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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.

"The main goal is to remove the stereotypes," said Pudhiapura, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Atlanta.   "Islam got introduced to this country in a very bad way on 9/11. And it's unfortunate.

"[But] we cannot be a closet Muslim. We cannot afford to do that. If we don't do it today, my kids ... their identity will be lost.

"It may take a long time, but it will be the right way to do it."

Ahmadi Muslims are in a unique position to speak against Islamist extremism. Their sect has been persecuted for years, particularly in Pakistan, where the movement was founded in the late 19th century.  In May, militants with ties to the Taliban targeted their mosques in Lahore, Pakistan, killing more than 80 Ahmadi Muslims.

In addition, Pakistan's government does not recognize the sect as legitimate.  The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has cited Pakistan as imposing "the most severe legal restrictions and officially sanctioned discrimination" on the Ahmadi Muslims.  

Pudhiapura said those restrictions include forcing Ahmadis to either lie about their religion or declare that they worship a "false prophet" when applying for a Pakistani passport.

The sect also faces persecution in Indonesia, where they can be criminally charged for their religious beliefs. 

Ahmadi Muslims believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who lived between 1835 and 1908, was sent by God as the Messiah that other Muslims are still waiting for.  Most mainstream Muslims - Sunni and Shia - say Ahmadis are not Muslim because they do not regard the Prophet Mohammed as the last prophet sent by God.

“Pudhiapura praised freedom of religion in the United States during his sermon marking Eid al-Fitr, the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

"This is an awesome country," Pudhiapura said, noting that a large part of the Ahmadi faith is the belief in the separation of church and state.

However, Ahmadis are often not welcomed by fellow Muslims.

"It's not as bad as in other countries, but it's not very good," Pudhiapura said.   "We have a couple of plans to have interfaith forums with other Muslim imams, but normally we get left out."

The Ahmadis' worship center outside Atlanta has also received threats, he said.

Nevertheless, the group is still pushing forward with taking its message of peace to the farthest reaches of rural Georgia.

"We are the foremost community who is championing the cause of Muslims for peace," Pudhiapura said.   "And that is to make the American citizens understand the true message of Islam is peace.  To put a face on the people who are loyal citizens who are true American Muslims."

- CNN.com Senior Producer

Filed under: Islam • Persecution • Ramadan

soundoff (310 Responses)
  1. MO

    People let us read sourat al toubah " and when the sacred months have passed, then slay and kill the infidels and the atheists where you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit and wait for the at every place of ambush."
    COULD SOMEONE EXPLAIN THIS FOR ME TO CONSIDERED ISLAM TO BE PEACEFUL IDEA
    in my humble opinion those who we called them fanatics they are the true Muslims who are defending their GOD and making sure to abide and perform his desire & will. This would mean any body who believe in the Quran must have this sourah in his mind otherwise he is not a Muslim

    September 13, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
    • Kate

      @MO

      There are problems with Sura 9 to begin with, but putting those aside, like all the quotes that get tossed around you're taking one ayat in isolation – include the parts either side:

      [9:4] If the idol worshipers sign a peace treaty with you, and do not violate it, nor band together with others against you, you shall fulfill your treaty with them until the expiration date. GOD loves the righteous.

      [9:5] Once the Sacred Months are past, (and they refuse to make peace) you may kill the idol worshipers when you encounter them, punish them, and resist every move they make. If they repent and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), you shall let them go. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

      [9:6] If one of the idol worshipers sought safe passage with you, you shall grant him safe passage, so that he can hear the word of GOD, then send him back to his place of security. That is because they are people who do not know.

      Then keep the following in mind as well:

      [9:12] If they violate their oaths after pledging to keep their covenants, and attack your religion, you may fight the leaders of paganism – you are no longer bound by your covenant with them – that they may refrain.

      [9:13] Would you not fight people who violated their treaties, tried to banish the messenger, and they are the ones who started the war in the first place? Are you afraid of them? GOD is the One you are supposed to fear, if you are believers.

      Standard disclaimer: I am not, and never have claimed to be, a scholar.

      Just quotin'

      September 13, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
    • honestanon

      Here's some interesting Utube vids
      Robert Spencer; The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran;
      Islamic Terror 101 – Easy Way to Kill Hundreds of Thousands.

      Folks, the curtain has been pulled back from the wizard. The masks have been dropped. The cat's out of the bag. Humpty Dumpty has fallen and all the muslim rhetoric in the world will not be able to fool us any longer. Please do not bring your insanity to my country. Should you blow up my hospitals, set fire to my schools, or bomb my car I will fight you with every red blood cell in my body. I hope you figure out that the rest of the non-muslim Americans hold the same belief.

      September 13, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
    • Sam

      All this sounds like a lot of war talk to me than about a religion. Whats with the treaties and stuff. Sounds like factional feudal fiction than some universal truth.

      September 13, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
    • Kate

      @Sam

      To be honest, I think at that stage there were a lot of situations arising that were requiring rules of civilized behavior in uncivilized times. Some of the sura on that kind of topic seemed to be based in reaction to real life events that occurred, such as the one about witnesses that could claim someone had committed adultery coming at the aime Aisha was falsely accused of it herself.

      That's why the context of all of them is important, and ends up needing scholars to go into for understanding in a lot of cases.

      The downside is, it leaves the interpretation wide open to abuse – the fact we see so many people warping the meaning for anti-Islamic purposes is the best example of how the extremists do the exact same thing.

      Just theorizin'

      September 13, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
    • Frogist

      @honestanon :
      http://spencerwatch.com/
      Just wanted to provide a counterpoint to your links...

      September 13, 2010 at 9:31 pm |
    • honestanon

      @Frogist Fair enough.. buy who is sponsoring the Spencerwatch web site? There is no reference that I can find as to who's responsible. Or who accepts responsibility? Wonder. Makes a difference, you know.

      Now, can you provide a 'counterpoint' to the 'Islamic Terror 101 – Easy Way to Kill Hundreds of Thousands' video? Or maybe just offer a convoluted and transparent explanation for this muslim who is vehemently describing how to murder the American masses with well-placed Anthrax on the front lawn of the White House?

      Enough, already.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
    • Frogist

      @honestanon: Sure. There are Islamic extremists. Is there something I missed? I thought we already knew that. Is that a condemnation of all of Islam? Hardly.
      I like how you dismiss anything on the link I provided without ever referencing the content of the link. That's a good deflection technique. But it does not disprove anything on the site. Thankfully, even if you do not, others can go read the content critically and have a very precisely dissected view of Spencer's positions.
      Oh and let me know what you find about the backers... oh right! You couldn't find anything.

      September 14, 2010 at 1:21 am |
    • honestanon

      But if we don't know who's sponsoring the site, and they don't cite their sources, and the sources can't be verified, then... doesn't their content amount to nothing more than hearsay? Just checking... I like to verify stuff, ya know. Anyone can bloviate on the internet... Even you and me.

      September 14, 2010 at 2:02 am |
    • Frogist

      @honestanon: Except you would have to read the site for you to say there are no sources cited. And since you didn't read anything in it, you have no credibility.
      Your reluctance to even read something tells me that you are insecure in your point of view. But reading will not hurt you especially if you do so critically. But nevermind! I was just posting it so others have way to put your links in context. They can read it, even if you don't want to.

      September 14, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
    • honestanon

      @Frog. I did read it. Actually, I read all of the first page. From top to bottom, side to side. I found it to be unsupported, unverified, subjective, editorial propaganda. What does Robert Spencer use as his source material? With footnotes?
      The Koran.

      September 14, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  2. Cieje Valentine

    I heard of a Vegan academy where you learn telekinesis and psychic powers that are unlocked by never eating animal products...

    September 13, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
    • Anu

      Well.. i am not sure about teleknietic powers... but you sure wont clog your arteries and make a doctor rich

      September 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  3. The Liberal-Socialist Truth Police

    You cannot define Islam or Christianity by reading some verses in an old book – which most believers have never read anyway. Islam is the sum total of the thoughts and behaviors of Muslims. It is defined by the behavior of the believers, not by the verses of some quaint old Bronze Age text from the pre-literate, pre-scientific times. If there is anything we know about the authors of those books it is that they were wrong about everything. They believed demons caused diseases and that the sun goes around the earth. Every piece of knowledge in those old books is absolute nonsense. That is why anyone can read any of those books and believe anything.

    "To enter the Kingdom of Heaven, you must be born again." Sounds like reincarnation to me, but not to my Christian neighbors.

    September 13, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  4. Sonya

    Islam, among many other major religions, is not, fundamentally, a religion of peace. Buddhism and Jainism, for example, are religions of peace because non-violence and adoption of a vegetarian is a large part of their core beliefs. Just some food for thought.

    September 13, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
    • Anu

      Vaishnavite hinduism also recommends vegetarian. Eating non-veg is a sin and so is killing animals. Islam achieve peace only after conversion. Its about uniformity rather than harmony.

      September 13, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
    • Normon

      Aren't you being anti-carnivorous?

      September 13, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      Islam is more a religion of peace than Buddhism. Islam says, carry a big stick, because if you do not, there will be no peace. All it will take is one bad buddhist in a hundred to cause death and destruction. A big stick will keep this bad guy in check. This is how peace is implemented in REAL LIFE. Buddhism says be naked and exposed and peaceful. Great words, but in the real world, that only turns you into a bunch of chicken ready for the slaughter.

      September 14, 2010 at 1:40 am |
    • Anu

      Biraq Hussein.. is that everyone is running around with guns and sticks in many islamic countries. You can never convince people that Islam is more peaceful than Buddhism. Buddhism says self defense is ok as long as you dont kill. Thats why the eastern self defense arts are about weakening your enemy rather than kill them with a gun. also I see Muhammad as a social reformer who brought some order to a very uncivilized bunch of tribes. Not a prophet who said things that were not said before

      September 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  5. Markie

    The evidence is overwhelming that Islam is not a religion of peace. Few are, but Islam is particularly vile in it's teachings. Are there peaceful Muslims of course but they are irrelevant. These folks blow up each others Mosques in Iraq on a regular basis. I suspect a few Quorans are incinerated in these blasts but they go ape$heet at the prospect of looney Pastor Terry doing the very same thing. Lives were lost in Afghanistan by the rioters who went nuts just in anticipation of the burning. These are not normal or peaceful people. They are barbarians.

    September 13, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
    • Kate

      @Markie

      Are there peaceful Muslims of course but they are irrelevant

      You won't mind if the world then turns around and points to the behaviour of the Joneses and the Westboro Baptist Church (who they admire and support and have demonstrated alongside, who desecrate the memory of our fallen heroes on a regular basis) as being representative of Christianity, or Catholics who molest children ... after all, are there honorable Christians? of course, but they are irrelevant.

      Just providin' the sauce

      September 13, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
    • Muslimerican

      I don't know who you got your information from, but more than 90% of Muslims don't condone the behavior that you seem to think is prevalent in Islam.

      Lets say that what you said is true, and that most Muslims are crazy American hating extremists who want nothing more than to blow up the White House. Why haven't the Muslims of America risen up to conquer this country like what you seem to think our plan seems to be, and why hadn't it been done sooner than 9/11? We've had centuries to carry out this dastardly plot, but why hasn't it been carried out?

      Don't go spreading hateful messages that only add to the problem of extremism and outcast the majority of us who just want to live in peace with their fellow patriots.

      September 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      Have you studied Islam? When you say "teachings of Islam are particularly vile", do you know what Islam actually teaches? Islamic teachings are actually very Noble. They may be vile to you, but you could be a Nazi, and whatever is not nazi-like is going to appear vile to you.

      Prayer, Fasting, Self-Control, Godliness, Cleanliness, Family Values, Moderation, Charity, these are the pillars of Islam. It is a great reformist religion that strives to bring out the best in human beings.

      September 14, 2010 at 1:37 am |
    • *^*

      (B)iraq Hussein Osama: Define cleanliness. Is that like ethnic cleansing...of infidels?

      September 15, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
  6. Debbie

    If they don't believe Mohammed is the true prophet, then how can they be Muslim? They also believe in separation of church and state. They sound like reasonable, peaceful people, but not really Muslims.

    September 13, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
    • Kashif Chaudhry

      Debbie, Ahmadi Muslims believe Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] to be a true Prophet of God and the most exalted of all prophets. I am an Ahmadi Muslim myself.

      September 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      They are Ahmadiyyas. Duh! They are welcome to consider Muhammad a Prophet and to copy parts of Islam (like the Sikhs), go ahead. Worship the same God, call Him Allah too. But as long as they believe in ANOTHER Prophet, they should be cataloged as a new religion. This is the main gripe of Sunni Muslims with the Ahmaddiya movement.

      September 14, 2010 at 1:33 am |
  7. Jim X

    There are many branches of Islam as there are branches in Christianity, Judaism etc. Extremists can be found in all religions and in people of no faith at all. Those extremists must be identified, isolated and ostracized. The news media, along with much of the public, generally focuses on the bad minority of people who do evil while ignoring the vast majority of all these groups who do good an want peace for all while quietly work toward that goal. I don't care which group spews hate, it just brings out more hate in return.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
    • Markie

      Who is isolating the Christian extremists. They still get to run amok. Robertson, Sharpton, Terry, Hagee , Graham and a load of other.

      September 13, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  8. Cieje Valentine

    Islam isn't a religion, it's a totalitarian political ideaology.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  9. Reality

    For new members:

    The solution:

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity by the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" will converge these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired. Ditto for houses and classes of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

    Some added thoughts from J. Someville, professor emeritus, Xavier U, Cincinnati, Ohio:

    John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

    The Situation Today

    Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed

    It is very disturbing that religious violence and hatred continues unabated due to radomness of birth. Maybe just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper, every news webpage, every religion blog, every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
    • Peter F

      "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18

      September 13, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
    • Mason

      Very good point about place of birth; I agree with you.. We don't control destiny and if one was born in a Christians Country of Muslim Country the odds are he/ she will be raised in the same direction of the dominant religion. However, I believe love and peace is a personal virtue related to genes, environment and how people are raised and not to religion.. I was born to Muslim parents who are a bit conservative; but, I hate extremism and I am a peace loving person and all the killings done by the name of God/ Allah/ Any religion.. Stereotyping is the core of the problem; not all of Jews are mean or Muslims/ Arabs are terrorists!

      September 13, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
    • Scott

      you have a good argument BUT if GOD is God of all things. is not the "randomness of birth" not random. in the book of Ester, "you are here for just a time as this". A little background she was born in Persia, became Queen of Persia, which allowed her to save all the Jews. God knows what he is doing when he places you at a time and place. you are not an accident

      September 14, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  10. kdk

    islam is pure evil to its core.

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com

    September 13, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  11. Lily

    If Muslims want us to think Islam is a religion of peace, acting in a peaceful manner would be a great way to start. If Islam were really a religion of peace, countries where it is the dominant religion would be shining examples of peace, tolerance, and harmony. Instead they are some of the most violent and unstable countries in the world. Guess what, Muslims? The vast majority of us are not falling for it.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
    • Kate

      @Lily

      Have you taken a look at Catholic Mexico recently?

      Just sayin'

      September 13, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
    • Sonal

      Kate, the violence in mexico is not because of relgion

      September 13, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
    • Kate

      @Sonal

      La Familia aside, for whom it absolutely is religious, you make my point. Christian country, Christians murdering each other, but it's more about groups than religion (the cartels). Same with countries that have conflict in the middle east, you'll find it's a lot more tribal/blood feud, and much less religion.

      Same with Northern Ireland – groups, not religion, even though those groups tend to organize along religious divides.

      It's strange how Christians refuse to see violence between Christians as being religion based, but will immediately make that distinction if it involves other religions – Hindus in Kasmir for example, vs the Rwandan massacre.

      Just observin'

      September 13, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
    • leaveUSalone

      Imam should take 100Million dollars and educate Muslims throughout the world about tolerance. US is already the most kind, helpful and tolerant country of all. We fight for justice all over the world. Islam is a "religion" of intolerance and is vile and backward. Or take the 100M and help heal 911 families and responders- who are still suffering the effects from this nasty religion. We don't want your violence here!!! Go build your centers in the Middle East where education is greatly needed.

      September 14, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  12. Anu

    These people and Bahai's are not considered muslims. They should just quit begging others to accept them and declare themselves as separate religion

    September 13, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
    • asif

      Anu, who are you to say who is a Muslim and who is not?

      There is a tradition (Hadith) of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) that whosoever calls a person a "non-muslim" has in effect made himself/herself a "non-muslim".

      In my book, any person who observes Tauheed (there is no God but God; Muhammad is His messenger) is considered a Muslim.

      September 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
    • Anu

      Asif.. i was not insulting you. I just felt sorry for all the crap you have to put up in Pakistan and other countries.

      September 13, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
    • Anu

      and I seriously think all muslims take this GOD stuff too far. each person in this world has thier own way of realizing super natural. let thme be

      September 13, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  13. John

    So they showcase a sect of Muslims that even other Muslims persecute, as an example of the peaceful nature of Islam. Any country/government that criminally prosecutes people of religions other than that government's chosen religion does not have a religion based in peace.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • TammyB

      Why do you think there are so many denominations within Christianity? At one time or another, people questioned their church leaders, were persecuted, and moved on. How about the ever famous how our country began? Religious persecution. Not by the Muslims, by the way.

      September 13, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
    • asif

      John, I disagree with your conclusion. Just because the members of one sect of Islam are being persecuted by a religious government does not mean that the religion is at fault for the conduct. However, it may explain to you the level of intolerance and misunderstandings that have evolved over the centuries which has led to "Radical" Islam today.

      The Ahmadiyya sect is persecuted for believing that the second advent of Jesus Christ has already appeared (in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad). In this belief is the premise that Muhammad (pbuh) was NOT the final prophet to appear to mankind (other non-Ahmadi Muslims think otherwise). This has resulted in Ahmadis being declared "non-Muslims" by religious governments, and being punished for "blasphemous" acts when such members go to pray in Mosques.

      I think the Ahmadiyya sect deserve to have their voice heard in this radical religious climate, since they actually practice and promote a message of peace and tolerance despite being persecuted from their neighbors around the world.

      September 13, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
    • honestanon

      uh... Tammy – The muslims were not here when our country was founded... But if you wait long enough...

      September 13, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
    • TammyB

      @ honestanon....Uh, I didn't say Muslims were here when we were founded. Have you studied history in school yet? The first people who came to America were running from religious persecution in England, which was Christian. My point, which you missed? Every religion persecutes.

      September 13, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
    • honestanon

      TamTam - Silly girl, I knew that. I wasn't sure if you did, because it was impossible to understand your "point." But now that you provided clarification, i.e.,

      [My point, which you missed? Every religion persecutes.]

      There you have it, folks. The crystal clear enlightenment provided by an apparently ardent supporter of Islam. At least she's honest on this point.

      I'm done. You kids can stay out and play. Come in when it gets dark.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  14. vs

    Just because they keep saying it's a religion of peace doesn't make it so. Actions speak louder than words....

    September 13, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
    • TammyB

      Actions like prayer? Families together? Distribution of pamphlets that preach peace? Like those kinds of actions listed in this article?

      September 13, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
    • jari

      you should vist AHMADIYYA MUSLIM COMMUNITY WEBSITE at http://www.alislam.org, and also do visit other muslims websites. you will know the difference. I invite you to visit any Ahmadiyya mosque in US or UK or any country. there is one motto that we follow that is love for all hatred for none. these are muslims for peace

      September 14, 2010 at 1:39 am |
  15. amy

    Our Enemy is the radicals. This includes those who would eliminate islam to those who would immerse the world solely in islam. Quoting only radical islamist as the root of evil is as misleading as citing only christian acts of good. Christians, and even whole nations have perpetuated both good and bad. I hold up the salem witch trials as an example that extreme christians are also capable of extreme inhuman acts. Salem is but one example. A more modern conflict is currently occuring in india/pakistan and africa. Those who would condemn islam absolutely are no better than the extremists themselves. For is not the judgement of millions of people for one trait not extreme? And is that not discrimination with no real basis?

    September 13, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  16. Strawfoot

    It will take some convincing for me to believe islam is a religion of peace. Too many nose/ear clippings, neck choppings, church burnings, nun killings over cartoons, authors sentenced to death over their writings, too few islam forum participants condemning muslim atrocities and intolerant actions. Yeah, Christianity had its share of extremists ... hundreds of years ago! Will we have to wait another hundred years before most muslims see the need that moderation, peace, love need to be their major virtues and that they need to be often and publicly preached and practiced? I hope not, but fear so.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
    • Kate

      @Strawfoot

      Bosnia, Rwanda – both within the past 30 years, both perpetrated by Christians, total killed hard to tell but combined it works out conservatively to about a million people.

      Any questions?

      Just sayin'

      September 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
    • TammyB

      Not to mention Northern Ireland (many people killed), abortion clinics bombed and abortion doctors shot in the name of God, the KKK burning crosses and terrorizing/killing people of color in the name of God. That all has been within the last 50 years, some within the last couple of years.

      September 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
    • honestanon

      Mass insanity comes and goes. Wars start – and eventually end. The popular issues of the day or decade spawn zealots who do stupid things – usually in a frustrated and futile attempt to convince others of their righteousness. The difference, ladies, is that these are aberrant behaviors in the social structure, and they end. Now, exactly HOW LONG has your thing been going on? Say what? THOUSANDS of YEARS? That's the difference. Light go on yet?

      September 13, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
    • Questsal78

      Serbs have massacred Bosnians muslims, 2 world wars have been fought among Christian countries, millions of people have died. Hitler wasn't Muslim and killed so many innocent jews. History is full of these crimes no one blames Christianity because it's not the religion it's the people who are responsible for such atrocities. Islamophobia is spreading and you are one of it's victim. Only knowledge can cure you, we are not in this world for 100 or 200 years we are here for 1500 years. Please learn and do some research.

      September 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  17. Pamela Hobbs

    There is only one God. Jesus Christ will save our land. not islam. muslims want to wipe away Christians and Jews and Babtist ect. they want Americans to drop to islam. that is their purpose here in America. and our own government is selling Americans out for the mighty dollar. i will not bow down to islam. i will not drop.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
    • Kate

      @Pamela Hobbs

      I hate to say this, but I've never really been a great fan of the people who followed Babs Bunny either. I mean, I don't think they should be killed anyways, but really, come on – those Babtists are all crazy!

      Admittedly that's because the bishops are Buster Bunny, Yakko, Wakko and Dot, and the Nurse. But come on, they're ani-maniacs!

      Just animatin'

      September 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
    • TammyB

      You must be Baptist since you listed them. I used to be one too, until they got mad at me because I wouldn't assault people to try to convert them, which they tried to teach us as teenagers in Church.

      September 13, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
    • Kate

      @TammyB

      Didn't they also say that they had to drown you for it to be valid or something?

      Just rememberin'

      September 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
    • TammyB

      @ Kate...No, they just dunk you like a doughnut. ;}

      September 13, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • DaLe

      JC was a secret muslim.

      September 13, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
    • Kate

      @TammyB

      Where do they put the "Hot Now!" sign?

      Just sayin'

      September 13, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
    • Sara

      Last time I checked, Jews don't believe in Jesus.. so you are really just anti-islam... which makes you a bigot and ignorant

      September 14, 2010 at 9:45 am |
    • azhar

      lets be practical guys,,,we all know islam is not peace loving,,,there is a bomb blast or mass killing everyday caused by or related to islam one or the other way,,,terrorists claim that they are true muslims,,,yet they kill thousands of people including muslims every year,,,,he who doesnt follow his own religion and makes a mockery of his religion islam and makes fellow muslims look like idiots,,,how can we expect them to respect other religions. Being a muslim i can say one thing,,,hatred in islam comes from poverty and ignorance and influence by religious leaders who wants sacrifice from everybody,,,but pee's their pants to come to limelight.

      September 14, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  18. t nordine

    Peace n love

    September 13, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
    • honestanon

      Bite Me.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:07 pm |
    • Frogist

      @honestanon: I thought you were just condescending and rude before. Now I know how useless you really are to any discussion about humanity.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
    • bumwad

      @Frogist

      I think honestanon is trying to tell us that his goal in life is to be a chew-toy.

      September 14, 2010 at 6:53 am |
    • honestanon

      I have two responses to Frog that have been tagged for the past 12 hours as "Your comment is awaiting moderation" Strange thing is that there's nothing vulgar or inflammatory in those posts. Let's see if CNN honors the American 1st Amendment... I bet you ALL know the answer to that.

      September 14, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • Frogist

      @honestanon: Not that I wish to further your rudeness. But the reason your posts have been tagged is this: The autofilter function on these boards is very archaic. It will halt your posts if it includes words that are considered inappropriate even if those inappropriate words are found within another. E.g. Const!tution contains the word t!t. Circ-umstance has the word c-um. And Any reference to s'ex has to be broken up. That makes communicating that much harder. Now you can rest a-ssured that your tagged posts have nothing to do with your over eager willingness to make yourself out as a victim of the big bad liberal media.

      September 14, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
    • Frogist

      @bumwad: You may be right but who would be so mean to their dog.

      September 14, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
    • Frogist

      @t nordine: Peace and love to you.

      September 14, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
    • honestanon

      The Bite Me remark was intended as nothing more than well-placed satire; lighten up. Remember, we here in America enjoy a little fun now and then... that may be difficult for you to relate to. Do you really want to get into the sema-ntics and global definition of "rude and condescending?" Go ask Daniel Pearl's widow if she thinks her husband was treated "rudely".

      September 14, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  19. t nordine

    Peace and love ,that all we need.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
    • honestanon

      You know...

      September 14, 2010 at 2:47 am |
    • frogman

      RELIGION

      Assailants stab, beat Christian worshippers outside of Indonesia's capital
      Published September 12, 2010 | Associated Press
      Print Email Share Comments (599) Text Size
      BEKASI, INDONESIA – BEKASI, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's president ordered police to hunt down and arrest assailants who stabbed a Christian worshipper in the stomach and beat a minister in the head with a wooden plank as they headed to prayers.

      September 14, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  20. peace2all

    Out of the 1.5 billion muslim's on the planet, any person who would swipe every practicing muslim as a 'terrorist' or someone who practices Islam, that it is not a religion of peace is not a very thinking nor tolerant and peace-minded person to make such extreme over-generalizations.

    Yes.... there are the 'extremis' muslim's and the 'extremist' christians, etc..... Stop spreading the hate....

    Peace.....

    September 13, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      Islam is a Religion of Inner Peace. it brings tranquility and contentment to a person's soul. Collectively, a large mass of such persons will also result in relative peace in society at large. That is why it is mis-labelled in English as "Religion of Peace", a label which seems to reflect primarily "outer peace".

      September 14, 2010 at 1:28 am |
    • savas

      Look why don't you prove to us just how Islam and Moslems are tolerant by building a Church and a Temple in Mecca so Christians and Jews can go there and pray, just like we have afforded you the opportunity to practice your religion in our lands.
      this would be ideal as Islam is trying to build a Mosque on ground Zero and have used the religious tolerance argument, so come on everytime you want to build an Islamic something you allow us to do the same in Mecca.

      September 14, 2010 at 2:23 am |
    • honestanon

      “Cordoba,” in Islamic symbolic terms, means Islamic rule in the West. It does not mean “coexistence,” unless coexistence is interpreted as referring to Islamic rule. Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs cites the article (original in Arabic) published by Iraqi-American Khudhayr Taher on 18 May, in which Taher explains the following:

      We must note that a hostile and provocative name [Cordoba] has been chosen for this mosque…Choosing the name ‘Cordoba House’ for the mosque to be constructed in New York was not coincidental or random and innocent. It bears within it significance and dreams of expansion and invasion [into the territory] of the other, [while] striving to change his religion and to subjugate him…

      September 14, 2010 at 2:46 am |
    • gene1o

      well, peace2all is obviously a commie, terrorist, agitator. there will only be peace when we right-foot baptists (wash it first), have killed off all the left-footers, and everybody else who doesn't agree with all 23 of us. it may take some time but god is on our side.

      September 14, 2010 at 2:55 am |
    • Rob

      Quotes from the Quran:
      O mankind! We created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know and honor each other (not that you should despise one another). Indeed the most honorable of you in the sight of God is the most righteous.

      Repel (evil) with what is better. Then will he, between whom and thee was hatred, become as it were thy friend and intimate. And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint.

      Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden (paradise) whose width is that of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous – Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity or in adversity, who restrain (their) anger and pardon (all) men – for God loves those who do good.

      God does not forbid you to be kind and equitable to those who have neither fought against your faith nor driven you out of your homes. In fact God loves the equitable.

      Quotes from the Bible:
      love your neighbor.

      love your enemies.

      Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

      live at peace with everyone.

      whoever spreads slander is a fool

      let your conversation always be full of grace.

      Seems like these two religions have very similar principles on treating God's fellow man.

      September 14, 2010 at 3:35 am |
    • Sam

      @savas
      so, is there a mosque anywhere near where the pope lives? saudi arabia wasnt built to separate religion and state, USA was. and USA is not a christian country, nor of any other religion. that is a great thing and many countries are following. e.g. bangladesh has become a religion neutral country from a muslim country (they never had sharia law there, not all muslim countries do, yet they made that step)
      and to everybody else, please stop taking words out of context from quran, the same can be done to any religious books to make everything look wrong

      September 14, 2010 at 7:59 am |
    • US

      Facts:
      1- Saudi Arabia population is only 20 million or so! rest of the over 1.4 billion Muslims doesn't live in Saudi Arabia.
      2- There are thousands of churches in Pakistan
      3- Pakistan flag's White color represents the Christians, Hindu, Sikhs etc minorities.
      4- In Pakistan Christmas day is a national holiday. (Lets see what happened if Muslims wants to have their religious day as national holiday in USA)
      5- See history of Christian Schools in Pakistan, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Roman_Catholic_schools_in_Pakistan

      Peace

      September 14, 2010 at 8:21 am |
    • frogman

      A cleric of hard-line Muslims has constructed a mosque on a Christian cemetery in Pakistan.

      Muslims in Sargodha, Pakistan, were led by a hard-line cleric to construct the mosque at that particular location. It was originally believed the workers were building an addition to the already existing mosque, but the group has been desecrating Christians' graves. According to the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), the government issued an order to halt construction, but building resumed in spite of that.

      September 14, 2010 at 8:39 am |
    • frogman

      FIVE Muslim men planned an armed terrorist attack on a Sydney army base to further the cause of Islam by killing as many people as possible, a Supreme Court jury heard today.

      September 14, 2010 at 8:45 am |
    • Abu Qassam

      Yeah Islam is a religion of peace. Most plow the field in peace. Read more at http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Arlandson/women_fields.htm

      September 14, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      FIVE TY THOUSAND Christian men planned an armed invasion of Iraq army to further the cause of christianity? freedom? by killing as many people as necessary, NO Supreme Court jury heard of it so far seven years later.

      September 14, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
    • Just_Wondering

      (B)iraq:

      "...you are not sincere about worshipping God, because if you were, you would simply become Muslim and go to the mosque. Islam does not allow insincere people to build temples in its midst."

      I am an atheist/agnostic, and even I regard those words as those of an arrogant twit (and most likely just a troll).

      I would not want to even build a banana stand in that fantasy-world Arabian Disneyland.

      September 14, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • peace2all

      @gene1o

      You said..."Peace2all is obviously a commie, a terrorist and an agitator"

      Are you F****** kidding me...? I am trying to create more peace and tolerance.... and your finely vailed metaphor of 'killing the left foot' ...It may take time, but god will get his way....

      Who is the terrorist and agitator here...... My guess, pal it is you.....

      And I still wish you Peace..... regardless of your hatred, bigotry and intolerance.....

      September 14, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
    • T.B.

      I, as an American, am offended by Americans kidnapped, beheaded, and hanging from bridges. So I don't give a damn about any muslim who feels offended about a koran burning. I am tired of hearing "islam means peace" after every terrorist attack. I am sure all American soldiers feel safer knowing that the koran not being burned keeps them from attack. Police yourselves. How about loudly denouncing the terrorism? Scared of the reprisal from other "peaceful muslims"?

      September 14, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
    • honestanon

      @ T.B. Ask ANY muslin, moderate or not, if they denounce any terrorism, including 9/11, and consider it to be against the teachings of the Koran.

      Wait for the answer....

      September 14, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
    • honestanon

      OOoooh, yeah, I see that I typed muslim with an nnnn,
      Sorry, folks. See, on the American keyboard the – n- is next to the -m- .. and sometimes we make a mistake.
      But Americans are in the habit of correcting our mistakes. When we realize them.

      September 14, 2010 at 9:06 pm |
    • kayen

      Lets see what the FALSE Profit Mohammed really teaches: Slay the idolators [non-Muslims] wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the last Day…. Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah! (Sura 9:5,29,41). Sura 5:51: “O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he among you that turns to them for friendship is of them.” 8:59-60 “Let not the unbelievers think that they can get the better (of the godly): they will never frustrate (them). Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of God and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom God doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of God, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly.” 9.123 “O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you”
      Islam is a religion of Peace only to other Muslims, everyone else is an enemy to Islam... Educate yourselves America. Don't be fooled by the people who tout tolerance when they have no knowledge of the topic for which they speak.

      September 15, 2010 at 4:33 am |
    • Andrew D

      one thing I have come to learn on this rock is that feeling are dangerous , it's a feeling that say hurt that says hate that says love that mans wife but when I MOVE THE FEELING'S ASIDE I'm left with the truth which is wisdom , did of all the terror that has been done on this rock, was the wisdom of reason able to defeat it ? than why should I fear now I will stand in the face of this storm as those before me .

      September 15, 2010 at 5:30 am |
    • Scruce

      biblebelievers.org.au/moongod.htm go to this website and LEARN THE TRUTH about islam.

      September 15, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
    • billie123

      See, this is the problem with muslims NOT Islaam but muslims. the many sects.... If one takes anyone other then Muhammud (peace be upon him), as a prophet then he is considered a non muslim. end of story. They are not muslim! so why say they are? its like christians not believing in christ. strange.... and sad

      September 15, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • whatupcat

      Ahmadi Muslims are not Muslims in the eyes of Muslims, so how does this relate to "Trying to define Islam as a religion of peace?" For those of you who are not paying attention, extreamist muslims want to kill us, and the silent moderate muslims fund the efforts of the extremists.

      September 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
    • Mary

      This is for Savas. They do have it .. if you look at muslim based countries they do have churches and temple and they are protectly (especially in turkey) and they do have a 99 point something muslim population. Dont assume muslims dont respect other believes but other beliefs other then islam do.. GROW UP and look outside..

      September 16, 2010 at 2:16 am |
    • Mary

      Soemthing just occured to me. I have noticed in the past it was against the communists (cold war) and now the target is on islam.. they govt needs to look good and put someone down somewhere in history

      September 16, 2010 at 2:23 am |
    • Questsal78

      To Rob: God bless you, you have a good head on your shoulder. All three religions Christianity, Islam and Judaism is only for guidance of humanity, to be successfull in eternal life. Atleast some one knows what is Quran and Islam.

      September 16, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
    • Questsal78

      Here are only few verses from Quran:

      2:256 “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error. Whoever rejects false worship and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things.”

      16:82 But if they turn away from you, (O Prophet remember that) your only duty is a clear delivery of the Message (entrusted to you).

      6:107 Yet if God had so willed, they would not have ascribed Divinity to aught besides him; hence, We have not made you their keeper, nor are you (of your own choice) a guardian over them.

      4:79, 80 (Say to everyone of them,) 'Whatever good betides you is from God and whatever evil betides you is from your own self and that We have (O Prophet) sent you to mankind only as a messenger and all sufficing is God as witness. Whoso obeys the Messenger, he indeed obeys God. And for those who turn away, We have not sent you as a keeper."

      I will leave to readers to conclude.

      September 16, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
    • Questsal78

      Verses from Quran to human race:

      2:256 “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error. Whoever rejects false worship and
      believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things.”

      16:82 But if they turn away from you, (O Prophet remember that) your only duty is a clear delivery of the Message (entrusted to you).

      6:107 Yet if God had so willed, they would not have ascribed Divinity to aught besides him; hence, We have not made you their keeper, nor are you (of your own choice) a guardian over them.

      4:79, 80 (Say to everyone of them,) 'Whatever good betides you is from God and whatever evil betides you is from your own self and that We have (O Prophet) sent you to mankind only as a messenger and all sufficing is God as witness. Whoso obeys the Messenger, he indeed obeys God. And for those who turn away, We have not sent you as a keeper."

      I'll leave to your wisdom to conclude.

      September 16, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • Bonnie

      I wish CNN would report on the origins and principles of Islam. From the beginning the "religion "has espoused fear, violence when necessary. It has no room for questioning because the sayings of the prophet are thought to be the word of god. The prophet espoused beating ( light) of women, and had no hesitation in making war on people when they were in his way . Yes, it was an old testament type of religion, but we live in the modern world. Currently , sects and even divisions of the religion such as the Shiites are not tolerated by Sunni muslims. A further example of fear mongering is that recently the developer of the ground zero mosques said that the mosque cannot be moved because Muslims in other countries will as a result be violent. Once again fear and intimidation.., The Koran is full of double speak, preserve life, but wage war, duty to wage jihad, but interestingly not one muslim seems to have an issue with the contradictions, I unfortunately have come to believe they have been beaten down by fear. The Iman of the proposed Mosque, says that we were an accesory to the 9/11 crime. How does CNN defend these guys?

      September 18, 2010 at 1:23 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.