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Protests continue in Afghanistan against Quran burning
Afghans pray inside the Hazrat-i Ali shrine in Mazar-i-Sharif, where an angry mob stormed a U.N. compound on April 1.
April 5th, 2011
01:46 PM ET

Protests continue in Afghanistan against Quran burning

About 1,000 protesters gathered in front of Kabul University on Tuesday morning, as protests continue throughout Afghanistan to condemn the burning of a Quran by a pastor in the United States.

The demonstrators marched toward the city center amid a heavy police presence but without incident, said Kabul City police official Abdullah Mahboob.

The sight was in marked contrast to earlier demonstrations, some of which turned deadly.

Read the full story
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Afghanistan • Quran • Religious violence

Headscarves for female soldiers in Afghanistan defended
1st Lt. Ana Monteiro swings with an Afghan girl at Ariana School in Kabul, Afghanistan.
April 4th, 2011
03:27 PM ET

Headscarves for female soldiers in Afghanistan defended

By Larry Shaughnessy, CNN Pentagon Producer

The top American military officer defended the Department of Defense policy of encouraging female troops to wear headscarves while on duty in Afghanistan, despite criticism the practice makes "second-class warriors."

"Those female service members ... do so as a personal choice," Adm. Mike Mullen wrote to Rep. James Langevin, D-Rhode Island, last week. "They feel this gesture helps them in accomplishing their mission by serving as a sign of courtesy and respect toward the locals."

For years, some American military women have worn headscarves, similar to traditional Afghan hijabs, when interacting with local civilians.

The policy has stirred up a new debate about whether female U.S. troops can or should wear headscarves while on duty in Afghanistan.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Afghanistan • Islam • Military • United States

April 4th, 2011
10:47 AM ET

The Take: Zakaria on the Quran burning

CNN's Fareed Zakaria discusses the Quran burning by an extremist Florida pastor and the violent reprisals in Afghanistan.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Afghanistan • Belief • Christianity • Content Partner • Culture wars • Islam • Quran • Religious violence • TV-Fareed Zakaria GPS

March 7th, 2011
01:36 PM ET

Muslim hearings: Shining a light or turning up the heat?

Editor's Note: CNN’s Soledad O’Brien chronicles the dramatic fight over the construction of a mosque in the heart of the Bible belt. “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door”, airs Sunday, March 27 at 8 p.m. E.T.

By Dave Schechter, CNN Senior National Editor

The inference in the rabbi’s question could not be missed.

“I know that, at the Olympics, when I see the American get a gold medal and they play ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ I cry,” the rabbi said. “So my question is, if an American Muslim sees somebody getting a gold medal for the United States and they play ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ do they cry?”

The rabbi was one of 200 or so people who came to an Atlanta temple for an event titled “Understanding the Quran,” sponsored by the Southeast Branch of the Anti-Defamation League and the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta. The question was directed to the guest speaker, an American Muslim professor who teaches about Islam at a highly regarded university near Boston.

Looking around the sanctuary, I saw more than one person among the 200 or so present had arched an eyebrow and displayed a look of amazement that such a question would be asked; some with the particular knowledge that American Jews have faced questions of whether their loyalty is divided between the United States and Israel.

The American Muslim answered politely, telling the rabbi that, yes, he roots for the American athletes to win at the Olympics. “I cry,” the visiting scholar assured him.

I recalled witnessing this exchange back when thinking about the upcoming hearings organized by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee on whether American Muslims pose a threat to the United States.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 9/11 • Afghanistan • Iraq • Islam • Muslim • Quran

Will destroyed Buddha statue be reconstructed?
March 2nd, 2011
10:54 AM ET

Will destroyed Buddha statue be reconstructed?

The giant Buddhas of Bamiyan, once painted in bright colors, remained silent sentinels as they reacquired the hues of the sandstone cliffs from which they were carved.

The statues, which looked upon a visually stunning region of central Afghanistan for about 1,500 years, have been gone for 10 years, victims of the Taliban, who destroyed them as part of its campaign to destroy pre-Islamic artifacts considered an assault on the faith.

Read the full story
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Afghanistan • Buddhism • Islam

World Muslim population doubling, report projects
January 27th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

World Muslim population doubling, report projects

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

Twenty years ago, the world had about 1.1 billion Muslims. Twenty years from now, it will have about twice as many - and they'll represent more than a quarter of all people on earth, according to a new study released Thursday.

That's a rise from less than 20 percent in 1990.

Pakistan will overtake Indonesia as home of the largest number of Muslims, as its population pushes over 256 million, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life projects.

FULL POST

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Afghanistan • Indonesia • Islam • Israel • Muslim • Pakistan • United States

January 19th, 2011
01:45 PM ET

Self-immolation: The ultimate sacrifice

Night had fallen when the men heard the sounds on the mountain. First it was a chime, then a recitation of verses, followed by the crackle of wood burning. They scrambled to the summit to see what was happening.

There, seated with his palms together and facing west, was their friend. Flames leapt around the peaceful man, engulfing him. It was just as he'd intended.

The year was 527.

Read the full story about the history of self-immolation, from 4th century Chinese Buddhism to North Africa today

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Afghanistan • Africa • Buddhism • Culture & Science • Hinduism • Politics

December 29th, 2010
05:00 AM ET

My Take: Hating the war, loving my husband

Editor's note: Leeana Tankersley is the author of "Found Art: Discovering Beauty in Foreign Places," a spiritual memoir of the year she lived in the Middle East with her Navy SEAL husband. Follow Tankersley at www.gypsyink.com.

By Leeana Tankersley, Special to CNN

Unknowingly, I took a bullet to the gut when I married Steve, a shot right through me that has left me tender and - at times - doubled over.

No one ever told me that marrying a Navy SEAL would leave me so vulnerable. At first, the job seemed sexy and noble, being the wife of a clean-cut pirate with health insurance and a retirement. Who could resist his green eyes in that camouflage uniform?

And then we went to war.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Afghanistan • Belief • Christianity • Iraq • United States • Violence

November 21st, 2010
08:49 AM ET

Afghan Christian faces trial for alleged conversion from Islam

From Matiullah Mati for CNN:

An Afghan Christian, detained for months for allegedly converting to Christianity from Islam, could face trial as early as next week - and could face a potential death penalty, officials said Sunday.

Said Musa was arrested by Afghan Interior Ministry intelligence authorities near the German Embassy in Kabul because of the allegations, said Qamaruddin Shenwari, director of the Kabul courts' north zone. The exact date of his arrest is not known.

The case against Musa has not yet been finalized, said Mohammad Najim Hamidi, director of public security at Zone 3 of the Kabul courts. He could face trial next week if the case is prepared by then, Hamidi said. It was earlier thought Musa's trial would begin on Sunday.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Afghanistan • Christianity • Islam

October 15th, 2010
11:30 AM ET

Imam is top weapon of Jordanian forces in Afghanistan

CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr filed this report from Logar Province, Afghanistan:

As the call to prayer is heard over loudspeakers in eastern Afghanistan, devout Muslim men hang their weapons up on the wall and kneel to pray.

But these men are not who you might expect. On the NATO's Forward Operating Base Shank, a highly trained Jordanian Ranger Battalion has established its own mosque for both its own soldiers and for Afghan troops so that, amid war, they can stop and answer the five-times-a-day call to prayer.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Afghanistan • Islam • Quran

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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.

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