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.”

Muslims and non-Muslims demonstrated in New York

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.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • 9/11 • Islam • Politics

soundoff (1,742 Responses)
  1. butch

    its common knowledge that the koran says "behead the infidels whereever they may hide", and muhammed freely admits lusting after a 6 yr GIRL, that he later marries and desecrates. he also freely admits being a thief and raider; to having his enemies assassinated by having a muslim follower "befriend' his enemy, then behead them in their sleep; muhammed was a hypocrite and was frequently caught in lies or contradictions at which point he would retire to his tent and emerge w/ "a new verse " that the archangel "gabriel" provided to justify muhammed marrying another mans wife, who was already married or to correct a stupid comment muhammed made. he promoted multiple wives for muslims but when it came to his daughters husbands wanting to have multiple wives(muhammed's daughters complained) again the archangel gabriel came down w/ a verse forbidding muhammed's daughters husbands from having multiple wives. basically gabriel was some kind of "get out of jail free card". muslims either have no idea what their stupid book says(how would they, its forbidden to translate the koran because "the arab language is so beautiful it must be preserved". its more likely that knowing how ridiculous the koran is and murderous, they dont want these verses condoning murder and slaughter, simply for not being muslim, to be commom knowledge. so they want their followers to learn arabic and repeat it, even if they don't know what they are truly saying. how are you supposed to learn anything? you are not supposed to learn anything, you arec supposed to be programmed.
    its sad thsat there are so many PC conscious liberals who are so stupid, they equate knowing how evil the islamic religion is, with "hate". note, nowhere did i say i hated muslims. but the muslim religion is a dangerous lying viper in our bosom. muslims are being deceived. some idiots are screaming "racism". there is no such thing as race unless you mean like the human, cat, dog and horse races. there are only shades of the same color, its a scientific fact. there should be muslims gathering to denounce their radical bretheren. instead they can only speak if they think yr against islam. why dont they speak against muslim radicals? because they condone it or are afraid. when salman rushdie wrote his book, if muslims had just said he was a jerk or ignorant it'd be one thing, instead there was a world wide edict to murder him, because he questioned the obvious stupidity and ridiculousness of the koran. when you cant even question something, how can you be free? muslims have no idea what democracy is.

    March 6, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  2. Anti-Jihad Bob

    The doctrine of Freedom of Religion does not apply to any so-called religion that advocates killing non-believers!!!
    Hence, the doctrine of Freedom of Religion does not apply to Islam or Muslims. I cannot morally defend the right
    of Muslims to kill me and my family simply because we do not share their beliefs! On the contrary, it is my moral obligation to defend my family and countrymen against such murderously intolerant fanaticism!

    Islam is not a "religion of peace" that respects every individual's right to think the way he or she wants. No! It is instead
    a belief system that is held in place worldwide by fear...by fear of death! If you are a Muslim and decide to change your
    religion to Buddhist or Christian or even Athiesm, you will be killed! This is Sharia law, the law of Islam. Death to apostates and death to Infidels!

    The belief system known as Islam is anti-free thought, anti-individual, anti-women, anti-freedom, and anti-life. Its goal is to spread itself around the world by any means necessary, and culminating in a Global Caliphate in which all men and women's thoughts and actions are controlled under pain of death by a self-appointed Theocracy. All dissent is punishable by death.

    This murderous and oppressive thought system masquerading as a "Religion of Peace" should not be allowed to exist in America. All the world's major countries at this very moment are beset by the problem of Muslim murderers in their midst.
    India=Mumbai massacre of innocent civilians & subway bombings previous to that.
    Russia= Airport mass murder, Opera House murders, Beslan massacre of school children, etc.
    China= Uighur killings
    Thailand= murder of 100's of school teachers in South over 4 yrs including pregnant 22yo teacher gunned down on her motor bike by 3 Muslims w/assault rifles who cheered & hi-fived each other as she lay in a pool of her blood on the road.
    Netherlands= editor murdered for newspaper column exposing Muslim oppression of women, "honor" killings.
    Spain= massacre of innocents in subway bombings, "honor" killings.
    UK= Subway bombings and murders of teachers and govt officials, "honor" killings
    Portugal, France, Germany, Scandinavia= murder of teachers, politicians,critics,plus scores of "honor" killings.
    Australia=murder of teachers, politicians,critics,plus scores of "honor" killings
    USA = World Trade Center massacre, Ft. Hood massacre, etc,etc.
    Philippines= ongoing Muslim murders of innocent villagers in Mindanao

    The above are just a tiny portion of the Muslim-instigated murders that take place on a daily basis throughout the world.

    Mosques should be banned in America. Polls show that although only 10% of Muslims are actually involved in the acts of murder and terrorism, upwards of 75% of all Muslims are "sympathetic" to the goal of the killers, namely a worldwide Caliphate under Sharia Law, and so support and condone the killers' actions as " doing Allah's work."

    March 6, 2011 at 5:43 am |
  3. GV

    Hearings are just that, hearings. The very real issue of radical islam is being investigated to determine to gather the facts necessary to ensure our public safety. I can't see why everyone besides the muslims are so upset. Even they shouldn't be afraid to take a look in the mirror.

    What bothers me about these so called moderate groups is that they spend all of their time trying to prevent the rest of us from making up our own minds and expressing our opinions about their religion. If they are truly moderate, wouldn't their time be better spent lecturing the fanatics about the need to abandon all of the quranic exhortations to conquest, subjegation, and the murder of unbelievers and apostates?

    March 6, 2011 at 5:10 am |
  4. Steve

    I see news stories like this and read all these comments and continually come to the same sad relisation.....religion causes more wars than anything else in this world.

    You each stick up for your respective religions, and denegrate any that oppose you. You all find fault in people arguments about interpretations of "holy scriptures" and find ways to make your religion of choice better than the others.

    At the end of the day, you are all blinded by the fact that religion is man made, and any and all atrocities performed in the name of religion are simply excuses for killing.

    Throughout history, almost every act of gonocide was in some way the result of one group feeling superior to another, and in most cases it was religion based.

    Islamist, Jews, and christians have been klling each other for their beliefs for centuries, but they still haven't learnt anything from it. Face it, religion has failed to unite the world, because you cannot agree on what form your almighty saviour should take.

    Imagine god is a bowl of fruit, each of you would be fighting over the colour of the bowl, and ignoring the fact it is merely a vessel for storing the fruit that can help sustain life.

    Do you honestly believe that your god, the one that created the universe and everything in it, is so self centered and egotisticle that he wants you to kill those who do not believe in him? Seriously? You think he wouldn't have the power to smite them himself? God did not write the books you hold so dear.....men did. Men who claimed to be prophets of god.

    These days if a normal person claims to hear god speaking to them, they are locked up....it seems only "religious leaders" can claim to hear the word of god and be believed.......lucky none of them are working for personal gain, or they might be able to get you to do anything....even start a religious war......

    March 6, 2011 at 2:52 am |
  5. Jon

    I hadn't heard of these trials before. This is foolishness, but about par for the Republicans, and for Representative King in particular. What a dishonor to our country and its legacy!

    March 6, 2011 at 2:07 am |
  6. Tanveer Khan

    Speaking as a muslim, I am not sure I understand why muslims are objecting to the hearings. I think the hearings will ultimately serve to diminish prejudice against muslims. There are sure to be some bigots but I am sure that there will also be many that will rise to the defence of the muslim community. In cases like this, it has been my experience, it is best for people (muslims) to leave advocacy on their behalf to their friends (our non-mulsim, enlightened, American friends).

    March 6, 2011 at 1:08 am |
  7. Dave

    Religion is the root of all evil – all religions! They are about the money and herding the sheep. Be spiritual, not religious!!!

    March 6, 2011 at 1:06 am |
  8. mike kerns

    when youre life is guided by fear.hate.anger and rage. E.t.c. you are truly living a poor quality life. And when you insult denigrate youre fellow americans over there faith or lack of faith. You should take a look in the mirror and reflect. And ask youre self what will make you happy?

    March 6, 2011 at 1:01 am |

    At coffee houses and on blogs most Muslims I come accross when a terrorist act against americans occurs blame us for all the bad we have done from Iraq and Afganistan. What most do not realize is that there are 55 Islamic countries in the world. How have they treated non-muslim minorities?. The answer is that they have wipped out 90% of all minorities in Islamic countries over the past century. They are universly Intolerant and are universal brutal to non-muslims. Clearly Islam and Democracy are incompatible. I would not risk my children based on the history in Islamic countries.

    March 6, 2011 at 12:56 am |
  10. Sid

    The hearings are a bad idea.

    March 6, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  11. Macarthyism

    It's the red Scare all over again.... this time instead of looking for communist under our beds... its radical Islamic fundamentalist over our shoulders. America's enemies have been and will always be out there among us.... and none of them have ever gone to a senate hearing and admitted they are going to kill Americans.

    March 6, 2011 at 12:47 am |
  12. mmi16

    If the Muslims are serious about being citizens of the US then purge themselves of the Jihadist elements and see that the get prosecuted under US law.

    March 6, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      if Americans are serious about being world citizens, then they should purge themselves of their habit of shipping TRILLIONS of DOLLARS in weapon systems to Muslim countries and keep all their deadly arms within their own borders.

      March 6, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  13. Chaz

    I have a friend who having spent part of his childhood in Iran and is Persian tell me that every Friday after prayers, they would gather and shout "death to America, death to Israel". He, his two brothers and their father own and run a convenience store and strip shopping center. He has abandoned his religion. He's also told me that people from the local mosque have told him that they do indeed send money to terrorist organizations in the Middle East. As a result, I don't trust them as a whole because they'll blend in with mainstream America and seem "normal". In addition to that, the majority of "peace loving" Islamists have failed to rein in their more radical brethren.

    March 6, 2011 at 12:35 am |
    • JDJr

      Like my granddaddy said, "trust, but verify." I am sure there are peaceful Muslim, a great many of them, in fact. I just don't think that a common variable linking multiple acts of terriorism should be ignored.

      Shariah law should not become acceptable for American judgements, nor should "International Law." Said laws may be good to other nations/cultures, but if you are going ot use that line of logic: some people love their neighbors, others eat them. Both practices are equally acceptable to their cultures. Which would YOU prefer?

      March 6, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      Regarding your comment about Iranians shouting "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" every Friday. As much as you may disagree with them, you cannot blame them however!

      The US blindly supported an oppressive Shah of Iran Regime for decades, a regime that killed and oppressed the common people of Iran and resulted in massive torture and disappearances and 100,000s of deaths. Deaths that could have been avoided by the US SUPPORTING DEMOCRACY in Iran instead of supporting DICTATORSHIP. America is not a friend of the Iranian people based on its past behavior.

      Israel is an Apartheid State that is oppressing poor Palestinians. Despite dozens of United Nations Resolutions, most of which the United States ALONE has singularly refused to accept, Israel continues its barbaric oppression and suppression of the local Palestinians.

      YOU SHOULD BE HONORING the Iranians for standing up for the rights of the Palestinians, not scorning them for it!

      March 6, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  14. The Kid

    Also whoever the clown is who mentioned scientology – they are no religion. They should be rounded up and executed. They have the Sea Org, where they enslave people in " 1 billion year contracts", they harass people, they hurt people. Even the leader of scientology's wife "disappeared" after you displeased them.

    They are far more dangerous in the long run that Islam. If Islam would grow up and create democracies and separate church and state – and not follow secular law, then maybe they would be not feared.

    And if your a muslim and your so offended, then YOU need to do research and see what Islam's beliefs are. Non believers should be killed, never shake hands with non-belivers or say hi – unless your in their land. There are many more examples. You obviously do NOT know your own religion. I can find EXACT verses from the Koran to show you this.

    March 6, 2011 at 12:34 am |
  15. Teaneck

    Buy your Burquas early ladies. Shariah law is coming to the USA.

    March 6, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • JDJr

      I hope not.

      March 6, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      sharia law is ALREADY IN THE UNITED STATES!!
      all the killers you behead (1,000 of them since 1979)
      all the prisoners you put in jail

      this is sharia law. its not christian law! christians don't send people to jail. they forgive and forget. Jesus died for all those murders and theft already.

      March 6, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      always amusing to see Americans screaming about sharia law.
      when they use it at home all the time, to imprison thieves, to behead murderers.
      even your traffic system is sharia law! being penalized for crossing a red light
      or speeding is a direct copy of the basic premises of sharia and jewish law.
      there is no such thing in christianity.

      March 6, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • butch

      biraq, yr not fooling anybody. tryimng desperately to defend islam shows yr just another blind zealot. the preison system isn't sharia law, u idiot. no one is in there bvecause they didnt wear some stupid burqua, or because a woman anted to go to school. those are the stupid things barbaric islam pushes. muhammed was a pedophile, hypocrite, thief, raider and liar. he NEVER made a single prophecy. he openly admits all this stuff but most muslims dont know about it or if they do, they're forbidden to ask questions because to question islam is forbodden or you'll be killed. why dont you move to some hellhole muslim country if you love it so much.

      March 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  16. guest

    If these Moslems want to be thought of as part of American society, they should have stood shoulder to shoulder with us in 2001 and voiced condemnation of the 9/11 attacks. Instead they said nothing, not only here but around the world. All silent and unwilling to call it murder as all normal human beings knew it to be. Well, now we see you as the dogs you are and eventually blood is gonna spill and you'll only have yourselves to blame. You wanna kill others simply because they aren't Moslems as the koran suggests..... Guess what, you are going to be on the receiving end. If you want to be Americans, act like it now. Otherwise when it goes down.... you're going down with it.

    March 6, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • Chaos

      "If these Moslems want to be thought of as part of American society, they should have stood shoulder to shoulder with us in 2001 and voiced condemnation of the 9/11 attacks. Instead they said nothing"

      They did you imbecile but you were too busy attacking people that had nothing to do with the attacks to notice.

      "we see you as the dogs you are and eventually blood is gonna spill and you'll o"nly have yourselves to blame. You wanna kill others simply because they aren't Moslems as the koran suggests".

      As an imbecile you don't realize how vile YOU are. Yes. You specifically are a worthless piece of dung and fit the description of the kind of people you describe. You are a hypocrite.

      " If you want to be Americans, act like it now."

      You're the one behaving like an anti-American bigot and extremist but too dense to even realize it. If you grew up in the Middle east, judging by your behavior, you would be a radicalized Muslim. Fact.

      March 6, 2011 at 12:35 am |
    • truethinker

      They did. Some even joined the military.

      March 6, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • Scott from NH

      OMG, Muslims groups in and out of America have condemned terrorism and 9/11 thousands of times. When will you finally tell the truth and stop staying they didn't???

      March 6, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • butch

      chaos, you are an ignorant liberal POS. recognizing the most evil religion in the world doesnt make you a bigot. and yr so stupid you think the handful of muslims who may have said something, equals universal condemnation of the zealots. it doesnt. not even close. they are afraid to say anything because according to the letter of the koran, they would be apostates and they should be killed. yr so f@#king stupid that you ignore this. a true muslim is out to take over any country that isn't muslim, and make it muslim, by any means necessary. why dont you move to iran if you like it so much, db?

      March 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  17. hello

    simply! the jews did it! they make amerians fight their wars.. and hide like little cowards.

    March 6, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • JDJr

      Intriguing, the Yom Kippur and the Seven Days War magically vanish into the ether? I wasn't aware of American involvement....

      March 6, 2011 at 12:45 am |
  18. scranton

    The worst thing that we can do is to alienate our Muslim population, this is exactly what the extremist want. Number 2 in the Al Qaeda's play book is to have the US persecute Muslims and push them over to their side. Number 1? Well that is to try to obtain electricity in their caves in which they dwell.

    March 6, 2011 at 12:18 am |
    • GV

      Then what do we do? Do we ignore the fact that the FBI continues to make headlines for arresting would be terrorists? I don't see why anyone living in America, threatened by these 'good' Muslims, would not want to get to the root of the matter.

      And you have it backwards. The Muslim Brotherhood manifesto (progenitor of Al Qaeda and others) of infiltration and conquest of western civilizatin depends heaviliy on the protection afforded them to operate under our legal rights to religious freedom.

      Again, I pose the question, what should we do?

      March 6, 2011 at 12:47 am |
  19. tonyL

    Islam is a pluralistic religion. It is a diverse religion. There are 72 sects with different beliefs and different interpretations. It is stupid to assume they are all the same and they all practice and have the same beliefs. There are few common beliefs among them, believing in One god and Mohamed was the last prophet. It is similar to Christianity where there are different beliefs and different interpretations. Trying to have hearings will confuse the stupid right wing lawmakers as they are already confused due to their racist and bigoted minds. The people who have already made up their minds in hatred cannot be changed. Specially people like Committee Chairman Peter King.

    March 6, 2011 at 12:18 am |
    • GV

      All of those 72 sects also believe that the Koran is the perfect immutable word of god. They also all believe, as you said, in the profithood of Muhammad and follow his example. Unfortunately for us, Mohammads example is one of pillage, conquest, subjegation, and slaughter of unbelievers. That's not me talking, those examples can be found in the Koran, and the histories of Al Tabari, Al Bukhari, Ibn Ishaq, and Muslim – which are universally and historically recognized as Islamic scripture. A few key word searches: Banu Qurayza; Asma Bint Marwan; Kinana;

      March 6, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • butch

      tony, you are either genuinely this stupid or its an act. there is no misinterpreting "behead the infidels where ever they may hide". muhammed freely admits being a pedophile, a thief, raider, murderer and that he had his enemies assassinated in the worst ways ever. the book "christ, muhammed and i" exposes the complete ridiulousness of the koran and how its not remotely divinely inspired.

      March 6, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  20. The Kid

    Anyone who is saying that the USA is like Nazi germany is either a muslim, or an idiot. Muslims hate us, they want to kill us, they want to make our women wear head coverings, they want to take away your beer, wine and liquor. Also again – they want you dead.

    It makes me sick when I see you little clowns with your comments like "bush is a terrorist", "the usa is nazis" "how many innocent people have we killed in iraq/afghan" etc etc. If you live here they MOVE THE F out.

    We need hearings like this. And we should worry about what these backwards people who want to live like its the fricken stone age want to do.

    If we are acting like Nazis, so be it – but we aren't. the muslims are the ones who want ALL NON-BELIEVERS DEAD. You ignorant college student low IQ pukes.

    March 6, 2011 at 12:18 am |
    • Chaos

      You actually would fit in with Nazi Germany quite well.

      March 6, 2011 at 12:28 am |
    • SayWhaaa

      Your name fits you perfectly. Now give daddy back his computer

      March 6, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • aj

      Its clowns and raciists like u that give our country a bad name. Its people like u that need to move out because our country would be better without u. Get educated. If you were educated u would know that a large percentage of American Muslims are educated and love the USA. The ones who hate our country largely due so because our government meddles in their country affairs and kill their people with our superior forces and drones. So stop with your racist redneck com ments.

      March 6, 2011 at 12:35 am |
    • The Kid

      Clowns, you have no leg to stand on and debate anything. I state facts you make up total BS just because "your against the government" or whatever the F your deal is.

      You'd fit in Nazi germany as a Nazi because you obviously drank the koolaide like the rest of the cattle who cry about the corrupt evil USA government. The muslims are the nazi like movement, OUr government needs to protect us from them.

      I hop islamic radicals wipe out your entire family. Then you will change your tune.

      March 6, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • David

      Shouldn't all terrorist based organizations be studied for their threats, and not one singled out for something that occurred 10 years ago? Have the Muslims you come across daily just in moving around from place to place, assuming you don't live in a very rural area and actually see people in your day-to-day activities, actually tried to kill you, your friends and/or your family? Do those who claim to also want to kill other Americans, like neo-Nazi organizations, extremists right-wing Christian based groups for their talk of killing DR's that may provide abortion services, or left-wing eco-terrorist organizations that destroy and threaten property and people, do these other radical groups also matter in the eyes of people supposedly interested in American security? Should those groups be overlooked and not investigated, or are you waiting for Rep. King to create another government based investigatory group to look into each terrorist based organization separately? Islam poses no more of a threat to the American way of life than any other group that claims to want to kill other Americans, or tells us we should "target" certain people or groups within our own country for extinction. Studying potential terrorist threats and identifying problems is fine, but actually feeding the American people a line like sharia law based Islam is a real threat to take over in America is crap. In fact, Christianity poses a bigger threat of religious based take over in this country than any form of Islam. Religion does not belong in politics, and politics does not belong in religion. That is, unless you are one of those people who thinks Christians should run the country, and then I think we know where the problem lies, and again, it's not with Islam, and certainly is not an Islam only issue. Here's where I get told I am un-American, should leave the country, I am un-Patriotic, hate America, etc.. Though for over the last 10 years I have supported this country within the Defense infrastructure. So I guess I must be anti-something for taking a stance.. Oh yeah.. Anti-Stupid and Anti-Ignorance.. I draw the line there because at some point, not learning and not informing yourself leaves only one person to blame.. Allowing others to fill your head without taking on the responsibility of educating yourself, well, I am anti-that.

      March 6, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • abnguy

      @aj not once did he mention race. How do you claim he is a racist?

      March 6, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • VKay

      Hearings are absolutely needed. 56% of surveyed support this. Congress MUST not compromise on this

      March 6, 2011 at 12:48 am |
    • David

      @The Kid "I hop islamic radicals wipe out your entire family. Then you will change your tune."

      You see, you say people are incapable of debate, that you provide facts, etc.. Then you make a statement wanting people wiped out. Are you honestly any better than the leader of Iran claiming to want Israel wiped out? Are you any better than bin Laden wanting America wiped out? Well, you just supported the idea of wiping out Americans, so no, you are no better than either of them, you have not provided facts, you only provide rhetoric and propaganda. You also watch Fox News and CNN and assume everything you learn from them is fact, right? Especially Fox, correct? Certainly Beck, Hannity, O'rly, Palin, Huckabee, Gingrich, et al. have no political agenda, right?

      You just supported the wiping out of your countrymen and you think Islam is the problem.. No, the problem is ignorance and stupidity, and you just enlisted in that man's army..

      March 6, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • truethinker

      A certain sect that follows Sharia law does, not everyone who calls themself a Muslim. Some Muslims are actually fighting these terrorists right now, so shut up.
      I'm signing up to fight America's enemies but not a everyone of a certain religon. Not every muslim is an enemy, not every enemy is a muslim. We are fighting the taliban and al queda, not all Islam. This politician is out for his own political gain and thats it.

      March 6, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • Scott from NH

      Clearly you haven't been to Muslim nations and don't know anyone Muslim. I'm an American Jew who has been to Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation six times and I've never seen any other place where the people are as kind, respectful and caring. When I brought my son to courtyard in a neighborhood full of Muslim children who didn't look like him, they all came over to him, sat in front of him and handed their toys over as a way of saying "We accept you, please play with us." I've also been to Palestine several times, and when telling Palestinians that I was an American Jew they would invite me into their homes and tell me their life stories and struggles.

      March 6, 2011 at 1:01 am |
    • Dave

      Hey kid – in spite of the fact that religion is the root of all evil, you are a sick mofo...

      March 6, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • JustinFromNJ

      Where are you getting this belief that Muslims want to kill all non-Muslims? From the Koran? If so, please read the Bible and find out what Christians should be doing to non-believers. Specifically, direct your attention to Deuteronomy 17:2-5.

      17:2 If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant; 17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel; 17:5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.

      March 6, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • mike kerns

      Were not claiming the usa is a nazi country! We are calling you and youre fox nation nazis!

      March 6, 2011 at 1:33 am |
    • YinYang


      Why don't you read history who worked for Nazi Germany in World War 2 before your start calling people nazi..

      Do you know who Hassan Al Banna, Mohammad Amin Al-Husseini and Rashif Ali Gaylani was ? Do you really know that Hassan Al-Banna was devout admirer of Adolf Hitler? And do you know that Anwar Sadat, who later became president of Egypt, was a willing co-operator in Nazi Germany's espionage according to his own memoirs.

      Maybe you're surprise to know that many muslim in the arab world and balkans support nazi since they have common enemies – the british, french and the jews.

      Not surprisingly to me a white supremacist group like aryan nation are calling for alliance with alqaeda.

      (The Nazi-Islamic Alliance date back since the 2nd world war.) Of course I won't say all white supremacist group are sympathetic to Islamist cause however there's those who are calling for alliance with Islamist due to their opposition to U.S. government which they dubbed as Zionist Occupied Government.

      March 6, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      @ YingYang

      so you are claiming that Hitler was a product of the Muslim World??

      March 6, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • butch

      justin, you must have flunked reading comprehension in school. the verse says "among you", NOT unbelievers. any jew who was in the tribe at that time would have seen these miracles firsthand and known better to bow down to idols or false gods. to do so was punishable by death.

      March 6, 2011 at 5:00 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.