home
RSS
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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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. comen

    Looks like Brian McLaren did not even look at the video in question. The video was a light hearted spoof. An idiots overreaction to the point of violence is not the fault of the artist!

    September 16, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • Kate

      That is your American opinion, Muslim law finds it hateful and disgusting. Do you want people of the world to respect American law? When Americans are outside the USA? Seriously now.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • Ahmed Bin Ahmed

      Kate freedom of speech means you have to tolerate speech that is insensitive, sometimes offensive. You need to grow up, like the rioters.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Z

      agreed, it looked more like a spoof, i would have rated it R

      September 16, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • paisano2000

      The reaction to this hatchet job was very predictable. McClaren is right that God calls us to examine the board in our own eyes before we look for the mote in other. It seems to be that the video maker is very much like a kid who pokes a hornet's nest with a stick and then expresses outrage at being stung. The difference here is that the kid who provokes the hornets gets what he deserves and Sam Bacile (if that is his real name) lets other people stand in the line of fire. Do I approve of Muslim violence? No
      Do I approve of Mr. Bacile's provocations? No
      People need to realize that Islam, Judiasm, and Christianity share common roots, and worship the same God. Paul VI wrote a Papal letter in 1965 calling all Christians to stop looking for differences and to seek common ground. He was right back then, and if his advice had been followed history would have been different. Sadly, it has not been followed very much.

      September 16, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Ahmed Bin Ahmed

      Muslim Law is exactly the problem. The Western system of law incorporates the notion of separation of church and state. Muslim law cannot do so and is by definition discriminatory to non Muslims. ask yourself who is the hater,

      September 16, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Adam

      It is no surprise that a religious writer would see something wrong with a film that challenges religion. But religious people all need to question their beliefs. There is nothing in this world that is above skepticism and critical thinking. Being brave enough to see past illusions is how we evolve.

      September 16, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Sharon

      An American embassy is actually considered US soil. The people attacked and killed there were not "outside of the US" and the mob that attacked them attacked the US.

      September 16, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Celia

      Annnd of course Americans are outraged when everyone else in the world doesn't follow their law or share their opinions..

      You can condemn the killings by saying they're unjustified, but you can't condemn them because they are against the "freedom of speech". By the same logic, Muslims have every right to condemn and act against a film that broke their Sharia law.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Steve

      Kate: "Do you want people of the world to respect American law? When Americans are outside the USA?"

      The part that says "Don't fire rockets and murder American diplomats", yes, I expect that to be followed by any civilized people.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Scott

      Kate is an idiot...end of story.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • silver

      Sorry Kate, there is something called freedom of speech in the United States that allows people to make a parody or spoof of something even if others consider it 'hateful or disgusting'. Just because some people are way too sensitive about their religion and act in violence whenever there is a cartoon drawn or any honest criticism does not mean that these acts should be illegal. I have just as much a right to provide constructive criticism (or even spoof) a religion as I do to criticize a politician, musician, etc. The fact that people react in violence to criticism is a reflection on how they take their beliefs way too seriously, not an excuse to stifle free speech.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      People in countries where there is no right to "freedom of expression" do not understand the concept. To them, it appears that a film or cartoon created by someone in the US must have had the approval of the government. Of course, the attack on the embassy was a horrible, illegal act. Nobody is disputing that.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • charlie

      Ahmed Bin Ahmed Plell me you are not ignorant enough to say the rioters are right. The Arab world and Islam are not justified in killing and destroying because they got their feeling hurt. If you do support the rioters please leave my country and never return.

      September 17, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Scott

      Kate, put it to rest. The film is stupid and offensive, but you say America needs to respect them. Respect is a two street. They say things just as vile about Americans. They rejoice in killing us (just watch videos of villages in the Middle East responding to the 911 atrocities). And we should respect them? You're nuts.

      September 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Ali

      I dont know why are christain brothers have all these years always been involve in killing s , mass killings and bashing of other religions publicly , firslty Christains fought within themselves during Church Rule ( Protestants and Catholics) , then they used to mock Jews earlier and finally mass murdered Jews in germany and now their focus is on Muslims , they are bombing muslim countries , invading muslim countries by lie , Weapons of mass destruction lie , while in truth , the only atomic bomb used by a state was a christian government state of America . I dont know why but i surely know that our beloved Jesus christ would hate all this killings and mocking other religoins in the name of free speech . one thing which i am afraid of that this american way of killings and bashing would continue untill God helps us . USA destroyed pakistan by involving them in their battle with soviet union and creating army of fighters in pak afghan border which Hillary clinton admitted in his speech , now usa is naming same fighters that fought for american cuase to dismantle soviet union as terrorists , USA Governments used all these poor countries resources and instead of helping Americans better improve their lives , the american government keeps investing on Foriegn fightings and killings , while many americans are financially disturbed due to these wars and are losing even their homes ... On the other side it really hurts when even normal public keeps silent and takes sides of these evil poeple who mock Islam or any religoin .. it really hurts ... A Muslim believes in Jesus Christ as anyone else does , it is part of thier religion to belive in Christ and his teachings http://www.tubeislam.com ... God Guide us all HumanBeings ..

      September 19, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Ali

      Kate is so right , And Mr Ahmad seems to doesnt know much about islam himself , Every one basically knows that for the past 20 years Right to Free speech is used to Mock Muslim Religious figures and incite Voilence , destroy World peaceful Coexistence and Negate respect for Laws of different socities and Cultures .. If Americans want to mock religiuos figures then please mock your own poeple dont destroy peace of other nationalities and Hurt them , Your governments are waging false wars for the past few decades and on top of it Now your normal public keeps on using Free Speech as excuse to torture a Community that is so big in numbers that would result in Negation of peacefull Co Existence ...

      September 20, 2012 at 12:41 am |
  2. Ala

    the director did not lie, the 13 minute clip show what the hadeath book mention and Muslims believe in it. for all muslim, check out answeringislam.com they will show you page and sentence and the discussion. if you can read your own holly book, you should know it's there.

    September 16, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • Rush

      asshat... That sight IS an anti-Ilsam site. You JUST proved his point!

      September 16, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • Kate

      LOL you just proved his point. Sad sack you are.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • Justin

      Look it up the facts before you say, "That's just anti-Islam."

      September 17, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Ali

      I dont know why are christain brothers have all these
      years always been involve in killing s , mass killings
      and bashing of other religions publicly , firslty
      Christains fought within themselves during
      Church Rule ( Protestants and Catholics) ,
      then they used to mock Jews earlier and finally
      mass murdered Jews in germany and now their focus
      is on Muslims , they are bombing muslim countries ,
      invading muslim countries by lie , Weapons of mass
      destruction lie , while in truth , the only atomic
      bomb used by a state was a christian government state
      of America . I dont know why but i surely know that
      our beloved Jesus christ would hate all this killings
      and mocking other religoins in the name of free speech . one thing which i am afraid of that this american way of killings and bashing would continue untill God helps us . USA destroyed pakistan by involving them in their battle with soviet union and creating army of fighters in pak afghan border which Hillary clinton admitted in his speech , now usa is naming same fighters that fought for american cuase to dismantle soviet union as terrorists , USA Governments used all these poor countries resources and instead of helping Americans better improve their lives , the american government keeps investing on Foriegn fightings and killings , while many americans are financially disturbed due to these wars and are losing even their homes ... On the other side it really hurts when even normal public keeps silent and takes sides of these evil poeple who mock Islam or any religoin .. it really hurts ... A Muslim believes in Jesus Christ as anyone else does , it is part of thier religion to belive in Christ and his teachings http://www.tubeislam.com ... God Guide us all
      HumanBeings .iiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

      September 19, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  3. JEWEL

    I am not anti muslim, anti jewish, anti christian, I am pro free speech. Please do not stifle our society. New York taking away soda pop in ounces, cigarettes, motor cycle helmets, the lists go on. Stop, right now, stop.

    September 16, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • Kate

      Good point, the makers of the film broke Muslim law (Sharia?) anyway, if one's free speech trespasses on another country, relgions law then we must live with the consequences, if an American steal a car in Iran, they can be stoned, in the US if a car is stolen you can go to jail.. we cannot impose American law in another country and vice versa.. The probellm here was the embassy's are in Muslim countries.. the killers should have found the maker of the film and killer him/her.. not the ambassador.. but when we enter these countries that have laws different than our own we take a chance. Until the middle east becomes more liberalized :) or tolerant these muderous episodes sadly will continue. The question to you is: do our rights to free speech supercede muslim law in this country?

      September 16, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Mellow

      Kate: The people that died in the embassy were not associated with the production of the video. What law did they break? Does Sharia law dictate that someone representing a nation is responsible for the acts of everyone in that nation (seriously, I don't know the answer to this question)?

      Shouldn't there be more discussion about what an error it was to attack a U.S. embassy? The people who did this are criminals in their own country.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • paisano2000

      You confuse free speech with irresponsible speech. Yes you have the right to free speech, but no you do not have the right irresponsibly provocative speech. You cannot yell fire in a crowded theater, or go around smearing people with hateful lies and expect that to be protected. Look at our history & read a little from the Supreme court.

      September 16, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Marie

      Kate... i totally agree with you except on the point of the Middle East becoming more liberalized...they need to become more civilized. Go there for yourself and see it. You might just change your mind on how liberalized they should become.

      September 16, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • darmine1

      @ Kate
      The Movie was made here, sooo no laws were broken. I'm not letting any Muslim country impose their laws on me in my Country. Its freedom of speech and he expressed, very badly, but he exercised his right. The law of the Middle East has no business here! Religion and Faith run by man is going to be human kind’s greatest downfall.

      September 16, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • TAJW

      Paisano2000 I'm not in favor of the video, but comparing it to yelling 'FIRE' in a crowded theatre is the height of hyprocrisy. The film was in poor taste, but the killing and attacks by Muslims were the reprehensible act, despite what the President and the Secretary of State said.

      I realize those countries the attacks were in don't have anything close to free speech, but the killings and protests were calculated acts by anti-American Muslim groups....and no amount of whitewashing or apologist talk can cover that up.

      We need to take the acts seriously, and respond accordingly. We didn't invite the terroism by foreign policy or statements from the government. We need to respond quickly and in force, or this type of thing will continue. No amount of hand wringing and nervous apologies will stop it.

      Personally, I'd give them 24 hours to evacuate the city, and then level it. We'd only have to do that a couple times, and they'd begin policing themselves.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • kenpoist

      These figures are a rough estimate of the death of non-Muslims by the political act of jihad.

      Africa

      Thomas Sowell [Thomas Sowell, Race and Culture, BasicBooks, 1994, p. 188] estimates that 11 million slaves were shipped across the Atlantic and 14 million were sent to the Islamic nations of North Africa and the Middle East. For every slave captured many others died. Estimates of this collateral damage vary. The renowned missionary David Livingstone estimated that for every slave who reached a plantation, five others were killed in the initial raid or died of illness and privation on the forced march.[Woman’s Presbyterian Board of Missions, David Livingstone, p. 62, 1888] Those who were left behind were the very young, the weak, the sick and the old. These soon died since the main providers had been killed or enslaved. So, for 25 million slaves delivered to the market, we have an estimated death of about 120 million people. Islam ran the wholesale slave trade in Africa.

      120 million Africans

      Christians

      The number of Christians martyred by Islam is 9 million [David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2200, William Carey Library, 2001, p. 230, table 4-10] . A rough estimate by Raphael Moore in History of Asia Minor is that another 50 million died in wars by jihad. So counting the million African Christians killed in the 20th century we have:

      60 million Christians

      Hindus

      Koenard Elst in Negationism in India gives an estimate of 80 million Hindus killed in the total jihad against India. [Koenard Elst, Negationism in India, Voice of India, New Delhi, 2002, pg. 34.] The country of India today is only half the size of ancient India, due to jihad. The mountains near India are called the Hindu Kush, meaning the “funeral pyre of the Hindus.”

      80 million Hindus

      Buddhists

      Buddhists do not keep up with the history of war. Keep in mind that in jihad only Christians and Jews were allowed to survive as dhimmis (servants to Islam); everyone else had to convert or die. Jihad killed the Buddhists in Turkey, Afghanistan, along the Silk Route, and in India. The total is roughly 10 million. [David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2200, William Carey Library, 2001, p. 230, table 4-1.]

      10 million Buddhists

      Jews

      Oddly enough there were not enough Jews killed in jihad to significantly affect the totals of the Great Annihilation. The jihad in Arabia was 100 percent effective, but the numbers were in the thousands, not millions. After that, the Jews submitted and became the dhimmis (servants and second class citizens) of Islam and did not have geographic political power.

      This gives a rough estimate of 270 million killed by jihad.

      September 17, 2012 at 3:51 am |
    • Ali

      I dont know why are christain brothers have all these years always been involve in killing s , mass killings and bashing of other religions publicly , firslty Christains fought within themselves during Church Rule ( Protestants and Catholics) , then they used to mock Jews earlier and finally mass murdered Jews in germany and now their focus is on Muslims , they are bombing muslim countries , invading muslim countries by lie , Weapons of mass destruction lie , while in truth , the only atomic bomb used by a state was a christian government state of America . I dont know why but i surely know that our beloved Jesus christ would hate all this killings and mocking other religoins in the name of free speech . one thing which i am afraid of that this american way of killings and bashing would continue untill God helps us . USA destroyed pakistan by involving them in their battle with soviet union and creating army of fighters in pak afghan border which Hillary clinton admitted in his speech , now usa is naming same fighters that fought for american cuase to dismantle soviet union as terrorists , USA Governments used all these poor countries resources and instead of helping Americans better improve their lives , the american government keeps investing on Foriegn fightings and killings , while many americans are financially disturbed due to these wars and are losing even their homes ... On the other side it really hurts when even normal public keeps silent and takes sides of these evil poeple who mock Islam or any religoin .. it really hurts ... The right of free speech doesnt allows you to Say Anything that disrupts world peaceful Coexistence ........... A Muslim believes in Jesus Christ as anyone else does , it is part of thier religion to belive in Christ and his teachings http://www.tubeislam.com ... God Guide us all HumanBeings ..........................................................................................................................................................

      September 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Ali

      i dont understand my brother ,Is all the right to free speech is made to Mock other people s religious figures ? Have you heard that french magazine just today printed cartoons of Muslim religious figure even knowing that protests were already being done, is it act of peace loving people or voilent minded Monsters ? is it Free speech or is it USING FREE SPEECH AS EXCUSE TO CREATE CHAOS , to tease a community AND create VOILENCE . if you , my western brothers and sisters , if you have stamina to hear bad words about holy figures then use that right of free speech on your religious or political figures Not ours , Please ! Please ! , already your governments have destroyed our countries by excuses of terrorism while all know that alqaida / taliban etc. was created by USA government to Dismantle soviet union and USA government openly named all these people as freedom fighters when they fought Russia but later Bush administration named them terrorists and murdered innocent civilians in millions . I am helpless , but i just pray to Almighty God to Help Us , otherwise it is evident that these evil / unethical super powers would impose world war 3 would happen sooner or later , God Forbid . what hurts more is when normal people of USA and West support these voilent acts of their governments , whether Wars or Blasphemy / ridicule of religious figures , it hurts badly .. OK keep it up but remember their is God and He will Come for us soon God Willing ..

      September 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Grizz

      "Have you heard that french magazine just today printed cartoons of Muslim religious figure even knowing that protests were already being done, is it act of peace loving people or voilent minded Monsters ? is it Free speech or is it USING FREE SPEECH AS EXCUSE TO CREATE CHAOS , to tease a community AND create VOILENCE"

      Have you heard that Iran's leaders just recently were talking about the destruction of Israel and the US even knowing that preparations for war were already being done, is it act of peace loving people or voilent minded Monsters ? is it Free speech or is it USING FREE SPEECH AS EXCUSE TO CREATE CHAOS , to tease a community AND create VOILENCE.

      You see Ali, every time you post a comment on this forum that offends me, I walk out into the street and punch the first person I see, why do you want to hurt people like that ? Can't you see that your free speech is hurting innocent people ?

      September 24, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  4. Mona

    Have to laugh at the extremism in this country disliking extremism in other countries. Muslims are taught to fear and hate Westerners, Jews and Christians, how is that any different than what the evangelicals are doing? As a nonreligious person it all looks the same to me.

    September 16, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Chris H

      im sorry but what people here are strapping on bombs and blowing themselves up over crappy films? ya the "extremists" here are soooo extreme .... they must be hypocritical right? your a joke.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • Mona

      The support of killing an abortion Drs and terrorizing their families, shootings at clinic, supporting the NRA policies, supporting wars ,aggressive language against the Gov, anti gay rhetoric, rent the movie about Jesus Camp, etc... how is any of that nonviolent?

      September 16, 2012 at 7:01 am |
    • Mike

      Because Christens don’t kill because of religion but Muslims do

      September 16, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • Chris H

      lol every thing you said had a support, or rhetoric, or language attached to it.... next time i get killed by any of that ill consider it extreme.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • Epica

      Oh so glad Christian`s killing Drs or bombing abortion clinics is not considered any kind of terrorism...oh wait! That is considered domestic terrorism.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • Kate

      Yes Mona I totally agree, in this country the hate is directed by horrid speech for now.. and the hate is funneled and paid for by the Koch brothers.. the US is on it's way to becoming a fundamental Christian state and united states with rights secondary.. very scary.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • Skeeve

      To all Christians who think that they don't kill because of religion: actually, you do, you just do it differently. You do it, by supporting oversized military budgets, by sending your troops to Muslim countries, by applying economic pressure to further your ends, by paying taxes to support these activities or voting for politicians who support them . Whether you like it or not, the representative democracy is a collective responsibility system. You really don't have to kill a person by physically pulling a trigger, you might as well pay somebody to do it for you.

      September 16, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • hansbronson

      Mona. Did you know that the democratic party is funded by a man named George Soros. George Soros is a jew who during WW2 turned his own people in to the nazis who were then killed in the detention camps. Don't believe me. Just google it.

      September 16, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Marie

      Mona...if you were a Christian it all wouldn't be the same to you. We will pray for you.

      September 16, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Scott

      Um, last time I checked Billy Graham did't advocate sacking other nations embassies. I have several friends who are Muslim and I think very highly of them. The problem is that, in general, Islam today (in the Middle East, and in some pockets of Europe and the US) is at the same theological crossroads that christians were at during the dark ages and inquisitions. Although I believe most muslims are peaceful, it is the minority whom has made the most noise in terms of the violence and strict interpretation of sharia law. Until the left and moderate leaning Muslims can raise their voices and take action against the extremist whom have strangled their culture and countries the sad fact is that they will remain in the Dark Ages.

      If you compare EC's to Muslims who have embraced exrtemism then there is no comparison really. While many in the US would advocate for military action against certain countries (i.e. Iran) the EC's are not advocating targeted terrorism here in America or on foreign soil. When is the last time you saw EC protesters storming a foriegn embassy in the US? The fact of the matter is that there is a completely different cultrual climate here than in the Middle East. And, unfortuantely until the violence stops it will be hard for many non muslims to trust in Islam, whether it is right or wrong.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • K. P. F.

      Your comparison is ridiculous..

      September 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Farleyagain

      I'm inclined to agree with Scott. Why don't the news media report peaceful muslim responses? I think they are out there, several clerics have been on TV saying so. This is disturbing. Clearly, when a branch of an organization has gone rogue and is violent, even murderous, stating you disagree from inside the organization takes a great deal of courage. We should be hearing who has that courage.

      September 16, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • kenpoist

      Africa

      Thomas Sowell [Thomas Sowell, Race and Culture, BasicBooks, 1994, p. 188] estimates that 11 million slaves were shipped across the Atlantic and 14 million were sent to the Islamic nations of North Africa and the Middle East. For every slave captured many others died. Estimates of this collateral damage vary. The renowned missionary David Livingstone estimated that for every slave who reached a plantation, five others were killed in the initial raid or died of illness and privation on the forced march.[Woman’s Presbyterian Board of Missions, David Livingstone, p. 62, 1888] Those who were left behind were the very young, the weak, the sick and the old. These soon died since the main providers had been killed or enslaved. So, for 25 million slaves delivered to the market, we have an estimated death of about 120 million people. Islam ran the wholesale slave trade in Africa.

      120 million Africans

      Christians

      The number of Christians martyred by Islam is 9 million [David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2200, William Carey Library, 2001, p. 230, table 4-10] . A rough estimate by Raphael Moore in History of Asia Minor is that another 50 million died in wars by jihad. So counting the million African Christians killed in the 20th century we have:

      60 million Christians

      Hindus

      Koenard Elst in Negationism in India gives an estimate of 80 million Hindus killed in the total jihad against India. [Koenard Elst, Negationism in India, Voice of India, New Delhi, 2002, pg. 34.] The country of India today is only half the size of ancient India, due to jihad. The mountains near India are called the Hindu Kush, meaning the “funeral pyre of the Hindus.”

      80 million Hindus

      Buddhists

      Buddhists do not keep up with the history of war. Keep in mind that in jihad only Christians and Jews were allowed to survive as dhimmis (servants to Islam); everyone else had to convert or die. Jihad killed the Buddhists in Turkey, Afghanistan, along the Silk Route, and in India. The total is roughly 10 million. [David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2200, William Carey Library, 2001, p. 230, table 4-1.]

      10 million Buddhists

      Jews

      Oddly enough there were not enough Jews killed in jihad to significantly affect the totals of the Great Annihilation. The jihad in Arabia was 100 percent effective, but the numbers were in the thousands, not millions. After that, the Jews submitted and became the dhimmis (servants and second class citizens) of Islam and did not have geographic political power.

      This gives a rough estimate of 270 million killed by jihad.

      September 17, 2012 at 3:53 am |
    • screaming slave

      The difference is here in America, extremists are the fringe, in the ME it's the norm. Here in America when an extremist from group X does something, the other Xers denounce it. In the ME when an extremist from group Y does something, other Yers rejoice.

      September 17, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • charlie

      Mona you are not very bright if you can equate what Americans say and do without violence is the same as these animals killing and burning because someone used the name Mohammad. Please move over there so you can live it first hand. But don't drive or uncover your face and most of all don't get repaed as you will be put in jail and your rapist will be free to do it again.

      September 17, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • YouCantFixStüpid

      then go to egypt and carry an anti muslim banner, let's see what happens.

      September 17, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Ali

      Dear Mona , Muslims Dont hate america , we love it , infact most love to go to USA , but its policies of USA and Western Governments powers which are making muslims angry and teasing us , please understand . The difference between these evenglicals and muslims "Hate" is very clear and muslims cannot be compared to these evenglicals , Muslims do not mock Holy figures of Christianity , Muslims Love the Holy Bible , Muslims Dont mock The Holy Books , Muslims do not get involve in matters of religion of others , Muslims didnt invade Afghanistan , muslims didnt invade Iraq through lie of weapons of mass destruction ( The only weapon of mass destruction on our planet USED was by Unites states of America Government ) we wont blame the american public direclty although they do have responsibility to Negate and pressurize their governments to stop these false killings , Muslims have nothing to do with Murders of JEWS through HOLOCAUST , we lived happily with our jews brothers in palestine uptill 1945 , untill British army invaded palestine and using famous Divide and Rule policy , Muslims didnt start Vietnam War , Muslims werent the ones to initiate brutal killings of human beings in World Wars , Even now Muslims Love America , i love American Land , and appreciate what good exists in USA , the problem is your GOVERNMENTS actions during the last few decades , How can you say evanglicals and muslims are same , we have a reason to Cry and shout for , But Why are evenglicals are shouting ? Are we mocking your religious figures ? We are not that Evil and Cheap minded , so please understand , It hurts us when you guys here also support your government s evil acts or support Mocking of Other religous figures by using Excuse of Freedom of speech . PLease my dear Brothers and sisters of USA and West , understand , tolerate us and let us live , otherwise people are bound to fire back , so focus on lowering your mistakes instead of focusing on after affects of your evil acts . The roots are the evil Acts , the bashing of other religions , destroy this root cause instead of focusing on its after effects when muslims show their anger , Western people might not respect thier religion as much as Muslims respect their religious figures ( that includes JESUS CHRIST becuase muslims love Jesus and Believe in him) . Ask your governemnts to Let us Live ....instead of torturing our minds and bodies and then saying , LOOK THESE MUSLIMS ARE EXTREMISTS ... Your hatred Would eventually only bring War to our beauitiful earth , like it did in World Wars of 1920 and 1945 and onwards uptill now ... Even now Your governments are making plans for attacking iran , its only that financially USA isnt in that position otherwise another war was o the cards .. Its funny but seems same like the Movie AVATAR where big boys with machines are attacking poor socieites , same as in afghanistans mountainous regions and iraq etc.

      September 20, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  5. Chris H

    To say that the extremists dont represent all of islam is a laugh. If the religion produces murderous genocidal psychopaths even at a rate of 5%.... then something is wrong with the religion....

    September 16, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Rush

      Agreed, what with all these Christian extremeists around here. So, wth is wrong with Christianity?

      September 16, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • Epica

      Perhaps we should let all the extremists battle it out. Muslim, Christians, etc. They are all the same to me.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • Kate

      Who are you to judge? Who am I to judge? Read about Islam.. educate yourself and stop being hateful. Jesus was not hateful. I for one do not want an America that is first reglious then free second, in muslim countries they are religious first, a countries ruled by Sharia law. The faction of murders in these countries are miniscule.. but all muslims seem to be thrown into the same box.. free your mind and open it up.. Jesus would want you to.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • Ali

      Who did the Mass murdered JEWS ? Holocaust ? Did muslim extremists did it ? Or Christaian Extremists ? OK that was years decades ago , but then Who invaded vietnam and carpet bombed those jungles with women and children ? Did muslim extremists did it or Christian extremists ? Ok What about the Russian War in Afghanistan ? Didint Christian america made and created An army of fighters in pakistani afghani border using resources and leaders of these poor countries ? Who was the supporter of Alqaida in 1989 when it was fighting with RUSSIA ? Who invaded and lied about weapons of mass destruction in iraq ? Who invaded Afghanistan and brutally murdered human beings with same flesh and bones like any other christain american or weterner during last two decades ? All these years America and West have one excuse and then they get another excuse but the wars and fightings keep going on and on YTet extremists are Muslims and Not Western Superpowers fighting for supremacy over last 50 years .... Oh God , when i read views of american poeple here i get so Hurt becuase i thought only the American and wetern governments werre the culprits but Now i see that lot of public is supporting their governments acts also , So shameful and Bad for World peace ... God Help Us ...

      September 20, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • takawalk

      Well Ali I don't see anyone commenting on your comments, I am Christian and I am a American. All countries and those claiming a believe in God do many stupid barbaric things. Those that claim no faith are not innocent of the human condition, they just act out their stupidity without claiming they do it in the name of some faith. I would like to express a heart felt agreement with you on one thing. God help us all, because left to our own nature we are screwed.

      September 23, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    September 16, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • James

      Oh, go away already. Your hatred and lies aimed at atheism is a tired, pathetic bore.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:00 am |
    • nope

      @james
      nope

      September 16, 2012 at 7:03 am |
    • Epica

      No...it does not. Actually getting up and doing something does something

      September 16, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • charlie

      Yup.

      September 17, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  7. csx

    As always, the UNbelief anti Christian blog focuses on the wrong thing. Are not we all adults? People are responsible for their actions.
    Here is the real deal – the enemy is Satan and the Muslims are the field that is white. Islam is the goal of Christianity, not to kill but to save, as it is with sodomites.
    Muslims prove the movie right and they prove the Bible is right every day. They are lost and their sword is real and the Christian sword is the Word of God which brings eternal slavation and true love.

    September 16, 2012 at 6:51 am |
    • Rush

      You just supported the writer. It's nut jobs like you that make the world a living hell. Thanks dope.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • csx

      Rep ro bate

      September 16, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • Mellow

      "Are not we all adults? People are responsible for their actions." Yes, we should all be adults about this and be responsible for our own actions. Holding individuals accountable (rather than religions or countries) should be our goal.

      The people who made the video should be held to task (not murdered but confronted). Blaming all Americans and killing people in an embassy is falls into the easy trap of not holding individuals responsible.

      This same error is made with comments like "Muslims prove the movie right and they prove the Bible is right every day. They are lost and their sword is real and the Christian sword is the Word of God which brings eternal slavation and true love" Surely some Muslims are "lost" and they should be marginalized. Also lost are the Christians that believe we should make this a holy war against Islam.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:13 am |
    • Resets

      Unfortunately Islamic history remembers well the Crusades.

      September 16, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • joe

      If they remember the crusades then when will they give the lands back that they stole? The crusades were a response to the 300yrs of theft by muslims of christian lands. Please get a clue.

      September 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • takawalk

      Yes Joe you are correct. that fact is lost in today's rewriting of history. However it doesn't change the fact that "Christians" proved themselves to be capable of the same evil all of mankind is infected with.

      September 23, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  8. Michael

    Unjustified blanket hatred is wrong but words never justify random violence. The timing of this article serves to support the violent attackers of our embassies and the author therefore is serving to justify those who would limit free speech and freedom of the press. That is an unfortunate position for CNN to promote prominantly on its primary page.

    September 16, 2012 at 6:50 am |
  9. jn

    THERE is no such thing as islamophobia. Islam is a belief system and can be criticized like any othdr belief system. STOP talking nonsense

    September 16, 2012 at 6:50 am |
    • Benjy

      There are not-too-bright folks in my own family who are scared to death of anyone wearing a turban or scarf. Phobia is the right word.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • Marie

      Amen jn... I'm so tired of the word "fear' when it comes to Islam. There is no fear in the reality that this so called religion promotes hate and kills anyone who doesn't believe the same. It's not fear...it's sadness. God bless those who hate in the name of religion.....any religion.

      September 16, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • JOBMO

      phobia is exactly the right word to use.

      September 17, 2012 at 4:17 am |
  10. ol cranky

    the religious right-wing buys into this BS because they WANT to believe it. Their hysteria and finger pointing over extremism is Islam ans Sharia law is their way of trying to claim a moral superiority when they want to impose the same things and create the same atmosphere of religious control under the name "biblical law". As for the Egyptian Christians they love to proudly to point to and express concerns over their persecution by Muslims – many, if not most, are Coptic and fundamentalists are quite proud to say Coptics aren't "real" Christians and their beliefs are wrong (just as they do for Mormons) except when it's politically expedient to refer to them as persecuted Chirstians

    September 16, 2012 at 6:50 am |
  11. Bot

    Suddenly now thebiggest issue is Islamophobea by evangalists? Really CNN? I am surprised it is not Islamophobea by Mormons. I mean we need to hit Romney somewhere. Isnt that a perfect crisis to waste? How about Christianphobea by Muslims, geniouses? After all it is muslims who have been calling christians infidels everywhere. It is AMAZING. CNN is once more GOING AFTER THEVICTIMS DARING THEM TO YELL DUE TO THEIR PAIN. Karma is a beach. CNN on its way to the bottom of the barrel on everyones remote control. If you were a CNN host you would have to thank God for airports. Otherwise no one will re ember you are there.

    September 16, 2012 at 6:49 am |
  12. escher7

    Got it. Nutbars are nutbars no matter where they live or what their religion. And if you believe a few hundred protesters in Egypt or Libya represent all Muslims then you must then believe that right-wing radical religious weirdos represent all Americans.

    September 16, 2012 at 6:48 am |
    • csx

      Makes too much sense, stop confusing liberals with common sense.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • Rush

      Fool, you're the confused one.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:54 am |
  13. Robert

    While I agree the film clip was in bad taste and quite frankly ridicuous, I cannot believe that there are any intellectual people on this planet from the President himself to the most radical anti-muslim racist that really truly believes a short video clip would be the main culprit in what is happening in the middle east today. While there is no question that the film insults islam, to suggest that it is to blame is absurd.

    September 16, 2012 at 6:45 am |
    • Chris H

      Robert being anti muslim isnt racist since muslims arent a race... and saying towel head isnt racist because it refers to religion as well.... but i guess if your an avid CNN watcher you wouldnt know what real racism was anyways.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:49 am |
    • Robert

      I know Muslims are not a race but Arabic people are and most of them are Muslims and live in the Middle East and in North Africa where this violence is centered. I am not an avid CNN watcher or follower and I grew up in the deep south in the 60's so I am personally aquainted with racism. My point was and is that I am tired of hearing the mainstream media deflect the real issue of poor foreign policy decisions in favor of something as absurd as blaming a video clip on a well-planned coordinated attack on our consulate resulting in the deaths of our people including a US Ambassador. The video clip is a distraction from the real issues that are complex and deeper and must be addressed by the next president whoever it is.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  14. Chris H

    This article is worthless... everyone alive has a right to be wary of islamist. The moment a Christians start declaring jihad again we can be wary of them....but they dont, they feed poor people..... muslims dont feed people, they kill them.

    September 16, 2012 at 6:43 am |
    • escher7

      Sounds like you are one of the brainwashed people the author is talking about.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:49 am |
    • Jesse Pinkman

      I totally agree with this statement. I could not have said it better myself. Muslims are brutes.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:50 am |
    • paisano2000

      Be wary, yes that is a right. You are correct. But once you start on the trail towards demonization, you have left the narrow path to God. You will be walking not with Jesus, but with a whole legion of haters, many with memorable names too numerous to mention.
      Those in the Middle East have long memories and they can remember, even if you and I can't, times when Christian crusaders proudly boasted of their massacres of whole towns and cities who were Muslims.

      September 16, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • tryingreason

      You know there is an Islamic equivalent to the red cross right?

      September 16, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • kenpoist

      Mclaren is ignorant. I can't believe CNN prints this garbage.

      These figures are a rough estimate of the death of non-Muslims by the political act of jihad.

      Africa

      Thomas Sowell [Thomas Sowell, Race and Culture, BasicBooks, 1994, p. 188] estimates that 11 million slaves were shipped across the Atlantic and 14 million were sent to the Islamic nations of North Africa and the Middle East. For every slave captured many others died. Estimates of this collateral damage vary. The renowned missionary David Livingstone estimated that for every slave who reached a plantation, five others were killed in the initial raid or died of illness and privation on the forced march.[Woman’s Presbyterian Board of Missions, David Livingstone, p. 62, 1888] Those who were left behind were the very young, the weak, the sick and the old. These soon died since the main providers had been killed or enslaved. So, for 25 million slaves delivered to the market, we have an estimated death of about 120 million people. Islam ran the wholesale slave trade in Africa.

      120 million Africans

      Christians

      The number of Christians martyred by Islam is 9 million [David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2200, William Carey Library, 2001, p. 230, table 4-10] . A rough estimate by Raphael Moore in History of Asia Minor is that another 50 million died in wars by jihad. So counting the million African Christians killed in the 20th century we have:

      60 million Christians

      Hindus

      Koenard Elst in Negationism in India gives an estimate of 80 million Hindus killed in the total jihad against India. [Koenard Elst, Negationism in India, Voice of India, New Delhi, 2002, pg. 34.] The country of India today is only half the size of ancient India, due to jihad. The mountains near India are called the Hindu Kush, meaning the “funeral pyre of the Hindus.”

      80 million Hindus

      Buddhists

      Buddhists do not keep up with the history of war. Keep in mind that in jihad only Christians and Jews were allowed to survive as dhimmis (servants to Islam); everyone else had to convert or die. Jihad killed the Buddhists in Turkey, Afghanistan, along the Silk Route, and in India. The total is roughly 10 million. [David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2200, William Carey Library, 2001, p. 230, table 4-1.]

      10 million Buddhists

      Jews

      Oddly enough there were not enough Jews killed in jihad to significantly affect the totals of the Great Annihilation. The jihad in Arabia was 100 percent effective, but the numbers were in the thousands, not millions. After that, the Jews submitted and became the dhimmis (servants and second class citizens) of Islam and did not have geographic political power.

      This gives a rough estimate of 270 million killed by jihad.

      September 17, 2012 at 3:54 am |
    • nick

      Jesse Pinkman if all muslims were brutes then why is it that you don’t hear about bombings on a large scale in the US not to say there aren’t bombings but Islam is the second largest religion in the world which means that these is a presence in the US to but most of them hear don’t blow them self up

      September 19, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  15. gt

    Funny how the author says "many" Evangelic Christians are ..., but with the attacks on embassies, that "a few" Muslims are ...

    Intolerance is intolerance when directed at any group that you disagree with. Is there over reactions and extremes within any group? Yes, in most cases, but that does not define an entire group. The author needs to practice what he is preaching as he seems to have an intolerance to evangelicals.

    September 16, 2012 at 6:42 am |
  16. Cody K.

    I think it's time to declare the Islamisit extremesets. They are just Islamist extremists, on par with the gangsters and thugs everywhere. The FBI tracked down Capone, why can we do the same with these thugs- with the help of local govs?

    BCH

    September 16, 2012 at 6:42 am |
    • Jesse Pinkman

      Because there are too many of them. They are like roaches and they are multiplying fast.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:51 am |
  17. Peik

    If Jihadis are irrational skum, it doesn't matter what different groups in American society, religious or secular, think about that. Jihadis would still be skum.

    September 16, 2012 at 6:41 am |
  18. NanH

    When did CNN become the religious channel?

    September 16, 2012 at 6:35 am |
    • Kate

      Don't like the message? Hah! It's had this blog for months that I can remember. It's refreshing to read a fundamental Christian with a brain for a change, rather the hate filled garbage for the last year.. Muslims are good people, they do know have the same laws we do.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • paisano2000

      You do know it is Sunday! CNN has been leading with belief blog commentaries on Sunday for more than a few weeks.

      September 16, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  19. That's one busy little band of "extremists"

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2012/09/map-of-violent-anti-freedom-muslim-riots-.html

    Sure. It's from AtlasShrugs. Damn the messenger.

    But it still won't make the facts disappear.

    September 16, 2012 at 5:06 am |
    • Kate

      They are different. We respect their law, they will respect US law. Obviously you have Islamophobia.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • BROWNIE

      Kate i am not Christian, you certainly is delusional. Muslim religions itself is the most intolerant relgions i have seen. You are the one with hate. One arrogant person makes movie and they blame whole American and start rioting. The movie is worst, if they want, they can go after the producer.So they are the peace loving right?? And the person who speaks against those rioting are the one with hate??? You hypocrites.

      September 16, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  20. To the author: Oblivious D. McLaren

    Say there, Brian.

    Who created the term "Islamophobia?"

    Do you know?

    Do you care?

    Would it matter to you that the authors of the term "Islamophobia" consider your self-righteous altruism blasphemous?

    Do you know that there are people that are using your good intent by way of making you appear a complete, total and utterly impressionable fool?

    So, Brian, who conceptualized, created and first used the term "Islamophobia?"

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The Muslim Brotherhood.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Congrats on being just another Joker in the deck, Mr. McLaren. And remember, in any serious card game, the Jokers are always thrown out before the hand is dealt.

    September 16, 2012 at 4:19 am |
    • Kate

      So you hate Muslims? and you have Islamophobia. You are just another card in a losing deck. Congratulations on being on team HATE. Feel good? sad for you.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:07 am |
    • joe

      Kate it is you that is full of hate. Muslims EVERYDAY around the world mass murder non muslims. You do know this right?? Islam is the most evil and vile ideology to have ever existed and anyone with the slightest bit of brain knows this.

      September 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
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.