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. xmoslem

    I was born a muslim. I was religouse. Now I am ashamed to be associated with it in any shpe or form. Islam is based on force, ignorance, blood.........,
    I'd like to know any of these muslims in America who you can tell where they are from by their clothings, would tolorate a Christian, a Jew, a Hindu, or worse a Mulsim from another Islamic protest his a or her(never mind women have no rights in Islam anyways) right in that country

    March 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  2. L2M

    It is a fact that many of the recognized terrorist organizations in the world have Islamic roots and prominently advertise that fact. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_designated_terrorist_organizations) Recent events, like the Fort Hood shooting indicate that the Islamic community in the US has a limited number of radical extremists who are willing to act on their beliefs to cause harm to the US. Why is it then un-American to look a how we can discourage and detect such individuals?

    March 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  3. InfidelGary

    The sign says it all "Muslimerican" Should say American

    March 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Upperhand


      March 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Duane

      I wonder what would happen if a Jew marched around with a sign that said JewishAmeerican or if a Christian walked around with a sign that said ChristainAmerican. I wonder how long I could walk around Saudi Arabia with a sign that says ChristainAmerican.

      March 7, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • rags anne

      Why? Don't we frequently use 'African-American', Italian-American, etc.?
      I agree, Americans are just that and no need to add another identifier. However, there are too many who wish us to believe they're peace loving Muslims but would slit our throats in a micro-second if they felt we did something inappropriate to them that only they know about.
      That kind needs to be identified and weeded out by the Muslim community so as to help protect we that don't follow their creed letter for letter.
      Each religious group needs to respect the differences among the groups and beliefs. When that happens all can live in peace but until then, fear manifests itself.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
  4. apihead

    Sophistication of Islam my ass. Why is a pro-Western point of view is automaticaly becomes Anti-American?
    To these people freedom of religion does not mean fredom from religion. You can have all the so called tolerance, at the end of the day Islam and the West will not mix!

    March 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Duane

      Europe is approximately 10 years ahead of US. Sadly their leaders are now saying diversity of Islam did not work in Europe. The reason is obvious. Islam does not mix their faith with others. The Muslim community will keep to themselves and oppose any diversity.

      March 7, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
  5. jjmmbb

    Muslims, regardless how much they deny it, they are the causes many violences and human sufferings.

    March 7, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • regertz

      Ignorance, bigotry, and hatred are the causes of self-inflicted human suffering. That's not unique to Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Communists, or whatever. But we are talking about our fellow citizens here, guilty of no crime except that of being Muslim American. Many fight in the armed forces or in other ways to defend the US. Punish criminals who commit or plan crimes, not innocent citizens.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  6. Kregg

    muslims dont like it? get out then! NOT WELCOMED!

    March 7, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Sue

      In France, they have started to offer them money in order to get them to leave the country. I wish that the US would do the same. And, stop all immigration from Muslim countries (just like Australia has done).

      March 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
  7. Grandma

    In my many years and multiple moves within the U.S. I must say that the most bigoted, intolerant, hateful speaking people are not Muslims but so called Christians.These include the white shirt, dark suit jacket and tie men at the door to the "churches" who greet you , unless of course you are a woman wearing jeans. And the nice, little old lady with the pretty Sunday go to meeting hat who makes certain that she and her family don't sit next to the single mother, it might be catching you know. Lets also mention the Christians who when invited to attend a Boy Scout function in a Mormon Stake house and lets others know how he doesn't feel comfortable in a "house of the devil". What about the KKK, Do I need to make any comments on that? Westboro "church" comes to mind. Skinheads. Come on people, there are radicalists and terrorists in all areas, lets not single out one.

    March 7, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Duane

      Many Christains loudly chastise these Christains that you mention. i.e. Westboro Baptist Church is rapidly finding that many Christains are going on the counter rally against Westboro. As far as KKK goes, I ask a simple question to my black brothers. The simple question is: How many blacks have been killed by KKK as compared to the black community itself. Who has done more damage to the black community the KKK killing and lynching blacks or the abortion clinic that purposely been located in black communities to kill more black unborn children for profits? How many black women have been killed or seriously physically/mentally damaged by abortion clinics vs. KKK?

      March 7, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Duane

      Grandma I know of many little old women in their Sunday best that work their behinds off in the Soup Ktichens. They gather clothing for months in order to have church rummage sales. They do not do it for the money. Many Christians have spent their own money opening up clinics and shelters to help single mothers, abused women & children. They spend their own money to help pregant woman who do not want to have an abortion but have little other choices. Planned Parenthood with their federal funding give them options of abortions. Many of these Christains give them hope and love besides clothing, diapers, food and shelter.
      Grandma you condemn the Christain. Therefore not to be a hypocrite yourself, you must be donating and volunteering your time to help less fortunate people. Which organization have you pick to donate time and money?

      March 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • Duane

      Grandma I forgot to add. Do you realize the Shriners Hospital never turns a child away for a medical problem no matter if the family can pay for it or not. Do you know where the Shriners get their funding? Shriners are a branch of Masons. Masons are people of faith who believe in God. They are principally Christian but can be Jewish, Muslim.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  8. PMG

    I am sick to death of people like Bob and the other do-gooders who think these people are so wonderful. My God, look at the way they treat their own women. Look at what they did to us in the name of the "peaceful" Quran. THEY HATE US AND HIDE BEHIND OUT LAWS. We allow a mosque to be built at ground zero and not build our own memorial. They are not a peaceful people. are you all so stupid not to see that.

    March 7, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Douglas

      Europeans enslaved Africans and Native Americans in order to "civilize" them in the name of Christianity for hundreds of years. They killed way more in comparison, so what makes Christians any better? Except that you get to add a giant heap of hypocrisy to everything you spew?

      March 7, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • jeffd

      @Douglas- Maybe I'm missing something but we aren't talking about Christianity 250 years ago, we're talking about Islam TODAY. Unfortunately, Islam today is about 500 years behind where Christianity was 250 years ago. Just ask their women.

      March 7, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Brian Macker

      African Americans and Native Americans enslaved African Americans and Native Americans. That's the way it was back then. Everybody was doing it. Whites didn't invent the practice, stupid. ... and yes there were Native Americans who owned black slaves in case you didn't know. It wasn't like the white man was traveling into deepest Africa to capture slaves. That was a age old practice of the Muslims and africans themselves. That along with Muslims capturing Europeans and placing them into slavery.

      What the white man did was end slavery world wide, or at least made it illegal. So you've got it backwards. We rose from the muck, and were not the originators of it.

      March 7, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • regertz

      The issue here is whether our fellow American citizens guilty of no crime should be targeted.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • regertz

      We're not talking about fanatic foreigners but good American citizens who've committed no crime. If you have proof that an individual or group is planning or committing a crime than provide it. These people are guilty of no crime but being Muslim Americans, many of whom defend the country against such fanatics.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • Duane

      I always love the finger pointing at Europeans and Americans have slaves 200 years ago. The fingers never seem to think about the African slave trade today. That is one of the reasons South Sudan has voted to cede from Sudan. South Sudan is principally Christian who have been subject to slavery by north Sudan who are principally Islam.

      Those finger pointing people also must start learning that whites typically did not venture into Africa to capture slaves. It was other Africans including skins of many shades colors who who capture others from different African villages to be sold to the European slave trader.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  9. Douglas

    Radicalization (v.): Process through which one becomes thoroughgoing or extreme, especially in change from accepted or traditional forms.

    This also describes the Westboro Baptist Church. Where's the hearing on the "radicalization" of Christianity?

    March 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • jeffd

      1) Westboro Baptist isn't an actual Baptist church
      2) That church is a cult, filled with wacko's hiding behind the 'Christian' name
      3) They haven't killed anyone

      March 7, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • regertz

      The fanatics who attacked us on 9/11 and since are just as marginal. It's no more right to smear our fellow Americans with this brush than to blame all Christians for Tim McVeigh.

      However we Catholics do plan to take over...And the Pope is coming on a battleship.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
  10. jeffd

    If muslims could just be this proactive in denouncing actual terrorism, we'd be getting somewhere.

    March 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Joe

      They are but the media doesn't give that any attention, it doesn't get the ratings.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • regertz

      Not only did American Muslims denounce 9/11 and other terrorism, they fight bravely in the armed forces and some help to counter terrorist threats in the US as federal and state agents. Do you think the Somali kid who wanted to play terrorist in Portland was fooled by a blue-eyed blond agent? These are our fellow citizens, guiltly of no crime. Punish criminals and those who plan crimes.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • jeffd

      Oh yes, they might 'denounce' terrorism behind closed doors, but where was this impromptu rally after any terrorist attack? From what I remember, Muslims were celebrating in the streets of Clifton and Elizabeth as the towers burned in the distance on 9/11.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
  11. Daniel

    Seems to be alot of hate on this board. Most of it seems to be without any reason or fact to back it up and in fact much of the ranchor is based on false facts and political and hateful rhetoric. That is the very reason these "hearings" should not take place. They will only give a false legitimacy to the falsehoods that some use to push their own agenda. That agenda does not match any religious doctrine I have ever studied and is far more in line with that of the terrorists (of any religious persuasion). Grow up people.

    March 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Brian Macker

      If these hearings should have been held back before the first WTC bombing when those violent Imams were coming here preaching death to America in addition to the existing violent claims of infallibility that is Islam.

      March 7, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
  12. Dave

    The bigger threat to America is Rep Peter King,he is a NAZI and should be dealt with as such..

    March 7, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • cindogg

      no you are the nazi libtard! Islam is not your friend son

      March 7, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  13. Radical Islam Must Be Stopped

    Communists did not do anything in our country. It is nothing like Communism. All Communism was, was a fear of our government being replaced with one that actually required its citizens to work. Radical Islam wants to destroy our generations of progress, and murder or enslave everyone who is not a Muslim. They are in no way the same. Moreover, Communists NEVER attacked America, and NEVER killed American civilians on a mass level. Obviously, there was 9/11 and there have been 1000s of ATTEMPTED TERROR ATTACKS since 9/11 in the name of Islam. Islam is a real threat, and not a conspiracy. Look at Germany last week. This is NOT McCarthyism. Radical Islam is a problem, the biggest single threat we've had to our country since the British in 1812, and even then all they wanted was to make us pay taxes. Radical Muslims want you dead. Muslims have a right to practice their religion, but we have a right to make sure they are kept an eye on. I understand it can be humiliating, and it can stink but the reality is that over 10% of American Muslims are pro al-Quada according to statistics. I understand all men are created equal, which is exactly why we must show a firm hand with radical Islam to ensure that peoples from all faiths and moderate Muslims can live in peace.

    March 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Brian Macker

      They have a right to practice a religion that defames me and incites violence against me? I don't think so.

      March 7, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Joe

      Its always convenient to invent your own statistics.

      March 7, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • regertz

      This is McCarthyism. Fellow citizens targetted not because of crimes they committed but because of their ideas or faith. American Muslims are no more guilty for 9/11 than evangelical Christians for Tim McVeigh. Those who commit actual crimes or plan them should be punished. These are our fellow citizens who fight bravely in our armed forced, pay taxes, cherish our freedoms.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
  14. Joe

    Just wait till these crazy people kill more Americans!! Fly another plan into a tax building! and keep denying the basic rights to American citizens...DAMN TEA BAGGERS!!! LEAVE OUR COUNTRY!!! USA USA USA USA!! Allahu Akbar!

    March 7, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • regertz

      These are our fellow citizens who committed no crime. Go after criminals.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • Joe

      You're telling me Tea Party people haven't committed any crimes? You must be living under a rock!

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

      Which crimes?

      March 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Joe

      What crimes? Oh I don't know, maybe the pipe bomb in that went off in front of a Jacksonville mosque, maybe a truck filled with highgrade explosives to blow up a Detroit Mosque. How about flying a plane into the IRS building because they didn't want to pay taxes? How about mowing down innocent people and a congress woman in Arizona? Want more?

      March 7, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Duane

      I do not know where you finalize your news reading but – no everyone has agreed that tea party did not mow down everyone including the Congress woman. the man who flew into IRS building in Austin TX was right next door where we set up our formal business meetings and no he was not Tea Party. The other examples you give I am not familar with so I can not comment on them whether you are right or wrong. But you are wrong on 2 of your examples for sure

      March 7, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
  15. Douglas

    Shouldn't we be looking for the real criminals like Jared Loughner Oh. Forgive he's white he can't be a terrorist or a criminal. My bad.

    March 7, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Cassandra

      He has been caught. And he's a certifiably insane nut job who killed a lot of people. So, what's your point.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  16. WaltD

    It is time for the Republicans to stop stirring up fear and prejudice here in America, and act like mature, rational, intelligent, caring and compassionate citizens. It is time for the Republicans to truly recognize we are a nation of iimmigrants and would have been deprived of a lot of intellegent people, who contibuted significantly to our society, had we not welcomed immigrants in the past or now, including people of different color and cultures. It is time for the Republicans to read the Quran and discover, like Bob, that this is is " a very peaceful book." Only the fear-mongers and pandering politicians make it otherwise.

    March 7, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Cassandra

      I'd hardly call it a 'peaceful book".

      But I find all of the protesting interesting. Radicalization is occurring and significant minorities of young muslim men are supportive. Ignoring it is not going to make it go away

      March 7, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • Duane

      The Quran I started to read started off with a preface that Mohammed was a nomadic herdsman that stole and killed by the sword. He saw Jews and Christians prosper. So he started following their God and had a vision from God. Unfortunately, according to the Quran he was not making much progress in convincing people to follow him Then he had another vision to convert people to his religion by the sword. Then he had success. Islam is the only religion in the world that the founding father of the religion was successful by spreading the message by the sword. This does not sound peaceful religion to me if you read the preface of the Quran.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
  17. nm

    Root cause of terrorism= America's foreign policy. America supports dictators and Israel. Once that changes anti americanism will stop.

    March 7, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • cindogg

      quit blaming the jews it doesn't work anymore

      March 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Beel

      Um...even if we drop support of Israel and leave the Middle East, the Koran will still require Muslims to kill non-Muslims and their quest for world domination will continue. It will not end until most of them have been slaughtered in a nuclear holocaust. then they will be whining for peace. Our greatest enemies in this country are those who are willfully blind and continue to support them.

      March 7, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Joe

      Beel the Qur'an actually says the exact opposite. Muslims are to live peacefully with other faiths. War is a last resort and killing anything but enemy combatants is forbidden. Also, the first offer of peace is accepted even if it doesn't benefit the Muslims. There is no compulsion in religion, this is often repeated in the Qur'an.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
  18. sriram

    People who are not scared of radicalization have not traveled outside the USA. It is easy to stay secure within the border and act righteous.


    March 7, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • MAL

      Your bigotry has humiliated and devalued America.

      March 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  19. MNGuy

    It amazes to see all the one-sided comments posted on here. The dumbing down of America continues. How sad.

    March 7, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Chickin-Bones

      I love the people of every nation and color. I can't stand the Musim culture They mock ours for allowing the freedoms they have.

      March 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • nm

      The Muslim Culture supports freedom as long as its not evil. You can be free but don't kill. You can be in love but don't commit adultery, be out of wedlock, commit abortions, or be like the people of Lot (pbuh). You can be free to write but don't lie, backstab, or be insultive. You can be free to make money but dont use interest or usury to keep the poor poor. Everything in moderation. Don't oppress and don't be oppressed. You can fight in war but only as last resort, can't hurt the innocent, cant hurt nature, no collateral damage allowed.

      March 7, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
  20. Muneef

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

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

    March 7, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • colleen

      In the Name of Jesus Christ. Mohamand is a man created by God. Jesus is Gods son who came in as a child, died upon the cross and rose upon the 3rd day. Now He sits at the right hand of God as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. My God is love. Your god hates. Read the kuran. Why would you call America the Devil but want oh so desperatly live here.

      March 7, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • cyberwave

      "But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."
      Qur’an 9:5

      "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."
      Qur’an 9:29

      The Qur'an teaches violence. lol.

      March 7, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Joe

      Colleen its Qur'an not kuran, there is no k sound. Maybe you should read it and see what Muslims are supposed to do when they are being harassed by people like you, say peace. God had no son and is not a part of creation, nothing is like God. Read what Jesus said in the Bible, not Paul.

      March 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Joe

      Cyberwave you take the Qur'an out of context and without knowledge of what was being reviled. There is a reason people cannot make juristic ordainment from the Qur'an without proper knowledge in an Islamic school.

      "And if one of the idolaters seek protection from you, grant him protection and let him hear the word of Allah, then make him attain his place of safety; this is because they are a people who do not know" 9:6

      So if one asks for peace you grant it. Also this verse was for a specific situation, the Qurash betrayed their peace agreement with the Muslims as a result the Muslims were told that they must fight the Qurash as they betrayed the peace accord and declared war against the Muslims.

      March 7, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • nm

      Jesus is not son of God. He is a Prophet of God in Islam. If Jesus was the son of God, then Adam and Eve would be better sons and daughters of God. The bible, the tourah, the quran are all books of God. Prophet Abraham is common to all of us and he always believed in one God without son or daughter. Go back to Prophet Abraham and ask what he believed in to figure out the truth. Islam is about submitting your whole life for God. Everything you do has a purpose in life. Not living the dream without the compass of knowing right and wrong. Everything is about the hereafter. Taking verses of the quran out of context is just stupid and ignorant. Muslims were under prosecution and oppression for the beliefs. Muslims let minorities and women have rights when there were none.

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

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

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

      March 8, 2011 at 5:34 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.