August 24th, 2010
10:35 AM ET

Opinion: Islam is a religion, not a terror ideology

Editor's note: Jocelyne Cesari is director of the Islam in the West Program at Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University.

By Jocelyne Cesari, Special to CNN

Opponents of an Islamic community center and mosque planned to be built near ground zero say it would desecrate hallowed ground. But suspicion has greeted proposed mosque projects in places less hallowed than ground zero - in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Temecula, California; and elsewhere.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Islam • Opinion

« Previous entry
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi


    According to Dr. Granville Dharmawardena of Colombo University reincarnation may be defined as the re-embodiment of an immaterial part of a person after a short or a long interval after death, in a new body whence it proceeds to lead a new life in the new body more or less unconscious of its past existences, but containing within itself the "essence" of the results of its past lives, which experience goes to make up its new character or personality.
    In the seventeenth century Rene Descartes divided everything in the universe into two realms as “Res Extensa” (matter) and “Res Cogitans” (mind). Gathering knowledge within the realm of Res Extensa was called Science and the phenomenon of reincarnation got pushed into the other realm Res Cogitans which was not considered suitable for scientific probing. Science developed in the framework of Res Estensa is known as “Classical Science”. Classical science had tremendous material achievements because it helped all round growth of technology which brought about prosperity to mankind. The air of frame work of Classical Science was blown out by Henry Becquerel in 1896 by the discovery of Radioactivity. The discovery of Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein in early 20th Century gave it further blow. The advent of Quantum Theory and the Uncertainty Principle did the rest. It is significant to note that Einstein’s discovery fall entirely within the frame work of Res Cogitans as it did not involve any experiments or measurements. Gravitation Force Theory of Newton is also an example of such observation and intuition work involving no experiments and measurements.

    Modern Science enhanced man's knowledge surpassing the restrictions imposed by the five senses and took us to hidden areas of nature and profound changes had been introduced in procedures of science. Our ability to understand everything by way of perceptible mental pictures is reduced and it became necessary to imagine models with components which behaved in ways that had no counterparts at all in the world familiar to us. In most cases mechanisms involved in these models not only are imperceptible but also consist of elements that operate in ways never known in the world that we actually experience through sensory inputs.
    Modern science tied up the two realms, Res Extensa and Res Cogitans and made us to understand that they are not independent and cannot be completely studied independently. Within the establishment of modern science some of the aspects of nature that did not strictly adhere to the realm of Res Extensa, which were therefore earlier condemned as unbecoming of scientists to talk about have become respectable. Reincarnation falls into this category
    Reincarnation is a very old belief and a large fraction of the world population believes it. For example Rene Descartes' statement "What I have said is sufficient to show clearly enough that the extinction of the mind does not follow from the corruption of the body and also to give men the hope of another life after death" in 1641 confirms his belief in reincarnation. About 20 percent of those in the Western World whose religions shun reincarnation nevertheless believe it. According to opinion polls this percentage is rising.
    Lisa Miller, Religion Editor of Newsweek says that Americans are becoming more Hindus. According to 2008 Harris Poll 24% of Americans say they believe in reincarnation
    Steven J Rosen writes in The Reincarnation Controversy, Uncovering the Truth in World Religions (New Age Books) that belief in reincarnation allows us to see ourselves as architects of our own future. Rosen raises certain queries,‘ what is it that reincarnates from one body to another? Is it the soul? the mind? the intellect? To understand this we should suggest answer to these questions. We all know that there are four fundamental forces in the universe viz., gravitation force, electromagnetic force, weak nuclear force and strong nuclear force. I have written a paper entitled ‘Gravitation Force is the Ultimate Creator’ and presented it at the 1st International Conference on Revival of Traditional Yoga held in Lonavla Yoga Institute, Lonavla in January 2006. In this paper I have defined soul (individual consciousness), mind and body. According to this every point of action of Gravitational Force Field is individual consciousness or soul, electromagnetic force as the force of mind and weak and strong nuclear force as the gross material force which constitute physical frame of body.
    Consciousness is All Intelligent and pervades everywhere. Although all other remaining three forces are also intelligent but they are subordinate to Gravitational Force. THIS DESCRIPTION WILL HELP TO UNDERSTAND ‘WHAT IS IT THAT REINCARNATES FROM ONE BODY TO ANOTHER.
    According to Buddhism this is not the supreme atman or soul that ties one life to another, instead it talks about past lives as evolvement of consciousness, emergence of a new personality from the same stream of consciousness.
    Reincarnation is not an exclusively Eastern precept. It is contained in some form in almost every major religion and mystical philosophy. Research indicates that it was an accepted doctrine, at least in some quarters, at the time of Christ, and is still an integral part of some sects of the Jewish tradition. The Bible contain no condemnation of the principle of reincarnation, and in fact, when Christ was asked when Elijah would return, he answered that Elijah had returned, referring to John the Baptist.
    Sakina Yusuf Khan writes in an article A Night Of Forgiveness published in The Speaking Tree: “It (Shab-e-Barat) is also a festival associated with the dead. It is believed that the souls of the dead are set free on this night to visit their relatives.” What this indicates? This is a belief in reincarnation, of course in subtle body.
    Unaccomplished activities of past lives are also one of the causes for reincarnation. Some of us reincarnate to complete the unfinished tasks of previous birth. The is evident from my own story of reincarnation:
    “My most Revered Guru of my previous life His Holiness Maharaj Sahab, 3rd Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith had revealed this secret to me during trance like state of mine. This was sort of REVELATION.
    HE told me, “Tum Sarkar Sahab Ho” (You are Sarkar Sahab). Sarkar Sahab was one of the most beloved disciple of His Holiness Maharj Sahab. Sarkar Sahab later on became Fourth of Spiritual Head Radhasoami Faith.
    Since I don’t have any direct realization of it so I can not claim the extent of its correctness. But it seems to be correct. During my previous birth I wanted to sing the song of ‘Infinite’ (Agam Geet yeh gawan chahoon tumhri mauj nihara, mauj hoi to satguru soami karoon supanth vichara) but I could not do so then since I had to leave the mortal frame at a very early age. But through the unbounded Grace and Mercy of my most Revered Guru that desire of my past birth is being fulfilled now.”
    I am one the chief expounder and supporter of Gravitation Force Theory of God. This is most scientific and secular theory of God. This is the Theory of Universal Religion. I have given Higher Theory of Everything. Sometimes back I posted this as comments to a blog on:
    ‘Fighting of the Cause of Allah by Governing a Smart Mathematics Based on Islamic Teology’
    By Rohedi of Rohedi Laboratories, Indonesia. Rohedi termed my higher theory of everything more wonderful than which has been developed by Stephen Hawking. Some details are quoted below:
    @anirudh kumar satsangi
    Congratulation you have develop the higher theory of everything more wonderful than which has been developed by Stephen Hawking. Hopefully your some views for being considered for Unified Field Theory are recognized by International Science Community, hence I soon read the fundamental aspect proposed by you.
    I have posted my comments to the Blog of Syed K. Mirza on Evolutionary Science vs. Creation Theory, and Intellectual Hypocrisy. Syed Mirza seems to be a very liberal muslim. He responded to my comments as mentioned below.
    “Many thanks for your very high thought explanations of God.
    You said:
    “Hence it can be assumed that the Current of Chaitanya (Consciousness) and Gravitational Wave are the two names of the same Supreme Essence (Seed) which has brought forth the entire creation. Hence it can be assumed that the source of current of consciousness and gravitational wave is the same i.e. God or ultimate creator.
    (i) Gravitation Force is the Ultimate Creator, Source of Gravitational Wave is God”
    Whatever you call it, God is no living God of any religion. Yes, when I call it “Mother Nature” is the God generated from all Natural forces and Gravitational force is the nucleus of all forces or we can presume that Gravitation is the ultimate guiding principle of this Mother Nature we call it non-living God unlike living personal God of religions. I can not believe any personal God would do so much misery created for its creation. Hence, only non-living natural God can explain everything in the Universe. When we think of any living personal God, things do not ad up!”
    I have also discovered the mathematical expression for emotional quotient (E.Q.) and for spiritual quotient (S.Q.).
    Austrian Scientist Rudolf Steiner says,
    “Just as an age was once ready to receive the Copernican theory of the universe, so is our age ready for the idea of reincarnation to be brought into the general consciousness of humanity”.

    August 25, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  2. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi

    Rebirth and reincarnation in one form or the other has been the bases of all religions. Radhasoami faith guarantees liberation of soul from the cycle of birth and death in maximum four births. All religions have their own views on reincarnation. Effort is to create awareness to bring about objectivity and uniformity with regards to reincarnation and emancipation. It becomes important in view of the fact that Christians and Muslims share about half of the world’s population. Islam is a great religion. All religions are great.

    August 25, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  3. Eshinesu

    Silence speaks words not spoken

    August 25, 2010 at 4:54 am |
  4. Mark from Middle River

    I gotta side with SR on this one. The title of the article alone smacked of a one sided discussion. Someone posted a few days ago on another article that it seems very clear that CNN seems to be more along the lines of telling us how to think or to correct or thoughts to more closely match theirs.

    It seems that almost every article deals with Islam or how the Christian side of faith is faulted or divided. We have always heard how sensationalist news sells but the picture that most CNN writers seem to focus on appears to be severely onesided. There are churches helping in their community and helping folks to focus their lives as Christians but what do the CNN writers seem to focus on.... Some idiot whose church is going to burn quarans.

    CNN try to be fair because many of us are smart enough to see the bias. All Christian stories focus on the negative christians but at the same time it is as if there were not groups such as the tailiban or alqueda. CNN please take a step back and think before approving articles for the belif blog. If not this will continue to look more and more like the arjazera news network blog.

    August 24, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
  5. Sr

    Dear Ms. jocelyn Cesari:

    Please excuse my typos.

    Your article is disingenuous anf does a tremendous disservice to Muslims who want Islam to succeed in the West.

    Yes, your article actually goes against what you are trying to prove.

    Here's why:

    You are stating the obvious when you say Islam is not a terror ideology. We all know that. There is no reason for your article since it is not "newsowrthy" when someone states the obvious. However, there is a very interesting reason behind your article which you left out: The fact that there is even a need for an obvious article like yours is the greatest validation for the victims who number in the many hundreds of millions around the world. They are the victims of a vicious form of Islam, a violent form of Islam and an Intolerant form of Islam which has existed since its inception.

    This violent, insecure, intolerant form of Islam has destroyed many millions of peoples' lives (because they happened to believe in another God), has obliterated countless historical treasures and knowledge around the world and in many cases, has pushed entire countries back to the Medieval Ages.

    Why is that you as a Westerner, and more so, as a Woman, have not raised these issues with the Muslim world's imams and thinkers so that we could ensure that the above greivous events are not repeated?

    Instead, you have decided to write a vapid article with an obvious (to many of us atleast) sounding article which white washes the many regressive and repressive aspects of Islam that bedevils the world's innocents today.

    Your response thru CNN or another outlet is eagerly awaited.


    August 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  6. (B)iraq Hussein Osama

    The other thing you must realize about Islam, is that it is like nuclear energy, or oil or the ocean or some similar powerful powerful material or institution. it is a vast enterprise. and as such, there are always going to be people who abuse it, hijack it, misuse it, misquote it.

    its like nuclear energy, how much benefit does nuclear energy bring to mankind? vast amounts of it, it is a vast enterprise that lightens (sometimes literally) the lives of millions of human beings. Islam is the same way. Yet there are those who take the very same nuclear energy and turn it into a life destroying bomb. should all the people involved in spreading the goodness of nuclear energy be now held responsible for the few who choose to use it for ulterior ends? not really. same with Islam.

    It is a force of good sent to benefit mankind, there will always be a minority of people who will take the very same force and turn it on its head and use it as a tool to do mischief or to serve themselves instead.

    August 24, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
  7. John

    Muslims attempt to build mosques at locations they consider to be great military victories. Mosques often become rallying points for radical Muslims and also mind control centers used by radical Muslim clerics to program suicide bombers and hostility in the minds of non-cleric Muslims. The radical Islamic New York group called the "Revolution Muslim" made veiled death threats against Comedy Central's South Park cartoon creators–their leader claimed that the Koran encourages intimidation of non Muslims (not just that, but murder too–they don't just murder innocent non-Muslim men, women and children, but also innocent Muslim men, women and children of Muslim sects not their own.) Jocelyne Cesari is likely receiving financial incentives from certain Muslim groups and/or individuals–or else, she's just plain ignorant and stupid, regarding the true nature of Islam.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      And is this different from Christianity, Christians have embassies in Muslim countries as will as military bases. The American Military enlist its members at a very young age to indoctrinate them and turn them into mindless automatons (I was a Marine for a long time, we do not question the decisions made by our civilian leaders). We use armed Drones, Helicopters, Stealth Bombers, Fighters Jets and satellites, how do you think the donkey riders living in caves can fight against a powerhouse like the USA or do you think they should just let us just walk into their home a sleep where we want, take what we want, educate their kids the way we want and generally take over their world. Have you ever asked yourself why they are fight us?

      August 24, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
    • Reality

      John Quest,

      You asked: "Have you ever asked yourself why they fight us? Yes indeed-and the answer, because their warmongering founder and his scribes created the koran as a manual of terror that dictates male Muslim domination over the world using any means. Profits from oil have given them the wherewithal to carry this out.

      A more detailed answer:

      Mohammed could not have known the size of the world, but several passages in the Koran show that he envisioned Islam dominating all of it, however large it might be: “He it is who sent his messenger . . . that he may cause it [Islam] to prevail over all religions´(Koran 9:33, M.M. Ali; see also 48:28 and 61:9). M.M. Ali designates these three passages as “the prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam in the whole world.”

      Mohammed’s successors, the caliphs, quoted passages like these to inspire Muslim armies as they advanced out of Arabia, imposing Islam by the sword upon a peacefully unsuspecting Middle East and North Africa, as I described in the previous chapter.

      Islamic armies, imbued with what Mohammed claimed was divine authorization, imposed Islam by force over vast areas, all the while extorting wealth from subjugated Jews and Christians to fund their ongoing conquests. As I noted, major defeats at Tours, France, in A.D. 732, and again at Vienna, Austria, in A.D. 1683, halted Islam’s attempt to take all of Europe by force. Gradually Islamic forces were forced to retreat from Europe, except for part of the Balkans. But Islam has again set its sights on a conquest of Europe and of European civilization, wherever the latter has spread to North and South America and other regions. Muslim strategists ask their followers, Why do we find in these modern times that Allah has entrusted most of the world’s oil wealth primarily to Muslim nations?

      Their answer: Allah foresaw Islam’s need for funds to finance a final politico-religious victory over what Islam perceives as its ultimate enemy: Christianized Euro-American civilization. So, Islam follows Nazism, fascism and communism as the world’s latest hostile takeover aspirant.

      Nazis, fascists and communists failed. Does Islam have a better chance at success? I believe it will flounder if we awaken to its threat in time; yet, if there is not adequate planned resistance, Islam does have a better chance of succeeding. Communism’s world takeover attempt was guaranteed to fail because its economic policy was naively contrary to human nature. Advocating the rubric What is mine is thine, and what is thine is mine, communism failed to see that human nature will not keep those two balanced propositions in equilibrium. Like a female black widow spider consuming her mate, the latter part of the formula makes a meal of the former, leading to the collapse of any system based upon that formula.

      In contrast, political systems do well if they can persuade people to adhere to What’s mine is mine and What’s thine is thine maxims.

      Only if a strong religious incentive is added does such an idealistic formula have any long-term chance. Even then success will be spotty. But communism (and Nazism, for that matter) excluded religion. And that mistake was the final nail eventually clamping a lid on communism’s coffin. Communism, on a historical scale, perished while still in its childhood.

      Islam is not repeating communism’s mistake. Mating political cunning and incredible wealth with religious zeal, Islam does have a chance to succeed and will succeed unless major parts of the Western world unite to take appropriate countermeasures. But many Western leaders, unable to believe that a mere religion could possible be a serious political threat, keep proclaiming themselves as Islam-friendly, reasoning that all religions are good-aren’t they?

      A Muslim strategist in Beverly Hills, California, declared several years ago, as quoted by a friend of mine: “Now that the struggle between Western democracies and international communism is winding down, it is time for the real and final struggle to begin, and we are going to win!”

      When will people realize that just as there are good doctors and quacks, good cops and rogue cops, there can also be good religions and bad religions?

      August 25, 2010 at 12:13 am |
  8. sanity

    Islam hoardes thugs, makes people thing in their narrow perspective and exploits the imperfection in others. They only know one thing, "it is my way or no way". This needs to be brutally dealt with.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
    • NL

      Again, this sounds like a very sizable portion of our own population. Should we brutally deal with them too?

      August 24, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
    • sanity

      It all boils down to how much more crap we are going to take before we deal with them. Islam has demonstrated its global reach in its evilness or at affected vast majority of people across globe, remember what they shout after such act AOA.

      August 24, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
    • NL

      Depends on what you mean by "deal with them?" Are you set on nuking the lot, or are you willing to help moderates rid themselves of the radical elements, and then making peace with moderate Islamic states?

      August 24, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      I agree, Islam is no different that Christianity or Judaism, all believe that if you don't think the way they think you should spend an eternity in Hades. Islam is the little brother but all three are bad news to the masses. I think Thomas said this many years ago:
      "The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites."

      August 24, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
    • NL

      Actually, a lot of Jews don't believe in an everlasting Hell, but in a kind of purgatory sort of deal. Christian hell is modelled on the Greek Hades, complete with underground local and torture setup. Christianity would be a lot more compassionate if you just took Jesus' words from the synoptic gospels, and dropped everything else including the gospel of John, the birth legends, Paul's letters and especially Revelation. The wisdom of Jesus, the Jew, is really pretty profound and you can appreciate just how much his words challenged the religious hypocrites of his day. Pity is, he wouldn't even recognize his own message in America's mega-churches and prosperity gospel, and I doubt he would even make it past the armed guards at the front door.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
  9. verify

    Considering the aggressive, warlike, jingoistic, chauvinistic, religionistic history of mankind, with the warriors conquering and passing along those traits through both Nature and Nurture, it is a wonder that the human species is still here at all; but it is no wonder where the violence comes from. Get a grip, folks... we contribute a lot to our destiny.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  10. (B)iraq Hussein Osama

    you see. i would argue that Islam is Allah's gift to the poor and downtrodden people of the world. which is where more than 70% of humanity in general has always resided. Thru-out history, i would argue that most of humanity has lived in abject conditions. few 5%, at times 10%, and during some centuries as many as 20% or even 30% have lived in relative comfort, peace and prosperity. using various racial, political or religious orders to enrich themselves and their immediate kin.

    so what about the rest of the mas of humanity, who do not have capitalism or fields of oil, copper and gold, how do they get by in life in their misery? Islam! Yes, they can adopt Islam and thru its moral and spiritual system, they will uplift their life and ease some of their suffering.

    Islam is for the poor and the downtrodden and the hungry and weak. there are many islamists who insist Islam is like capitalism or communism or whatever and can function as a basis for materially prosperous society. It can't! It is a system by God designed to fundamentally protect the weak and the poor against abuses by the rich and the powerful.

    Islam is the poor man's capitalism! Reminds me of what someone said, a suicide bom ber is basically a poor man's F-16 bom ber. A very succinct and deeply revealing statement.

    August 24, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
    • sanity

      So you agree, Islam wants to keep its believers under poverty and depend on madrasa for education. That logic no more works, exploitation is sin and legalizing evil in much big sin against humanity. Spread education make them earn by their own knowledge and not make them depend for ever in the name of religion. I hate to say, the thugs, imams and mullahs are using them as cannon fodder which is evil under humanity liable to be prosecuted.

      August 24, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
    • crap

      Yes Biraq. I do agree that Islam is Allah's gift to the poor and downtrodden people of the world. Only in Islam any dispute can be solved in matter of minutes. Like Stonings, Amputations, Honor Killings.... Where else can you see justice that fast. No Lawyers. No Defence. No Jury.
      Open your eyes mister! Its good that not every body believes in this Islamic lies, ohterwise we all will be living in 7th century arabia.

      August 24, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
    • NL

      If Islam is for the weak and downtrodden, as you say, then is not it fair to say that those with POLITICAL axes to grind against the Western World would not be above using Islam as a motivating factor in order to achieve their POLITICAL goals?

      Is it also not fair to say that it's in the best interest of Islam to keep the weak and downtrodden perpetually weak and downtrodden?

      August 24, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
    • sanity

      It is crime against humanity to brain wash a person into committing evil act like suicide act. I believe all religion incl. Islam abhors this act.

      August 24, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
    • NL

      Just as most of Christianity abhors those who bomb abortion clinics and the KKK. Perhaps, instead of demonizing all of Islam as a whole, wouldn't it be more sensible to reach out to the moderate Muslims and give them our support and encouragement? How can we expect them to fight these elements when they have to fight us as well?

      August 24, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      I did not say Islam's goal is to keep the weak and poor, perpetually weak and poor. I said Islam is a gift from God to the weak and the poor. It uplifts them, and allows them a voice in society and actually a chance to become richer and less weak. when the rich and the poor all go to the same mosque and pray shoulder to shoulder, its a good chance the rich will help the poor, common sense? but if the poor live in the ghettos and the rich in their palaces, what chance is there for them to meet shoulder to shoulder in a mosque or any place else.

      August 24, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
    • sanity

      As per collective memory of 1000 years of existence as neighbor, they for majority of part are very biased towards infidels. One day they are very secular and follow sufism and next they turn evil (for infidels) when it suits them.

      August 24, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      assuming you named yourself after the quality of your opinions, stoning is practiced in the USA to this day, so do not point fingers at Islam. More than One Thousand criminals have been "stoned to death" in the USA since 1979. So open your eyes and look around!

      August 24, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
    • Kat Nanton

      Islam makes people poor and downtrodden. Muslims are the poorest, most illiterate, backward people on earth. Islam makes poverty, not helps it.

      {Today we are the poorest, the most illiterate, the most backward, the most unhealthy, the most un-enlightened, the most deprived, and the weakest of all the human race
      President Musharraf}

      August 24, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
    • NL

      Kat Nanton-
      The poorest, most illiterate, backward people anywhere tend to also be the most religious and superstitious, as a general rule, spanning all religions. America is no exception.

      August 24, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      depends on what your definition of "backwards" is!! someone could look at world war two and factory like extermination camps where jews are gassed to death in the tune of millions and say "christians are the most backward peoples on earth". if all you want to look at is the negative side of peoples, than you are in for a nasty surprise at who is backwards and who is forwards.

      Given the level of education available to the average westerner, i would say they are pretty backward peoples. Muslims are much more forward given their level of education in comparison.

      August 25, 2010 at 3:07 am |
    • Kat Nanton

      yesterday's naziism is today's islamism.

      August 25, 2010 at 10:45 am |
    • NL

      I agree, but I think choosing ignorance is more of an American thing than a general Western one. We have the best universities and research facilities in the whole world, but it's more typical for foreigners to come here to take advantage of this than for our own citizens to. Truly sad.

      Even with the advantage of having more diversity than any other country at our fingertips, free public libraries, and numerous other opportunities to learn cultures and religions direct from the horse's mouth people will choose to get their versions from obvious propaganda sites like the one Kat Nanton links above. It's nothing but willing ignorance.

      August 25, 2010 at 11:08 am |
    • NL

      Kat Nanton
      The poorest, most illiterate, backward people in the USA are also the most Christian, so I think your issue here is with religion in general, and not Islam in particular.

      August 25, 2010 at 11:11 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      thats right NL, I think it has more to do with human nature than with Islam or America in general. Wealth leads to laziness in subsequent generations and the ones who are of lower stature or at a disadvantage tend to focus more on the education to get out of their current situation. You often hear of stories from the third world where kids are very focused and hungry for education because they see it as a way out of their poverty. Once America has a couple of good solid economic collapses that even the corrupt greedy bankers can't artificially disguise, then you watch how Americans become smarter all of a sudden!

      The other issue is the commercialization of education in materialistic societies. Education has become an industry, standardized and packaged.

      August 25, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • NL

      Just before America's economy eventually collapses our wealthy class will parachute where the money is and continue to be wealthy. I once had a late dinner in a mall food court with a co-worker who refused to eat at the Lebanese place I did because she disliked "foreigners." While we were eating the court closed down and what seemed like the whole Lebanese family showed up, kids and grandparents included, to whip down every surface to a sparkling clean. As far as we could tell the lone teen left to close the place where she got her food didn't bother to clean anything before leaving. Immigrants work harder in America and always have.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  11. sanity

    Instead of using modern education and industry to develop, Islamic thugs went all way to use their ingenious, creative, innovative evil ideas to destroy not only themselves but civilization around them. Where as the other religion/civilization have used all means to develop and emancipated its population from poverty and backwardness.

    Bottom line, you can use inherent godliness to develop and spread wealth or use all wicked evilness like Islamic thugs to destroy and deny anyone the benefits.

    August 24, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
    • NL

      Have you spent any time down in the Bible Belt lately? "Modern education" and "spread wealth" are kinda taboo ideas down there, aren't they?

      August 24, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
    • sanity

      I agree but they do not issue fatwa against capitalist or people pursuing it unlike Islam.

      August 24, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
    • NL

      I agree but they do not issue fatwa against capitalist or people pursuing it unlike Islam.

      No, but they do issue fatwa against secularism, scientific knowledge and people pursuing it, unlike the rest of western civilization.

      August 24, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
    • sanity

      Yeah, agree but do not follow it up with threat to harm or social boycott like Islam.

      August 24, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
    • One Whose Name Means Beloved of God


      I would argue that keeping people ignorant is always harmful. So–by denying any sort of scientific education, the Christian fundamentalists of the south are harming people.

      Plus–there's always the clinic-bombers.

      August 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
    • sanity

      Ok how many are killed??? Minuscule compared to mega evil act enacted by madrasa sponsored evil thugs.

      August 24, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
    • NL

      Funny, I've seen threats to harm and social boycott in the Bible Belt. Left unchecked and able to grow in influence Christian fundamentalism could easily become just as oppressive in scale as Islamic fundamentalism. The only thing, it seems, that separates us from becoming them is the Constitution, and I'm not sure how long even it can keep us protected.

      August 24, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
    • NL

      Forbidding AIDS-preventing condoms is killing tens of thousands, and forbidding stem cell research could prevent millions from being saved.

      August 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  12. JohnQuest

    Islam is no more or less peaceful than Christianity or Judaism, all three come from the source, all three believe in violence more than peace. neither place a high value on human life, in short if there is a such thing call evil it would be religion.

    August 24, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  13. (B)iraq Hussein Osama

    What I have come to realize is that people are not that spiritually enlightened in modern day materialistic societies. Which is why Islam appears alien to them. The deeply engrained spirituality and chivalry and social sophistication of Islam is for an older time, had the same Islam been presented to Americans circa 1850 – 1910, they would have found it much easier to fathom.

    But times have changed, se xual mores have changed, and Islam is the same, so people think it is something "backwards" or "alien". They need to spend a few years in a rural setting where interdependence and family relationships are key to survival and they would appreciate Islam more. its wisdom. Most of the world including vast stretches of South America and Asia and Africa are still 100 years behind in materialism and Islam would be more understood there.

    Ultimately, only few grasp the beauty and timelessness of Islam in the materialist cultures, it requires a spiritual foundation, which few children are endowed with during their childhood in todays day and age.

    August 24, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      A lot of Islam has to do with child rearing and extended family relationships. Modern materialism tries to replace family relationships with the state. The state is now responsible for your children and the state is now responsible for your economic well being. As such, most people cannot fathom the basic social structure that Islamic culture tries to establish that provides people protection against the elements and creates a "child-rearing friendly" environment.

      most of the western media is focused on political violence. you could take all the politics out of Islam, and throw it in a dustbin, it would make little difference, the core of the religion is not about politics at all. its about an individual and his/her family and how to organize these relationships so that it leads to happiness and contentment.

      August 24, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • Reality

      Osama, Osama, Osama,

      Doing your Ramadan thing again? So again, we come to help you and all Muslims with our Five Step Program For Eliminating Islamic Myths:

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc.

      No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.
      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.
      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days fasting in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Accept these five "cleansers" and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      August 24, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
    • Bill

      Isn't it amazing how documented proof of Islam's violent history over 1300 years can be produced by anyone with a PC yet we are told by our leaders, political and religious, that Islam is a religion of peace.

      We are the Bigot's! We are the Islamaphobes!

      Why are we expected to accept Islam in our country, no question's asked, when we never hear Muslim's fighting for our right to build Churches and Synagogues in Muslim countries. All Muslim's ever say in western countries is "we are moderates'.

      Has everyone noticed how Islam uses women as its 'Face' in western countries while in Islamic countries they can't even drive a car or leave their homes without a male member of the family going with them? 17 girls were burned alive in Saudi Arabia when their school caught fire because they were not allowed to leave by the local Imam because they did not have their 'hajib' handy. Those female children were on fire people! No head covering, you die!

      Something odd going on with our leaders in USA? We're BAD! Islam GOOD!

      The left coast supports Islam at every turn! Why?
      I've heard of Hollywood! I've heard of Bollywood! Has anyone ever heard of Islamyhood? Gay's support Islam while marching against Christianity! Christian's don't hang Gay's from lamppost! Member's of Islam do. Find it on the NET!

      Ask for a Mosque developer to show where his money comes from and again we're Bigot's!

      What's up America?

      September 1, 2010 at 5:25 am |
  14. jeff

    If there is a god he's got a sick sense of humor

    August 24, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
    • James M.

      I have come to a conclusion, if heaven is populated with Christians, please send me to hell!

      August 25, 2010 at 1:58 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      well the good thing about hell is that its ter rorist proof!! you do not have to worry about rednecks instilling fear of ter rorists thru state media. anything that blows up in hell makes a piddly sound in comparison to the raging fire.

      August 25, 2010 at 4:15 am |
  15. sanity

    Islam equates humanity with mumins and majority of them believe it does not incl. kafirs or infidels. Even though a minority staunchly believe infidels needs to be converted. That should explain jihadi 101. India has been the oldest victim of this conversion overtly and covertly, they rules the country the way it suited them and divided again for the same reason. The trust level with Islam is very low due to the fact that most if mosque at our holy site is build by destroying temple, incl. the holiest one call "gyan vapi mosque". We feel it is an insult and can heal that historic injustice if they correct them.

    As they conveniently escape any responsibility from their internal thugs, the reason they give is it is .0001% minority among them who espouse extremism. It baffles me why they do not use that rule for their thugism in Kashmir or anywhere they use religion as political tool. What is guarantee after current imam is not taken over by extremist thugs? We know how conveniently they bully their own imams and mullahs to further their narrow agenda.

    Islam should take responsibility of managing its internal thugs before they come with olive branch. Only then can civilized world can talk business in civilized way. Otherwise the extremist and moderate look like 2 sides of same coin ie to further Islamic cause at the expense of infidels period. 1000 yers of history in sub continent is the proof and what is happening is US is an indicator for a very long battle drawn in the advancement of Islam which in no way is serving infidels.

    August 24, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      civilized world? what civilized world, you just gassed six million jews to death less than 100 years in the most cold blooded massacre in history, last week you illegally invaded Iraq in a scene reminiscent of the Mongol barbarian hordes of years past. you are welcome to call yourself civilized over and over again, does not mean anybody outside your borders thinks the same of you!

      August 24, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
    • sanity

      Western countries have started the industrial revolution and contributed the modern civilization we all crave to jump given an opportunity. Let us acknowledge that fact, given an option no one wants to rush to Hindukush mountain where thugs are hiding. Islamic thugs know only one thing death and destruction. Those who has power to develop has right to interfere, like in Bosnia, Germany, Japan, Vietnam, Korea etc.

      On other side no one wants Islamic thugs in their middle. They played with fire in Iraq and Afghanistan and reduced it to ash. See Japan Germany and other countries like now in India and China. Millions are benefiting from modernization. Let us not drag all into 7th century hellhole.

      August 24, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
    • sanity

      Western countries have started the industrial revolution and contributed the modern civilization we all crave to jump given an opportunity. Let us acknowledge that fact, given an option no one wants to rush to Hindukush mountain where thugs are hiding. Islamic thugs know only one thing death and destruction. Those who has power to develop has right to interfere, like in Bosni@, Germ@ny, East Asia.

      On other side no one wants Islamic thugs in their middle. They played with fire in Iraq and Afghanistan and reduced it to ash. See J@pan Germ@ny and other countries like now in India and China. Millions are benefiting from modernization. Let us not drag all into 7th century hellhole.

      August 24, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
    • NL

      So, you are against society ruled by outdated religious values and traditions? Where armed thugs are free to bully people into supporting their backwards beliefs?

      You don't have to travel very far to experience that kind of thing, you know?

      August 24, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  16. crap

    Every day we can see a dimwit says 'Islam is a religion of peace' or 'Islam is a religion, not a terror ideology' or something else.
    But the truth is Islam is totalitarian ideology. See what Ayn Rand says about totalitarian ideology,
    'The greatest threat to mankind and civilization is the spread of the totalitarian philosophy. Its best ally is not the devotion of its followers but the confusion of its enemies. To fight it, we must understand it.'

    Jocelyne Cesari, you are confused. There are millions of examples to prove you are wrong. See a simple news item in today's news


    This is Modern, Moderate Malaysia. Sharia court does not allow a woman to become HIndu. Civil court does not want to interfere in this matter. This is what awaits in USA.

    If you like to learn more try 'Ali Sina' or 'Robert Spencer' and find their corresponding web sites.

    August 24, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
    • One Whose Name Means Beloved of God

      Because Ann Rand is a peaceful person? please....

      August 24, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
    • hoodoo


      This is the USA not Malaysia. Your argument is invalid.

      August 25, 2010 at 3:59 am |
  17. Reality

    "Islam is a religion, not a terror ideology." Give us a break!!!. The real Islam as noted in the following acts of terror and horror:

    1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

    1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

    2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

    3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat roles, 97,172 – 106,047 Iraqi civilians killed as of 8/10/2010,

    4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

    5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

    6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

    7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

    8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

    9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

    10) Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,116 killed in action, 902killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed by the koranic-driven Taliban.

    11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

    12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

    13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

    14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations

    15) Followed by the daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings every day in the terror world of Islam.

    August 24, 2010 at 11:38 am |
    • Kate


      You know full well that's like saying the actions of the Hutaree, the KKK, the WBC or Dove are the true ideology of Christianity.

      And the last time you pasted that list (do you keep them in a macro or do you just have a very large notepad file?), I gave you a list that was a few million greater that you never replied to ...

      August 24, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
    • Reality

      Added information on our contemporary War on Terror which apparently Kate missed previously:

      – Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat, 97,172 – 106,047 Iraqi civilians killed,

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,116 killed in action, 902 killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – Libya has become almost civil. Recently Libya agreed to pay $1.5 billion to the victims of their terrorist activities. Apparently this new reality from an Islamic country has upset OBL and his “cra-zies” as they have thre-atened Libya. OBL sure is a di-sgrace to the world especially the Moslem world!!! Or is he???

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – Bin La-d-en has been cornered under a rock in Western Pakistan since 9/11.

      – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols will follow soon.

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.

      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      – And of course the terror brought about the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      August 24, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
    • Kate


      Thank you for the second list ... I've got to give you credit for knowing your numbers and for listing non-Muslim atrocities.

      You're wrong on one point, I think – Northern Ireland (2700 deaths over the years) isn't at peace – just today there was another bombing attempt, and one over the weekend injured three kids. Just thought you might want to update your info.

      I think you're missing the point and confusing cause with excuse. Religion is used by many to justify atrocities, but it's rarely the religion that is the real motive. People are people, and they will commit such atrocities whether religion is a factor or not.

      The Rwandan genocide was carried out by catholics – but it wasn't religiously motivated, it was tribal/racial, as one example.

      Trying to pin it on one religion or another religion never really works.

      I would have thought as an athiest you might be able to concede that religion isn't necessary for people to be bad to people.

      August 24, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
    • Reality


      The listings were a summary of our contemporary War on Terror. Religion was not a feature other than to point out the source of terror. Obviously from the lists, koranic-driven terror has replaced the terror of Communism.

      August 24, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
    • NL

      Kate's right, religion is often an excuse for violence just as it's often an excuse for doing good. People who have violent thoughts will likely want to act out violently, and use whatever excuse is most convenient to do so. It could be religion, or politics, or ethnicity, or sports rivalry, or any number of things. There are also people who are basically good, and will do good works no matter what they are involved in. If they are Christians, they will be good Christians. If they are Muslims, they will be good Muslims, If they don't want to hurt people then they won't hurt people no matter what their faith. If they are charitable people then they will give and volunteer their time within their religion or secular life. Ah, but here comes the rub. Religion is usually the easiest way to convince a good person that it is a good thing to hurt someone else.

      August 24, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
    • Frogist

      Thank you NL and Kate for being level-headed people.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • Iqbal Khan


      August 29, 2010 at 10:11 pm |
    • Iqbal Khan

      Qanat, Thanks for asking, my opinion or position does'nt matter as I am just a student learning from others who have spent their lives so that people like me can save time and effort, I just want more and more people to also learn from the research of learned people to know more and the Truth quickley. now check the following link... this will give you the historical truth...

      August 29, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
    • Bill

      Isn't it amazing how documented proof of Islam's violent history over 1300 years can be produced by anyone with a PC yet we are told by our leaders, political and religious, that Islam is a religion of peace.

      We are the Bigot's! We are the Islamaphobes!

      Why are we expected to accept Islam in our country, no question's asked, when we never hear Muslim's fighting for our right to build Churches and Synagogues in Muslim countries. All Muslim's ever say in western countries is "we are moderates'.

      Has everyone noticed how Islam uses women as its 'Face' in western countries while in Islamic countries they can't even drive a car or leave their homes without a male member of the family going with them? 17 girls were burned alive in Saudi Arabia when their school caught fire because they were not allowed to leave by the local Imam because they did not have their 'hajib' handy. Those female children were on fire people! No head covering, you die!

      Something odd going on with our leaders in USA? We're BAD! Islam GOOD!

      The left coast supports Islam at every turn! Why?
      I've heard of Hollywood! I've heard of Bollywood! Has anyone ever heard of Islamyhood? Gay's support Islam while marching against Christianity! Christian's don't hang Gay's from lamppost! Member's of Islam do. Find it on the NET!

      Ask for a Mosque developer to show where his money comes from and again we're Bigot's!

      What's up America?

      September 1, 2010 at 1:50 am |
  18. Erik


    August 24, 2010 at 11:24 am |
    • One Whose Name Means Beloved of God

      Ouch! Just reading that made my late-great English teacher rise up from the grave and smack me on the head.

      Never. But never should you use Wikipedia as a source. It's a great jumping off point maybe, but inherently can't be reliable.

      August 24, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
    • Erik

      My point was merely that Islam didn't spawn all the world's suicide bombers...

      August 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
    • One Whose Name Means Beloved of God

      I can go along with that. I just wish you'd said it instead of referencing wikipedia. I mean, I visit it just as often as anybody else, but it's not a reference source.

      August 25, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  19. stand back, I have a staff

    Religion is a weapon masquerading as a tool.
    Tools can be unwieldy and hard to control.
    How much more dangerous religion is when used as a weapon!

    But how do you stop people from being gullible?
    How do you separate the madness from the mad?
    The sorrows of the world will not wait for your answer.
    Truth is a prisoner, hidden away.

    Woe unto you, O unhappy people!
    Your faith made you see visions in the places where your forefathers murdered and tortured the innocent.
    Your children, innocently betrayed, follow without knowledge.
    The world is stolen from you, your apathy is forced on you.
    No one is ready to free the truth.

    Could you ever break free from the chains of your masters?
    Have you seen the ones they hidden away forever?
    Open your eyes to honesty and truth.
    The universe is dangerous to all.

    Diversity will not conform,
    so put away your games of lies,
    reach out to those others
    like you, they have no hope.

    August 24, 2010 at 11:23 am |
    • u r whacked

      you made some errors, there.

      August 24, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  20. John Galt

    Of course Islam is a religion but the problem is that THAT religion has a sad tendency to spawn most of the worlds terrorists and ALL of the worlds suicide bombers.

    August 24, 2010 at 11:17 am |
1 2
« Previous entry
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.