September 16th, 2010
10:40 PM ET

New Republic controversy on Islam blog post roils Harvard

From CNN Jerusalem bureau chief Kevin Flower:

A blog post on Islam on the website of the liberal political magazine The New Republic has prompted a torrent of criticism that is roiling the hallowed halls of Harvard University.

Writing about Muslims in America, New Republic editor and former Harvard professor Martin Peretz posted the following on the magazine's site:

"....Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse."

The reaction to Peretz's comments was swift and blistering. New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof called the post an example of how "debased and venomous the discourse about Islam has become" and The Atlantic's James Fallows characterized Peretz's words as "an incredible instance of public bigotry in the American intelligentsia."

After ten days of heavy and sustained criticism from various quarters of academia and media Peretz issued a quasi-apology for his comments, saying he was wrong and embarrassed to have suggested that any group of Americans is not deserving of First Amendment rights. But he defended his description of Muslim attitudes toward the lives of other Muslims, arguing that the comment was "a statement of fact, not value."

Apologies aside, it would appear the controversy has yet to run its course. Today the Boston Globe reported on growing opposition within Harvard University over plans for a daylong celebration of Peretz by some members of the alumni and faculty who have helped raise money for a research fund in his name.

Harvard has released a statement acknowledging that Peretz's web post was " “distressing to many members of our community, and understandably so.’’ The university said it will not move to cancel the celebration and defended Peretz's right of free speech.

Contacted by the Globe, Peretz said, “I was a faithful Harvard teacher, the notion that I have to defend myself when students who I’ve taught over 40 years are honoring me is really a little stupid.’’

- CNN Belief Blog

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

soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Kaminator

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    June 18, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
  2. kapustmaks

    Всем Привет! Кто знает где находится село дебесы?.

    June 1, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
  3. endurbundhorb

    Лучший фильм на твой взгляд !

    Участники форума religion.blogs.cnn.com поделитесь

    Мой – Назад в будущее

    May 30, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Peace2All


      You Said: "Лучший фильм на твой взгляд !

      Участники форума religion.blogs.cnn.com поделитесь

      Мой – Назад в будущее"

      Which translates into English as "Best movie in your opinion!

      Participants of the forum religion.blogs.cnn.com share

      I – Back to the Future"

      Troll... or do you have some obscure point here...?


      May 30, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
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    Hack again?!

    April 25, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  5. seoblogo

    Добротный пост

    April 18, 2011 at 8:32 am |
  6. nitkasumorsdр

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    March 31, 2011 at 9:09 am |
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    October 16, 2010 at 1:55 am |
  8. Abdullah Zahid

    Well, I being a Muslim have become really sad to know all this and this is one of the worst examples of hatred and prejudice against Islam. Muslims are living in America for several decades quite peacefully and all that is happening is the result of US support to the illegal state of Israel. http://www.risingislam.net/

    October 3, 2010 at 3:59 am |
  9. Muneef


    September 23, 2010 at 3:13 am |
  10. Muneef

    "Love for Five and Forget Five"
    Dr. Ibrahim Dremali
    Islamic Center of Greater Austin, Texas
    Video Lecture explains the hadith of the Prophet of the love people have for five things which results in their forgetting of five others.  Must see and Hear for all especially the newly converted Muslims!
    See It On Google:
    http://video. google.com/ videoplay? docid=4192910051 214358923&hl=en

    September 23, 2010 at 1:49 am |
  11. Muneef

    "If you haven't cried, your eyes can't be beautiful."

    Very interesting findings Might grasp your attention:

    Holy Qur'an

    That mention one thing is equal to another ,

    I.e. Men are equal to women. Although this makes sense grammatically ,

    The astonishing fact is that the number of times the word man appears in the Holy Qur'an

    Is 24 and number of times the word woman appears is also 24 ,

    Therefore not only is this phrase correct in

    The grammatical sense but also true mathematically ,

    I.e. 24 = 24.

    Holy Qur'an where it says one thing is like another.

    See below for astonishing result of

    The words mentioned number of times in Arabic

    Holy Qur'an
    Dunia (one name for life) 115.
    Aakhirat (one name for the life After this world) 115

    Malaika (Angels) 88 .Shayteen (Satan) 88
    Life 145 ...... Death 145
    Benefit 50 . Corrupt 50
    People 50 .. Messengers 50
    Eblees (king of devils) 11 . Seek refuge from Eblees 11

    Museebah (calamity) 75 . Thanks 75

    Spending (Sadaqah) 73 . Satisfaction 73

    People who are mislead 17 . Dead people 17

    Muslimeen 41 . Jihad 41

    Gold 8 . Easy life 8
    Magic 60 . Fitnah (dissuasion , misleading) 60

    Zakat (Taxes Muslims pay to the poor) 32 .......

    Barakah (Increasing or blessings of wealth) 32

    Mind 49 . Noor 49
    Tongue 25 . Sermon 25
    Desite 8 . Fear 8

    Speaking publicly 18 . Publicising 18

    Hardship 114 .... Patience 114

    Muhammed 4 . Sharee'ah (Muhammed's teachings) 4

    Man 24. Woman 24

    And amazingly enough have a look how many times
    The following words appear:

    Salat 5 , Month 12 , Day 365 ,

    Sea 32 , Land 13

    Sea + land =

    32+ 13= 45

    Sea = 32/45*100q.= 71.11111111%

    Land = 13/45*100 = 28.88888889%

    Sea + land 100.00%

    Modern science has only recently proven that the water covers

    71.111% of the

    Earth , while the land covers 28.889%.

    Is this a coincidence? Question is that

    Who taught Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) all this? Reply automatically comes in mind that
    ALMIGHTY ALLAH Taught him.

    September 19, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  12. Muneef





    How many Sura are in Holy Quran ?



    How many Verses are in Holy Quran ?



    How many dots are in Holy Quran ?



    How many over bar (zaber) are in Holy Quran ? (FATHA)



    How many under bar ( Zaer ) are in Holy Quran ? (KASRA)



    How many Raque are in Holy Quran ?



    How many stop ( Waqf ) are in Holy Quran ?



    How many Thashdeed are in Holy Quran ?



    How many letters are in Holy Quran ?



    How many pash are in Holy Quran ?



    How many Madd are in Holy Quran ?



    How many words are in Holy Quran ?



    How many parts of Holy Quran ?



    How many time Besmillah Al-Rahmaan Al-Raheem is repeated ?



    How many Sura start with Besmillah Al-Rahmaan Al-Raheem ?



    How many time the word 'Quran' is repeated in Holy Quran ?



    Which is the longest Sura of Holy Quran ?



    Which is the best drink mentioned in Holy Quran ?



    The best eatable thing mentioned in Holy Quran is ?



    Which is the shortest Sura of Holy Quran ?



    The longest verse of Holy Quran is in which Sura?

    Al-Baqarah No.282


    The most disliked thing by the God though Halal is ?



    Which letter is used for the most time in Holy Quran.?



    Which letter is used for the lest time in Holy Quran ?



    Which is the best night mentioned in Holy Quran ?

    Night of Qadar.


    Which is the best month mentioned in Holy Quran ?



    Which is the biggest animal mentioned in Holy Quran ?



    Which is the smallest animal mentioned in Holy Quran ?



    How many words are in the longest Sura of Holy Quran ?



    How many words are in the smallest Sura of Holy Quran ?



    Which Sura of Holy Quran is called the mother of Quran ?

    Sura Hamd


    How many Sura start with Al-Hamdullelah ?

    Five_ Hamd, Inaam, Kahf, Saba & Fatr.


    Which Sura has the same number of verses as the number of Sura of Holy Quran ?

    Taqveer, 114 verses.


    How many Sura's name is only one letter ?

    Three, Qaf, Sad & Noon.


    How many Sura start with word " Inna " ?

    Four sura – Fatha, Nuh,Qadr, Qausar.


    Which Sura has the number of its verses equal to the number of Masumeen ?

    Saf, 14 verses.


    Which sura are called Musabbahat ?

    Esra, Hadeed, Hsar, Juma, Taghabun & Aala.


    How many sura are Makkahi and how many are Madni ?

    Macci 86, Madni 28.


    Which sura is on the name of tribe of Holy Prophet ?



    Which sura is called the heart of Holy Quran ?



    In which sura the name of Allah is repeated five time ?

    Sura al-Haj.


    Which sura are named Azaiam ?

    Sajdah, Fusselat, Najum & Alaq.


    Which sura is on the name of one Holy war ?

    Sura Ahzaab.


    Which sura is on the name of one metal ?

    Sura Hadeed


    Which sura does not starts with Bismellah ?

    Sura Tauba.


    Which sura is called ' Aroos-ul-Quran ?

    Sura Rehman.


    Which sura is considered as 1/3 of holy Quran ?

    Sura tauheed.


    The name of how many sura are with out dot ?

    Hamd, Raad, Toor, Room, Masad.


    In which sura Besmillah came twice ?

    Sura Naml.


    How many sura start with the Initials ( Mukette'at )

    29 Sura.


    Which Sura was revealed twice ?

    Sura Hamd.


    In which Sura the back biter are condemned ?

    Sura Humzah.


    In which Sura the name of Allah is repeated in every verse ?

    Sura Mujadala.


    In which Sura the letter 'Fa' did not come ?



    Which Sura are called Muzetain ?

    Falk & Nas.


    Which are those Sura if their name are reversed remain the same ?

    Lael & Tabbat.


    Which is that Sura if its first letter is remove becomes the name of one of the city of Saudi Arab?



    Which Sura start with word ' Tabara Kallazi' '

    Mulk & Furkan


    Macci Sura were revealed in how many years ?

    13 years


    Madani Sura were revealed in how many years ?

    10 years.


    Which sura start with word Kad ?

    Mujadala & Momenoon.


    Which Sura is related to Hazrat Ali ?

    Sura Adiat.


    How many Sura are in 30th. Chapter ?



    Which sura every verse ends with letter 'Dal ' ?



    Which Sura is revealed in respect of Ahllelbayet ?

    Sura Dahr.


    Which sura every verse ends with letter ' Ra '



    In which sura the creation of human being is mentioned ?

    Sura Hijr V-26.


    In which sura the regulations for prisoner of war is mentioned ?

    Sura Nesa


    Which sura is having the laws about marriage ?

    Sura Nesa.


    Which sura if its name is reversed becomes the name of one bird ?

    Sura Room.


    In which sura the story of the worship of cow of Bani Esra'iel is mentioned ?

    Sura Taha.


    In which sura the law of inheritance is mentioned?

    Sura Nesa.


    In which sura the Hegira of Holy Prophet is mentioned ?

    Sura Infall.


    In which Sura the 27 Attributes of God are mentioned ?

    Sura Hadeed.

    September 19, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  13. Muneef

    A Beautiful story about QURAN.
    Why do we read Quran, even if we can't understand a single Arabic word???
    *An old American Muslim lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading his Quran. His grandson wanted to be just like him and tried to imitate him in every way he could.
    One day the grandson asked, "Grandpa! I try to read the Quran just like you but I don't understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Qur'an do?"
    The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and replied, "Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket of water.
    The boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out before he got back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, "You'll have to move a little faster next time," and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again. This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket, and he went to get a bucket instead.
    The old man said, "I don't want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You're just aganot trying hard enough," and he went out the door to watch the boy try in.
    At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got back to the house. The boy again dipped the basket into river and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, "See Grandpa, it's useless!"
    "So you think it is useless?" The old man said, "Look at the basket."
    The boy looked at the basket and for the first time realized that the basket was different. It had been transformed from a dirty old coal basket and was now clean, inside and out.
    Son, that's what happens when you read the Qur'an . You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, you will be changed, inside and out when you read time by time . That is the work of Allah in our lives.."
    The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh & his family) says: *"The one who guides to good will be rewarded equally"

    September 19, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  14. Arshad Chaudhry

    So pleased to see some positive comments but at the same time pretty sad to see the level of bigotry that exists in the most civilised nation on earth. I live in England where despite the damage done in recent years due to Mr Bush's war on terror, such bigotry is unheard of. Public reaction to matters like burning the Quran and the Muslim community centre near ground zero show how the neo-con agenda has permeated American society, one that was the flag bearer of liberty in the world.
    We shouldn't be arguing about who killed more, there is little doubt that Americans are on the podium, way ahead of anyone.
    Let us talk about how we can stop this madness..

    September 19, 2010 at 11:31 am |
    • peace2all

      @Arshad Chaudhry

      Well said... Thank you for your comments and perspective from over in the UK.....

      Peace to you.....

      September 19, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  15. Muneef

    @peace2all, How can I believe or trust any one speaks bad and lies about my belief I am Arabic from Yemen and Muslim and no one can turn me against my race or belief. It is true that there are so many lies and fake informations are being fed to Internet by enemies of Arabs and Muslims but that was meant to mislead the non Muslims and not for us since we know where we stand and well aware of our religion and the teachings of Islam ? So really there is nothing about it to decide. Unless you mean that he will turn attacking me just as he does with you well in such case I cannot judge the whole Americans for the doings of one lunatic, can I? So don't worry this is one of the tax's that has to be paid for the freedom of speech that widen the gap between your nation unity allowing who ever comes and settles in America to open his mouth cursing others in the name of America and then you wonder the cause of hatred building up among your unity and among your neighbors.but what surprises me is how the filters are not flagging him? Or does it only work on people speaking of good and reason?? Thanks again

    September 19, 2010 at 3:58 am |
    • peace2all


      No problem friend... As you can see from his postings above......He even is attacking me...! and... a lot of others he calls 'trolls' even though as you can see from my posts... I wish nothing but Peace to you.. and all other peace loving beings of this world.

      @honestanon knows how to get around the blog 'filters' with his (hate filled ) speech towards you and all muslim's.

      I am so very sorry for people like him. Please don't judge this hate filled man .....by the rest of of us *good-kind-and peace loving Americans.*

      Again Muneef.... I wish you Peace....

      September 19, 2010 at 4:08 am |
  16. Muneef

    @peace2all, I deeply thank you for your warning I just saw few of what he wrote in other blogs and just commented on few and if he has some hatred it's must be for a reason that's would please me to find out what.
    Don't miss understand me but since we are talking about peace then we have to use the term friend although we have a saying that says if you are to be cautious from your enemy once then you have to be cautious from your Friend Ten times! I think you say some thing close to that it says (With friends like these who needs enemies) ?. Until I hear what he has to say I can not judge what he has deep in his heart...
    Thank you so much for caring and I appreciate it. God bless.

    September 19, 2010 at 2:52 am |
    • peace2all


      No problem.... I only wish Peace...... As you can see from his videos and postings all over any article to do with ISLAM he is spewing forth hatred. Anyone can put together videos from the web and show 'any' of the bad.... and that is ALL he is doing.

      Trust me.... He.(@HONESTANON) has not only been attacking you, and ISLAM, but also, others like myself who are trying to stop the spreading of hatred against Muslim's and Islam.

      I know a lot of Muslim's....I am proud to call them friends. They are kind and decent people who 'only' want peace in this world. They are nothing like what @HONESTANON is attempting as propoganda (hatred) towards Muslims.

      He has been attacking me, spreading lies and also attacking a lot of others on these blogs who are not in agreement with him.

      Anyway.... I wanted to warn you....'YOU" certainly make your own decisions......about what to believe and who to trust.

      Again, I wish you Peace......

      September 19, 2010 at 3:05 am |
  17. Muneef

    OK just saw your message and agree any time you are welcome bye and thanks.

    September 19, 2010 at 2:38 am |
  18. Muneef

    Anon or Abu Anon, this name is as we call Shami meaning from Sham normally Palestinian or Syrian or Jordan or Libnan? That if I got it right. Any way Salam be upon you and welcome.

    September 19, 2010 at 2:03 am |
    • peace2all


      We spoke earlier, as I was wishing you and all peace loving muslims peace....

      This person...@HONESTANON--Has been inciting 'hatred' towards all muslims. He is not your friend. Read some of his posts on any of the articles having to do with ISLAM. You will see all of the videos that he is spewing out to attempt to incite hatred.

      This person has also been attacking others of us who are attempting to spread peace..... Just be warned if you wish to speak with this person.

      I and others have been on these blogs since the begining...he @HONESTANON is a new comer....and his tactics are very similar to a very bad person in our worlds past called HITLER. You are probably aware of this name in history.

      I wish you peace......

      September 19, 2010 at 2:27 am |
  19. Muneef

    @Dear Honest-Anon, time reads at yours as 1.31am while here at mine it is 8.35 am and still with out sleep and seems would have to go to office with out sleep because of this crazy blog which I began to like but promise you any time a receive your message I will answer to it but will try it be at good mood since life now a day does not offer us much of that any more.

    September 19, 2010 at 1:41 am |
    • honestanon

      Certainly agree. I am bleary-eyed as well. We'll pick this up at a later day. Thank you in advance.

      September 19, 2010 at 1:47 am |
  20. Muneef

    @Well Honestanon, will try with my best of knowledge and how we were brought up to think but after all only will be my views that others might not like but this is life you can get all to believe or accept your views.
    About Critter I will not miss judge him as he guided me to either say Good or Rather shut up and that's what's the Quran instruct us to do therefore I thank him for reminding me...
    Please go ahead with questions although it's becoming late but for the sake of truth to avail I will try to go along with you with no lie from my side and the thing I do not know about I will say do not know since this the Quran tells us to say towards any Fatwa. Thanks and welcome.

    September 19, 2010 at 1:31 am |
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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.