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July 25th, 2010
10:44 AM ET

Malaysian TV talent show: competing to become an imam

[cnn-video url= http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2010/07/23/rivers.malaysia.young.iman.cnn%5D

"The approach is: how are we going to make it interesting for the young? For any religion, how to attract the young is a huge challenge."

–Izelan Basar, Channel Manager Astro TV

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Asia • Islam • Malaysia • Muslim

soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. SR

    Hey all you "believers". You want to talk about your "beautiful religion. Here are 3 basic tenets of all religions. Can you accept it?

    1. I will not kill others. I will reject anyone who condones killing as not a prophet or a god.
    2. I will live and let others live, irrespective of their beliefs. I will respect an individual and will not call him names even if he does not believe in what I believe. Any book that calls other religious believers names cannot be the word God.
    3. We are all God's children.

    Guess what? I am a Hindu and I can say with 100% confidence that all 3 of those universal beliefs are mine and my religion's.

    I DARE you all to say that is true of your beliefs and Islam's.

    Can you

    July 27, 2010 at 11:26 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      According to Islam:
      1) all humans are "God's children" i.e. His creation, whether they are hindu, atheist, or idiots like you, everyone is the creation and child of Allah.

      2) "I will not kill others" is NOT a universal belief! Not sure where you got that from! If someone attacks you to kill you, you have the right to defend yourself, and this invariably involves killing the attacker. Especially when the attacker is out to kill you unjustly. Islam believes in justice, and justice is a much HIGHER universal concept than NOT KILLING. If justice entails killing, then per Islam it is better to kill and have justice than to allow injustice in order not to kill. As such, the Islamic ideals are superior to your impractical ideal of "no killing at all costs".

      3) Islam has no problem with other people believing in something other than Islam. There is no compulsion in religion. You are welcome to practice what you believe, even though a Muslim may consider it to be "leading one astray and straight to hellfire". If a Muslim has a choice, i.e. he has the power, to ban you from preaching your falsehood, it is a religious duty for him to do so. You are welcome to practice your faith in the confines of your home or church. But you are not welcome to preach to others and send them to hellfire. It would be a shame for a Muslim to simply stand on the side and watch you preach your falsehood and cause "harm" to the uneducated bystander. This is called conviction and it is done out of a desire to help fellow man find the truth about God and salvation.

      This makes Muslims superior to your ilk, because we care enough to stand up and prevent falsehood from spreading. You just sit around and use "live and let live" as an excuse for falsehood and evil to lead your fellow men astray.

      July 28, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
    • Reality

      Obviously, Hussien is trapped in the 1400 year old, koranic box as evidenced that he still thinks Islam is peaceful religion even after the constant, Islamic, global horror reeked everyday on the infidels of this globe. And note, Sunnis consider Shiites as infidels and vice versa.

      July 29, 2010 at 7:44 am |
  2. nicegirl

    what's wrong with u reality...what are u afraid of actually...??

    July 27, 2010 at 7:41 am |
    • Reality

      What I am I afraid of? The followers of the koran, a book that demands death and everlasting hell to all infidels like myself!!!!

      God's curse be upon the infidels!" (2:89).

      "They have incurred God's most inexorable wrath. An ignominious punishment awaits [them]" (2:90).

      "God is the enemy of the unbelievers" (2:98).

      "The unbelievers among the People of the Book [Christians and Jews], and the pagans, resent that any blessing should have been sent down to you from your Lord" (2:105).

      "They shall be held up to shame in this world and sternly punished in the hereafter" (2:114).

      "Those to whom We [God] have given the Book, and who read it as it ought to be read, truly believe in it; those that deny it shall assuredly be lost" (2:122).

      "[We] shall let them live awhile, and then shall drag them to the scourge of the Fire. Evil shall be their fate" (2:126).

      "The East and the West are God's. He guides whom He will to a straight path" (2:142).

      "Do not say that those slain in the cause of God are dead. They are alive, but you are not aware of them" (2:154).

      "But the infidels who die unbelievers shall incur the curse of God, the angels, and all men. Under it they shall remain for ever; their punishment shall not be lightened, nor shall they be reprieved" (2:162).

      "They shall sigh with remorse, but shall never come out of the Fire" (2:168).

      "The unbelievers are like beasts which, call out to them as one may, can hear nothing but a shout and a cry. Deaf, dumb, and blind, they understand nothing" (2:172).

      "Theirs shall be a woeful punishment" (2:175).

      "How steadfastly they seek the Fire! That is because God has revealed the Book with truth; those that disagree about it are in extreme schism" (2:176).

      "Slay them wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places from which they drove you. Idolatry is worse than carnage. . . . [I]f they attack you put them to the sword. Thus shall the unbelievers be rewarded: but if they desist, God is forgiving and merciful. Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God's religion reigns supreme. But if they desist, fight none except the evil-doers"(2:190–93).

      "Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. But you may hate a thing although it is good for you, and love a thing although it is bad for you. God knows, but you know not" (2:216).

      "They will not cease to fight against you until they force you to renounce your faith—if they are able. But whoever of you recants and dies an unbeliever, his works shall come to nothing in this world and in the world to come. Such men shall be the tenants of Hell, wherein they shall abide forever. Those that have embraced the Faith, and those that have fled their land and fought for the cause of God, may hope for God's mercy" (2:217–18).

      "God does not guide the evil-doers" (2:258).

      "God does not guide the unbelievers" (2:264).

      "The evil-doers shall have none to help them" (2:270).

      "God gives guidance to whom He will" (2:272).

      "Those that deny God's revelations shall be sternly punished; God is mighty and capable of revenge" (3:5).

      "As for the unbelievers, neither their riches nor their children will in the least save them from God's judgment. They shall become fuel for the Fire" (3:10).

      "Say to the unbelievers: ‘You shall be overthrown and driven into Hell—an evil resting place!'" (3:12).

      "The only true faith in God's sight is Islam. . . . He that denies God's revelations should know that swift is God's reckoning" (3:19).

      "Let the believers not make friends with infidels in preference to the faithful—he that does this has nothing to hope for from God—except in self-defense" (3:28).

      "Believers, do not make friends with any but your own people. They will spare no pains to corrupt you. They desire nothing but your ruin. Their hatred is evident from what they utter with their mouths, but greater is the hatred which their breasts conceal" (3:118).

      "If you have suffered a defeat, so did the enemy.We alternate these vicissitudes among mankind so that God may know the true believers and choose martyrs from among you (God does not love the evil-doers); and that God may test the faithful and annihilate the infidels" (3:140).

      "Believers, if you yield to the infidels they will drag you back to unbelief and you will return headlong to perdition. . . .We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers. . . . The Fire shall be their home" (3:149-51).

      "Believers, do not follow the example of the infidels, who say of their brothers when they meet death abroad or in battle: ‘Had they stayed with us they would not have died, nor would they have been killed.' God will cause them to regret their words. . . . If you should die or be slain in the cause of God, God's forgiveness and His mercy would surely be better than all the riches they amass" (3:156).

      "Never think that those who were slain in the cause of God are dead. They are alive, and well provided for by their Lord; pleased with His gifts and rejoicing that those they left behind, who have not yet joined them, have nothing to fear or to regret; rejoicing in God's grace and bounty. God will not deny the faithful their reward" (3:169).

      "Let not the unbelievers think that We prolong their days for their own good. We give them respite only so that they may commit more grievous sins. Shameful punishment awaits them" (3:178).

      "Those that suffered persecution for My sake and fought and were slain: I shall forgive them their sins and admit them to gardens watered by running streams, as a reward from God; God holds the richest recompense. Do not be deceived by the fortunes of the unbelievers in the land. Their prosperity is brief. Hell shall be their home, a dismal resting place" (3:195–96).

      "God has cursed them in their unbelief" (4:46).

      "God will not forgive those who serve other gods besides Him; but He will forgive whom He will for other sins. He that serves other gods besides God is guilty of a heinous sin. . . . Consider those to whom a portion of the Scriptures was given. They believe in idols and false gods and say of the infidels: ‘These are better guided than the believers'" (4:50–51).

      "Those that deny Our revelation We will burn in fire. No sooner will their skins be consumed than We shall give them other skins, so that they may truly taste the scourge. God is mighty and wise" (4:55–56).

      "Believers, do not seek the friendship of the infidels and those who were given the Book before you, who have made of your religion a jest and a pastime" (5:57).

      "That which is revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase the wickedness and unbelief of many among them. We have stirred among them enmity and hatred, which will endure till the Day of Resurrection" (5:65).

      "God does not guide the unbelievers" (5:67).

      "That which is revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase the wickedness and unbelief of many among them. But do not grieve for the unbelievers" (5:69).

      "You see many among them making friends with unbelievers. Evil is that to which their souls prompt them. They have incurred the wrath of God and shall endure eternal torment. . . .You will find that the most implacable of men in their enmity to the faithful are the Jews and the pagans, and that the nearest in affection to them are those who say: ‘We are Christians'" (5:80–82).

      "[T]hose that disbelieve and deny Our revelations shall become the inmates of Hell" (5:86).

      "[T]hey deny the truth when it is declared to them: but they shall learn the consequences of their scorn" (6:5).

      "We had made them more powerful in the land than yourselves [the Meccans], sent down for them abundant water from the sky and gave them rivers that rolled at their feet. Yet because they sinned We destroyed them all and raised up other generations after them. If We sent down to you a Book inscribed on real parchment and they touched it with their own hands, the unbelievers would still assert: ‘This is but plain sorcery.' They ask: ‘Why has no angel been sent down to him [Muhammad]?' If We had sent down an angel, their fate would have been sealed and they would have never been reprieved" (6:5–8).

      "Who is more wicked than the man who invents falsehoods about God or denies His revelations?" (6:21).

      "Some of them listen to you. But We have cast veils over their hearts and made them hard of hearing lest they understand your words. They will believe in none of Our signs, even if they see them one and all. When they come to argue with you the unbelievers say: ‘This is nothing but old fictitious tales.' They forbid it and depart from it. They ruin none but themselves, though they do not perceive it. If you could see them when they are set before the Fire! They will say: ‘Would that we could return! Then we would not deny the revelations of our Lord and would be true believers' 6:23–27).

      "But if they were sent back, they would return to that which they have been forbidden. They are liars all" (6:29).

      "Had God pleased He would have given them guidance, one and all" (6:35).

      "Deaf and dumb are those that deny Our revelations: they blunder about in darkness. God confounds whom He will, and guides to a straight path whom He pleases." (6:39)

      "[T]heir hearts were hardened, and Satan made their deeds seem fair to them. And when they had clean forgotten Our admonition We granted them all that they desired; but just as they were rejoicing in what they were given, We suddenly smote them and they were plunged into utter despair. Thus were the evil-doers annihilated. Praise be to God, Lord of the Universe!" (6:43–45).

      "[T]hose that deny Our revelations shall be punished for their misdeeds" (6:49).

      "Such are those that are damned by their own sins. They shall drink scalding water and be sternly punished for their unbelief" (6:70).

      "Could you but see the wrongdoers when death overwhelms them! With hands outstretched, the angels will say: ‘Yield up your souls. You shall be rewarded with the scourge of shame this day, for you have said of God what is untrue and scorned His revelations" (6:93).

      "Avoid the pagans. Had God pleased, they would not have worshipped idols. . . . We will turn away their hearts and eyes from the Truth since they refused to believe in it at first. We will let them blunder about in their wrongdoing. If We sent the angels down to them, and caused the dead to speak to them, . . . and ranged all things in front of them, they would still not believe, unless God willed otherwise. . . . Thus have We assigned for every prophet an enemy: the devils among men and jinn, who inspire each other with vain and varnished falsehoods. But had your Lord pleased, they would not have done so. Therefore leave them to their own inventions, so that the hearts of those who have no faith in the life to come may be inclined to what they say and, being pleased, persist in their sinful ways" (6:107–12).

      "The devils will teach their votaries to argue with you. If you obey them you shall yourselves become idolaters. . . . God will humiliate the transgressors and mete out to them a grievous punishment for their scheming" (6:121–25).

      "If God wills to guide a man, He opens his bosom to Islam. But if he pleases to confound him, He makes his bosom small and narrow as though he were climbing up to heaven. Thus shall God lay the scourge on the unbelievers" (6:125).

      July 27, 2010 at 7:58 am |
  3. HH

    Sincere: you are absolutely right. I totally agree with you. 🙂

    July 27, 2010 at 6:23 am |
  4. HH

    to you too Proud: we are truly proud to be a Muslim, even though we are just mere humans who commit sins, but yet, Allah SWT still want to forgive us. may Allah bless you too. InsyaAllah. ameen. 🙂

    July 27, 2010 at 3:30 am |
  5. HH

    Reality:

    there's only A FRACTION of Muslims who do not clearly understand the true meaning of Islam. the suicidal bombings itself is WRONG AT ALL and our religion DOESN'T EVER TEACH its followers to do such unethical and inhumane actions. as I said yesterday, you won't ever be able to understand our religion the same way we understand it. Wallahu a'lam (only God knows best!)

    to Truth, Rabiatul Adawiyah, Rosli & dindin:

    proud to be Muslims! May ALLAH SWT grant us with patience and peace of mind. InsyaAllah.

    July 27, 2010 at 3:26 am |
  6. Proud

    I'm proud to be a muslim, though i still commit sins, i'm just a mere human being after all. may Allah bless everyone. 🙂

    Reality, you can never find the beautiful of Islam. Wallahualam....

    July 27, 2010 at 2:39 am |
  7. dindin

    Reality

    Wow I can see your enthusiasm. really I myself have no problem with other religions. But as I said criminals are still criminals regardless their faith. Let's not forgetting in tens of thousands -the Srebrenica massacre and the killings of Palestinians by Israeli force or even the little children of Iraq and Afghanistan which is done by Eastern Orthodox's , Jews and Christians respectively. People do crime.

    July 27, 2010 at 2:29 am |
  8. Sincere

    Hi Reality

    All religion tought to love each other. Don't blame the teaching. Blame the people.

    Don't narrow down your intelectuality level to the specifics- suicide bombings..etc..
    Think global.

    Who made the massive and huge distructions ?
    Who made the biggest contribution to the world pollution?
    Who invade someone's country and force the people to fight for their own freedom?
    Who develop nuclear weapon and attacts other country?
    Who promoted and supported insane cultures (pre-marital sex, gay, lesbian, trans-gender, hedonisme)?
    Who?
    All religions againts this. But why these people continuosly make destruction, again and again?

    The answer is simple. If everyone honestly, sincerely follow the divine (unmodified) teaching, world will become a better place to stay.

    Think twice, think WISE.

    *I don't blame you either. You don't have knowledge in Islam. You learn from the wrong resources.
    You are just uninformed.

    July 27, 2010 at 12:51 am |
  9. truth

    hahahahaha reality sits at home all day waiting to spread hate and lies about islam! i warned others on other articles...he seriously comments on every article...and he says the same thing over and over again..quite sad really...Muslims are proud of their religion and there's nothing you can say to change that 🙂 So go ahead and keep talking about all the violence going on in the world today by Muslims...I can guarantee you the Muslim population of 1.5 billion will only keep growing...

    As the Qur'an says, the truth is clear from error.

    July 26, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
    • truth

      and I forgot to mention that 99.9% of the population doesnt engage in that "violence."

      peace

      July 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
    • Reality

      Truth, The number of global Muslims indeed is 1.5 billion basically because of the very high birth rate in Islamic countries. Added information:

      According to official surveys, "the disapproval of family planning is highest among Muslims", while "the practice of family planning methods in 1980 was lowest amongst Muslims (only 23% of those surveyed practised it as opposed to 36% Hindus)".[1] They further admit that between 1971 and 1981, "the Hindu population was up by 24.15%, whereas the Muslim population shot up by 30.59%".

      Then there is this:

      Islam consists of a number of religious denominations that are essentially similar in belief but which have significant theological and legal differences. The primary division is between the Sunni and the Shi'a, with Sufism generally considered to be a mystical inflection of Islam rather than a distinct school. Sunnis make up the largest branch of Islam[137][159][160] followed by the Shi'a[161] and the remaining number may belong to a variety of other Islamic sects.

      Of course the "peace-loving" Shiites and Sunnis have been killing each other for centuries. This can be seen daily in the ever rising b–loody body count in Iraq's Shiite-Sunni civil war where over 100,000 civilians have been killed by suicide bombers and assassins from each sect.

      Unfortunately, most Muslims are uneducated about the religion they have been bred, born and brainwashed into i.e. they do not know there never was a Gabriel and that without this mythical wingie thingie their lives especially the lives of Muslim women would be much improved and without Gabriel, the foundations of the "peace" religion crashes into the sands of Saudi Arabia, the scene of Mohammed's hallucinations and myth creations. It boogles the mind that so much violence in the contemporary world is caused by said hallucinations/lies. It ranks up there with one of the "Most Significant Stupidities" of all time that so many people have been taken in by this once warmongering, "propheteering"/"profiteering womanizing (11 wives) Arab.

      July 27, 2010 at 12:09 am |
  10. Rosli

    Reality., Since when you heard Taliban? Terrorism?..I think you have been brain wash by media..Understand Islam and you will not found even yourself willing to heart broken someone..

    Islam is a way of life..teach you how to respect others, teach you how to be a good person, teach you how to become a good neighbour, teach you how you should life peacefully..its a guidance...

    let's take a simple analogy..to use microsoft office , the developer created the manual step by step , even not all person read the manual can understand what is it for unless he/she learn more from the well experience/knowledgable person and use it more..learn is the key..but someone who doesn't care or even look into the manual and just used microsoft office with a virus/infected file will think the manual is the core of problem..learn more Reality before you make an assumption....:)

    July 26, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  11. Reality

    Hmmm, it appears my comments about Islam being the biggest fraud pulled on the humankind has been pulled. Strange blog? For those that need extra reading about the koran, read The Secrets of the Koran.

    July 26, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • fadzillah

      reality. i think if u what to know really about islam ,i think u should feel sakaratul maut first,then u know on that time people cannot help u.and inside alam barzakh the very important part playing the rules.

      July 28, 2010 at 8:14 am |
  12. Reality

    Hmmm, it appears my comments about Islam being the biggest con pulled on the humankind has been pulled. Strange blog? For those that need extra reading about the koran, read The Secrets of the Koran.

    July 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  13. Rabiatul Adawiyah Mohamad

    Pls make some kind of research 1st before u start condemning Islam n the show. cause I'm from Malaysia n this show really a hit . the tv channel that come out with this programmes are an Islamic channel and they have been cracking their head 6 months to come out with this programme. To those who love the programme and proud to be a Muslim ,Thank u and May Allah always be with u.

    July 26, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
    • Proud to b Muslim

      am proud to being muslim..those kind talk rubbish about muslim is actually dont know anything...Islam is very beutiful..no matter wut other pple say about my Islam, i dun care..

      July 27, 2010 at 5:09 am |
  14. HH

    we are TRULY PROUD to be born as MUSLIM! we are! 🙂

    July 26, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  15. HH

    The Truth

    I TOTALLY agree! 🙂

    July 26, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  16. The Truth

    i don't care what you wanna say about Islam. because that was your opinion. As I've said, i am really proud born as a Muslim and only God knows me. 😀

    July 26, 2010 at 11:50 am |
    • Reality

      And allah/god is proud of Sunnis killing Shiites and vice versa on a daily basis?

      July 26, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
    • Proud to b Muslim

      yes..agreee...dun simply talk about islam if u dont know anything!

      July 27, 2010 at 5:07 am |
  17. the truth

    people.. don't talk if you don't islam thoroughly.. this shows you guys such a short minded person..

    July 26, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  18. HH

    to Reality & TheRationale

    do not just simply talk rubbish about Islam if you do not understand what is Islam is all about!

    July 26, 2010 at 11:41 am |
    • Reality

      HH, Keep scrollng down the page.

      July 26, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  19. The Truth

    I'm very proud for being a Muslim. This kind of program should be done every year. 🙂

    July 26, 2010 at 11:36 am |
    • Reality

      The Truth? Proud of Islam? How does that work with the daily koranic-driven suicide bombings and assassinations?

      July 26, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
    • dindin

      to Reality: Criminals are criminals.Hitler was a Roman Catholic. He kills more than suicide bomber combined.

      July 26, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
    • Reality

      DinDin,

      Some history:

      Hitler was never formally excommunicated, but it doesn't matter. Hitler was already excommunicated "in fact" (ipso facto) under the canon law of the Catholic Church for his numerous crimes against the Church, its people, its property, and its teachings. He could have actually returned to the Catholic faith (assuming that he might have wanted to), by having his excommunication removed by the Pope. The lifting of such excommunication is reserved to the Pope (latae sententiae). And let us not forget that the conference of German bishops excommunicated ALL Nazis who happened to be of the Catholic faith in 1930, and in the 1932 elections asked Catholics to NOT vote for any Nazi for any position. By being the leader of the Nazi party, Hitler had already put himself outside of the Church. The flaw in that logic might be that Hitler didn't become a German citizen until he ran against (and lost miserably) Hindenberg for the office of President.

      It is also true that the goal of the Nazis was to absolutely minimize the influence of ANY of the various Christian Churches without actually declaring an open war on them and without adopting a radical anti-Christian policy; "officially". (This is most certainly due to the fact that the Nazis came to power in a basically Christian country and in the middle of a Christian continent). An overt/open "war" upon Christianity in general, and the Catholic Church in specific, would have meant the total demise of the Nazis early on.

      July 26, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
  20. TheRationale

    Lovely how they force/coerce kids into a religion where the punishment for leaving is death.

    July 25, 2010 at 2:50 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.