May 31st, 2010
03:19 AM ET

A Muslim voice at ground zero

Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

The United States has from its inception seen itself as something new. But populism—the politics of nostalgia—has a long history here. And the nation’s capital is, among other things, a Necropolis—a site for the memorialization of the dead.

How a nation memorializes the dead matters, not least by revealing what it lives for. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial tells us that the dead are to be remembered by name. So does the Oklahoma City National Memorial, whose 168 chairs represent the individuals taken by terror on April 19, 1995.

The memorials we are now building out of the ashes of 9/11 tell us something about the United States, too, as does the Ground Zero site itself, which is why the recent scuffle over whether there is to be a mosque in the vicinity is a matter not just for the Tea Party spokespeople who oppose it or the New York City community board that voted 29-1 to support it. It is a matter for all Americans, and the questions it calls are two.

The first concerns the so-called war on terror. Is the United States at war with Islam? If so, there should be no mosque near Ground Zero, and perhaps no mosque anywhere in Manhattan or for that matter in the United States.

The second is whether we are at war with the First Amendment. The United States may well be the most Christian country on earth (at least three out of every four Americans call themselves Christians) but until the First Amendment is repealed it is also a country that guarantees religious liberty to Christians and non-Christians alike.

So I disagree with Rod Dreher’s claim that a mosque at Ground Zero is “insane.” And I agree with Joe Klein’s call to build that mosque in the name of American freedom.

But building a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero is not enough. If the Ground Zero site, forever hallowed by those who disappeared into death there, is to reflect American values, the religion of Islam should also have a place at the Ground Zero memorial itself.

Like the Vietnam and Oklahoma City memorials, the 9/11 memorial will include a litany of the names of the dead. It should also include the names of Muslims worldwide who denounce the terrors of 9/11 as a crime against humanity and against Islam itself. These people are out there by the millions.  Let’s gather their signatures online and display them in a database at Ground Zero.

For every right-wing talk show host who says the mosque, if built, should be bombed, there are in my view millions of Muslims who know their tradition well enough to denounce terror in the name of Allah. Am I right? Let's find out.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Culture wars • Islam • Politics • Religious liberty • Violence

soundoff (883 Responses)
  1. Matt

    "It should also include the names of Muslims worldwide who denounce the terrors of 9/11 as a crime against humanity and against Islam itself. . . . Let’s gather their signatures online and display them in a database at Ground Zero."

    Good idea. That won't take up much space anyway.

    June 2, 2010 at 7:23 am |
    • nuser

      the above reply says it all.

      June 2, 2010 at 11:12 am |
  2. DeSoto

    Muslims control the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the site which is also revered by Jews and Christians. Yet the Muslims will not allow Bibles on the Mount. Nor will they allow prayers, or hymns. Nor will they allow a husband and wife to hold hands there.
    They can build their mosque somewhere else – they do not need to build it there. They should be ashamed, and so should those who would acquiesce.

    June 2, 2010 at 6:50 am |
  3. Terry W. Brookman

    One more hint that the government is out of step with the people and even themselves. Ever get the idea that entire mess in Washington has things FUBAR. I don't know if we can wait it out although the top seems to have a bit of a wiggle to it. Things will be in a real mess if it wobbles to much. The dark ages lasted four hundred years and thats without nuke's.

    June 2, 2010 at 4:39 am |
  4. Jon

    Prothero is the type of liberal moron who will hand America over on a silver platter to fascists. He mistakes 'nuance' for moral equivocation, and spouts PC rhetoric in place of values.

    Islam is a barbaric, murderous religion that does no one any good. I'm an atheist, and I would still much rather live in a country full of Jews and Chrisitians, since none of them has threatened to kill me lately. The self-criticism required to live in a pluralist society is VERBOTTEN within Islam. The sentence for apostasy is DEATH. Gender apartheid is common and accepted. Every so-called 'moderate' muslim organization can be traced to radicals. Make no mistake; the goal of Islam is to spread Islamic hegemony. They have NO PLANS to live peacefully among others. Their plan – as stated world-wide by countless imams and mullahs – is to use western liberalism as a Trojan Horse to spread Sharia law. Anyone who's interested in actually learning something can look it up.

    I would rather live next door to a tribe of Wiccans. At least they don't veil their women or perform genital mutilation on their daughters.

    Let's get real, people.

    June 2, 2010 at 4:11 am |
    • nuser

      Islam is based on fear and ignorance You are not allowed to question any of the verses , and if you did you are an infidel
      and will be dealt with accordingly.

      June 2, 2010 at 11:21 am |
    • illuminated Genius

      Thank you! Someone sees the light! Spread the word your doing a great job! I say hell no this should be not done. It should never even be thought about as i find it extremely offensive. I strongly feel the world would be a better place today if Islam did not exist as well most corruption that exists in organized religion.

      June 3, 2010 at 2:10 am |
  5. XVX

    Prothero supports the first American memorial dedicated to living people. That's brilliant. Let me guess, you think it's unjust that memorials only honor the dead? You think ONLY living Muslims "out of the living" should get an American memorial? Please move to Europe.

    June 2, 2010 at 3:46 am |
  6. The Buddha

    The solution is before each and everyone of your eyes, you have but to only open them.

    Christian/Judeo/Islamic traditions and cultures are very ego centric.

    Guns, guts, and glory made America what she is today; it's time to make her an even better place.

    Out of respect, I don't think a mosque should be built within a hundred miles of ground zero. If those Muslims wishing to build it there had the same level of respect, they would grow a brain cell and go build it somewhere else. I find it funny that it's forbidden to build a church of synagogue on the Arabian peninsula. So if this is still a Christian nation as I am told repeatedly over and over, maybe Muslims don't have the right to build anything here, and they should leave and go back to the Middle East.

    Another thing, is that, Islam cannot seem to separate itself from Arabic culture, which, I think we have seen can be irrational and totally FUBAR at times. If Muslims could separate their religion from Arab culture it might improve the current situation. You have to remember this is America where church and state is dealing with a people who have either not come from a place like this or are actually opposed to such a thing because they're ignorant. The Arab ego needs to dissipate from Islam, or I fear that Islam may go the way of the dodo, even though people claim it is the fastest growing religion...figures can lie and liers can figure.

    I suggest to all of you to read some books by a man named Jeddah Krishnamurti. If you can put down your own ego for once, you may find all your answers have been here all along.

    June 2, 2010 at 12:41 am |
  7. dave

    I'm sure Germany is a very nice country these days. But it still doesn't make it appropriate to put a German flag at a Holocaust memorial.

    June 2, 2010 at 12:04 am |
    • Dustin

      All religions have extermist who do horrible things. You have christians that murder doctors and blow things up. you have muslims who fly planes into buildings and blow up cafes. They do this in the name of their god and their cult. there is the Quran and the Bible two books full of collected fairy tales that billions of people believe in.

      It's not a slap in the face or rubbing it in for them to build a house of worship there any more than it would be a slap in the face if your brother was killed by a black guy then a black family moved in next door.

      get over your selves people.

      christians build churches on former Native American land all the time.

      June 8, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  8. Fayrouz

    stephen: you really can't think clearly because you are bigoted. make yourself a list of terrorists that aren't muslims or arabs...you'll find that you have a pretty good list. Islam is not a cult. Do you know the def. of a cult? I'm a Muslim woman and I am fine with what I practice. I believe in it. My religion does not make me worthless. My religion does not say to lie to advance its cause. Only people who are truly weak would do that. Terrorist organizations are weak...that's why they lie. I am not brainwashed. I have questioned my religion as a child. And I always found answers to whatever question I had. Those answers satisfied me. My best friend is a Christian and I have no problem with that. She is a better person than some Muslims can be. I know and respect many athiests. I do not judge someone by their religious views. If they respect me, I can only give them respect. What you're saying about Prophet Muhammed is not true, according to what I believe.

    You say I justify that women are worthless...i justifty nothing of what you say. I don't feel threatened by my religion. My religion comforts me. I like reading the Quran. To me, it's beautiful poetry. FYI, I read other things as well. I'm not brainwashed or lost or threatened. May be I disgust you when I say I like my religion or when I say I pray more than 5 times a day...you pity me, and i pity you...you would pray for me and i would pray for you...what can we do other than argue our points? I don't convert people...(God does...and at this point...we would argue the existance of God...and there we go again...)

    June 1, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Fayrouz....I am not a bigot. I could care less if a person is black, white, green, Christian, Muslim, gay, straight – it makes no difference to me. Regardless, I will continue to point out to people like you that your so called religion was promoted by a man who claimed he rode on a horse with the head of a lion to the temple mound; he claimed to have regular "revealations" from God, most of which were right out ot the bible; he was driven from his hometown for his radical beliefs; he was a thief who built a small army that went around to towns and "converted" the people there by killing anyone who disagreed with him...This guy was the original Islamic terrorist. Today he would be Sadam Husien, or that al-Zarwari, or Amadedinjad – I did not look up spellings. All of this being said, going back to the original topic, there should not be a mosque anywhere near ground zero in New York. Notice I did not say there should not be mosques, but there absolutely should not be one near ground zero. It is a deliberate, calculated slap to any normal American and as has been said by others, it will be a shrine to the murdering cowards who killed over 3000 innocent people there. Any Muslim who suppors it is an enemy to me and my country.

      June 2, 2010 at 9:01 am |
    • nuser

      The only terrorists who kill in the name of Allah are muslims. There is no need to make a list.

      June 7, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  9. Reality

    Luke 19:(11)12-24,27 is a parable. It was a nobleman's utterance.

    /19:11/ (As they were listening to this, he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.) /12/ So he said, "A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return. /13/ He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds, and said to them, 'Do business with these until I come back.' /14/ But the citizens of his country hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to rule over us.' /15/ When he returned, having received royal power, he ordered these slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned so that he might find out what they had gained by trading. /16/ The first came forward and said, 'Lord, your pound has made ten more pounds.' /17/ He said to him, 'Well done, good slave! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.' /18/ Then the second came, saying, 'Lord, your pound has made five pounds.' /19/ He said to him, 'And you, rule over five cities.' /20/ Then the other came, saying, 'Lord, here is your pound. I wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, /21/ for I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man; you take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.' /22/ He said to him, 'I will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave! You knew, did you, that I was a harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? /23/ Why then did you not put my money into the bank? Then when I returned, I could have collected it with interest.' /24/ He said to the bystanders, 'Take the pound from him and give it to the one who has ten pounds.' /27/ But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them–bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.'"

    June 1, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
    • nuser

      O.K. What mass destruction are you going to perform? At the very least you are permitted to question the bible!

      June 2, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  10. banislam

    A mosq Hum since islam was the reason all 911 people died I guess a tribute to the devil is not far behind.Ol tommorrow is draw Mohammad day 2.

    June 1, 2010 at 10:59 pm |
  11. Jon

    Let's leave religion out of it for a minute. Christians and Muslims will never get along and their faiths are diametrically opposed. One stands for love, forgivness and truth. The other is a horrible mix of human monstrosity, predation and killing, killing, killing. Here's what you should consider. Should anything at all, especially a monument to a demoic faith and act, be built on the site of so many deaths? The answer of course is no. You'll never convince those of us who despise mooslims of any thing else. But nice try anyway.

    June 1, 2010 at 9:16 pm |
    • Fayrouz

      How is Islam a mix of monstrosity, predation, and killing, killing, killing? Don't say something you can't support. Religion, in general, aims for forgivness and truth. If a certain religion was a horrible mix of human monstrosity, predation and killing, killing, killing, then it would be GONE. Christians used to stone those that commited adultry as well. They simply changed their text so they liked it. And they STILL change it. Islam hasn't changed one bit and it still survives and grows as the world's fast growing religion.
      Christianity is bloody among itself..Protestants and Catholics killed each other, don't forget. Besides, Muslims didn't commit 9/11...terrorists did. Islam was literally bombed by terrorists that day.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:02 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Fayrouz...You have homicide bombers detonating their vests in market places, mosques, restaurants, killing anyone in the path, Muslims killing Muslims. Muslims think the Quaran is a collection of the actual words of God. What a load. It is a collection of plagiarised passages from the bible with a constant threat of punishment for not obeying; a bogus reward of gardens and virgins; and an occasional self serving "revealation" thrown in for good ol' Muhammad. Muhammad himself was a terrorist who was kicked out of his hometown so he began robbing caravans and forming an army of followers who eventually began converting i.e., terrorizing, towns and villages. And, you are correct, Christians have historically committed atrocities as well, but you are also correct, Christianity has evolved and kept up with the times. Islam is an outdated cult that preys on the ignorant of the world. And, since it is written that it is ok to lie if it advances the cause of Islam, who can you believe and trust in this absurd "religion". Muslims have a 4th century mindset with 21st century weapons, and if that is not a good enough reason for Islam to reconcile itself with the times I don't know what is.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  12. ArriusTell

    Mr. Prothero, It would be interesting to see such list of signatures.

    -+- -+-

    June 1, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
  13. Elizabeth Bluangtook

    LIKELY JESUS CALLED GOD ALLAH. Jesus spoke some form of Aramaic, the word he would likely have used for God is Allah. Google Jesus, Aramaic, Allah

    European or American history records countless violence by Christian extremists. . . . COULDN'T THE SENSIBLE AND COMPASSIONATE OF EVERY RELIGION LEARN TO GET ALONE????????

    I’ve also been told that “The Real Jesus” by Timothy Johnson suggests that Jesus went to India to practice Buddhist meditation, and that the Jataka Tales, story parables about the Buddha’s early lives, parallel some of the miracles of the New Testament. Buddhism was up and running 500+ years before Christianity. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam share religious books. . . . we’re all in this little lifeboat called Earth together,


    June 1, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      EB...Jesus did not advocate the murder of others for either not believing or for leaving the faith for another. And, you hae dredged up ancient history to justify homicide bombers. Christianity has evolved with the times. Muslims are of a 4th century mindset with access to 21st century weapons. Do you really want to promote that?

      June 1, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
    • Jon

      Keep thinking that. You're about as wrong as you can possibly be.

      June 1, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
    • Fayrouz

      I am not a Christian but in the Bible (among the hundreds out there anyway...) doesn't it say that Jesus supposedly said: "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" Eli....is Allah. Say both words and experience it for yourself.

      to stephen douglas....religion should revolve with the time. because a religion does that, that is proof that the religion is extremely ruined and uncomfortable in the first place. Islam has always been comfortable, that's why it hasn't changed. Christians simply found Christianity hard.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Fayrouz...Ummmm, you are ok with a religion that promotes subjigation of women; says it is ok to lie to advance the cause of Islam; that says to smite unbelievers across their necks; that says it is ok for the prophet alone to have access to your nieces, daughters, slave girls, widows, and any other unmarried girl or woman; that says you should never turn from your enemies; that you have a responsibility to exact revenge if something is done to a relative; that teaches that the prophet would not burden himself with prisoners until the people being attacked agree to convert to Islam; etc., etc. There is so much more it is incredible, but you know this and yet you justify it. You have been trained to memorize and recite the Quaran since childhood. You are a misguided brainwashed soul who cannot make a rational decision because you have been threatened all your life by your religion. If I was religious I would say a prayer for you.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:48 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      Thank you Elizabeth for these comments.
      @Douglas...Jesus, Moses, Adam, Noah, abraham, Muhammad (Peace of Allah upon all of them) are all Prophets and massengers of Allah. They all called people towards Allah and taught their followers to forgive, serve and love humanity. Quran has mentioned their names in several verses. read Quran in Arabic and if you don't know Arabic, read its translation that has been written by Muslims scholars and not those people who hate Islam. You will see that islam and Quran are all about moral values, kindness and forgivness.

      June 1, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Umme Omar....I have read the Quaran, and the Haddith, cover to cover, taking note all the way. It is a bluebook for brainwashing and developing terorists. There are many good things in the Quaran. But what I noticed, and this is the problem, there is a constant barrage of threat, then reward, threat, then reward, threat, then reward. It is classic brainwashing technique. The bible does not have this. It does not attempt to scare you into accepting Christianity. It invites you. Don't bring up Old Testament stories, or events of 1500 years ago, as examples of why Christianity is so terrible. Look at the teachings of Muhammad versus those of Jesus. Whole different approach with totally different outcomes. I have said before and stand by it: Islam was the result of a dysfunctional family having a family disagreement, and those who promulgate this so called religion are just as angry as those original family members.

      June 2, 2010 at 9:14 am |
    • Umme Omar

      @Stephen Douglas, This is the problem, Quran does not threat anybody. You did not read Quran to find guidance. You read it to find problems. That is why you read the translation of Quran and hadeeth, which was written by people who hate Islam. Jesus is Prophet of Allah just as Muhammad (PBUH) was. Their styles were different because they addressed differrent people, but still message is same, worship one Allah and be kind to mankind. The chrisitians changed the Bible and started calling Jesus , son of God, so now Bible is irrelevant. Its not word of God. it is word of human beings, full of errors. Quran is perfect. You just need to read its correct translation.

      June 2, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  14. Steve Johnson

    Did you see how Muslims came out in the tens of thousands to protest the "Draw Mohammed Day" and how many tens of thousands came out on Monday to protest Israel's incident overseas (before the facts were even made available)? When was the last time you saw people of the Muslim faith march out in force like that against extremism used in the name of Islam or the daily killings of fellow Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan? Bottlom, they don't. They're appeasers. If a mosque was being built to represent the new, more moderate and peaceful face of the Islamic faith, I would say go for it, because it would be a slap in the face to the extremists. However, the Islam of today is no different than the Islam before 9/11. There is almost zero condemnation of the extremists, and extremists are continuing to send their message through schools, religious insitutions, and the media. Bottle line...this is the old Islam, and they are just as hateful and vicious as ever. This is a very sad thing.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      How come Steve Johnson you are writing the same thing over and over again? Muslims all over the world and Muslim associations in USA condemn terrorists attacks of 9/11 wholeheartedly. Muslim faith does not allow making pictures of Prophets? Did you ever try to find out Why don't muslims ever draw pictures of jesus or Moses? Because they respect all religions. That is why so many people are converting to Islam in USA and all over the world. Please read Quran translation written by Muslims. Do not read Quran translations that are written by people who hate Islam.

      June 1, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  15. Rick

    The so called many thats in support of this should learn to read between the lines. Just one question..How much money came from the Saudis to build this? A country that wouldnt allow a Christian church to be build anywhere on their land. Oh well America as we know it is gone anyway. Good Luck!

    June 1, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
    • Jon

      That's the truth, Rick. You nailed it. These friggin Arabs know the weaknesses of America and they just feed it with cash.

      June 1, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
  16. jake the bum

    get muslim terrorists out of the US

    June 1, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
    • John

      How about all terrorists... Do Muslim terrorists kill any differently than others who hijack faith to carry out a nihilistic agenda?

      June 1, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
  17. rush

    everytime i hear 9/11 I also think it's americans but what kind of Americans? the answer is MUSLIMS too, yes MUSLIMS too died in 9/11 in those same buildings. Those who oppose the mosque are biggots and mostelly religious fanatics who want to destroy any other beliefs and keep america as 100% christians. this will never hapen...I would like to stress on the fact that those hetfull morons like peole in FOX, Limbaugh are doing this for rating and makng alots of money...some others like AIPAC and lieberman are jews and pushing for these kind of hateful propganda to drive their agenda. So i think people need to start listening to al kind of news channels to expand their knowelege of issues...

    June 1, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Yes, some Muslims died on 9/11, but they are considered martyrs by many other Muslims. That is why it is no problem for a homicide bomber to walk into a restaurant and kill every man, woman, and child around him in order to kill one or two enemy members. Those inncents were just casualties of war and will be considered martyrs. So, the fact is, no modern religion promotes as much terror and violence as Islam. As I have heard before, Islam is a dynamite religion. Although I have grown to consider it a cult, not a religion.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
    • John

      Right on... I spent a month in Egypt last summer and found Muslims from all points of view critical about many aspects of American foreign policy but also denouncing terror... by suicidal fanatics and Israel's apartheid state.

      June 1, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
  18. programmergirl

    The terrorists responsible for 9/11 are MUSLIMS. To build a mosque at Ground Zero would be an insult beyond measure. America does indeed have religious freedom. However, the Muslims don't respect our country, our freedoms or anything else about our way of life. WHY would we want to show them any respect whatsoever? They are the source of death and pain world-wide and deserve nothing but contempt. The so-called "Silent Majority" is nowhere to be seen. As long as that majority does nothing to curtail the activities of the terrorists, they have no right to expect Americans to view their religion wit anything other than disgust and mistrust. NO MOSQUE at Ground Zero or anywhere close to it!!!

    June 1, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  19. stephen douglas

    Islam was doing ok prior to Muhammad. Muslims need to throw out the Quaran which was written by Muhammad, and redefine who they are and what their beliefs really are. Muhammad did nothing but steal from the bible; he was a cutthroat robber who was driven from his hometown and conducted raids on caravans. He never heard any voices from God unless it was after smoking something really strong. Read history, not the glop written by Muslim "scholars".

    June 1, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
    • Jon

      Good comment, Stephen. Muhammed was also a baby raping pedophile, but hell, that's normal behavior in all of these muslim countries. Our officials like that though and especially when the mus's throw money at them. Selling America one square foot at a time. That's our boys!!!

      June 1, 2010 at 9:22 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      stephen Douglas, your words sound like you have been consuming alcohol too much. What you are saying shows only your hatred for islam. Can you show me one message on this board by a Muslim who uses same kind of disgusting language for Christians, Bible or Christ(PBUH) . All readers, you are free to look at the comments made by this man and comments made by me and other Muslims. Please read Quran in its arabic text or if you don't know Arabic, read its translation written by good practicing Muslims and you will see that Islam and quran are all about kindness and serving humanity. Lets read quran and try to get real guidance. Get rid of all your hatreds and prejudices. Love Human beings for the sake of pleasing Allah. Your life will become comfortable and all your worries will be all gone.

      June 1, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Umme Omar...First, I am very sober. Second, go read the posts by Abd-al-latif in this discussion to see what wonderful things some other Muslims are saying. As for my copy of the Quaran and Haddith, they came from a mosque. The forward in the Quaran discusses at length how hard the translaters worked to make it as accurate as possible. Yes, there are many good things in the Quaran. Unfortunately that is how people are manipulated. Offer some candy, make a friend, then threaten, not unlike child molesters. Reward, punishment, reward, punishment, over and over. I don't have time at the moment, but when I get home I will post some passages from the Quaran and you let me know how accurate they are. We'll start with wife beating, then maybe Muhammad's God given access to women, and discuss how to become a martyr. Everyone on this forum will see the so called revealations. All from the Quaran.

      June 2, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
  20. Irene

    How many muslims have actually denounced the actions of islamic terrorists?? The number is miniscule if any at all. I haven't seen any outcry from muslims about 09/11, Ft. Hood, the shoe bomber or the christmas airplane attempt. I read extensive news reports about how muslims expect us to understand and "reach out" to them but never the reverse. Muslims killed over 2500 people on 09/11 shouting praise for allah as they did it.

    June 1, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Irene, you don't hear about them because as you said, there are not that many; the ones you do hear are the average person, not the leadership; and if any major leaders really did speak out they risk being killed, or their families being killed, by other members of the "religion of peace and tolerance". This whole thing about building a mosque at ground zero is a powerplay and the Muslms are going to throw major money at it in order to get that group of bums to approve it. Once they build it, it will be a shrine to the highjackers. Unbeilievable.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
    • JJ

      Every American Islamic organization repeatedly denounces terrorism, immediately. The reason you don't hear about it is because it isn't reported in the news, which is clearly your only source of anything about Islam.

      June 1, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      JJ...American Muslims speaking out against terrorism is nothing. How about the imams and religious leaders in the mosques overseas organizing their congregations to police and report extremists? I never heard of any doing that. How about Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, and other Islamic nations not just denouncing terrorism but activly going after it from every angle. It is not being done. Pakistan has only recently been more aggressive, and many of the people there don't support the government's efforts. Egypt has also been fairly active in pursuing terrorists. The reasons most others do not are 1. because although they give a couple sound bites denouncing it, many leaders quietly support the extremists, or, 2. because they fear for their lives and the lives of their families if they go after extremists. If there is more being done, it is being done secretly because, again, there is so much fear of being targeted by other members of the religion of peace and tolerance.

      June 1, 2010 at 9:53 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      JJ...One other thing is that the news is not my only source of information. I have read the Quaran cover to cover as well as the Haddith. When discussing who denounces terrorism, it also needs to be mentioned that the Quaran and Haddith specifically teach that it is ok to lie if it advances the cause of Islam. So, who the he11 can you believe in this so called religion? Please let me know if you think I am wrong about the lying and I will go dig it up from my Haddith.

      June 1, 2010 at 9:59 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.