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My Take: It’s time for Islamophobic evangelicals to choose
September 15th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: It’s time for Islamophobic evangelicals to choose

Editor's Note: Brian D. McLaren  is author of "Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World" (Jericho Books/Hachette Book Group). 

By Brian McLaren, Special to CNN

I was raised as an evangelical Christian in America, and any discussion of Christian-Jewish-Muslim relations around the world must include the phenomenon of American Islamophobia, for which large sectors of evangelical Christianity in America serve as a greenhouse.

At a time when U.S. embassies are being attacked and when people are getting killed over an offensive, adolescent and puerile film targeting Islam - beyond pathetic in its tawdriness – we must begin to own up to the reality of evangelical Islamaphobia.

Many of my own relatives receive and forward pious-sounding and alarm-bell-ringing e-mails that trumpet (IN LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS WITH EXCLAMATION POINTS!) the evils of Islam, that call their fellow evangelicals and charismatics to prayer and “spiritual warfare” against those alleged evils, and that often - truth be told - contain lots of downright lies.

For example, one recent e-mail claimed “Egyptian Christians in Grave Danger as Muslim Brotherhood Crucifies Opponents."  Of course, that claim has been thoroughly debunked, but the sender’s website still (as of Friday) claims that the Muslim Brotherhood has “crucified those opposing" Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy "naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others.”

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

Many sincere and good-hearted evangelicals have never yet had a real Muslim friend, and now they probably never will because their minds have been so prejudiced by Islamophobic broadcasts on so-called Christian television and radio.

Janet Parshall, for example, a popular talk show host on the Moody Radio Network, frequently hosts Walid Shoebat, a Muslim-evangelical convert whose anti-Muslim claims, along with claims about his own biography, are frequently questioned.  John Hagee, a popular televangelist, also hosts Shoebat as an expert on Islam, as does the 700 Club.

Many Christian bookstores that (used to) sell my books, still sell books such as Paul Sperry’s "Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington" (Thomas Nelson, 2008). In so doing, they fuel conspiracy theories such as the ones U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, promoted earlier this year.

In recent days, we’ve seen how irresponsible Muslim media outlets used the tawdry 13-minute video created by a tiny handful of fringe Christian extremists to create a disgusting caricature of all Christians - and all Americans - in Muslim minds. But too few Americans realize how frequently American Christian media personalities in the U.S. similarly prejudice their hearers’ minds with mirror-image stereotypes of Muslims.

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

Meanwhile, many who are pastors and leaders in evangelicalism hide their heads in the current issue of Christianity Today or World Magazine, acting as if the kinds of people who host Islamophobic sentiments swim in a tiny sidestream, not in the mainstream, of our common heritage. I wish that were true.

The events of this past week, if we let them, could mark a turning point - a hitting bottom, if you will - in the complicity of evangelicalism in Islamophobia. If enough evangelicals watch or try to watch the film trailer that has sparked such outrage in the Middle East, they may move beyond the tipping point.

I tried to watch it, but I couldn’t make it halfway to the 13-minute mark. Everything about it was tawdry, pathetic, even pornographic. All but the most fundamentalist believers from my evangelical Christian tribe who watch that video will be appalled and ashamed to be associated with it.

It is hate speech. It is no different from the anti-Semitic garbage that has been all too common in Western Christian history. It is sub-Christian - beneath the dignity of anyone with a functioning moral compass.

Islamophobic evangelical Christians - and the neo-conservative Catholics and even some Jewish folks who are their unlikely political bedfellows of late - must choose.

Will they press on in their current path, letting Islamophobia spread even further amongst them? Or will they stop, rethink and seek to a more charitable approach to our Muslim neighbors? Will they realize that evangelical religious identity is under assault, not by Shariah law, not by the liberal media, not by secular humanism from the outside, but by forces within the evangelical community that infect that religious identity with hostility?

If I could get one message through to my evangelical friends, it would be this: The greatest threat to evangelicalism is evangelicals who tolerate hate and who promote hate camouflaged as piety.

No one can serve two masters. You can’t serve God and greed, nor can you serve God and fear, nor God and hate.

The broad highway of us-them thinking and the offense-outrage-revenge reaction cycle leads to self-destruction. There is a better way, the way of Christ who, when reviled, did not revile in return, who when insulted, did not insult in return, and who taught his followers to love even those who define themselves as enemies.

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Yes, “they” – the tiny minority of Muslims who turn piety into violence – have big problems of their own. But the way of Christ requires all who claim to be Christians to examine our own eyes for planks before trying to perform first aid on the eyes of others. We must admit that we have our own tiny minority whose message and methods we have not firmly, unitedly and publicly repudiated and rejected.

To choose the way of Christ is not appeasement. It is not being a “sympathizer.”

The way of Christ is a gentle strength that transcends the vicious cycles of offense-outrage-revenge.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Brian D. McLaren.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Islam • Opinion

soundoff (8,500 Responses)
  1. sugar

    ((hi, nr. really good to see you around!))

    "If I could get one message through to my evangelical friends, it would be this: The greatest threat to evangelicalism is evangelicals who tolerate hate and who promote hate camouflaged as piety."

    THIS! THIS! It almost seems as if certain sects of Christianity are using the bible against THEIR SELVES. I am an American and I have to say it offends ME to think that any part of the world considers my beliefs to be in agreement with these particular fanatics.

    I am pretty reasonably sure that there are lots of Muslims out there that know right where I am coming from with that.

    September 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  2. nr

    @Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear
    You should not be in this discussion in the first place because we are not discussing about existence of God.
    I am stating why the double standard when it comes to western politics. If you have anything to say about it then do so. Otherwise, please shut your hole.

    September 18, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ nr: or else . . . . what? If i don't stop participating in a debate, you will . . . what? Burn my house down? Kill me? Chop my head off? Islam is a very young religion, and very immature. It is threatened by words, by thoughts, by opinions. When one steps back, it is simply an amalgam of other desert cults, force fed to illiterate goat fukkers, who do not have the brains or intellectual where withal to realize how horribly they are being manipulated by the imams.

      So, nr, I will kindly decline your invitation. instead, I will issue YOU an invitation, to discuss the following premise: Islam – simply another false desert sect, with no proof of god whatsoever.

      How strong is your faith, nr? Can it withstand such a debate? I say there is no god. What say you, you silly frightened little boy?

      September 18, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ nr – well, a cogent argument so far . . .

      September 18, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Well, nr, you have proven to be just like the others: scared little children who are actually afraid of the light, and prefer to hide in the shadows of the delusional world you have been sold. The good news is, it doesn't have to be that way: open your mind to reality, and leave the childish toys of fairy tales behind you.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  3. Derp

    With the entire world descending into a global economic crisis of historic depression proportions, our overlords have decided now is the time to wage a mass war resulting in the culling of at minimum 25% of the male population.

    Further, the belief is another major world war would create economic prosperity for those who survive (and the rich always survive as they are in safe places).

    Look at the history of the world. Has there ever been an 80+ year period where there has not been a major, epic, world war? Remember the world was smaller hundreds of years ago, so continental wars WERE world wars.

    Nope, it's pretty much at most about 70 years between cycles. Prepare for it.

    September 18, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • nr

      much agreed

      September 18, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  4. nr

    I am muslim and I am proud to be one. There is no god except Allah and Muhammed (PBUH) is HIS messenger.

    I looked at some comments and find quoting quranic verses out of context and asking for an explanation. Here are some verses from Jesus Christ's own words in the Gospel and I want your explanations

    "But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.'" (Luke, 19:27; NKJ)
    "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword." (Matthew, 10:34; NKJ)

    By the above two verses I can sum up that Jesus(PBUH) did not come for peace but to kill who opposed his views on land. Therefore, christians and jews (Jesus (PBUH) was a jew) are not peaceful people.

    Let me again ask you the following questions:
    1) who started WWI? 2) Who started WWII 3) Who was the first to use atomic bomb 4)Who committed genocides at rwanda, armenia, bosnia? 5)Who started the war on Iraq by lying to the world about WMD so that they can get oil out of the country? 6) Who are illegally occupying the lands of others by using force. Definitely NOT the MUSLIMS.

    So why are you blaming muslims for everything that is happening in the world? If you want peace then you should demonstrate peace by actions not just by your lips. The western talks about democracy and how democracy should be spread around the world. The method they chose is war. Killed hundreds and thousands of people in those countries. For what??? Oil. How come then they don't intervene in Syria where hundreds are killed each day by Asad's government? Where is the fight for democracy?

    They talk about a world without nukes. Then why is it that they don't get rid of their's first? Probably they will answer by saying 'for our safety and protection'. Then why should the westerns put sanctions when other countries are trying to provide the same safety and protection for their people? Why the double standard?

    Westerns cried a foul cry when they claimed Iraq had WMDs and started a war. There were no WMDs to begin with.
    Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for Tony Blair and George Bush to be hauled before the international criminal court in The Hague and delivered a damning critique of the physical and moral devastation caused by the Iraq war. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/sep/02/tony-blair-iraq-war-desmond-tutu) They went in there for oil and nothing else. It was pure business. Same thing for Libya. Oil again.

    Funny how nobody notices how the palestinians have been systematically removed from their own lands since 1947 by the Jews with the help of their Western allies to create a Jewish state which. Btw, jews are prohibited by the Torah with a very grave prohibition to establish a Jewish independent sovereignty in the Holy Land. Then why are they still going at it killing hundreds and thousands of palestinians?

    Before pointing at us, you should point at yourselves and the things that you are doing. You are destroying the whole world for your own greed.

    September 18, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Derp

      One of the great ironies of the intolerant Americans is that they are extremely disrespectful of Muslims and their faith, and they project that onto Muslims. Projection tells a lot about people. I've never seen a Muslim insult Jesus, who is obviously a beloved figure in Christianity. Yet Christians insist that's what Muslims do, while constantly trashing Muhammad.

      If you were on the fence, that's probably enough by itself to tilt you on this. Arguing anything however is a waste of time, especially on the internet. People consider their positions on something a measure of their intelligence and conviction. If they actually change their minds on something that is an admission of some defect for them, a loss. So no matter what the evidence to the contrary, people will ignore things until everything collapses. See: the financial crisis of 2008.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      nr – you should have stopped a bit sooner. Try this one: there is no god.

      Not Allah
      Not Yawheh
      Not the Holy Trinity
      Not Zeus
      Not Pan
      Not Odin
      Not Ra
      Not a thousand other gods

      These are the creations of our imaginations – they are NOT REAL

      September 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • niknak

      Did the 9/11 hijcakers not take versus out of context?
      Or the guy who shot that young woman in the back in that video from a few weeks ago?
      Or any other mindless brutal killing a muslim has done?
      Religion is backwards, but yours is way azz backwards.
      Phuch allah and mohammad.

      September 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  5. randy

    The author of this article is not representative of Christianity. His views are outside the traditional mainline beliefs. The makers of the film are not representative of Christianity. The US State Dept. has said that Epypt is one of the most oppressive nations for religious freedom. Archelogical evidend and historical records support the Christian bible.

    September 18, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Cheryl Clair

      Thank you Randy for pointing out these things. I'm too mad to make a reasonable reply to nr.

      September 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      CandyRandy, the Bible is nonsense.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Russell's Teapot

      Yeah the archeological evidence isn't really all that overwhelming when one considers the numerous claims laid forth

      September 19, 2012 at 12:02 am |
  6. kuraysh

    I trusted the muslims and was wiped out. dont do the same. google 'peace of the kuraysh'

    September 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • nr

      kurayish??? or do you mean Quraish? Quraish is a clan to which Prophet Muhammaed (PBUH) belonged to? what are you talking about? are you talking about the treaty of hudaybiyyah?

      September 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • kuraysh

      http://www.faithfreedom.org/articles/quran-koran/treaty-or-trickery/

      September 19, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • ..

      wow.. great link. explains why muslims are so violent. Their founder was.

      September 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • ..

      the research above says Mo' was an APOSTATE of the quraish to started his own religion...

      September 20, 2012 at 7:29 am |
  7. Humanity 101

    Didn't you guys take Humanity 101? Am I really in a whopping minority of people whose parents taught her that being HUMAN comes with rights (which are equal) and responsibilities ( including compassion for one another)? Didn't SOMEONE (a teacher? a coach? a Rabbi? A friend? An Imam? an Uncle? Minister?) cue you in that you are no better and no worse and NO DIFFERENT from anyone else who prays differently? Newsflash for those of you who think you can hate people based on how they pray: you just failed at being human.

    September 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Humanity: really, you sound very sincere – you do! And I'm not trying to mock you or belittle you – I'm not. But seriously, some of the tripe you just served up is ludicrous.

      For example: you said "being HUMAN comes with rights (which are equal)"

      Are you serious? Being human doesn't come with rights, and especially not rights that are equal. What are these rights? Where are they enumerated? Who has granted humans these rights? Can they be taken away? By whom?

      Have you ever been to a place called "the real world"?

      September 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  8. Reality

    To the nitty-gritty:

    Only for the new members:

    What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers, Flight 93 and the Pentagon? And what drives today's 24/7 mosque/imam-planned acts of terror and horror and therefore Islamophobia?

    The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means.

    Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed.

    Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein.

    Until then, no Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere..................................
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    September 18, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  9. BlinGoogle

    Somebody crack open Jewish Talmud. It is THE most racist piece of Jewish theology.
    Islams pales in comparison.
    No wonder Jews are the MOST racist people on earth, always after money and Arab blood. Jews are the rabid dogs.

    September 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • ME II

      Most religions are racist, sectarian, and/or prejudicial. What's your point?

      September 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ ME II – And delusional – don't forget delusional.

      September 18, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Reality

      Judaism continues to evolve:

      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. (prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

      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.

      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 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  10. doabitofhomework

    Nobody will get to read this, out of 7000 comments, but here goes anyway.

    "Islamophobia" – what IS it, really? Is it a dislike of Islam? Or is it something more virulent, like wanting to take violent action against Muslims?

    I've been labeled Islamophobic, but am not. You can't just slap a label on someone who simply detests Islam and fears for humanity against a very REAL threat.

    So we need to know what a prejudice is, because "Islamophobia" is a prejudice. A prejudice is based on "pre-judging." That means forming an opinion without regard to the facts. I am a liberal, and have never been prejudiced against anyone or any group of people in my whole life. In fact, online, I verbally peel skin of prejudiced people who comment there. I even USED to do so regarding Islam-bashers. Most of those bashers really ARE prejudiced, because they are not basing their opinion on facts. If they KNEW the facts, there'd be no room for hate – they'd have learned to FEAR it. And they should.

    I HAVE. I'd always believed Islam was a religion "of peace and tolerance," as so many people still do. In the mid-90's, however, with so much Islamic terrorism going on, I began to wonder about that mindset. There was only one place to go to get reassurance of the peaceful and tolerant nature of Islam: its own holy core texts, Quran and Hadith.

    So I downloaded and studied them thoroughly. Looking very specifically for the reassurance I needed. Instead, it stood my hair on end.

    It changed my whole view of Islam, and did it the fair way – from their OWN precious books.

    People online who diss Islam are still (most of them) prejudiced, and they are, therefore, Islamophobic. My dislike of Islam is NOT. It is a STUDIED OPINION. It may be wrong, but it is NOT a prejudice. It is based on FACTS, provided by Islam itself.

    Nor is it wrong. My studies made the things that Muslims do spring into clear context and clarity. I have no more confusion, as most people still do, about what Islam really IS. I know. And I know it from Islam's OWN sources, not from news media, people I talk to, or governments. I concluded it from Islam itself.

    The Islamophobes may have hit on the correct conclusion about Islam's nature, but that isn't enough to erase their prejudice. They have nothing to base their feelings on that did not come to them from second-hand sources, most of which are biased. THEY do not have the studied opinion that I worked long and hard to acquire. Though my conclusion IS negative, it's because I had no choice. My preference was to go on thinking well of Islam.

    That is impossible now. Nobody has a right to claim the same opinion as mine unless they, too, have done the same homework that I did. Until they do, they ARE prejudiced.

    Islam isn't something to hate. It is evil, even by my atheistic, liberal and generic definition. But hating only corrodes the hater; I'll have no part of that.

    I DO fear Islam. And with abundant reason. Islam's prime directive is total global CONQUEST. Hardly compatible with peace and tolerance. And when I look at the events of recent years, it is inescapably clear that Muslims have already begun their campaign to take over all of us – and by ANY means at all, including genocides and nukes. The mindset of a Muslim is extraordinarily ALIEN to any other culture or faith in the world. This is why it is so hard for our people to wrap their minds around it. It's not only alien, but cruel, sadistic, and ugly beyond imagining.

    From what I've observed, it seems fairly clear that they will make a major putsch to take over free-world nations fairly soon, perhaps in 2-3 years. I suspect that Europe (all of it) will be their first target. They WILL succeed, too. They won't start it till they're sure they can, because they know they'll only get one shot at it, after which the "cat's out of the bag" for them, and we'll ALL know the reality of Islam. The hard way. But their plan is fairly obvious, though few people actually have the grasp of Islam that would allow them to see recent events as a mobilization. Moreover, it's so frightening that people don't WANT to know. Which will be our undoing, of course. Keeping us ignorantly believing that Islam is about peace and tolerance serves to keep us vulnerable, and therefore, totally unprepared for the things they have in mind for us.

    Hating Islam is as stupid and futile as going to war with Muslims. Neither will ever accomplish anything, but will make it worse.

    We need our governments to recognize the true threat of Islam, and to work together on a plan to THWART their attempts to mobilize themselves for conquest. That is the only hope we have. It'll take cool heads, not hot ones. And those cool heads will need a strategy that will be utilized across the board in the free world. Without bringing our politics into it. Survival is NOT a partisan issue.

    Islam is a matter on which our own survival depends utterly. We can't thwart it without STUDYING it first. For years, I've been trying to get people online who read my comments, to DO that homework. Virtually NONE can be bothered, except for 3 or 4 who said, "That sounds like a good idea; I'll start doing that now." The rest could care less.

    Some of the stupidest responses I've gotten were like "They'd better not DARE to try it! I'm well-armed and ready for them!" In a pig's eye they are. Do you think the Muslims don't know already about our well-armed Rambos? And that they'll be fully prepared to deal with them when the time comes?

    The population expects some superman to step in and just "fix" it. But in this case, only the POPULATION of the free world can accomplish anything. A knowledgeable population will elect the kind of leaders who are smart enough and NOT warhawks, and who will make a plan of action that thwarts the Muslims in their mobilizations.

    I fear we no longer have enough time to do that. But if we don't try, Islam will surely win.

    September 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • The Truth

      All Muslims and Christians and Jew's need to be rescued from their ancient imagined deities which need to be taken out to the public square and shot in the head, if we could actually ever get a hold of one, or even some muffled response. Men have been calling on them and calling them out for centuries and so far the only ones who ever show up to the battles are the deities feckless followers who believe they must take their imagined God's law into their hands since their God must be busy at the moment. Maybe he is in the privy? But if so, what must he have eaten to have such bowel trouble?...

      September 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Pietra

      To 'doabitofhomework' – First, your chosen moniker is a bit presumptuous, don't you think? That being written, I do agree with you that there are valid concerns about Islam, which, most unfortunately, has never faced a reformation. However, I have problems with Christianity, too, and most other religions, as well. Have you read the Bible? Pretty scary stuff in there. If one were to base his "studied" beliefs on just reading the Bible, he'd be pretty frightened by the thought of Judeo Christian societies. For the record, the direction the US is going in respect to the disregard by many of the separation of church and state scares the bejesus out of me! ;)

      September 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • mrjackson777

      I applaud the fact you have done your home work. Most people today take thier info from FOX or MSNBC and go with it as gospel. I am one of those Evangelical Christians Mr McClaren is lumping together. Unfortunatley you are right, Islams goal is not be peacefull coexistance. Some people refer to Crusades as a similar expample of people killing in the name of thier relegion, but as you point out, the Bible is clear that New Testament Christianty is not to be spread by violence. I hope you are wrong about your prediction of theie sucess, but the attempt is no far away.

      September 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • seriously

      the only way the middleeast could take over the world is if they draw everyone into a war in their own land, which they have succeeded in doing so far too date. But they wouldn't really take over the world, only take all the world's time and resources, at a time when those things may be needed for bigger things to deal with, like natural disasters, etc.
      I agree with not being depended upon them for oil, but the only way to do that is to not be depended upon other countries who are depended upon them for oil.
      What would they hope to achieve by this pray tell?
      they would not survive a nuclear war
      and neither would anyone else
      why do so many embrace the concept of world end as if it would be a relief from the suffering of being human when the only true freedom from the suffering of being human is for all humans to strive for peace versus destruction.
      sad times

      September 18, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Cheryl Clair

      I read your post and I agree with it completely. I have not done much in depth studying, but like you, what I have learned is from their own books. I too believed them to be peaceful until they started attacking America. Long before the WTC attack. All the previous attacks that were virtually met with silence. Our government stood by and did nothing. And so they were imboldened to continue the attacks until the big one, 9/11. They have infilitrated the U.S, including the government. One Senator actually took his oath of office on the Quran. What can we do when the potus stands wih them? He did warn us of that in the beginning. Why are people so blind to what is happening within our own borders? They think their Islamic neighbor is a nice guy, salt of the earth. The term sleeper cell seems to by pass them completely. I live in Europe and it terrifies me that in the end, I may not be able to return to my homeland. Why are people so blind?

      September 18, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • RJ

      @doabitofhomework, it is indeed presumptuous of you to say that only through your particular course of study can one earn the right to have a negative opinion of Islam. However, I do agree that studying the Quran is needed, along with watching the actions of the adherents of the religion. There are indeed calls for peace in the Quran and there are also calls for war. In my studies, the concept of the most recent writings in the Quran and Hadith override any previous writings on the same topic. Therefore, the calls to Jihad against all non-believers, which occur more dominantly in later writings, do render the previous entires about peace moot. The only path is Sharia law and death to all nonbelievers. There is no other choice there.

      As a devout Christian myself, I take offense at this article only in regards to the following points:
      1) Islamaphobia is completely inaccurate for the authors use (if it were actually a word) since, as others have pointed out, the suffix 'phobia' means fear and avoidance of while the author's intent is to convey a feeling of 'hate' toward Islam. I do not hate Islam and I most certainly do not hate Muslims, yet since I am against the tyranny called for in the latter texts, he would brand me as such. Saying 'many' or 'most' is a good indication of an author making a broad generalization without merit and should probably be ignored as baseless anyway.
      2) The author's obviously 'hateful' feelings about Christian bookstores appears to be due to his books no longer being sold in those stores. Is bitterness over his unsold books his true motivation for saying that everyone else are the haters? His text certainly gives that impression.

      Now, I do agree with the assertions that we as Christians must make certain that we ourselves are first blameless before we assign blame to others. This must always be the first step for any Christian when examining the actions of others. However, there comes a point where that has been done and their sin is obvious to all and cannot be ignored. Attacking others without provocation is foolish for both sides as it only fuels the fires of hate and leads ultimately to one's own destruction, one way or another.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:12 am |
  11. Lily

    Labeling groups of people and calling them names is an accurate indication that a person has no compelling argument. Islamophobic evangelicals? Ridiculous!

    September 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Len

      No, the argument posed is rather compelling all by itself.

      September 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  12. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    pho•bi•a
    noun
    a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.

    There doesn't seem to be anything phobic about it when tens of thousands chant death to America and burn our flag. There doesn't seem to be anything phobic about it when you consider 9/11, our embassy or our ambassador.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Len

      I'm gay. Tens of thousands of Christians march against gay marriage here, and some gays have been killed and bullied to death. So, should I be rightfully afraid that all Christians are dangerous to me?

      Tens of thousands march against us out of, what, a billion Muslims worldwide. They march over there, and not here, but you're saying we should be worried about Muslims here? Why?

      September 18, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      But Len, how often do Christian mobs go rampaging in the streets when someone says that they are gay? Now, how often do Muslim mobs go rampaging in the streets when someone insults their religion, by way of a picture, video, movie, or book? Christian intolerance (and violence) toward members of the LGBT communities is of course very real, but the sheer scale and scope of reactionary Muslim violence toward pictures and books and movies makes that intolerance and violence pale in comparison.

      September 18, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Kuraysh

      Len, you dont have a hate filled book to follow that commands you to go kill non-g ays or convert them to g ay OK. so its apples to oranges.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:27 am |
  13. sftpd

    Why should Muslims not be angry? We kill, occupy, steal their lands and when some show their violent nature we get upset?
    Out of 1.7 billion Muslims, at least 1700 are bound to go rogue.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Your knowledge of history is as bad as your math.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • ME II

      @sftpd,
      Who's "we"?

      I'm not sure what specifically you are referring to with "kill, occupy, and steal", but if you are comparing this video with 9/11, as a justification for violence, then your sense of proportion is a bit skewed, in my opinion.

      September 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  14. Vic

    Is this the time or place to discuss Muslim sensitivities? A US ambassador and his staff murdered. Why does CNN print this stuff. Regardless of evangelical hangups, the present violence in the Middle East is the result of muslim hatred, and that hatred suits a muslim agenda! Their excuse to justify their behavior (a film) is just that, an excuse! Despite all the talk of evangelicals, no one speaks out against Imans that preach hate in the middle East in the name of a flawed religion. The fact that no muslim leaders in the Middle East, or the West speaks out against what iis happening speaks volume as to how gullible this author of this article is.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Sadie

      I don't think it has to do with gullibility, I think this article is merely expressing how Christians, if we are TRUE followers of Christ, do not spread hate and fear, as we see is sadly happening in this country. We are already well aware that Muslim extremists act violently in their hatred toward our country and non-Muslims. Christ was not that way. He always gave people the option to follow Him. He TAUGHT versus spread hatred and fear. If we are Christians, we are to lead by EXAMPLE. There is no excuse for the violence that has taken place recently at the US Embassies, but that is a small portion of the Muslim community. It sad when we generalize any religion. I am a devout Christian who happens, politically, to be more liberal. But to hear the far right tell it, I must hate God, I have no morals, etc, etc, because I don't fall into line with their beliefs. That is a generalization. I know folks of all different religions (including varying Christian backgrounds) and, while I don't agree with their religious views, I respect them as people, as Americans. It doesn't matter, unfortunately, that the majority of the Muslim population does not advocate all of this violence, because those who do are much louder in their actions and words.

      September 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  15. Ahmed Daoud

    Oh Great Allah! May your hand be swift and powerful to bring down your wrath on these kaffirs until the entire world belongs to Islam! Infidels beware, submit to the will of Allah or you will be destroyed!

    September 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • .

      Oh Moo-ham- head, bring us some more little boys and camels. We really hate women

      September 18, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • ME II

      If you leave the destruction up to Allah alone, then fine, no worries.

      September 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  16. nimbus99

    By simply choosing the term "phobia", the author excludes the very people he intends to indict. A true Christian knows no such condition as phobia. We are comforted, not fearful. This article is a hollow tin drum of buzz words and cliches.

    September 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • .

      You lie.Big time. You xtains are phobic towards gays, and anyone who points out the fallacies of your religion. Which is all of it.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Aren’t Christians supposed to be god fearing? Not that I’d consider that phobic. The guy does seem to be fond of mass murder.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  17. wftphd

    To jsa12. I will not respond to your ad hominem argument. But I do offer the following translations of the verse in question (5:51)

    Pickthall: O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.

    Asad: O you who have attained to faith! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies: they are but allies of one another – and whoever of you allies himself with them becomes, verily, one of them; behold, God does not guide such evildoers.

    Malik: O believers! Take neither Jews nor Christians as your protecting friends: they are only protecting friends of one another. Whoever of you disobeys this commandment will be counted as one of them. Surely Allah does not guide the wrongdoers.

    Yusuf Ali: O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust. 764

    Sahih International: O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people

    Shalom!

    September 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • sftpd

      wftphd,
      Show the context of the verse and the historical significance.
      Nothing is in isolation.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • sftpd

      sftphd:
      The simplest answer is when Jews & Christians grabs you land, kill you, loot you THEN do not be their friends.
      Sounds like Israel/Palestinians issue at hand.
      The historical context was:

      Mohammed was kind to the pagans of Makkah and fought them only when they fought him. He made treaties with the Jews of Madinah and honored the treaties until they broke them

      September 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      He made ‘treaties’ with 8 year old girls too.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  18. prayerisasprayerdoes

    You do not have to believe in anything but the power of prayer to pray

    September 18, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      But you DO have to put the lime in the coconut to drink it all up.

      September 18, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Christian-not-Catholic

      I am completely amazed at the awful things being done in the name of Allah. Was he really insulted by this tiny blip on the horizon of the world and IS NOT insulted by the countless thousands of Muslims being murdered by the Syrian regime? Where do those people get their news from? Or maybe I should ask, "Do they get news?" The intensity of their response makes me shudder. Perhaps that section of the globe is not really ready for any kind of democracy.

      September 18, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • quick Scotty .. beam me up!!

      You are correct .. prayer is as prayer does .. nothing.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • prayerisasprayerdoes

      i am consistently amazed at the numbers of persons who do not actually read the news, nor actually choose to read the news or watch it because they do not want to be disturbed – as in shuddering at the intensity of their response type thing – they do not want to shudder so they shutter their minds to that which is inherent to their survival, as most species of life would typically do for existence. Of course, many people choose to stay informed and actually can push past comfort zones of delusions of their own makings or as close to it as possible, but even that is questionable, don't you think?
      I mean, i don't know anything about this muhammad fellow, nor do i feel inclined to dub him a prophet until i do, but then again, i don't feel compelled to discover more about him at this moment cuz that seems like what i am watching, although it does seem more interesting to simply watch and soak it in then actually read or study about him, cuz i would probably be overwhelmed with perhaps more shudders that i simply would like to stay ignorant about at this point in time. it is rather blissful at times ...

      September 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Len

      prayerisasprayerdoes
      Why do we have to believe in the power of prayer when it clearly doesn't actually work as advertised?

      September 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • prayerisasprayerdoes

      where are you viewing said advertising if i may ask?
      actually, the statement itself contains the answer don't you know
      you have to believe in the power of prayer to pray
      perhaps your expectations of what you will to achieve with prayer and what actually results from prayer are different, but that doesn't mean if you believe and pray that your pray didn't 'work' if you do not achieve in prayer as expected.
      life is what it is and prayer is what it is
      both are what you make of it

      September 18, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Truth

      I've been prayng for prayerisasprayerdoes to stay woefully ignorant of reallity, so hey, I guess prayer does work!!

      September 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • prayerisasprayerdoes

      well yeah then
      i will continue to remain blissful in my ignorance of your truth
      if you do not mind

      September 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Daryl Hall

      Easy ready willing overtime
      When does it stop, where do you dare me to draw the line
      You got the body now you want my soul
      Don't even think about it say no go
      Now i'll do anything you want me to
      I'll do almost anything that you want me to

      But i can't pray for that, no I
      No can pray
      I can't pray for being twice as nice
      I can't pray for just repeating the some old lines
      Use the body now you want my soul

      Oo forget about it say no pray
      Yeah i'll do anything you want me to
      I'll do almost anything that you want me to
      But i can't pray for that, nooo.
      No can pray..
      Can't pray for that, no I
      No can pray...

      September 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Truth

      Ignorance is bliss...

      However, as Buddha once said "Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth."

      September 18, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 18, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • TROLL ALERT

      Please don't feed the troll.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      September 18, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  20. scienceissoothing

    i recently watched a movie off of netflix that described the Jesus story as one that is repeated throughout civilizations and ages, with identical story lines of the Mary birth of the son of god. In this movie, it described the winter solstice, or more precisely around dec 25th as being a time when the sun as at the lowest point on the horizon and the day the shortest. So, with great relief always, these civilizations with identical story lines celebrate with great relief when the sun rises the next morning and the days start to get longer again and the cold nights shorter. these other civilizations include egypt, etc.
    it is a soothing story.
    i've never heard anything about Mohommad until this movie trailer thing. who is he?

    September 18, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • ME II

      .... just the Prophet of the second largest religion in the world. But otherwise, not important.

      September 18, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Danyal Safdar

      Dear scienceissoothing I read your comment while reading the article "My Take: It’s time for Islamophobic evangelicals to choose" first of all i am very great full to the author for presenting such wonderful and unbiased views. Secondly I would like to answer your question about Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) that who was he...well i cannot even try to explain the person of Mohammad (peace be upon him) I do not consider my self worthy of saying anything befitting his grace, how ever i feel I am obligated to answer according to my knowledge. Mohammad (P.B.U.H) was the best among us, if you could imagine a person who is beyond perfection that would be him. Mohammad (P.B.U.H). He was a the best of fathers, the best of husbands, loyal to his friends, honest and fair to everyone even those who were his sworn enemies. He was used to be called "honest" and "trustworthy" by everyone even those who hated him used to place their precious belongings in his safe keeping. He was just and fair to all when he had but a few handful supporters and he was merciful and gracious when he commanded an army far more powerful and numerous then that of his foes. Thankful and patient in times of adversity and humble,gracious and forgiving in plenty. The best military strategist by far and the most just ruler. He never gave up on his mission even in the face of insurmountable odds, brave and fearless beyond explanation. Never gave in to temptation and never knew greed. His actions were always precise and logical. He never committed any excess of any kind what so ever and was moderate in everything that he did. Never lived beyond his means nor committed any indecency or theft yet always fearful of God and asked for his forgiveness. Mohammad (P.B.U.H) thought us how to live and behave and be civilized. He gave respect to women and elders and loved children and his friends. In short Mohammad (P.B.U.H) was truly the blessing for all mankind....

      September 18, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Danyal Safdar

      Dear scienceissoothing I read your comment while reading the article "My Take: It’s time for Islamophobic evangelicals to choose" first of all i am very great full to the author for presenting such wonderful and unbiased views. Secondly I would like to answer your question about Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) that who was he...well i cannot even try to explain the person of Mohammad (peace be upon him) I do not consider my self worthy of saying anything befitting his grace, how ever i feel I am obligated to answer according to my knowledge. Mohammad (P.B.U.H) was the best among us, if you could imagine a person who is beyond perfection that would be him. Mohammad (P.B.U.H). He was a the best of fathers, the best of husbands, loyal to his friends, honest and fair to everyone even those who were his sworn enemies. He was used to be called "honest" and "trustworthy" by everyone, even those who hated him used to place their precious belongings in his safe keeping. He was just and fair to all when he had but a few handful supporters and he was merciful and gracious when he commanded an army far more powerful and numerous then that of his foes. Thankful and patient in times of adversity and humble,gracious and forgiving in times of plenty. The best military strategist by far and the most just ruler. He never gave up on his mission even in the face of insurmountable odds, brave and fearless beyond explanation. Never gave in to temptation and never knew greed. His actions were always precise and logical. He never committed any excess of any kind what so ever and was moderate in everything that he did. Never lived beyond his means nor committed any indecency or theft yet always fearful of God and asked for his forgiveness. Mohammad (P.B.U.H) thought us how to live and behave and be civilized. He gave respect to women and elders and loved children and his friends. In short Mohammad (P.B.U.H) was truly a blessing for all mankind....

      September 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • scienceissoothing

      It is kind of you to fill me in more about the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be on him and all whom he guides ...)
      why do people have to say that and be so respectful of his name?
      this seems strange in that it is like people are afraid of him or of being disrespectful of him.
      what did he do when he was disrespected in his lifetime? Is there an example(s) for that?

      September 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • scienceissoothing

      Perhaps, and I am simply saying perhaps, this perfection ideology projected through the Prophet Muhammad pbuhaahf (Peace Be Upon Him And All His Followers), is a source of misunderstanding for many. Like, nothing and everything is perfect if there is such thing as perfection type thing – so how dare there be improvements made upon that which is perfect.
      Perfection to many is as nonexistent as time is infinite ...
      Do you understand what I mean?
      If there truly is perfect, than perfection could never be reached, because something could be even more perfect.
      Is there something in Islam about that?

      September 18, 2012 at 12:54 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.