Protesters rally in NY ahead of hearings on radical Islam
March 6th, 2011
06:37 PM ET

Protesters rally in NY ahead of hearings on radical Islam

Editor's Note: CNN’s Soledad O’Brien chronicles the dramatic fight over the construction of a mosque in the heart of the Bible belt. “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door”, airs Sunday, March 27 at 8 p.m. E.T.

By the CNN Wire Staff

Religious leaders, community members and activists took to the streets Sunday in New York to protest upcoming congressional hearings, convened by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King, on "the radicalization of American Muslims."

Demonstrators stood underneath umbrellas in a cold, sideways rain as speakers in Times Square addressed the crowd. Many said the hearings unfairly target Islam and warned they could stoke fear and fuel violence against the wider Muslim community.

Congress is scheduled to begin the hearings this week under the direction of King, R-New York.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Interfaith issues • Islam • Politics

March 6th, 2011
12:27 PM ET

Congressmen disagree over 'premise' of hearing on radicalization of Muslim America

By Rebecca Stewart, CNN

Washington (CNN)– Republican Rep. Peter King of New York says "something from within" the Muslim community is a "threat" to America that needs to be explored.

The issue will be discussed in the upcoming week as King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, holds hearings on the radicalization of Muslim Americans. Democratic Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, openly disagreed with the premise of the hearings as King gave a preview Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley of what will be discussed Thursday on the Hill.

"I challenge the basic premise of the hearings," Ellison said. "We should deal with radicalization and violent radicalization, but that singling out one community is the wrong thing to do."

But for King, the goal is to investigate the source of the "threat." He compared the goal of the hearings to investigating the Mafia within the Italian community or going after the Russian mob in "the Russian community in Brighton Beach and Coney Island."

"We're talking about al Qaeda," King said. "There's been self radicalization going on within the Muslim community, within a very small minority, but it's there and that's where the threat is coming from at this time."

Read the full story from CNN's Political Ticker about Candy Crowley's interview with Rep. Peter King and Rep Keith Ellison.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 9/11 • Belief • Church and state • DC • Islam • Muslim • Politics • TV-State of the Union • United States

March 6th, 2011
12:15 PM ET

Celibacy and the priesthood

CNN's Becky Anderson talks with Father Alberto Cutie, an American priest who was at the center of a celibacy scandal.  Anderson asked Cutie if he would have announced his affair if he had not been caught by the paparazzi cannonading on a beach with a woman.  At the time he was a prominent Catholic priest in Miami, Florida.  Today Cutie is a priest in an Episcopal church.

Cutie was CNN-I's connector of the day.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Episcopal • Florida • Mass • TV • United States

Doomsdays throughout time
March 6th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

A look at the ways the world could end

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Think you’ve got a prediction for when and how the world will end? Get in line.

A caravan of RVs is now touring the country to warn people about the end of the world (they say it will happen May 21), but they're hardly the first ones to embark on such a mission.

Throughout time, and across continents and belief systems, humankind has dished out enough end dates to fill a doomsday menu.

The backgrounds of the people who serve them up may differ, as might the details of what will unfold, but the general apocalyptic worldview is nothing original, says Lorenzo DiTommaso, an associate professor of religion at Concordia University in Montréal, Quebec and author of the forthcoming book, “The Architecture of Apocalypticism.”

“It’s a philosophy that explains time, space and human existence,” DiTommaso says. And by buying into this sort of outlook, a person can find comfort in a “comprehensive answer.”


- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Death • End times • Faith • Jesus

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.