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on earth (at least three out of every four Americans call themselves Christians) but until the First Amendment is repealed it is also a country that guarantees religious liberty to Christians and non-Christians alike.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. illuminated Genius

    I find it extremely offensive that they are even thinking of a horrible idea. I do not support Islam by any means because i don't agree with people who say it is just the extremists who act out violently. The extremists don't get their ideas out of nowhere as they are pushed through Islam hypocrisy which fronts as a peaceful religion when in reality is one made for Jihad and holy war. I support Geert Wilders argument relating to the Islamic ideology and that it has no compatibility with western civilization and human rights as well as democracy. People who think this idea is ok lack a lot of sensitivity and this will make a lot of people extremely angry in the United States of America. Absolutely not, this should not be done. If there is something that should be remade is the twin towers on ground zero. I think there needs to be sensitivity put into effect here regarding this, and i find this lacks a lot of it. From what i have seen though radical Islam is the foundation of the real Islam which has been funded since the 7th century. Whether we like it or not we have major problems with Jihadists around the world because of religious muslim fanatics who want to kill other people who are infidels.

    June 3, 2010 at 2:21 am |
    • Umme Omar

      I think you are a conspiracy theorist. BTW as of now the whole world is extremely angry at the United States of America. Listen to BBC News, Reuter and other non American news channels and see what they think of USA in the light of recent attack on a Turkish Aid Fortilla resulting in civilian deaths. But I know you cannot see past your conspiracy theories and bias against Islam...you r such an illuminated stuck-up

      June 3, 2010 at 5:21 am |
  2. cardog

    Reading all the comments being made and the references to the bible and the koran further verifies the senseless need for God to be on one's side. Christanity and Islam both has it's shameful histories. The difference is this, Islam has acted in a shameful way today, in the present.
    Seems that devout followers of Islam insist on living in the 12, 13 or 14th century and insist that everyone else do so as well.
    Muslims can go on jihad and it's some holy calling. We (the U.S.) kill jihadist, fanatics,muslim radicals, and we're murderers??? This is true coming from our own allies who secretly wish us ill, but appear out front supporting us.
    Muslim fanatics understand what war is. It's the west that has never been able to deal with what war is. When we defeated Saddam in 1990, he thought we would take Bagdad and then him. When we did'nt, he was able to claim that it was the coalition that was defeated, not Iraq. When you go to war, it's all out. There is no compassion/quarter given by the winner. Remember that the loser, could have been the winner, and heaven help us to look for compassion from them.
    This rambling is trying to reach the point that Muslims and Islam has declared war on the west. These people want to kill us and we pretend that it's because they have been treated so badly. Think America, wake up America.

    June 2, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
    • Raina

      I agree with you cardog 100 percent, i think America needs to wake up and see that these people have no excuse for killing our fellow Americans, we have to stop pretending.

      June 3, 2010 at 1:52 am |
    • Umme Omar

      I think American really needs to wake up and see what the whole world is saying to it. Watch BBC, rewters, listen to the world, UN, Turkey, NATO, they are all condemning the attack on Fortilla. We are taking the side of the attackers and the murderers. Wake up America and see what the whole world is talking about us

      June 3, 2010 at 5:14 am |
  3. Dan the Man

    Holy cow! When did all of these misinformed people enter the USA? There must be a ring of "coyotes" sneaking them across the border.

    I thought that this was supposed to be the "land of the free," not the land of "condemn your neighbor because someone of the same religion once committed a heinous crime." I thought that this was where Protestants and Catholics and Puritans and Quakers and Jews and Muslims and Buddhists and Hindus could come to enjoy our amazing First Amendment rights of freedom of religion. I must be mistaken. I must have missed that day in history class.

    I can only assume that some of the posters here have never met a Muslim. They must assume that Muslims are all the evil, scheming caricatures that they see on "24." I wonder if in other countries people see American as caricatures. Maybe they think we're all slave owners. Maybe they think that we beat up Black people as they walk down the street or try to sit in the front of the bus. Maybe they assume that we're all terrorists like the White Christian fterrorists who bombed the Oklahoma City Federal Building and flew a plane into an IRS office.

    If all you knew about Americans (or Muslims) was what you saw on selected television broadcasts, you could come to one of these ridiculous conclusions. And you'd be dead wrong and lookin' mighty foolish. Go ahead, be as foolish as you want to be! Why let a billion decent, respectful Muslims spoil your reassuring illusion that Islam is evil?

    June 2, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
    • Jack

      Dan the man...you don't seem to face reality. The muslim religion isn't compatible with democracy. The nice muslim people you speak of probably just that but the religion is much bigger than them. Can you explain how the muslims will handle living amoung westerners? will they try to impose Sharia like in the UK, France, Belgium and other places so they can live amoung us? where's the public outcry from the muslim community against the extremists? If you think they are just going to incorporate with our society without trying to conform it to their religious doctrine then you're not facing reality. Quit acting like we're all evil and insensitive, we're just aware and have a little foresite.

      June 3, 2010 at 11:31 am |
    • Jack

      I'd like to add. Go to a muslim country like Somalia and try to be a Christian or a non-believer. You might get your head chopped off.

      June 3, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  4. slozomby

    " 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. " there has to be room for 3 or 4 more names up there.

    June 2, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  5. Reality

    A Muslim voice at ground zero and an ex-Muslim voice that needs to be heard:

    "The kind on thinking I saw in Saudi Arabia and among the Brotherhood of Kenya and Somalia, is incompatible with human rights and liberal values. It preserves the feudal mind-set based on tribal concepts of honor and shame. It rests on self-deception, hyprocricy, and double standards. It relies on the technologial advances of the West while pretending to ignore their origin in Western thinking. This mind-set makes the transition to modernity very painful for all who practice Islam".

    June 2, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
  6. Umme Omar

    Stephen douglas and people like him are against this mosque on ground zero not because they are sympathizing with the 9/11 victims and their families. They are against it because they are biased against islam. A mosque is the most sacred and sanctified place for true Muslims. Building a Mosque at ground zero is a great idea. This shows that we do not associate ourselves with the attackers of 9/11, rather we are sympathizing with the victims. By buiding this mosque, Muslims can have a place where they can pray Allah for victims and their families

    June 2, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
    • illuminated Genius

      Yeah great idea alright. if someone bombs that mosque it will be me.

      June 3, 2010 at 2:04 am |
    • Observer

      I agree that the Mosque should not be built, but not out of hate for Islam. I think it's pretty obvious a mosque there is in bad taste because it is impossible to dispute the facts that acts of terror were committed by Islamic fundamentalists. Not to say that all Muslims are terrorists but the ones that attacked the WTC did so in the name of Islam. It is not a matter of whether Muslims CAN built the mosque- freedom of speech gives them that right. But should they? Absolutely not.

      June 4, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  7. Umme Omar

    Stephen Douglas, Quran gives glad tidings and Omens so that People can fear Allah and the day of judgment and not do evil and unkind things to others. See, we have been here for at least one day and I have never attacked religious symbols, Prophets or Books of other religions. Only because I am obeying Allah. Allah has asked me to not hurl insults towards other religions. I want to go to heaven and avoid hellfire at any cost. OTH, you have no concience or fear. You attack our faith and make false accusations on our Prophet without any fear of day of judgment. You are only obeying your desires.

    June 2, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  8. stephen douglas

    Umme Omar...Tell me Islam was not the result of a family dispute. A dysfunctional family in which the wife supposedly agreed to let the husband screw a slave girl in order to get a male heir; then the real wife had a legitimate son with the husband, and daddy decided to make that one the heir to his wealth instead of the real first born son. So, the real first born son got really pi$$ed off and started his own tribe and Muslims have been angry and upset with the world ever since. Those are the beginnings of Islam. But it really spread with the teachings of a radical who was run from his hometown; who claimed to have flown to the temple mount on a horse with a lion's head; and then claimed to have been receiving messages from God...and you are buying all this??? That is not faith. It is foolish. It is ignorant. And Islam appeals to the world's poor ignorant people.

    June 2, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      stephen douglas, the husband Abraham, the wife Sarah, the slave girl Hajra, the first son Ismael and the second son Isaac (Peace of Allah be upon all of them) are our Prophets and their wives and eually respected and honrable for us. When we send blessings upon Abraham and his family in our prayers, we send blessings on all of them. We do not have any problems. I guess you are mixing us with Jews. Jews have problems with Ismael, Hajra and Muhammad (Peace of Allah be upon them all). I think you need to take some rest.

      June 2, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  9. Johnnypro

    A true insult to build a mosque at ground zero. All muslims are terrorists, they are the enemy and islam is no religion, but rather a war cry.

    June 2, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      yeah ok, then stop buying oil from Muslim countries. Dig your own oil mines but try to avoid more spills.

      June 2, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  10. stephen douglas

    Zaheer Hussain....Uh, no, I am not out of my mind. I never said he plagiarized the entire thing, just passages. He was robbing caravans, remember, so coming into a bible would not have been a problem. You do realize he was robbing caravans, correct? He needed income since he was kicked out of his hometown, so he began stealing from the traders that came through the area. Regardng India, I read some Indian historical articles that discussed the Islamic incursion into India, and it was not a picnic. Everything written by Muslim "scholars" paint Muhammad as some sort of Santa Claus. Interesting that you did not address the beginnings of Islam, or Muhammad's sordid history, or the brainwashing of the Quaran.

    June 2, 2010 at 10:00 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      Muhammad (SAW) was not kicked out of Makah. he migrated to medina on the command of Allah. The people of Makah captured all his property and the properties of his companions. Muhammad (SAW) established islamic state in Medina and he robbed caravans and retrieved wealth equivallent to their stolen money. He came back to Makah and conquered the city without shedding blood. he forgave all his enemies and they all converted to Islam. Same thing happened with Abraham when he had to leave his home country for the pleasure of Allah. A lot of other prophets migrated too. But they did it to please Allah. Nobody kicked them out.

      June 2, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      Muhammad (SAW) did not have to plagiarize bible. Bible, Torah, Quran are all Books of Allah. Most of their topics are similar and they all teach kindness, justice and good values. the only difference is that people changed some parts of bible and torah. Quran is the final word of Allah and nobody can ever change it.

      June 2, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Umme Omar..."...he migrated to medina on the command of Allah..." "...conquered the city without shedding blood..." Right. He conveniently received instructions from God, which allowed him to save face, and then conquered the city without shedding blood. You cannot be serious. Read some other history, not the nonsense written by Muslim "scholars". History is written by the conquerers, and is not the whole truth. Wake up and stop living in a fairy land. This will be my last post I think. I have a headache from beating my head against a wall over this. Prothero, you are so wrong in your article it stinks. No mosque should be within five miles of ground zero.

      June 2, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      yeah take some rest because you are really losing it.

      June 2, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  11. stephen douglas

    Zaheer Hussain...Are you really going to deny the Quaran says "...smite the unbelievers across their necks wherever you find them..."? I can get you the verse but as a devout Muslim you know it says this. I am not certain about Haddith, but I am positive about the Quaran.

    June 2, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
    • Zaheer Hussain

      Stephen, every Muslim knows that verse was revealed as inspiration to the soldiers in the battlefield. It does not mean you smite the non-Muslims's necks as you walk on the street to the market. Don't take the verse out of context. See you need to sit down with a cool mind and study Quran. I have read your other post and you are full of hate against Islam, almost violent.

      June 2, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Zaheer Hussain...You really think every Muslim can seperate this from a battlefield? And, where is the battlefield? Times Square? An airliner over the Atlantic? A Baghdad market? A tunnel in England? Heathrow Airport? Define the battlefield for us as viewed by all Muslims. I am not filled with hate, but I am absolutely filled with anger and disgust that your religion began as a dysfunctional family's dispute, and as a result of the plagiarized teachings of a murdering radical who was run out of his own hometown it has become a gathering place for terrorists around the world. And you and the rest of your people are blind to these facts. Please try to convince me I am wrong about Muhammad. As I have said before, the Quaran uses a classic brainwashing technique of threats of punishment with promises of rewards, threats of punishment, promises of rewards, threats of punishment, promises of rewards, on and on. And you have been memorizing and reciting this stuff since you were a child. I stand by everything I have written. Muslims have a 4th century mindset with 21st century weapons, and that is scary. The mosque in New York is wrong. When I hear Muslims speaking out against the building of this mosque, I might feel like there is some hope. Instead, not one of you appears against it. Instead you dredge up our draw Muhammad day as a being an insult to you, as if it compares to murdering over 3000 people one morning. You are like a bunch of screaming brats who want everything their way.

      June 2, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
    • Zaheer Hussain

      Stephen, Islam has been there for 1400 years. Muslims "ruled" India for 400 years. And India is the second most populous country in the world that has over 80% non-Muslim population. Had Muslims interpreted Quran they way you say they interprete, India would have been 80% Muslim. There are so many Muslim countries where non-Muslims live very peacefully practicing their religion with freedom. No Muslims don't smite the necks of non-Muslims even when they rule them.

      June 2, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
    • Zaheer Hussain

      Stephen, you mention "plagiarized" so many times. Even with the latest technology of computers and copiers, how long would it take to plagiarize Bible and Torah? 1400 years ago, in the age of camels and desert, an illeterate man plagiarizing Bible and Torah? You are out of your mind.

      June 2, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
    • Zaheer Hussain

      Well, you have displayed your ignorance, anger, bogotry, etc. You have been screaming here for the past two days. Seems like you have been paid to stay here maligning Islam.

      June 2, 2010 at 9:52 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      Stephen Douglas, the Arabic word 'thaqif' used for finding the non-believer implies a situation where the enemy has declared war on Islam and the believer has to smite the enemy across his neck only when he finds him in a battle field. Like it or not, USA has not declared war on Islam. USA has declared war against terrorism and true Muslims do not believe they are at war with USA. So Times square, JFK airport, ground zero or any other place in USA or its Allies are not battlefields for true Muslims. Islam and USA are allies in the war against terrorism.

      June 2, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Zaheer Hussain...Yes, cry ignorance, anger, bigotry, etc. You are correct one of three. I am angry. As for being here two days, I am certainly not the only one finding this forum interesting. And, yes, I will continue to speak out against Islam and certainly against this mosque.

      June 2, 2010 at 10:07 pm |
  12. SNAKE103


    June 2, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      SNAKE 103, ever heard about punctuation marks, grammer, spellings? Please proof read your message so at least people can understand what you are saying.

      June 2, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  13. nuser

    Are you denying the Koran orders muslims to kill all the jews.

    June 2, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      yeah, zaheer is right, Quran does not allow Muslims to kill jews, Christians or any one else. Which book have you been reading? We don't call it Koran, we call it Quran. OK?

      June 2, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
    • Zaheer Hussain

      Nuser, You need to read Quran before making accusations. Quran doesn't want anybody killed. Quran is there to stop everybody from going to Hell. Quran is there for everybody's peace and Quran is there for justice.

      June 2, 2010 at 7:59 pm |
  14. nuser

    Hi Eric.
    You said it better than I
    Blogging with the muslims in this edition one feel like banging one's head against the wall, but only because it feels so good , when one stops.Ciao

    June 2, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  15. nuser

    Your ignorance could fill a tome. Come to think of it does!

    June 2, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  16. Kim

    I think you all need to look into a hadith taht makes it illeagal for all Jewish people to exist. It was clearly the supposed peacefull protesters on the flotilla that attacked the Isreali soldier. Gays are beheaded under mainstream sheria law and the Muslim usually build a Mosque over areas conquered, think about why there is a mosque over where they thought the Temple In Isreal was. 24 million a month was shifted from Arafat to hamas because they were not willing to negotiate a peace treaty, Arafat was asked by a Jewish friend why he would to the cameras say they would work toward peace and the turn to the people and say drive them into the sea. He said his own people would kill him if he truly pursued peace. Think abuot how hard that must be for Prime Minister Netanyahu to try and negotiate peace with people who dont want it , and at the same time ry to protect your people from people who wish to do your nation harm. I beileve it was 2008 an Iranian cargo ship was intercepted by Israeli defence forces , once on board they found a cache of weaponry that could do considerable damage . Galid Shalit an Isreali soldier was abducted and has not been allowed to see family or anyone , while the palestiinians visit prisoners held in Israel , while Isreal is held to a double standard and tries to follow international law. There have been over 3000 rockets fired into Isreal , where is the reprimand form the U.N. for these attacks on Isreal?

    June 2, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
    • Zaheer Hussain

      THose people on flotilla were of different religion not just Muslims. The whole world is condeming the Israeli action.

      So it is because of what is happening politically in Israel that we don't want mosque in NY?

      June 2, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      Hey Kim don't be so stuck up. Listen to BBC and reuters, listen to the world, the whole world as of now is condemning Israel for attacking the fortilla. Please stop making these stories. People are not fool outside of america to buy your stories

      June 2, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  17. Zaheer Hussain

    All people against the Islam and the mosque should visit one a couple of times, talk to the people there. May be they should go to a Friday prayer and listen to the sermon. I bet that will be very educational to many people. They should get the Quran and read it to get a better understanding. Contact any mosque and they will gladly provide one.

    June 2, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
    • Total non sense

      no matter who much you try to make islam look good. history as shown many that Islam is the ENEMY OF HUMANITY. Muslims kill innonccents EVERY SINGLE DAY since Islam was invented by a men with KNOWN mental illness who was a child abuser. What kind of nut fellow the teaching of a religion created by a psychopath?

      June 2, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      Good job Zaheer. I have just reported 'abuse' on total non sense's comments. These people are real extremists.

      June 2, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
    • Zaheer Hussain

      If it was total non-sense, there would not be billions of followers. Wake up man and read about Islam. Read Quran.Read a book written by a Muslim about Prophet Muhammad. It will benefit you immensely.

      June 2, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      Brother zaheer by 'total non sense', i meant the person named 'Total non sense' who has just posted an abusive message.

      June 2, 2010 at 8:10 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Zaheer Hussain...There are billions of poor, ignorant people in the world...that is why Islam is spreading. It takes advantage of them and specifically empowers the males. Of course some of them will smarten up and attempt reject the book, but they are singled out for a special chatisement, correct? Once in, you cannot easily leave. Just like the mafia or the drug cartels.

      June 2, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
    • rar

      zaheer and all his others. i think you should leave this country and go back to the arab countries we do not want or need you here in the usa. you would be with your fellow mahammedins and this would be better for you. Is there some reason you don't go back over there? i don't want to hear that you were born here because you are not an american you don't know what it is to fight for freedom. you sacrificed nothing. go back to the arab countries where you really belong take all other mohams back with you.

      June 2, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      rar, please do no jump to conclusions. What makes you think that zaheer and I are from Arab countries? BTW I do not have problem in going to Arab world. They are rich in oil and everything but my country of origin is far better place to live.

      June 2, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
    • rar

      zaheer you mean the mosque where the terrorists hide and you so-called moderate mohams know about them but don't turn them in?

      June 4, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  18. Sam

    If you look at it more closely Islam as a relegion has done a great job in straightening these Arabs and that is why we don't have a billion sucide bombers only a few who started their own path. Don't blame Islam, it was us whose tax money created these monsters to bring Russia to its knees. Let them build their mosque.

    June 2, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Sam...you are a naive, apologetic fool. Ask youself what is wrong with a religion that has even one person thinking it is ok to be a suicide bomber??? Have you read the Quaran or Haddith? It is obvious that you have not and you do not get it. You are exactly what the extremists look for – a sheep for slaughter is how they would see you. The mosque is wrong. Period.

      June 2, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
    • Zaheer Hussain

      Stephen, you mention Quran and Hadeeth. Where does Quran and hadeeth permit its followers to kill others?

      June 2, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • Eric

      The Quran does not permit anything. The Quran is a fictional book. This means that your interpretation is no better than a suicide bombers. My point is that no interpretation of any religious text is accurate because none of them are based on reality. Or, can you provide proof/evidence of your god?

      June 2, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
    • Zaheer Hussain

      Eric, it is too obvious that you have never read the Quran. Read one and you will know the difference between tha fact and the fiction.

      June 2, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
    • Eric

      Have read it. Don't feel bad. The bible is fiction too. Have you read the bible? Which one is correct? The only obvious thing here is that you cannot provide proof or evidence of your god. Nor can anyone else.

      June 2, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
    • Zaheer Hussain

      Eric, it is good that you're thinking. The biggest proof is that the creation of life and death of everything. No matter how hard you try or what technology you use, you cannot create a single soul. In the same way, when something is about to die you cannot save it from death.

      June 2, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Zaheer Hussain...Are you really going to deny the Quaran says "...smite the unbelievers across their necks wherever you find them..." I can get the verse for you, but as a devout Muslim, you should know it says this.

      June 2, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
    • Zaheer Hussain

      Stephen, don't take the verse out of context. That verse was revealed during the battle as a inspiration for soldiers. Every Muslim knows that and you know it, too, probably. That does not mean that you smite the necks of non-Muslims as you walk on the street.

      June 2, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
  19. Eric

    I know this was posted above but I never received a response. Please address if you will.
    Umme Omar: "There are some people in every religion who get angry and resort to violence if you attack their faith." I don't know what I find more disturbing, the fact that you justify their violence, or the fact that you think I need to "show some responsibility". I will never give in to the threat of violence. If someone threatens me with violence because I question their belief system, the time for debate is over. The responsibility is theirs to respect my opinion without threats. Then, and only then, will I begin to respect theirs.

    June 2, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  20. Zaheer Hussain

    If those terrorists were true Muslims, they would have never carried such an attack. Islam strictly prohibits killing of innocent people and Islam totally prohibits suicide. Even in the battlefield the destruction of property is not allowed.

    June 2, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
    • Eric

      Those terrorists were true Muslims. They have a different take on your Quran than you do. I would even say that because they were willing to sacrifice their own lives, they had more belief than you do. They were true believers.

      June 2, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
    • nuser

      Not true muslims huh, that is an outrageous statement.Insult after injury.

      June 2, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      Eric What a paradox, how can be someone a true muslim if he does not follow its commands? Suicide bombers and terrorists are not true Muslims, because they don't follow Quran. they just follow their emotions.

      June 2, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
    • Zaheer Hussain

      Hey Eric & Nuser, you better study Islam before arguing that they were true Muslims or not. Islam does not allow killing innocent people. Period. Suicide means guaranteed place in hell.

      June 2, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.