realize that our husbands do care for us. There is a lot of misconception in this world, Yes there are men who might not care about there wives but that is any religion . The MAJORITY care deeply and want the best for there wives AND only want the best for there children. I look at my husband and see him stress if he is raising our child with respect for others and not have hatred. but when we walk out of the house the hatred comes to us... When my 4 yr old comes to me and says why did that person say that . I just explain that it is not that they dont like you .. It is that they don't know you...
    If this show lets 1 person know who we are ( we being AMERICANS and MUSLIMS) then the hatred is 1 less...

    November 30, 2011 at 10:58 am |
  10. bama918

    I am still amazed, distressed, disturbed, etc. at how many of these comments have absolutely nothing to say about the article at hand, specifically Mr. Dara's thoughts on the show “All-American Muslim”. So, to wit, I like what he has to say, and am further enlightened about how at least one of my fellow citizens (who happens to be Muslim) views the 'take' of that uniquely modern phenomenon known as reality TV on his sub-culture. If some of you would spend more time reading and listening to what people are writing in these columns instead of descending into a diatribe on your own narrow views of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, Islam, people who aren't like you, etc., you just might learn something. At the very least, you wouldn't bore the rest of us with trifling comments that show you haven't read a single word of the column at hand.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • Blow Me

      Bugger off. People can say whatever they want to. You aren't being forced to read it, are you, you self-righteous tart.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • DeeNYC

      Who cares about the article, everyone knows the good stuffs in the comments.

      November 30, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  11. baldev

    Islam as the root of its fundamental belief being all things or beings not Muslim are kafirs is e3nough to make me want to throw up. A gutter religious belief is a gutter religion.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:09 am |
  12. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    All Religions = Hostis hvmani generis

    November 30, 2011 at 8:20 am |
    • WAKE UP AMERICA!!

      Oh Lucifers Evil Twin Mohammad?

      December 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  13. Jose M. Pulido

    Mark and EndTheHate below:
    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 8:16 am |
    • baldev

      "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."

      I totally agree with the statement made above. I have lived in the most liberal Muslim populated countries. The " liberal " Muslims have this views as long as it does not clash with the teachings of the Quran, whicn considers all others Kafirs.

      They party and have all the fun they want BUT as soon as the populous gets together, nothing else matters except the teachings and all others are categorised as infidels and Kafirs. I have many muslim friends and they will be such, sadly I must always be on toes coz I am sure the moment the calling comes, I am as good as dead. The calling is when they have the stronger hand. Just look at UK and Europe and start getting the cues from there.

      Christians would have been the same but for many who believe in the rights of an individual. Islam DOES not have that, even if they claim to believe in it, it will take a looooong time before it becomes mainstream. Till then " buyers beware ".

      November 30, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • Jose M. Pulido

      baldev:
      Thank you Baldev, You and I and may others, think the same way and know the same things about Islam and its members' final goals of death and destruction of the USA and all other countries that are still free from Islamic opression.

      December 1, 2011 at 2:58 am |
  14. m.s.mohamed ansari

    RUSH SAVE GLOBAL ECONOMIC TSUNAMI

    M.S.Mohamed Ansari 13 April 2009

    All press and Media Arabs leader and G20 leader at. Headquarters of All association
    CONGRESS. CONTROLL
    By. A TO Z + 8. QUEEN + 8
    Royal wedding. And royal security force 10 generation total cost $ 57 trillion
    Each every politician rolling 8 years only just like chess board Game
    But queen family enjoying 10 generation y

    GLOBAL ECONOMIC FALL REASON WAR. Improve Economy only 6 points. Peace, prayer
    Liberty, Unity, friendly And simplicity.

    I am also Happy to kill osma bin laden
    Turing point of global Economy. Islam not allowed to be Terrorist and Terrorist people are not a Muslim
    1. Please avoid war. Day by Day war cost increase $ 3.5 trillion
    2. Global economy and food price every Day increase
    3. International job less Y. All businessmen effected business.
    4. Global financial crisis every CNC manufacture. New technology energy product Effected FDI investors.
    5. Every Day OPEC Oil Price Increase
    6. World poverty problem. Bankrupt 170 Bank overalls 87000 Branch
    7. Each every single man Effected
    8. Ignore future Death million of already Death
    9. Million of People Wounded
    10. Global environment climate will be change this will lead Global Agriculture problem

    Copy.
    A. International criminal court. B. white house. global human right association .C.IMF
    D. euro union. E. united nation F.ALL international famous press and media

    JUSTICE IS IN PERIL. SAVIOUR OF INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE ALONE CAN PROTECT HUMANITY

    From. Mr.M.S.Mohamed Ansari,
    154, Angappa Naicken Street,
    Chennai – 600 001.
    Tamil Nadu,
    INDIA..
    To , The Hon’ble Chief Justice,
    The Supreme Court,
    United States of America,
    Washington, D.C.
    Fax no: 213.547.8080
    Dear Sir,
    Sub: Prosecution of previous President Mr. George W.Bush, for violation of International Code of Conduct.
    Mr. George W.Bush, the previous President of United States of America, initiated a war against IRAQ, without obtaining the previous sanction of United Nations Organization (UNO) on the pretext of having nuclear weapons, even though the then IRAQ government openly exhibited to the whole world that it has no nuclear weapons.
    According to the CNN WORLD report, in the war 6, 75,000 civilians killed, 7500 troops of USA and its allied forces killed 3 25 000 people wounded and $ 3.5 Trillion Dollar spent for the war. This spending of $ 3.5 Trillion Dollar is the main cause of action for the present economic crises prevailing all over the world.
    After winning the war against IRAQ, the United States of America’s President Mr. George W.Bush, also admitted the same fact, and he openly stated that the Intelligence agency misguided him.
    Later on, even the United Nations Organization (UNO) also certified that the IRAQ has no nuclear weapons.
    Then it is the bounded duty of the United States of America and its allied forces to withdraw from IRAQ.
    But instead of withdrawing from IRAQ, the United States of America and its allied forces formed a government in IRAQ, under their control and administered the entire IRAQ, and its peoples.
    This indicates a clear violation of duty by the President of United States of America Mr. George W.Bush and also a clear case of violation of the International Code of Conduct for UNO members.
    Thus Mr. George W.Bush attracts prosecution for the above said offence.
    Thus I hereby pray this Hon’ble Court initiate criminal proceedings against Mr. George W. Bush, and give him maximum punishment for
    a) initiating the war against the IRAQ
    b) killing its innocent IRAQI peoples civilian 6, 75 000
    c) Killing troops of USA and allied forces and 7 500
    d) The present economic crises.
    e) 3 25 000 civilian and coalition 39 000 wounded
    Dated on this day of 13th day of April, 2009.
    Yours truly, (M.S.MOHAMED ANSARI)
    COPY TO
    The Chief Justice, the International Court of Justice, The Hague, Netherlands.
    The Secretary General United Nations Organization
    The Chief Justice, the Supreme Court, IRAQ.
    His Excellency Mr.Barack Obama, the President of United States of America, White House, Washington D.C.

    November 30, 2011 at 6:56 am |
    • Reality

      Our War on Terror and Aggression:

      An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression)

      The terror and aggression via a Partial and Recent Body Count

      And the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror 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, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, 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 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. 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.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "
      Continued below:
      Other elements of our War on Terror and Aggression:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed mostly due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.
      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      – Ditto for Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011

      November 30, 2011 at 7:37 am |
  15. gliese42

    Once they become a majority they will ask for sharia law or independence. Remember Bosnia, Pristina or Norther Cyprus. American civil war II

    November 30, 2011 at 5:57 am |
  16. katherine

    Even our Western Laws can't protect them from the Muslim law:

    http://news.ca.msn.com/top-stories/boyfriend-tells-shafia-trial-teen-feared-parents-23

    November 30, 2011 at 12:15 am |
  17. 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 30, 2011 at 12:01 am |
  18. The infidel

    One this I insanely hate, is those Islamic groups in Britain who are calling for Islamic law to be implemented within certain parts of the country where Muslims are a majority. One more thing to hate Islam and sharia for.

    November 29, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • Katherine

      Islam and law and politics however combined have absolutely no place in a Western culture.

      November 29, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  19. Melissa

    I like the show a lot. It has explained things most of us never dared asked for being afraid we would offend someone. I think this show is long over due. Thumbs up to the creators of the show. The more we know the less afraid we become. Knowledge is power which creates understanding and respect for one another.

    November 29, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • Shari

      I, too thoroughly enjoy this show. I found it poignant when Nadir was in tears not knowing if Nawal and their son would be okay. Prior to watching this I was under the impression that all Muslim men do not think highly of women, including their wives. To see this man so worried about his wife and unborn child, just like any other Christian or Jewish father/husband made me come to terms with my own misconceptions.. I was so surprised at my own reaction to him. Although this may not be what happens in all Muslim homes, just a small insight such as this can start a conversation that can bridge a gap. When you know better, you do better. I am so glad that TLC came up with the idea of this show. I believe it's time has come and is long overdue.

      November 30, 2011 at 2:48 am |
  20. klkeebler

    Katherine, you must be living under a rock. Forget women voting, Pakistan has seen a woman president before the US has! Learn your facts before you go accusing people of being oppressed.

    November 29, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • Katherine

      You were right they were progressive to have a woman president. Then they killed her, and they are much worse off.

      November 29, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • Katherine

      Also other than the former assinated female president of Pakistan could you please name Islamic or Muslim countries where women have the right to vote.

      November 29, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • Targhee

      Katherine – the list of Islamic countries in which women can vote is long. Here you go: Azerbaijan, Albania, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Maldives, Uzbekistan, Bosnia, Indonesia, Senegal, Pakistan, Lebanon, Comoros, Egypt, Mali, Mauritania, Somolia, Malaysia, Tunisia, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Algeria, Iran, Morocco, Lybia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Bangladesh, Jordan, Nigeria, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia.

      There have been a few Muslim countries which have been led by women. In addition to the above mentioned Pakistan, women have also led Bangladesh, Turkey, and Kyrgyzstan and nearly 1/3 of the Parliment of Egypt is also female.

      You're a good example of what the article is about. The typical American who has many misconceptions about Islam and Muslim countries based on ignorance and misinformation spread by right wing pundits.

      Knowledge is power. Ignorance is at the root of most bigotry and hate.

      November 30, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • Katherine

      Please note Women in Saudi Arabia (who can't drive) will not be able to vote till 2015. Some countries are more progressive than others obviously, yet anyone with any knowledge can't deny that women are opressed in most Islamic cultures. I dare you to tell me that child marraiges or going out without being escorted by a male relative or being forced to cover up is not opressing women. Those countries may allow women to vote but majority of those countries I would not wish their life on anyone.

      November 30, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
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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.