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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. little tin god

    All muslims should just eat pig s**t and die!

    September 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  2. BoldGeorge

    Islamophobia does not exist. Don't let the world fool you into believing this lie. Let me say that it is one thing to hate Muslims, which is not a Christian thing to do nor feel and, which in all honesty, whosoever hates Muslims is more than likely to hate other groups of people as well, but it is another thing to understand Islam and what their Koran teaches and promotes in-depth. Unfortunately, Mr. McLaren is not preaching nor representing the Bible in its correct format and interpretation. He is basically writing a feel-good gospel that, as he rightly admits, modern-evangelicalism preaches today. In other words, Mr. McLaren is being hypocritical. He is misquoting a lot of biblical texts and misrepresenting Christ and Christianity's true nature. But of course CNN will not have any true-to-the-word Bible believing Christian write his/her opinions here in this forum.

    McLaren wrote: "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."

    First of all, American Christian media is basically the main media. The media today does not have any interest in the true gospel message nor its audience. This is the very reason why Christianity is seen in a bad light, because the media and the so-called Christian media do not honestly represent Christ. The only way you can get a good and honest dose of Christianity is by reading God's word, the Bible. The media today has no interest, by far, in true Bible doctrine and this is Satan's playground, to use the media to deceive everyone into believing a twisted form of Christianity. And this is the overall fight that Christians have, not the world, but Satan's version of Christianity. (Please read Ephesians 6:12 to see what are warfare is really about.)

    McLaren wrote: "the tiny minority of Muslims who turn piety into violence – have big problems of their own."

    The tiny majority??? That is an oxymoron. Is Mr. McLaren also trying to twist the news? The whole middle-east is in uproar over this film and it is spreading to other nations as well (France, UK, Australia, parts of Africa, etc.). The media and its news is already twisted as it is but to twist the twisted media is beyond comprehension.

    Lastly, McLaren wrote: "The way of Christ is a gentle strength that transcends the vicious cycles of offense-outrage-revenge."

    According to the Bible, God's word, the way of Christ is this: Luke 2: 23 "And he said to all, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." This clearly means to put behind self (your ego) and your trust in your efforts and follow/obey Christ even it if will cost you dearly.

    In conclusion, Mr. McLaren wrote all of his statements seemingly quoting from the Bible, but did not offer any biblical verses to back up his statements, and that's typical of someone readily misquoting Scripture. If you sincerely wish to rebuke true Christians, I would start by you yourself preaching what is suppose to be preached which is the good news of Christ (which is what the 'Gospel' means) so that the lost may be saved, proclaim his deity and live according to His truths, which is all biblical truth, not according to what the world's "truth" is.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      There was a mistype, I meant to write: Luke 9:23 "And he said to all, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." This is the true way of Christ.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Russ

      And let's not forget that each and every reverend, pastor, deacon, etc. ALL interpret the Bible's readings in their own subjective way to fit the needs of their audience/congregation. Nextttt!

      September 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Your Bible is pretty thin stuff if it is the word of God. It doesn't even make a case for God's existence, much less that it represents what God wants to say to us.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ Tom tom – " It doesn't even make a case for God's existence, much less that it represents what God wants to say to us."

      That's because the Bible was written for BELIEVERS, not unbelievers. Notice how in the first verse in the Bible, in Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 starts off: In the beginning God created......this assumes the existence of God. There is no explanation of Him right off the bat. The Bible is written for those with faith, believers in His word and promises. Spiritual things are to be discerned spiritually, not carnally.

      So if you are not a believer, it will all seem foolish to you, which is what the Bible states exactly: 1 Corinthians 2:14 – But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

      September 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Bold George,
      "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."

      A quite old and sometimes effective tactic – declaring that those who do not believe your story are 'fools'. Nobody wants to be considered 'dumb' for not seeing the Emperor's new clothes, or a 'bas.tard' for not seeing the Sultan's new turban, or a 'cuckold' for not being able to see the Miller's gold thumb.

      Even Joseph Smith used it when he gathered his 'witnesses' to his golden plates. He told them that only those with 'true faith' would be able to 'see' them.

      The ancient, primitive Hebrews (including Paul) who originated those Bible stories were quite adept at manipulative mind-games.

      September 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ Knot

      You can call the Bible mind-games, but the Bible holds true to every word it has, not my words, not any other man's word, but God's word. God's word is suppose to lead you to not to human will like Joseph Smith's will to live in adultery or to Mohammed to live in polygamy, but to God's will in truth, in righteousness and in Justice, and this is by following God's word, not man's. You can twist the Bible all you want, and trust me, we (even I) are all guilty of that, but in the end, Bible twisting is all about fulfilling man's will, not God's.

      September 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      BoldGeorge,
      "the Bible holds true to every word it has,"

      So, just where are those storehouses in the sky for snow and hail? (Job)

      And how did plants grow for (? "days") before the sun was created? (Genesis).

      That's just for starters.... let the twisting begin...

      September 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  3. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    I am struck by the irony of it. Those who have been called People of the Book (not always the same Book mind you) don't seem to do much reading. Let's get a library card and a reading list to every young person in whom the indoctrination hasn't set firmly yet.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ Tom tom: "in whom the indoctrination hasn't set firmly yet"

      Any form or reading and following is an indoctrination. Atheism, evolutionary theory, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity...anything you choose to believe is an indoctrination in it of itself. What you choose to indoctrinate yourself in is up to you. Don't you forget that.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Russ

      Forget what?

      September 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I think I would indoctrinate young people into skepticism and critical thinking. I would expect them to turn their skills on all of us who might presume to think for them.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Russ

      I have to admit I am digging Tom. He actually preaches thinking for oneself. Scary! :D

      September 16, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  4. Portland tony

    There's a lot of misinformation out there about what the Islamic world is all about. There are about 1.3 billion people living in various countries that follow the Muslim faith. 95% are just like you and me........have jobs, a decent education, families, party, own homes, pay taxes, raise kids... etc. Most have adapted to western ways!, drive cars, wear western clothing, makeup etc...Then there are the 5% who live in abject poverty and are part of a tribal culture, mostly illiterate, and outcasts in there own countries. These are the Zealots we hear about who have nothing...and thus nothing to lose. Living in a tribal society, they owe their existence to the tribal leaders who pretty much make up their own rules for governing. Backed by mostly uneducated Imams, these are the so-called fanatics that are making headlines for beheadings and the killing of Americans. Keep in mind that most foreign nationals like Americans, they just don't like our foreign policies which sometimes favor one nation over another!

    September 16, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Catherine

      Portland Tony, you are wrong about the development of the Muslim world. Literacy levels are low, especially for women. I read once that more books are printed in one year in Spain than have been printed in Arab countries in the last 500 years. Economies are stagnant, unless they are fortunate enough to be sitting on a bunch of oil. Pakistan, Afganistan and Lbya are highly tribal. And if there aren't tribal antagonisms, you'll find sectarian antagonisms. Most of them live in, what we would call, poverty. It is only a small minority that might be said to be Western in the way they live.

      You may find the UN Inter-Arab Development Report (I think that was the name) that came out a few years ago, interesting.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  5. bluetail75

    Mclaren: WOW! YOU are so out of line here. You hurt Christianity with articles like this. These riots in the middle east are not the result of Christians. This is the result of islam's hatred towards israel and the U.S. (Israel's supporters). I remember seeing some pretty offensive stuff against Jesus but you don't see Christians in a widespred manner burning down hollywood or burning down islamic embassies. Sure there are nutcases in Christianity that do bad things. BUT THIS STUFF IN THE MIDDLE EAST IS NOT A FEW NUTCASES BUT WHOLE REGIONS OF THEM. You cannot deny the numbers of people involved and call it a few religious extremists. Hardly anybody in Christianity watches the shows you mention. Many of the Christians I know don't even know about those shows or find them shameful so their influence is not widespread. If you think that the violence is perpetuated by a few extremists, you need to wake up when whole regions are partaking in the violence. You are sad and you hurt Christianity and yet you claim to be a Christian....People like you are exactly why the violence persists and not because of the average church going member or their pastor.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Russ

      Right. All our Christian nutcases have been in the past. Let's see, the Crusades...now that was lovely. The Inquisition...always a favorite Christian event of mine. And hey, let's not forget about the groovy priest that wanted to burn Korans a few years ago near Gainesville, Florida. Oh wait, and the idiot that made the movie about Islam and Allah that has the world turning upside down right now. NO WAY, NO CHRISTIAN EFFORTS have put forth any of the backlash hostility. lol@that

      September 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Catherine

      Russ, the Crusades were a response to 500 years of Muslim invasion of Christian lands.

      The Inquisitian ended 500 years ago and you'd be hard pressed to find any Catholic who would be supportive.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Russ

      Catherine,
      I'd be hard pressed to actually care about 99.9% of what Christians and/or Muslims have to say to be honest. As long as we're throwing it out there. :)

      Russ

      September 16, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Prime Directive

      Russ,

      Don't forget the loudmouth 'Westboor' cult - haters and rabble-rousers par excellence.

      September 16, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Catherine

      Well, Russ, you do seem to care about what Muslims think since you state concern for a 'backlash'. That stupid little video was nothing but a pretext. We should not be scared into adopting censorship because we are worried that Muslims will be offended.

      But you make a point about Westboro – a bunch of crackpots if ever there was one (one family, actually). They are completely rejected by Americans – religious or secular.

      September 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  6. Bootyfunk

    religion breeds love for others in your same cult - and hatred toward any other religious group.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      Not all religions. There are some out there that view all people as equal and worthy of love and that don't seek to convert. UUs, for example, believe everyone should seek for themselves and decide what they believe.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Seeker

      Kind of hard to say that about Christianity since Jesus said to love your enemies.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      Seeker: Except, of course, too many Christians don't follow that. Look at the comments on here or on any article discussing marriage equality.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Seeker

      LVA: No one said it was easy. However, there is a self-check for Christians coming from their savior. Not so for Islam.

      And what the world thinks is love is to tolerate all sorts of evil, like violent protests and murder. Sorry if I happen to differ and think that love is to bring bad and evil behavior to account.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  7. elizabeth

    Buddy you done lost your mind. No matter though, since islam wants your head.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Ya, every hindu's, out law's head.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • pepsee

      This guy "hinduism source of hindufilthyracism" sounds like an islamic terrorist out of a madrassa.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  8. Paul

    Yeah, all this Islamophobia for a people that only wants to get along and take over the world, don't we all? The difference is that Islam is very capable of doing it and as long as the media hides and white washes those islamic intentions it should be a peace of cake for Islam to achieve their goal. All religions should be band, less they take the world down to their hellish level.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • smitvict

      "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". How about using the same words to condemn the killings of American Citizens? Of course not, we continue to apoligize to islam for "offending" them as they kill in the name of allah.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  9. Bill Johnson

    Here we go again, the great unwashed and ignorant unemployed are getting their calisthenics by attacking anything slightly western, in the middle east and elsewhere. Doesn't take much does it? A few rabble rousers who laughingly call themselves leaders, inciting their brothers to go in peace, then kill kill kill, burn, etc anything and anyone who has ever tried to help them? It's time to get the hell out of the 20 or so countries that house these morons for god! I am sick and tired of Muslims, or anyone else telling me what to do, how to live, and more importantly, how to live the moral high ground! You have to be joking? At the risk of being accused of profiling, i have to say that, stoning women to death, applying deadly forms of punishment to what in anyone's mind would normally be trivial 'crimes', especially when you don't follow your own set of rules!, and those of us in the west are financing these people in the form of 'charity and humanitarian aid'? Really? How much charity and aid have we seen from them? Stoning and burning, murder and mayhem is all i've seen, and don't give me your sob stories all you apologists for it either, it just will not work! Get the hell out of these stone age countries, with their barbaric way of life, before it's too late!

    September 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Nothing is wrong to put, hindu's, deniers of truth absolute to hind, deserving place hell, HINDU'S OUT LAW'S PLACE.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • pepsee

      Probably somebody should note this muslim madrassa "hinduism source of hindufilthyracism" guy. He has the mind set of an islamic terrorist.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Even Handed

      Bill: You talk about the abuses that some Muslims commit in the name of their religion (like stoning women). Of course, that's terrible behavior. But can't you see that some of America's own actions, like invading Iraq for no valid reason under false pretenses–thus causing far greater loss of life than the Arab Street ever has–is also terrible? I do not see how the neoconservatives who controlled George W. Bush and are now attempting to slither back into power with Romney are morally any better than the street mobs in the Middle East that you decry.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • LOL

      Even, you're deluded. It's easy to claim, after the fact, that it was wrong to go into Iraq, of course that even disregards the fact that Clinton's policy toward Iraq was regime change. Regardless, Saddam was causing all sorts of world problems, just like Ahmadinnejad, and sanctions were failing. As the Duelfer reports showed, Iraq was merely keeping WMD infrastructure in place until liberal idiots decided that sanctions were mean and had been going on too long. Not to mention that, given the intelligence reports we are now beginning to gain acces to, it is easy to understand why we went into Iraq.

      September 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  10. DaveInMaine

    Cartman said it best: "Not all muslims are terrorists, but most of them are, and all it takes is most of them".

    September 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Only by hinduism, absurdity of a hindu, ignorant from hindered, gutter of hinduism, illegality called india.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • pepsee

      You are right, Dave. You can see that from the barking of the madrassa graduate mad dog "Hinduism source of hindufilthyracism" probably either from Bagladesh or Pakistan or Afghanistan (whose parents used to be Hindus and Buddhists before they were forcibly converted by muslim nomadic butchers from arab lands.)

      September 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Vivienne

      I lived in Holland for 2 years where I was surprised to learn that all White people are not unified. The Dutch believe that Americans are extremely ignorant about world events, other cultures, and even their own history. I agree. America is considered the world leader regarding its military prowess and economy. Sadly, Americans are the least educated or knowledgeable people on Earth regarding world events and people who do not look like them. Reading some of this commentary makes it even more apparent.

      September 16, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  11. Scotchguard

    Finally, a Christian who gets it. Thank you, Brian McLaren, for your thoughtful response. But don't hold your breath that most Christians will understand. All this ego and hatred is why I had to take my children out of church - I did not take them to church to learn hate, but love. Unfortunately, all I found was ego-centric posturing and constant bashing of "libs" and minority groups. If a Christian's greatest mandates are to show Christ's love to the world and to bring people to Christ, the most vocal Christians are letting their egos get in the way and are failing miserably. The others are sitting by silently and letting those with extremist view be their spokespeople. This is a sad era for Christianity.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • LOL

      Clearly by what you say, you were the problem, not the church. You apparently had the ego to think they were wrong and you were right.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Paul

      A typical christianphobic liberal and Democrat response. The problem in the world today are religions, all of them, and left wing liberal communist, whose only goal in life is controlling other people.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Ruff Locks

      Just so you know, the devil has won his battle over you and your family, now that you have withdrawn from the church. Christianity is a personal relationship that you seem to have lost. Good luck now.

      The good news is that Jesus still loves you. Just don't stay away too long, as God may have work fr you and your family to do.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Da Bible Tole Me Sew

      LOL

      Massa always right.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Prime Directive

      Ruff Locks,

      Please provide verified evidence of your god... and of your devil.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • getreel

      SCOTCHGUARD; Man up and grow a pair, puss! I really wish you wishy washy, "sensitive" types would go into an Islamic area of the world, like say, Pakistan or Indonisia, or even "moderate" Saudi Arabia and spout off there about 'bigotry, intolerance, accepting others, diversity, harmony, etc. and have the balls to criticize THEIR infractions. We'd all look forward to the Youtube clip of you burning or having your head cut off in the name of Allah! Peace out!

      September 16, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  12. the Dutchman

    "Isamophobia"?? It seems that the author has forgotten about thousands killed on 9/11. He has forgotten all of the thousands of people that have died in various countries to suicide bombers. He forgets how women are treated like chattel in many of these countries. Any normal person would be concerned about all the atrocities committed by these people.

    Second, according to scripture, we are supposed to contend earnestly for the faith because of distortions of scripture, of which the Quran is an example.

    Finally, scripture says that that the anti-Christ is one who denies the Father AND the Son. Islam declares that there is no other God than Allah; he begets not, nor is he begotten. Therefore they are clearly anti-Christ, whether they be peaceful or not.

    The author would be advised to read all of scripture before criticizing those who are attempting to warn others.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      And you forget millions Muslim's killed by hindu Jew's, criminal self centered and their hindu gentile, terrorist slave Christian's before 9/11. 9/11 was a pay back, hindu's, criminals, live with it.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      Perhaps you should re-read the Bible – "the Anti-Christ" is singular – applying it to all who follow a different religion is perverse at best.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      Additionally, according to your cherry-picked quote, ALL followers of Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, etc. are "the Anti-Christ".

      September 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  13. snowdogg

    I wonder why Western civilization is not OK with radical Islam? Could it be because they are basically against everything we believe in? I wonder.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      For hinduism, denial of truth absolute.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  14. EdL

    Think I got it. It is all our fault. Islamists are nice, we should think of them as nice.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • getreel

      That's right! "Johnny, you apologize to Thugstah here for hurting his hand with your head when he hit you. Give him a hug! Good! Now go play!

      September 16, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  15. Imran

    Thank you Brian for this incredibly thoughtful article. I felt compelled to share atleast something on this. Islam is a religion of a billion and half people of this planet approx. Please take a minute to think about the no of people that is. Here in US Islamophobia is constantly drummed up by news agencies mostly by fox and to a lesser degree by cnn, radio show hosts and unfortunately even some religious leaders. This video that is a pathetic excuse of a video to begin with is extremely derogatory, vile and very hateful. So whats happened now in the muslim world is similar to the western media aggravating Islamphobia the media in all these muslim countries is exploiting this disgraceful movie as this being the viewpoint of all americans or media towards the muslim world and their religion. This is causing a very dangerous situation to get even worse since there are multiple wars being fought and people being killed in them everyday. I would request and beg CNN and their audience to please read and get to know a few muslim people before saying hateful ignorant things about a religion which in its true essence promotes peace and coexistence with all faiths. Please do not exploit only the negative news coming out from that part of the world, there are hundreds of millions of muslim people that do charity, and good deeds with people of different faiths, but those are never reported its only the negative events and you can see this here on the news everyday. Similarly the civilian killings and deaths in these wars the drone strikes are what is being reported in the middle east from US every day and you can understand the different sides of feelings and spectrum here. Please do not think we dont have bigots and hate here in US. This video and the killings of innocent sikh people mistaken for muslims recently are just the recent events. We absolutely have to start changing our perspective and need to start building bridges to understand our differences and respect them. Its much easier to stereo type and paint all people as one type but in reality thats very far from the truth, fortunately or unfortunately Muslims arent going anywhere neither are Christians, Jews or Athiests either. Please get to know a few muslim people or learn about Islam on the internet , there is no excuse for ignorance in the age of internet when you can just wikipedia so much about Islam and whats its message. Form your opinion after you atleast know the subject or hear news from the middeleast to see the other side of the coin.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Seeker

      I have read the Quran. It is rife with verses about killing unbelievers and about not being friends with them. I can't understand anyone who thinks the mass, violent Muslim protests across the world are a reasonable reaction to a stupid and insulting movie created by a handful of people. Christians have had far worse done to Jesus, who is not just a Prophet to them, but you don't see violent Christian protests across the world. As a Christian, you can't feel safe going to a Muslim country because there are so many who want you dead. Islam, not necessarily all the people who claim to follow it, is evil, violent , and false. Turn to something, anything, else worthy of belief.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • pepsee

      If you must know Imran, most of those billion + muslims were converted by fear of sword. Even today anyone from the muslim country wants to convert to some other religion he gets tortured and killed. Plenty of news like this leaks out of islamic countries. Don't sugarcoat the atrocities of islam from living in a western country.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Prime Directive

      Please provide verified evidence for your god (any god). That would be sooooo helpful.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • getreel

      My man, How about lecturing Muslim people about Jewphobia? Do you know that Saudi Arabia (a "moderate" muslim country) doesn't even have Israel on the map? That they dumped a ship carrying automobiles into the sea rather than accept them because the ship had been to Israel? Friend, Americans aren't as Islamaphobic as much as tired of political correctness imposed on them, while radicals can burn down embassies, cut off Jewish journalists heads in the name of Islam and the P.C. Police seek to lecture the victim and go easy on the perpetrator. That's what we're tired of, my friend.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • BobInIrvine

      @pepsee, I'd add that most Christians were "converted" by fear of death in the afterlife. That's even more of a "sword" than merely leaving this mortal coil.

      Religions that force/encourage the assimilation of non-believers are the problem.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  16. Seeker

    McLaren is Evangelicalphobic! After all, he ignores Ibn Warraq, an agnostic/atheist, who is probably one of the most outspoken against Islam and it's evils.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      No need to mention a hindu, denire of truth absolute, Arabic name does not mean, hindu Christian, believer of pagan savior ism is a Muslim.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  17. xfiler93

    The world would be FAR better off without these 12th century thinking barbarian animals. Far better off.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      hinduism, absurdity of a hindu, out law.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Presumably you mean all the backward-looking people: Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus etc. I'm not quite ready to write them off. We have to work with what we have. Chin up! First things first. Let's educate their young and go from there.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  18. Brian

    If ya'll don't agree with me and shout iSLAM IS A PEACEFUl religion then I will label you a islamaphobe!

    September 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Seeker

      Yep, apparently everyone has a phobia if there is disagreement. McLaren is Evangelicalphobic.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  19. little tin god

    All muslims are animals. Even those here in the US. They should all be kicked out of the country as evil supporters of islamic terrorists. Let them go back to their own stone age countries and eek out their miserable lives.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      again with the animal sh!t cant you christian think of anything new.

      Christian philosophy 101, every one who is not a christian is an animal, and god gave us dominion over them so we can subjugate at will.
      justification of genocide and ecocide in the last 2000 years; from the slavery of Africans, manifest destiny and the genocide of the druids.

      your all monsters

      September 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      By hinduism, absurdity of a hindu ignorant from hindered gutter of hinduism, illegality called India.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • pepsee

      Hey "Hinduism source of hindufilthyracism" , you seem to be a madrassa graduate from Pakistan or Afghanistan. Have you ever read civilized people's books? Get hold of a history book and read how the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan used to be Hindus and Buddhists before they were forcibly converted by muslim nomadic butchers from arab lands. Some of your forefathers were beheaded and some were forcibly converted to islam. You are a descendant of those victims, who were either Hindus or Buddhists.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • SkepticalOne

      Thank you for proving the author's point.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      No I am not, but sure, you are a hindu, ignorant educated in a hindu temple, dungeon of illegality by a hindu sanatan, filthy goon, no different than his hindiuism, illegality.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  20. Ed Walker

    What an idiot this author is. Members of the so called religion of peace continue to prove they are anything but peaceful and yet we are accused of Islamophobia.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      Christianity created their violence, remember that, you turned Islam into a monster

      September 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Free Thinker

      Hey Sam....you do realize that Christians have NOTHING to do with any of the Muslims problems whatsoever right, lol. To even think this is a show of ones nature of not studying history or the religion of both groups. Oh wait well maybe it does since almost half the koran was copied from the bible and the wording was slightly changed.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Tint

      When you got nothing intelligent to contribute other than calling "names" its better to shut up.Oops sorry you are excersing your freedom of speech.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Muslims do not support Christian absurdity of evolution, but existence of truth absolute Muhammed, Hindu Jew absurdity of evolution is a fundamental of atheism, pagan ism, self center ism, product of observation of animals having s.x,having nothing to do with moral science, To learn causes of mayhem among Hindus, Jews, Christian atheists please visit limitisnotthetruth.com/blog.html and click on Akbur, turn off your virus protection first.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      dear Free Thinker maybe you should buy a better thought and realize the crusaded led Islam to a violent path, the leader after Saladin, i forget his name, was laved and ra.ped buy Christians, after he freed himself, he stated encouraging Muslims to do away with science and art and pick up the sword, the suffering you caused him turned the religion toward hate.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.