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My Take: New Year’s resolution – don’t get murdered
A man cries as he prays at the graves of the victims from the May Lahore attacks against Ahmadiyya community mosques July 14, 2010 in Chenab Nagar, Pakistan.
January 5th, 2013
04:00 AM ET

My Take: New Year’s resolution – don’t get murdered

Editor’s Note: Qasim Rashid is a national spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA. Follow him on Twitter @MuslimIQ.

By Qasim Rashid, Special to CNN

(CNN)–My New Year’s resolution is to not die for my faith. I’d hoped that 2012 would bring a revolution among Muslims and Muslim-majority nations to free oppressed minds.

Yet I find myself still waiting to not die.  That’s the “curse” of being an Ahmadi Muslim in too much of the Muslim world.

Ahmadi Muslims believe Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) is the long awaited messiah and Mahdi the Prophet Mohammed foretold, sent to unite mankind and establish peace. But this isn’t an evangelical piece, so please, keep reading.

Instead of peace, 2012 brought increased persecution in which vigilante murder, unjust arrest and outright discrimination against Ahmadi Muslims continued. A new type of persecution also increased, from which even death is not an escape.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

On December 3, armed extremists destroyed 120 graves belonging to Ahmadi Muslims at a cemetery in Lahore, Pakistan. When I condemned the attack on Twitter, the response from some was just as ignorant. “You’re an infidel! Stop calling yourself a Muslim!” “You’re causing Fitna (or chaos) stop with these infidel beliefs!” Across Pakistan, Europe, Indonesia—and yes, even here in America—this is reality for Ahmadi Muslims.

I get it.

Some Muslims aren’t thrilled that Ahmadi Muslims believe the messiah has come because they expect Jesus, son of Mary, to literally descend from heaven. Ahmadi Muslims believe the Quran is clear that Jesus died a natural death many years after surviving the crucifixion.

But this isn’t about persuading anyone to believe us. Instead, it is about confronting Fitna’s actual source and recognizing the biggest poison for Muslims worldwide: religious bigotry.

Sometimes that bigotry is peripheral. The other day I tweeted a quote from Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison praising the head and Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, “… under (your holiness’) leadership the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been a true blessing for us here in the United States." Like clockwork I lost a dozen followers.

Sometimes that bigotry is disguised as a compliment. “You’d be such a good Muslim, if only you weren’t a Qadiani,” someone once told me in person. Qadiani is a pejorative for Ahmadi Muslims.  The “compliment” reeks of patronization, is actually an insult, and ignores the shocking possibility that perhaps I am a “good Muslim” because I am an Ahmadi Muslim.

Sometimes that bigotry is direct. “You Qadiani mother--er! You will burn in hell for your beliefs! You godd- Jewish agent I’ll kill you!”  No comment.

The above religious bigotry I can handle. When some of the above sometimes turns to death threats, I can only foolishly hope my wife doesn’t find out. (She has this funny thing where she doesn’t want her husband brutally murdered. I know I know, women!)

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

But sometimes that bigotry is full-blown state-sanctioned persecution and violence. Like in certain Arab states where Ahmadi Muslims are incarcerated and deported for the crime of being an Ahmadi Muslim. Or like in Pakistan where simply claiming Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is the messiah is a criminal offense warranting capital punishment for the use of derogatory remarks in respect to the Prophet.

No exaggeration—as we lawyers like to say—that’s the black letter of the law. Fortunately, no Ahmadi Muslim in Pakistan has been executed for this crime, yet. But is it anything less than an execution when the Taliban murders 86 Ahmadi Muslims in broad daylight and the police, who admitted to knowing of the attack beforehand, look on from afar?

Look, I’m not looking for special treatment. Nor do I want sympathy. But I do want one thing for the sake of humanity: That Muslims condemn all forms of religious bigotry—peripheral, patronizing, direct and violent. While this simple request is what’s right, some turn a deaf ear, despite Prophet Mohammed's pluralistic example.

Ahmadi Muslim Islamic Sect has appealing message for U.S. politicians but has global enemies

Mohammed championed religious equality in the Charter of Medina he signed with Jews. He assured protection of religious freedom in his letter to Christian monks at St. Catherine’s Monastery. He also afforded all Arabs carte blanche forgiveness when peacefully retaking Mecca—on the single condition that religious freedom reign free. Even Prophet Mohammed's rules of war were specifically designed to protect, not persecute, religious freedom.

Every Ahmadi Muslim, Shia Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Baha’i, Sikh, atheist, agnostic, pagan—and the list goes on—has that fundamental human right to religious freedom. Establishing that right creates the peace and mutual respect we all ostensibly want.

I say ostensibly, because when it comes to religious freedom in too much of the Muslim world, I’m still waiting to not die. I’ll continue to wait, alongside millions, until Muslims recognize religious bigotry for what it is—a cancer—and expel it from their midst. Yet, my in-box will reflect that this simple plea has, for some, fallen on deaf ears.

Well, I guess I better not slack on my New Year’s resolution.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Muslim • Religious violence

soundoff (687 Responses)
  1. Kat

    what is up with CNN's almost daily anti-Muslims/Islam piece of garbage in its web sites? How come CNN did not report on the dozens of churches discrations in Palestine by extremist Jews in "price tag" attacks during the Christmas season? Zionazi media is trying really hard to justify Israel's apartheid and colonization of Palestine by demonizing Muslims. As if Palestinians were not Muslim, they would stop defending their freedom, homes and rights.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • doughnuts

      Because they didn't happen.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Bubba

      Extremist jews are no better than muslims. All religions should be abolished you backwards, fairy believing child of a goat.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Irfan Haqqee

      @Kat. You are on the right in pointing out the inhuman treatment of Palestinians, both Muslim and Christians, by extremists Zionist Jews but treatment of Ahmadiyya Muslims needs to be told too since it doesn't get any mention in the Muslim press, where it is supposed to be discussed, out of fear of reprisal from extremists Muslims no better than the Zionists Jews.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  2. Susan Wells

    Atheism is the only path to religious peace – This brings out the Russia/China/Pol Pot crazies. The Tzar was considered a god, so were the European kings – divine rights etc. Extremist political states are IDENTICAL to religious states. You religionites need to get off your knees worshiping mad made fictions and get an education. So to repeat : Atheism is the only path to religious peace. Read and learn.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • wizzard

      Once you understand why you reject other religions, you'll understand why I reject yours.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • truly......

      all atheism does is remove some some of the insanity...

      the republicans would have to find a new hook to get votes, the Theocrats around the world would have to come out and say that they think they should be in control of it all...and then have to provide real reasons for their stance and not rely on fear of a supernatural overlord to maintain their authority.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
  3. take history

    the nations of Islams/Muslims kill the nations of Islams/ Muslims. That's how it started, and still is. It's chaos of internal conflicts.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • SayAsIs

      Islam can't even provide safety and peace to Muslims themselves. There are always better Muslims who are ready to murder the lesser Muslims. Islam is just a form of fascism in the garb of worship to One God. They really worship an egomaniac (Muhammad in the garb of Allah)

      January 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • SayAsIs

      The fact that Islam started by a murderer and highway robber and the fact that 3 out of 4 so called righteous Caliphs were murdered is a $lap on the face of any Koranderthal who says Islam means peace. Islam means submission to a egomaniac and insecure Allah who is nothing but alterego of Muhammad, the 54 year old pedophile who used to $exually abuse a 9 year old daily in the garb of marriage.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Hello

      Muslim motto.. the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim.

      January 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
  4. joe chandler

    "Ahmadi Muslims believe Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) is the long awaited messiah and Mahdi the Prophet Mohammed foretold, sent to unite mankind and establish peace." Don't mean to call believers of such nonsense stupid, but hasn't this so called messiah (like the rest of them) has come and gone.. He didn't do what he his followers believe he was to do. Last I checked the mankind was not united and there was no peace. He failed miserably.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Joe, his claim may appear – from a rational point of view – to be wrong, but should that belief be license for other Muslims to persecute and kill him? I believe that whatever sect of whatever religion you may believe is silly and ridiculous, but as long as your religious belief is not harming someone else (and when I say "harm" that does not include the childish and ridiculous concept of a person being "offended" by another person's belief, or another person's opinion of your belief), then you should be enti-tled to believe whatever religious silliness you want.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • doughnuts

      Jesus didn't do so good a job at the whole "messiah" schtick, but people still believe in him.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • joe chandler

      Jesus is included in " the rest of them".

      January 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  5. Ray

    Good Day,

    Muslims dont believe in hatred nor violence, as a matter of fact Islam was the largest empire that grew the fastest in history with the least blood spilled. Islam was the anchor modern western civilization. Mohammed tought peace and unification, he also preached the Quran which was a devine revelation from God, it spoke about his oneness, he inspired man to belive in god and his laws, what has happened in the last century is that man made secular democracy created man made laws, were your life now was in the hands of the lord of chambers the court house, or the UN, the Hauge, the Security Council or what ever it may be that man created. Man is not perfect, this system has obviously been broken because of the desire of mankind and there material conquest, can you say conflict of intrest?

    Ahmadiya's is one of the sect of Islam that the Prophet warned of, he mentioned that Islam will be 72 sects before the return of the Meesiah, Islam like Judasim, christianity all believe in the return of the messiaha, thats more than 4 billion people on this earth, the reality is the secular's atheiests, and smaller groups control these larger groups, and thus have implemented these types of laws to reign in on the people of the scriptures, the mass increase of small sects in all these religions such as mormons, the jevoha witness's and khabala movements in every major religioous group were also based on lack of leadership and these smaller groups creating divisions so that power can maintain and reign over through nations that were newly created, and as well as governments. We all know this is, what we must know is this that oveer half the population of the world follow these scriptures, and amongst them they all have there differences. What i hate about this article is that Qasim Rasheed plays victim on CNN and makes his religion sound that its the best amonst islam, Qasim im sorry, trying to justify your sect of islam to your western masters only divides your cause, and will only lead to more persecution, the Ahmady sect invokes and antagonizes its self by distancing it from mainstream Islam with finding similiarties with Western secular Zionists, like your US congress man praising you, you use the Islamic extremist Taliban Movememt in Pakistan as an example of Mainstream Islam, guess what the Taliban is not only killing Ahmadiya's there killing everyone! Dont use your sect as an excuse of vicitimization, your a bad example of what the Taliban is doing to change the name of Islam, Islam is not the Taliban Qasim, and Islam has nothing to do with the Ahmadiyas!

    January 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • SayAsIs

      Bull, Islam was the single biggest reason for murder and arson in Persia, India, North Africa, Syria and so on. Millions have died defending the intolerance that is Islam. Islam makes God an egomaniac who tortures anyone who doesn't worship him. Islam is a cult of murder and intolerance.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Anna

      If Islam stands for peace and has nothing to do with hatred then why is there so much violence on the part of Muslims against those they feel are "infidels"? And why do so many of you feel the need to lecture the public on what is proper Islam or a proper belief in God, a practice which appears to inspire the violent among you to be violent?

      January 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • doughnuts

      The leading cause of death among Muslims, is other Muslims.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Ray

      Anna and everyone else,

      As you might wonder why there is this great annmoisty between Islam and the west exists, and why do the extreme elements always get the 6:00 oclock news, is not majic, there at war! A war that islam did not create!

      Why was there no mention of islamic extemism mentioned growing up as childern, lets just say it the way it is, ever since the end of the cold war, the US needed a new enemy they called it Islam, a faith! and what a big mistake that was, every empire govermnet or army that has decided to war with a faith or belief has only lost at the end, the biggest exampple was chrisitainity, when the romans put jesus on that cross, eversince christainity has luded to that martydrom as the single best thing to believe when persecuted, islam is no different this time, and the jews of the holocaust were no different, what you are seeing now is the next phase of Islams growth through a war that they never inteded to start. The term of infidel was used in the early 11th century when these barbaric armies started to arrive in the holy land with the thought of libertaing Jeresulem from the mindless Islamic rulers, Islam at its highest intellectual historic peak called them infedels, they knew nothing of rules of engagement slaughtered thousands and brought disease to the middle east, these were the first extermist's to come to the islamic world, they were completely wiped out a hundrred years later through Sala Din. Islam allowed jews and christians to live and maintain there lives in the holy land ever since, the second extremest to come abord was hitler, not a muslim but a christian vowing to remove jews from the entire world and they made the same similiarities to what america is doing with muslims right now, gues what happened???? he was wiped out and Jews no are one of the most influental religions on earth, hmmmm do you notice a pattern here, instead of reading CNN headlines i invite everyone to deeply look at true virtues of islam and judge for your self, not reading CNN. sorry cnn.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Hello

      if you are born in a muzzy land.. if you do not have a dic your are property...
      so much for your good value myth

      January 5, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
  6. Bubba

    How many muslims does it take for peace?

    Zero because there will be no peace as long as there as muslims.

    They cant even get along with themselves. Like a bunch of rats.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Nabeel Kareem

      If you have that much of hate against Muslims, God help your religion or beliefs, whatever they may be.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Susan Wells

      To Nabeel Kareem: You miss the point. Islam is a man made fiction like all gods and their related religion. Religion, including Islam, is a desecration of humanity. Don't a fool all your life. Give up the Mohammed cult.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Ray

      Mr Take History,

      Maybe your history lasts as long as you can remember superman as a child, the problem is that after Islam reigned as the most dominant, inspiring civilization that existed, providing man kind with arabic numerals algerbra, paper, hospitals, and the tax system that cares for the poor, maybe you shoud be careful with what you write, Islam and secular democracy does not work, this so called democracy that everyone belives in is a way to remove god from rule, and God is the ultimate ruler, why else would there be over 4 billion people on earth following him ?????????

      January 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • doughnuts

      Ray, "Arabic" numerals are Indian in origin, so is Algebra (although the fundamentals were created in Greece, as well).
      Advancements didn't happen because of Islam, they happened in spite of Islam. Many were neo-Assyrian in origin (a pagan and Christian nation).
      Islam was spread on the edge of a sword and the point of a spear. Pretending otherwise just shows your own bias and ignorance.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  7. SayAsIs

    Koran and Hadith need to be banned for the hate speech and intolerance that they inculcate among the Muslims

    January 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
  8. Yawar

    It is true that Muslims, be it Sunni or Shia, in general find the beleifs of Ahmadies repulsive. However, most following the example of our beloved Prophet Muhammed, are against the use of violence against them. Those that do, by and large belong to the Wahabi/Deobandi schools of thought practiced by extremist groups like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. And unfortunately this violent extremist mentality, although a small minority in the Muslim world, has very deep roots and is very well funded.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Big Bob

      Well funded indeed. Some 11 trillion since 1986. The largest transfer of wealth in human history. All to a nomadic tribe that could neither find nor extract the source of their wealth without infidel no-how. What an accident of geology!

      January 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • SayAsIs

      The fact that Islam started by a murderer and highway robber and the fact that 3 out of 4 so called righteous Caliphs were murdered is a $lap on the face of any Koranderthal who says Islam means peace. Islam means submission to a egomaniac and insecure Allah who is nothing but alterego of Muhammad, the 54 year old pedophile who used to $exually abuse a 9 year old daily in the garb of marriage.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  9. Tacitus Talks

    "Atheism is the only path to religious peace?" – Oh yeah, just ask Russia, China, Republican France (1789-1800), Cambodia (Pol Pot), Ethiopia and Somalia (under Communism) – how many dead in all – 200 million when the atheists were done? That is more than the Crusades and the religions wars of 1500-1700. Atheists. This is all there is, when you die – you are "worm meat". Take this time you are wasting trying to "convert" people to atheism – get a good amount of money so you can enjoy this "brief" existence before oblivion. If I were you I would be getting laid 6 times a day and 20 on Sunday.- certainly not "blogging" on CNN.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Wow! 20 on Sunday! Wouldn't your hand get really tired?

      January 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • truly......

      The Soviet and Chinese style communists were/are dictator ships ....people giving allegiance to anything other than the state were a threat...just another form of religious type control.

      Atheism mean no belief in gods period. it can be coupled with, say, true democracy and a balance beween free markets and socialism (we take care of our poor and elderl;y) and the strides we would make as a people would be astounding.

      you couple Atheism (or theism) with any type of Authoristism and you get the Soviets, China ect.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  10. guest

    CNN, I am sick of how you only find negative stories about muslims to post. There are 1.6 billion muslims in the world, 20% of the world population, there are much more to muslims than the negative image you show. I am sick of this "free" media.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • SayAsIs

      Does having numbers mean that neanderthal beliefs are beyond criticism?

      January 5, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Yes, guest, a "free" media is a terrible thing. Perhaps a State-controlled media, with very strict controls, would suit you.

      But what if that State media didn't share your outlook and views – then what?

      January 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Bubba

      They would write something positive but what good is there to say about dirty muslims?

      January 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • guest

      I am not complaining about the criticism. Criticizing is fine with me. I am complaining that only CNN does is criticize. In any 1.6 billion people, there will always be some horrible people and some very good people. why does CNN only and exclusively talk about the horrible people.

      This media isn't free. By the double quotes around free, I meant that the media claims to be free, but indeed serves some misinforming goals.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • guest

      Bubba, what you are saying is exactly what I am complaining about. When you only watch this type of news channel, you never see anything good about muslims. They are all dirty to you. Think about it there are 1.6 billion of them, one out of 5 people in the world is muslim. Do you seriously think there are all horrible. Do you know for example that Dr. Oz is muslim?

      January 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Susan Wells

      ((( I am sick of this "free" media.))) Says it all don't it! Try this: Islam is like smallpox, the world would be better off without it.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  11. NC

    "Minds are like parachutes – they work best when open" – Thomas Dewar

    An open heart is even better.

    Too many closed-minded and lead-encased hearts in this world. These folks rant and rave the loudest, and miss the mark by the furthest. However, trying to convince them otherwise is near impossible.

    Be still and know that I am God.

    Peace:-)

    January 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @NC

      Why is it that when someone doesn't accept your flavor of silliness, you label them "hard of heart" and that sort of thing? Do you understand that verifiable evidence does not care how "hard your heart" is.....whatever that means? Why don't we see people with "hard hearts" who won't accept math, or gravity?

      January 5, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Keeping it Real

      NC,
      "Be still and know that I am God."

      Translation from early Hebrew king's babble for:
      "Shut up and believe."

      January 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • wizzard

      Once you understand why you reject other religions, you'll understand why I reject yours.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • NC

      Three comments so far, and all critical:-)

      If your mind and heart aren't open, regardless of how critical, angry, shaming, judgemental your are, you can't get from here to there....

      You don't need a religion, you need your SELF.

      When the student's ready, the teacher appears.

      Peace:-)

      January 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
  12. Atif

    ahmadis are not muslims

    January 5, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • SayAsIs

      They are better than Muslims by being peaceful

      January 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      "No true Scotsman" logical fallacy.

      Good job – you've proved the author's premise.

      Ending religion – all religion – will not get rid of all the bad and evil in the world, but it would go a long way toward it.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Lockerius

      And you're an a$$.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Mike

      It would seem to me that an omnipotent being such as God would be big enough to do whatever He wants. Yet He does not. If He does not, what makes you think you're the judge of any belief system? If you are right and they are wrong, don't you think He will be better suited to make that call when someone has passed? It seems to be the author of this piece is on the right track in at least this matter: It is not for us to impose our decisions and beliefs on others. Every belief system has the dogmatic (religious, political, intellectual) who seem to think it is their role to impose on others their belief. It's about them being right. Yet it doesn't work. It has never worked. It will never work. Put another way, if you resort to force or telling someone what they are and are not, who are you trying to convince really?

      January 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • doughnuts

      Neither are Sunnis, or is it Shi'ites?

      I guess it's just whatever version you aren't. Remember, one man's faith is another man's heresy.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Irfan Haqqee

      They call themselves Muslims so they are. Who are you to put a label on them what they are or not?

      January 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  13. SayAsIs

    In Islam murder of apostates and those who are deviant in their religion is considered justified.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • doughnuts

      Not to mention doughters/sisters/nieces/etc that somehow besmirch the family "honor."

      January 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  14. Mohammad

    The Koran mentions Jesus by name 25 times while it mentions Mohammad by name 4 times. Jesus son of Mary is the Christ and the Messiah in Islam. He came to this earth thru a miraculous event which occurred by the decree of God and Mary gave birth to him under a palm tree in Bethlehem towards the end of the summer (not 12/25 as most Christians believe) . His first miracle was to talk to Mary as she gave birth to him to ease her worries of what she is going thru and what she would expect to face when she carries him back to her people. He was not crucified and the person who told the Romans about him instead was made to look like Jesus and speak like Jesus, so who is going to believe him that he is not Jesus if he dares to deny it. Jesus was lefted up to heaven to return towards the end and to kill the anti Christ and spread peace on earth. Just as God revealed to Moses the Torah and the Psalms he revealed the new scripture the gospel to Jesus. He was aided by a group of disciples who believed in his message. The Koran corrects many human errors introduced in various versions of bibles throughout the years. If I was a Christian I would definitely read with a lot of curiosity the literature about Jesus in Islam just for the heck of it. You got nothing to lose!

    January 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • SayAsIs

      One needs to be a Koranderthal to believe Koran leads to any peace. Try telling that to this persecuted Ahamdi

      January 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Reality

      A 21st century update for the new members of this blog:

      Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite global blood feud (e.g. Iraq and Syria) and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
  15. Reality

    The Real Islam:

    As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

    The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

    ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

    and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

    and more recently

    1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

    1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

    2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

    3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

    4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

    5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

    6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

    7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

    8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

    9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

    10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

    11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

    12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

    13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

    14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

    15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

    16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

    17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

    18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

    19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

    20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

    21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

    22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

    23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

    o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
    o
    BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.
    The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

    25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

    (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

    26 ) September 12, 2012
    U.S. AMBASSADOR KILLED
    Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

    January 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Yawar

      There is not doubt that the day of judgement is not far. The Ultimate Judge will most fairly judge us for the violence we commit with our hands and the hatred we spread with our words.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  16. Jez

    Religion is a bunch of fairy tales. I find it amazing that so many people believe in fairy tales.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Big Bob

      That's what you and I both believe. Sadly, there are millions who believe it with a burning passion. And it makes people dead!
      That's the reality!

      January 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • wizard

      Prove it...and don't give me the "it's up to the person making the claim to prove the claim." That only shows your lack of understanding of logic. You have a claim...prove that claim. Otherwise, let people live and believe what they believe. Are you angry that you are in the minority...or maybe you revel in that idea? If you think you are smarter than the majority, then please don't ever post any comments using majority views to back you up. Angry atheist losers...

      January 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • the creationist

      What about the fairy tale that we were created by nothing for nothing? to believe in absolutely nothing is the epitome of stupidity. Organized religion may seem unappealing due to fringe extremists, however, to label one's beliefs as "fairy tales" because of ignorance is really rather unenlightened. Perhaps you should read some of these texts which you ridicule before you make a fool of yourself again.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ wizard – because religion and religious texts share the same fundamental characteristics as those works of fiction we colloquially refer to as fairy tales. Characteristics such as stories that have no grounding in the real world, and which are based on a suspension or negation of the observable, verifiable natural world.

      There – claim proved.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • the creationist

      ur vast generalization of complex texts only further demonstrates your idiocy. Your tone is that of a condescending loser. does that make you one? maybe maybe not. To understand these "fairy tales" one must actually read them. I doubt you've read anything but a newspaper or you wouldn't be so close minded. Atheists are like junkies except their fix is forcing people to reject their beliefs.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Ted

      You know...there is a huge difference in Religion and the belief in God. Maybe you should educate yourself more than listening to what your grand daddy told you as he whipped your sister

      January 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • the creationist

      did I say there wasn't? maybe you should learn to read before you pass judgement.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • the creationist

      I was merely arguing that labeling religious texts as fairy tales is rather ignorant. i made no mention of believing in God. go practice ur reading skills

      January 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Yes, creationist – because I haven't read them. right. Let's see – what is the normal natural event: people who are dead stay dead, or people who are dead rise from the grave? Is this possible: A man builds a boat big enough to put two of every animal in the world in it, somehow gets all of those animals on board, floats around for about a year (gee, what did the animals eat???), and then they all get off – and those 8 people, within 100 years, generated enough progeny to build the pyramids. Right – very plausible. Oh- and Noah was 600 year old – methuselah was 969. Gee – how often do we see people running around who are that old?

      FAIRY TALES.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Susan Wells

      TO – the creationist: That's why we 'created' our nation as a secular state. Be as loony-toons a reqilionite as you want but when it comes to making real laws for the real world, your fairy tale ain't worth a horses ph-art.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • the creationist

      who is to say the world is the same as it was back then? were u alive then? dont u acknowledge that the world has changed radically from its prehistoric time? how do you know people did not live that long back then. Neither you, me, nor anyone else can say if humans even looked the same back then. perhaps they could fly and do all sorts of miraculous things. science once believed the earth was the center of the galaxy. to place one's total faith in science is foolhardy.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • the creationist

      the more i post the more worthless atheists i attract. hope you have a wonderful life, because according to you there is nothing afterwards.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • the creationist

      and susan most modern laws are derived from religious laws....you just made yourself look incredibly stupid. ex. "though shalt not kill" "though shalt not steal"...there are laws on how to lend money on how to apply justice and basically on all manner of governance. again read before you open your mouth

      January 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      creationist – that's the whole point – have a wonderful life, because there IS nothing else.

      By the way, is there a single scrap of evidence that people, in a time before modern medicine, modern agriculture, and modern knowledge of sanitation , disease control, etc, lived for hundreds of years? (psst – short and long answer – NO)

      Do you believe the Earth was created 6000 years ago? Or 10,000?

      January 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • the creationist

      thats the beauty of faith. I do not need material 'proof'. however, science always demands proof yet often misinterprets it. thus the physical evidence which you find so demanding can often lead to falsity. the world is as God wants it to be. the reason there is no "proof" is because, if there were, what would be the point of faith. if there was no sadness would there be happiness? such is the purpose of atheism. n u might as well drop dead now because ur life is meaningless according to you.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      No, creationist – that's not the "beauty" of faith. That's the insanity of faith. Where is the virtue and beauty in me believing – on faith – that my children will be better off in heaven and the voices in my head telling me to kill them are god's voice?

      Insanity.

      And yes – you did try to dodge my question. Chicken.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • the creationist

      funny how you take an extremist and label him as the average believer. would you take offense if i labeled all atheists as communists? I do not know when the earth was created nor do you. I believe that if evolution is indeed true that it is a part of the plan not a different plan altogether. Try using different rhetoric than hyperbole. k thx

      January 5, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
  17. Rainer Braendlein

    What is the actual religion of today, what matters today?

    Main thing you are an artful fellow who makes profit even on the cost of his or her neighbour (workmate, customer, boss, etc.). Nobody is interested in what you confess with your mouth, main thing the Sign of the Beast is visible on your right hand and on your forehead (evil works and thoughts).

    Islam and Catholicism are dust; now comes the Antichrist. Good night world!

    January 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Oh, Rainer – you still are a nut, nut, nut, aren't you? How's that nuttiness workin' for you?

      January 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  18. wizzard

    Its remarkable that so many words were published (by a Muslim) to such a large audience decrying Muslim on Muslim violence.

    I wish there were near as many words published by a Muslim to near as many decrying any of the violence inherent in Muslim teachings and practice.

    If you think its tough being a minority Muslim, think about what its like being a non-Muslim.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  19. NCMom

    I just want to say I was happy to read this article and I share the authors hopes. It is upsetting when people use religious text, that they rarely actually understand, as a wepon to justify there angry words or actions. It is equally upsetting when angy, ignorant bigots try to cast millions and billions of people under a single misguided stereotype. Your angry words only show your ignorance. I have studies several religions over the years and I have yet to find one lasting religion that started from a place of anger or hate. I also have yet to find one that calls on all it's followers to play God. Yet, I read these comments and they are so utterly hateful and pathetic. If you don't believe in God, fine – what is so pathetic about your life that you watse the time and energy hating people that do? If you do believe in God, when exactly did you have a 2-way conversation with God where God told you that you were a profit? Either way you are nothing more than a hypocrit. If you use your religion as a justification to condemn others than you are playing God – something nearly all religionstend to look down on. If you don't believe in God, then you should not care at all if other people do becasue in the end it makes no difference to you?

    January 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Lockerius

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

      Nothing says it better.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  20. Big Bob

    Gee! Are you implying that much of the muslim world has the potential for violence? Racist! xD

    January 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      "muslim" isn't a race. Therefore, the term "racist" doesn't apply.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:06 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.