October 28th, 2010
11:20 PM ET

Saudi prince opposes Islamic center near ground zero

From CNN's Salma Abdelaziz:

Saudi Prince and billionaire Al-waleed bin Talal says he opposes the building of an Islamic center and mosque near New York's ground zero, according to a magazine interview with him published Thursday.

"I am against putting the mosque there out of respect for those people who have been wounded over there," Al-waleed told Arabian Business, a Dubai-based magazine


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • 9/11 • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • New York • United States

Two hosts walk off The View over O'Reilly Islamic Center comments
October 14th, 2010
03:55 PM ET

Two hosts walk off The View over O'Reilly Islamic Center comments

“The View” has turned into quite the drama fest over the years, and Thursday’s show was no different.

The fuss this time surrounded Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly, who appeared on “The View” to talk about politics and his new book "Pinheads and Patriots.”

His appearance started out reasonably enough, discussing the upcoming elections. O'Reilly didn't make predictions, but called the vote a referendum on President Obama. A bit later he brought up the proposed Islamic center in New York, which is set to be built close to ground zero.

Read the full story on CNN's Marquee Blog 

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Faith Now • TV

October 3rd, 2010
07:33 PM ET

Police probe threats against New York Islamic center backers

CNN's Cheryl Robinson filed this report from New York:

The husband-and-wife team behind the planned Islamic center and mosque near New York's ground zero have received threats, a New York police spokesman said Sunday, hours after the wife said her life is under threat.

The threats "began several weeks ago," police spokesman Paul Browne told CNN "We were investigating them."

Browne would disclose no details of the threats made against Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf or his wife, Daisy Khan, or whether they were receiving any police protection.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • New York • United States

October 3rd, 2010
05:10 PM ET

First images of proposed NYC Islamic center

The group behind the proposed Islamic cultural center near New York's ground zero has released what it is calling the first official images of the center.

The website for the project, known as the Park51 Community Center, said that the "new images display an updated exterior and provide a first look into Park51’s interior and lend some insight on how we’re envisioning the project," in a post that went up Tuesday but that initially drew little notice.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Islam • Muslim • New York • United States

October 1st, 2010
03:08 PM ET

Muslims speak - and sing - for themselves

Native Deen, a Muslim hip-hop group, adds its voice to the 'My Faith My Voice' grassroots campaign. From left to right are Joshua Salaam, Abdul-Malik Ahmad and Naeem Muhammad.

They’d grown tired of the frenzy swirling around discussions of an Islamic center near ground zero. They were sick of being feared and misunderstood. They didn't want the same talking heads representing them and their beliefs.

So a grassroots campaign called “My Faith My Voice” was born to let everyday Muslims speak for themselves.

Launched online one month ago by young American Muslim professionals in the Washington, D.C., area, the online campaign invites Muslims to upload their own 30-second message to Americans – a public service announcement, of sorts, to help viewers understand who American Muslims really are.


- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Faith Now • Islam • Muslim • My Faith • Technology

September 27th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

A look inside NYC Islamic center imam’s mosques

Editor's Note: CNN Belief Blog co-editor Dan Gilgoff files this report from New York.

The controversy over a proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan has spiraled into a global debate over Islam’s place in the United States, but the arrival of a mosque a couple blocks from ground zero was driven mostly by the simple need for more space.

As the Muslim population of downtown New York has shot up in recent years - especially during daytime working hours - worshippers at Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s small mosque in the city’s Tribeca neighborhood found themselves stuck in lines outside the door during Friday afternoon prayers.

Rauf’s storefront mosque, called Masjid al-Farah, had started out holding one weekly prayer service but had ramped up to three or four Friday services in recent years to accommodate the surging crowds.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • 9/11 • Faith Now • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • Muslim • New York • United States

September 25th, 2010
08:42 PM ET

Islamic Center Stumbles

Editor's Note: CNN's Allan Chernoff brings us this story.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Faith Now • Islam

Deepak Chopra writes a novel on Muhammad
September 21st, 2010
01:22 PM ET

Deepak Chopra writes a novel on Muhammad

Editor’s Note: Deepak Chopra is a founding member of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing located in Carlsbad, California. He is the author of over 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality. His newest book, "Muhammad: A Story of the Last Prophet” is a fictional biography of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad. It hits bookstores Tuesday, September 21st. He spoke with CNN in depth about the new book. This is an edited transcript of that conversation.

Why do you think the time is right for a novel about Muhammad?

I was just doing this as part of my trilogy; it started with Buddha and then Jesus, and now it turns out serendipitously that the timing is appropriate because there is so much discussion about Islam in the world. It all stems from not being aware of the other person. The only way this outrage can occur is when you demonize the other. When we expand our awareness, we have a more contextual knowing of why things are; then, we don’t react with violence, we respond with creativity. There is a lot of room for creativity right now.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Books • Faith Now • Islam • Muslim

September 20th, 2010
03:54 PM ET

Imam behind NYC Islamic center avoiding New York, getting protection over security concerns

The imam behind the proposed Islamic center and mosque near ground zero is largely avoiding New York City because of security concerns and is receiving protection from the New York Police Department, according to those close to the imam.

Video: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf explains why his organization has chosen to build an Islamic Center so close to ground zero.

"There's just a lot of crazies and that's why he has police protection from the NYPD," the Rev. James Parks Morton said Monday of his friend Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.

"I know that he's being guarded, that he's not been staying in the usual places, that he's not working from his office and that he's concerned for his safety," said another friend of the imam's, Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon, in an interview Sunday night.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Faith Now • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • New York • United States

September 20th, 2010
11:28 AM ET

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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.