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My Take: Sikh temple shooting is act of terrorism
August 6th, 2012
11:20 AM ET

My Take: Sikh temple shooting is act of terrorism

Editor's note: Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, founder of TheMuslimGuy.com and author of the book "Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era."

By Arsalan Iftikhar, Special to CNN

(CNN)–Imagine that you woke up on a beautiful Sunday morning to hear the news of a brown, bearded, gun-wielding madman who stormed into a Wisconsin church full of blond-haired parishioners and killed six innocent people.

If that scenario did occur, would most Americans have any problem calling that an act of "terrorism"?

Of course not.

Now imagine that the shooter was a white man and the innocent victims were bearded brown men and head-covered women. Suddenly, the discussion of "terrorism" gets a lot more complicated.

Of course, this is exactly what happened in a Milwaukee suburb on Sunday, when six people and the alleged gunman were killed at a Sikh temple.

One of the congregation's members told a local news station, "Nobody's angry here. We're just confused. Was this a random act? Was this directed at us because of the way we look?"

Sadly, it's probably going to be the latter.

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Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Police Chief John Edwards said at a news conference that the case is being treated as domestic terrorism, and the FBI is taking over.

But it's important for our greater American society to also condemn acts of terrorism when the perpetrator happens to be a white guy.

If not, we send millions of people of color around America the message that the term "terrorism" has been co-opted, that it shall apply only when brown bearded men are the shooters and not when they are the tragic victims.

Unless we acknowledge this attack on the Sikh temple as an act of terrorism, we will essentially be relegating brown-skinned Americans to second-class citizenry by perpetuating the myth that "terrorism" is only a Muslim, Arab or South Asian phenomenon and beyond the pale for any white person to commit.

To give another recent example, imagine that a brown Arab Muslim male tried to assassinate a member of Congress by shooting her in the head, killing six innocent people and wounding 13 others outside a grocery store during this assassination attempt.

Would we have any trouble calling this scenario above an act of terrorism? Nope.

Since authorities say the gunman was a white dude named Jared Lee Loughner, he was just a kooky loner whose mental health must have been the triggering factor. But if his name were Ali Akbar Nahasapeemapetilon, nobody in America would care a bit about his mental health issues.

Since observant Sikh men keep a turban (known as dastaar or pagri) and unshorn hair, which often manifests itself into a long beard, many Americans after September 11 wrongfully conflated Sikh Americans with Muslim Americans because of this "turban-and-beard" look. To highlight the sheer tragic irony and stupid human ignorance of bias-motivated hate crimes within America, the first actual tragic victim of a post-9/11 "hate crime" murder in the United States was neither a Muslim nor an Arab.

Four days after 9/11, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a 49-year-old Indian Sikh-American businessman, was brutally shot several times and killed instantly by Frank Roque in a Mesa, Arizona, gas station. According to BBC World News, the county attorney stated that Sodhi was killed for no other apparent reason than that he was dark-skinned and wore a turban.

Just like America has been on high alert for brown-skinned terrorism since September 11, millions of Americans of Arab, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian descent have equally been on high alert about reprisal attacks against brown-skinned Americans that happened immediately after September 11.

On the same day as the Sodhi murder, September 15, 2001, Adel Karas, a 48-year-old Egyptian Orthodox Coptic Christian and father of three, was viciously murdered outside his suburban Los Angeles import shop. In Texas, both the FBI and local police investigated the murder of Waqar Hasan, a Pakistani store owner who was found shot to death outside his grocery store in suburban Dallas.

One day after 9/11, in the early morning hours of September 12, at least six bullets shattered several windows of the Islamic Center of Irving in suburban Dallas. Similarly, on September 12, 2001, 29-year-old Eric Richley of Middleburg Heights, Ohio, decided to drive his white Ford Mustang into the front glass doors of the Grand Mosque at the Islamic Center of Greater Cleveland. Places of worship including Muslim mosques, Hindu temples and Sikh gurdwaras became instant targets for patriotic terrorists seeking to lash out at innocent Americans like the Sikh victims of the terrorist attack in Wisconsin.

Belonging to a five-century-old monotheistic tradition, professor Stephen Prothero writes,

Sikhism emerged out of a culture steeped in both Hinduism and Islam, and early Sikhs attempted to reconcile the two, in part by focusing on heartfelt devotion to God rather than rites and doctrines. "There is no Hindu and no Muslim, so whose path shall I follow?" asked (Sikh founder) Guru Nanak. "I shall follow the path of God." Like Muslims, Sikhs are strict monotheists who emphasize divine sovereignty. They reject the view that God incarnates in human form, believing instead in a formless God that can be known through singing and meditation.

According to professor Gurinder Singh Mann, the "Sikhs lay emphasis on a life of hard work, social commitment, and ethical living. A complex set of doctrinal, historical and sociological reasons made them a very political people and they have kept up that heritage in both the Punjab, the land of their origin, and wherever they have migrated to in the past century."

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Most Americans do not know that the first Sikh American member of Congress was Dalip Singh Saund, who represented California's 29th congressional district in 1957. Since Sikhs have served America as doctors, lawyers and teachers for more than a century, any attack on their house of worship should be considered an attack on all houses of worship.

So, if the mass murder at the Sikh temple is not referred to as an act of "terrorism" by virtually every member of our American media and sociopolitical elite, the only message that this will send to millions of people of color across America is that the term "terrorism" has been co-opted and shall apply only when brown bearded men are the shooters, not when they are the tragic victims.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Arsalan Iftikhar.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Crime • Sikh

soundoff (849 Responses)
  1. Looking aim

    The media and politicians would like to depict it as terrorism, because it lays the groundwork for Gov crackdown, more spying, more undercover, more gun control, more fear at home, and heaven forbid, even martial law. It was a hate crime. Let's keep the word terrorism out of it.

    August 6, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      And given Page's connections to the white supremacist movements, shouldn't this be investigated to see if in fact there is a terrorist connection beyond the demonstrated hate crime?

      That is why they have invoked the domestic terrorism powers in this case, and appropriately too!

      August 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  2. bander9

    Jesus is never around when you need him but he tends to get more credit than he deserves. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for the 2nd Amendment, you are worthy of my praise.

    August 6, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  3. Lindabp

    I think we should give a definition to the word terrorism and give shape to its goal.
    An act of terrorism is always perpetrated for hate with the intent of frightening the people. Hate is just hatred, it doesn't matter if its roots are ideologically political, religious, whatever. It is hate against any value, the first of which is life. I think we should stop talking about color and religious diversities, because in this way we are still trying to give an excuse to the perpetrators. These people, the terrorists, are criminals against humanity. Period. By the way Arsalan Iftikhar misses the opportunity to be really objective in omitting to cite all that happened in Aurora, CO. If we want to talk about domestic terrorism we have to include white, black, less black, less white, green, purple people (just to follow his point): we have to begin to talk about innocent victims. Otherwise I do not see any difference between us, potential victims, and some ignorant criminals, full of hate, waiting, out there, for the next targets.

    August 6, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      This was quoted earlier in this topic as being from the FBI:

      Domestic terrorism is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or Puerto Rico without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.

      The operative part of this definition, distinguishing terrorism from hate crime is to intimidate or coerce.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  4. Bobby Dias

    These are good people CNN and other media are portraying- but if you learn of others that this one temple killer may have read of! To me Indira Ghandi, a sikh and then prime minister of India, said to me that sikhs have historically been involved in businesses and other occupations that involved violence. Indira said to me that she did not trust her sikh bodyguards- two of them killed her! Indira said to me that Mahatma Ghandi, a sikh, had thousands of sikhs killed in his rise to power and that he was killed by sikhs. The sikhs in the temple fled violence from other sikhs- not outsiders like this killer. I say this to show that maybe this killer considered these sikhs dangerous to others.

    August 6, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • IgnoranceIsStupidity

      Actually, Indira Gandhi was NOT a Sikh. The two Sikhs that killed her did it in retaliation after she launched an attack on the Sikhs holiest shrine. She sent in Attack Helicopters and Tanks to capture one person who insisted that if they get an arrest warrant he will surrender. Her main attempt was to hurt the Sikhs beyond repair and to eliminate them from India. The Gandhi family are not what most portray them as. Read a book you ignorant ****. If you do your research and ask Sikhs what happened then you will get answers. The media of India made sure to keep the voice of Sikhs down.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Lindabp

      Do you really think that this guy knew what Sikh are? By the way, you are making such a mess! Go to read some books of Indian history. Sikhism was against Islam, because they were frightened by Muslims, etc., etc.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Indira said to me that Mahatma Ghandi, a sikh, had thousands of sikhs killed in his rise to power and that he was killed by sikhs.

      This is complete gibberish.

      First of all Indira Ghandi is the daugher of Jawaharlal Nehru. She was not related to the Mahatma.

      Mohandas Gandhi (the Mahatma) is a Hindu, not a Sikh. He never 'rose' to power. He never 'had' power. Influence, certainly but he never ruled. Nehru was the Prime Minister.

      Gandhi's assassin (Nathuram Godse) was a Hindu nationalist (not a Sikh) who objected to Gandhi's principle of non-violence, particularly toward Muslims in India after the part.tion.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • RAJ D

      BOBBY DIAS THANKS FOR TELLING 1/2 THE STORY. THE REASON THE SIKH BODY GUARDS ASSASSINATED GHANDI WAS HER ATTACK ON THE GOLDEN TEMPLE THE HOLISEST PLACE FOR SIKHS. GHANDI'S ARMY COULD HAVE ARRESTED THE LEADER OF THE GROUP SEVERAL TIMES OUTSIDE THE TEMPLE INSTEAD THEY DECIDED TO HAVE A FIRE FIGHT IN THE TEMPLE. I'M FRANKLY REALLY TIRED OF 1/2 TRUTHS.WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH THIS ATTACK? NOTHING!!! EVERY RELIGION & GROUP HAVE RADICALS. LOOK @ THIS SHOOTER I BET YOU HE CLAIMED TO BE CHRISTIAN, I'M A CHRISTIAN; ARE BELIEFS ARE SOOO DIFFERENT. YOUR ARGUMENT IS A JOKE. SIKHS ARE THE SAME AS ANY OTHER GROUP.

      August 6, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  5. noteabags

    I call it ignorant, gun-toting, conservatism.

    August 6, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  6. Bobby

    Seven people were shot this morning at Detroit's waterfront by a single shooter. Is that domestic terroism? So far this year in just one US city gang violence has claimed just over 400 lives. Is that domestic terrorism? Why do events like this not matter. Are these folks less than human so we don't care if they die?

    August 6, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • noteabags

      More people killed with GUNS. That's called America.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Billy

      Terrorism? A word that seems to have made it into our vocab not to long ago. Of course this was a horrible act. But terrorism. I think as Americans we have to be careful about how we let the politicians shape the way we think. We are being trained to hate each other. This man was not right in the head. But if we start hating groups because of individuals acts we must be careful. We would be as guilty as this sorry jerk who commited these crimes. But if you are a liberal, conservitive, pogressive...Shik,Jew or catholic..what ever..we are Americans and must step back from these situations, dont let the politicians and critics lead us to belive that this was... anything but... a horrible act by a crazy man.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  7. Joe

    "Imagine that you woke up on a beautiful Sunday morning to hear the news of a brown, bearded, gun-wielding madman who stormed into a Wisconsin church full of blond-haired parishioners and killed six innocent people."

    I got news for the author, your senario did happen. It was called Fort Hood, and 13 people were killed. And YES there was a problem calling it terrorism, there still is. The terrorist's name is NADAL HASSAN. A Muslim, who should eat a bullet right alongside this NEO NAZI wack job who just murdered 6 people who never bothered anyone.

    August 6, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Timmuh

      Damn it, you beat me to the punch just about verbatim. It takes a religion, or an equally perverse and unquestionable world-view for a good man to do a bad thing.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  8. jeremy

    Can we please not call the recent acts of violence terrorism? I believe that they are tragedies full and true. But if we keep labeling every unprovoked attack on innocents terrorism , then that is an excuse for our government to continue to take rights away from us law abiding citizens. The people who commit these acts are definitely deranged individuals. But I don't believe we should use the broadsword tactic of labeling it "terrorism". If we do that then it's just fuel on the fire of removing liberties for our own "protection".

    August 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      We don't call all acts of violence terrorism. But when a gunman targets a specific religious group, or a specific group of any kind, it is terrorism. It was terrorism in Oklahoma City. It wasn't in Aurora.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Furthermore, we don't need to pretend that by calling anything by one name and not another, we will somehow be encouraging the government to 'erode liberties'.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • jeremy

      Why not call it a hate crime?

      August 6, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Jeremy,

      I agree with the sentiment that invoking 'terrorism' to give investigators broader powers in all cases of violence is very misplaced, but not in this case. Right now, all we can say is that this is a hate crime. Given Page's connections, the possiblity that this was a terrorist attack needs to be investigated.

      If it can be shown that this attack was intended to create fear, then yes it is terrorism. Until then, it is a hate crime.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • jeremy

      That's why we went to Iraq. Cause it was a "terrorist" harboring nation. Don't tell me verbiage doesn't sway public opinion.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Billy

      Jeremy....YES!!!!!! Exactly!!!! We are all Americans...we have to be resposable for our own actions...we can not give our government any more reason to take our freedoms away....This country is becoming a Facist regime.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you want to have good government, learn to spell "Fascist" and other words and become an educated citizen. Lack of education is the biggest threat to freedom.

      August 6, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Are you saying that 9/11 wasn't a terrorist act, jeremy?

      Verbiage isn't what causes the loss of freedoms.

      August 6, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  9. rasheedm

    Let us face it. This is nothing but Christian Terrorism!

    August 6, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • jeremy

      So it probably had nothing to do with the fact he was an admitted racist. Just that he was Christian.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Billy

      What???? It is the act of a crazy person.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • tallulah13

      People who dislike the motives of a criminal like to say crazy. But if the reports are true, this murderer was a christian white supremest. Crazy or not, his actions were very deliberate.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  10. therealpeace2all

    Well... it was just a matter of time until the crazy bat -sh!t right-wing christian nut jobs started blaming the "Satan loving Atheists" 😯 for this tragedy, according to Pat Robertson.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/pat-robertson-blames-sikh-temple-shooting-atheists

    Wow... the ignorance is mind boggling at times on this planet.

    Peace...

    August 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Pat Robertson has made a fortune telling lies. He is a scoundrel and a criminal and a poor excuse for a human being. Those who believe that he is a good man are either naive or fools.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @tallulah13

      Couldn't have said it better.

      Peace...

      August 6, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
  11. Repent and believe in Jeebus and you will be put in a 401k, (saved)

    BTW, Sammy, not to worry ... no one is going to steal THAT crap. TM, R, DVD, MD, PhD, RN, @, poohbah in chief. CR

    August 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  12. Ash

    Good point Paki.... but Sikhism is closer to Hinduism than Islam in the most basic sense... while Muslims promote terrorism globally, Sikhs do not. Indeed they paid at the hands of Islamic terror everytime.

    August 6, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Danceroflife

      "...while Muslims promote terrorism globally..."

      It's untrue comments like this that promotes religious persecution. True, SOME islmacis promote terrorism. Just as SOME Christians promotes racism and terrorism. A perfect example are the so-called Christian KKK, Hammerskins, Supreme Order of Caucasians and Redneck Shap, to name a few. Islam, like Christianity, Hinduism, Judaisn, Taoism, Catholicism , etc.promotes unity and peace. Some people use their religion to commit murder and genocide, (i.e, Crusades, Genocide in Rwanda, etc.). To label any religion as promoting terrorism is wrong, untrue and irresponsible. Perhaps you need to read more and listen less to narrow-minded, hate promoting, racist pundits whose entire purpose is to inflame those who are too lazy to seek the truth or too racist and prone to persecution of others' race/ethnicity, gender or religious beliefs to want to know the truth.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  13. Sherri

    If anyone would like to send a note of condolence, the address for the temple is: Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, 7512 S. Howell Ave., Oak Creek WI 53154
    I think it would be great if they were inundated by notes/cards of sympathy. Let the members know that others are thinking of them.

    August 6, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Melissa

      Thank you Sherri –

      August 6, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  14. agathokles

    I "get" the author's point - i.e., that "cause-motivated" whites who commit bombings and murders against minorities are terrorists. However, he also lumps Giffords' shooter into that category. I don't agree with that. Giffords' shooter was not motivated by any cause; he was just a homicidal maniac motivated by mental illness. Terrorists aim to further religious, political, or ideological goals.

    August 6, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Agreed. Unless it is established that this skinhead and/or his 'stormfront' white supremacist buddies had intended this to create an atmosphere of fear with this violence it is not terrorism. It is a hate crime.

      Rep. Giffords' attack was not terrorism either. Criminal attempted murder, even perhaps an assassination attempt, but not terrorism.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Repent and believe in Jeebus and you will be put in a 401k, (saved)

      They're both mentally ill. They both need to be stopped.
      But sayin "Oh that darn god, he allowed another one", it the LAST thing that is helpful.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • ConcernedCiti

      @agathokles I completely concur with your viewpoint, with a slight twist. Whilst I do agree that Representative Gifford's shooter was a mentally ill Caucasian, and had nothing to do with any domestic terror group we know of, however the author's point still remains valid. What is Mrs Gifford shooter was a brown skinned Asian male with a beard/headdress, would we have given him the benefit of doubt – regarding his mental health? I very much doubt it, the right wingers would be all over this case as a "foreign" assassination attempt of a US Representative!

      August 6, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  15. ken99

    Yes, terrorism. So was Ft. Hood but we can't call it that because that would be hateful....

    August 6, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      We don't call it that because it wasn't terrorism.

      Are all those postal workers who went 'postal' terrorists too?

      August 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Dave

      The mass shooting at Ft. Hood was terrorism just as much as this was. That Muslim Officer killed those innocent people because he said they were killing " his people " in the middle east.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Dave,

      OK, call Fort Hood a hate crime. It doesn't meet the standard of terrorism, which is to create an atmosphere of fear.

      The Wisconsin shootings are a hate crime too. Investigation may prove that the shooter was trying to create an atmosphere of fear – then we can call it terrorism. My guess is that it was unreasoning hatred that drove these killings, not terrorism.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  16. Abacus

    TERRORIST GROUPS IN INDIA

    • RASHTRIYA SWAYAM SEWAK SHANG (R.S.S.)
    • VISHWA HINDU PARISHAD
    • HINDU MUNNANI
    • ARYA SAMAJ
    • SHIV SENA
    • BHARATIYA JANATA PARISHAD
    • SANT SAMITI
    • HINDU MAHASABHA
    • BAAJRANG DAL

    August 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Bruce

      CIA needs to nip this in the bud. The Indian Ambassador to Wash DC should be taken to the woddshed tomorrow.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Yet another fundie upset because Indians don't like proselytizing Christian missionaries.

      Guess what, I don't like proselytizing Christian missionaries either, but I'll stipulate that it's not right to hurt them. Mind you I'd get pretty upset if they were trying to baptize my children.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Repent and believe in Jeebus and you will be put in a 401k, (saved)

      Ah yes. Idiot Bruce. The Indian Ambassador is in charge of red-neck US skin heads. Good one.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Tom

      Take your loony ad to some pakistani newspaper and dump it in the ocean for your emir oh-sama's pleasure.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Kash

      Holy Christ....close the borders....no more immigrants from India .. could be terrorists from these orgs. !!!!

      August 6, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  17. riamb60

    The NRA needs to be added to the list of terrorism.

    August 6, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  18. Sam Yaza

    Evangelicals = Americans religious radicals

    August 6, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      well, and southern baptists,
      and catholics,
      and mormons
      I'm sure I've missed someone..lol

      August 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Wot's the difference between an Evangelical and a Southern Baptist, except for who defines their 'orthodoxy'?

      August 6, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
  19. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    as was the case historically when they ruled India and Europe

    When did Muslims rule Europe?

    Spain, yes; the Balkans, yes (as far as Croatia), Turkey, yes. But Europe, no.

    August 6, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – wrong spot. Reposted below.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Lindabp

      Hum, all the countries you cite are part of Europe. That's OK. Anyway, can you imagine that there was the Emirate of Granada? They left gorgeous arts and architecture, known as the the Hispano-Moresque architecture. I'm not Spanish I'm just an architect.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  20. Samuel Brinckerhoff PhD ©™®

    It appears to me that Muslims are the fastest growing segment of world society today. As others are withering away the Muslims seem to be rising again with their contributions as was the case historically when they ruled India and Europe and left behind a legacy of science, art, architecture, culinary et al. One only needs to go to Spain and India to witness this. As immigrants, it is a good thing to be aware of your glorious heritage and be connected with it. The Italian immigrants do it as do the Germans, Polish, Jewish, Hispanic and many other cultures. What really pleasantly surprised me was what I witnessed in the Middle East. A tolerant society that has come so far in a few years. Most importantly providing job and economic opportunities to all, Hindus/Indians, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Europeans, Americans, Africans, South Americans, Chinese, and Russians etc. Never have I witnessed such openness and equal opportunities unless you go back to the times of Muslim rule in India and Spain. My conclusion is that the Muslims get it. They are striving to once again take their leadership role in the world order and take this civilization to its next level of excellence. The climb to success and progress is not a linear curve but a stochastic one. Let us join in wishing our Muslim brethren well and much success in their endeavors. If we can't help them let's not pull the rug from under them.

    August 6, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Reposted from above ...

      as was the case historically when they ruled India and Europe

      When did Muslims rule Europe?

      Spain, yes; the Balkans, yes (as far as Croatia), Turkey, yes. But Europe, no.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      By the way, the Muslims abandoned science following the theology of Al-Ghazali. The 12th century appears to be an inflexion point in Muslim science. It goes downhill from there. European science reemerges in the 15th/ 16th centuries.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Ghazali
      Others have cited his movement from science to faith as a detriment to Islamic scientific progress.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Bullshit! We should resist *all* faith based goverments 'cause there's not a shred of evidence for any of their religious beliefs. Why wold anyone want delusional believers to be in power over anything other than their own silly cult?

      August 6, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Bhupi

      Equality for whom ? They are also polarizing the world with their archaic religion and beliefs. They did rule India and tried to convert all of them into Muslims and Sikhs fought and drove them back to Kabul. Pakistan is the biggest sponsor of terrorism. The US needs a base to operate from and keeps on giving $$$ to them which in turn is used by ISI to fund terrorism. Pakistan was responsible for creating terrorists (stupid uneducated irresponsible right wing Sikhs) which led to destruction of lots of lives for almost 15 years and thousands of innocent people (collateral damage) were killed in India in 80's. So this killing episode can be partly blamed to US policy towards Pakistan. Go to UK and see how the muslim preachers openly spread hate. Its just a matter of time when we all will have to face the music. A lot of european countries are fed up of part of muslim migration because of the hatred they bring with them. So till people perceive Sikhs as muslims, these kind of events can't be stopped.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Repent and believe in Jeebus and you will be put in a 401k, (saved)

      Yes Sammy boy, and they lost it all, when they became a fundamentalist culture in around 1100. Tell the WHOLE truth. When they were tolerant, and allowed free expression, they were a great culture. They jettisoned it, just as the US is, by turning to fundamentalism.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Haleb

      I am an American expat in middle east. Been there for over 20yrs. Great people great culture great heritage...these muslims.

      August 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • subbramaniam

      i am second generation working in Dubai, UAE from Kerala, India. Muslims have been great to me and my family

      August 6, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
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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.