home
RSS
June 11th, 2010
03:59 AM ET

My Take: New portrait of Muslim America shows community on edge

Editor's Note: Frankie Martin is Ibn Khaldun Chair Research Fellow at American University's School of International Service and is a contributor to the new book Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam.

By Frankie Martin, Special to CNN

As I got off the plane in St. Louis in September 2008, I didn’t realize I was beginning a journey that would change my life.

On that day, I–along with several researchers working with Professor Akbar Ahmed, American University’s Chair of Islamic Studies–began a grueling project aimed at studying America’s Muslim population and its relationship to American identity. Now, nearly two years, 75 cities and 100 mosques later, Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam, will be published by the Brookings Institution Press this month.

In addition to providing unprecedented insight into America’s Muslim community, it also led me to look at my own country, the United States, in a different way.

I had taken Professor Ahmed’s class on improving relations between Islam and the West as an underclassman shortly after the US invaded Iraq in 2003 and had traveled across the Muslim world with him for the book Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization, listening to Muslim voices in countries including Jordan, Pakistan, and India.

On that trip, during which Muslims in eight countries cited “American negative perceptions of Islam” as the greatest threat to the Muslim world, I was ready for anything and eager to learn. After all, I had spent the second half of my life living and traveling widely around the world, from Kenya to China, and studying foreign lands in my international relations courses.

America was a different matter. This, I thought, was a country that I knew. Yet although I lived in the Baltimore suburbs until I was a teenager and went to college in Washington, DC, like many Americans I was familiar with only a few states, and had never experienced entire regions like the South.

Assisting a world-renowned anthropologist on a De Tocqueville-esque quest would change this. Like that earlier foreign traveler, Professor Ahmed saw his endeavor as a tribute to a nation that had welcomed him so warmly in crafting a study which would examine both the strengths of America and the parts that could be strengthened.

Within a few hours on our first day—which took us to Somali refugees in a St. Louis housing project—I realized I was experiencing something unique. Though I’m a Christian, I was seeing the country through Muslim eyes, including those of my professor.

But this was only part of the story. In order to see how Muslims were fitting into America—and what it meant to fit in—we would need to talk to Americans from all backgrounds and religions. Assisting us would be data from the roughly two thousand surveys we distributed in the field as well as countless conversations on our travels.

Over the next long months, we saw the ravages of inner city Detroit and the mansions of Palm Beach, Florida; the serene, impoverished Hopi Indian reservation in Arizona and a Silicon Valley “hackers conference” with scientists talking of settlements on the Moon and Mars. We spoke at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, spent an afternoon with Mennonites in Texas, were welcomed by the Mormon leadership in Salt Lake City, and visited coal miners in the West Virginia wilderness.

The diversity of people and beliefs was striking and inspiring. And, for the first time, I saw the fall colors in New England, the Grand Canyon, and a Hawaiian sunset.

We found the Muslim community to be hospitable and patriotic, as they often said that America was the best place to be a Muslim because of religious freedom. But the community is on edge, divided and facing a leadership crisis—contributing to the “homegrown terrorist” phenomenon—and reeling from post-9/11 hatred and prejudice.

I was shocked to see the challenges American Muslims are facing, from kids beaten up and called terrorists at school to people incarcerated without charge and subjected to inhuman treatment and mosques being firebombed. A Muslim community that feels accepted as true Americans and is encouraged to enter the mainstream will be the best defense against homegrown terrorism.

Witnessing the challenges facing the Muslim community led me to ask a question I never had before: what does it mean to be American? Although we met Americans who had a different idea of the country (one official at a Church of Christ chapter in Austin named “pluralism” as the greatest threat to America and the Founding Fathers as the source of this threat) for me, the team, and my professor, being American means embracing the ideals of the Founding Fathers, which include pluralism, rule of law, and civil liberties.

Today, feelings against Islam are running high, with a prominent radio host recently expressing his hope that the proposed New York mosque near Ground Zero would be blown up. Every week seems to bring a new controversy, from the high emotions of the mosque debate to last month’s discussion about the current Miss USA, a Lebanese immigrant, who was slammed as a Hezbollah agent because her surname was said to be shared by people linked to the organization.

In this environment, I was inspired during countless hours of research into American history to see how clear the Founding Fathers were on the subject of Islam in America. Thomas Jefferson learned Arabic using his Quran and hosted the first presidential iftaar during Ramadan, John Adams named Prophet Muhammad as one of the world’s “sober inquirers after truth” alongside Socrates and Confucius, and Benjamin Franklin, who cited the Prophet as a model of compassion, wrote of his hope that the head cleric of Istanbul would preach Islam to Americans from a Philadelphia pulpit, so passionate was his belief in religious freedom.

Today, America faces a crisis of identity. One focal point at the core of the debate is Islam, which some Americans see as a monolithic threat seeking the takeover of the country. They are fearful and suspicious of the Muslims in their midst. For many of these citizens, being a good American—and, for some, a good Christian—means opposing and fighting Islam.

My journey has led me to conclude the opposite. Being a good American means welcoming Muslims as the Founding Fathers did and following their guidelines on matters of law and security as laid out in the Constitution. As for Christianity, the attitude of the Founding Fathers was shaped by Christian thinkers like John Locke, who declared that the true Christian’s duty was to “practice charity, meekness, and good-will in general towards all mankind, even to those that are not Christians.”

Giving us hope for the future was data from our surveys, which showed that over ninety percent of Americans would vote for a Muslim for public office, and the similarly high percentage of people who are open to Muslims living in and being a part of this nation.

Some, however, inserted “if” clauses, indicating they believed Muslims could be American only if they followed narrowly defined rules, such as ceasing to identify as “Muslim” in favor of an exclusive “American” identity. The Founding Fathers set no such qualifications for “Americanness.”

Discovering America over the past few years has made me appreciate the inclusive vision of the Founding Fathers. Having traveled abroad, I know that their ideals also inspire people around the world, especially in Muslim countries. I can now say I am American with an awareness and pride I never had before.

With all of the challenges facing the country, perhaps the most important thing we can do as Americans is to consider who we really are. For me, being American means assuming and implementing the Founding Fathers’ vision of tolerance and religious freedom. The rediscovery of that vision has reaffirmed my belief in the promise of America.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Frankie Martin.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam

soundoff (826 Responses)
  1. Sanity

    All these posts, either pro or con, simply fail to address the basic facts. I don't need ANY religion, the world over, to enlighten me. Break it down to the elements and there are only two...good or evil. No religion can alter my view. Murder is evil. Who cares what faith the murder belongs to. They have committed a violation against humanity. All religions also purport the same theme...either agree with one faith or else you are something "less" in the eyes of God. Religion...all of them...festers intolerance. Get a grip people...do you really need the Bible or Quoran to set the bar of good and evil? Don't you have this concept already?

    June 11, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
    • wvgiant

      thank you for your rational post, i agree 100%.

      June 11, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  2. JOHN

    ...all I know is that ALL acts of terrorism over the last 10 years have ALL been islam. NUFF SAID!!! This is a religion which demeans women, hangs 7 year old boys in the 21st century, wants to kill anyone who draws some dude called muhamed...and wants ALL westerners to convert or die...very simple. At least they dont throw acid at school girls...err..umm...nevermind.

    June 11, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
    • Joamiq

      This is simply not true. There are acts of terrorism all around the world perpetrated by people of all faiths and ethnicities. Sadly, there are many crazy people who support the things you wrote about. But I'm Muslim and I'm American, and I know my faith, and none of those things are a part of my Islam.

      June 11, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  3. Frankie Martin

    As the author of the piece, let me say I am shocked, but not entirely surprised, by some of the sentiments being expressed here. The Founding Fathers read the Quran, they knew all about Muslim history, and still welcomed Muslims. So the idea that they somehow didn't understand the "true Islam" or the "real Muhammad" is simply false. Yes, terrorism is a grave problem and we must combat it–but there is no better defense against terrorism than the Muslim community itself. Let me remind some of the posters here that in the case of the 5 Virginians in Pakistan and the Christmas bomber it was the families of the people concerned that came to the American authorities. In the latter case our own intelligence agencies couldn't connect the dots. Top military leaders like Generals McCrystal and Petraeus are talking about "respect" for Muslims and protecting civilians–some of these comments make their job more difficult. As for this Islam is inherently violent nonsense, I suggest people consider the fact that both Martin Luther King and the Ku Klux Klan were Christian and citied Jesus constantly. There are debates in every religion and a major one is going on in Islam right now. We should be supporting and not hindering the millions upon millions of Muslims who are contesting the extremists (and some being killed for it like Benazir Bhutto) and working towards a more peaceful world.

    June 11, 2010 at 9:06 pm |
    • Paul

      Paul-

      Have you, in your many travels, heard the term "Useful Idiot"? Could it possibly be that what you saw was part of a carefully orchestrated campaign to deceive the American kaffir? knowing that he could go back to the land of the Great Satan and do a puff piece on the good and true nature of Islam? How do you explain the fact that over 15,000 deadly terror attacks have been committed in the name of islam just since 9/11? Were those all due to the 'greatest threat facing Muslims in the world today'? (Apparently, the negative impressions of Muslims by the big bad Americans is the worst thing they face in the Islamic world.) I ask, no beg, you as a clearly intelligent and well written young man, do your homework before you pick up the pom-poms for this death cult. Read something by Robert Spencer, Frank Gaffney, Michael Medved, David Horrowitz, anyone who is not a brain dead Islamo-apologist. And by the way the KKK hasnt been a political force in American politics in almost a hundred years and no "Christian" leader anywhere in the world approves of their heineous ideologies, whereas, every major terrorist action has been sanctioned by divine fatwa and adhered to by jihadis on a deadly religious mission from their god. Islam, contrary to what many think, does not mean 'peace', it means 'submission', as in submission to allah's will. They will not rest until that divine directive is carried out worldwide.

      June 11, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
    • Bob

      Just because your Muslim, it doesn't mean your bad, if your christian it doesn't mean your good. Malcolm X was arguably the the big leader of the civil rights movement, only rivaled by Martin Luther King Jr. He was formerly racist viewed, but he had changed. And i am sure you all are familiar with the Rwanda genocide. Rwanda is a Christian majority country. Christians killing Christians just because they have different culture, different views, and to express an idea(a lot like the (Taliban).

      June 11, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
    • Paul

      ok clearly that was meant for Frankie-and yes, "Paul" is a nom de guerre for me...

      June 11, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
    • Frankie Martin

      Paul,
      I would just say that I can only report what I saw and heard in our Journey into America, which was conducted to build better relations between Muslims and non-Muslims and help us understand each other better. As you mentioned, these are difficult times and we are all trying to comprehend what is happening so we can take steps to remedy the situation. The book addresses your comments and many of the others expressed here and offers constructive solutions. I suggest you and the other commenters representing all opinions and viewpoints read the book and engage with it, I think everyone will find it really interesting and gain a lot from it.

      June 11, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  4. Sasha

    Oh, and trying to quash free speech with which they disagree, such as attempting to intimidate government agencies into refusing or stopping ads that inform those interested in leaving Islam that there are people willing to help them. Because Islam teaches that apostates should be killed. And follows through with killing them.

    June 11, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
    • Joamiq

      No, Islam does not teach that. And it never will, no matter how many times you repeat it.

      June 11, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
    • HeReigns

      Qur'an 4:89 says this:

      "They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they). But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (from what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks."

      Is this not what it seems to mean?

      June 12, 2010 at 1:37 am |
    • Joamiq

      That translation of 4:89 is a tad tricky. It refers specifically to "hypocrites", as in people who claim to be Muslims superficially but actually disbelieve. I've never seen the phrase "turn renegades" before, but that sentence in Arabic says that if such "hypocrites" turn against you, you should fight them, and if you meet them in war, then you can kill them. Which seems perfectly reasonable to me. This most definitely does NOT call for violence against people of other faiths! It's simply meant to deter people from causing harm to the Muslim community by essentially being wolves in sheep's clothing.

      June 12, 2010 at 4:57 am |
    • Joamiq

      Oh my bad, that's from the Yusuf Ali translation. Fair 'nuff. But yeah, that's a confusing phrase. What I gave you, though, is definitely an accurate representation of what it's supposed to mean.

      June 12, 2010 at 5:07 am |
    • HeReigns

      Thanks Joamiq,
      I was posting on the above comment about only about apostasy. Issa taught that we are to pray with a loving heart (not a vengeful heart, that is sin) for brothers and sisters that fall away from faith. The surah I cited is confusing to me for this reason.

      And then, in addition to Qur'an there is Hadith to look for commands and guidance, which is more confusion. I have a hard time understanding how this reflects the steadfast character of God.

      June 12, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
    • HeReigns

      Hadith Sahih Bukhari 9:50 by Mohammad states: “No Umma (a member of the Muslim community) should be killed for killing a Kaffir (an infidel = non Muslim). . . 9:57 goes on to say "Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him.”

      The Injil (New Testament) says God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. If the Injil and Isa are believed and respected, than a good study bible with maps and historical contexts are in order. God is incapable of lying, so where does that leave what comes after the Injil?

      June 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  5. Sasha

    The Crusades were Christianity's response to Muslims sacking Jerusalem and murdering many in the name of Allah; when they say they don't kill the innocent, they mean they don't kill Muslims who follow Islam as they believe it shoudl be followed. This is an ideology of hatred in which a man may murder women in his family who have, in his opinion, dishonored the family. That's why the TV station owner in NY decapitated his wife. Killing those who belong to other religions is advocated; thus the driver killing the Bishop. They follow a pedophile, thus the pre-pubescent girls married to old men dying on their wedding night from ruptured internal organs.

    June 11, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
  6. AmeriCanadian

    I vividly remember the Palestinians all cheering/clapping/jumping for joy during 9/11. Religion of peace, my shapely ass. There should be no Islam in the West.

    June 11, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
    • Joamiq

      You remember wrong. Palestinians were not all cheering and clapping for 9/11. Yes, some so-called "Muslims" did cheer and clap. They were the ones who the media chose to show. What you didn't see were the vast majority of American Muslims mourning every bit as much as you did.

      June 11, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  7. F David Hale, PhD

    Rubbish. Sub-categorizing Americans as "Black" Americans, "Hispanic" Americans, "Muslim" Americans is rubbish. No one calls me an "Episcopal" American. Or a "Jewish" American. I'm an American, period. Either you are or you are not. End of story.

    June 11, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  8. aggielizzima

    Thank you for being brave, speaking freely saying what you believe in infront of the wide world. This is the world I believe in. I would like a Muslim stand up to do the same, with no disguise head gear as an extension of good will to the free world to convince that their religion is peace loving and freedom loving and tolerant of all others. If they cannot, I would like to save the free world that I know. Life is short and I love living. Peace to all.

    June 11, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  9. Mohyuddin

    how about that book, though? sounds really interesting.

    June 11, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
  10. The_Mick

    Funny, there's not a single mention here of the fact that the Muslim leaders in Spain and some other nations issued a FATWA, an official condemnation, of Osama bin Laden yet America's Muslim leaders refuse to do the same. A USA Today survey showed that 5% of America's Muslims -120,000 people- feel that violence against America is justified. Perhaps a "new portrait of Muslim America" should show Muslims acting in favor of America and against its enemies. THEN they wouldn't have to be on edge. And after 9-11 I taught Lebanese, Egyption, and Palestinian Muslims in an American public high school that had lots of Army brats because of our proximity to Fort Meade, Maryland. I never once saw any of them mistreated and saw them hanging out with the Army brats after school. So it's not a crushing repression that's going on.

    June 11, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
  11. klord

    Muslims and Judeo-Christians simply cannot coexist peacefully.

    June 11, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
    • theresa

      Begging your pardon, but we are doing it perfectly well in my home town. Muslims and Christians are well-respected – mutually loved, even – members of my community and my job.

      Maybe you need to try just a bit harder.

      June 14, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  12. PK

    You moderate Muslims are afraid to speak out against the "radicals" because you know you will be killed.

    June 11, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
    • Yaser

      am a Muslim. I hate terrorism, i hate people who perform, love, or support acts of terror even if they are called "radical muslims". Is this sufficient enough for you PK?

      June 11, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
    • Joamiq

      I speak out against radicals at every possible opportunity. Terrorists who kill in the name of Islam are horrendous human beings. They are sick and murderous, and I hope that they are all wiped out. I am a Muslim, and an American, and I am not afraid to say any of that.

      June 11, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      It has been agreed by many non-Muslims that there are a lot of peace loving, decent Muslims. But two or three or even 10 or 20 saying they are against terror here on an internet forum does not cut it.

      How about the leaders of Islam standing up and denouncing terror and making as big a deal of catching or killing terrorists as they do about drawing cartoons of Muhammed? People rioting in the streets, Islamic leaders issuing fatwas, and murders being committed because of what? Cartoons.

      But, I don't see or hear these leaders organizing the people into marches against terrorism. I don't see them on the news leading masses of people with signs saying "Death to all terrorists", do you?

      You may be a good decent person, but you are naive pawn for your leaders. They are using you and millions of others.

      June 12, 2010 at 12:52 am |
    • Joamiq

      stephen douglas, my imam is Khalid Latif. He's been covered by CNN, the Times, Salon, Christian Science Monitor, etc. He is one of the most influential imams in America. Look him up. And then tell me if he's not saying exactly the kinds of things you think Muslim religious leaders should be saying.

      There are Muslims out there doing exactly what you call on them to do. And Imam Latif hasn't exactly had a shortage of media coverage. And yet these claims that no Muslim religious leaders are standing up for what is right persist. If you don't want to hear them, I guess you're not going to.

      And personally, I find it insulting that you think you know enough about me to call me a pawn. I'm nobody's pawn.

      June 12, 2010 at 5:14 am |
    • stephen douglas

      JOAMIQ....Thank you for letting me know about the imam.

      THE imam. Singular. Uno. One. Ein.

      Let me know if you come up with any other influential Muslims who are actively pushing for an end to terrorism by hunting down terrorists and either bringing them in to jsutice or killing them where they stand. Be sure to let me know when Muslims are marching in the streets, holding up signs that say "Death to all terrorists" or "Kill those who kill in the name of Islam" or "Smite the murdering cowards who kill in the name of Allah". Then I will begin to believe there are real efforts being made to reform your so called religion.

      Also, I did not call you a pawn. I called all moderate, peace loving Muslims pawns. And, yes, you are included.

      June 13, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
  13. PK

    girlinnorcal

    the arabic version says to kill infidels and the english one say to convert

    June 11, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  14. Nadia

    Also – excellent article. Thank you, Frankie Martin.

    And a fact that no one has bothered to point out – the Quran refers to Christians and Jews as "people of the book", believers in the same God, and considers them similar to Muslims in most cases of judgement.

    June 11, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
    • HeReigns

      Thanks for mentioning this. I have heard also that the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) as well as their Holy Books were to be respected. From my research on the Qur'an, this reference is from early surahs in the book, but the tone changes to one of enmity in later surahs, written much later in Mohammed's life (as in the people of the book are not on equal footing with followers of Islam, ie lumped with the infidels)
      Kinda confusing...it is my understanding that God does not contradict himself.

      June 12, 2010 at 1:30 am |
    • theresa

      "God" according to the Christian scriptures, appears to contradict himself all over the place.

      June 14, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  15. PK

    girlinnorcal

    the english translated version is different than the arabic one but not how you think, the english version says to convert infidels while the arabic says to kill

    June 11, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
    • Joamiq

      Are you an Arabic expert?

      June 11, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  16. Nadia

    The generalizations and hateful things that are being said on this single article against Islam and Muslims (whether here in America or abroad) amount to more hate, discrimination, and prejudice than I have heard or seen from the many (probably in the hundreds) Muslims I have known both here in America and in the Middle East. I would also like to point out one among many bits of hypocrisy here – most of you have said that moderate Muslims do nothing to denounce the actions of the violent few who have "hijacked" modern Islam. The truth is that most of us have, but no one is listening. When we do, which you will see that moderates like myself do whenever discussing the recent acts of terrorism perpetrated by Muslims, you make belittling comments dismissing our statements as untrue and based on some ulterior motive.

    Do you honestly believe that all Muslims hate America and hope for its destruction and/or ultimate takeover by the Middle East? That we automatically support the governments of our home countries, simply because they are our home countries? If so, your ignorance and lack of experience with Muslim Americans (and I don't mean just the one or two you have ever known) will continue to prevent you from actually understanding the conflict from both sides, a prerequisite to finding an effective solution. As for those of you who say that speaking out against the racism, hatred and injustices perpetrated against Muslims in America (or those perpetrated against any group of people, anywhere) is whining and complaining – then what you are doing is the same thing.

    I, for one, as a self-proclaimed moderate, modern Muslim American (and trust me, unless I told you so, you would not identify me as a Muslim if you met me), believe that we see both sides of this conflict better than anyone else. We are Muslim AND American, and the two are NOT contradictory. Of course, it is unrealistic to believe that anything we can say or do will change the minds of those of you who have already closed yourselves off from understanding and tolerance, but we can still prove to those we meet that we are much more like you than some of you choose to believe.

    June 11, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Nadia,

      It is not the Muslim people, it is your religion.

      Do you really think Muhammed rode to the site of the temple mount on a winged horse and was told that is where he should build a mosque?

      Do you really think Allah told Muhammed that he alone could have access to the nieces, daughters, slaves, widows and basically any other unmarried woman, as many as he wanted, but not the average Muslim???

      Do you really think it is ok for the "holy" Qu'ran to instruct how women should be admonished physically by their husbands???

      Kill unbelievers, kill pagens, fight in the cause of Allah, fight, fight, kil, kill....

      Your religion is a cult, promulgated by a phsycopathic murderer who used religion as a way to manipulate those around him and to justify his murderous conquests.

      June 11, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
    • JOHN

      to answer in one word...yes....if you dont, then you dont obey your "holy book"

      June 11, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
    • AG

      Nadia,
      Have you ever seen any American enforcing Christianity on anyone? If not, then why are all Muslims in favor of building a Mosque at ground zero? I treat it as enforcing Islamic religion on Americans. If you are in favor of Mosque at ground zero, you have already chosen sides, no matter how much of an American you call yourself.

      June 13, 2010 at 1:08 am |
    • theresa

      Are you serious? You've never known of Christians enforcing Christianity on anybody else? Do you have any idea how many people were KILLED rather than become Christian, or some particular version of Christian?

      June 14, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  17. Indian American

    Save more than half your sympathies for the real victims of 911 and all the young men and women who are dying in these wars! If the Muslim community is on the edge, they have themselves to blame.

    June 11, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
    • Joamiq

      Why? I am Muslim and American, and I had nothing to do with 9/11. I've never seen anything that crushed me more than watching those towers fall. So why do you hate me?

      June 11, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  18. Craig Considine

    Frankie Martin's mind is a breath of fresh air in a world where hatred and ignorance rules. His work and message should open your mind to a point where you can see the potential of not only the United States but also the human race. Americans can live side-by-side with Muslims, if only non-Muslim Americans get to know them!

    June 11, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  19. TruAmerican

    The fact is that the muslim religion does preach the extermination of infidels. Wake up, if youre not muslim then you fit into that category. Its absurd that this country has become so politically correct. I am a Christian and i dont defend nor do i applaud to any degree the many instances of abuse at the hands of supposedly "christian crusaders" and the like. However ill reiterate WAKE UP. They teach peace for muslims and doom for anyone esle. By the way "regular American muslims" never speak against the abuses of their collegues and my friends that is just as good as supporting them. To finish off id just like to remind people of the great lengths these crusaders are willing to stretch to make sure that youre either converted or dead..... to me thats UNAMERICAN.

    June 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
    • Yaser

      The fact that you are alive and well is evidence that your statement is not true.

      June 11, 2010 at 8:00 pm |
    • John F

      Muhammad did not preach such things, anymore than Jesus extolled the acts of the crusaders.

      The Founders of every major revealed religion referred to the Messenger Who had come before and spoke of Another Who would come in the future. Every one of Them made these references. Perhaps people should consider that the reason why God has been sending a series of Messengers across the ages is that within a few centuries of the conclusion of Their missions, Their followers had become lost and were in need of the Promised One. Jesus said that there was more that He could teach his followers but that they could not bear it, but then He referred to someone in the future Who would do so, and in describing this spirit of truth in nine instances He used personal pronouns of "he, him, and himself." He also said that He would send another Comforter like Himself. It is right there in the new testament.

      Christian scholars over the 18th and 19th centuries analyzed prophecies throughout the Bible and concluded that the dates all coincided with the middle of the 19th century. How funniy it is that these dates also directly coincide with the Muslim calendar. It is also interesting that whereas Revelation refers to the arrival of two Prophets, the same is true for Islamic prophecy as well. Perhaps people should look and see what was happening in religion and in the world in general around the world in the mid 19th century. Remember that Jesus did not appear the first time in a way that was expected. He did not drive out the Romans and He did not occupy the throne of David, etc. He even broke the sabbath. And then on three occasions He denied that the particulars in Isaiah 11 pertained to Him. And it took centuries before His impact was truly felt and the details of Isaiah 11 provide mighty clues.

      June 14, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
  20. Christians R Hypocrites

    1 Kings 10:11 King Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. And Christians thought Mohammad was bad!

    June 11, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
    • HeReigns

      Mebbe you mean 1Kings 11:3
      "And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart."
      Meaning, Solomon turned away his heart from God.
      If you read the rest of chapter, the lesson is that the great number of wives Solomon led to destroying relationship with God, and sever consequences for Solomon and his kingdom.
      It's a cautionary lesson, not an blueprint to follow.

      June 12, 2010 at 1:53 am |
    • theresa

      Actually, the first response is correct. The passage is about how Solomon's wives led him astray from the True God.

      But what do you say about David's wives? Eight are listed in the Bible, and he doubtless had many more.

      June 14, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Advertisement
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.