March 7th, 2011
01:00 PM ET
Muslims anxious, active ahead of radicalization hearings
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 Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
Every day this week, American Muslim activists are working overtime to prepare for congressional hearings on "the radicalization of American Muslims" that open Thursday.
Sunday saw Muslim demonstrators gather in New York's rain-drenched Times Square to protest the hearings, standing with celebrities like Russell Simmons and other non-Muslims who held signs declaring "I am Muslim, too."
On Monday, representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Relations - a national Muslim advocacy group - met will sympathetic Capitol Hill staffers to discuss communications strategy and grassroots organizing to counter Islamophia.
On Tuesday, a coalition of major Muslim, interfaith and civil rights groups will announce a new campaign and website to push back against politicians and others they say are trafficking in anti-Muslim rhetoric.
And that's before the hearings even begin.
“The community is anxious, uncertain and even fearful in terms of what this could become in this environment,” says Akbar Ahmed, an Islamic studies professor at American University who has met with Capitol Hill aides in advance of the hearings.
“There is a generalized sense of Islamophobia floating around, and the hearings are not doing anything to assuage Muslim fears.”
Days before the first in what Rep. Peter King, the House Homeland Security Committee chairman, has said will be a series of hearings on American Muslim radicalization, many Muslims are deeply nervous at the specter of being demonized from such a highly visible platform as Capitol Hill. The hearings may stretch out for more than a year.
But King’s hearings also have galvanized American Muslims, perhaps as never before, in an attempt to counter what they call a rising tide of Islamophobia, to lobby Washington about their concerns and to help shape the national narrative about their community.
The efforts come a little more than six months after many Muslims were blindsided by a wave of national opposition to a proposed Islamic cultural center near New York’s ground zero last summer.
“There was this sense after last summer’s events of needing to be more proactive in stemming this activity that stokes anti-Muslim hate,” said Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates, a national legal advocacy group.
“That’s why, as soon as we heard Rep. King say he planned to hold these hearings, we started coming forward to express our concerns,” Khera said.
In February, Muslim Advocates spearheaded a letter to congressional leaders objecting to the hearings. It was signed by more than 50 organizations, including civil rights groups that had not previously been involved with the American Muslim community.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a leading Muslim advocacy group, used its annual lobbying day last month to visit 90 congressional offices to “start offering facts about American Muslims and their role in helping prevent attacks on our nation,” said Corey Saylor, the group’s national legislative director.
Two other groups - the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Arab American Institute - held a briefing, “Islamophobia: A Challenge to American Pluralism,” for Capitol Hill staffers last Wednesday.
The King hearings are also spurring mosques around the country to get more political.
“Muslim Americans make vital contributions every day,” said Hadi Nael, director of the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley in California, whose congregation is calling and writing Congress to voice opposition to the King hearings.
“They love this country just as every American does and should not be placed under suspicion of terrorism because of their religious beliefs or ethnic background,” he said. “King’s hearings would do just that.”
Many Muslim activists said that recent remarks from King, a New York Republican, including his support for a theory that 80% of American mosques are controlled by radical imams, are evidence that he intends to target the American Muslim community broadly with his hearings, rather than focus on Islamic radicals.
“Let’s not fall into the same ugly patterns that were prevalent in earlier years in America, when Jews were suspected of aiding communism and Catholics were suspected of supporting fascism,” said Eboo Patel, a leading Muslim activist, summing up his opposition to the hearings.
“Let’s not repeat that history by blaming all Muslims for the extremist actions of a range of people in this country.”
A White House official appeared at a Muslim community center Sunday to speak about the need to prevent violent extremism, saying 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," said Denis McDonough, deputy national security adviser to President Obama. "Of course, the most effective voices against al Qaeda's warped worldview and interpretation of Islam are other Muslims."
McDonough also said, "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."
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.
King called for the hearings on Muslim radicalization after Republicans won control of the House of Representatives in November's elections. He declined calls from some Democrats to broaden sessions to focus on extremists of all types, including neo-Nazis, radical environmentalists and anti-tax groups.
“Al Qaeda is actively attempting to recruit individuals living within the Muslim American community to commit acts of terror,” King wrote in a letter last month to Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, the ranking member on the Homeland Security Committee, who had suggested that King broaden the hearings’ scope.
“Pursuant to our mandate, the committee will continue to examine the threat of Islamic radicalization, and I will not allow political correctness to obscure a real and dangerous threat to the safety and security of the citizens of the United States,” King’s letter continued.
King told CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley on Sunday that "something from within" the Muslim community is a "threat" to America and needs to be explored.
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."
King has yet to release a full witness list for this week’s hearing, exacerbating Muslim anxiety. The sole witness whose name King has released is Zuhdi Jasser, an Arizona doctor who is Muslim but who has criticized his religion.
King has also invited Rep Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota - the first Muslim elected to Congress - to testify.
Ellison also appeared on "State of the Union" on Sunday, saying, "I challenge the basic premise of the hearings."
"We should deal with radicalization and violent radicalization, but ... singling out one community is the wrong thing to do," he said.
Democrats have invited Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca, who has praised Muslim leaders for building relationships with law enforcement authorities, to testify.
A recent survey showed that 56% of Americans support the upcoming hearings, compared with 29% who think they’re a bad idea.
The February survey, conducted by Public Opinion Research and the Religion News Service, found that seven in 10 Americans think Congress should refrain from singling out Muslims and should investigate all religious extremism.
Not all Muslims object to the hearings. American University's Ahmed says that many first-generation American Muslims, feeling rejected both by their parents' culture and by their American peers, are at risk of being radicalized.
"There's a new generation of Muslim Americans who are born here or have grown up here and are no longer fully accepted as Egyptians or Pakistanis, as their parents are," he says. "But America is also rejecting them, day and night Islam is being demonized… they’re suspended between two cultures.”
"Whey you are 18, that can push you into a dangerous situation," Ahmed says. "You can go online and some idiot in the Middle East can push you in a dangerous direction. It has little to do with theology and a lot to do with anthropology."
Other American Muslims interpret King’s hearings as the culmination of years of growing domestic suspicions of their community, dating back to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
“For the last 10 years, there has been a movement of intolerance against Muslim Americans, but it hasn’t been above the surface,” says Patel, who leads the Interfaith Youth Corps.
“It’s now clear, from everything from the discussion around the Cordoba House (one name for the proposed New York Islamic center) to the way King has framed the hearings that there is an anti-Muslim sentiment in America that is reminiscent of anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism,” he said.
“But I’d rather it be out in the open like it is now,” Patel continued.
According to the Justice Department, there were 107 anti-Muslim hate-crime incidents in 2009, the most recent year for which statistics are available, up from 28 such incidents in 2000.
With the 10-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the horizon and some likely contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination talking up the threat of Islamic law, or sharia, taking hold in the United States, many Muslims said they fear the worst is to come.
But many are also feeling that their community is finally preparing itself to take on those challenges.
“This is a very American thing, congressional hearings,” said Ahmed of this week’s King session. “Let’s present the complexity and sophistication of Islam so Americans understand it better. It’s a teaching moment.”
CNN's Susan Candiotti, Bonney Kapp and Rebecca Stewart contributed to this report.
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.
I think that muslims should be held accountable for the actions of their members. They should have to open their doors and show that they are not harboring or recruiting potential terrorists. If they truly want to be accepted by America they should be willing to do what ever they can to work towards that end instead of blocking everything and black walling any attempt to get real information.
Just FYI I also think that every religion should be open to exploration to ensure it is on the up and up. The catholic church should have to open up its books to the harboring of pedophiles and be willing to explain themselves. Quid pro quo.
BTW I think that the muslims decision to open the mosque so close to the twin towers was a serious mistake. It is rubbing salt in the wounds of every person who was terrorized that day. Doesn't seem like a great way influence public opinion in their favor.
Like you, Sadie, I think Christians should be held accountable for the actions of their members, for the child molestations and the inquisitions and the witch burnings and the centuries of religious wars and the murder of doctors and the lynchings of blacks where pastors read a nice passage, and for so much more.
And I imagine your response would be a pathetic cop-out like "they weren't real Christians." But that can be said of Muslim extremists as well.
No, my response would be, those people were wrong. They did horrible things and there is no excuse for it. If that happened today I would not condone that and would take action to stop it if it was in my power. I certainly wouldn't harbor these people within the fold of my church.
As it is, I am not a catholic but if I were I would not be able to love children and then stand by and allow any priest to preach to me if they were suspected of child molestation. I would work hard to get the child justice and then would probably have to leave because of my disgust.
I just wish the same thing for the muslims... total transperancy and the prosecution of those that harbor terrorists.
The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:
( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)
Are you ready?
Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.
The First Five of the 77 Branches:
"1. Belief in Allah"
aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.
"2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."
Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".
"3. To believe in the existence of angels."
A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.
"4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."
Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.
Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.
Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.
"5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."
Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.
Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!
Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.
For those interested, analogous step programs for deprogramming centuries of Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and Pagan myths are available upon request.
I am a Christian. Jesus Christ never did, not once, say that at anytime it's OK to kill non Christians. The Koran is explicit about how exactly "true muslims" should go about mutilating and killing ANYONE AND EVERYONE that is not a muslim. I don't feel sorry for anyone that condones violence. When you become a muslim, you condone murder and there is no way you can get around it. If you say that you don't believe in killing non-believers then you are not a REAL muslim. You have to follow the Koran exactly as it directs you. If you don't then you are an infidel. And to be killed immediately. There are no PEACEFUL true muslims. If they are they ARE NOT muslim. You aren't a Christian if you don't Worship Christ and God. Christianity is action. It is not what you are, but who you are and what you do. Do as Christ says. That is what makes a Christian. And a true muslim is someone who goes out hunting the "non believers". Not to convert, but to kill. If this woman truly believes what she is saying, she is truly a heretic to her own "faith" Not following the directive set out for ture muslims. Remember, a true belief is action.
2 Chronicles 15:13
Whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Isreal should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.
Let me requote that paraphrase you just put took from the bible: 2Chronicles 15:12 "They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul."
Now the bible passage you completely rephrased: "and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman." Thats talking about a covenant made thousands of years ago, not what catholics are currently doing today, but nice try buddy. Also Rebecca, the Muslim's do not set out to kill people. In the Quran, it says that if you cannot convert your neigbor, then you kill him. You cant just say theirs a religion out their that is just about killing people. Muslims dont go and "hunt non-believers", thats just dumb
well now they have their website too in our country sharia4america.com
Someday I hope that Gene Roddenberry's imagined future of humans overcoming our differences and working as one is realized. The fact that we are still consumed with trying to decide who's diety delusion is the right one doesn't give much hope however.
Excerpt from Star Trek V "The final frontier"
Kirk "Wait, you know we'll never make it through the great barrier..."
Sybok "But if we do, will that convince you that my vision is true?"
Kirk "Your vision?"
Sybok "Given to me by God, he waits for us on the other side..."
Kirk "You are mad."
Sybok "Am I?... We'll see..."
The earth is a hijacked space vehicle where the hijackers want to fly us into almost certain destruction but want the rest of the passengers to "trust" them, they know what they are doing, based on visions given to prophets over 2000 years ago... and unfortuantely, we will have to see... hopefully it won't be too late for mankind.
I am so sad by this, i am not Muslim and i know what it is like to be fearful because you are different or share another faith or refer to God as Allah; Elohim or Jah or all the other wonderful name the most high God has...
If we allow this; what happens to other people when you take others rights away, it is like my fight with men to stop hating women because there are some bad women in the world or teaching women that not all men are bad...
How do we build world unity if stuff like this is okay... Do i now have to worry about families of the Islam faith that our honorable and would never ever do anything to harm anyone...
is this just another reason to hate all people of color or people with dark skin because you hate us and need yet another reason to pull us over driving while black/brown or dark tan.
or is every bald head white man a skin head.... so he should be followed because some building might get blown up...
or if you believe abortion is killing the us as a country because no new babies means no new workforce; so because i believe we should have others plans in place so there is no more abortion, should i be followed to make sure i do not blow up a clinic
or when you see a group of young men all wearing blue does this mean we better fear because they are a gang!
if someones says please can we stop the wars and i march to see it end will you be taking my name down because i might be the bad.
if we allow this when will persecution end...
Is all it takes to harm any one these days is fear...
I am saying... Please stop This Madness...
There are no honorable muslims. IF someone who says they are muslim and they don't condone violence against non-believers, then they ARE NOT muslim.
Islam, like Judaism and Christianity, is nothing but a lie.
We have laws against perjury yet we never use these laws against religions even though the religions are false, untrue, and fraudulent in the extreme.
There is no justice in this world and there is no proof of any "next" world. When will the cheating stop?
And they don't pay taxes.
The OT and NT are being cleansed of Dark Age theology and myths. See http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 and http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html
Unfortunately, this is not happening with the koran because of the threat of fanatical Islamic death/riot squads as evidenced by the treatment of Salmon Rushdie after his publication of The Satanic Verses and the riots after the cartoons of Mohammed were published in Denmark. Until Muslims and non-Muslims are free to criticize the koran, Islam will remain a sham religion and no follower of said book can be trusted.
Bottom line: Congress is correct in getting to the core of the koran and its dictates about Islamic world domination by any means to include acts of terror and horror.
The OT and NT are being cleansed of Dark Age theology and myths. See http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 and http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html
Unfortunately, this is not happening with the koran because of the threat of fanatical Islamic death/riot squads as evidenced by the treatment of Salmon Rusdie after his publication of The Satanic Verses and the riots after the cartoons of Mohammed were published in Denmark. Until Muslims and non-Muslims are free to criticize the koran, Islam will remain a sham religion and no follower of said book can be trusted.
Bottom line: Congress is correct in getting to the core of the koran and its dictates about Islamic world domination by any means to include acts of terror and horror.
all groups should be checked but especially muslims since most terror attacks against thus are done by muslims with some exceptions such as ok city and the militia groups however accordind to steve emerson they may get their funds from islamic terror groups from the middle east
Humans are fighting for their own versions of utopia everywhere. There will be no end until Jesus comes back and crush all the human dominions. The Christian Church must continue the rescue work for humanity meanwhile.
If there is no hope till Jesus comes back, why continue the "rescue work", whatever that is?
Do you not see any benefit in working towards a better world and a better life for everyone? Seems like a very depressing way to live, to me.
Nonimus, not at all. Jesus commanded His people to evangelize, teach and help until He comes back at the Endtime. Our history has magnificent significance and meanings, but you need to know Jesus personally in order to get it. The planet has a glorious future; only unrepentant sinners get the tragic justice.
What the F is the "Christian Church?" You mean all sects of Christianity? That would include the sects that contradict each other and fight amongst one another. When you go home at night, do you return to somewhere located on earth?
Still sounds depressing. You work in expectation of a wonderful afterlife, which diminishes the importance of this life, which limits ones ability to fully experience it.
Your choice I guess.
Nonimus, those who live for after-life live this life fully and the best. You atheists are horrible saying stuff against heavenly-minded Christians while receiving all the benefits and unconditional love from them. Paying good with evil is unethical, you know.
First of all, questioning christianity is not persecution, nor does it make someone an atheist. That's a false accusation you make. Second, are you insinuating that non-Christians are evil and receive the benefits directly from you and your kind? That's self centered, selfish and an ugly characteristic, young lady. For shame.
You also failed to reply to my proof that you are ignorant of American history above, ignoring it in favor of making sweeping statements about a group of people you know nothing about. Shame on you.
"unconditional love" Really?
Like "Christians" show to gays, unwed mothers, abortion clinic workers and patrons? That kind of unconditional love.
Or perhaps you mean the love from the wonderful "Christian" organizations like, the Lord's Army, Army of God, Hutaree, KKK, IRA, etc.
Not sure I could survive much of your so-called "unconditional love".
What Luke said, too.
Hi Justina... No.. humans are residents of this planet along with many other evolved species.. and some of us are resisting the invasion of an invisible aien . This alien will also bring other even more unsavory characters long to the party.. We do not want any rescue from sanity... thanks all the same . Ps we are still friends.. i have no reason to dislike you but i disagree with your views....I am an atheist.. but the horns on my head are covered these days because of the very cold Alberta winter we are having !... right now he-ll sounds good!
The Muslim community needs to realize that their religion prohibits free speech. Once they figure that out, they can go live somewhere else where there are no free speech laws. And they can take all the Christians with them who feel the same way about it.
They could start a new country and call it "Shutupland", with the capital city of "Meccayouobey" where death sentences could be carried out on a daily basis. Simple.
Actually, its petty dictators set up by European/American governments over the past 50 years that prevent dissent and free speech. Islam has no compulsion to limit speech.
And if I state the fact that Mohammed was a liar, a pedophile, a sleazeball, a cheat, and a fraud who should have been hung by the neck until dead for his iniquity, does Islam say it's okay for me to say these truths? Nope?
I can make a cartoon showing your Mohammed being ra-ped by a camel and many foolish muslims would want to kill me for this.
Are you saying this free speech is only free as long as I fawn and slobber at the feet of Islam? Bah.
MrEO – Do you know what the bible or torah says about blasphemy? Under their laws you would face the same punishment as the quran. You already spewed so much hate about a religious figure in islam. Do you know how much reverence muslims have for jesus and his mother? There is a chapter called Mary in the quran and there is no chapter by the name of muhammads mother or his wife or daughter. Does that mean anything to you? You should read the quran before you spew bigoted views. You will have to answer for all your words on the day of judgement
Factual, I think it is clear that the point I was making went clear over your head.
Blasphemy laws are laws against free speech no matter what religion we are talking about.
This is where our "separation of church and state" has a very clear justification and validation.
If I "blaspheme" against Zeus, you would support my free speech rights, would you not? But it is different for you if I "blaspheme" a religious character from your personal religion. That is pure hypocrisy on your part.
If I draw a cartoon of Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Adam, etc. all having a gay s-ex or-gy, it remains my RIGHT as an American Citizen to express my views FREELY using my free speech rights in this country.
Your "blasphemy" accusations are nothing but an internal religious view and have no bearing on anything I do.
That is what free speech means in this case.
But, no, YOU want me to "fawn and slobber" at the feet of your personal religious sect and you REQUIRE ME to "honor" your religious views when I have no legal requirement to do so....yet I let you go to your church and wave your arms in the air like you just don't care – I am not stopping you from worshipping the nonexistent deity of your choice.
But you don't get a free pass to enforce your religious beliefs on me. EVER.
JohnQuest i'm saying that Both Christians and Muslims are persecuting each other. Their choices were either to stay in their country that supports them or to Come to a Christian Dominated CONTINENT. They made their choice. The same goes for christians that want to go to the middle east. There is enough aid work to be done in your own country.
@Seraphim: And never the twain shall meet, eh? Should all those black people go back to Africa too? Or are your ridiculous biases limited to religion?
Why must people always bring race into it? Are you so devoid of original thought that you have to rehash a horse that has been beaten, burried, dug up and then beaten again? No where in any of these posts does it mention black people.... muslim, Christian etc? yeah but not black.
Seraphim21, are you saying that Christians should act like Muslims? The US is a secular country and has always been a secular country.
John, not true. USA was founded in order to worship God freely and to educate the world with Christianm principles. Secularism wasn't in the minds of Founding Fathers or any decent Americans of old days. You guys are shameful conscience-bashers and bad kids who ignore the existence of good parents.
I am pointing and laughing at you right now.
@Luke: that's because you are stupid.
Yes, exactly, break out the "I'm a five year old" style of debate.
"USA was founded in order to worship God freely and to educate the world with Christianm principles."
Where did you get this? What happened to "establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, " etc.? Or even "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"?
Nonimus, all under God!! Read the Declaration of Independence.
The declaration of independence is not a founding docu-ment of the USA. Read a history book, or better yet, the const-tution. FAIL.
If you look at the Const.itution, the only reference to religion is, "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." Unless you count the amendments where the Freedom of Religion and the Establishment clauses, which strangely enough, for a supposedly Christian nation, go directly against the first and fourth Commandments. (Unless you go by the Catholic, Jewish, or Lutheren version?)
The only mention of 'Lord' is in the date, "Year of our Lord", which is like saying 2011 AD, not exactly a declaration of faith.
So, you think the founding fathers just forgot to mention Christianity and our sacred mission to "educate the world with Christianm principles?" Because, I don't.
Sorry, I forgot.
"This Const.itution... shall be the supreme Law of the Land;" not God, the church, or the Bible.
Even if the Founding Fathers of our country were the staunchest of Christians, the Founding Fathers did not have a problem with the Muslim faith. Thomas Jefferson taught himself Arabic using his own copy of the Quran and hosted the first White House Iftar during Ramadan. John Adams hailed Muhammad as one of the great "inquirers after truth." Benjamin Rush, who was so Christian he wanted a Bible in every school, also said he would rather see the opinions of Confucius or Mohammad "inculcated upon our youth" than see them grow deprived "of a system of religious principles." Benjamin Franklin once said, "Even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service." In fact, when the US was still trying to become the US, it was the Sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah of Morocco who was the first world figure to recognize the independence of the US from Great Britain in 1777. Last but not least, in the Treaty of Tripoli in 1797, the U.S. declared: "The government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian Religion........................."
I know ignorance is bliss, but stupidity is just stupidity. Perhaps trying writing in all capital letters. Perhaps, then it will be more true.
Luke, stop always attacking everything a Christian is stating. We don't need your stupidity here. Go do something useful in your life.
King's involvement is problematic. As is his determination to be about muslim extremism more than religious extremism. I suppose it might be uncomfortable for him to recognize any extremist points of view in his own religious perspective. I sense a witch hunt from him. There is a broad anti-muslim feeling in this country, so I don't blame any muslim who wants to lay low as a means of deflecting the hate. I know I might do the same if it meant protecting myself and my family from bias attack or undue scrutiny. I am glad the muslim community at large is being so graceful about it. I hope it is a teaching moment for the country that unfair bias is always harmful. The problem always is, when you let someone else determined to be biased control the conversation, how much can you teach? Probably not much in terms of facts. But a great deal by your character and response to that prejudice. Writing letters and seeing this as an opportunity for learning... that's character.
First and furmost America was founded by Christians from Christian Countries.When the Muslim came over into the new world they demanded their right to religious freedom, however the same cannot be said for christians. Within Muslim nations Christians are treated as the lower echelon of thier society. The public display of christian symbols and belif are considered a crime. One example is the christian woman who was sentenced to death just because she drank water from a well that muslims use. Every year around the revered days of christianity there would be violent outbreaks with muslims attacking Churches.
Everything you just wrote is either historically inaccurate or outrightly false. Congrats on winning the dumbest post award. Claim your prize at the local library.
Seraphim, you're right. Present secular Americans are the biggest liers for all time in attempt to repaint the history of the Western Civilizations including USA.
The famous hotel in Dubai, Burj al Arab has the world's biggest Cross on its building
Yes that make tons of sense, america the home of the free, should be MORE like the middle east and intolerant of non-christian religions.
To be fair they should hold hearings on all religions. I think singling out one religion may not be consti-tutional. Just guessing though.
“Pursuant to our mandate, the Committee will continue to examine the threat of Islamic radicalization, and I will not allow political correctness to obscure a real and dangerous threat to the safety and security of the citizens of the United States,” Rep. Peter King
Apparently our own home grown terrorists like Timothy Mcveigh, Scott Roeder & Eric Rudolph and many other white bread Americans are too politically incorrect to include.
I'm glad the hearings are taking place. The silence in the Muslim population is disturbing to me. Are they afraid for their lives if they speak out or up? Do they quietly agree with much of the killings that take place because of others in their faith?
I'm not sure but I do not find Islam to be a religion of peace.
Bobinator, I have found too many conservative Christians who would like to punish others for speaking poorly of their religion as well. Many do not take kind to critisism of their religion either. Best example is the various comments on the articles in this blog site. Personally, I've experienced too many conservative Christians who do not wish people of other faiths to have any rights or even a say in what is happening in the U.S., which is why I generally link the conservative Christians with Islam. I know others will not like this comment but try to be a religious person of something other than Christianity in the U.S. or no religion for that matter. I also make distinctions between the differing sects of Christianity when dealing with them.
Christianity does not condon any violence. True Christians follow Christ's lead, his word and his way. Those that take anything to serve their own agenda are no longer Christians. Following His words and living as Christlike possible. That is a true Christian. The same with muslims. You have to follow the koran. It directs all true muslims to kill any and all person's who are non believers of their faith. And it says, that if you don't. then you are not muslim.
Respectfully, who determines who is Christian and who is not? I hear this much of the time that he/she wasn't a true Christian.
If a person claims to be Christian it is only their god who can, in the end say they were or that they were not.
I have to say that saying one isn't a real Christian is a cop out.
I am a Conservative Christian and I can honestly say that beside muslims I have found atheists to be the most threatening group of people. It feels like in America it is okay for everyone to have a say except Christians. Suddenly we don't have the right to vote the way we wish to because others don't agree with us...fine don't agree, vote the way you want to and I will do the same.
I am not violent and am more likely to pray for someone than I am to get in someone's face.... can't say the same about when I was an atheist.
Wow! Are you actually stating that Christians "don't have the right to vote the way we wish to because others don't agree with us"? Please provide examples – when and where were you (or anyone else) ever prevented from voting as you wished? Who prevented you, and how dd they do it?
SadieSadie, you are a liar. That has never happened.
Please provide examples of these threatening atheists (aside from your own previous behavior – which I don't believe). Do they lurk in packs aroung polling places and in front of your church? Or perhaps its all just a paranoid fantasy of yours.
Sadiesadie.you are totally mistaken about your fear of atheists... that it irrational. You have no limits to your freedom of speech as has just been backed up by the courts regarding the Westbo church loonies. The opposite is true actually. Several non believing groups had put up several signs .one said.. "You can be good with out god." it had to come down because of "offense" to several people. Look at the religious billboards that are all over the US, the Christian stores that litter the towns. I think that you have been told that atheists are dangerous in the same way that you are told stories of the devil and satan.. it a good way to keep the flock going in one direction. It is true you no longer have the pulpit to yourselves, and people will object to practices they do not like or are no longer acceptable.. but that is true in every aspect of society.
"I am not violent and am more likely to pray for someone than I am to get in someone's face.... can't say the same about when I was an atheist."
Sounds to me more like a personality problem if you were hateful when you were an atheist than any 'doctrine' of atheism.
"Suddenly we don't have the right to vote the way we wish to because others don't agree with us.."
Your right to vote as you wish is being protected as much, if not more, by people who don't believe in a "God" as by religious zealots and exclusionists.
Rebecca – Christians dont follow Christ. Christianity is not religion "of" Jesus, but it is religion "about" Jesus. If you follow Jesus you would be a muslim (which means one who submits to the will of one God). Jesus never claimed divinity. Go read any red letter bible (king james version) and try to find out one unequivocal statement where Jesus said "I am God" or where he said "worship me". He said, "my father is greater than I", he also said "my father is greater than all", and he also said "I can of myself so do nothing". He never claimed divinity. It was an idea concocted by Paul who never even met Jesus.
Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.  If you had known me, you would without doubt have known my Father also: and from henceforth you shall know him, and you have seen him.
Now Luke will remind you that I copied and pasted those words from the Douay-Rheims. These are Jesus words and He is saying that if you know Him you know the Father ….you see, Jesus and the The Father are inseparable…where the One is, the Other is also. The same goes for the Holy Spirit….where the Father is…also is the Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. They are the One God in three persons. The Catholic Faith.
Thank you for stating that I am a liar. You don't know me, you don't know my past or present situation. Thank you for being so judgemental that even my personal experiences are 'lies' because you weren't there to experience them (or possibly because I am a Christian?)
I have been in conversation with atheists in the past about different topics and have been yelled at, had people get into my face and call me foul names just because I happen to vote conservatively. So no I don't think we can openly vote the way we wish without being threatened. I don't see any liberal voters having issues with admiting they voted Obama...
I spent my whole childhood and teen aged years being raised an atheist. I watched as many atheists openly mocked Christians so I followed in the example of these 'nice and gentle atheists'.
I did not have a personality issue... you don't know what I grew up with, you don't know what I have fought against or survived growing up. I know that becoming a Christian and accepting Christ in my life saved me from myself and it saved me from the bitterness of my past. With the love of God I was able to forgive people that I would never have been able to be in the same city as before. I was able to put up with the mocking of myself and my Lord to get past my past.
I am happy as a Christian... happy like I have never been in my whole life. I just don't know why you all think that you have any right to or wish to bring me down.
While I would love for you all to accept Christ it is ultimately your choice to make and I am not interested in forcing it on you... have no right to force your religion on me either.
I'm sorry if there is intolerance of your backward, violent and stupid religion. I really am. You're free to believe whatever you want, but I don't have to respect you for it or accept your nonsense.
Did you know in Britian, 68% of the muslim population says they believe someone should go to jail for talking badly about their faith. 68%. We cannot tolerate that sort of idiocy. Free speech trumps all, and the reason they abhore it is because free speech exposes them to viewpoint that their faith is nonsense.
Islam should be treated differently because it is in fact different. You don't fear radical morons. You don't fear radical amish. You don't fear radical buddists. Why is that? However, we should not treat the people any differently then christians, mormons, or the amish.
The concept that we should be lovey dovey to religions because someone "really, really wants to believe in it" is nonsense. It's time for us to grow up as a society and do away with all this bronze age myth. That goes for all religions.
With 10,000+ different religions around the world throughout time and based solely on faith, God, if it exists, clearly doesn't give a damn about us having a reasonable and accurate idea of what it is. And there is absolutely no difference between an unknowable God and a non-existant God from our perspective.
What people think, and what is accepted by law are different. In Britain, a large group of Muslims believe what you wrote, but it would not ever be inst-ituted. Better than 40% of the American population does not believe in evolution, following creationism instead, but that does not mean that we would ever get rid of evolution from the cla-ssroom. Our founding make sure that we can never actually be a majority rule society, empowering minorities alongside majorities.
I fear radical morons.
"Free speech trumps all" I agree, but it does tend to condradict true democratic rule. But then, we don't live in a democracy, we live in a representative democracy aka a republic.
I'm scared of radical morons. And out of control Amish buggies. Can't trust those horses neither. One might have a burr on it's butt. But really. Just why do we feel a need to suck up to someone who has a directive to kill us? Do they REALLY think that having them as buddies will stop them from planning your death?
You're right, and this Luke person is an imbecile whose enabling of this demented woman-hating cult borders on treason.
No Muslim slave – When you cant win an intellectual discussion then you drop to name calling. Way to go! Did you read the quran where it talks about killing women or abusing them? Domestic violence is prevalent in every society and religion. Go check the number of cases in America and you will learn something.
Bobinator is correct. Islam is a different animal than all the other world religions. Many if, not all adherents, would desire to have Sharia supecrede all local, state and federal laws. Over time, as Muslims increase their influence, we will see an end run around our secular laws. Go and ask a US Muslim, which is a higher law, Sharia or the laws of these United States? The answer will make you understand that anti-sharia laws are necessary to avoid fracturing our society into area of Syria and non-sharia.
It appears that the hearings are scheduled to present detailed research on the views and experiences of American Muslims. Why would Muslim advocates spearhead a letter to congressional leaders objecting to such hearings if they are to present their views and experiences?
Because Congress is not holding hearings on any other sect of American culture. What would you response be if Congress held hearings on the role of Catholicism in America and its i impact on pedophilia?
So according to you Muslims are upset because other religions including atheism are not receiving the same research on their views and experiences.
That doesn’t seem like a feasible reason to be upset. Usually people are upset because their views and experiences will not be heard.
No, that is not what I am saying. This is a Congressional inquirey, similar to when Congress only subpeanoed Goldman over the financial crisis instead of the other people/companies involved including Chairman Greenspan. This is quite similar to the communist inquiries of the 50s, an ugly mark on this country's history.
Atheism is not a religion, lady. By definition alone, it can't be a religion. Stating so is the equivalent of diving by zero or finding the square root of a negative number.
@CatholicMom: What would your honest reaction be to what Luke suggested? Would you consider it fair? Or would you, like we have heard on this blog before, speak of the audacity of targeting Catholics when pedophilia is alive in so many other inst!tutions? Your post seems a little disingenuous.
She won't relpy. She ducks and hides every single time I nail her like this. Then she makes up an excuse like having to work or attend to something else for not replying and will inject some stock answer she looked up on a Catholic blog. How do I know? I have copied and pasted phrases from her posts into google and found where she got it from. In tight spots, she doesn't have thoughts of her own.
@Luke: Oh snap! You're thorough, aren't you? I'd ask what kind of dirt you have on me, but I'm not sure I want to know. BeliefBlog's Julian Assange! LOL!
@Luke The square root of -1 is i. Stick with your dividing by zero answer.
Naw dude. I've never seen anything you post that warrants investigation. You always cite sources when not your own thoughts. Hence, even when we disagree, I respect you. Those that copy and paste get my cosmic middle finger. Unoriginality must be painful.
Yes, exactly. The "i" is a symbol that stands for imaginary number. i is also the answer to the square root of -49, -81, -144, etc. It isn't an integer.
or better yet – the answer is 1i. For -49, it's 7i. To the best of my knowledge, these are not numbers, per se. I'll stand corrected if a mathematician has a better answer however.
they have their website too sharia4america.com and no one is going to stop them
I am not ducking and hiding…. I have asked you questions several times but you never responded…but I don’t go calling you out and say ‘you are ducking and hiding’….I just figure you may have domestic issues and don’t need to elaborate if you don’t want to; maybe you are upset because I didn’t accept your wedding invitation…but I did wish you all the best…maybe you missed that along with my questions…so I just let it slide…………………
Atheism is a religion if the person finds that he is god and that all power comes from his own being. I have heard many times…people say…look within yourself for the answers….you have the power ….just acknowledge it! Use it! ‘Will’ it so and it will be!.....to me that is a religion called love of self, where self is the god.
I have good Catholic Sources, I must say! I like getting it right and so glad you take a look because it shows you have interest in Truth! What is the best of my sources, do you think? Catholic Encyclopedia or perhaps The Catechism of the Catholic Church? They are my favorites but the GOOD Catholic sources are many and I'm glad you have taken a look for yourself!
Evolved DNA, why contemplate scenarios? Let’s deal with reality! I don’t have time for fairy tales!
You just rambled on and on again, and still failed to answer the question. That us exactly ducking and hiding.
And for the last time, atheism has no doctrine, figures or creed. In fact, you are atheist to many godly figures. You are atheist to Thor and Zeus for example. We've been through this time and time again, and you persistently ignore it.
The most hilarious thing about this is that you picked up assigning atheism as a religion mumbo jumbo on a catholic blog too. Yeah – I found where you snagged that one too.
You might as well just start copying and pasting honey. Everyone knows now. Your lack of original thought is laughable and I have no respect for it.
CatholicMom..sorry you have me there, I am not sure what thread you may have been looking at you mentioned scenarios .. you will have to refresh my mind...this new format is tough to follow. I will mention that atheism is not a religion.. any more than bold is a hair style. Religions like yours, lets say, have a list of rules and beliefs you have to follow, or you are out or ex co-mmunicated. Atheists only are the same in that we do not believe in any gods..other than that we may have vastly different views. it is in no way a religion..if it is we want a tax break like the CC gets. Did you see some posts where I state that suns died so that we had life.. with regard to the iron in our blood. That is reality, no fairy tale..Nature is far more interesting and magical with out wizards If you want more info on how we are connected to the universe.. as you are searching for truth.. I have many book ti-tles for you..
evolvedDNA and CatholicMom – I live just a few blocks from The American Museum of Natural History. Mr. de Grasse Tyson often lectures for free to those that want to learn about how we are connected to the universe. Perhaps CatholicMom wants to visit and even have the opportunity to ask the head of the Hayden Planitarium a few questions about how star dust seeded life.
CatholicMom – still no answer to the very easy question that has been asked of you. Duck and hide lady.
Evolved DNA and Luke,
As I said, I don’t do ‘what ifs’……….what if this, what if that…about life issues….I don’t read science fiction or love novels either.
Now if you want to talk about what if I used coconut oil in my cookie recipe instead of butter, what might happen then…or what if I used sweet potatoes instead of Yukon Golds in my bread recipe, what might happen then…or what if I didn’t turn my Amaryllis when it leans towards the window… those kinds of what ifs are worthy of contemplation but the what ifs you ask me, a person could write a book if they so felt like it, all fictional. Why don’t you write your own fictional scenario? I am not interested in writing such a book….
BTW, Luke, my questions to you were easy…yes or no would do….no need to write a made up scenario…just a simple truthful answer would have done….
oh here we go again. You're borderline pathetic.
Answer the question I asked. it's right there on top. Very easy to read. It's even in English.
What questions did you ask me anyway? What sources of yours I like? I don't like any of them. I just know you copy and paste and have no original thoughts of your own when in a tight spot.
Here you go CM! I've pasted the question here so you can more easily find it. I've even fixed a grammatical error I made. Remember – I'll know if you copy and paste from somewhere. The google machine is powerful. Your own ideas would be appreciated.
Because Congress is not holding hearings on any other sect of American culture. What would your response be if Congress held hearings on the role of Catholicism in America and its impact on pedophilia?
Hi Catholic mon... Then I am sorry for you.. I find in amazing that a human being can voluntarily remain ignorant of the amazing natural world. There is beauty in evolution that cannot be matched by any sacrifice or supernatural being. I sense perhaps that you have slight fear of looking at the evidence because it would ,maybe, stir your brain a little. You do not sound like an uneducated person, your understanding the catholic dogma sounds complete, which is a feat in its self given the convoluted system it is. ... So incorporating real evidence of evolution and cosmology could be dangerous perhaps to your faith due to your intelligence so you choose to ignore it? The facts are not work of the "devil" or "satan" those were old control techniques to stop the flock from looking at other answers. Now as far as the Amaryllis put it on a slow turning turntable perhaps..my wife would say I'm crazy!!
Way to go Luke!
CM – We can all see you duck and hide :). Cant answer a simple question when it is your faith in question, but you dare to open your mouth about "other" religions. What a shame!
Luke, my easy questions to you were, I was wondering how everything was going with you and wondered if you were married now for going on three years or am I way off…maybe not married anymore?
I am happily married going on 6 months now. My wife and I are deeply in love and working on our first child. We just got a 2 bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where I was born and raised. Things are going good at the Wall Street firm I work for and my wife's singing career is as great as ever. Her voice is enchanting. Thanks for asking CM. So – were you going to answer my question, or are you still searching for stock answers on religious websites still?
Luke, It may take me a looooooooooooong time to answer you contemplative question. You see, the hardest thing for me is wondering what in the world could I copy and paste that could answer such an inquiry.
Luke, thank you! You seem so nice….are there two Lukes on these threads?
You changed a word before you copied and pasted. Why did you copy and paste if you couldn’t keep it original? I am beginning to wonder if you can have an original thought or question….
Luke dog – God will reveal Himself to the world soon. He would never let so many that do not believe in Him and so many that have part of Him in their soul condemn themselves for eternity. I believe this with my heart and soul and so will you very soon.
Mark.. why would Thor want to come back now.. and CM tells us he loves us unconditionally.. or it some new use of unconditionally I was previously unaware of?
Just one Luke here. I copied nothing. I pasted nothing. I am nice to those that deserve it and you still haven't answered the question. You're making a mockery of yourself and everyone can see it.
Because of this encounter, I am going to hound you an each and every thread you post in. I am going to ask the toughest questions possible directly at you and not stop until you answer. I am going to check every post you write for originality and show the source of everything you fail to cite. I will show this blog's following how unoriginal you are every single time you post and I see it. I'm going to be your shadow. All of this because you can't answer a simple honest question. Worst part is – all you have to do is say you wouldn't like it if Congress singled out Catholics and/or say you are ok with a formal investigation. FAIL.
This is great! It is generally very difficult for me to keep suggesting to people that they visit Encyclopedia of the Catholic Church and The Catechism of the Catholic Church without feeling like people might not like me reminding them all the time. It will be nice to let you bring up the names of these sites for a change [or any others that I may like to use] so that people know where they can find the Truth! Thank you!
I think anyone would be troubled if the hearings were into their religion. That being said, just because muslims are offended by the hearings doesn't mean that they should not take place. Let's not forget, no one is being blown up in the name of christianity. The occassional christian zealot kills an abortion doctor, but those are few and far in between.
When was the last time a christian strapped C4 and ball bearings on his chest and killed men, women, and children?
When was the last time some buddhists got together for a shooting rampage through a city? I could go on and on, but you get the point. My point is, we should be focusing on the threat, which you can't deny is radical islam.
CM – you debate like a 12 year old.
Isn’t it any fun for you anymore….?
If Homeland Security feels the need for hearings…I say, go for it! It is their job to devise ways to accomplish their goals. It is too bad that some folks feel like they are being picked on. No one likes a bully but I don’t see Homeland Security being a bully at all. They have only so many funds to work with. Just like fire fighters….they have to have a plan when their men and funds are limited.
If you want them to hold hearings on all groups of people, Christians, atheists, Hindus, etc. you may have to help fund it with donations or higher taxes, until then I say let them do their job as they were commissioned to do by our government. Don’t you like how our government is working? How would you change things if you were heading up Homeland Security? [Please, no 12 year old remarks. Thank You!]
That's just an inherently false statement. Representatives are elected for a given number of years where they then are appointed to varying committees. They are paid a salary for their time and energy. No additional taxes are paid for house hearings regarding any given topic and they work, at times, for days on end. Insinuating a tax hike based on house hearings for other sects is simply false. Moreover, this chat began days ago because I merely asked how you would feel, not any number of side effects – based in reality or your fantasy land of a mind – would be. Try again my child.
There was a Sunday discussion about this on tv and if the government runs out of money…no one goes to hearings or anything else.
That is in the event that the current debate on the President's budget is not approved by Congress in the next two weeks, the government will have to shut down as it did twice during the Clinton admin when he was battling with then Speaker Newt Gingrich. It has absolutely zero to do with Congressional hearings. Of course, if the Government does shut down, Social Security processing, Medicare claims and the floor of the House and Senate will shutter.