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.

"Congressman's King's hearings have the danger of portraying all Muslims and Islam as the enemy. And this is absolutely wrong and false. Our common enemy is extremism," said Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, one of the organizers of the rally.

iReport: Images from the protest

He stressed it is possible to be both a devoted Muslim and a loyal American.

Earlier in the day, King defended the hearings on CNN's "State of the Union" program.

"We're talking about al Qaeda," he said. "We're talking about the affiliates of al Qaeda, who have been radicalizing, and 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."

King compared the goal of the hearings to investigating the Mafia within the Italian community or going after the Russian mob.

In New York, protesters waved U.S. flags and held signs that read: "Today, I'm a Muslim too" and "Mr King: Lies & Distortions do not make us more secure."

A rival, much smaller protest supporting the hearings gathered briefly near the rally.

"I don't know what anybody else is thinking, but this war on terror - this isn't some operation overseas. That's part of it. But this war on terror is happening right here, right now and we need to deal with it," said Andy Sullivan, with the Liberty Alliance Coalition.

Meanwhile, at a Muslim community center in Virgina, Denis McDonough, deputy national security advisor to the president, spoke about the need to prevent violent extremism and said U.S. Muslims are part of the solution.

"The bottom line is this - when it comes to preventing violent extremism and terrorism in the United States, Muslim Americans are not part of the problem, you're part of the solution," McDonough said. "Of course, the most effective voices against al Qaeda's warped worldview and interpretation of Islam are other Muslims."

He stressed the need to come together as Americans to promote tolerance.

"We must resolve that, in our determination to protect the nation, we will not stigmatize or demonize entire communities because of the actions of a few. In the United States of America, we don't practice guilt by association. And let's remember that just as violence and extremism are not unique to any one faith, the responsibility to oppose ignorance and violence rests with each of us," he said.

A White House source said McDonough's speech was not meant as a "prebuttal" to King's hearings, while a spokesman said the administration is finalizing its strategy to help stop violent extremism.

The plan includes creating alliances with local Muslim officials and expanding engagement within Muslim communities with the goal of preventing radical violence and identifying extremists.

"This is an important issue, and we welcome congressional interest. This is about our long-term strategy and what works, based on evidence and careful consideration," said White House spokesman Nick Shapiro.

–CNN's Susan Candiotti and Bonney Kapp contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Interfaith issues • Islam • Politics

soundoff (933 Responses)
  1. Dseville

    Go to the website for the "Atheist Conservative" and read the article written by "The Candid Progressive". Better yet purchase his book, "The Handbook for Infidels".

    September 14, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  2. Muneef


    March 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  3. Muneef

    Al-Naml sura 27:
    She said: Lo! kings, when they enter a township, ruin it and make the honour of its people shame. Thus will they do. (34).

    March 10, 2011 at 7:39 am |
  4. Muneef

    America does not want to admit that this redicalization hearing is only meant to target Shiaa's in their fears of Iran regime.

    March 10, 2011 at 7:16 am |
  5. TK

    If you are interested or curious to find out more about Islam as a religion, I suggest you come through the front door . Conversion is optional and those who convert on a regular basis by good will did not die.
    Stop spying on our small children in our schools. Shame on you.
    For many centuries and in many part of the world, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindous and people of other faiths live peacifully.
    They do not need your singling out or discriminating against any particular religion for your own political agenda.
    I suggest if you are brave to discuss the real issues facing our country.
    I have some questions for you.
    1. While my heart was broken by the 9/11 tragedy, were those events the result of US foreign policies in the middle east for the last 100 years? Terrosism has no border and poeple from all faiths died that black day in human history.
    2.Was Bin Laden and his network the creation of the CIA and why?
    3. Why did the US government under George W.Bush and his european allies fail to export democratie to Iraq when it was proven to be a big lie ( under the slogan of weapons of mass deception)
    4. Thousands of Iraquis and American service men and Women died in the Iraq invasion. Why not hold W.Bush and his entire administration accountable. Why are they above the law.
    5.Following the Chaos taht have been taken place in the arab world lately, Why do our officials appear in the news on a regular basis DICTATING that a president or a leader of an arab country needs to leave NOW. To my knowledge the arab people in the middle east did not elect the US government to act on its behalf.
    6.Why is the US government and its european allies using the conflicts in the middle east to promote its arms deals. Leave the arabs alone . They need to fix their problems ( that you help create) alone
    7.What about the news media propaganda used by the US and Europeans Governments to twist people minds and public opinion?
    8. Where does the US government stand in human rights following the shameful atrocities of abu ghrib and other world prisons?
    On a domestic front
    9.How do you plan to reduce the close to 9% unemployment?
    10.How do you plan to reduce our national debt of over 14 TRILLION dollars
    11. How do you plan to stop the property tax hikes and the increased cost of living?
    12.How do you plan to fix our crambling roads and bridges. we pay more and get less in NY.
    13.The world economic crisis started in the US because of greed and corruption. What do you plan to do to hold those responsible accountable?
    14.Do we have a real democracy in the US when elections are influenced by lobbyist and corporate fundings?

    What makes the USA a powerful country is not its government. It is overwhelmingly due to the decency of the majority of the american people.

    Should you decide to ignore all these millions of decent people issues, I suggest you step down and give us our money back.

    March 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Muneef

      Islam became your leaders coat hanger to explain their failure in managing foreign and internal policy...they are good for nothing just another lot of thieves like those leaders that were kicked out of Arabian countries...
      You want change then you have to raise up to grab it otherwise excuses will come on flowing while they eat up the treasures of your country...and come back to you with bags of excuses every time promoting hatred among you...as they only remain in control as long as you remain divided as a nation...so wake up.

      March 9, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  6. Upperhand

    The Five Deceptions of Islam:

    1.) "Islam is a religion of love."
    2.) "Islam is a religion of peace."
    3.) "Allah is just another name for God."
    4.) "We worship Jesus Christ like you do."
    5.) "Koran is the Divine Word of Allah."

    Unlike Islam, Koran, Hadith, etc....Jesus Christ teaches us the following:

    Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, "Which is the first commandment of all?" Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. 'And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." – Mark 12:28-31

    March 9, 2011 at 2:52 am |
  7. Muneef

    What Muslims been told about dealing with disbelievers;
    Al-Kafiroon sura 109:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Say: O disbelievers! (1) I worship not that which ye worship; (2) Nor worship ye that which I worship. (3) And I shall not worship that which ye worship. (4) Nor will ye worship that which I worship. (5) Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion. (6).

    Verses prove that what ever is happening is not religious conflicts but rather political interests...

    March 8, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  8. yd

    These explanations are ridiculous. Ive seen more church violence in the US than islamic violence.
    This is a beyond ridiculous article extremely racist.

    March 8, 2011 at 12:57 am |
  9. Muneef

    Al-Anbiya sura 21:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    We said: O fire, be coolness and peace for Abraham, (69) And they wished to set a snare for him, but We made them the greater losers. (70).

    March 7, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • Muneef

      An-Nasr sura 110:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      When Allah's succour and the triumph cometh (1) And thou seest mankind entering the religion of Allah in troops, (2) Then hymn the praises of thy Lord, and seek forgiveness of Him. Lo! He is ever ready to show mercy. (3)

      March 7, 2011 at 7:22 pm |

    I ,for one,I keep dreaming to an Earth without religions.They are all bad ... ISLAM in the first position,and then christians fallowing at a close, tiny distance.It's all a mascarade and messing around with people's minds.But I guess that I'am gone have to wait for long,and not even my children will be able to live that day....

    March 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  11. oz

    stop balming each other....all religions have good news and try to guide people in a nice way.....but there are small extremist groups that using illiterate people for there political plans in the name of religion...in muslim world its a common technics for politicians to be in power like Iran and etc....i think this is the time to develop a Renaissance in Asia....

    March 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  12. Sadiq

    I wish anyone who wish to say something about islam should read it teachings first, not insulting someone's faith in ignorance. Please chriastian and other anymies of islam, stop genaral classification that we muslim are all terorist, we are the first victims of terorism by our blood and wealth, we loose our lives more than you insulting us. May Allah guide all muslim aright.

    March 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Pras

      The following is adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond’s book: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat:

      Islam is not a religion nor is it a cult. It is a complete system.

      Islam has religious, legal, political, economic and military components. The religious component is a beard for all the other components.

      Islamization occurs when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their so-called ‘religious rights.’

      When politically correct and culturally diverse societies agree to ‘the reasonable’ Muslim demands for their ‘religious rights,’ they also get the other components under the table. Here’s how it works (percentages source CIA: The World Fact Book (2007)).

      As long as the Muslim population remains around 1% of any given country they will be regarded as a peace-loving minority and not as a threat to anyone. In fact, they may be featured in articles and films, stereotyped for their colorful uniqueness:

      United States — Muslim 1.0%
      Australia — Muslim 1.5%
      Canada — Muslim 1.9%
      China — Muslim 1%-2%
      Italy — Muslim 1.5%
      Norway — Muslim 1.8%

      At 2% and 3% they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs:

      Denmark — Muslim 2%
      Germany — Muslim 3.7%
      United Kingdom — Muslim 2.7%
      Spain — Muslim 4%
      Thailand — Muslim 4.6%

      From 5% on they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population.

      They will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature it on their shelves — along with threats for failure to comply. (United States ).

      France — Muslim 8%
      Philippines — Muslim 5%
      Sweden — Muslim 5%
      Switzerland — Muslim 4.3%
      The Netherlands — Muslim 5.5%
      Trinidad &Tobago — Muslim 5.8%

      At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islam is not to convert the world but to establish Sharia law over the entire world.

      When Muslims reach 10% of the population, they will increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions ( Paris –car-burnings) . Any non-Muslim action that offends Islam will result in uprisings and threats ( Amsterdam – Mohammed cartoons).

      Guyana — Muslim 10%
      India — Muslim 13.4%
      Israel — Muslim 16%
      Kenya — Muslim 10%
      Russia — Muslim 10-15%

      After reaching 20% expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings and church and synagogue burning:

      Ethiopia — Muslim 32.8%

      At 40% you will find widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks and ongoing militia warfare:

      Bosnia — Muslim 40%
      Chad — Muslim 53.1%
      Lebanon — Muslim 59.7%

      From 60% you may expect unfettered persecution of non-believers and other religions, sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels:

      Albania — Muslim 70%
      Malaysia — Muslim 60.4%
      Qatar — Muslim 77.5%
      Sudan — Muslim 70%

      After 80% expect State run ethnic cleansing and genocide:

      Bangladesh — Muslim 83%
      Egypt — Muslim 90%
      Gaza — Muslim 98.7%
      Indonesia — Muslim 86.1%
      Iran — Muslim 98%
      Iraq — Muslim 97%
      Jordan — Muslim 92%
      Morocco — Muslim 98.7%
      Pakistan — Muslim 97%
      Palestine — Muslim 99%
      Syria — Muslim 90%
      Tajikistan — Muslim 90%
      Turkey — Muslim 99.8%
      United Arab Emirates — Muslim 96%

      100% will usher in the peace of ‘Dar-es-Salaam’ — the Islamic House of Peace — there’s supposed to be peace because everybody is a Muslim:

      Afghanistan — Muslim 100%
      Saudi Arabia — Muslim 100%
      Somalia — Muslim 100%
      Yemen — Muslim 99.9%

      Of course, that’s not the case. To satisfy their blood lust, Muslims then start killing each other for a variety of reasons.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • piers06

      ISLAM is not a religion.its a political ideology which impose itself by force.

      March 7, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
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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.