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May 6th, 2014
10:50 AM ET

Hey Boko Haram, pick up a Quran and bring back our girls

Opinion by Arsalan Iftikhar, special to CNN 

(CNN) - Hey Boko Haram, have you read the Quran lately?

Most of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world have, and we're utterly certain that it condemns kidnapping young girls and selling them into slavery - no matter what you say "Allah" tells you.

According to Amnesty International, several hundred schoolgirls - both Christian and Muslim - between the ages of 16 and 18 were abducted at gunpoint on April 14 from their rooms at the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria, where they had been sleeping.

The armed extremist group Boko Haram, which roughly translates to “Western Education is Sin,” claimed responsibility for these mass kidnappings and threatened to sell these young girls for as little as $12 into sex slavery or forced “marriages” to members of their group.

"I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah," a man claiming to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video first obtained by Agence France-Presse.

"There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women," he continued, according to a CNN translation from the local Hausa language.

'I will sell them,' Boko Haram leader says of kidnapped Nigerian girl

As a Muslim human rights lawyer, it is obscene and absolutely un-Islamic for these lunatic human traffickers to invoke the name of God while kidnapping young girls and threatening to sell them into sexual slavery.

The leaders of Boko Haram have clearly never read the Holy Quran, which states quite clearly that “oppression is worse than murder” (2:191) and that nobody “shall force girls to commit prostitution” (24:33).

They must have also missed the numerous times that the Prophet Muhammad categorically stated during his life that women or children were never to be harmed under any situation.

“These abducted schoolgirls are my sisters,” said 2013 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai recently in a New York Times interview on the Boko Haram kidnappings.

“The international community and the government of Nigeria (must) take action and save my sisters. … It should be our duty to speak up for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria who are in a very difficult situation.”

Nigeria abductions: 6 reasons why the world should demand action

The real heroes are young Muslim women like Malala Yousafzai and these latest Nigerian schoolgirls who continue to assert their basic human rights to education in the face of danger every day.

These amazing young women will help to empower and motivate our young Muslim girls to become their countries’ next generations of scientists, technologists, engineers and doctors.

In the meantime, the rest of the world’s Muslim population will continue to denounce extremists like Boko Haram.

And we will  proudly stand in solidarity with these missing young schoolgirls in Nigeria, and every other woman around the world who continues to fight for her basic human rights.

Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, founder of TheMuslimGuy.com and adjunct professor of religious studies at DePaul University in Chicago. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Foreign policy • Human trafficking • Islam • Muslim • Nigeria • Opinion • Quran • Religious violence

soundoff (346 Responses)
  1. Doc Vestibule

    There are more than 150 different sects of Islam, each interpreting their Holy Book in their own way.
    Just as the Bible predicts that many false teachers would pervert the Word of God and lead good Christians astray, so did Mohammad prophesy that his religion would splinter with all the fakes going to Hell.

    Should we judge all of Christendom by its own terrorist groups like the Army of God, the Phineas Priesthood, or The Manmasi National Christian Army?
    Are all Christians racist and/or ho/mophobic like the Southern Baptists or Mormons?

    You enemy is never a villain in their own eyes.

    May 7, 2014 at 8:32 am |
  2. nacazo

    Admin
    You are wrong , you have not actually carefully analysed the Islamic teachings. Muhammad (PBUH) did not invent Islam, but Allah chose Him as the Last Prophet. And if you truely go through the teachings of Muhammad, you will come to know that "Islam has never worked to destroy any nation or expel people from their lands or push them to change their culture or religion, or kidnap innocent people. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has always respected nations and worked to preserve their bloods." "

    The Banu Quraish beg to differ.

    May 7, 2014 at 8:08 am |
    • nacazo

      Sorry , Banu Quraiza

      May 7, 2014 at 8:09 am |
    • expertrider

      ."Quran (9:29) – "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued

      May 7, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
  3. bostontola

    Each religious sect, Muslim, Christian, whatever, is really a study in which parts of the sacred do you downplay.

    Fundamentalists take their book literally and believe in a very active God, so they do the nuttiest things. Other denominations/sects downplay passages that are clearly nuts either by ignoring them or "interpreting" them (e.g. slavery).

    Thankfully, humans can self delude and water down their religious adhere to their sacred texts or there'd by never ending war and chaos.

    May 7, 2014 at 7:45 am |
  4. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    Mr. Iftikhar withholds a very important fact. The Koran distinguishes between two kinds of people: Believers and infidels. Sura 2: 191 and 24: 33 are certainly valid merely for Muslim believers. Muhammad himself had never applied those suras for infidels.

    What is an infidel? Muhammad implied that all divine teachers had actually been Muslims (Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, the apostles, etc.) Muhammad implied that they had teached the genuine Islam, but their listeners were disobedient, forged the genuine doctrine of their teachers, and became Jews and Christians. Muhammad considered it as his special task to restore the genuine faith of Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc. which was Islam in his eyes. Therefore an infidel is somebody who doesn't accept Muhammad as a new prophet whom God has sent to restore the genuine faith of Allah.

    Sad, but true: Boko Haram acts according to Muhammad's will and the Koran: They humiliate the infidels.

    May 7, 2014 at 7:32 am |
    • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

      Sura 9: 29

      Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

      May 7, 2014 at 7:57 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Other translation of sura 9: 29

        Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.

        May 7, 2014 at 8:02 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      And what of the Biblical verses that echo these sentiments?
      "And they offered unto the Lord the same time, of the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep. And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; That whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.
      And they sware unto the Lord with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets.
      And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the Lord gave them rest round about."
      – 2 Chronicles 15

      None of the Abrahamic religions take kindly to heretics, pagans, apostates or other assorted heathens.

      May 7, 2014 at 8:16 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        When you read the Old Testament you always have to consider also what Jesus said in the New Testament.

        You cited:

        "That whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman."

        This is valid, but God gives opportunity to repent. Did Jesus kill the infidels with a sword like Muhammad? No, Jesus called for repentance and faith. God wants to save the sinners. Only the stubborn sinners will get punished.

        There is a very great difference between Islam and Christianity: Muhammad presumed to be a divine judge who had divine order to kill the infidels (Muhammad was very wrong about the will of the true God). Jesus ineed had got divine order, but divine order to save the sinners. Still today the Christian Church has no order to judge but to save. Heavy sins will get judged through the authority of any country.

        May 7, 2014 at 8:30 am |
      • rajivk001

        If you want to see the difference between the bible and the Quran firsthand then publicly burn the bible today and next week publicly burn the Quran. See what happens and you will know the difference between the two book. However, I would strongly recommend against burning any books.

        May 7, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
    • Vic

      For those who conflate the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ with the Old Testament, here is a scholarly piece from yesterday:

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/06/hey-boko-haram-pick-up-a-quran/comment-page-1/#comment-3006412

      May 7, 2014 at 11:10 am |
  5. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    Mr. Iftikhar withholds a very important fact. The Koran distinguishes between two kinds of people: Believers and infidels. Sura 2: 191 and 24: 33 are certainly valid merely for Muslim believers. Muhammad himself had never applied those suras for infidels.

    What is an infidel? Muhammad implied that all divine teachers had actually been Muslims (Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, the apostles, etc.) Muhammad implied that they had teached the genuine Islam, but there listeners were disobedient, forged the genuine doctrine of their teachers, and became Jews and Christians. Muhammad considered it as his special task to restore the genuine faith of Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc. which was Islam in his eyes. Therefore an infidel is somebody who doesn't accept Muhammad as a new prophet whom God has sent to resore the genuine faith of Allah.

    Sad, but true: Boko Haram acts according to Muhammad's will and the Koran: They humiliate the infidels.

    May 7, 2014 at 7:28 am |
  6. saggyroy

    Maybe they got the bible and koran mixed up. You know – the parts where it says to go and capture slaves from your neighbors and keep the girls for yourselves.

    May 7, 2014 at 5:25 am |
    • saggyroy

      My point is just how religion drives people insane. As long as there are people justifying their actions as "god inspired" these horrible crimes continue.

      May 7, 2014 at 5:38 am |
  7. Admin

    Problem with most extremists is that they tend to believe false hadiths and wrong explanation of Quranic verses more than actually understanding the true meanings of Islam and Quranic Verses. To this extremist Group, me being a Muslim, want to send a message that please do not be extremist and stop doing such activities under the banner of Islam. Have you forgotten the words of your Prophet Muhammad S.A.W that "Killing an innocent is equivalent to Killing the entire humanity"?

    My Message to the Group

    ""I call on them to watch Allah and stop such practices which unfairly brand Islam with terrorism and do disservice to its adherents." "

    May 7, 2014 at 1:57 am |
    • halfdime1

      The extremists conviction is just as strong as yours. They probably think you don't know the true meanings and that you follow false hadiths. Im sure in the extremists eyes they know the truth too.

      May 7, 2014 at 3:18 am |
  8. Admin

    Also check this post on QuranReading.com

    http://www.quranreading.com/blog/anti-terrorism-stand-preaching-islam/

    It clearly Mentions the sources from Quran that whosoever kills a person for an unjust purpose has killed the whole of humanity, and the one who saves a person saves the whole of humanity. Therefore, it is outwardly wrong to say that Islam propagates terrorism. – See more at: http://www.quranreading.com/blog/anti-terrorism-stand-preaching-islam/#sthash.l3CpH87I.dpuf

    May 7, 2014 at 1:46 am |
  9. Admin

    This is extremely terrible and sad knowing that people make use of the religion Islam and Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. In Islam. there is no such dogma in Islamic teachings that you kidnap men/women. Quran clearly states people who do evil deeds are likely to be punished
    "“He that works evil will not be requited but by the like thereof: and he that works a righteous deed – whether man or woman – and is a Believer – such will enter the Garden (of Bliss): Therein will they have abundance without measure.” (40:40)"

    Also, the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W "

    “Visit the ill, feed the hungry and release the slaves.” (Bukhari)
    "
    i request the group to stop doing such activities under the banner of Islam. Islam prohibits and it is the religion of Peace.

    May 7, 2014 at 1:44 am |
    • CNN Belief Blog EditorCNN

      Stop using the username "Admin." It's misleading, as you have nothing to do with this administering site. All of your posts will be deleted if you persist.

      Thanks,
      Daniel Burke

      May 7, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
  10. Reality

    Hey Arsalan Iftikhar, have you read the Koran lately i.e. the passages that demand the death of all infidels by any means and the conquering of the world in the name of Islam by any means???

    May 7, 2014 at 12:02 am |
    • halfdime1

      No, your just interpreting it wrong.

      May 7, 2014 at 3:21 am |
      • Reality

        How do you interpret the following?

        o "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)
        o
        "Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons...he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home..." (Surah 8:12-)

        "Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)

        "...make war on the leaders of unbelief...Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them..." (Surah 9:12-)

        "Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:29-)

        "It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith [Islam] to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters [non-Muslims] may dislike it." (Surah 9:31-)

        "If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men." (Surah 9:37-)

        "Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)

        "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-)

        "Say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom..." (Surah 17:111)

        "'How shall I bear a child,' she [Mary] answered, 'when I am a virgin...?' 'Such is the will of the Lord,' he replied. 'That is no difficult thing for Him...God forbid that He [God[ Himself should beget a son!...Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood..." (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)

        "Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him...He has given you the name of Muslims..." (Surah 22:78-)

        "Blessed are the believers...who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)...These are the heirs of Paradise..." (Surah 23:1-5-)

        "Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Surah 48:29)

        "Shall the reward of goodness be anything but good?...Dark-eyed virgins sheltered in their tents...They shall recline on green cushions and fine carpets...Blessed be the name of your Lord..." (Surah 55:52-66-)

        Quran (8:12) – "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"

        Quran (9:5) – "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them."

        May 7, 2014 at 6:53 am |
        • halfdime1

          sorry i was being sarcastic, i know sarcasm doesnt come across well on forums. but still good reply.

          May 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • Reality

          At first glance, I as-sumed you were being sarcastic but just to be sure, I listed the basic problem with Islam, the koranic pas-sages of terror and horror that drive Muslims to commit de-sp-icable acts on a 24/7 basis.

          May 7, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
  11. justpro86

    western civilization must never accept the lie that Muhammad’s life, the Quran, and sharia (the law derived from the hadith and the Quran) are benefits to society. Rather, Islam represents many gigantic steps backwards, culturally and socially. One of the most tragic events in the western world in recent years—and one of the most underreported—is the existence of an Islamic court in Canada. Muslims are pushing for a sharia divorce court in Australia, as well. The Canadian government should promptly shut it down, and Australia should never allow one. And such a court must never be allowed to exist here in the US or elsewhere in the West. Sharia does not benefit society, bluntly stated.

    and finally, Islam should never be taught in our public schools, K through 11. Perhaps grade 12 is acceptable, but only on one condition. If school administrators insist on teaching it, Islamic violence must be included in the lesson plans because it is part and parcel of early Islam and Muhammad’s life.

    Of course, Muslim apologists assert that Christianity is filled with violence, citing the Roman Emperor Constantine and the Medieval Crusaders. However, to repeat, they are not foundational for Christianity—only Christ and the New Testament are. And he and the New Testament authors never practiced or endorsed such violence.

    May 6, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
    • isaac11977

      Your comments are a reflection of who you are. You talk about how Islam is backwards yet you're pushing a death penalty without figuring out who did what, how to get the girls back safely, etc.

      Were you making these same comments against the Vatican for molesting 100k+ boys as young as 3 yrs old? The Pope gave the majority of those priests a slap on the wrist, some got a retirement package off. Did you condemn the Bible, Gospel, and other books and claiming that pedophilia is rampant if not engrained in the Catholic priest community – the so called bearers of sin that you confess too? Did you laugh at the very beliefs that the priest would be absolved off all sins because they believe in the salvation of Jesus?

      Of course not. Why? As an educated nation we don't blacklist an entire religion for the action of a few. Islam is almost as large as us. I think they're almost at 1.7B people. The trouble makers are what....1% of that? Why not focus on that 1% and leave the rest alone. Why not do what we do best, and sniper that group out like we did Osama.

      Otherwise, the kidnapping of 329 girls is a drop in the bucket compared to what the Catholics have been up to. Oh wait, not the Catholics, just the few 1000ks of priests across many continents who were engaged in this activity – the BIGGEST network of pedophilia perverts known in this day and age, from an educated nation, and drivers of capitalism. That's a tragedy.

      May 6, 2014 at 11:54 pm |
      • justpro86

        Islam needs too go period its a religion of hate it was created by ONE man who needed something to justify his crimes

        May 7, 2014 at 12:03 am |
        • Admin

          You are wrong , you have not actually carefully analysed the Islamic teachings. Muhammad (PBUH) did not invent Islam, but Allah chose Him as the Last Prophet. And if you truely go through the teachings of Muhammad, you will come to know that "Islam has never worked to destroy any nation or expel people from their lands or push them to change their culture or religion, or kidnap innocent people. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has always respected nations and worked to preserve their bloods." "

          May 7, 2014 at 2:06 am |
      • Reality

        What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers, Flight 93 and the Pentagon?

        And what drives today's 24/7 mosque/imam-planned acts of terror and horror?

        The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means.

        Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed.

        Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein.

        Until then, no Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere..................................

        May 7, 2014 at 12:04 am |
        • Reality

          And before you start yelling about the bible and the crimes therein, some updating:

          Conservative Jews in the USA have rewritten the Torah to reflect the myths therein basically making it a doc-ument of peace.

          Thomas Jefferson did an analogous rewrite of the NT. Ditto for the rewrite of the NT by the Jesus Seminarians, Professor JD Crossan in his over 20 books on the historical Jesus and related subjects and Professor Gerd Ludeman in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 694-695.

          " Thomas Jefferson omitted the Book of Revelation along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he considered it (Revelation) as "merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams."

          May 7, 2014 at 12:10 am |
        • darren5oh6

          "What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers, Flight 93 and the Pentagon?"
          Answer: Saudi Arabia. 16 out of 19 9/11 terrorists were Saudis. Logically, SA should have been invaded. But wait...they've got OIL! Nope, we cannot touch those guys.

          Any links to the proof that Conservative Jews are re-writing the Torah?

          May 7, 2014 at 1:17 am |
        • Reality

          origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

          “New Torah For Modern Minds

          Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

          Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

          The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “

          prob•a•bly

          Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

          May 7, 2014 at 6:56 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Before any middle eastern extremists carried out terrorist attack on the US, the US was intervening in the middle east.
          Blaming Islam is short sighted scapegoating.

          A brief chronology:
          1944 – The Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement is signed by the US and Britain, dividing all the oil in the middle east between the two nations. President Roosevelt sketched out a map of the Middle East and told the British Ambassador, "Persian oil is yours. We share the oil of Iraq and Kuwait. As for Saudi Arabian oil, it's ours."

          1949 – The US helps overthrow the democratically elected government in Syria and replaces it with a military dictatorship

          1953 – Iran tries to nationalize their own oil. America overthrows their government and puts the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi in power for a 25 year rule of terror.

          1958: The merger of Syria and Egypt into the "United Arab Republic," the overthrow of the pro-U.S. King Feisal II in Iraq by nationalist military officers, and the outbreak of anti-government/anti-U.S. rioting in Lebanon, where the CIA had helped install President Camille Caiman and keep him in power, leads the U.S. to dispatch 70 naval vessels, hundreds of aircraft and 14,000 Marines to Lebanon to preserve "stability." The U.S. threatens to use nuclear weapons if the Lebanese army resists

          1960 – The US tries to as.sas.sinate Iraq's leader, Abdul Karim Qassim

          1973-1975: U.S. supports Kurdish rebels in Iraq in order to strengthen Iran and weaken the then pro-Soviet Iraqi regime. When Iran and Iraq cut a deal, the U.S. withdraws support, denies the Kurds refuge in Iran, and stands by while the Iraqi government kills many Kurdish people.

          1979-84: U.S. supports paramilitary forces to undermine the government of South Yemen

          1979: U.S. President Jimmy Carter designates the Persian Gulf a vital U.S. interest and declares the U.S. will go to war to ensure the flow of oil.

          1979 – America begins a decade long campaign, providing $3 Billion worth of arms to the fundamentalist Islamic Muhajideen terrorist group.

          1980 – Iraq invades Iran with tacit U.S. support, starting a bloody eight-year war. The U.S. supports both sides in the war providing arms to Iran and money, intelligence and political support to Iraq

          1985 – The U.S. secretly ships weapons to Iran, including 1,000 TOW anti-tank missiles, Hawk missile parts, and Hawk radars.

          1985: U.S. attempts to as.sas.sinate Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a Lebanese Shi.ite leader. 80 people are killed in the unsuccessful attempt

          1998 – President Clinton sends 75 cruise missiles pounding into rural Afghanistan The U.S. also destroys a factory producing half of Sudan's pharmaceutical supply, claiming the factory is involved in chemical warfare. The U.S. later acknowledges there is no evidence for the chemical warfare charge.

          1987- The U.S. Navy is dispatched to the Persian Gulf to prevent Iran from cutting off Iraq's oil shipments.

          1988- The Iraqi regime launches mass poison-gas attacks on Kurds, killing thousands. The U.S. responds by increasing its support for the Iraqi regime.

          Don't go thinking that Middle Eastern extremists are just randomly attacking the United States, totally unprovoked or that they're doing it just because their shamans tell them to.
          America has been playing the politics of empire in the middle east since the Second World War.
          You can only kick a dog so many times before it bites you.

          May 7, 2014 at 8:19 am |
        • Reality

          Doc V,

          How about providing some reputable references supporting your time line comments.

          May 7, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
    • darren5oh6

      How many wars and colonizations in the past, say, five centuries have been started by Christian countries, and how many by Muslim ones? And how many people died in those wars/colonizations?

      Perhaps, it is wise to follow Jesus' own words: " And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye." (Luke 6:41-42).

      May 7, 2014 at 1:27 am |
      • Reality

        The historic authenticity of Luke 6: 41-42 is questionable. See for example, Professor Gerd Ludemann's analyses of both Luke 6: 41-42 and its equivalent Matt 7: 3-5 in his book Jesus After 2000 Years.

        May 7, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
    • igaftr

      justp
      Here is justin , once again caught stealing...this time his post was stolen from http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Arlandson/ten_reasons.htm

      Thsi guy is a liar, a theif, and clearly needs other people to think for him.

      May 7, 2014 at 8:13 am |
  12. searching4truth37

    Hadith, Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 261

    May 6, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
  13. justpro86

    Islam has so much hate... These extremists are following the exact words of the Koran so don't know what this author is spewing... Apparently this guy does not know his own book.

    May 6, 2014 at 10:30 pm |
  14. sixthromeo

    Islam is a disgrace, it calls for human sacrifice to the ego of its own adherents. Human sacrifice is recognized and newly re-sanctioned by Brunei and all others who make Islam the law of the land. The Thuggee were outlawed, hunted down and destroyed. Islam must be banned the world over. Any adherent of Islam is an accessory to murder, they condone human sacrifice; if they did not condone it, they would stop it, they have the power and authority to stop it but they enjoy it.

    May 6, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
    • tseringdolker

      Boka Haram members are following the exact blueprint of the Prophet Mohammed who also took slaves after invading and subjugating another tribe or country. Islam is the true evil that must be exposed.

      May 6, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Human sacrifice is recognized and newly re-sanctioned by Brunei and all others who make Islam the law of the land."

      I can't speak to Brunei, but this is certainly not true for "all others who make Islam the law of the land"

      Human sacrifice (as an offering to God) is not sanctioned in Iran or Saudi Arabia or any other Islamic country that I can think of.

      May 6, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
  15. MidwestKen

    Religion or not, denying girls an education is abusive, not only to the girls but to one's own society.

    May 6, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
    • kenmargo

      If I was a woman in one of those isolated towns, I would get all the women together, cut ALL the men's throat from ear to ear. Drag the guys out, and burn them. Then teach the children how to grow up and respect one another.

      I know it sounds harsh. It's the only way to change things. the men want to keep control. It will be near impossible for women to make a dent in their situation unless they cut out the cancer. (the men)

      May 6, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
      • tseringdolker

        You can't blame people for the ideas they follow. This is how their prophet also raided caravans, invaded and subjugated others and stole their women and kept them as slaves or sold them. These people are following the exact blueprint of Mohammed. This guy is trying to beautify Islam when their Allah gave them this exact right.

        May 6, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
        • CP

          Who says you can't blame people for the ideas they follow? Many faiths, philosophies, and ideologies are all the better for being challenged, Christianity included. You want to practice the religions of yesteryear? Be my guest. I prefer to exercise and embrace critical thinking. The fact that these psychotic militants are embracing a variant of Islam that the VAST majority of Muslims do not practice is worth questioning. The Christian Bible/Jewish Talmud both advocate corporeal punishment, yet questioning the benefit and effectiveness of such punishment has, in my (and I'd think most people's) opinion has led to a better society. Question, and don't for a second think Boko Haram is representative of anything other than insanity.

          May 6, 2014 at 11:36 pm |
        • tseringdolker

          It is not the same. Nobody claims, except the few delusional ones out there, that it is the exact words of God in Bible/Tamud, unlike Islam. It is the perfect word of Allah and Mohammed is the perfect example of a man. Why do you think they can't stand criticism and resort to kill even for a cartoon about Mohammed? These people follow exactly the religion they believe in and Allah did permit keeping slaves from war booty. Mohammed himself was notorious for his war campaigns and he himself had plenty of slaves. What I meant from the previous comment was that ISLAM should be blamed for that because there people are following it exactly.

          May 7, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
        • wjshelton

          "Nobody claims, except the few delusional ones out there, that it is the exact words of God in Bible/Tamud..."

          I grew up underneath the buckle of the Bible Belt. You are wrong. There are many who claim the Bible is just what you say they don't claim. I've heard that it's the "inerrant word of God" all my life.

          May 8, 2014 at 3:20 am |
        • isaac11977

          All organized religions have issues – period. Christians killed the most people in wars waged over nothing more than money and power – no matter how the media has covered the issue. Hindus kill Sikhs who only want their own state. Sikhs blew up a plane – largest terrorist activity in Canada. Jews kill Palestinians who just want the right to have a state. Buddhists, the peace loving people, kill Muslims in large parts of Myanmar by the thousands. Protestant Catholics aka Nazis burned 6M Jews. Muslims ....well we know that story. Should I continue? We need to stop pointing fingers at religions and get back to the basics. Believe in God and understand that we're all human beings – all connected. We're one bloody race. All religions are in a glass house now. No religion is untarnished. Time to put that all aside and raise the game.

          When you put religion aside, how would you solve this issue? Sniper out the idiots, put them to trial for the world to see that this won't be allowed, and raise these countries out of poverty by giving them tools to grow.

          The food G7 nations throw away due to over cropping or slaughtering of animals could feed these poor countries for decades. You give people the basics in Maslow's Hierarchy and they themselves will root out terrorism from their communities.

          May 7, 2014 at 12:13 am |
  16. tallulah131

    And yet again, religion is used as a reason to abuse others.

    May 6, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
  17. unsername1

    Screw the holy Quran what it says quite clearly or ambiguously, the facts are the "manual of terror" has made 1/3 of the planet uninhabitable. burn it, destroy it to remove violence from this world.

    May 6, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
    • kenmargo

      What about the bible? When it comes to violence, the bible doesn't have to take a back seat.

      May 6, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
      • unsername1

        except few abortion clinics bombing here in the US, I have not seen them killing people on massive scale like followers of holy Quran do, like in Mumbai hotel or Nairobi mall attacks....let's talk what is happening now, not what happened few generation back.

        May 6, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • bostontola

          Christians have seemed more tame than Muslims in the last century.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • observer

          unsername1,

          Yes, radical Muslims are following MANY of the SAME commands issued by God in the Bible when he set up all the rules the way he wanted.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @boston

          That's what happens when a religion loses it's hold to control society and has a reduction of power. Christianity is just as bloodthirsty as it always was, they just don't have the control to act on it without being stamped out permanently anymore.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
        • kenmargo

          @username1............It's easy for you to make light of abortion bombings since you didn't lose someone you love. It's all the same. Killing those that don't agree with you.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
        • bostontola

          Hawaii,
          I don't know about that. Humans have a pretty good knack at taming themselves. Behavior tends to repeat itself and becomes the habit. It's all speculation, we can't really do a controlled experiment on the assertion.

          May 6, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • hoyal09

          Our Christian American forefathers wiped out most of the native american population because they were Christians and the natives were infidels.

          May 6, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @unsername1,
          Where have you been?

          "Tens of thousands of Muslims flee Christian militias in Central African Republic"
          – the Washington Post, February, 2014
          (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/tens-of-thousands-of-muslims-flee-christian-militias-in-central-african-republic/2014/02/07/5a1adbb2-9032-11e3-84e1-27626c5ef5fb_story.html)

          May 6, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
        • justpro86

          People tend to get Christianity all wrong... Compared to Islam Christianity is the one true religion that teaches about Gods love and we mankind need to love thy neighbor... Learn forgiveness... Love thy enemies... All teachings from Jesus Christ the son of God... NO such hate was taught in the bible as it was in the Koran... Christians who murder were not True christians just used religion as a back bone.... or a justification.

          May 6, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
        • igaftr

          justp
          Wrong. Buddha was teaching all of those things 400 years before your Jesus was written.

          May 7, 2014 at 8:14 am |
      • sixthromeo

        All world religions except for Islam have outlawed human sacrifice. Islam is the ONLY ONE that actively condones and performs it on a daily basis. Neither the Jews nor the Christians have actively performed human sacrifice for a long, long time.

        May 6, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
      • justpro86

        Bible teaches about love you moron... Have you not read what Jesus taught in the New Testament... There was no teachings on hate

        May 6, 2014 at 10:32 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          So that whole "I have not come to bring peace but a sword, to set a man against his father, a mother against her daughter." thing just doesn't matter?

          May 6, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
        • justpro86

          Verse 5:33 says:

          "The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom;"

          Teachings as contained in this verse – "they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land" – are cruel and barbaric in nature. When those teachings are presented as God's, it becomes extremely evil, no better than those Hitler had committed.

          May 6, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          That quote I gave is attributed to Jesus in the New Testament you boob.

          May 6, 2014 at 11:19 pm |
        • Benny

          @hawaiiguest

          Even though there is a verse "I have not come to bring peace but a sword, to set a man against his father, a mother against her daughter." from the Bible, Jesus nor his disciples never killed people and that verse is actually does not mean to kill people.

          Compare to the Holy Quran which so many of the verses contents violence and instruction to kill non-moslems (Jews, Christian and polytheist). It is written very clearly in your holy book and also support by Hadith. I can quote many verses from your Holy Quran to support this.

          Even in your daily prayer you always end your prayer with below verses: (Qs 1:6-7)

          6. Guide us to the Straight Way
          7. The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).

          May 7, 2014 at 4:46 am |
        • igaftr

          justp
          "Bible teaches about love you moron"

          A fine example of how much you have learned.

          May 7, 2014 at 8:38 am |
  18. Concert in an Egg

    Please bow your heads:

    Dear Lord, thank you for all the sorrow you have brought to us on this day and all the many dark days of the past when you ignored our suffering and did nothing to prevent horrifying atrocities from taking place. Your worthlessness is the key to salvation. Amen.

    May 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
    • kenmargo

      AMEN!

      May 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
    • Reality

      Ditto the Amen !!

      May 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
    • His Panic

      Did not I tell you in the previous page that you were going to do exactly that? You just did exactly what I said you would. And still you pretend to say or claim that you are better than those, well, you are not.

      May 6, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
    • sixthromeo

      Stop being bad people.

      May 6, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
    • i12bphil

      I see. So, by your logic: Man invented God. Man invented religion to worship the God he invented. Some of mankind do terrible things in the name of their religion (that they invented)...yet then man comes along to blame the bad things on religion and God. Man then thinks that if religion is ended ...bad things will stop.

      Obtuse.

      May 6, 2014 at 10:05 pm |
      • Reality

        Only for those who do not yet understand:

        Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

        • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

        • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

        • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

        • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

        • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

        • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

        • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

        • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

        Added details available upon written request.

        A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

        e.g. Taoism

        "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

        Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

        May 7, 2014 at 12:00 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        "With or without religion you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." Steven Weinberg

        May 8, 2014 at 6:16 am |
  19. keithcrosby

    Where the lawyer misses the point is that the prophet had a nine year old Christian wife... who likely was not a consenting adult to their relationship. Maybe they are not reading the Quran but maybe they are following his example.

    May 6, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
    • wjshelton

      Aisha was not a Christian and her age is highly disputed.

      May 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        She was six or seven when they married. The marriage was consummated when she was 9. Her age is not disputed here. Mohammed was an immoral, slave owning pedophile. This is the creep these muslims look up to so what do you expect.

        May 6, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
        • wjshelton

          Read "The truth about Muhammad and Aisha" by Myriam Francois-Cerrah, published in the Guardian on September 17, 2012 and then get back with me about your assertion.

          I will dismiss the rest of your comments about the Prophet as being due to your "lack of information", to put it kindly.

          May 6, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
        • sixthromeo

          This is the truth about Mohammed, any other claims are the lies made by those who took up his reins.

          May 6, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
        • burkemtn

          @wjshelton – Read any account of the Banu Qurayza, a Jewish tribe in Yathrib (Medina) where Muhammad (pbuh) and his followers, after a successful seige of this tribe for treason in 627, had all the Jewish males who had reached the age of puberty beheaded, and the women and children were taken as captive slaves. A truly peaceful man, eh?

          May 6, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
      • Benny

        Her age was 9 years old according to Hadith Sahih Bukhari and Muslim.
        Are you disagree with this highly respectable Hadiths?

        May 7, 2014 at 2:42 am |
    • realbuckyball

      "Likely" ? No 9 year old child can "consent" to anything.
      It's all a pile of trash.
      Robert Spencer has demonstrated there are good reasons to think there may have never been a dude named Mo, (just as there was likely no dude named "Jesus of Nazareth".
      ----------------------
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUC5Su5P8D4&w=640&h=360]

      May 6, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
      • wjshelton

        Robert Spencer has no credibility. He makes stuff up as he goes and is no more than a hate monger. If I were you, I'd reference someone else. (And, no, Pamela Geller, Frank Graffney and the like aren't any better.)

        May 6, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
        • tseringdolker

          No credibility is the same as saying you have no answer for him. He is merely quoting Muslims scholars who considered the most reliable and they have said it exactly the same. She was six when he married her and 9 when they consummated the marriage.

          May 6, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          "Robert Spencer has no credibility" .. really ? That must be why his books sell so well. Uh huh.

          May 8, 2014 at 12:59 am |
        • wjshelton

          They sell so well because he caters to people's prejudices and fear, to people – like yourself – who are gullible and not interested in finding out the truth for yourself. He's a conman and you are his target. Selling well does not equate truth, but you already know that, don't you? No, I guess you don't.

          May 8, 2014 at 3:15 am |
      • colin31714

        Realbbuckyball – I tend to agree with your posts, which, over the years, are among the most refreshing and insightful on this blog. That said, I have a tough time with the idea that JC never existed. From all I have read and studied, he did exist. A mere mortal man without silly supernatural powers, obviously, but to think he never existed at all is hard to swallow. Can you pls lay out your rational. I am not disputing, BTW, I am genuinely interested to hear the views of somebody I respect on the topic.

        May 6, 2014 at 9:50 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Seriously, I have no real opinion on the subject, one way or the other. I think it's entirely possible he didn't.
          There is no way actually writing that long afterwards, with no record-keeping of any kind in general use, we will ever know. There is no way to distinguish the Christian Jesus form all the other apocalyptic preachers ... Jesus of Gemala, Simon of Perea, or Philo's Jesus.
          The ONE thing that works in favor of his real existence, is the fact that a close reading of Acts has the very early church fighting internally over many things. IF it were all made up, why create something that makes them look bad. BUT so much of the gospels are simply false... the trial ... there was no trial. No Galilean peasant ever was in the presence of Roman aristocrats. The Sanhedrin was never once in all of history called into session on Passover weekend. So I don't know. But there are many good reasons to think it's all made up.
          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwUZOZN-9dc&w=640&h=360]
          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwUZOZN-9dc&w=640&h=360]

          May 8, 2014 at 1:07 am |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          About the video: What a mess.... Forged books, Paul admitting he dreamed up what scholars think he actually wrote, cobbled together versions of previous resurrection stories, possible misinterpretations, and it sounds like everyone and their brother shoehorned their take into one package with everyone so confused nobody wanted to try to unravel it all. No wonder they fought tooth and nail to keep it in Latin for so long....

          the religious right wants to put disclaimers in our kids' schools books, we should return the favor...make this video a required watch in those same schools....

          May 8, 2014 at 3:11 am |
  20. Concert in an Egg

    If they can catch Abubakar Shekau they ought to break his arms and legs, circumcise him with a rusty machete and throw him in a ditch. Then all of the towns-women should menstruate on him and they should cover him in circumcised clitorises. Then after everyone in town pisses on him they should bury him alive with just a straw to breath through for a few days. Then they should dig him up and punish him.

    May 6, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
    • kenmargo

      Daniel,

      You deleted (what I would consider) reasonable response to Concert. This is a culture issue that only they can solve. Or was the problem the anti gun comments I made.

      May 6, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        If we follow the gun trail it is likely to end up on our front porch.

        May 6, 2014 at 4:49 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.