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My Take: Muslims must engage politically, look outside themselves
Muslim Americans must exercise their right to vote and be part of the process, says Khalid Latif.
October 25th, 2012
01:00 PM ET

My Take: Muslims must engage politically, look outside themselves

Editor's Note: Imam Khalid Latif is a chaplain for New York University and executive director of the school's Islamic Center.

By Khalid Latif, Special to CNN

My wife and I were on our way into Bed, Bath and Beyond in late August when I decided to check my office voicemail from my cell phone. I told her I'd meet her inside. When I did, she asked whether I had any messages.

"Just one,” I told her. “I was asked to deliver an invocation at this year's Republican National Convention." She responded with a smile on her face, "Of course you were," and then showed me the pillows she’d selected.

I didn't get a chance to decide whether I would accept the invitation, as Hurricane Isaac changed the RNC schedule and made the decision for me. But before the impending storm blew me off the schedule, I sought advice from friends and colleagues. What were the implications of my participating at the RNC? Would it make sense?

One conservative, evangelical Republican friend told me that it would have been a great way to start a conversation with members of his party who are fed up with the current platform and, amongst other things, the party’s highly anti-Muslim and Islamophobic rhetoric. Now, it seemed, that conversation wouldn't happen.

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But I couldn't understand why it must take a Muslim standing on an RNC stage to get people talking. Is that really the only way a Muslim voice can be heard in the political arena? Realistically, it's not. The other options just require more time, strategy and patience.

Like all other citizens, American Muslims can be heard through our right to vote. We, as a community, can amplify our voice by building coalitions more broadly with other groups. And we can speak the loudest by encouraging our best and brightest to be a part of the system.

Most American Muslims aren't hearing a discourse that tells them to be civically engaged on a local or grassroots level, which is a huge problem. The presidential election is not the only election that takes place in our country; the impact that one can have on local communities is just as important.

We are starting to get this. In comparison to 10 years ago, today we see more Muslim mayors, city council members and commissioners, law enforcement agents, policymakers and others. But there is still a long way to go. Refraining from being part of the process really isn't an option anymore.

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

In deciding who to work with or which candidate to support on any level, be it local or national, it's important to be informed beyond one's own needs. Most Muslims keep from building relationships with other groups unless there is some direct impact on us.

We don't stand up for others’ rights as well as we should. Then, when we want others to be there for us and validate our community, we don't get what we need so readily because we weren’t there for their communities or still don’t understand issues beyond our own.

Do you know what conversations are taking place in your local government? Decisions are being made that will affect people who live in your town, your city, your state, your entire country.

If the Muslim community wants people to stand with us when a hateful person protests the building of our mosques, we need to stand with them at their time of need, or even at times when there is no pressing need at all. The myopic perspective that keeps us from thinking strategically and, more importantly, humanely, needs to go.

I watched the presidential debates at the Islamic Center at New York University, where I was joined by my students and community members. I watched so that I could be better informed of the candidates' stances on all issues - including the ones that affect me directly and those that touch people around me.

I will keep telling my students, whom I encouraged to register to vote, that they must think beyond the presidential election and get involved locally. New York City will elect a new mayor next year, along with many other officials, and they should be a part of that process, too.

And I will keep telling them that civic engagement is not just about having your voice heard. It's also about having confidence that you have something to offer that will make society better.

My students, like many other American Muslims, can and should help the growth and development of our country. The time is here for them to see not only how their being Muslim benefits them individually but also how their being Muslim benefits the world around them.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Khalid Latif.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Islam • Muslim • Politics

soundoff (1,030 Responses)
  1. JLS639

    Mr Latif,
    As it exists, the GOP has decided to make you an enemy. Muslims used to be reliable GOP voters. To shore up their base and lure bigots away from the Democrats, they decided to start spewing rhetorical venom at you. After years of constant bigotry coming from the right and a Pew poll in August 2010 showing >40% of Republicans would deny Muslims specifically the religious freedoms all other religions enjoy here (as opposed to 15% of Democrats), you surely recognize this. I do not know if I should applaud your bravado for standing up to these bigots or tell you you are crazy for not giving up on them until they forget about Muslims and find some other minority to hate.

    Come over to the right side. Vote Democrat and leave the bigots who hate you behind.

    October 25, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • No Religion

      Turn away from the lies of religion all together. Be free.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  2. ffacts

    islam is a cult and is spreading like a disease

    October 25, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • No Religion

      Religion = Cult.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  3. Quin

    ATTENTION AMERICA, SHARIAH LAW IS ALREADY BEING IMPOSED IN PARTS OF MICHIGAN WHERE THE MAJORITY ARE MUSLIMS. ESPECIALLY IN DEARBORN MICHIGAN. WAKE UP AMERICA.

    October 25, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • No Religion

      Wake up from your sleep. Reject religion and be free like me.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Quin

      I am already awake, islam/muslims are a plaque. They impose their views on countrys by mass islamization. It is already being done in france/england.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Bob

      You're right. Telling a 12 year old girl she has to carry her father's child even if it kills her because some bitter, old, white guys think (the Bible actually says a baby has no soul until it is delivered so an unborn fetus being killed is no worse than killing an animal ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE) is the very definition of Sharia Law. Imposing the arbitrary rules of one book is just as bad whether it was written (and re-written) by Christians, Muslims, Mormons, or Jedis. They're equally matters of personal opinion and choice and have business being imposed on citizens who don't share their backwards beliefs.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Joe

      No it's not. Your head is ruled by fear and ignorance. You're the PERFECT CONSERVATIVE – stupid, fearful, and too ignorant to know it.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Quin,

      "Muslims are a plaque"?

      Quick, call a dental hygenist.

      October 25, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Towelie

      If you are going to the dentist, don't forget to bring a towel!

      October 25, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Towlie, you're the best.

      October 25, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Carol

      What color are you Bob that you detest white people?

      October 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  4. Mike

    It doesn't matter which religion you practice – fundamentalism of any brand is close-minded and detrimental.

    October 25, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • No Religion

      Any religion, fundamentalist or non-fundamentalist is wrong.

      No Religion = Freedom.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Carol

      Mike, it's the religion of atheism that needs to go.

      October 25, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  5. Hcalla

    Pick a dogma any dogma. The problem with this particular dogma is they think whoever doesn't agree with them shouldn't be allowed continued existence. Clean up your own tent before you stick your nose in ours.

    October 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • William

      Typical atheist shoving his dogma in the ring. What else is new?

      October 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • No Religion

      @William

      How does one have dogma as an atheist?

      October 25, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Carol

      William, wouldn't that be the dogma of fools?

      October 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  6. Shak

    I will say a big problem w/in the Islamic World is the mixing of cultural practices and veliing them as Islamic. Like the driving ban in Saudi, there is nothing Islamic about it, its cultural. In the Qu'ran Muslims are commanded to gain knowledge. Many practices in the Islamic world are cultural ones that have seeped into and then made to be Islamic when they are not.

    October 25, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • No Religion

      The problem in religion.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • William

      The problem is and always will be atheism.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • No Religion

      @William

      Your statement is not logical.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • kelly

      Did anyone ever say that the driving ban (for women) in Saudi Arabia was an Islamic law? Not sure anyone has ever made that announcement. It seems you are the one mixing the cultural and religious.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Bob

      You mean like Mitt Romney does? And the way the GOP does?

      October 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  7. NoTax

    As was proved in internet islam is not a religion, same as a communism

    October 25, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Shak

      To bad for you the US Government and governments around the world disagree with you and say Islam is a religion.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Carol

      They also say atheism is a religion.

      October 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  8. Reality

    Saving our sister and brother Muslims (including Khalid Latif)

    From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi----–

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
    be upon him) alone."

    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

    Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

    October 25, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Reality

      إنقاذ الشقيقة والمسلمين الأخ (بما في ذلك خالد لطيف

      from Google Translate (deprogramming Islam in Arabic)

      من دراسات ارمسترونغ، رشدي، علي هيرسي، والبيهقي ريتشاردسون ----–

      الخطوات الخمس لأبطل تأثير الخرافات من 1400 سنة الإسلامي:

      (-اتخاذ خطوات أقل من دقيقتين إلى دقيقة، والانتهاء ببساطة مذهلة-سنتين إلى إحلال السلام والعقلانية لأكثر من مليار نسمة، فقد لا تقدر بثمن!)

      هل أنت مستعد؟

      استخدام "الفروع الإسلامية 77 من" الإيمان "مجموعة الإمام البيهقي جمعتها كنقطة انطلاق. في ذلك، وهو ما يفسر الفضائل الأساسية التي تعكس صحيح" الإيمان "(إيمان) من خلال الآيات القرآنية وأحاديث نبوية ذات الصلة." أي ملخصا لطيفة من المعتقدات الإسلامية والقرآن الكريم.

      والخمسة الأولى من الفروع 77:

      "1، والإيمان بالله"

      وينبغي أن يضاف الملقب كما الله، الرب، زيوس، الرب، الطبيعة الأم، وما إلى ذلك لالخلايا العصبية الذاتية التطهير الخاص.

      "2. وإذا ما تصورنا أن كل شيء غير الله كان غير موجود. بعد ذلك، خلق الله العلي هذه الأمور لاحقا وجاء إلى حيز الوجود."

      التطور والانفجار الكبير أو "غي ب G-NAB" (عندما يبدأ الكون لإعادة تدوير) هي أكثر قبولا وينبغي إدراج "المندرجة" في سبيل الله إذا كنت لا تزال تشكل "CREA-tionist".

      "3. إلى الاعتقاد في وجود الملائكة".

      A بندا رئيسيا لتطهير الخلايا العصبية. الملائكة / دي vils-الإبداعات الأسطورية هي من الحضارات القديمة، على سبيل المثال Hitt خائبي، لشرح / تحديد الأحداث الطبيعية، والاتصالات مع آلهتهم، والطيور الكبيرة، والرياح المفاجئة، وحماة في ليالي الظلام، وما إلى ذلك لا "جميلة / UG-لاي ثينجيس افسح المجال ل" أو بزيارة أي وقت مضى تحدث إلى محمد، يسوع، مريم أو جوزيف سميث أو جو. اليوم سوف نصنف الملائكة كما airies-F و "كير القصدير يكون LLS-". وتصنف الحديثة دي vils كما دي مونس هيئة اجتثاث mented.

      "4. إذا ما تصورنا أن جميع الكتب السماوية التي تم إرسالها إلى الأنبياء مختلفة صحيحا، ولكن بصرف النظر عن القرآن الكريم، كل الكتب الأخرى غير صالحة بعد الآن."

      آخر بندا رئيسيا في حذفها. لا توجد كتب في ولاية روح السماء (إن وجد) كما لا توجد الملائكة لكتابة / نشر / توزيعها. القرآن، OT، NT وما هي ببساطة كتب من قبل البشر للبشر.

      اخترعت من قبل الأنبياء الكتبة القديمة عادة للحفاظ على الجماهير من الامم المتحدة والمتعلمين في الصف. اليوم ونحن ندعو لهم مقابل لحن فرز الأصوات.

      كما نبوءات invali مؤرخة من قبل الهدايا الطبيعية / الله / الله من الإرادة الحرة والمستقبل.

      "5. لنعتقد أن جميع الأنبياء صحيحة، ولكن ونحن أمرنا اتباع النبي محمد (عليه الصلاة والسلام
      صلى الله عليه وسلم) وحده. "

      قضى محمد ثلاثين يوما "الصيام" (أسطورة رمضان) في كهف الساخن قبل لقاءه الأول مع الله ويعرف أيضا باسم الله وما إلى ذلك من خلال "افسح المجال ل ثينغي جميلة". الحس السليم يتطلب حذف الخلايا العصبية من رقم 5. # 5 هو أيضا المصدر الرئيسي للالاسلامي VI-olence أي تحول محمد "سريع والجوع يحركها" hallu-cinations إلى واقع فظيع لغير المؤمنين.

      المشي هذه الخطوات الخمس ونحن نضمن انتعاش الكامل من طرقك الإسلامية!!

      للأسف، لا توجد العديد من المعلقين مسلم / القراء على هذا بلوق لذلك "لمدة دقيقتين" هو عدم الحصول على علاج لأولئك الذين في حاجة إليها. إذا كان لديك صديق مسلم، وإرسال نسخة منه وتساعد في إنقاذ العالم.

      خطوات مماثلة متوفرة في طلبك للحصول على deprogramming الأساطير المسيحية واليهودية والبوذية والهندوسية والوثنية ..

      October 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  9. SFRich

    While I have no doubt there are countless Muslims who practice their faith with peace and respect for others. We all labor over the constant exposure of stereotypical fanatic behavior the media provides us.

    Nevertheless, I find a great many parallels between the Muslim radicals and the neocon Republicas:

    – Both have little tolerance for those who think differently than they do—to the point of hatred.
    – In varying degrees, both espouse social positions that are decades, if not centuries old.
    – Both feel they have the right to force others to live in accordance to their religious beliefs, and are comfortable limiting the rights of others either by decree or legislation.
    – Both feel that women are inferior to men, and that their place is at home taking care of domestic matters and raising children.
    – Etc., etc., etc.

    October 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @SFRich,

      yep. Fundamentalism is ... fundamentalism.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • No Religion

      Religion = Hate.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Shak

      @ No Religion I am religious and hate no one so your argument is flawed and spammed.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • No Religion

      @Shak

      One individual does not an entire religion make.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • No Religion

      @Shak

      Perhaps there is hope for you. Perhpas you are ready to choose freedom.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Shak

      Thank you Yoda, however when say religion = hate you are making a broad statement thus my reply.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • No Religion

      @Shak

      Religion = Pain.
      Religion = Grief.
      Religion = Lies.
      Religion = Hate.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • William

      Atheism = stupidity + hate + arrogance.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • No Religion

      @William

      Thank you for your valuable input William.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Fact

      @SFRich
      You got that wrong. It's the liberals who shove their legislation down our throats; how quickley you forget the arm twisting to cram that lousy piece of Obamacareless legislation through. Trying to hold on to traditional values is not what is ruining us; it's the false premise that Collectivism will work. Hasn't worked longer than 75 years for any country, but if you really like it move to Cuba or one of those "peace lovin" Muslim nations.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Joe

      Fact, political parties, by definition, force their views onto everyone else. You think the republican's dont do the same thing? Collectivism, by the way, will be our saving grace. Greedy individualism has proven already that it's deepfly flawed. There is a such thing as the public good, and the public good must trump special interests for democracy to work. It's not, and hence our democracy is falling apart because people like you are PART OF THE PROBLEM, not part of the solution. YOU are what will make this country fail, and when it does, YOU and your kind will go down in the history books as being the ignorant morons who enabled the elite to take over and ruin everything.

      October 25, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @fact A typical whiner about Obamacare. Answer this. If an uninsured person goes to the emergency room and CANNOT pay the bill. WHO PAYS FOR IT. ** THE TAXPAYER.** So let me get his straight You WANT to pay someone Else's hospital bill?

      October 25, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Carol

      No Religion, that's right, your religion of atheism causes all that you wrote. Glad we agree on this issue.

      October 25, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Carol Atheism is not an religion

      October 25, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • SFRich

      Dear Factless @Fact

      I should move to Cuba you say? How typical. You don't bother to address the points I make about Muslims and right-wing GOP as being intolerant, but then you go on to bring up collectivism. Is that your confused analysis of Obamacare? Perhaps you consider other capitalist countries like England, Canada, Germany, South Korea who all have government healthcare as being socialist.

      You bring up "traditional values" but what in the world does that mean? It likely means something different for you than it does for me. Is redefining a "person" as a fetus at the moment of conception the basis for outlawing abortion a means to retain one of your traditional values? Doing so is legislating for the masses based on religious beliefs of the few. That's not an American value.

      Personally, I'm not in favor of abortion, but I'm also not a woman. I feel those who can get pregnant have a right to make that choice, even if it's choice I don't think I would make if I was a woman in such a situation. That's my position. It involves tolerance, something you, Muslims, religious fanatics, and the right-wing Republicans lack.

      --------------
      "@SFRich You got that wrong. It's the liberals who shove their legislation down our throats; how quickley you forget the arm twisting to cram that lousy piece of Obamacareless legislation through. Trying to hold on to traditional values is not what is ruining us; it's the false premise that Collectivism will work. Hasn't worked longer than 75 years for any country, but if you really like it move to Cuba or one of those "peace lovin" Muslim nations."

      October 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  10. DNC

    No Religion – you remind me of a pesky mosquito.....

    October 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Yuppy Puppy

      Truth is so annoying for you, isn't it.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • No Religion

      Mosquitos freak me out.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Carol

      Technically DNC, he's not a mosquito, he's a locust swarming in.

      October 25, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Well that was really stupid, Carol!

      Uh Carol? Do you really need to be told that single locusts cannot swarm?

      October 25, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  11. Saied

    I've seen nothing but ignorant and hateful rants against Muslims and the Religion of Islam. I say ignorant because people know nothing about Islam or history while they speak a continuous flow of criticisms about something they've never bothered to read about from the sources from which it came, Quran and Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad. First of Muslim Women were given the first rights to vote in the Bayyah of Aqabah as they gave allegiance to the Prophet after the Men did. Women were also given the right to inheritance, right to learn, read and teach as the Prophet's own wife Aisha is considered the greatest woman scholar of Islam and also taught MEN. Women were given the right to the ownership of their wealth and the husband in Islam has no right to it and what she gives is considered charity for her. Women in Islam had the right to fight in battles, run their own business as the Prophet even worked for his wife. Women are not expected to cook for their husbands as Muhammad cooked his own food and mended his own clothes. This was all given to Muslim women over 1400 years ago, so show me another society that even came close to honoring their women within a thousand years of Muhammad and we'll begin our conversation.

    October 25, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • No Religion

      Islam = Ignorant.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • No Religion

      Islam = Acid bath.

      Religion = No Freedom.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      I guess you didn't hear about the girl that was shot because she wanted to go to school. Vote? The middle east has been ruled by dictators for decades. Women's rights? young girls given to old farts to pay off debts. You can fool your family with this garbage, but we will not fall for it.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Jon

      Since 9/11 muslims have taught us way more about themselves than I ever wanted to know. Their actions speak louder than anything you can say on this site.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Fact

      So why are they killed if they choose to abandon the religion?

      October 25, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • William

      Atheism = take a dose of arrogance, add it with stupidity and hatred. What do we have? Fools.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • No Religion

      @William

      Freedom can come only with courage.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      So you get angry and upset over people who are foolish? Do you also punch "special needs" children in the face? Aren't you supposed to love and have mercy? Where's that "come let us reason together" tenderness? Too busy being god-like to be christ-like, I guess.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Carol

      Courage belongs to Christians. Atheists are locusts.

      October 25, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  12. Al-habadi

    I live in America an I demand a separate justice system for Muslims. We Muslims do not want the Judeo Christian inspired justice system. Sharia is the one and only way.

    October 25, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Shak

      Shut up, you are the type that make moderate Muslims look bad. I have no desire for Sharia law at all.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • No Religion

      Law inspired by any religion removes freedom. No religion = Freedom.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Al-habadi

      Islam has the answer for America's problem with prison overcrowding. For example people who steal will have their left hand amputated. People who kill will be killed within a year of a guilty verdict. America will save millions of dollars in incarceration costs if Sharia is the law of the land

      October 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • kwhisperer

      Oh, come on, you don't expect us to believe this is legit, do you?

      October 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • No Religion

      @Al-habadi

      There can be no freedom or justice with religion. No religion = freedom.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Let me guess, You want the right to cut off your wife's head if she doesn't fix you dinner?

      October 25, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • William

      No Religion, your shoving your religion of atheism all over this board.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • No Religion

      @William

      Your hostility is consistent with most Christians who are challenged by facts. Naturally atheism is not a religion by definition, but knowledge has never held back a Christian.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Carol

      As usual, atheists won't ever check with the supreme court who states atheism is a religion.

      October 25, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Carol,

      where does the supreme court define atheism as a religion, except where they might use the term collectively along with religious demoninations to designate those who do not believe in God?

      October 25, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Well that was really stupid, Carol!

      Carol is regurgitating the common but false misunderstanding of a 1961 Supreme Court case, where a dictum opinion by one judge described "secular humanism" as a religion. The problem with that notion is that dicta have absolutely no force of law and are effectively not part of any legal decision – it's just one man's opinion, not the decision of the whole or the law of the land.

      Atheism has been granted the same protections that protect religions, but that decision did not declare atheism a religion.

      And if the Supreme Court declares a bird to be a tree, do you think the bird actually becomes a tree?

      Sorry, but that is just another example of the fallacies that are the only tool of religious people. They have no facts, and thus can never debate honestly.

      October 25, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  13. mm

    God has nothing to do with religion.

    October 25, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Yuppy Puppy

      Then America should become more god-like and have nothing to do with religion either.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • No Religion

      mm and Yuppy Puppy

      A free America = No religion.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Yuppy Puppy

      Hint: Irony

      October 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • William

      Atheism = their religion of making themselves fools.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  14. truthordare7

    MY TAKE:
    that is where you should really stop. It is all about taking and not giving back to the infidels. I am not even religious but I can differentiate between constant complainers and those who can actually take criticisms.

    October 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  15. Jack 3

    Muslims need to look outside thier religion and see that there is another world and othe schools of thought that also deseve respect

    October 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • No Religion

      There is no religion that deserves respect.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  16. mm

    What a bunch full of hypocrites! You all are screaming about this so-called hatred Muslim's have. Listen to YOURSELVES!
    All in the name of your god, no doubt.

    October 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • No Religion

      Religion = Hate.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • William

      The religion of atheism = stupidity, plus, arrogance, plus hate. What do we get. More fools.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  17. Zero

    I like the content of this article, i just don't feel that it said anything addressing the nature of the radicals that run the joint in Saudi Arabia or the terrorists that basically push everyone around under the umbrella of "freedom of religion". There are glaring examples of any positives of that religion being snuffed out by building of radical mosques in Europe. THAT is what the Muslim community needs to address, the rest of America dones't want radicalists being bred on our home ground and looking at Europe, they aren't wrong in being fearful of that fact. It's great that he teaches his student to be more part of the community, but that is only one part of needed action to take Islam back from the radicals that have hijacked it

    October 25, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • No Religion

      There are Zero positives in religion.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Saied

      Every group has radicals whether they are Religious or Secular. There is no justification to define us or our religion by the minute minority that do things that are wrong. We did not produce Hitler he was Catholic but do Muslims blame Catholics for Hitler, NO, because we don't survive on ignorance. Did we produce Stalin, or the two World Wars? What about the Nuclear Bomb, or the Concentration Camps in Bosnia? Do Muslims take credit for the IRA or Pol Pot? What about the 1Million killed by George Bush both directly and indirectly? What about the over 3000 innocent civilians killed by Obama's Drones? What about the millions in Africa who are simply used as pawns to enrich powerful corporations and governments? Did we cause the Debt Crisis and destroy the ENTIRE World Economy? Did we create Banks That are too big to Fail? Why don't you sit and contemplate and Realize for a split second who's actually affecting your life in a negative way this very day; And you will come to One Conclusion. It's not a Muslim.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • William

      The zeros of the world are atheists.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  18. Duane

    There's an interesting common element in Christianity, Mormonism, Islam, and many other religions....proselitize: convert people of another faith(or no faith) to your religious belief system. Where the United States differs from many countries, especially those ruled by Muslims, is that each of us is guaranteed the freedom to believe as we see fit, without threat of retaliation or consequence for not joining a specific group. Islam and Mormonism both relegate non-Muslims(infidels) and non-Mormons to second class citizen status at best, with the radical element of Islam willing to kill others in the name of their god and cause. Christians are instructed to leave the judging and punishment for the rejection of Jesus Christ to Him. Freedom of religion in this country is a precious liberty to guarded, especially from those who's beliefs incorporate establishing their religion as the sole acceptable religion, as is the case in many middle eastern nations.

    October 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • No Religion

      There's an interesting common element in Christianity, Mormonism, Islam, and all other religions. Thy remove one's freedom. They are all wrong.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Saied

      Actually Duane, you really don't know what your talking about. Have you been to any Muslim country? Have you been to Egypt and seen Churches everywhere you go? What about Jordan or Indonesia? Did you know that under the Islamic State each religious group was given the right to Run their communities with their own court systems? No, you didn't, because you know how to speak but forgot how to learn before that step. Good luck with that.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  19. No Religion

    Wake up from your deep sleep and breath in freedom. You cannot have freedom until you remove the shackles of religion.

    October 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • William

      Jesus' truth sets you free. Not the religion of atheism. Atheism traps the foolish into staying foolish.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • No Religion

      That whole Jesus myth is really tired William.

      October 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      And number one on the top ten list of the most irritatingly stupid arguments that religionists make here is ...

      1. Equating atheism with a belief in the non-existence of God:
      eg: “Atheism is a religion” Ummm, no, really, it’s not!

      Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby,
      Atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color,
      Atheism is a religion like off is a television channel
      Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex act

      October 25, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Carol

      No Religion, every time you post, you prove to everyone that you are a fool.

      October 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  20. Chandan

    True story: One of my former moderate, Muslim friends said, matter-of-factly, "Of course, everybody will eventually come under Islam." It didn't even occur to her that the statement might be offensive to me or other non-Muslims. In Europe, where Muslim immigration has greatly affected demographics, we see areas that insist on governing themselves,by Sharia. In the US, the Muslim population is still so small as to be negligible in having any effect on society or government. This won't last long when they are here in greater numbers. Ever notice the size of their families? Let's use Europe as the model of what shouldn't happen.

    October 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • No Religion

      The Christians are far more frightening than the Muslims. All religions are wrong.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Fact

      @No Religion
      A Christian fanatic does not believe in retaliating if someone makes offensive comments about their God. A Muslim fanatic does. Case closed.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @'Fact'

      what delusional world do you live in when you say that "A Christian fanatic does not believe in retaliating if someone makes offensive comments about their God"

      Spend ten minutes on almost any topic on the CNN Belief Blog and you will be proven wrong.

      Who do you think burned down mosques in Missouri and Ohio. Muslims? Most assuredly, Christians did it.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Chandan

      No religion, you're a lying troll

      October 25, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • No Religion

      @Fact

      The only thing I would add to GOP'er is all of recorded history.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • William

      Atheists are behind all the problems in the world and change their costumes for every event, pointing their fingers at the innocents and blaming them for their bad deeds.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
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About this blog

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