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September 12th, 2012
12:06 PM ET

Ambassador's killing shines light on Muslim sensitivities around Prophet Mohammed

By Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editors

(CNN) – Violence over depictions of the Prophet Mohammed may mystify many non-Muslims, but it speaks to a central tenet of Islam: that the Prophet was a man, not God, and that portraying him threatens to lead to worshiping a human instead of Allah.

“It's all rooted in the notion of idol worship,” says Akbar Ahmed, who chairs the Islamic Studies department at American University. “In Islam, the notion of God versus any depiction of God or any sacred figure is very strong."

“The Prophet himself was aware that if people saw his face portrayed by people, they would soon start worshiping him,” Ahmed says. “So he himself spoke against such images, saying ‘I’m just a man.’”

The prohibition against such portrayals was on stark display Tuesday, as mobs in Egypt and Libya attacked U.S. compounds in response to a film that vilifies the Prophet Mohammed, who founded Islam in the 7th century. The attack on the U.S. personnel in Benghazi, Libya, was orchestrated by extremists who used the protests as a diversion, U.S. sources told CNN Wednesday.

The attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi killed J. Christopher Stevens, Washington's ambassador to Libya, as well as three other Americans at the compound.

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The film that’s believed to have inspired the violence depicts the Prophet Mohammed as a child molester, womanizer and ruthless killer, going a big step beyond violating the basic Muslim prohibition against depicting the Prophet, even in a favorable light.

There are questions about who is behind the movie. Initial reports identified a supposedly Israeli-American real-estate developer named Sam Bacile, but it's unclear if that person even exists. A member of the film's production staff told CNN that the producer's name was listed as Abenob Nakoula Basseley.

In Sunni mosques, the largest branch of the faith, there are no images of people of any kind. The spaces are often decorated with verses from the Quran.

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Mohamed Magid, an imam who leads the Islamic Society of North America, says the Muslim prohibition on depicting prophets extends to Jesus and Moses, who Islam treats as prophets.

“Pictures and images are prohibited from being worshiped,” Magid says.

There have been historical instances of Muslims depicting the Prophet, says Omid Safi, a religious studies professor at the University of North Carolina who has studied the issue.

"We have had visual depictions of the Prophet in the form of miniatures and pictures in the Iranian context, the Turkish context, the central Asian Context,” says Safi, author of the book "Memories of Mohammed." “The one significant context where depictions of the Prophet have not been image-related has been in the Arab context.”

“As you go farther east, away from the Arabian Peninsula, you find depictions of the prophet in art,” said Johari Abdul-Malik, the imam for Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia. He noted that images of the teachings of the prophet were sometimes used to bridge gaps in illiteracy.

But even depictions of the Prophet by Muslim artists has been a sensitive issue.

Akbar, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United Kingdom, says that Muslim artists in the 15th and 16th centuries would depict the Prophet but took pains to avoid drawing his face.

“It would be as if he was wearing a veil on his face, so the really orthodox could not object – that was the solution they found," Akbar says.

In a  Muslim film called “The Messenger,” which circulated throughout the Muslim world in the 1970s and 1980s, the Prophet is depicted only as a shadow.

Adbul-Malik said that in the Quran, there is “no statement from the prophet requesting his image not be recorded.” The passages relating to a ban on creating images of the prophets come from the hadith, recordings of the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed and his closest companions. The hadith is not viewed on the same plane as the Quran but as important to understanding the Quran.

Scholars of religion say Muslim opposition to portraying Mohammed wasn’t generally violated in earlier centuries because of a gulf between much of the Muslim world and the West.

In the age of globalization, non-Muslims and critics of Islam have felt free to depict Mohammed, including in offensive ways.

In 2006, a Danish cartoonist’s depiction of the Prophet wearing a bomb as a turban with a lit fuse provoked demonstrations across the world.

Akbar says that until relatively recently, depictions of Jesus tended to be reverential, but Christianity has had a decades-long head start in dealing with negative portrayals of Jesus in film and art.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Violence

soundoff (4,725 Responses)
  1. Muslim Mom

    Us Muslims worship one and only truly God – Allah.
    We do NOT worship Muhammed (Peace be upon him) or any other prophets like Christian and Hindus do.

    Islam is a true religion... Google and you will clearly see. Koran is the word of God.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      @MM, the facts are that there is NO one true god, there is NO god at all. Allah does not exist, and the Koran is as much a false book as the Bible is. There is nothing in either book that is divine, it is all a sham.

      September 12, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Thomas Jefferson

      Nobody cares what 'true' fairy tale you subscribe to. Keep it to yourself.

      September 12, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Mahmoud's sister

      The Koran is the word of Muhammad. He was just this guy, you know?

      September 12, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Bill

      Oh, nonsense

      September 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • jack

      religeous people are not true belivers they are delusional and sick. I am a true beliver; I believe in reality and the laws of physics (the truth). Not some made up ghost story about a flying horse.

      September 12, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Endyr

      Then grow up and start acting like it.

      September 12, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • RdWhtNBlu

      I'm sorry for you and your family. I has to be very unfortunate to find yourself to be Muslim.

      September 12, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • I am smarterer

      If you are finding a god via google he isnt real. allah isnt real. quit wasting you time on imaginary gods and hating other people. alla SNACKBAR

      September 12, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • I am smarterer

      i keep my bbq pit hot by burning bibles and korans, feasting on pigs and beef

      September 12, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  2. Joseph Voissem

    The movie depicts Muhammed as a Jerry Sandusky type individual. It is not just a little naughty. It is downright disgusting. I could only stand watching about three or four minutes of the thing. It is amazing that the people that made it call themselves Christians.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Mahmoud's sister

      Christians might have treated the topic differently. Read the article!

      "The movie was made by Sam Bacile, an Israeli-American real-estate developer, according to the Wall Street Journal. Bacile said he wanted to showcase his view of Islam as a hateful religion, the Journal reported, citing a telephone interview with him."

      September 12, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • clayll

      There are nearly as many "christian" extremists as there are muslim extremists. Most christian extremists fortunately live in societies where the rule of law exists. They can still have murderous and intolerant thoughts but they have to act on them differently (in most cases}. Extremist muslims believe that their interpretation of Islam is the only law.

      September 13, 2012 at 4:29 am |
  3. Kaughtia

    I dont think that this is about Islam, Christianity, religious beliefs, culture. I think this has more to do with an exhausted war torn, war minded, oppressed and hopeless people that some have become in light of WAR, OPPRESSION, TYRANY, POVERTY, STEREOTYPES ANJ JOKES!!! And its possible at any level, in any country with any group of misled people. We have state of the art buildings, welfare for the poor, free education, starbucks on every corner and what do we have here: nut jobs still murdering, raping, stealing, Incest, Child Molestation (mind you that in some parts of the US prostatution is legal) Now multiply one's frustration by 100. I dont see any bombs going off here, I dont see any civil wars here! Sorry......unless we look deeper into the issue.....we will never be able to bridge any gaps of misunderstandings. This has nothing todo with Islam.................SORRY

    September 12, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  4. Saudi

    ISLAM WILL TAKE OVER THE WORLD !!

    MAY ALLAH LEAD EVERYONE TO ISLAM!!

    *************************************************
    ISLAM WILL TAKE OVER THE WORLD !!

    MAY ALLAH LEAD EVERYONE TO ISLAM!!
    ISLAM WILL TAKE OVER THE WORLD !!

    MAY ALLAH LEAD EVERYONE TO ISLAM!!

    September 12, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      What ever fvkker! That's what all religions say!

      September 12, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Mahmoud's sister

      Allah is just real pleased to hear you say that Saudi.

      GOD IS GREAT!!
      GOD IS GOOD!!!!
      LET US THANK HIM FOR OUR FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      ALLAH WANTS YOU TO QUIT YOUR JOB AND WORSHIP HIM NAKED

      September 12, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      Saudi, WHY do you want Islam to take over the world? Seriously, to what end?

      September 12, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
  5. Pakistani

    Few 100% true Reasons why Islam is a terrible and evil religion to stay far away from...

    1. "Prophet" Muhammed was an evil & disgusting pédophile who had several wives like a maniac!
    2. Islam = submission. Allah tell Muslims to submit to his will; otherwise he will torture and torment you in life for eternity.
    3. Islam treats non-adherents worse than animals. If they are people of the books (Christians or Jews), classify them as "dhimmis" and make them pay a special tax (Jizya) to the Islamic government, or they should be enslave, rob, rápe, and lynch them as you please unless they convert to Islam.
    4. Islam kills those who leave Islam and/or convert to another religion. It also says to kill gays, atheists and those who insult Islam & Muhammed.
    5. Quran says "Men are better than women", "Men could have many wives", "Women are worth half a man", "Selling a wife is perfectly ok".
    6. Unlike Christians – Muslims pray and serve Allah, rather than praying for themselves or someone else.
    7. Islam is the most violent Religion by far –>> http://www.thereligionofpeace.com <<–
    8. Muslims frequently persecute and kill Christians unless they convert to their cult. Churches have either been converting into Mosque. (Hagia Sophia an example) or being burned down in Islamic countries.
    9. Non-Muslims are forbidden visiting Mecca, and no freedom of/from religion in Saudi Arabia and several other Islamic nations.
    10. Islam is spreading like rats in western countries (Europe & North America), and seek to spread their "Sharia Laws", as well as trying to convert as many people to their "peaceful" religion and ev. taking over the nation.
    They start by opening mosques and marry Christian or Jewish women so they will convert to Islam.
    11. It is the DUTY of every Muslim to expand Islam and strive for world domination.
    12. Quran is nothing but hate and violence. Muslim children are brainwashed and brought up with violence and hatred towards non-Muslims.
    13. Islam says they believe in Jesus (Isa), yet they deny his words and the Bible.
    14. Many Muslims in western nations tries to act "nice" and "tolerant" like normal humans so people think that their religion is "peaceful" and ev. people falling into converting to Islam and accepting them.

    May our Lord save us from Islam and its violence & disgusting people!

    Muslims could openly practice their religion freely in western (Christian) nations, but Christians or Non-Muslims would risk getting their head cut of doing so in any Islamic nation, both secular and extremist..

    ****PLEACE WATCH THE VIDEO CLIP TO SEE AN EXAMPLE OF A TYPICAL MUSLIM THOUGHTS (In English)****

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8b3vhTO248&w=640&h=360]

    September 12, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Thomas Jefferson

      Funny how you, as a Christian (I'm assuming), use Richard Dawkins to support your intolerance of Islam.

      All religion is a sick farce and is not healthy for children and other living things.

      Prayer changes nothing.

      September 12, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  6. John

    You have to love the hypocrisy. They don't want the prophet mohammad potrayed because it could lead to idol worship of a man, yet they hold the quran so sacred that you can't even tear the pages out of or it is a sacrilege. That is a form of idol worship as well. They don't even understand the stupidity of that.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Kaughtia

      My question John is why is there so many jokes and disrespectful things being done to Muslims?? Has your Muslim Neighbor ever done anything to you??

      September 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  7. Pakistani

    I am Muslim and proud. I am sick and tired of the Non-Muslims who constantly insult our wonderful prophet Muhammed (PBUH). Islam is truly a peaceful and loving religion. It is the last religion and the most accurate. Please visit a local mosque and Allah will love and give you good and peaceful life.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • ted

      Koran is the only main religious book in which killing people is acceptable and even required. And you call Islam peaceful?

      September 12, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Thomas Jefferson

      Well the peaceful part is quite obvious...

      The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is more recent than Islam, so by your logic it must be more accurate. What a load of horse sh**t!

      September 12, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Islam is truly a peaceful and loving religion.
      (Proven wrong by oh say 9/11/2001 and oh, 9/12/2012)

      It is the last religion and the most accurate.
      (Wrong again. Mormons and Scientologists have you beat in terms of being more current, just to name two. And all are equally inaccurate since there is no "god")

      September 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      ted; some one never read the bible

      September 12, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Squintylizard

      I am a non-Muslim and I could care less about your religion or your so-called Prophet Mohammad. You should visit a Christian church and really learn about peace and love and helping others instead of visiting your mosque and being told how everyone outside of your belief is an infidel and should be put to death. If I had a Qur'an I would wipe my ass with it and mail it to you. Matter of fact I would like to wipe my ass with a boat load of Qur'ans then burn them all.

      September 12, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • eysalve

      And I'm tired of hearing the M is God's messenger - "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

      September 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, the irony.

      September 12, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      @Squint.. Wow, what a Christian thing to say. You are actually a very typical Christian in the way you talk and the way you think.

      September 12, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      @eysalve- and what makes YOUR fiction and more valid than THEIR fiction? I mean, seriously, isn't it all just about where you were born?

      September 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Squintylizard

      @thecollegeadmissionsguru
      Never said I was a Christian.. So that makes you the typical retard Guru. Once again go be typical yourself and walk away..

      September 12, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      you Christians are so stupid its almost sad, i would pity you but you just to monstrous

      September 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  8. donner

    The POS who made this video .knew exactly what would happen when it go out. Was it worth it?

    September 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Thomas Jefferson

      Wouldn't it be nice if all these religious a**holes could just control themselves instead of killing people over a movie?

      In turn, wouldn't it be nice if the Christians who made the movie were more Christ-like?

      Imagine there's no countries
      It isn't hard to do
      Nothing to kill or die for
      And no religion too
      Imagine all the people living life in peace

      September 12, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  9. normal45

    there is nothing surpirsing about the fact these people are animals. and to think we support their religion here in America.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      so you people are back to calling people who aren't you animals, yup nothing has changed

      September 12, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  10. Bob

    Religion is nuts. All religion. Someday, peple will grow up and accept what rational thinking has provided them. Until then, nut jobs will use religion to incte all kinds of destructive acts. Anyone who would murder or harm others in defense of fantastical religious ideology is simply a fool. Interestingly, whack-job neo-conservaties have a lot in common with their whack-job brothers in stupidity in the middle east. When dirt bags attack America, neo conservatives attack our president.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
  11. Nadz

    Although I am completely against such hateful acts like the ones committed in Libya, I must say that the actions of American and Israeli forces make things like this seem normal, as in, killing innocent people. Innocent people are being killed on a daily basis in Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan amongst other countries by the hands of American/Israeli forces fighting in the name of "peace". If you argue that no innocent man, woman, or child has been brutally murdered by American/Israeli forces then you, my friend, are living under a tiny rock. As a Muslim I distance myself from the people who have committed this crime, but I can understand where they would get the motive and rationale to do such a thing. I mourn for the ambassador just as I mourn for the innocent people killed daily by the hands of US/Israeli forces.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  12. ted

    For all the crimes he committed, today Muhhamad would have been in the orange suit.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  13. Salim

    Islam will insallah take over the world and those who insult Muhammed (PBUH) should be killed.

    Allah u Akbar

    September 12, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Yeah we all know that's what your fvkking Koran says! Pork Be Upon Mohammed!

      September 12, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • ted

      China and India alone will prevent the sread of Islam.

      September 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • I am smarterer

      take you 10 cent slippers and slap yourself in the face with them you dirty pedophile worshiper. the only thing real is this world and you seek to detroy it because you are an intolerant ass hat

      September 12, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  14. James

    Every time someone says something about this religion these animals murder people. When is someone gonna stand up and condemn this worldwide joke? Obama is a weak apologist who is placater to every fringe group on earth. How about standing up for what is right instead of standing to pander for votes? This guy has 40% white support..you know the ones who built this country and designed it every infrastructure and innovation? He shuns them and gets elected by 80% of the minorities. So now minorities run the world by default? You better VOTE and stop this robbery.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      What about the fact that the US has vowed to track down these killers says to you that Obama is being spineless about it?

      September 12, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • donner

      Keep talking, moron. Obama will win by an even bigger amount. Is it cold in Mom's basement?

      September 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      You, my friend, are an idiot; completely. Obama has hunted down and killed more of those who attacked this country in four years than Bush did in eight. Obama has NEVER apologized for this country's position in the world, and has been a stronger foreign policy President than we have had in a LONG time. The man is diplomatic and careful and intellectual; all things that Romney are NOT.

      September 12, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    September 12, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • I am smarterer

      prayer does nothing. you worship a fairy tale wizard. the islam followers are just as dumb as the christian followers. you belong in the same boat and should be removed from this planet

      September 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  16. Matt

    Few 100% true Reasons why Islam is a terrible and evil religion to stay far away from...

    1. "Prophet" Muhammed was an evil pédophilé who was an intolerant murder, destroyer and had many wives, incl. 9 year old!
    2. Islam = submission. Allah tells Muslim to submit to his will; otherwise he will torture and torment you in life for eternity.
    3. Islam treats non-adherents worse than animals. If they are people of the books (Christians or Jewish), classify them as "dhimmis" and make them pay a special tax (Jizya) to the Islamic government, or they should be enslave, rob, rápe, and lynch them as you please unless they convert to Islam.
    4. Islam kills those who leave Islam and/or convert to another religion.It also says to kill gays, atheists and those who insult Islam.
    5. Islam says "Men are better than women", "Men could have many wives", "Women are worth half a man", "Selling a wife is perfectly ok".
    6. Unlike Christians – Muslims pray and serve Allah, rather than praying for themselves or someone else.
    7. Islam is the most violent Religion by far –>> http://www.thereligionofpeace.com <<–
    8. Muslims frequently persecute and kill Christians unless they convert to their cult. Churches have either been converting into Mosque. (Hagia Sophia an example) or being burned down in Islamic countries.
    9. Non-Muslims are forbidden visiting Mecca, and no religious freedom in Saudi Arabia (No churches, No non-Islamic stuff, etc.).
    10. Islam is spreading like rats in western countries (Europe & North America), and seek to spread their "Sharia Laws", as well as trying to convert as many people to their "peaceful" religion and ev. Taking over the nation.
    11. It is the DUTY of every Muslim to expand Islam and strive for world domination.
    12. Quran is nothing but hate and violence. Muslim children are brainwashed and brought up with violence and hatred towards non-Muslims.
    13. Islam says they believe in Jesus (Isa), yet they deny his words and the Bible.
    14. Many Muslims in western nations tries to act "nice" and "tolerant" like normal humans so people think that their religion is "peaceful" and ev. people falling into converting to Islam and accepting them.

    May our Lord save us from Islam and its disgusting people!

    Muslims could openly practice their religion freely in western (Christian) nations, but Christians or Non-Muslims would risk getting their head cut of doing in in any Islamic nation, both secular and extremist.

    ****PLEACE WATCH THE VIDEO CLIP TO SEE AN EXAMPLE OF A TYPICAL MUSLIM THOUGHTS (In English)****.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8b3vhTO248&w=640&h=360]

    September 12, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      @Matt, there are many who have done the same thing against Christianity that you are doing against Islam. The fact is that NO one religion is the right religion, there is NO god, and people need to wake up and see this as reality.

      September 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Thomas Jefferson

      Funny how you, as a Christian I'm assuming, use Richard Dawkins to support your intolerance of Islam.

      All religion is a sick farce and is not healthy for children and other living things.

      Prayer changes nothing.

      September 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • SANE MAN

      Very enlightening. Next time if I see one I stay away from him.

      September 12, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  17. snowdogg

    The real reason Muslims can't handle any criticism of their prophet is because they are weak and insecure... not to mention ignorant and intolerant.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  18. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    If Muslims are so sensitive to supposed images of "Mohammed" (which no one can confirm since no one even knows what he looked like), then why don't they stay the FK in Muslim countries where they will be shielded from this.....if it really IS a PROBLEM!?!?!?! You should also be able to get your Muslim totalitarian leaders to filter the Internet like China does so you wouldn't have to see anything that is offensive to your petty Muslim sensitivities. But no! Instead you absolutely MUST emigrate to other countries so you can spread your Bull$h|+ and whine and complain until everyone kow-tows to your fake sensitivities. That is just your insidious way of spreading like a cancer. Hey, the filmmaker was right! Islam is CANCER!

    September 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Very hindu ignorant way to protect hinduism, criminality, why the FK non Muslim's do not stay out of Muslim countries, why they paddle their hinduism denial of truth absolute by hook or crook in Muslim countries, why , why, why ? World is not what it was used to be, Want respect, learn to respect or face conciseness. Do what you expect from others, not do as you want and expect respect. it does not work this way, basic fundamental of co existence. visit http://www.limitisthetruth.com/blog.html to learn more.

      September 12, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Who the hell would want to go live in a Muslim country, who is not already Muslim? I understand there are some stupid people out there, like the ones who thought it would be a great idea to take a hiking vacation in the Iraqi outback but ended up crossing over into Iran and getting arrested. I understand there are some sick fkking missionaries who feel it is their duty to spread the "gospel of Jeezus" everywhere, but I am not one of those and I would dare say they are few and far between. But Muslims seems to be fleeing in droves from the hellholes that are their native countries and flocking to Europe and the USA to come and ruin what we have.

      September 12, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  19. clayll

    The film that precipitated this tragic event sought to portray Islam as a "hateful religion". The actions of these fanatics appears to validate that. Why can't they see this?

    September 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  20. Atheism Is Healthy for Humans, But Not for Any Other Living Things Since No Other Living Things Give a $H|T Whether There Is a Magical Sky Fairy

    ....

    September 12, 2012 at 7:21 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.