September 13th, 2010
07:59 PM ET

Agnostic-turned-Muslim pushes for Tennessee mosque

CNN's Ashley Fantz filed this report.

Camie Ayash was raised in Brooklyn, the daughter of an agnostic nurse and a New York City cop with a skeptic's approach to religion.

She is the last person one might expect to be pushing to build a mosque in middle Tennessee.

"My dad was always telling me to compare this with that, to read everything I could and find the discrepancies," she said. "He would stay up into the night reading the Old Testament, the King James Bible, the Torah and look up translations of the Quran, pointing out conflicting statements within the same book.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • Muslim • Tennessee

September 13th, 2010
01:18 PM ET

Review: My trip to al-Qaeda

Editor's Note: CNN's Chris Ford takes a look at a new film about Lawrence Wright.

Author and journalist Lawrence Wright, pictured above, is the subject of a new film, “My Trip to al-Qaeda,” now playing on CNN’s sister network HBO.

Wright’s film tells a brief history of al Qaeda and how its leaders became who they are, citing their imprisonment, torture, humiliation and their general hatred of the West. It also chronicles the United States’ military engagement in the Muslim world after 9/11. He draws on his own extensive experience interviewing, studying, and interacting with both Islamic terrorists and the general population of the Muslim world. Wright gathered much of the information for the film while writing the Looming Tower, a book that went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 2007.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 9/11 • Culture & Science • Islam

Ahmadiyya Muslim celebration
September 13th, 2010
12:32 PM ET

Trying to define Islam as a religion of peace

Editor's note: CNN's Tricia Escobedo spoke to the leaders of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Atlanta, Georgia, at their Friday prayer service and celebration marking the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

Ahmadi Muslims across the United States began taking to the streets earlier this year to spread their message that Islam is a religion of peace.

They've been showcasing their message in pamphlets, advertisements on city buses, and in face-to-face conversations with fellow Americans.

Hazeem Pudhiapura is asking his Atlanta, Georgia, congregation to personally hand out pamphlets with that message in a nationwide effort to reach two percent of all Americans this year. 

He admits that the campaign probably won't receive as much attention as, say, the planned Quran burning on 9/11.  But he said that anti-Islam sentiment is why their message needs to be heard now, more than ever.


- CNN.com Senior Producer

Filed under: Islam • Persecution • Ramadan

September 13th, 2010
10:55 AM ET

Imam calls for moderates to join together, fight extremism

NEW YORK (CNN) -  Saying America has let extremists "hijack the agenda,"the imam behind a controversial proposal to place an Islamic community center and mosque near Manhattan's ground zero said Monday he wants to create a platform where the voice of moderate Muslims can be amplified.

"This is an opportunity that we must capitalize on, so those who teach moderation will have a megahorn," Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf told the Council on Foreign Relations.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • Muslim • New York • United States

Quran reading
September 13th, 2010
08:48 AM ET

Churches read from Quran in face of proposed Quran burning

Journalist Amy Zerba filed this report from Gainesville, Florida:

Rev. Larry Reimer says there's a simple message at the core of his faith: people have more in common than they have in conflict.

It's one reason he chose to have a passage from the Quran read at the United Church of Gainesville, part of the United Church of Christ, on Sunday.

And he wasn’t alone.

More than 20 religious leaders from Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim backgrounds around Gainesville had the same Quran passage read - along with Christian and Hebrew scriptures–  at their congregations over the weekend. Local synagogues made it part of their Rosh Hashanah celebrations.

It was a sign of unity after weeks of talk by a Florida pastor who threatened to burn the Muslim holy book on 9-11 but who ultimately cancelled the event.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Florida • Houses of worship • Islam • Muslim • Quran • United States

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.