August 19th, 2010
12:37 AM ET

Ramadan roadtrip begins: Day 1

Iman Mansoor Sabree introduces Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq to students at the Mohammed Schools in Atlanta. Ali and Tariq are are visiting 30 mosques in 30 days during Ramadan.

CNN's Wayne Drash filed this report:

Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq are two young Muslims taking a 10,000-mile roadtrip to 30 mosques in 30 states during the holy month of Ramadan.

“It’s about humanizing Muslims and Islam,” Ali said. “A lot of people might know about Islam, but they might not know what our lives are really like.”

My colleague, Robert Johnson, and I are joining them on their swing through the South. Along the way, we'll meet an African-American community of Muslims in Atlanta; a largely Pakistani-American community in Jacksonville, Florida; and a group of West African immigrants in Birmingham, Alabama.

“How cool is it that there are all these different stories of people,” Ali said.

Our cramped vehicle will be the rolling embodiment of the melting pot of America. Together, the four of us represent two Muslims, a Seventh Day Adventist, and me, a Methodist from the Bible Belt.

There’s a punch line there, I’m sure. I just don’t know what it is yet.

I asked Imam Mansoor Sabree, the spiritual leader of Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam, just that. “What’s the punch line?”

He burst into laughter and searched for words. “I hope,” he said, “it’s that we all can live together.”

The engine is revved. Next stop Jacksonville.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Holidays • Islam • Journeys • Muslim • Ramadan

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Kevin L

    This trip to 30 mosques in 30 states is a fantastic plan. Alot of people are against muslims in america but this trip will hopefully change their minds to support them.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  2. Kevin L

    I think this is a great idea. Aman and Bassam, I support you all the way.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
  3. dennis

    why is imam feisal abdul rauf trip to the middle east funded by the us taxpayer. if it was a bishop from some other religion taking this trip everyone would be saying where is seperation of church and goverment.

    August 23, 2010 at 9:53 pm |
  4. Missy

    I had the great joy of meeting up with Aman and Bassam at a mosque in Charlotte, NC. They are 2 funny, original and authentic caring young men – and I was able to interview them to ask them about their experiences on the road. I also attended the mosque prayer service for the first time and wrote about my experience. It was a terrific opportunity and I ask all of those who write hateful and fearful remarks the following question: 1) have you ever been to a mosque? 2) spoken with a Muslim about what you find curious or struggle with? 3) formed an opinion on Islam that doesn't come from a very biased media structure in the US? I challenge you to join these "2 dudes" on their journey – I'm sure glad that I did! Read about it and hear their thoughts in this 15 minute interview: http://melibeeglobal.com/2010/08/interview-with-aman-ali-and-bassam-tariq-from-30mosques-com/

    August 21, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
    • Paul

      Missy, you must be smoking or you must be a muslim yourself. I was raised as a kid in South East Asia and I know what they preach in the mosque's nothing but "HATE". If you are Non-muslim how about being killed by one of those terrorist bastards who are muslim and claim to be peaceful.

      September 2, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  5. NM

    please check out http://www.islamicsolutions.com/faiths-of-the-world-unite-dr-pasha-issues-call-for-joint-celebration-of-world-day-of-fasting-2010ramadan-1431/

    August 20, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
  6. JScan

    Its sad to see so much hate and animosity directed toward Muslims. I urge you all to study history and look into the geopolitical issues of the Muslims world. Its infantile to link a religion with its followers. If we did the same thing with Christianity we would think that they are barbarians after events like the holocaust, WWI, WWII, genocide of the native Americans and colonialism. I don't believe Christian doctrine condones any of these events. Religion is used merely as a means of control to subdue masses.

    August 19, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  7. madmo

    From George W Bush to local counselor, every politician says that Islam is the religion of peace. Did you hear anybody says same about Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Christianity or Judaism? I don't think you will never heard it that way. To know why try these sites


    August 19, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  8. Reality

    Ramadan, one month of sleeping during the day and partying and gorging all night.

    August 19, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      while the crusaders continue to bomb you from the sky.

      August 19, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
    • Reality


      You are awake? Party time in one hour!!!

      August 19, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
    • Fayrouz

      Reality: you're afraid of Muslims, not because they're 'bad' but because they are good and you want people to hate them but normal people don't accept racist lies like the kind you devote your life to spread on CNN's blogs.

      August 19, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
    • Reality


      You must be "bumming" with Osama. Your late for the party!!!

      August 19, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
    • Reality


      You must be "bumming" with Osama. You are late for the party!!!

      August 19, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  9. madmo

    Ramadan 2010 Scorecard 

    Day 8 In the name of The Religion of Peace In the name of All Religions
    Terror Attacks 37 0
    Dead Bodies 165 0
    for complete details try 'the religion of peace dot com'

    August 19, 2010 at 11:57 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      at this rate it would take moslems 505478 days to kill as many people as europeans did in just world war two.

      August 19, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
  10. madmo


    A court in Saudi Arabia is seeking medical advice on whether it is possible to cut the spinal cord of a man as a punishment after he was indicted of causing paralysis to another man during a fight, a local daily reported on Thursday.


    Following is from Jihad Watch comments by Robert Spenser:
    It's in the Qur'an: "We ordained therein for them: 'Life for life, eye for eye, nose or nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.' But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (No better than) wrong-doers." - Qur'an 5:45 less

    August 19, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  11. Amir Rached

    Thanks for talking about Islam and Muslims ,but I really won't accept burning My HOLY BOOK on 9/11 that's very insulting to Muslims around the world and if America really is the land of freedom , it won't let anybody hurt Muslims feelings by such a BRUTAL CRIME.

    August 19, 2010 at 11:53 am |
    • Teaching my boys right

      Really? We have freedoms, but Islam is nothing but a political, economic, judiciary, and educational system of government. Following Muhammad, the Haddith, and the Koran is not peace loving. History shows Muslims aren't peace loving missionaries. They have forced their system of government and laws on people or have killed them. Stop using our laws and constitution against us. It is to protect us. We will be as tolerant as a Muslim country that would open their arms to the construction of a church in one of their cities.

      August 19, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
  12. Ummahstream

    Look forward to following your travels.. this is what is needed.

    August 19, 2010 at 11:43 am |
    • Fenchurch



      August 19, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
  13. J.A. Messenger

    In life, it is good to take the opportunity to meet with your adversaries one on one. Get to know their strengths. Get to know their weaknesses. In so doing, you have a better idea of what to expect when the unexpected occurs. Although, deception is built in, so first impressions are not always the most telling.

    August 19, 2010 at 10:14 am |
    • laughing again

      @J.A. Messenger

      LOL Your Zen is scrotal.

      August 19, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  14. Michael, Chapel Hill

    At the end of the tour who will win-the most aggressive=push other religions away.

    August 19, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  15. (B)iraq Hussein Osama

    Just don't end up converting to Islam spending so much time with them moslems, for God's sake!

    August 19, 2010 at 1:37 am |
  16. laughing in disbelief

    I am amazed that someone whacked my previous post!

    August 19, 2010 at 12:57 am |
    • laughing a bit more

      Sorry. Page refresh error.

      August 19, 2010 at 12:59 am |
  17. laughing

    Garry Trudeau would have fun with this.

    August 19, 2010 at 12:53 am |
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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.