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My Take: NYPD’s use of anti-Islam film makes us less safe
U.S. Rep Keith Ellison in a Minnesota mosque last August.
February 16th, 2012
04:20 PM ET

My Take: NYPD’s use of anti-Islam film makes us less safe

Editor's Note: Congressman Keith M. Ellison represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District and co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

By Rep. Keith M. Ellison, Special to CNN

Recent news that the New York Police Department presented the film “The Third Jihad” to nearly 1,500 officers is only the latest example of anti-Muslim training materials being used in ways that harm our national security.

The film baselessly contends that “the true agenda of much of Islam in America” is to “infiltrate and dominate America,” smearing a religion that has been part of this country since its founding. Incidents like these sound the alarm on the need for greater transparency and oversight of counterterrorism training at all levels of government.

The NYPD’s use of “The Third Jihad” is disturbing because it leaves officers with the impression that American Muslims are the enemy, not an ally against terrorism. This notion hurts the ability of law enforcement to do its job. No one knows this better than the brave officers who have stood up to such bigotry – it was NYPD officers who objected to the screening of the film, just as it was FBI agents who recently objected to using equally harmful training materials at the bureau.

“The Third Jihad” was produced by the Clarion Fund, a group that lacks national security credentials but is flush with cash. Far-right wing donors gave the Clarion Fund $18 million between 2001 and 2009 to drive their political agenda through Islamophobic films. The group mailed its last film, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” to 28 million swing state voters weeks before the 2008 election.

The who’s who of the Islamophobic fringe leads the Clarion Fund. During the 2008 presidential campaign, one Clarion advisory board member advanced the conspiracy theory that then-Senator Barack Obama was secretly a Muslim (as if it should matter).

Another Clarion board member has said that “Most mosques in the United States are actually engaged in – or at least supportive of – a totalitarian, seditious agenda they call Sharia.” Americans of all political stripes, including former Bush Administration officials, have dismissed these extreme statements

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that whoever approved the request for Commissioner Raymond Kelly to appear in the film “exercised some terrible judgment.” The mayor is right. Not since D.W. Griffiths’ racially charged “The Birth of a Nation” made in 1915 has a film sought to stoke so much fear about one group of American citizens.

Now more than ever, it is critical that law enforcement build relationships with the Muslim community to better fight against terrorism. In my hometown of Minneapolis, the relationship between law enforcement and the Muslim community is so strong that international dignitaries have visited to learn about our model. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has said he was able to solve several high-profile crimes only because Muslim community members voluntarily came forward to share information with the police.

The great majority of national security experts view American Muslims as partners – and for good reason. A study last year by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security showed that most tips regarding domestic terrorism come from the American Muslim community (the American Muslim who tipped off police about the attempted car bombing of Times Square in 2010 is one such example. The Triangle Center reported last week that terrorism by American Muslims poses a “minuscule” threat – not a single one of last year’s almost 17,000 murders was a result of Islamic extremism.

Ensuring the public trust is critical to fighting terrorism. As Attorney General Eric Holder said in 2010, “the cooperation of Muslim and Arab-American communities has been absolutely essential in identifying, and preventing, terrorist threats.” American Muslims are well positioned to identify potential terrorists, but it’s harder to win their trust when police departments partner with the CIA to conduct surveillance, train officers to view Muslims as terrorists, or spy on Muslims purely because of their religion.

Trust can be restored only if law enforcement agencies hold individuals accountable for using prejudicial materials and create new mechanisms that ensure transparency and rigorous oversight. The result will be not only a more just society, but a safer one.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Rep. Keith M. Ellison.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Opinion

soundoff (399 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    Islam orthodox and Islam branches... Just wonder out of the many branches of Islam which one's are the trouble makers who caused this Islam-phobia... Islam is not one and not the same:
      

    http://religionmanuals.tpub.com/14229/css/14229_94.htm

    http://religionmanuals.tpub.com/14229/css/14229_95.htm

    February 17, 2012 at 8:17 am |
  2. Reality

    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 and Not So Recent Body Count :

    As 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

    February 17, 2012 at 7:39 am |
  3. Reality

    What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon? And what drives today's 24/7 mosque/imam-planned acts of terror and horror? The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means. Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed. Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein.

    Until then, no Muslim to include Keith M. Ellison can be trusted anytime or anywhere..................................
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    February 17, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  4. syzito

    Islam is a religion of hate.Their prophet was a murdering pedophile that suffered from mental illness.Political correctness can not change facts even though Democratic liberal loons try to do so.

    February 17, 2012 at 7:06 am |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    February 17, 2012 at 6:53 am |
  6. christianbrother

    Compare Christianity in the middle ages to Islam today. They both are barbaric. Now you have a choice, force Islam to continue along its current course or encourage it to follow the same steps Christianity took?

    February 17, 2012 at 4:58 am |
    • Islam is one sick crew

      There is no comparison between Islam and Christianity. At the heart of Christianity is God, at the heart of Islam is idolatry.

      February 17, 2012 at 7:15 am |
  7. Narco Samwise

    Although modern Muslim apologists often claim that Islam only attacked in self-defense, this is not only an oxymoron but it is flatly contradicted by the accounts of Muslim historians and others that go back to the time of Muhammad.

    Consider the example of the Qurayza Jews, who were completely obliterated only five years after Muhammad arrived in Medina. Their leader opted to stay neutral when their town was besieged by a Meccan army, sent to take revenge for Muhammad's deadly caravan raids. The tribe killed no one from either side and even surrendered peacefully to Muhammad after the Meccans had been turned back. Yet the prophet of Islam had every male member of the Qurayza beheaded, and every woman and child enslaved, even raping one of the captives himself (what Muslim apologists might call "same day marriage").

    February 17, 2012 at 4:08 am |
    • Sam

      Its unfortunate to see many posts clouded by animosity.
      First of all, for all the non-muslims out there, don't let anyone, or any website, or any article tell you about whats written in the quran. Read the quran for yourself and attempt to interpret it yourself. It may be tough to read the quran without a bias, but keep in mind if the only evidence you seek is evidence that supports your claim then you are guilty of confirmatory bias. Firstly, you must make sure quranic verses are not taken out of context. Secondly, you MUST explore alternatives to your claim. In order for you to solidify your claim, you must go out of your way and attempt to disprove it within the relative context. For example, if you believe the quran preaches aggression, seek chapters that preach love, patience, wisdom, peace. You'll be surprised the quran is actually a giant sea of knowledge about almost every aspect of human behavior. Yes, including times of (frowned upon) violence. Seeking confirmatory evidence and rejecting disconfirmatory evidence only makes you look stupid. When you quote verse 191 and leave out the verses before and after only work against proving your point and gradually builds self grown animosity towards the Quran.

      Second, muslims have to understand that the times are tougher than ever. Instead of trying to turn the tables right away by saying "this empire did this, or this nation did that" muslims need to work at understanding history and correcting misconceptions.

      Third, the truth of the matter is.. the world is full of violence. Just because one aggressor is dressed in a suit or a fancy uniform that doesnt make him any less of a terrorist than a angry man in a beard. Since 2001 0.29% of innocent causalities were from 9/11 .. 0.55% US causalities in Iraq and afghan..4.39% innocent causalities in afghan and 94.79% innocent killed in iraq. Yes 9/11 was bad, but what about innocent men women and children killed in iraq, afghan, and palestine? But by no means is one innocent life more worthy than another. If we can come to common grounds on that, then we should also agree not to let the actions of a few represent a whole. If you are skeptical of Islam, read the quran, in its entirety and decide what islam is yourself.

      Being bias shows weakness not righteousness. By conducting your own research you will begin to find out that advocates for "war or terror" and "holy warriors" share more similarities than differences. Both twist the spirit of their policies to further their agenda. And those muslims and non-muslims who constantly argue about whats really written in the quran or the bible and what happened 1400 years in battle so and so well also realize that they share more similarities than differences. Both oppose the killing of innocent and both oppose violence. Once we realize this, and once we realize that innocent life in the east is no different than an innocent life in the west...we'll truly be more efficiently in the fight against evil. And hopefully make the world a better place.

      February 17, 2012 at 5:31 am |
  8. HarshReality

    "It seems to me a certainty that the fatalistic teachings of Mohammed and the utter degradation of the Arab women are the outstanding causes for the arrested development of the Arab. He is exactly as he was around the year 700, while we have been developing." ~George Patton

    It's islam, where men rule and women. . . obey.

    February 17, 2012 at 4:07 am |
  9. McGuffin

    You really don't think terrorists are smart enough to join Muslim communities trusted by the police and blend in until they carry out an attack? After all, it was Muslims being trusted as ordinary people by flight schools that in part enabled the 9/11 attacks. I know it sucks and it's unfair for patriotic Muslim Americans, but the simple fact of life right now is that we must have extra vigilance against an entire religion of people - precisely because it is by their religion that this particular style of terrorist identifies themselves. If beekeepers or blond people started organizing as a group and killing people, identifying themselves as beekeepers and blond people, well then you would keep an eye on beekeepers and blond people, wouldn't you? Why is that so hard to swallow? If you want to call that fear mongering or racism, well it's really more your problem than anyone else's, because it is actually just reasonable prudence. It was our naivete in thinking that most of the Muslim world doesn't hate us that got us into trouble in the first place; forcing that naivete back on everyone just to guard against possible racism would be foolish.

    February 17, 2012 at 4:02 am |
    • HarshReality

      I concur. Good points.

      February 17, 2012 at 4:08 am |
    • GodPot

      "You really don't think terrorists are smart enough to join Muslim communities trusted by the police and blend in until they carry out an attack?"

      Let me ask you this, You really don't think terrorists are smart enough to join "white" communities trusted by the police and blend in until they carry out an attack?

      Instead you want to spit on our constltution, throw out equal under the law and say we shouldn't trust them brown people with that weird religion because some could be "terrorists". More lives have been destroyed by your type of racist ignorance and fear than have ever been killed by terrorists.

      February 17, 2012 at 4:15 am |
    • vmprophet

      You know what, I agree with what you say in part. I am a Muslim, and proud of it, and the simple fact is the majority of terrorist acts are done by people using the Name of Islam, its just the plain truth, and EVERY SINGLE MUSLIMS Acknowledges that. Thats not the issue, the issue is when you treat every single person who prescribes to that faith as hostile, or a potential terrorist, then instead of gaining valuable alliances to help you in your cause, you shut the door on that alliance which who knows could help you stop another attack.

      If blonds were terrorists, would every blond be under surveillance? no, because thats absurd. Rational says that not every blond follows the same thinking, individuals have their own desires, thats just a fact. So its more logical, and smart, to gain allies with those who are blond, who are in that culture, and build a relationship weeding out the bad from the good. That is more useful then to label every single Muslim/ blond a terrorist or potential terrorist, especially since history tells you that these people have lived amongst you for a very ver very long time without causing a problem.

      One last thing. This Idea that the Muslim world hates Americans is the dumbest ignorance of all. Americans need to get their head out of their ass, I live here so im speaking from experience. First off its not only Muslims that hate the US, its everyone else. Go to europe and show them your passport and you will get laughed at. People dont hate Americans, they love Americans. You go to Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, all the countries you think hate Americans and you will see American Movies, music, tv shows, etc. People dont hate Americans, they hate the Politics of America, there is a big difference. A BIG BIG DIFFERENCE

      February 17, 2012 at 4:19 am |
  10. Narco Samwise

    Why aren't there any international Muslim charities that attend to the needs non-Muslim victims?

    Muslims are not commanded to assist non-Muslims. To do so is a waste of money, because they are going to Hell anyway. The Quran and Hadith command that money flow either between Muslims or from non-Muslims to Muslims (the jizya in Quran 9:29).

    Neither has the Islamic community ever been particularly keen on disaster relief, even for Muslim victims. This is because the Quran teaches that the disasters which befall communities are a punishment from Allah.

    February 17, 2012 at 3:31 am |
    • Kenny

      This is a myopic comment.

      February 17, 2012 at 3:51 am |
    • vmprophet

      ummmm Which countries took in jews during ww2 while the rest of the europe rejected them

      I will take Muslim countries for 1000 alex. lool. ignorance must really be bliss because wow

      February 17, 2012 at 3:56 am |
    • vmprophet

      One more thing, I would like to point out that Chapter 9 starts off by stating that the muslims have entered into a peace treaty with the Non-muslims, meaning that entire Chapter is talking about that specific treaty and time, meaning war time.

      This is hilarious. what else you got

      February 17, 2012 at 4:00 am |
    • Al

      It's because of this type of stupidity and lack of knowledge espoused by Narco Samwise, who gives the impression that he has read the Quran, which he clearly has not. The Quran teaches none of the things this man has stated. Charity is for everyone, Muslim and non Muslim. As long as people continue to spread hateful speach and misinformation ignorance will grow.

      February 17, 2012 at 4:19 am |
    • Narco Samwise

      @AI <~~~~you are the typical muslms apologist who will sit there and tell someone they did not read what they just read in the koran..............something even a 3rd grader could read and understand........lol..........ya sure no one is able to read the koran and understand it according to you.

      February 17, 2012 at 4:33 am |
  11. Narco Samwise

    A more insurmountable problem for the Muslim apologist who insists that slavery is "different" under Islam is presented by the many examples of Muhammad and his companions selling captured slaves to non-Muslim traders for material goods. The welfare of the slave was obviously of no consequence.

    February 17, 2012 at 3:25 am |
  12. Narco Samwise

    Slavery is deeply embedded in Islamic law and tradition. Although a slave-owner is cautioned against treating slaves harshly, basic human rights are not obliged. The very fact that only non-Muslims may be taken as slaves is evidence of Islam's supremacist doctrine.

    February 17, 2012 at 3:20 am |
  13. Narco Samwise

    "Mohammed is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless
    to the unbelievers but merciful to one another" Quran 48:29

    February 17, 2012 at 3:17 am |
  14. Dakota2000

    Help me out here, every Musilum I have met is a really good human being. Has any poster out here actually met and got to know one of this "bad" musiliums?

    I didn't think so.

    February 17, 2012 at 3:03 am |
    • vmprophet

      Hey now, no logic or personal experiences allowed. Only ignorant babel that you hear on talk radio that you can pass as an original thought. where have you been?

      February 17, 2012 at 3:09 am |
    • Narco Samwise

      ask a so called friendly muslims if they agree with moehamehad having pedophile relations with a 9 year old girl..............if you want to see a muslims jump thorugh hoops and stand on their head as they try to bend the truth

      February 17, 2012 at 3:13 am |
    • HarshReality

      I met many. In 1986, at the Cincinnati Convention Center. They had weaponized men making sure no women left the premisis. They tried to talk me into islam, using the 72 virgins, multiple wives, "Do you REALLY respect women?" questions, etc.

      Islam is definetly not what we need here in this free country in my experience. And I did have one friend die in NY on 9-11.

      February 17, 2012 at 3:46 am |
    • shawn

      The answer to your question: YES. I have been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. The Muslims in America have no idea what they are doing!! There are some nice, easy going muslims out there, you are correct. But, the Islam religions is just another growning fad that needs to be stopped. Obviously you are not a Chfristian, I am not trying to mean by saying that either. rather stating a fact. If you were a Christian, then you would know that you are not to be around those that aren't. The Muslim's in America and Britian are just faddish meaning, remember when you were a child and you were told that something in particular was bad? What did that really do for you? If you are like most humans, you wanted to find out for yourself. Now that there is all this controversy over Muslims, this is why there are more and more starting to pop up. But, they have no idea about the religion nor do they practice it that way it should be. Thankfully! The Quran and the Islamic religion detract from Christianity. If you notice, the Quran or Koran have alot of the same stories and people. But, what they don't really let you know is that Christ is our Savior. It basically beats around the bush and uses other people "prophets" to take away from those of the Bible. That is what is wrong with the Islamic religion. The Muslims, in true Muslim countries, practice a whole different way. It is really all they know, and are very die hard. Their practices are way different than those in the Western countries as well. So, if you only know an American muslim, then it's you who really doesn't know uslims. To embrace those folks as friends will ruin your life. Maybe not in 5-10-25 years but, it may srew you for an eternity!

      February 17, 2012 at 3:53 am |
    • vmprophet

      Um Shawn, im confused by your statement. First you say that the Quran has some of the same stories and people, but then you say it uses other people prophets to detract from the prophets that are in the bible? what the? Moses, Jonah, Abraham, Noha, Lot, David, Solomon, Aaron, Jacob, Ishmail etc are the same prophets told in the Quran that are in the bible, what are you talking about?

      It doesnt tell you that Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) is your lord and savior because its a different believe system buddy, not every religion believes Christ is lord and savior, how is that news? The Jews dont believe Jesus was lord and savior, or else they would be Christians wouldnt they?

      And buddy for your information, haven grown up in a "Muslim" country, and in the United States, and have visited "Muslim" Countries, Muslims pretty much practice the same religion, read the same book. Some go crazy and cut and paste things to get what they want and blow themselves up, others read the whole book and take everything into context and live in peace with everyone else. its just how it is.

      February 17, 2012 at 4:30 am |
  15. james

    And violent verses? They, sir, call that a cop out. You could say the same about Christianity, Judaism,etc. In fact I could misinterpret what any story, book, or magazine and twist it to what i want it to mean. Stop watching FOX news, and get a brain. For your sake of course.

    February 17, 2012 at 3:03 am |
    • Narco Samwise

      there is not one verse in the bible that tells xtians to kill.....but there are 112 in the koran that telll muslims to kill

      February 17, 2012 at 3:09 am |
    • vmprophet

      @narco Seeing as though it is highly doubtful that you actually sat there and counted those verses your self, Im going to go ahead and assume you got that number from a website on the internet that listed those verses. Im also going to go ahead and assume those verses came from probably 4 or 5 Suras (chapters). Chapter 2, 5, 9, 8 would be some of them. Im also going to go ahead and assume that those verses were just 1 verse, cut and pasted without putting them with other verses in that chapter.

      Of the 112 verses, how many of them were just sitting there by themselves with an order to kill without any explanation or reason, by that I mean, how many ordered people to kill to defend themselves vs just killing someone for the heck of it.

      Seriously, its not hard to read man, just pick up a book and do it yourself instead of listening to other people telling you what is what

      February 17, 2012 at 3:25 am |
    • Narco Samwise

      The Quran:
      Quran (2:191-193) – "And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah." The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries. In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did). The use of the word "persecution" by some Muslim translators is thus disingenuous (the actual Muslim words for persecution – "idtihad" – and oppression – a variation of "z-l-m" – do not appear in the verse). The actual Arabic comes from "fitna" which can mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation. Taken as a whole, the context makes clear that violence is being authorized until "religion is for Allah" – ie. unbelievers desist in their unbelief.

      February 17, 2012 at 3:28 am |
    • vmprophet

      @narco LMAO. cutting and pasting at its best.

      First off, let me correct what you just copied off the interent, ehhmm I mean wrote.

      Correction number 1

      "for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]." The verse does not say, nor implies, in anyway shape or form, that persecution of a muslim is worse then slaughtering a nonbeliever. Because the arabic states it as such: Persecution is worse then slaugher. thats it, anything in brackets is added by an author, never existed in the arabic, can never be translated into something else no matter how much anyone tries.

      Secondly, If you read the verse you just posted, its saying that you take back whats yours "drive them out from where they drove you out" lol. Now, please tell me why i cant take back whats mine?

      It is also interesting that you started with verse 191, why not 190 the verse right before it? Well because it discredits your whole argument that the muslims were the aggressors

      2:190 You may fight in the cause of God against those who attack you, but do not aggress. God does not love the aggressor

      You can fight people who attack you, so no the Quran is not telling the muslims to go ahead and attack the meccans it says you go ahead and fight back, but you are not to be the aggressors.

      The fact that you proved my point by quoting from a chapter I told you you would quote from, and the fact that you left out the verse that came before the verse you posted, like I said you would, is fricking priceless. Its too predictable, its like there is a secret meeting where you guys decide on this stuff lol.

      Now back to historical context, as you attempted to do. Any historical, unbiased writing done on the subject of the wars that took place between the Muslims and Meccans proves this: The majority of the wars were waged in closer proximity to Madina, not Mecca. Meaning the Meccans traveled to Madina to fight the Muslims. For example, every ignorant person likes to point out the Battle of Badr where Muslims killed Meccans and all that. Do you know where Badr is?? If you look at a Map, Badr is closer to Madina then it is to Mecca, meaning the Meccans came to start a fight, they are the ones that traveled all that way, the Muslims lived closer to Badr.

      I dont discuss things on here because someones mind is going to be changed, I know it wont, but its just funny

      February 17, 2012 at 3:50 am |
  16. james

    wow!!! You people need a lesson on history. I dont think you mention the million plus people murdered in the name of "WMD" oh, wait, the name of "taking down a dictator" sorry, I mean "democracy". Your bickering and pointing fingers are quite pathetic. And tens of millions of Hindus??? Your kidding, all religion on the face of the earth have had there fair share of death and destruction. And if you want a fact? More people have died by the hands of Christians than any other religion in the world. Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, George bush, that's about 100-150 million people right there, and that is a microscopic point to what Christians have done. So before you point your fingers at Islam, look at your own country, your own face. This country was found on freedom of religion, and protecting the minorities. Didn't your parents ever tell you keep your mouth shut if you don't know what your talking about? You know nothing about Islam,only what fox news tells you. I call that the BLIND leading the BLIND to slaughter. WAKE UP. God bless the world.

    February 17, 2012 at 3:00 am |
  17. Roger smith

    Far from being mere history or theological construct, the violent verses of the Quran have played a key role in very real massacre and genocide. This includes the brutal slaughter of tens of millions of Hindus for five centuries beginning around 1000 AD with Mahmud of Ghazni's bloody conquest. Both he and the later Tamerlane (Islam's Genghis Khan) slaughtered an untold number merely for defending their temples from destruction. Buddhism was very nearly wiped off the Indian subcontinent. Judaism and Christianity met the same fate (albeit more slowly) in areas conquered by Muslim armies, including the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe, including today's Turkey. Zoroastrianism, the ancient religion of a proud Persian people is despised by Muslims and barely survives in modern Iran.

    February 17, 2012 at 2:49 am |
    • Aj

      You sound as scholar lol, but you have no Idea about have you just said. I think that was't your reading but someone's talk.
      I suggest to you not to attack others' religion, because you know nothing about their book and what they believe in, but go read and investigate what is Islam, you are not impressing others by attacking, instead, you are only showing your ignorance.

      February 17, 2012 at 3:14 am |
    • vmprophet

      Your really good at selective history, I mean Christian armies and empires, NEVER EVER waged war to spread a religion. Never. I mean them crusaders only traveled thousands of miles, crossed oceans, pillaged and killed children just to defend themselves. Oh man and Colonizing Australia and almost whipping out the Aboriginal people, well now that must have been done by Muslims. Colonizing Africa for centuries, exploiting its natural resources, and shipping its people as slaves to europe, ya that was muslims too. And the Native Americans, dont get me started on how the Muslims took over the American continent and succeeded in eradicating a native people, taking the Native children from their homes to be Muslims and integrating them into Muslim society.

      Oh and lets not forget the Muslims that invaded Vietnam to spread their ideology of Democracy. Wait, I think they started ww1 and ww2 as well. Yup, your really good at selective history, I mean lets face it, every faith, country, empire was squeaky clean, and only got bigger because they asked nicely and didnt fight wars or kill people

      February 17, 2012 at 3:19 am |
    • Narco Samwise

      no i dont believe ww1 or ww2 were started by the xtian religion..........you need to read some history.....and ummm no the xtian religion did not kill the native americans.............you sir are dumb as a wall.

      February 17, 2012 at 3:22 am |
    • Narco Samwise

      only 200,000 people died in the cursades over 200 years..........thats not a lot...thats 100 a year......im pretty sure you are so stupid you thought milliions died

      February 17, 2012 at 3:26 am |
  18. Roger smith

    19 Muslim hijackers killed more innocents in two hours on September 11th than the number of American criminals executed in the last 65 years.

    February 17, 2012 at 2:45 am |
    • Aj

      Are you living in A cave?

      February 17, 2012 at 2:53 am |
  19. Roger smith

    Islamic terrorists murder more people every day than the Ku Klux Klan has in the last 50 years.

    February 17, 2012 at 2:45 am |
    • Aj

      the difference is not in numbers, but in what you consider as terrorist.
      19 Muslim hijackers do have a purpose, but you don't see it because as Americans you detach yourself from the world. So you ignore what external policy. America used Alqa'ada to tack down the Soviet union.
      I don't say the were right when they killed innocent people, but surly they had a reason.

      February 17, 2012 at 3:03 am |
    • HarshReality

      >>I don't say the were right when they killed innocent people, but surly they had a reason.<<

      OK Mr. "islam appologist". So I guess that mohammeds deflowering a child was OK, the 19 terrorists are really just misunderstod nice guys, and the ongoing jihad by radical islam is just OK because, well, every culure has done it some time or other? Are you giving islam a pass here?

      February 17, 2012 at 4:00 am |
  20. Roger smith

    More civilians were killed by Muslim extremists in two hours on September 11th than in the 36 years of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland.

    February 17, 2012 at 2:45 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.