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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.”

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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 • My Take • Opinion

soundoff (8,500 Responses)
  1. Theda

    When will left-leaning, politically correct authors wake up to the fact that it is not a "tiny minority of Muslims who turn piety into violence"? Your idea of "rights" does not match the reality of the Muslim mind. Don't take my atheistic word for it. Read about it from a former devout Muslim, Wafa Sultan, an author not afraid to attempt to spread truth to Americans with rose-colored glasses.

    September 21, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  2. Richard Alexander

    I'm not associated with the movie, though someone in Pakistan or Egypt might think otherwise. I live 1500 miles from its production, I've never met the producers and the movie is obviously one man's vision. My objection to the movie is that it is crudely produced and crass. I am open to the claim that Prophet Mohammad was a murdering, raping, cheating, lying plagiarist. In any event, I regard him as a false prophet. However, I don't believe in being mean when talking to people of other faiths. I will state what I believe. Incidentally, I regard Mormon founder Joseph Smith as the mirror image of Prophet Mohammad, and every bit as evil. For all that, the Muslims I've known have been tolerant, hard-working, kind people. My association with them is colored by the fact that I am meeting the most successful, peaceful and intelligent of them, on my territory, not theirs.

    I lament the idiocy that many people–Christians, Republicans, Conservatives, Independents–are passing around by email. I'm glad that none of these people are prone to violence, as many Muslims obviously are. I'm wondering how our nations can survive when 2/3 of the population is too stupid to fact-check their sources and make a reasoned interpretation of what they see and hear.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  3. RickBangkok

    These so-called Christians would be taken to the woodshed by Jesus. And in turn Jesus is regarded as a prophet by Muhammad and all Muslims. I am sure that all the prophets could sit down and talk in peace about the common subject. God. I am pretty sure that God is love in all religions that we know about except for extreme right wing exclusionary "Christians." I cannot think of a single instance where a Muslim has even been rude to me on religious, business or social matters in the USA, UK, France, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, or the Philippines. I did have a social problem with a North African in Cologne, Germany who was drunk. I forgave him as I was taught in my American Christian upbringing. Even with that I have read Mr. McLaren's writing, especially his experience in Rwanda. I also think critically as he does, rather than literally about God and any "religious" writings or rituals. I am respectful of what others believe as long as it does not hurt others mind, body or spirit. I cannot say the same for judgmental, political Christians. I know I have not been welcome in their churches since my parents divorced in 1966. That was the first time I felt excluded, and it was not the last. I have never been asked to leave of felt unwelcome in a mosque, Buddhist temple, Hindhu temple. In fact, God welcome me into this world via my parents (not perfect vessels) and I am still welcome on God's beaches, mountains, meadows, rivers, valleys, in all seasons in all ways. And God with his great sense of humor did not make me perfect, so there seem to be some pages missing from the instruction book I got, so I make plenty of mistakes each day and am always forgiven and blessed. I do not need any type of priest, monk, mullah, or even parent to tell me that. God is my actual parent. Thank God!

    September 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Richard Alexander

      Yeah, Islam regards Jesus as a prophet that is forbidden to be discussed. The penalty for converting or trying to convert someone from Islam or to Christianity in Islamic countries is usually death. Islam regards Christians as "people of the book" that cannot be shown. Several Islamic countries forbid handing out Bibles. I read that even our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan were not allowed to possess Bibles away from their military bases, least they offend the locals. So, don't pretend that Islam is tolerant of Christianity. It's tolerant only as long as no one advocates something other than Islam.

      September 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Uncle Bernie

      My friend, you would not last one day in a muslim country.

      September 21, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  4. well maybe

    When any religion says "convert or die", and I will do neither.....we are at an impasse.

    The media like yourself can tell me they don't "really" mean it and I should embrace them.

    Unlike your premise, I do have Muslim acquaintances. They freely admit to me that they are "not very good Muslims" because they don't expect me to convert and they don't expect to kill me...at least while I live in America.

    Love your enemy doesn't mean pretend they are your supporter or ally.

    Thank God.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  5. Arvoasitis

    For the Islamic terrorists and Islamophobes, violence is not an end but a means. The ideological goal of both is polarization of the people and violence serves this end.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  6. willgrant11

    Yes, “they” – the tiny minority of Muslims who turn piety into violence – have big problems of their own. How can you possibly make that statement and claim "a tiny minority of Muslim" when there are violent protests around the world because of a ridiculous, unprofessional "bait" trailer on youtube? There are no Christian terrorists spreading violence in the world today. They are Muslim terrorists. While you are right that Islamaphobia exists in the Christian church, and that it should not, you are exhorting against the speck in the eyes of Christians and ignoring the plank in the Muslim world. You should be focusing on the absolutely inappropriate, violent, murderous, Christianphobic, and ignorant behavior being exhibited by the mass of Muslims around the world. Your failure to condemn that behavior makes this column irrelevant.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • J

      Can I get an Amen?

      September 21, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • RickBangkok

      Fred Phelps and his family are terrorists. The Catholic Church has been terrorists in the Inquisition(s). The Mormon Church led by Brigham Young have been terrorists and committed a massacre in Utah. The KKK had many pastors has members, and terrorists including a Supreme Court Justice and a number of Senators and Congressmen, who were also "Christians? The Puritans were terrorists. And for all Christian groups coming from Europe, just ask the Indian tribes who the terrorists were. White Christian males with muskets talking out of both sides of their mouths.

      September 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  7. ym

    In a week of mindless violence and emotions, Mr. McLaren's words are the wisest and sanest uttered in a long while.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    I see both sides as having a legitimate argument. The Coptic Christians shouldn't be picking on the Muslims with these stupid and immature cartoons, videos, etc. The Muslims shouldn't be acting just as stupid and immature by responding the way they do.

    The greatest irony in this situation is that the radical Muslims and the antagonizing Christians are the exact same kind of people. They don't believe in women's rights, hate gays, believe in a blending of church and state, and all the other extremist views. They also are quick to anger and violence.

    Both groups are disgrace to their fellow human beings.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • elphie

      Can I get an Amen?

      (thanks J. There's no "like" button – but this'll do!)

      September 21, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  9. Daniel Teer

    Brian D. McLaren

    I agree with you 100%. You did not fully examine why such speech is expanding and comes to the top. All through history, this type of thought and speech does 2 things. IT BUILDS A PODIUM for those saying it, and it creates or supports MONETARY INCOME for those on the podium. Would you even know who Michele Bachmann was, much less mention her, if she did not say the things she said. This is part of her income stream. Donations. The people that gravitate towards her want to create a podium of there own. What is going to get people to click on that e-mail. Peace and love, tolerance OR Spiritual Warfare. FEAR IS ALWAYS A more intense feeling and leads to irrational behaviors and ideas.

    YOU NEED TO TEACH why these people and stations do these things. They do it to scare you so they can get your money. THAT"S THE REAL DEVIL WORKING. It's easier to WAGE WAR on someone else then WAGE WAR AGAINST YOURSELF. WAGING WAR AGAINST YOURSELF is not PROFITABLE.

    September 21, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  10. Bob

    How about someone tells this to the antisemitic, anti-Christian, anti-Hindu Muslim preachers. Not all of them are like that, but many preachers do go around claiming the supremacy of their beliefs, and how they are the most superior and will eventually conquer the world. They denigrate other religions in their sermons on Fridays and nobody says anything. Their shows and movies depict Jews as some sort of sneaky rat.

    Also is their religion and prophet so weak that any slight against them can't be tolerated? Muslims need to grow up and mature. Also just cause some religions do dumb things how does that justify the action of Muslims.

    September 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  11. Harry Kuheim

    OK... I chose Nuke the Rags...any questions?

    September 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • J

      Instead I propose we remove ourselves from the situation, close every American embassy, remove all American troops and cut off ties with every one of these countries, then let the Coptic idiots over here film all of the movies and the Danish and French publish all the Mohammed cartoons they want. We then sit back, and watch the extremists outrageously riot themselves into oblivion. Problem solved and none of us gets killed. We can be sure to send them plenty of Chinese made American flags to poison themselves while they burn them. In the mean time, China will fill the power vacuum left after America withdraws completely. Let's see the outrage of the world when we see how China handles Muslims torching their embassies and killing their ambassadors.

      September 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  12. dlong

    Wow, talk about one's own psychology coloring the news. Mr. McLaren is an angry person that rebelled against his upbringing and, like all such people, see his own psychological demons in everything. This article says more about McLaren than anything. He's the poster boy for "angry ex-Christian." I'm an atheist, so I don't care, but really. Take a look in the mirror before you make a fool of yourself to the world on CNN.

    I didn't know Coptic Christians were "evangelicals." You know, the guy that made the film.

    September 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  13. Fateed

    Read carefully –

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Pages/AboutSite.htm

    September 21, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  14. Publius

    Islamaphobia? Really? ISLAM GET OVER YOURSELF! Until you teach religious tolerance to your children in schools I not only don't fear you, I refuse to recognize you as a functioning member of humanity! What a bunch of crybaby losers.

    September 21, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  15. mrlagg

    Islamophobia? Try Islamoreality instead.

    September 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  16. saywhaaa

    No idea, belief or creed is beyond reproach, inspection, and critisism.
    All ideas, beliefs, and creeds should be approached with the same skeptisism that is uniformly applied to all other ideas, beliefs, and creeds – with no exceptions. This means that religions do not get a free pass from critical examination just because they are religions.

    No person has the right for others to respect their ideas, beliefs, or creed.
    Likewise no person has the right to not be offended by another persons ideas, belief, or creed.

    No person has the right to physically harm another over any idea, belief, or creed.
    If a person holds any ideas, beliefs, or creeds that cause them to believe that they have the right to hurt another person for any reason outside of self/other preservation, then those ideas beliefs, or creeds are morally wrong.

    In fact, the only time any person should have the right to hurt another person is in defense of their own safety or that of those around them.

    September 21, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  17. Aamir

    May peace be upon you all.
    My Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon HIM) once said:
    "Killing a single Human is killing the whole Humanity and Saving a single Human is equal to saving the whole Humanity".
    HE further added "A Muslim is the one who avoids harming others with his tongue (speech) and hands".
    These two Sayings explain every thing.
    We as a Muslim Love, Believe, Respect and Honor all the Prophets of ALLAH (GOD) along with their Holy Scripture. So there's not even a single chance that any Muslim will dishonor or disrespect any Prophet.
    The only thing that is hurting every religion is hypocrisy. Apparently, there is no solution to avoid or recognized these hypocrites. One can only make a difference if his/her beliefs are strongly based on observation and experience, because, believe on the basis of knowledge and on the basis of sight can possibly be incorrect.
    So, my dear fellows, I can say a lot in defending my Muslim brothers and prosecuting others but this will not solve the issue. Rather I will request you all that if you want to find truth and have strong belief, you have to search for it within yourselves. And only observation and experience can give you power to make difference between a true believer and a hypocrite.

    September 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Disciple of Jesus

      you cant speak as we for Muslims, as much as I cant speak for Christians. We all can speak only for ourselves

      September 21, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • dearaamir

      Dear Aamir,
      since i am not a dear fellow,
      my question is why aren't you interested in defending your dear fellow muslim sisters as well as your dear fellow muslim brothers?
      and if i may ask another question, why do so many muslim/islam people wear robes?
      thanks

      September 21, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Uncle Bernie

      Aamir, how do you say "dimwit" in Arabic? Nothing you wrote has any basis whatsoever in the real world. Read a paper once in a while.

      September 21, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Aamir

      Well fortune of a nation is in the hands of people and each individual is responsible for building this fortune whether its good or bad. But, Not a single individual desires for misfortune except those hypocritical thugs who are either outsiders or produced by our governments. If a person thinks he is sincere and devoted to his nation or religion then its his/her duty to save his/her nation from government and hypocrites. That's what i am trying to do, defending the system not individuals because individuals can be good or bad.
      Robes are not only worn by Muslims. Learned scholars of every religion wear robes only to differentiate from common people.
      Dear Uncle Bernie everything will make sense... just try to explore yourself rather than believing on false, biased hypocritical media.

      September 22, 2012 at 5:39 am |
    • takawalk

      More people of your faith need to stand up and be counted. They need to be able to use the Koran-Qur'an and other texts of their faith like a minority have been able to do ( maybe a majority can but they remain silent) if they cannot justify peace and tolerance with the teachings of I slam, then they need to start reading a different book.

      September 28, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  18. Bill

    Is anyone suprised as how many Muslims view us? They have access to world news and constantly hear the accusations on how our president is a Muslim as if its a dirty word. It serves the far right to inflame their base, but it just makes Muslims around the world distrust us.

    September 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • nookly

      Yeah, the muslims loved Americans up until people started calling Obama a muslim. Tell that to all the victims that have died in terrorists attacks by muslims.

      Put your head back in the sand. Better yet, go to Yemen, Iran or any other Muslim nation and your head will be separated from your body before you can check into your cave.

      September 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • gentileinfidel

      are you talking about fox news, etc.?
      watching that stuff makes many in USA distrust 'us'
      Muslims are brainwashed
      apparently so are Americans
      except for in USA we have more freedom to choose that which we believe to be true
      and many do not choose the radical right or left view, or radical anything for that matter,
      not even radical religious hate or love commandments
      many in USA simply choose to exercise their freedom to live in peace and truth, without all the religious and political drama and strife getting thrown in their faces – which happens way too much lately it does seem – but is actually nothing new ...
      i can't believe those leaders actually gave their people a holiday to express their ingrained and manipulated and misquided hatred of USA and Christians.
      as a gentile infidel – I am now more aware of muslims/islams desires to have the Prophet Muhammad pbuh remain an invisible perfect force that I will always now and forever wonder why they are so afraid of him if his image is portrayed in any way.
      I still think it is psychosis and mania caused by any number of variety of things
      and therefore, everyone must watch in disbelief and amazement at the sheer magnitude of these delusions and how they play out, as if held captive by sheer wonder at the lunancy
      I will be glad when the sun rises on Dec 25 this year, and will give thanks and prayers for a more peaceful new year
      perhaps the muslim/islams will have chilled by then and USA will be silently grateful to have peacefully maneuvered safe sailing between now and then
      ...

      September 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Disciple of Jesus

      The only way to "bridge" this gulf, is by showing them Jesus. By our righteous living. This is not happening obviously.

      September 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • gentileinfidel

      Are they not allowed to have images of Jesus either?
      perhaps they would not recogniz jesus or mohammad if the saw them, since they are allowed images

      September 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  19. Karen

    Wow! God bless you for that, Brian. I have been so grieved by the behavior of the body of Christ, and especially by my own apathy. Unfortunately, it seems many of my brothers & sisters are under the mistaken impression that it is their God-ordained right/mission to defend God and exact judgement against unbelievers. (Romans 12 comes to mind as a counter to that.) Sadly, those of us who aren't actively perpetuating the persecution are, at best, lukewarm. How quickly we have forgotten our Lord's commands in Matthew 5-7 to turn the other cheek, love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, and repay evil with good. Honestly, how is it Christlike for us to condone unloving, hurtful, offensive words and actions against others? How can we repay evil with good by encouraging hatred and insults? We are called to love and identify with our enemies, not provoke them to wrath. My prayers of late have been first for God's mercy on us ALL, and second, for true revival to come from this. I pray that my brothers & sisters in Christ (hopefully, with pastors leading the way) will reach out to Muslims in their community to BE love in action as Paul stated in Romans 12, and as Jesus commanded His followers in His Sermon on the Mount.

    September 21, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  20. J

    While I agree in principal that Christians should reject violence, this author is either terribly naive or intentionally ignorant. I'm so sick and tired of hearing violent Islamists are a minority! I submit the following for your consideration:

    1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by:
    a. Superman b. Jay Leno c. Harry Potter
    d. A Muslim male between the ages of 17 and 40

    2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by:
    a. Olga Corbett b. Sitting Bull c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
    d. Muslim males mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    3. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:
    a. Lost Norwegians b. Elvis c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
    d . Muslim males mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    4. During the 1980’s a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
    a. John Dillinger b. The King of Sweden c. The Boy Scouts
    d . Muslim males mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
    a. A pizza delivery boy b. Pee Wee Herman c. Geraldo Rivera
    d . Muslim males mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    6. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American
    Passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:
    a. The Smurfs b. Davey Jones c. The Little Mermaid
    d . Muslim males mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    7. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying
    to rescue passengers was murdered by:
    a. Captain Kidd b. Charles Lindberg c. Mother Teresa
    d . Muslim males mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    8. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
    a. Scooby Doo b. The Tooth Fairy c. The Sundance Kid
    d . Muslim males mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    9. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
    a. Richard Simmons b. Grandma Moses c. Michael Jordan
    d . Muslim males mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    10. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
    a. Mr. Rogers
    b. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill’s women problems
    c. The World Wrestling Federation
    d . Muslim males mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    11. On 09/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take
    out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the
    US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers.
    Thousands of people were killed by:
    a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
    b. The Supreme Court of Florida c. Mr. Bean
    d . Muslim males mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    12. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
    a. Enron b. The Lutheran Church c. The NFL
    d . Muslim males mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    13. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
    a. Bonnie and Clyde b. Captain Kangaroo c. Billy Graham
    d . Muslim males mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    14. In 2005 in response to cartoons printed in the Danish newspaper
    Jyllands-Posten, worldwide riots resulting in more than 100 deaths
    were instigated by:
    a. Ryan Seacrest b. The Swine Flu c. LOLCats
    d . Muslim males mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    15. In 2012 in response to a home movie nobody has ever seen,
    embassies in Egypt and Lybia were stormed and the US Ambassador
    and at least three other Americans were killed by:
    a. Tim Tebow b. The cast of Glee c. The TSA
    d . Muslim males mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    September 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • iows

      Wow. Add all of these incidents up and multiply them by 100 and they fall woefully short of the rain of destruction the US has poured on Afghanistan/Iraq over the last ten years, illegal wars by international law, with Bush/Cheney afraid to leave the US for fear of being apprehended. Let's just ignore the US contribution to Israel's rain of terror. Any such comments would be ANTISEMITIC. All of the Abrahamic Mythologies are fundamentally the same with the exception of Judaism which is an exclusive religion. For over 1700 years Islam was the model of religious tolerance, this period ended with the eastern European colonization of Palestine. Personally I DO NOT support apartheid or ethnic cleansing.

      September 21, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Sean

      ...all true, and yet you can also make a compelling list of all the terrible violent things that smaller factions on all sides have done as adherents to a religion or in the name of religion. The Crusades, the Holocaust, Oklahoma City, etc. Does violent Islam continue to pose a real threat? Yes. Is it representative of the majority of Islam, or Muslims? No.

      September 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • J

      Name as many Christian attacks on Muslims throughout the course of the same time period, I'll help you name all three of them. 1. illegal war in Afghanistan, which Republicrats/Demublicans perpetuate, 2. illegal war in Iraq, which Republicrats/Demublicans perpetuate 3. illegal war in Lybia, which Republicrats/Demublicans perpetrated
      Islam is NOT a religion of peace, this is why they put to the sword most of the known world from North Africa to India(including southern Europe)from 600–950AD, the only reason we aren't carrying prayer rugs and facing east right now is Ghengis Kahn. Moderates are present in every country, of course, but they cannot speak out because these same mobs of extremists will kill them right along with the infidels for being apostates.

      September 21, 2012 at 6:21 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.