March 7th, 2011
01:36 PM ET

Muslim hearings: Shining a light or turning up the heat?

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 Dave Schechter, CNN Senior National Editor

The inference in the rabbi’s question could not be missed.

“I know that, at the Olympics, when I see the American get a gold medal and they play ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ I cry,” the rabbi said. “So my question is, if an American Muslim sees somebody getting a gold medal for the United States and they play ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ do they cry?”

The rabbi was one of 200 or so people who came to an Atlanta temple for an event titled “Understanding the Quran,” sponsored by the Southeast Branch of the Anti-Defamation League and the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta. The question was directed to the guest speaker, an American Muslim professor who teaches about Islam at a highly regarded university near Boston.

Looking around the sanctuary, I saw more than one person among the 200 or so present had arched an eyebrow and displayed a look of amazement that such a question would be asked; some with the particular knowledge that American Jews have faced questions of whether their loyalty is divided between the United States and Israel.

The American Muslim answered politely, telling the rabbi that, yes, he roots for the American athletes to win at the Olympics. “I cry,” the visiting scholar assured him.

I recalled witnessing this exchange back when thinking about the upcoming hearings organized by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee on whether American Muslims pose a threat to the United States.

“My first goal is just to have people even acknowledge this as a real issue," King told The Washington Post. "This politically correct nonsense has kept us from debating and discussing what is one of this country's most vital issues. We are under siege by Muslim terrorists."

“Siege” is a strong word. The American Religious Identification Survey conducted in 2008 estimated there to be nearly 1.35 million Muslims in the United States. Community activists believe this figure too low. Nonetheless, out of a population this large, the number of Muslim Americans who either perpetrated or were arrested for terrorist crimes in 2010 was . . . 20, according to the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security (a consortium of Duke University, the University of North Carolina and RTI International, a think tank).

American Muslims are concerned about the tenor and direction of these hearings. Since 9/11, they have felt a heavy gaze directed at them even as they go about their daily lives. At the extreme, they have been the victims of violence, ranging from physical attacks to vandalism at the mosques where they worship. On the margins, there has been verbal abuse, some of it directed at their children. Consider for a moment, what it must feel like to a Muslim born in the United States, particularly to a child, to bear the brunt of this abuse. So, what good can come to our lives from these hearings, they ask.

On the other side, those who feel that American Muslims constitute a fifth column within the larger American population see these hearings as shining a spotlight where light is needed.

Further evidence of the heat the issue provokes was on display recently at a forum in South Florida hosted by Rep. Allen West, R-Fla.

Among those who took a turn at the microphone was Nezar Hamze, South Florida executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, viewed as a leading activist organization by the Muslim community and as an arm of militant Islam by its critics.

Hamze went to confront West about the congressman’s previous statements that the Quran directs Muslims to kill non-Muslims and that this is what lies behind radical Islam’s hatred of the United States.

In their exchange, West cited several incidents over the history of Islam, including 9/11 and the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas. For good measure, he told Hamze, “Don’t blow sunshine up my butt,” to cheers from the audience.

“Congressman, I am ashamed. I am ashamed to be here with all these people when you attack Islam,” Hamze said. Catcalls already directed at Hamze from the audience only grew louder.

West, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, a decorated soldier who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, retorted, “You attacked us. You attacked us,” in effect making Hamze the embodiment of the Islamic terrorists who killed 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001. “I went to Muslim countries to defend the freedom of Muslim people. Don’t come up here and try to criticize me.”

Hamze, with something of a bemused smile on his face, turned and walked away from the microphone.

Writing about the experience later, Hamze, a native of Fort Lauderdale, said: "Mr. West, you have brought great shame to the United States House of Representatives. Your behavior that evening represents the antithesis of our democratic republic. We look to our leaders to answer difficult questions with dignity and composure. Your behavior represented that of a military commander barking orders at a soldier. Mr. West, you are no longer a military commander, and I am not your enemy. You looked at me and said, 'You attacked us, you attacked us.' I didn't attack anything, and for you to accuse me of such horrific events is just as baseless as your knowledge of Islam. Terrorists attacked us on 9/11, Mr. West. Terrorists attacked us!”

Whether it is a rabbi questioning the loyalty of American Muslims to the U.S. Olympic teams, epithets shouted at Muslims by protesters outside a community event, or the director of an American Muslim organization questioning a congressman and, in turn, being rebuked, it is clear that what another congressman sees as hearings that will shine light, the targeted community is worried about the heat that will be turned on as a result.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 9/11 • Afghanistan • Iraq • Islam • Muslim • Quran

soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Beel

    You are comparing murder to an unavoidable, random act of "God". Lightning does not target people because they aren't Muslim. And since you are not an American citizen you really have no standing in this discussion. If Americans inject themselves into the affairs of Canada you tell Americans to mind their own business, and rightly so. I have an idea. We'll let Canadians handle things in Canada and you let Americans handle things in America.

    March 7, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  2. JK

    Known fact:
    racist tea bagger rants:

    laav yaar enemy
    laav thy neighbor
    thou shall not kill

    Hidden fact:
    racist tea bagger reality:

    natives(red indians)
    african slaves
    burning witches
    burning blacks
    and on and on...

    and as for the 'thou shall not kill' can be conveniently changed to 'thou shall not kill 'ur own brethern in faith" (not making it up, this is what happened in the crusades when the so-called knights killed and cooked and ate the meat of the dead)

    it's up to you to decide, you want to take the tea bagger as a friend, who is a hypocrite but poses to be ur friend, is known for changing the word of THE CREATOR at the 1st opportunity and is ready to stab you from behind, or you want to take someone as an enemy, whom this hypocrite forces you to think as an enemy, but your knowing and researching about this enemy will reveal that he is calling for you to be benefited. (don't believe me: watch videos of 'yvonne ridley' and 'terry holdbrooks,')

    Here is a fair question:

    would racist tea baggers instead of spending billions in hate and war, just hand out an english translation of the Quran to the public in west and let people read 'ponder' and decide themselves? i mean this according to them should easily earn the public sympathy and turn the public opinion in tea baggers favor.

    however, the answer is 'no,' 'not a chance' and 'never'

    racist tea baggers will continue to post out of context verses, but will never hand out a english translation of the Quran. Does a thief, robber, hypocrite or deceiver will ever hand out a manual that will let people recognize that he is a thief, robber, hypocrite and deceiver, no. Remember reading everything in context in Quran will expose how the tea baggers are trying to deceive you. Read and ponder upon it to see who is calling u to light and who is to darkness.

    March 7, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Reality

      Some aspects of our continuing War on Terror:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- 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-combat, 97,172 – 106,047 Iraqi civilians killed as of 8/10/2010 mostly due the Shiite and Sunni suicide bombers.

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – Bin La-d-en has been cornered under a rock in Western Pakistan since 9/11.

      – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols will follow soon.

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.

      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      – And of course the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:04 am |
  3. Moby, Detroit, MI

    This is neither light or heat. It is fear and hate. Are we going to do internment camps again??

    March 7, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
  4. John

    "Hearings" for "Muslims"? Wow, when will America ever learn to live up to its claims of equality and tolerance? "Hearings" for an entire group of people?

    And what are these hearings supposed to accomplish? An "explanation" from confused innocent people regarding terrorists they've never met from a country they've never visited speaking a language they don't understand? Where is the bigoted logic from that any regular Muslim can answer for the tenth of a one percent that have extremist tendencies? What if we brought innocent Catholics from South America to a hearing asking them to "explain" Catholic Irish terrorism? How would the average "Christian" shed any light on the mentality and political ideals of Timothy McVeigh?

    This is a show trial, meant to pander to bigoted, out of control conservatives.

    At least with McArthyism and witch hunts, Communists and Witches CHOSE their value system, and weren't born into it. This is the ugly, degenerate part of America driving this .. the rednecks and bigots who actually enjoy finding the drama of hate.

    Muslims are as innocent as atheists or believers in any religion. To have hearings about Islam as if Muslims are some kind of cohesive group is ridiculous, and .. in permitting show trials like this, we are only letting the simplemindedness and backwardness of the least enlightened Americans even further dirty our name and undermine our culture.

    If you let the blind lead, you walk off a cliff.

    March 7, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Bilal Yousaf

      Well said, you stole my thunder. However, American Muslims should have a long over due march of 50,000 in DC denouncing Radicals who are hurting innocent civilians

      March 7, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Beel

      If only Muslims would express even modest support for the United States by co-operating with the FBI when they try to conduct investigations into home-grown terrorists. Refusal to co-operate implies support for the would-be murderers among them. That just might be why people are distrustful of Muslims. That, and the fact that they are duty-bound by the Prophet to kill non-believers.....this is all about to change soon.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      >> That, and the fact that they are duty-bound by the Prophet to kill non-believers.<<

      INCORRECT. Muslims are NOT duty bound to kill anybody.
      This is why there is heaven an hell.
      God will send the non-believers to eternal hell when they die.
      We Muslims need not worry about the non-believers.

      We are duty-bound to the Prophet to:
      – pray 5 times a day
      – fast 30 days in Ramadan
      – perform pilgrimage to Mecca once in a life-time
      – give charity to the poor from our wealth

      and thats it!!

      March 7, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • Muneef


      Here I agree to your points posted that what Islam is adding to it that God inquired from us to read,think and learn about the creation and it's creations....beside being just,honest,truthful and faithful....many other things.
      We are never to attack but required to maintain power to defend our selves from attacks...we were given a choice to either repay or forgive and made the latter more rewarded...

      March 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Muneef

      That is what the Quran told us 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).

      March 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  5. 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 7:14 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 7:20 pm |
    • Beel

      oops.....You left out the part about killing non-Muslims. Minor oversight I guess.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  6. Bryce

    I notice that many Christians are anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim, and some Muslims are anti-Jewish and anti-Christian, and few seem to realize that we are all technically Jewish, whether we augment those teachings with the words of Christ or of Muhamad. Furthermore, these generalizing hatreds are starkly against the teachings of both. Christ taught forgiveness, and Muhammad taught responsibility. Neither of these condone persecuting fellow Jews, or indeed anyone of any faith.

    March 7, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  7. Steve

    At first I thought I was reading this wrong, because it sounds like somthing Cartman would dream up from the show SouthPark. I just think they are taking the law a little to far, over a handfull of people who were criminals to begin with, and was already on a no fly list and wasn't supposed to be in the country.

    March 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  8. NM

    please check out http://www.islamicsolutions.com/my-log-9-why-they-hate-islam-and-muslims/

    March 7, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Beel

      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 8:44 pm |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      the irony about this whole childish presentation is that muslims are a whopping 20% of the world population, but if you total up ALL THEIR KILLING, MASSACRES, over the last 100 years, the number does not even add up to ONE PERCENT of the WORLD'S total killings, massacres and genocides!!



      – WORLD WAR ONE = 15 MILLION human beings killed, massacred
      virtually nothing to do with muslims

      – WORLD WAR ONE = 50 MILLION human beings killed, massacred
      nothing to do with muslims

      – JEWISH HOLOCAUST = 6 MILLION human beings gassed to death in Christian Europe
      nothing to do with muslims

      – COMMUNIST PURGES = 20 MILLION human beings massacred in the name of progress
      all over Russia, Europe and China, Southeast Asia
      nothing to do with muslims

      less than 100 years ago!!!

      March 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  9. GSA

    @The Bobinator – hey i'm from Canada as well. Edmonton. Nice to see someone who is not only sane and logical on this blog but with a sense of humour as well.
    I have to retract my statement about being glad i'm not an American. I believe that it's everyones job to be vigilante of terrorists and not get caught up in the fear-mongering by a few crazies and blame a whole religion or country for the actions of a few. I also do not think that any Muslim should stand up and denounce terrorism any more or less than any non-Muslims should. That being said I retract my statement about Americans because a few scared and crazy individuals shouldn't put a black mark on all Americans and I shouldn't generalize. Most Americans I have met are good, down-to-earth ppl and it's sad the way CNN and other media represent their own.

    March 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  10. Brother In Light

    If there's nothing to judge, why do so many point the finger?

    March 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  11. Brother In Light

    Stop this futile battle of self destruction amongst yourselves! If GOD is GOD and any other name you give Him than no matter what you believe in your personal life He will be GLORIFIED! Who is any man to cast judgment on another mans life when all life is given by God? Does this not remain to be the irrefutable truth, that GOD will be the JUDGE of your actions here on earth?

    March 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Does this not remain to be the irrefutable truth, that GOD will be the JUDGE of your actions here on earth?

      There's nothing to judge. God if it exists, is responsible for the crimes of humans because he created them, imbuing them with faults, faults he knew would in fact lead to suffering and pain.

      God is responsible for our actions just like I'm responsible for building a poorly designed database. I don't blame the things I created because I'm directly responsible for them and it'd be moronic to do so.

      March 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  12. Hank S. Ft. Lauderdale

    I was at the cd-22 town hall. I fully support Allen West. West fought in the Middle East for Muslim freedom. He has trained Afghanistan fighters. West stands for all Americans, including Muslim. He will unite our Country. Buckle up.

    March 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Except, apparently, Nezar Hamze.

      March 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > I was at the cd-22 town hall. I fully support Allen West.

      Ok, good for you.

      > West fought in the Middle East for Muslim freedom. He has trained Afghanistan fighters.

      So what?

      > West stands for all Americans, including Muslim. He will unite our Country. Buckle up.

      Umm, how?

      March 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  13. doineedtoslapyou

    Until "moderate Muslim organizations" like CAIR condemn radical Islam, their protestations of fairness ring false. It was a pleasure to be at the town hall meeting when Congressman West said what many of us in the room were feeling. "Don't blow sunshine up my butt" indeed.

    March 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I'm not that familiar with CAIR but a quick search brought up the following site which seems to indicate pretty strong anti-terrorism activities by CAIR.

      March 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  14. No criticism?

    To those who argue that Hamze did not condemn :"radical islam" I point to this quote in the article itself:
    "Terrorists attacked us on 9/11, Mr. West. Terrorists attacked us!”

    Hardly an endorsement. Rather he is explicitly stating that the attack on 9/11 was an attack on America, on "us", himself included.

    March 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      I don't think anyone can reasonably understand the mindset of a radical muslim except other radical muslims.

      I don't know who their target was and who they didn't want to kill. I don't think anyone does.

      March 7, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  15. GSA

    I'm glad I don't live in America.

    March 7, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Val

      Me too.

      March 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      America isn't that bad. I live in Canada myself and often visit.

      The problem I see is that America has a problem with nationalism. I can understand being proud of our country, I really can, but only for valid reasons. Being proud "just because" doesn't cut it and borders on ignorance.

      For example, I'm proud that Toronto was voted I think, the #6 city in the world. Vancouver was #4. The highest American city was Seattle at #23. I think.

      However, if you're one of those people who say "I like the US because the US is #1", you're a moron. 🙂

      March 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Beel

      I'm glad you don't live in America also.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Beel

      Just what we need. More arrogant foreigner telling us what is wrong with America. Thanks for your input. Go back to your room and play with your dolls.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
  16. Sagebrush Shorty.

    Nezar Hamze can rant and rave all he wants. I still don't hear him condemning Radical Islam. These Muslim organizations are just a front. They don't really care about anything except their own primitive religion or cult. They never answer a question honestly and always go off on a tangent. Personally I have no sympathy for US Muslims. They bring it on themselves by their silence and tacit approval of terrorism committed in their name.

    March 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Sam

      PROVE IT!
      Three solid pieces of REAL evidence to support your claims.
      REAL evidence now, not junk.

      March 7, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Reality

      Muslim convert journalist Stephen Schwartz, American Jewish Committee terrorism expert Yehudit Barsky, and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer have all separately testified in the US Congress to a growing radical Islamist Wahhabi influence in U.S. mosques, financed by extremist groups.

      According to Barsky, 80% of U.S. mosques are so radicalized.

      And from another Western country:

      August 9, 2010 Germany shuts 9/11 plotters' mosque in Hamburg

      Police raided the mosque on Monday and hunted for evidence of jihadist activities German police have shut down the Hamburg mosque where the 9/11 hijackers met before their suicide attacks on the US in 2001.
      Police said they believed the Taiba mosque was again being used as a meeting point for extremists.

      The cultural association that runs the mosque has also been banned.

      A German intelligence report last year said radical Muslims had travelled to military training camps in Uzbekistan after associating at the mosque.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:08 am |
  17. Reality

    Why hearings on Islam are needed:

    Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.
    This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

    And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

    Hopefully Rep. King's committee will find some answers.

    March 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Val

      According to a lot of people I think that WE'RE supposed to wait until WE are bombed again until we start digging around for answers.

      March 7, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Charlotte

      @Reality – it's a pity you have chosen such an inappropriate moniker for yourself. Your spew of lies, vitriolic hate, misinformation and outright idiocy proves you have no grounding in reality. Quit listening to Faux Noise and go learn about what Islam truly is – a religion grounded in peace. Muslims have done far less horrific, barbaric slaughter than Christians have through the centuries, yet you aren't railing against the far worse Christians as if they were ALL like that. Grow up, take a pill and please leave America. You don't deserve to live in a free society.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • ali

      Charlotte- you are completely wrong. Islam religion started to massacre people and invade countries from the the day Muhammed died. They have invaded and forced people to become muslims, or they would kill them. Maybe you should learn more about the how Muslims massacred zorastrians in Iran, or look at noth Africa that was invaded by them and forced people to change religion and their language. The atrocity is not finished and still continues all over the world. May be also you should look at the reality and watch some of the videos on Youtube about Muslim who converted to Christianity.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Reality

      The reality of Islam as shown by the following partial list of koranic-driven acts of terrr and horror:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. " http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      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, 3,483 and 925 in non combat roles. 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.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 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. 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 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings 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.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      March 8, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Alverant

      Why don't you list all the acts of christian based terrorism just to be fair? Why doesn't King want to include all religious terrorism in his talk? Why not mention King's support of the IRA terrorists?

      March 9, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  18. JohnR

    I totally can't stand religious fanatics and violent people of any ideology. But the number of Americans killed by terrorists is a small fraction of the number killed in car accidents. I understand the number of Americans killed by terrorists since the 1960s is comparable to the number killed by lightning. And while the terrorists may or may not strike again this year or this decade, lightning strikes somewhere pretty much every day. We are under siege by lightning! Oh, and a tree next to my parents' house and one in my own front yard have been hit by lightning. No such close calls w/r/t terrorist strikes for anyone in my family. So what is Peter King doing to protect me and mine from the REAL threat?

    There are very few real threats that governments can do much about. This is all ego and delusion – a desire to be deemed a hero and savior for tilting at killer windmills.

    March 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > I totally can't stand religious fanatics and violent people of any ideology. But the number of Americans killed by terrorists is a small fraction of the number killed in car accidents.

      Comparing the two is silly. One is a metric that is fairly consistent and not a planned malicious event. The other is a metric that is unpredicitble and inconsistent and is a planned malicious event.

      > I understand the number of Americans killed by terrorists since the 1960s is comparable to the number killed by lightning. And while the terrorists may or may not strike again this year or this decade, lightning strikes somewhere pretty much every day.

      Same as above, your argument is flawed.

      > We are under siege by lightning! Oh, and a tree next to my parents' house and one in my own front yard have been hit by lightning. No such close calls w/r/t terrorist strikes for anyone in my family. So what is Peter King doing to protect me and mine from the REAL threat?

      I think the real threat is that you can't logically see why your argument is silly. 🙂

      > There are very few real threats that governments can do much about. This is all ego and delusion – a desire to be deemed a hero and savior for tilting at killer windmills.

      How do you say that when you have no clue of how effective (or not effective), America's counter-terrorism program has been? Are you just making it up?

      March 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Beel

      You are comparing murder to an unavoidable, random act of "God". Lightning does not target people because they aren't Muslim.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I am not claiming moral equivalence between murder and accidents or murder and "acts of god", ie nature. But I AM putting the level of actual threat into context. When politicians use alarmist rhetoric like "we are under siege" and it turns out that the threat of this "siege" is roughly the same as the threat of something we use as an icon of rare event, ie deadly lightning strike, then there is something gravely and outrageously wrong with that rhetoric. And yes, terrorist attack data is "lumpy", This COULD be the year that 500 or 5000 people are killed in a spectacular attack. But the same is true for many things, and very, very true for natural disasters. This could be there year that 500 or 5000 die in a California quake. Bobinator, if you think it's "silly" to be rational about true historic risk assessment and okay to escalate hatreds over some claimed "siege" that simply doesn't exist, you are considerably worse than just silly. The loss of civil liberties by all people inn the name of a threat that barely registers is a shameful chapter in the history of the west and people like you are genuine culprits.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:11 am |
  19. Bryan

    Good writing, fairly;y stated

    March 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  20. Newshound

    digitalheadlines dot net, check it out for your daily headlines!

    March 7, 2011 at 1:44 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.