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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. Delicia Marionneaux

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    May 12, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  2. Science

    Free speech helps educate the masses................POLITICIANS too !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/12/where-do-morals-come-from/#comments
    Gravity is not up for debate !

    BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !

    Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet..............................E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas.

    Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425142250.htm

    Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

    The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

    The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

    Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408165955.htm

    April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

    May 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |

    Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418104324.htm

    And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

    the wrong path is Adam and Eve !

    Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

    Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305145821.htm

    No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

    Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.

    No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

    Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

    Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423134037.htm

    Ca-nabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – National Cancer Insti-tute

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/.../page4

    Mar 21, 2013 – [1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. ... have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. ... In lung cancer cell lines, CBD upregulated ICAM-1, leading to ...

    Good stuff !

    The fact...............the earth is to old for this nonsemse ! Time to EVOLVE !

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

    For what...................... ? Make sure to read what the pope said !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/

    Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

    Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

    Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
    bears his name as the “God particle.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/08/atheist-prof-peter-higgs-stop-calling-higgs-bosen-the-god-particle/

    Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
    Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/28/pope-praises-science-but-insists-god-created-world/

    Science

    Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
    By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/17/heaven-is-a-fairy-story-scientist-stephen-hawking-says/

    April 7th, 2012

    08:32 PM ET

    The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/comment-page-137/#comment-2281915

    Make sure to read comments

    April 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |

    Breaking News

    NASA: Three planets found are some of best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our solar system.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/18/us/planet-discovery/index.html

    NASA: Mars could have supported life

    Star Dust we are

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWdU_px9ApE&w=640&h=390]

    Holy Hallucinations 35

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XTCRdC8Dlo&w=640&h=390]

    The ORIGIN story is bullsh-it...............so is the bible............... nasty !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

    Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.

    Human Evolution

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2cHumanevo.shtml

    BBC. Planet of the Apemen. Battle for Earth 1. Ho-mo Erectus

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUliLKSJ4bQ&w=640&h=390]

    BACKFILL on E =mc2.....

    Einstein letter, set for auction, shows scientist challenging idea of God, being 'chosen'

    By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

    Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a "delusion," one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.

    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. "No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/category/culture-science/

    May 4, 2013 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |

    Cheech & Chong's History of 420

    http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/3b1508d1f0/cheech-chong-s-history-of-420?rel=player&playlist=341944

    All cults...........creationists, ID believers and devil cults.................

    The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !.

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

    Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.

    Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.

    http://www.aclupa.org/legal/legaldocket/intelligentdesigncase/dovertrialtranscripts.htm

    Education works for children

    Earth From Space

    Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS

    Program Description

    "Earth From Space" is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/earth-from-space.html

    February 16, 2013 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |

    Peace

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/29/new-film-examines-science-vs-religion/#comments

    May 4, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
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  4. Dianna

    Brian D. McLaren: Nakoula Basseley Nakoula/Sam Bacile the man behind the anti-muslim film is a Coptic Christian, not an Evangelical...try doing a little research before you write

    December 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Maxie Weider

      dianna....
      i think he meant the christian in general not a sect or denomination.

      January 20, 2013 at 5:31 am |
  5. Rick Shultz

    Fear of Islam is NOT irrational. All you have to do is read the Quran. When the number of verses you read that exhorts Muslims to kill non-believers passes 100, you'll begin to be afraid all on your own. You won't need media propaganda any more. It's all there in balck and white. We have EVERY reason to be afraid of them. They want us dead. And I urge you not to take my word for this. Get a copy of the Quran and read it.

    December 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Senada Arucevic

      Fear of Islam is most certainly irrational. I don't know what Qur'an you read but it is just as beautiful as any other religious scripture. You were probably too focused on this insane idea of "Islamophobia" to even understand what the Qur'an was saying. There is absolutely NO reason for people to be "afraid" of Islam. It is a religion just like Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. The fact that 9/11 was carried out by some extremists should NOT create this horrible image for the religion and for its followers. People need to get over that - a group of bad people should have no effect on the religion itself. Terrorists claimed to do it in the name of God (Allah) but it does not say anywhere in the Qur'an that it is okay to go and kill thousands of innocent people. I'm sure there were Muslims who died in the WTC and/or Pentagon as well. Don't be so close-minded people: it's the 21st century. We should all be very understanding and broaden our horizons. Who am I or you to judge the beliefs of others? We, in the end, are all simply people.

      January 5, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
  6. Morris Wilburn

    I am an evangelical Christian, but do not fear Islam or Muslims. The most serious threats to America are from within: lack of respect for life, lawlessness, declining academics, children having children, no father in the home, dropping out of school, drug usage, etc.

    December 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  7. shafaz

    Thank you for your opinion. It's nice to see that there are some logical people in the world. And you were completely right about the American stereotype in the muslim world. They either think America's the dream land where all their hopes and dreams lie or its a hateful disgusting country that wants to take over the world. And likewise, America has its own stereotype about the Muslim world. ie. it being evil, disgusting, inhumane etc.

    I'm glad that I live in the West. That way I can see both sides of the coin. I'm a muslim and I visit the East often enough, so I am familiar with their views. But I live in Canada, and so I am familiar with the Western views as well. It's fortunate, really.
    This way, I'm less susceptible to stereotypes. I have, am, and will do my own research and formulate my own views, especially when it comes to Islam. I don't need to depend on the media for that.

    In a nutshell, thank you for this wonderful read.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  8. Bob

    Taliban insurgents, including several suicide bombers, attacked a U.S.-Afghan military airfield in the eastern city of Jalalabad early Sunday morning,New Pentagon details show that the first U.S. military unit arrived in Libya more than 15 hours after the attack on the consulate in Benghazi was over, and four Americans, including the ambassador, were dead. Yup unfounded fears what azz hole

    December 2, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Roxie

      Part of the problem in facing hatred is looking within oneself to see where the responsibility lies. For some Americans evangelical zealots are as much fanatical fundamentalist as jihadists. Strange to hear that. No one is implying all Arabs and all Muslims are innocent anymore than implying all evangelicals are off their rockers. But somewhere in the aftermath of the Twin Towers explosion the ensuing events were intertwined with the religious conviction and megalomania of the powers that be in Washington who were fully funded and endorsed by the same people we all live next door too, evangelicals who believe they walk on water like the god they believe in. Hard to imagine isn't it?

      December 17, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  9. Mac

    The justices' decision will likely resolve an ongoing battle between scientists who believe that genes carrying the secrets of life should not be exploited for commercial gain

    December 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  10. Kindness

    kindness
    This is my experience... Thank you.

    MY personal testimony.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

    I Accepted Jesus christ as my lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners. Even once we are saved by christs merciful grace we will still experience adversity to mold us to adhering to the truth.
    We will slip... But not fall of the ship ...carrying us onward to perfection in christs grace.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from some other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith ....above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read romans or corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are by faith above reason in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

    "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved

    Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door,
    And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
    The, looking in, I saw upon the floor
    Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
    “How many anvils have you had,” said I,
    “To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
    “Just one,” said he, and then with twinkling eye,
    “The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”
    And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s Word,
    For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
    Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
    The anvil is unharmed – the hammers gone.

    Truth is..exclusive

    Love

    November 24, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • firpo1

      We are rapidly approaching a post-christian era. Jesus, god (take your pick), spirit maidens, and so on are not seriously considered as factors in conversations or arguments (in the logical sense) regarding meaningful explainations of why things are as they are. If one wishes to surrender their "soul" or life to jesus, mohammud, jehova, the holy spirit, or sticks in the mud, one is free to do so. If one wishes to be a sheep led by a pastor, then that is their choice and they are forever free from the rigors of unbiased study and critical thinking. Better to say the creator did it and that explaines everything. If the rapture appeals to you, then you are free to accept it. But please, do not push such crap off on those who cannot be comfortable intellectually with spirits and ghosts (holy or not). Look at Israel and the rest of the middle east. Look at all the suffering going on in that area of the world. There is no true answer to "my gods better than your god."

      November 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  11. Miss Demeanor

    So, is the good ole USA united by a common fundamentalist vision and destined to be guided by the dogma of Patriotic Christianity that hates ALL things related to Islam? The public has loudly proclaimed no. Thank god. Love is patient. Love is kind. You don't see it in the faces of Westboro zealots or Texas cults that insist that their dogma should be inserted into science text books. The public recognizes that Christian cult zealots (as opposed to loving Christians) are twins of Islamist extremists. Hate is the same in all races and religions.

    November 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  12. lets say sumthin stoopid

    RE: LiberalChristianSuicide..."Wow Heather should try being married to a Muslim and see if she likes being treated worse than the barnyard animals..."
    Uh, yeah. All muslim wimmins iz mistreated and no fundamentalist in the US ever supported slavery by misinterpreting the bible to 'prove' gawwwwwwd intends for some people to be slaves. Right. Yeah, sure. You need to find a new church that doesn't brainwash you with ungodly dogma...

    November 21, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  13. rjp34652

    Satan: A Co-Occupier of Allah’s Throne or Allah in Disguise?

    by Sam Shamoun

    The Quran mentions Allah’s throne quite often, especially in relation to his authority or sovereignty over creation:
    He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days; then He mounted the Throne. He knoweth all that entereth the earth and all that emergeth therefrom and all that cometh down from the sky and all that ascendeth therein; and He is with you wheresoever ye may be. And Allah is Seer of what ye do. To Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: and all affairs are referred back to Allah. S. 57:4-5

    Allah is also said to be the Lord/Possessor of the mighty/glorious throne or throne of glory:
    Say: 'Who is the Lord of the seven heavens and the Lord of the mighty Throne?' S. 23:86
    Exalted be ALLAH, the True King. There is no god but HE, the Lord of the Glorious Throne. S. 23:116 Sher Ali – cf. 43:82; 85:15

    The Quran further states that eight angels bear or carry Allah’s throne:
    Those who bear the Throne, and those round about it proclaim the praise of their Lord, and believe in Him, and they ask forgiveness for those who believe: 'Our Lord, Thou embracest every thing in mercy and knowledge; therefore forgive those who have repented, and follow Thy way, and guard them against the chastisement of Hell. S. 40:7
    and the angels shall stand upon its borders, and upon that day eight shall carry above them the Throne of thy Lord. S. 69:17

    However, the most interesting depiction of the throne is that it is located upon water:
    And He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days – and His Throne was upon the water – that He might try you, which of you is best in conduct. ... S. 11:7
    The allegedly sound reports also testify that Allah’s throne is situated upon the water:
    Narrated Imran bin Husain:
    I went to the Prophet and tied my she-camel at the gate. The people of Bani Tamim came to the Prophet who said "O Bani Tamim! Accept the good tidings." They said twice, 'You have given us the good tidings, now give us something" Then some Yemenites came to him and he said, "Accept the good tidings, O people of Yemen, for Bani Tamim refused them." They said, "We accept it, O Allah's Apostle! We have come to ask you about this matter (i.e. the start of creations)." He said, "First of all, there was nothing but Allah, and (then He created His Throne). His throne was over the water, and He wrote everything in the Book (in the Heaven) and created the Heavens and the Earth." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 414)
    And:
    Narrated Abu Huraira:
    Allah's Apostle said, "Allah said, 'Spend (O man), and I shall spend on you." He also said, "Allah's Hand is full, and (its fullness) is not affected by the continuous spending night and day." He also said, "Do you see what He has spent since He created the Heavens and the Earth? Nevertheless, what is in His Hand is not decreased, and His Throne was over the water; and in His Hand there is the balance (of justice) whereby He raises and lowers (people)." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 206)
    The reason why this happens to be the most fascinating aspect of Allah’s throne is because, according to the same so-called authentic ahadith, Satan’s throne is also located upon the water!
    Jabir reported: I heard Allah's Messenger (way peace be upon him) as saying: The throne of Iblis is upon the ocean and he sends detachments (to different parts) in order to put people to trial and the most important figure in his eyes is one who is most notorious in sowing the seed of dissension. (Sahih Muslim, Book 039, Number 6754)
    And:
    Jabir reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Iblis places his throne upon water; he then sends detachments (for creating dissension); the nearer to him in tank are those who are most notorious in creating dissension. One of them comes and says: I did so and so. And he says: You have done nothing. Then one amongst them comes and says: I did not spare so and so until I sowed the seed of discord between a husband and a wife. The Satan goes near him and says: You have done well. A'mash said: He then embraces him. (Sahih Muslim,Book 039, Number 6755)
    Finally:
    Abu Sa'id reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) met him (Ibn Sayyad) and so did Abu Bakr and 'Umar on some of the roads of Medina. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Do you bear testimony to the fact that I am the Messenger of Allah? Thereupon he said: Do you bear testimony to the fact that I am the messenger of Allah? Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: I affirm my faith in Allah and in His Angels and in His Books, and what do you see? He said: I see the throne over water. Whereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: You see the throne of Iblis upon the water, and what else do you see? He said: I see two truthfuls and a liar or two liars and one truthful. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Leave him He has been confounded. (Sahih Muslim, Book 041, Number 6992)

    With the foregoing in view does this mean that Satan is a co-occupant of Allah’s throne, that he and Allah share the same throne? In fact, can a Muslim cite a supposed authentic text stating that there are other individuals besides Allah and Satan that have a throne situated upon the water?

    Or should we interpret this to mean that Satan expelled Allah from his throne upon the water and now has control over creation?

    Worse still, should we actually see this as further proof that the Allah of Islam is actually the Devil masquerading as god? It seems so, especially when we take into consideration that the Quran boasts that Allah is the best deceiver/schemer/trickster/conniver/cheat of them all and that he perverts/misguides/corrupts people in the same way that Satan does (*; *; *).

    According to the Holy Bible this description of Allah as a corrupter/perverter who is the best deceiver perfectly fits Satan, who is said to be the father of lies and the deceiver of the whole world:
    “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44
    "And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world–he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." Revelation 12:9
    Such a depiction, however, is unbefitting to the majesty and glory of the holy and pure God of the true prophets of Israel and the blessed apostles of the risen and immortal Lord Jesus Christ:
    “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” Deuteronomy 32:4
    “Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding: far be it from God that he should do wickedness, and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.” Job 34:10
    “to declare that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” Psalm 92:15
    “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?” Habakkuk 1:13
    “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” John 7:18
    “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5

    In conclusion we would like to say that no matter how a Muslim seeks to reconcile these statements this fact remains crystal clear – Muslims you have a major problem on your hands!

    November 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Leif

      Take a lesson from twitter...less is more.

      November 21, 2012 at 4:57 am |
  14. rjp34652

    LYING IN ISLAM is a doctrine supported by no other religion on the planet. That's right, if you're a muslim its perfectly ok to live a lie and to tell one in order to gain an advantage. Don't believe me? Read the words of Muslim leaders and the Muslim holy book.......

    "Believers when in a weakened stage in a non-Muslim country should forgive and be patient with People of the Book when they insult Allah and his prophet by any means. Believers should lie to People of the Book to protect their lives and their religion.
    – Ibn Taymiyah "THE SWORD ON THE NECK OF THE ACCUSER OF MUHAMMAD"

    Anyone who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters unbelief, except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in faith – but such as open their breast to unbelief, on them is wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful penalty.
    – Qur'an Surah 16:106

    "Know this that lying is not sin by itself, but if it brings harm to you it could be ugly. However, you can lie if that will keep you from evil or if it will result in prosperity."
    – Imam Al-Ghazali (Muslim theologian and philosopher)

    "The principle of sanctioning lying for the cause of Islam bears grave implications in matters relating to the spread of the religion of Islam in the West. Muslim activists employ deceptive tactics in their attempts to polish Islam's image and make it more attractive to prospective converts."
    – Abdullan Al-Araby (Muslim theologian, philosopher and leader)

    While we are telling all about Muslim liars, have we forgotten that Islamic law requires the death of all who do not agree with them. Have we so quickly forgotten 9/11?

    but that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

    November 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Leif

      It sounds like good advice. If someone were threatening me because of my beliefs, I might lie too.

      November 21, 2012 at 4:59 am |
  15. Matt

    Oh, Religion, thank all of the gods you exist! If it weren't for you, we would have to find real, legitimate reasons to hate each other.

    November 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • rjp34652

      "Allah's curse is on the unbelievers."
      2.89

      "there is a disgraceful punishment for the unbelievers."
      2.90

      "unbelievers– they are the unjust."
      2.254

      "Allah does not love the unbelievers."
      3.32

      "Allah will gather together the hypocrites and the unbelievers all in hell."
      4.140

      "This– taste it, and (know) that for the unbelievers is the chastisement of fire."
      8.14

      "Allah will bring disgrace to the unbelievers."
      9.2

      November 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  16. whut wood Jayzus dew

    Can anyone recommend a cult for me to join? I'm fascinated by the right-wing " killin'-ungodly-middle-easterners" dogma coming from the Patriotic Christian faction... yet the lure of those charismatic Prosperity Preachers in Texass (gawwwwwd wants yeeew to drive a pimped-out limo just like mine) is pulling me the other way. Tell me... which faction would Jeeeeezus join? I can't quite picture him as Jesus Christ Commando, but can't see him toolin' down the road in a blinged-out caddie with a sack of gold coins in the trunk either. Whut wood Jeeeeeeezus dew?

    November 15, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  17. Please Read with Open Mind..

    God in Quran says, (holy Islamic scripture)

    “Proclaim, He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him." [112:1]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    ‘They said, "You have to be Jewish or Christian, to be guided." Say, "We follow the religion of Abraham – monotheism – he never was an idol worshiper." [2:135]

    God will say, "O Jesus, son of Mary did you say to the people, `Make me and my mother idols beside God?' " He will say, "Be You glorified. I could not utter what was not right. Had I said it, You already would have known it. You know my thoughts, and I do not know Your thoughts. You know all the secrets.[5:116]

    The Messiah, son of Mary is no more than a messenger like the messengers before him, and his mother was a saint. Both of them used to eat the food. Note how we explain the revelations for them, and note how they still deviate! [5:75]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is. [19:35]

    When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near. I answer their prayers when they pray to Me. The people shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided. Quran [2:186]

    'Say, "We believe in God, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters." [2:136]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to clear your misconception by going to whyIslam org website.

    November 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Which God?

      Your koran qur'an is nothing but a firy-tale, stolen form other books and myths by a pedophile named 'moohamed' an illeterate sadistic little person, not worthy of being called a man.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Which God?

      Your koran, qur'an , or todays spelling, is nothing but a fairy-tale, stolen form other books and myths, by a pedophile named 'moohamed:' an illiterate, sadistic little person, not worthy of being called a man.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  18. Reidh

    it would be hard to imagine any person, place or thing to be full of more sheet than CNN.

    November 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  19. Fred

    Why are people Islamaphobic? Hmmm... How about the Benghazi attack, the 9/11 attacks, the cleric on Egyptian TV talking about destroying Egyptian antiquities, murdering people over blasphemous cartoons, etc., etc. That's just for a start! Think that might play a role in "Islamaphobia?"

    November 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Greg

      To list all the atrocities performed in the name of Christianity would fill more volumes than in my library. As Mr. McLaren cited, Mathew 7:3: Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

      November 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  20. SAKIRA PARI

    Tired of trying to find the right leaders for the positions in your church? Let us help you find the key people you need.
    We know that each church is unique and that it requires that their leaders fit with the culture of the ministry.

    Please visit this web site: http://www.theaspiregroup.org

    November 11, 2012 at 3:51 am |
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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.