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September 12th, 2012
03:11 PM ET

Reaction to anti-Islam film fuels debate on free speech versus hate speech

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The deaths of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans amid protests against a film that denigrates Islam has sparked global discussion and debate  about whether there is a line between free speech and hate speech and, if so, where it lies.

“They don’t regard perceived insults to the Prophet Mohammed or the Quran as being protected by free speech, they regard it as a capital offense,” says Peter Bergen, CNN’s national security analyst, referring to protesters in Libya and Egypt, where the U.S. Embassy was attacked, who were angered by the film.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the movie was made by a real estate developer who wanted to portray Islam as a hateful religion.  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.

“In some of these cases, the people releasing these films or cartoons are trying to make a statement about free speech, which is fair enough,” says Bergen, referring to the film and other provocative recent depictions of Mohammed, Islam’s founding prophet.

"But in some cases they are deliberately trying to provoke," Bergen says. "The film that is at issue is certainly very provocative, the way it treats the Prophet Mohammed, and people who release these things are being very irresponsible."

Read: Why Muslims are sensitive on Mohammed

Newt Gingrich told CNN Wednesday that the United States should seize on the violence spurred by the film “to teach the Muslim world about freedom,” specifically about freedom of speech.

His remarks, echoed by other conservatives on Wednesday, signaled something of a divide in reaction to developments in Libya and Egypt between the political right, which stressed freedom of speech, and the left, which added condemnation of those behind the anti-Muslim film.

"The horrific attacks in Libya & Egypt are a stark contrast to our American ideals of free speech, civil disagreement," wrote Todd Rokita, a Republican U.S. congressman who is from Indiana, on Twitter.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Gingrich, the former presidential candidate and speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said that after the attacks, “We had an opportunity to stand up and say, ‘You know, it is true - some people in the United States might make a film that is totally whacked out.’”

“Sooner or later, we in the modern world have to say to those who are living in a different way, ‘Look, we stand for freedom,’” he said.

Gingrich criticized statements from the U.S. government that he said went too far in condemning and apologizing for the anti-Muslim film.

In a statement on Tuesday morning - before the violence - the U.S. Embassy in Egypt wrote that it "condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions."

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"Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy," the statement continued. "We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

Some U.S. officials spoke to the tension between U.S. support for free speech and what some have described as the film’s “hate speech,” in reacting to the attacks.

"The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.

"Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation,” she said. “But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind."

Some other political and religious leaders also cited the tension between free speech and what they said was hate speech. "I support #freespeech AND believe this film is hateful," tweeted Eboo Patel, an American Muslim leader based in Chicago. "I stand up for #Islam AND condemn violence of extremist Muslims #fb #responsibility."

Others joined in venting disapproval of both the film and the attacks. "For the record, you can condemn violence in response to hate speech, and you can also condemn hate speech," wrote Jeff Fecke on Twitter. "You don't have to support either."

Some American Muslims said Wednesday that while they support the right of free speech, they believe that the U.S. applies its values selectively in the Muslim world, especially when it comes to military and intelligence operations.

“Freedom of speech falls alongside other freedoms to live and be free from bombs falling on people’s heads and to be free from occupations,” says Omid Safi, religious studies professor at the University of North Carolina, referring to American military and intelligence operations in parts of the Muslim world.

“I will take free speech comments seriously when others take people’s freedom of life and dignity and to be free from occupation just as seriously,” he said.

What do you think? Share your thoughts on the discussion around free speech and hate speech and we'll fold good ones into this post.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Violence

soundoff (1,088 Responses)
  1. Frank Winters

    I wonder if this is really a free speech issue. If the video was created to provoke and to make a bad situation worse, as it appears then religion is not the point– free speech is not the point either. Then we are being manipulated. I personally decry the fundamentalists of any religion - There are Christians who commit violence in the name of religion as well (tho not nearly as many it seems) but that is not the point either. What is front and center here is the use of devious, fraudulent means to create a worse situation out of a bad one. This is not fundamentalism at the heart of the matter it is incitement to riot that we need to deal with. The intention here seems not to express a heart felt belief - but instead it was a cynical, devious attempt to create chaos. The most amazing thing about this is that such a weak an effort seems to have succeeded. The shoe bomber seemed pathetic and ridiculous in large measure because he failed. These inept people have somehow succeeded. We are chasing our tails about free speech when these people never had the desire to speak freely - they simply wanted to create chaos.

    September 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  2. CViper

    So-called "hate speech" is protected as free speech. You cannot have freedom of speech if you censor speech in any way, shape or form. You cannot have freedom of speech if you punish those who offend you or others.

    September 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Alert

      Well said! Reminds one of:
      "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
      Voltaire, (1694 – 1778)

      September 15, 2012 at 12:26 am |
  3. prob/soltn

    problem- youtube video
    solution- youtube video http://youtu.be/U4EL8RVDD_c

    September 14, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  4. tyler

    i think EVERYONE should have free speech, and yes, that speech may be hateful towards others, but we as a country should not take responsibility for the actions of one person. free speech is a right no one should be rejected and should not be restricted in any way, because then it wouldn't really be free, now would it?

    September 14, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • mzh

      I agree with you... individuals fault does not represent the entire county... the entire country should not be blamed for few folks actions.... at the same time entire Muslim community should not be blammed for the actions of few uneducated muslims who couldn't control thier anger.... where one of the teachings of Islam is 'the one who controls his anger when he is angry is strong than the one wrestles'.... also we should respect each others faith and should not make fun out of the religions....

      I think it does not really a matter to Christianity or Judaism as there are plenty of movies have been made where they have actors acting as Jesus (pbuh) and Moses and other prophets as well... where they also shows the private intimacies as well... and none even the pope complains against it... but in Islam, we do not picture Allah and any His prophets were sent to the mankind... where in Christianity pictures God as human and also Jesus is being pictured as black, white, spanish, chiniese, arabs and so on.... why can't in Christianity accepts Jesus who he was... he was where he was born and lived his life....

      Peace!!!

      September 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  5. Charmain

    Extreme is extreme is extreme. I do not care what your religion is if you think that you know what is best for all people and you will kill for it you are just as guilty as the other parties that killed them. I do not believe in organized religion in any form. I believe in spiritual law. " Do what you will but harm none this includes yourself and your environment." The other law I believe in is the golden rule "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The anger and the rage that you have unleashed into the world will come back on you. I hope it eats you alive.

    September 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  6. Zinc

    I'd say this video is a lot like yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. It was specifically intended to be inflammatory.

    September 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Barb

      I think our government should make an all out effort to find the film maker and his colleagues and charge them with sedition, perhaps even treason and murder. They are responsible for so many deaths to date and a world-wide uprising of Muslim people and denegration of the U S position in the world. If we can jail a military man for giving information to Wikepedia, these men who are responsible for so much more death and destruction should suffer the consequences of their purposeful actions: maybe a stint at Guantanamo for war crimes would be fitting.

      September 14, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Barb

      War crimes? Really?

      September 14, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Michael

      @Barb. You have absolutely no idea what it means to live in a civil society. Thank God we have a first amendment to protect us from people like you.

      September 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Charles

      @Barb

      you must be joking right? When did free speech become a crime. The only crime here is the killing of Americans by exermist.

      September 14, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  7. Atheism is Great for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and let's them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, were just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago**; and that other things, like god, we really don't know a damn thing about.

    Atheists have strong minds and don't need a religion. Sometimes, religious folk run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, they disserve society). Sometimes, religious folk are easily offended when someone mocks their make-believe characters – and, as we can see they can get really CRAZY!

    Religions are just big old evil clubs – each trying to out do each other and inspiring hate and division along the way (disguised as love).

    So instead of praying to make-believe people, get a good cup of tea and go on and sit down and collect your damn thoughts. My goodness.

    ** (yes, charlatan spam started long before the Bible; what would make your think it hadn't?)

    mama kindless

    September 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Andrew

      What a great comment! Love your children, your parents, your country, love peace- what a great way to spend your time. I wish I could write as well as that. Everyone's fighting over their god's – just using god as an excuse to fight.

      September 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Ronald

      I'm in total agreement. The quicker the human race adapts science as their religion, the quicker we'll find peace.

      September 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • sbm55

      I love God but I do love your statement..have tea and share and respect each other..tea sounds good.

      September 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Thirteen

      No, atheism is not good, and It certainly is not a solution to the existing problems.
      Look at the history of Russia and the Soviet Union, and look what atheism has done... atheism is like another religious extremism.

      September 14, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  8. independentlyowned

    I just find it utterly ironic and so sad that the whole point of this disgusting film was to portray Islam and Muslims as violent and barbaric, and the reaction by Muslims has been just that, violent and barbaric. I know that not all Muslims support this violence, but those that are creating it aren't helping their cause one bit. Other groups have learned how to react appropriately to defend themselves from hate speech directed at them.

    September 14, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Omar

      ". . . I know that not all Muslims support this violence . . "

      The democratically elected President of Egypt does. Currently, he's the most prominent member of the muslim Brotherhood. The US affiliates of the Muslim Botherhood include CAIR, MAS, MSA, ISNA and IIIT.

      September 14, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  9. Aslam

    Funny how much time, effort and money people put in to insult and hurt the feelings of Muslims. Looks like these people have a lot of leisure time. But in any case I hope these pointless offensive things will stop. The love of our Prophet of God only increases becuase of these things. And I believe that the sincere and decent non-Muslims start learning more about Islam from authentic sources and eventually accept Islam. I hope the Coptic Christians don't get slaughtered because of this.

    September 14, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Omar

      This isn't aout hurting anyone's feelings, it's about planned and orchestrated attacks on the anniversary of 9/11 to demand submission to islamic blasphemy laws, as well as to demand the release of the Blind Sheik who materminded the 1993 WTC bombing – all with the consent and assistance of the Egyptian government. The "film" couldn't be less relevant.

      September 14, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • tuvia suks

      Accept Islam? Really? When you stop acting like barbarians, and rioting about any and all slights against your prophet and god, them maybe we can talk. Not until then. We are more fully aware of what your qu'ran says, and it isn't much better than the xtian bible when it comes to hate and mayhem. You prove me right every time you riot and kill, that your religion is barbaric and hateful. You are so thin-skinned about a dead mans honor. This is pathetic..

      September 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • mzh

      @tuvia suks
      The one who does evil in the name of Islam, does not represent Islam but he represent him and his evilness... I would not accuse entire Christianity for what Hitlar did or what happened during the time of crusades... so the bottom line is good and evil minded people in everywhere regardless of faiths....
      I am glad that you with most of the human of rest of the world have been informed about Islam and now its up to you to accept or reject... there are folks every day somewhere in the United States reverting to Islam.... actually i witness one on last week and she was asked a question... why did u accept Islam where you see what is going one aroung muslim world? regardless of this evil action is being done by uneducated muslim, the message of Islam is being delivered to the mankind.... as in Quran prophet Muhammad was told that you just let others know about Islam and let him decided whether to accept or reject... its not your job to make someone coming to Islam.... as quran teaches 'there is no compulsion in religion', 'you do your religion and i do mine' etc.... and we live in a same society with peace.... by helping each other....

      Peace....

      September 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  10. Reality

    1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis have solved the problem:

    To wit:

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    prob•a•bly

    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel – not one shard of pottery."
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    September 14, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  11. Uri, RUS

    Americans are cowardly intolerant biggots afterall. They desrve no respect if they can't respect others.

    September 14, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Alert

      Really? Is that why US is the largst donor of aid, specially to Musmim countries? US builds roads, schools and bridges in Pakistan, sends billios of dollars worth of food and cloathing during earthquakes, floods and and other natural calaimities. This from the 'Jews & Chrstians' (referrred to as 'pigs & apes' in Islamic scriptures).
      Of he 1.5 bllion muslims, atleast half are / were converted by force. Islam ws spread by sword, taking inspiration from Sura 9:29 : http://quran.com/9/29
      Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

      September 14, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • tuvia suks

      pot meet keetle. How tolerant of you, as.shole.

      September 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • ME II

      @Alert,
      "This from the 'Jews & Chrstians' (referrred to as 'pigs & apes' in Islamic scriptures)."
      I thought that reference was to Allah turning people into pigs and apes because of breaking the Sabbath, not a general label on Jews and Christians, which are consistently referred to as "People of the Book", I think.

      September 14, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • winzin

      Respect is earned. I see nothing in these mob riots to earn respect. I see ignorant people that are easily used to spread hate and volence throughout the world. I see people who claim their religion is "peaceful" while committing mass murders in its name. If you wish your religion to be respected, then it must be peaceful in action as well as as words.

      September 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  12. Mark

    There is no justification for a violent reaction to words however misguided they are. To attack countries embassies and people which allow freedom of speech and freedom to choose religion is a sign of pure intollerance from those who have no choice themselves and would most likely emigrate to those free countries if they had the chance. For those who have been on busness or travelled in the middle east will know that very few people actually practice what they preach and use hotels and near by foreign borders to indulge in these freedoms when they see fit..

    September 14, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  13. Willa45

    First let me say that I condemn the terrible violence that this video unleashed. If the film was offensive, the ensuing reaction was even worse!

    Re: Free Speech vs Hate Speech.....
    I would say HATE speech is a deliberately offensive, inflammatory, and reckless. FREE speech is none of the above!. Whatever motivations the people who made this film may have had, It (I didn't see it) appears to have been offensive to Muslims! So offensive, it provoked violence, bloodshed and murder! To be mindful and respectful of other cultures and religions goes without saying, but to broadcast this kind of material on the Internet, knowing full well how Muslims have reacted in the past (Pastor Jones incident), was deliberately reckless, blatantly provocative and highly malicious! The people responsible for putting out this film knew what they were doing and they should be held accountable.

    September 14, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • winzin

      Flag burning is protected free speech in the US.
      Protests at funerals, with rather vile views to most, is protected free speech.
      Free Speech protects ideas in general. The reason is so we have freedom to discuss ideas that are contraversial, especially political ideas.
      The film is and should be protected by free speech.
      A film doesn't "provoke" violence in peace loving people. The people have to be violent prone in the first place. Free speech does cover offensive speech, including that which you call "hate" speech.

      September 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Eric

      And yet flag burning (American flag, by Americans), HIGHLY offensive to most veterans, is viewed as protected speech. Your "free speech" may well be someone else's "hate speech". Your freedom of speech and association is the same as the Westborro (deliberate use of borro) Baptist Church's. To THEM it isn't hateful but truthful, to the rest of the civilized world it's rather hateful and pathetic. But do you REALLY want to have someone who's job it is to decide what is and isn't hate speech? Would that not be trading liberty for security?

      September 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  14. N.Shapiro

    Ever religion, every group, has its short fuse nuts, and this flm was an attempt to get them going.
    There is no excuse for it.
    We do have freedom of speech and expression, we also have civility, manners, and common sense.
    The right wingnuts who use the idea of "freedom of speech" as an excuse for te ones trying – and succeeding – to create trouble are as guilty as the original troublemakers, and this includes Gingrich and Romney.

    September 14, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • niknak

      So should the people behind the making of this short ciip be charged with a crime?
      And what would that crime be, blasphemy?
      If they made this film without breaking any laws, then what could you charge them with?
      Or are we just going to make it up as we go along just to appeas whatever religions get offended by a film or artwork/cartoon that they may find offensive?

      September 14, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • expakistani

      To call a child molester a pedophile is not an insult. If the pedophile does not like the truth too bad.

      September 14, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • tuvia suks

      Point. Set. Match. +1 🙂

      September 14, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • tuvia suks

      That should be for Niknak.

      September 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Eric

      And would that include the original hate mongers of the Democrat party, AKA "the KKK"?

      September 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Alert

      You don't seem to be well-read. Try starting with this quote:
      "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
      Voltaire, (1694 – 1778)

      September 14, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  15. Z_2K

    Just because one has the RIGHT of free speach, and the Right to voice his opinions and beleifes to the point of ridiculing others, doesn't make it right to do so. To many these days act irresponsibly, just becasue they can.

    September 14, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Eric

      Just like the Americans who burn our flag in protest. I find it offensive (as do many of my veteran brothers) so therefore it is hate speech and MUST be stopped by jack booted thugs of the government.

      September 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  16. Tim Nolan

    I guess "freedom to hate" is more dear to Americans than the lives of hard working honest service men serving this great country. We need to realize that the human emotion of love is a powerful one, and Muslims love their Prophet more than anything else in this world. It is also true that people react differently to insults to their loved ones. Unfortunately the media shows the 1% that riot on streets and burn flags (which is actually against the teachings of Muhammad).

    We must stop our hypocrisy of "freedom of expression". There is no "freedom of expression" in this country because there are a ton of things I can list that Americans will get offended by and may riot on streets. Think about it. Do we ever get offended? Will we get offended for instance if someone draws up a picture of us molesting our own children? Or would be proud of the "freedom to insult" people? I hope the Coptic Christians don't get slaughtered because someone wanted to express their hateful "freedom of expression" in public.

    September 14, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Sean123

      As much as we pride ourselves on being "tolerant" of other beliefs, it seems that we have the least tolerance towards the religious sensitivities of over a billion people. The filthy movie was a dileberate attempt to incite hatred and chaos. The U.S. goverment should hunt down the criminals that incite such hateful "freedom of expressions" before they hunt down criminals who react to such hate. We are bending over backwards and our logoical problem solving skills are absolutely zero. Who says freedom of expression is always a good thing? Is that some revelatio from God? These are all ideas injected into our societies by Atheists to remove morality and God-conciousness from our lives. Please respect and help this world become a better place to live.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • niknak

      So now this is all the fault of atheists?
      That is your claim?
      Even though the movie was made by a theist, and bankrolled by other theists and promoted by yet another theist (who was a pastor and burned copies of the koran to get attention for his church).
      And now it is more theists who are doing that rampaging and killing because they have to "avenge" their imaginary friend's honor.
      Yet it is all an atheists fault.
      You must watch a lot of Fox news.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • ME II

      " The U.S. goverment should hunt down the criminals that incite such hateful "freedom of expressions" before they hunt down criminals who react to such hate."

      Are you serious? Insults, regardless of how bad, are still just speech. People have died in the protests against what someone said.

      How can you equate, rude speech with killing someone?

      September 14, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • ME II

      The best response to offensive speech is more speech, not violence.

      Isn't it obvious that responding to speech with violence is not very smart.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Dan DeLaCruz

      No wonder America is the mosted hated country in the world. All the tax dollars we pay to bridge gaps and establish good relations with these countries goes down the toilet with the other stuff because some "free-speech lover" wanted to publisize his perverted fantasies and insult someone who is loved and followed by 1.5 BILLION people. Way da go!!! And it is unture that Americans don't get offended. I see people get mad all the time over personal insults and slurs. The man they insulted is more close to their heart than their own children. So go figure.

      September 14, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • ME II

      "I guess 'freedom to hate' is more dear to Americans than the lives of hard working honest service men serving this great country."

      "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." – (mis?)attributed to Voltaire

      September 14, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • ME II

      There is no 'right to not be offended' as far as I know.

      I think the film maker's are asses for what they produced, the reaction is out of line, in my opinion, for the injury. In fact, now more people will probably see this idiotic film than ever before.

      September 14, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  17. what do muslims fear?

    soap !

    September 14, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • niknak

      And razors!

      September 14, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Z_2K

      A strong, liberated, outspoken woman.....and bacon.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  18. Zaynab Al-Hakim

    Non-Muslims are showing over and over that they don’t respect other religions unlike Muslims and Islam. What is their benefit? Just to make the Muslims angry?! How cheap.

    I don’t know, does their religion teaches them to disrespect others?! But this doesn’t make any sense because as we know there is no religion or good people who encourage the disrespect! But rather all the religions lead the people to the good ethics.

    Jesus and Moses (peace be upon them) who are not just good people, but rather are ones of the best people with the highest morals ever. Who we consider them our prophets along with Mohammed (peace be upon him). They definitely did not teach these few disrespectful people to do so.

    They definitely did not teach these few disrespectful people to do so. I feel sorry for them that they don’t know how low and beneath they look and how this unfortunately gives the bad ads about their religions.

    "For us Allah suffice, and He is the best disposer of affairs."

    September 14, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • TH

      Regardless, It is our right to freedom of speech, No one is forcing anyone to watch it. I guess the truth hurts sometimes.

      September 14, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Amniculi

      Yes, wonderful morals like killing people over a film. Great, superb, wonderful morals.

      September 14, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Marco

      Respect is earned, Zaynab. And someone who reacts with violence to a perceived insult is hard to respect.

      Also, I don't see much high morals in Moses as described in the bible: he murdered a whole people, women and children included! It's easy for jews, christians and muslims alike to now get all upset, but only one of these three is likely to react with violence to such a comment: muslims. Slight problem: no one could ever deny that this is what the bible says he did.

      Finally, remember that what you consider the truth may well be considered an insult to others, and vice versa. When you claim that Jesus was just a prophet, why do you not consider that an insult to christians? They consider him more than just a prophet. And why don't you consider that an insult to jews, as they do not accept him as either. And why do you not consider it an insult to hindus or sikhs when you talk about Moses, Jesus and Mohammed as prophets with the highest morals? They do not consider any of these three relevant in their religion.

      If you truly believe in the high morals of islam, it's those that commit the violence that are a much larger insult than any obscure movie can ever be.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Cq

      TH
      Are you suggesting that people wouldn't be so offended if these things were really complete lies being told about Muhammad? You wouldn't get angry if someone told a complete lie about someone or some thing you deeply care about?

      September 14, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • niknak

      Yeah, you musims are so respectful of other religions.
      I bet I would be warmly recieved in Saudi Arabia if I tried to open a church.
      Your holy book commands you to convert all non muslims, and if that is not possibe, then you must kill them.
      Muslims are the most backward of all the religions, and the most intollerant.
      Oh, by the way, phuck allah and phuck mohammad too.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Zaynab Al-Hakim

      They say it is their right to freedom of speech, and I agree. However, you can speak freely using words that won’t offend the other side like for e.g. when the priest talks against anyone else he still keeps the respect in the discussion.

      I do believe that there are some critical points in the world which may be considered offending to some other. When people want to criticize each other, they should keep the respected way of presenting their points and there must be some kind of law that will protect and defend the people from getting abused about their religion, belief or any kind of racism.

      I am totally against killing or any kind of violence. The Islam does not encourage killing or violence. If you really read about Islam unbiased, you will understand what I mean. Therefore, the ones who killed the U.S. ambassador should be punished with the law. I am totally against them. This was a very shameful thing.

      I don’t want to say excuses; I swear I just want people to know the reality about us. We, the Muslims and Arabs don’t have the good governments like you do. When you feel that some group offended you, your government strongly backs you up, unlike us. We love and respect Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) more than our mothers, fathers and more than our most beloved ones. When we got offended with no government to stand for us, we get lost, so the people will react differently: the very violent ones (which I am totally against), the calm ones and the silent group.
      And I say it again, I am totally against violence as well as the disrespectful abuse to anyone or any group.

      September 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Alert

      Where were you when your muslim brothers attacked USA:
      – WTC Bombing by Ramzi Yusuf, inspired by the blind Egyption cleric (behind bars)?
      – 9/11 terrorist attacks by your 'muslim brothers'?
      – Aimal Kansi killed CIA agents?
      – 'Soldier of Islam' killed fellow soldiers at Fort Hood?
      Americans wonder where the pattern of your 'muslim brothers' attacking non-muslims, comes from. Low-and-behold.. comes right from Qur'an:
      Qur'an 9:29:
      Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.
      See the connection?
      Finally, thanks for neglecting USA's continued aid to Dar Al-Islam, just to keep peace with Israel. Well, the shallow cup of 'peace' has over-flown quickly. And why not? all muslims need is an excuse to toture and kill those whodo not believe in Allah, just like Qur'an orders.

      September 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Eric

      You would have much more respect if you would take the same actions against those of "your faith" who attack those of other faiths

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/19-killed-in-attack-on-christian-church-in-nigeria-8014659.html

      and

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47755595/ns/world_news-africa/t/nigerian-churches-attacked-least-one-dead-dozens-wounded/

      Excerpted from the second link:

      "Islamist group Boko Haram's spokesman Abu Qaqa claimed responsibility for both attacks. "Yes, we did both and we will continue until we achieve our goal," he told reporters in a conference call in Maiduguri, the sect's homebase, declining further questions. "

      When YOU AND YOURS stop YOUR BROTHERS from this type of senseless killing all in the name of your revered prophet THEN AND ONLY THEN will you have a leg to stand on in complaint against the idiotic creator of this film.

      PERIOD.

      September 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Zaynab Al-Hakim

      With any terrorism attack happened like in 11th of September or any other one, our governments said clearly that this was wrong and let your governments do whatever fits to the terrorists and helped you in catching the terrorists unlike what your governments do now when the opposite happens, that we are against but we can’t do anything this is our people’s feedom!

      According to Europol reports: in 2010, there were 249 terrorist attacks; only 3 of these were committed by Islamists and the attacks themselves were described by the 2011 Europol report as “causing minimal damage.” See: http://www.loonwatch.com/tag/eu/

      And what about the fact of Abu Graib’s:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_torture_and_prisoner_abuse

      Have we ever said that the Christians did what happened in Abu Graib’s torture? Why did not we accuse Christianity too? Why did not we marked every christian as a terrorist?
      Alert, we wonder where the pattern of your ‘monester ' torturing us, comes from. Low-and-behold?! see the pictures of the above link and any human being can discriminate the real terrorists.

      September 14, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Michael

      @Zeynab – How can you say that Islam does not support killing or violence? I read your book dude! On almost every page, the Koran teaches you to hate and kill nonbelievers. I can't believe you are that ignorant, so I have to assume you are lyng.

      September 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Alert

      Zaynab Al-Hakim, Marhaba!

      Thanks for bringing up Abu Graib. Is that the best you cn comeup with? Again, where were you on 9/11? Abu Graib came up because your muslim brothers attaced USA on 9/11. If there was no 9/11, there would be no Abu Graib. But, nice try!

      Take a cose look at your Deen. Look round you for the 'honor killers and murderers'. Look at the life of Mohammad, who pillaged and plundered the weak into submission. married a 9 year old, forced Jizya on 'unbelievers'. If not us Kuffars, listen to your sisters Dr. Wafa Sultan and Noni Darwish. Read the Qur'an:

      Qur’an 9:29—Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

      Qur’an 9:111—Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain.

      Qur’an 9:123—O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).

      Qur’an 48:29—Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves.

      God Bless!

      September 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Zaynab Al-Hakim

      Alert, Marhaba 🙂

      First of all, about Abu Ghraib, please don’t mix things up. You said:
      “Abu Graib came up because your muslim brothers attaced USA on 9/11”, this is totally NOT true. Just read a little about Abu Ghraib, see the Wikipedia link that ÷ posted before and I am posting it again below (or read anywhere else):
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_torture_and_prisoner_abuse

      It doesn’t say at all that they were related to 9/11 what so ever. Look, I am Iraqi, I know exactly what happened. Here is the story as short as possible:
      Sanctions against Iraq were imposed by UNSC from 1990 to 2003. We lived with no interaction with almost all the rest of the world all that period of time. Then, on March 20, 2003, U.S. came to Iraq for invasion and occupation, stated that the reason is that Iraq has nuclear and chemical weapons that violates of U.N. From 2003 to 2011 we were officially under occupation and till now they did not find any illegal weapons.

      In the beginning of 2004, torture reports of prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq came to public attention. By that time Iraq had nothing to do with any "brothers of 9/11" as you say. Seriously talking, from 1990 till 2006 all the Iraqi folks were just busy finding proper food or the basic medications for living. However, after the invasion, al-Qaeda took advantage of the national resistance to establish itself in the country. We actually blame U.S. for making our country this insecure with the hands of al-Qaeda. Please see the posted Wikipedia link below:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq#US-led_invasion_and_occupation_.282003.E2.80.932011.29

      September 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Zaynab Al-Hakim

      Alert, Marhaba again 🙂

      About our Qura’an, in Islam we have always two things we use together the Qura’an and the Hadith, which is what our prophet Mohammed said about each sentence of the Qura’an, explaining it, teaching us how, when and where to use it.

      In Islam, the only wars that are permitted are between armies and they should engage on battlefields and engage kindly. The Prophet Muhammad said:
      "Do not kill women or children or non-combatants and do not kill old people or religious people," and he mentioned priests, nuns and rabbis. And he said:
      "Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees and do not poison the wells of your enemies."
      Also, in Islam, no one can punish with fire except the lord of fire (God). It's prohibited to burn anyone in Islam as a punishment.
      Our prophet also said:
      “Who harms peaceful non-muslim harms me, and he who harms me harms Allah (God)”
      Also, in Islam the best good work is the work which is more beneficial to the human being in general. Our prophet said:
      “The dearest people to God are the ones most beneficial to the people”.
      And actually this is my motto of life.

      And if muslims do those things, this means they have violated the strongest orders of God. They are just murderers. They should be punished.

      Alert, thank you for the decent discussion.
      Your human-being friend,
      Zaynab.

      September 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  19. AvdBerg

    The latest outrage by Muslims has nothing to do with a small film but rather the unrest and attacks on US Embassies is a culmination of the rising tensions and deep-rooted hatred amongst civilizations in a divided world (Matthew 12:25,26). For a better understanding of the history of Islam and the Middle East we invite you to read the articles ‘World History and Developments in the Middle East’, ‘Clash of Civilizations’ and ‘CNN Belief Blog – Sign of the Times’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

    September 14, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • TH

      I totally agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just more excuses for them to exercise their "right" to impose violence on the world. That film was exercising its right to freedom of speech and what was in it, was the truth.....no matter how they put it out there.

      September 14, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • mama kindless

      Revelation?? Everyone knows whoever wrote that was high as a kite. Evidently it was St. John the Opium Addict.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • TROLL ALERT

      This poster is a TROLL on this blog, they have been proven LIARS over and over again – and they are only here to sell their book to support their cult. Click the report abuse link to get rid of this TROLL!

      September 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ,

    September 14, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • hal 9000

      I'm sorry "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but you assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 14, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • tuvia suks

      Prayer changes things. Proven. I prayed for jeebus, and he and I got it together. So ‘HeavenSent’ a night it was. ‘TruthBeTold’, it was just carnal. That ‘Deacon’ guy told me all about it. He had a ‘CatholicEngineer’ and someone from ‘MiddleRiver’ arrange it all. Changed me for sure. I’m carnal for jeebus.

      September 14, 2012 at 12:21 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.