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February 21st, 2011
06:00 AM ET

My Take: Cancel bigoted hearings targeting U.S. Muslims

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

According to a new poll, a slim majority - 56 percent - of Americans support upcoming congressional hearings into alleged extremism in the U.S. Muslim community. However, nearly three-quarters - 72 percent - think Congress should not look for religious extremism only among American Muslims.

These hearings on "the radicalization of the American Muslim community and homegrown terrorism” are being overseen by Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York and the new chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. They are slated to begin March 7.

On February 1, a group of 51 faith-based, human rights and civil rights organizations, led by Muslim Advocates, called on House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to urge King and his committee to address all forms of religious extremism rather than focusing on Islam.

After King refused to broaden the scope of his hearings, more than 80 religious leaders from Long Island - an area King represents - called on the congressman on February 17 to cancel his hearings, on the theory that “the singling out of the Muslim community undermines fundamental American values and is counterproductive to improving national security.”

Although King has refused to investigate other religious extremists in his hearings, he has seemed to moderate his anti-Islamic rhetoric, prompting Pamela Geller of Stop Islamization of America to complain that his lineup of possible witnesses includes too many people who are too soft on Islam. “It appears that this will be a show trial,” Geller writes.

I couldn’t agree more, but I disagree with Geller about what sort of farce the U.S. Congress will be putting on.

In their letter to King, Long Island’s religious leaders urged their representative to “remember the lessons of history”:

During World War II, Japanese Americans were deprived of their rights and forced into internment camps because of blanket distrust of their commitment to our country. The McCarthy hearings became a shameful national spectacle that falsely impugned the loyalty and destroyed the lives of many Americans. Catholics were once demonized as threats to democracy beholden to a foreign power. Jews and African Americans have faced centuries of suspicion and prejudice.

Given this history, American citizens should be vigilant about opposing any effort to target groups on the basis of their race or religion. And our elected representatives should be especially careful to avoid any appearance of using their power for similar attacks. King’s proposed hearings do not meet this test.

I have no problem with the U.S. Congress listening to testimony about the “radicalization” of Islam in America. As I have written repeatedly, I believe that the world's religions, Islam included, are both toxic and tonic, powerful forces for evil as well as good.

The problem with King's approach is his refusal to listen to testimony about, for example, the “radicalization” of American Christianity. Throughout America’s history Christian extremists (in the form of the Ku Klux Klan, for example) have posed a far greater threat to our nation’s health than extremists of any other religion.

Only time will tell whether we are living in the midst of a new McCarthyism. I certainly hope we are not. But the proposed hearings are bigoted in design, and should be either canceled or reworked to avoid the appearance that the U.S. Congress - whose members are 90 percent Christian - is using its power, contrary to clear meaning of the establishment clause of the First Amendment, to promote Christianity at the expense of other religions.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Culture wars • Islam • New York • Opinion • Politics • Polls

« Previous entry
soundoff (501 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    Al-Hajj sura 22: 
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    O mankind! A similitude is coined, so pay ye heed to it: Lo! those on whom ye call beside Allah will never create a fly though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly took something from them, they could not rescue it from it. So weak are (both) the seeker and the sought! (73) They measure not Allah His rightful measure. Lo! Allah is Strong, Almighty. (74).

    It follows that the Quran ch-all-en-ges the mankind by two scientific miracles:
    1) mankind can never create a fly and 2) if the fly should sn-at-ch away anything from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly (they can never take it back from the fly)
    Then, what is the co-n-clu-si-on?
    Not only the fly is we-ak but man also is as we-ak as a fly.
    It is said that:" The first step to know the truth is by knowing yourself"
    Can find more if searched for following;
    (the fly in bible and quran by; Ibrahim Khalil) 

    February 21, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • Muneef

      For religious believers more interesting subjects to read here (http://www.articlesbase.com/authors/profdr-ibrahim-khalil/14726)

      February 21, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
  2. Muneef

    Told believers are not to fight against each other for and about faith ;

    Al-Hajj
    Unto each nation have We given sacred rites which they are to perform; so let them not dispute with thee of the matter, but summon thou unto thy Lord. Lo! thou indeed followest right guidance. (67) And if they wrangle with thee, say: Allah is best aware of what ye do. (68) Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection concerning that wherein ye used to differ. (69) Hast thou not known that Allah knoweth all that is in the heaven and the earth? Lo! it is in a record. Lo! that is easy for Allah. (70) And they worship instead of Allah that for which He hath sent down no warrant, and that whereof they have no knowledge. For evil-doers there is no helper. (71)

    Al-Hajj
    Allah chooseth from the angels messengers, and (also) from mankind. Lo! Allah is Hearer, Seer. (75) He knoweth all that is before them and all that is behind them, and unto Allah all things are returned. (76) O ye who believe! Bow down and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord, and do good, that haply ye may prosper. (77) And strive for Allah with the endeavour which is His right. He hath chosen you and hath not laid upon you in religion any hardship; the faith of your father Abraham (is yours). He hath named you Muslims of old time and in this (Scripture), that the messenger may be a witness against you, and that ye may be witnesses against mankind. So establish worship, pay the poor-due, and hold fast to Allah. He is your Protecting friend. A blessed Patron and a blessed Helper! (78).

    February 21, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  3. The One True Steve

    The most radical sect of Islam is the AhmadIyya Muslims. They believe in "Love for all, hatred for none". They edited the quran and took out all the bad parts. They have their own prophet, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (1835–1908). This is why the rest of islam considers them non-muslim, apostate. Subject to death for non-believers. The ones that kill each other and everyone else are the true believers. They practice Islam the way Mo taught it.

    February 21, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Muneef

      Can not comment on that as have not much knowledge about their beliefs or changes they made...!

      February 21, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  4. Muneef

    The verses under speak as to how old that spot on earth is that Abraham and Son revived,purified the eldest house of worship on earth which was made as a place of cross roads and transit for trade caravans it was as a modern Hub for caravans for the east and west trade (Summer and Winter Caravan Voyages). 
    The place was a place of worship even before Abraham and Son but as seemed died for long time before having Abraham and Son revive,rebuild,purify.

    Then God says that; (And for every nation have We appointed a ritual,that they may mention the name of Allah)?
    meaning people may have different rituals but but in the end the worship should be purely for God Allah and non else of any form...!  

    The God repeatedly speaks reminding the riches to pay the poor-dues, to feed the hungry,to pay or contribute in charities and charities works.

    Those riches and powers in Tunisia were not paying poor-dues or cheat in that? Not feeding hungry or pay charity as should or storing money abroad in banks or holes under ground rather than investing it to generate business and good living for the nation nor even the slightest right of freedom ! The result we had seen of that.
    Egypt had the same faith for being on the same track and now being followed by Libya for same reasons,mostly was told to be freedoms...

    For the people in the west they might be happy with their systems and would never think about doing same as those nations towards their government? Then who would be there to blame for the raise of poverty at least among believers who had always paid dues to Churches? Meaning now How Rich are the Organized Religions that are known say as an example;
    -The Jews (Main and all branches)?
    -The Christians (Catholic/Protestant/All Branches)?
    -The Islamic (Main and all branches)?

    Are those going to the poorest of their country land nations before any other neighboring or overseas nations...! Will those be the second to revolt against by their people after or before overthrowing governments ?           

    Al-Hajj sura 22: 
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    And (remember) when We prepared for Abraham the place of the (holy) House, saying: Ascribe thou no thing as partner unto Me, and purify My House for those who make the round (thereof) and those who stand and those who bow and make prostration. (26) And proclaim unto mankind the pilgrimage. They will come unto thee on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every deep ravine, (27) That they may witness things that are of benefit to them, and mention the name of Allah on appointed days over the beast of cattle that He hath bestowed upon them. Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor unfort-unate. (28) Then let them make an end of their unkemptness and pay their vows and go around the ancient House. (29) That (is the command). And whoso magnifieth the sacred things of Allah, it will be well for him in the sight of his Lord. The cattle are lawful unto you save that which hath been told you. So shun the fi-l-th of idols, and shun lying speech, (30) Turning unto Allah (only), not ascribing partners unto Him; for whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, it is as if he had fallen from the sky and the birds had sn-atched him or the wind had blown him to a far-off place. (31) That (is the command). And whoso magnifieth the offerings con-sec-rated to Allah, it surely is from devotion of the hearts, (32) Therein are benefits for you for an appointed term; and afterward they are brought for sac-rif-ice unto the ancient House. (33) And for every nation have We appointed a ritual, that they may mention the name of Allah over the beast of cattle that He hath given them (for food); and your God is One God, therefor surrender unto Him. And give good tidings (O Muhammad) to the humble, (34) Whose hearts fear when Allah is mentioned, and the patient of whatever may befall them, and those who establish worship and who spend of that We have bestowed on them. (35).

    February 21, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Muneef

      Al-Hajj sura 22: 
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Whose hearts fear when Allah is mentioned, and the patient of whatever may befall them, and those who establish worship and who spend of that We have bestowed on them. (35) And the camels! We have appointed them among the ceremonies of Allah. Therein ye have much good. So mention the name of Allah over them when they are drawn up in lines. Then when their flanks fall (dead), eat thereof and feed the beggar and the suppliant. Thus have We made them subject unto you, that haply ye may give thanks. (36) Their flesh and their blood reach not Allah, but the devotion from you reacheth Him. Thus have We made them subject unto you that ye may magnify Allah that He hath guided you. And give good tidings (O Muhammad) to the good. (37).

      February 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      What does the National Geographic say about if any of those earlier nations were dag and found..? Same would now be mentioned in modern history (The Domino Effect) taking over tyrants.  
       
      Al-Hajj
      Those who, if We give them power in the land, establish worship and pay the poor-due and enjoin kindness and forbid iniquity. And Allah's is the sequel of events. (41) If they deny thee (Muhammad), even so the folk of Noah, and (the tribes of) A'ad and Thamud, before thee, denied (Our messengers); (42) And the folk of Abraham and the folk of Lot; (43) (And) the dwellers in Midian. And Moses was denied; but I indulged the disbelievers a long while, then I seized them, and how (terrible) was My ab-hor-rence! (44) How many a township have We destroyed while it was sinful, so that it lieth (to this day) in ruins, and (how many) a deserted well and lofty tower! (45) Have they not travelled in the land, and have they hearts wherewith to feel and ears wherewith to hear? For indeed it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts, which are within the bosoms, that grow blind. (46).

      February 21, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  5. wwajdblogger

    The reason Rep. King will not include Christian extremism in his hearings is not because he wants to discriminate against Islam. it is because if he included Christian extremism, his hearings would last virtually forever.
    http://www.whatwouldamericanjesusdo.com

    February 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  6. walter

    To a degree that is what i ment. Lots of people think we are a chrstian nation and i find that not true. You yourself can find quotes from our founding fathers say religion is bad and things of the like. For the most part though i think our forefathers would be sickened by the idea of persectuing people based on there believes. Yes there are bad muslums like there are bad chrsitians, mormons, catholics and many other religions. I think alot of christians think they dont have a bad history. Well they are wrong im pretty sure the crusades killed more people than other religions out together. I think this country is going to he-ll in a had basket and i am almost 100% percent disgusted to call my self an american seeing is how we are portraied these days.

    February 21, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Muneef

      Every nation had it's Good and Bad history religious or not!

      February 21, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  7. Bus2

    All religions are inherently immoral, Islam just so happens to be one of the nastier ones.

    February 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Jaded

      Agreed

      February 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Muneef

      Maybe by being more realistic than others, for having an answer for every question,for being a complete living system?

      February 21, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  8. Ryan

    I agree with the author, for once. Singling out Islamic extremism is a bad way to go about it. There are extremists in every culture, including Buddhism (look at the violence in Nepal right now), Hinduism (attacks on Muslims and Christians), Islam (attacks on Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians), Christianity (Philadelphia Abortion Shooter) and, yes, even Atheism (Columbine, Virginia Tech).

    February 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  9. Spirit of sperm and egg

    Them muslins need to be fixed. Their heads are filled with crap – like chriztians!
    All you christsins line up to get sterilized! We don't need none of y'all here in real-stuff-land!

    February 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Ryan

      This coming from a guy who believe's he's from a monkey (might be, based on his spelling). Keep drinking that Kool-Aid they served you in public school, spermy boy. We know you won't have kids, just hairy apes. It might even bring you up the evolutionary ladder.

      February 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  10. Mark from Middle River

    Hey Stephen : Here is a thought. Maybe when CNN, Foxnews and MSNBC stops flashing "Breaking Dire News" stoking the flames of hate and distrust of the Muslim population then there would not be a push for such actions if congress.

    In other words Stephen, look towards media sources, such as the one you draw you paycheck from, as one of the main forces bringing this to the Muslim community. If they need to scare viewers to get ratings why are you surprised that after they sit glued to their TVs that they did not express their fears to their elected congressman.

    February 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Nadine

      No Jews running things at CNN – nope!
      Nobody but Jeeezuuusss works at CNN these days!
      Jeeeezzzuuuussss!
      Oh, wait, Jeeezuuss was a Jew! But now he's been dead for thousands of years so it doesn't matter anyway. Go ahead and pray that their eeeyees be oooppeeennned!
      Aaaayyymmmeeennnn!

      February 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      "Jesus was a jew"
      Hah hah hah.
      Jesus was a Christian, Stupid!

      February 21, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • Muneef

      No Jesus was a Muslim before you made of him a Jew and a Christian....! He was a Muslim from the Children of Israel before it became to be divided into Jews and Christians when God raised him to heavens..

      February 21, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
  11. walter

    I have to say i dont think i have ever been so against what the US and most of its people are doing. I think our founding fathers would be sickened by what the US is doing.

    February 21, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I agree! I'm certain they would be sickened by the degree to which religion is controlling the USA and at the possibility of the USA becoming a theocracy under the leadership of Palin, Beck and CatholicMom-lookallikes. That is what you meant to say, right? :^))

      February 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  12. Reality

    Might as well review all religions while they are at it especially in regards to the Great Angelic Con Game continually played in today's world:

    To wit:

    Joe Smith had his Moroni.

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.
    Some added references to "tink-erbells".

    "Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Apparently hallu-cinations did not stop with Joe Smith.

    newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

    "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."

    Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:
    "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

    And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

    "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."
    "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

    "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

    For added information see the review at:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel

    February 21, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  13. Nonimus

    One of the few times I agree with Steven Prothero.
    Hearings on radicalization makes sense, but there are many examples of Christian radicalization too, e.g. Branch Davidians, Eric Rudolph, Army of God, KKK, etc.
    The move from looking at radical Muslims to McKingism and jinn-hunts is a short slip down a slippery slop.

    February 21, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  14. HotAirAce

    I think the request to review all religions is a subtle and clever way to derail any investigation into religion on a broader basis. If one religion is the target, the others know it is just a matter of time before they become the target. If all religions are under a microscope, the investigation and findings will be watered down – religion will get another "free pass." Either way, the religion "house of cards" gets to stand for a few more (and too many) days.

    February 21, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  15. Luke

    I think Congress should hold hearings regarding the use of religion as a weapon used by politicians. Somehow, I think Rep. King would disagree with me.

    February 21, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • ScottK

      I wonder how much lower our taxes would be if they removed religion from the tax exempt status and stopped handing them our money for their pet projects. Where are the tax policing tea baggers when you need them...

      February 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Luke

      If churches were taxed – and I think they should be – we would have had universal healthcare decades ago.

      February 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • The One True Steve

      That is a great idea ... Why should churches have a tax exemption ... Oh yeah, so the Televangilest can buy Rolls Royces ... Amen

      February 21, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • RMW

      If churches were taxed, shouldn't they get more say in public and social policy?

      February 21, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Luke

      RMW – They already pull influence through non-profit organizations and things like the Parents television counsil and pukey organizations. Might as well take their money.

      February 22, 2011 at 8:35 am |
  16. Mary

    Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_differences_between_a_Muslim's_beliefs_and_a_Christian's_beliefs#ixzz1EbLyN7bu

    Differences from Christian beliefs:

    •Muslims do not believe that Jesus was the literal Son of God. They believe that he was a Prophet of God.

    •Muslims do not believe in the trinity.
    •Muslims do not believe that Jesus was crucified.
    •Muslims do not believe in the "original sin" and that all people are inherently sinful. They believe that sin is an action that goes against God.
    •Muslims do not believe that Eve was made from Adam's rib. They believe that man and woman were created equally from the same spirit.
    •Muslims do not believe that they should act to convert people of other faiths.
    •There is no priesthood in Islam. Any association with God is direct and personal, without the mediation of priest or imam (Islamic learned scholar). For Christians, any relationship with God must be through Jesus Christ.

    Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_differences_between_a_Muslim's_beliefs_and_a_Christian's_beliefs#ixzz1EbM8Tsdd

    February 21, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I was pretty sure I'm an atheist, but based on the above, I might be a muslim! But that can't be 'cause I don't believe it is OK to cover up child abuse of 10+ year old girls by calling it marriage.

      February 21, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • The One True Steve

      @Mary. ...Muslims do not believe that they should act to convert people of other faiths ...

      Sura 8.12 "Remember thy lord has inspired the angels with the message. Give firmness to the believers and instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers. Smite them above their necks and smite the fingertips of them."
      Sura 9.5 "When the sacred months have passed, kill the idolaters whereever you find them."

      Sura 47.4 "When you encounter the unbelievers, Strike off their heads. Untill you have made a wide slaughter among them tie up the remaining captives."

      Yep, your right ... It's more peaceful this way...

      February 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  17. johnee

    Stephen has a weak grasp of the destruction and backwardness islam has caused the middle east since it took hold 1400 years ago and the chaos islam creates today in the UK and the rest of europe. Does Stephen think islam was spread by fairy dust from tinkerbell? One has to wonder, would Stephen also enter a lions cage at feeding time thinking he would come out just fine?

    February 21, 2011 at 8:23 am |
    • Selfish Gene

      Just look at the Netherlands and Sweden to see what they are really like once they get into government.

      February 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  18. Reality

    Just some of the reasons why there should be Congressional hearings on the terror and horror of Islam in today's world:

    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-combat98,691 – 107,707
    Iraqi civilians killed as of 11/9/2010, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and
    defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

    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) – 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

    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.

    16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

    17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

    18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

    February 21, 2011 at 7:57 am |
  19. The Truth

    Sweet... more radical Christians going after radical Muslims. The irony is that both are Abrahamic faiths and thus for all intents and purposes believe in the same God, yet are at war with one another.

    As the saying goes: "Religion: Giving hope to those living in a world torn apart by religion."

    In terms of the US, we are a country based on FREEDOM. The same freedoms that we as voters are so naively giving away such as us being basically strip searched at the airports now. We are led to believe that we are winning this war, but every single time we are being over-thoroughly patted down in the airport, the terrorists have won. If the terrorists want to strike again, there are a million other ways besides using commercial jets, yet our fear clouds our principles.

    For every evil Muslim there are a bunch of good ones. For every evil Christian there are a bunch of good ones. We are already discriminating based on skin color in Arizona. We are SO worried about the terrorist dangers from Mexico and it's 1,950 mile border, yet you don't see so called Minutemen lining up against the 5,000 mile long Canadian border now do you? I'm sure skin color and xenophobia has nothing to do with it.

    There is NOTHING more important than maintaining our freedoms... even freedoms that we ourselves may disagree with or may never use ourselves. This is because once one freedom gets taken away, it sets a precedent which makes it easier for the next one to be taken from us in the future.

    Our founding fathers were brave men who risked everything for freedom. Today, we look at the Declaration of Independence and think how cool it is. Yet we forget that back then, those men who signed it were basically signing their own death warrants if the British were to have ever captured them. So many men and women died for our rights to have freedom that we need to protect those freedoms and not just carelessly toss them aside at the first sign of uneasiness.

    We are a melting pot. That is what made this country great. Muslims have every right to the same freedoms that Christians have and vice versa.

    We need to start worrying about educating our children and less about xenophobia.

    Peace.

    February 21, 2011 at 7:02 am |
    • Fnordian

      "I'm sure skin color and xenophobia has nothing to do with it." You're right, it doesn't. Past records of illegal immigrants crossing over and either creating drug tunnels (which we don't really see on the Canadian border) or murdering ranchers (again, not seen on the Canadian border) has everything to do with it. Is it commonplace? Of course not. But it's practically nonexistent on the northern border.
      "We are already discriminating based on skin color in Arizona." No, we aren't. There's nothing about that law that is based on skin color. At all. I can see how some folks might fear that as a repercussion, but it's just not reality.

      February 21, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Fnordian

      You said: "We are already discriminating based on skin color in Arizona." No, we aren't. There's nothing about that law that is based on skin color. At all. I can see how some folks might fear that as a repercussion, but it's just not reality."

      I'm from Arizona to. It is a racist state. It took 2 times to pass the King holiday. The Republican pukes here, have declared war on latinos.

      To your statement : "There's nothing about that law that is based on skin color."

      The law obviously would not have anything in it about skin color. But, how many blonde haired, blue eyed people are going to be asked to show proof of citizenship? Or African Americans? Don't be naive. The law targets Latinos.

      Cheers!

      February 21, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • The Truth

      Thank you David for the fine response to Fnordian. Adding on to that, if you don't think there are secret tunnels between Canada and the US, you'd be sadly mistaken. I have dual US and Canadian citizenship, so I think I can speak to that.

      Never to mind the fact that it would be MUCH easier for a terrorist to get into the US via Canada than via Mexico. For instance, a terrorist from Afghanistan would only need to enter China and Russia in order to get to the US. Once in Russia, they could sail across the Bering Straight which is less than 60 miles wide and land in any remote part of Alaska. From there, they could easily make their way into Canada and then into the US across any one of thousands of unguarded farms straddling the border.

      The fact that you are attempting to use semantics to mask what is going on in Arizona speaks volumes.

      Peace.

      February 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  20. Muneef

    Yunus sura 10:
    The similitude of the life of the world is only as water which We send down from the sky, then the earth's growth of that which men and cattle eat mingleth with it till, when the earth hath taken on her ornaments and is embellished, and her people deem that they are masters of her, Our commandment cometh by night or by day and We make it as reaped corn as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do we expound the revelations for people who reflect. (24) And Allah summoneth to the abode of peace, and leadeth whom He will to a straight path. (25).

    Yunus sura 10:
    For those who do good is the best (reward) and more (thereto). Neither dust nor ignominy cometh near their faces. Such are rightful owners of the Garden; they will abide therein. (26) And those who earn ill-deeds, (for them) requital of each ill-deed by the like thereof; and ignominy overtaketh them – They have no protector from Allah – as if their faces had been covered with a cloak of darkest night. Such are rightful owners of the Fire; they will abide therein. (27).

    February 21, 2011 at 6:32 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.