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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. Chinada

    If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then chances are it is a Muslim Extremist.

    The moderates don't speak out or in numbers as much as they should.

    March 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • Another Larry

      "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then chances are it is a Muslim Extremist."

      Next time I see a Mallard I'll report it to Homeland Security.

      "The moderates don't speak out or in numbers as much as they should."

      I think it would be more accurate to say, "The moderates don't speak out or in numbers as much as I think they should." As far as I can tell the only value in them speaking out would be to satisfy people like you. Sure you don't think them speaking out is going to change the minds of some religious extremists, do you? Since when has that ever worked?

      March 6, 2011 at 2:49 am |
  2. MONTE

    Having lived/worked in 13 countries (Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Asia) over a period of 32 years, I feel quite secure in when I say I am open minded and tolerant of differences whether they be cultural, spiritual, etc. Do I feel the vast majority of Muslims believe killing all infidels, suicide bombers in the market place, or attacking another religions (or sect) place of worship. No .. However having said that, I do believe the vast majority of suicide bombers, people who would kill another over a religious belief, etc are Muslims. I also believe that the reason the mainstream Muslim population DOES NOT openly condemn these actions are quite simple .. If they did, they too would become a target. If you really believe that terrorism is wrong, the majority has the venue to change it but does it have the strength?

    March 5, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • MWH250BP

      When MUSLIMS CONQUERED and OCCUPIED, and RULED, AND CONVERTED others in in their own pre-Islamic lands, WHO WERE THE FOREIGN OCCUPYING FORCES? the "FARINGIES"? Mohammed said there should B NO COMPULSION by BELIEVERS In Islam. I note the Christians and Hindus in Pakistan–and Gov. Taseer, and Minister Bhatti!!
      It's a tad shameless to speak of "foreign occupying forces such as the international forces in Afghan,Pakistan,Iraq,Palestine, ETC., DON"T U THINK?
      I say it is the NATURE of EXISTENCE that -diff peoples,species,etc will supercede existing inhabitants of land, air, and water. THAT RULE APPLIES TO US ALL including Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Christian, Animist,etc. followers. TIME is on nature's side. Don't believe –UNDERSTAND and KNOW and ACCEPT that REALITY. NO ideology is forever!

      March 5, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  3. morgan painter

    It would do more to ease the fears of the average American if the Muslim leaders would become proactive in denouncing terrorism. Maybe the news agencies ignore it when American Muslim clerics protest against violent Islamic activities. I just know I have NEVER seen a video or read a news note depicting American Muslim people chastising Islamic terror.
    What do they do? They spend time on capitol hill attempting to convince our elected officials that they are peaceful.
    I have always believed actions speak louder than words.
    I suspect they don't denounce and protest against Islamic terror because they secretly believe it is justified.

    Show me you hate terrorism.

    March by the thousands in the streets with signs chastising Islamic terror and then I will believe you are sincere.

    March 5, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • Another Larry

      "I just know I have NEVER seen a video or read a news note depicting American Muslim people chastising Islamic terror."

      This is a statement about what you have seen, not what they've done. I've seen many examples of this. But can you honestly tell me you believe them speaking out will change the minds of religious extremists? Since when has that ever worked?

      "I suspect they don't denounce and protest against Islamic terror because they secretly believe it is justified."

      This is you attributing your preconceived belief to them. It's nothing more than baseless character assassination. You really have no right to judge what is in someone else's heart in the absence of real evidence, and frankly I think you sound ridiculous.

      Do you really think Osama bin Laden cares if a bunch of Muslims protest terror? Really? Since when to religious fanatics care about popular opinion?

      We invade Iraq without cause. It doesn't matter if we thought they had WMDs, what mattered was that they weren't engaged in aggression toward anything other country.

      “The defense policy of the United States is based on a simple premise: the United States does not start fights. We will never be an aggressor. We maintain our strength in order to defer and defend against aggression to preserve freedom and peace.” — Ronald Reagan

      Many of us were appalled that we would start a war, but most of us didn't protest. Don't be so arrogant as to presume you can judge what's in the heart of another person.

      March 6, 2011 at 3:02 am |
  4. wyciwyg

    I JUST SAW THE VIDEO OF little boys, from under 5-yrs-old to maybe pre-teen, rehearsing a suicide-bomber's farewell and acted-out "death." this is disgusting, terrifying. goto http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41926249/ns/world_news-the_new_york_times to read the story, the Talaban official's approval, and the link to the youtube video.
    I WEEP FOR THIOSE CHILDREN, I RAGE AGAINST THE ADULT INDOCTRINATORS.

    March 5, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • jams

      how exactly are you raging?

      rrrrrraaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! by leaving comments!!!!! garrr!

      March 5, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  5. splasher6

    They exists to kill or conquer us... you decide which one you want
    HERE'S THE TEST

    1. 1968, Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by:
    a. Superman
    b. Jay Leno
    c. Harry Potter
    d. A Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40

    2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by:
    a. Olga Corbett
    b. Sitting Bull
    c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    3. In 1979, the U.S. Embassy in Iran was taken over by:
    a. Lost Norwegians
    b. Elvis
    c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    4. During the 1980s a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
    a. John Dillinger
    b. The King of Sweden
    c. The Boy Scouts
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    5. In 1983 the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
    a. A pizza delivery boy
    b. Pee Wee Herman
    c. Geraldo Rivera
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    6. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a
    70-year-old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in
    His wheelchair by:
    a. The Smurfs
    b. Davey Jones
    c. The Little Mermaid
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    7. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens and a U.S. Navy diver
    Trying to rescue passengers was murdered by:
    a. Captain Kidd
    b. Charles Lindberg
    c. Mother Teresa
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    8. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
    a. Scooby Doo
    b. The Tooth Fairy
    c. The Sundance Kid
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    9. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
    a. Richard Simmons
    b. Grandma Moses
    c. Michael Jordan
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    10. In 1998 the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
    a. Mr. Rogers
    b.. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems
    c. The World Wrestling Federation
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    11. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked. Two were used as
    missiles to take out the World Trade Center . Of the remaining two,
    one crashed into the U.S. Pentagon and the other was diverted and
    crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by:
    a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
    b. The Supreme Court of Florida
    c. Mr Bean
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    12. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
    a. Enron
    b. The Lutheran Church
    c. The NFL
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    13. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
    a. Bonnie and Clyde
    b. Captain Kangaroo
    c. Billy Graham
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    14. And now we can add: In 2009, 31 people wounded and 13 American
    Soldiers murdered on base at Fort Hood by a Major who was known as...
    a: You guessed it – A Muslim male extremist between the age of 17 and 40.

    No, I really don't see a pattern here to justify profiling. Do you?
    So, to ensure we Americans/Canadians never offend anyone, particularly
    fanatic’s intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no
    longer be allowed to profile certain people. They must conduct random
    searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper
    identification, secret agents who are members of the President's
    security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of
    Honor winner and former Governor Joe Foss, but leave Muslim males
    between the ages 17 and 40 alone lest they be guilty of profiling.

    March 5, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • MWH250BP

      So d127–HERE'S NEWS FOR U! There is NO ISLAMOPHOBIA__WE R REALLY SCARED OF your TERRORISTS acting in the NAME OF ISLAM! We R NOT PHOBIC–JUST SCARED–Do U GET THAT?

      March 5, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • Iesa

      1- HE WAS A CHRISTIAN–educate urself

      March 5, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • Rol

      Extremely well said. Bravo

      March 5, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • Tony

      Yeah, it's not like Christians haven't killed people in terrorist acts over the years. Or, you know, ridden into the Middle East to try and annihilate Muslims because their magical sky wizard told them to a dozen or so times in the Middle Ages. But nice job of cherrypicking your examples! *golf clap*

      March 5, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • morgan painter

      I must say you did your research well.

      But if you dig deeper I am certain there is SOMETHING we could pin on Daffy Duck. That duck is just plain strange if you ask me.

      March 5, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • morgan painter

      1. sirhan was a pseudo christian who was following occult teachings.
      Christians do NOT embrace the occult.
      His father was Palesinian and beat sirhan numerous times which is more indicative of the muslim mindset of the area they came from. sirhan had returned alone to the middle east so we have no way of knowing who or what he was associated with during that time.
      He and his family are still indicative of the thinking that comes out of the middle east.

      March 5, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • Another Larry

      "No, I really don't see a pattern here to justify profiling. Do you?"

      What I see is a list of cherry picked incidences you almost certainly got in a viral e-mail. If you set out to create a list of crimes created by members of a particular group then it shouldn't come as a surprise if there's a "pattern," but such a pattern proves nothing because the list was rigged to have that pattern.

      Were Lincoln, Kennedy, or Reagan shot by Muslim men between the ages of 17 and 40? The Weather Underground planted bombs at government buildings. Were they Muslim men between the ages of 17 and 40? Was the guy who flew his plane into an IRS building a Muslim man between the ages of 17 and 40? Was Timothy McVeigh or the Unibomber a Muslim man between the ages of 17 and 40?

      You want to see a pattern so you can justify something. That's what I really see.

      March 6, 2011 at 3:50 am |
  6. hbk

    d127

    thats not what history reflects .... hahaha ... but again ..... time will tell ... time will tell. The question was not as straight as you gave the answer ... how can you choose both ? Is it possible ..... Hope you are tellin the truth ... but again .... time will tell.

    March 5, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  7. Ephrem

    A true muslim cannot support Democracy, Abortion, not killing infidels. So how someone can be Muslim and American. Islam is not a religion. It is a terrorist organization with a fake cover of religion on it. It is too dangerous than Communism.

    March 5, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • Another Larry

      How can someone be this ignorant?

      March 6, 2011 at 3:38 am |
  8. wyciwyg

    The positive aspect of the video is that it motivates the children for jihadi ideas,” Mr. Mujahid said. “The negative point is that it affects their lives.

    “It gives them courage for this kind of work, but children should not do this kind work at this age. But they should have an idea about jihad in their mind, and they should prepare themselves for sacrifice.” Zabiullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman
    direct quote in artlcle re: YOUNG BOYS playacting A

    March 5, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
  9. SS

    The ratio of crazy fanatics to moderates in this religion is far greater when compared to the other religions of the world. Might not be PC it might be unpleasant to hear but you can't ignore the reality.

    March 5, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • Another Larry

      I'm not sure what you mean by "far greater," but given that there are 1.4 billion Muslims the percentage of them that are terrorists is pretty tiny. If it were 1.4 million terrorists — which is far higher than an credible estimate — that would be 0.1%, meaning 99.9% of them are not terrorists.

      But you know, if the world's richest, most powerful country were a Muslim country, and they went around invading poor Christian countries, you might find more Christians turning to terrorism. By the way, would you count hate crimes in this country a form of terrorism? Every year there are hundreds of hate crimes committed against Muslims, Jews, gays, and Latinos, and Caucasians in this country.

      March 6, 2011 at 3:36 am |
  10. Moe NY

    I, personally, have no problem with Muslim religion, Baptist, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, etc. The problem I do have...is all these religions trying to convert American, non-American, people to their beliefs. I do, however, blame most of the world's problems on religion. Believe whatever you want to believe, but stop trying to cram religion down the throats of Americans, etc. Religion and politics do not mix.....separation of church (regardless of what church) and politics at all costs. Actually, I do not want to be forced to attend church on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, Friday. I, for one, will not be forced to accept any religion. As for the terrorists of this world...they come in all shapes and sizes......unfortunately most of them are religious zealots. Watch out America....our religious zealots (republicans/teabags/conservatives) are trying their best to control you and free thinking.

    March 5, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • Trigster

      Before speaking, check the facts. Where do you see Jews recruiting anyone?

      March 5, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • fromtheblueline

      Hey d!ckbeater, look around the country and see who is taking your rights away – Bloomnaziberg, steals your arms, tells you what to eat and that you cannot smoke outside. Deemoncrats from Illinois wish to make public, all those who do NOT have the means of defending themselves. A rich Old white guy from Virginia has the nads to call people r@cist for not living the obamadream. Deemoncrats give poor minorities the worst education in the free world, force them to live in squalor, and give them just enough crappy food so that they have to vote for them to get more.

      March 5, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • MY name is Khan and I am not a terrorist

      Way to go....looks like someone has been reading CHristopher Hitchens?
      @other trolls: Right side votes creationism, keeping god god god everywhere like in our pledge of alligence, have kept the bible as what we swear on in courts, and guzzle oil faster than hummer with turbochargers. The destroy our ecology and continue to beilive what most all scientist call Global Warming.
      Furthurmore: Right makes racist laws....heard of the AZ law that makes all brown people have to carry their passports? At least the left offers some protection from you caveman-dwelling dictattorship supporting, gas guzzzling zealots.
      in the end ALL religion attempts to convert, if not activly, then with the thrreat: after death god wont let you into heaven........
      Perhaps YOU should geet YOUR facts straight

      March 5, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  11. collins61

    This guy has the nerve to complain " the hearings are not doing anything to assuage Muslim fears" yet Islam has had the world walking on eggshells for over a decade. Where was this guy and all of those invisible moderate Muslims for the last 10+ years?

    March 5, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  12. Upperhand

    "This is a very American thing, congressional hearings,” says American University's Ahmed of next week’s King session. “Let’s present the complexity and sophistication of Islam so Americans understand it better. It’s a teaching moment.”

    Hey Ahmed!! We understand Islam just fine, when it comes to that backward 7th century, cave dwelling, 3rd world religion we know you people turn into rabid dogs and harbingers of intolerance...if there's a teaching moment Its a teaching moment for you Muslims. Fix it!!!

    March 5, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • Another Larry

      What an ignorant moron.

      March 6, 2011 at 4:29 am |
  13. Allan

    Welcome to McCarthyism version 2.0!

    March 5, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  14. Jason

    First of all I am a man of God, who cares what the religion... the top three are all Abrahamic... Get it! We all serve God whether you are atheist, agnostic, scientologist, believer.... it doesn't matter we all fall short. I served with Muslim interpreters that are my brothers just like my soldiers. They fought with us for something that was about a better life. Religious leaders use God's name to recruit the young and impressionable(for power and land), because they think that their impoverished families can make a difference in the name of God. Sadly misled. Don't fear the different Embrace them.

    March 5, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  15. Walking With God and his Mother

    I think "islamaphobia" will cease when the Islamic Community begins to ACTIVELY stop the radical islamic activity, instead of letting the rest of the world look like the bad guys. They need to STEP UP TO THE PLATE and disown the radical murderers.

    March 5, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • Another Larry

      They've repeated condemned terrorism, and certain Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia have actively worked to fight it. Just how much do you think Muslims in one part of the world can do to influence Muslims in another part of the world?

      March 6, 2011 at 4:27 am |
    • Walking With God and his Mother

      I guess the 'key' wording being ACTIVELY! Hunt them down, put them on trial and prosecute for crimes to humanity. Not an easily stated "we denounce their actions!" Most everyone denounces their actions, SO WHAT, what are they going to do about it, since their radical bigotry stemmed from the twisting of Islam.

      March 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  16. George

    The Muslims who live in the U.S. and abide by its laws, deserve every chance to live in peace and happiness. But Islam has left a bad taste in the mouth of America and it will take generations to heal. Further Muslim immigration to America should be curtailed until the war is over.

    March 5, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • Another Larry

      "Further Muslim immigration to America should be curtailed until the war is over."

      Because when the Bill of Rights prohibits discrimination based on religion that doesn't apply to Islam, right?

      March 6, 2011 at 2:41 am |
  17. JWH

    Chinese restaurant ok, Hundu Temple, ok, Korean store ok, Islamic Mosque deadly.

    March 5, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • TheTruth

      Do Chinese terrorize every country in the world by suicide bombing? Do koreans and Hindus terrorize people by suicide bombing? NO

      Do Muslims terrorize people of other faith by suicide bombing? YES YES YES

      March 5, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • Bobby

      Muslims in the US lose credibility because of these things right here. Why is it they do not denounce radical muslims? If they are law abiding citizens, they have nothing to worry about. You would think they would denounce radicals, but they do not. Muslims are their people, and muslims are perfect in every way. If they kill, they have a perfect reason too.

      March 5, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • Another Larry

      Bobby: "Muslims in the US lose credibility because of these things right here. Why is it they do not denounce radical muslims?"

      They do. The claim they don't is a lie spread by people who want to turn the uninformed against them, which apparently includes you.

      March 5, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
    • Another Larry

      "Do Chinese terrorize every country in the world by suicide bombing?"

      Such questions are truly idiotic and prove nothing. China has a military and no one has invaded them or manipulated their government. We have a long history of sticking our nose into the affairs of Muslim countries and the people who got fed up with it enough to take action didn't have a military force, so they used the only means available to strike back at us, which is terrorism. This is what groups always do when facing a vastly superior force.

      It's not unique to Muslims, nor is it even remotely new. Drug cartels are committing terrorist acts on a daily basis in Mexico. The Irish Republican Army was considered a terrorist organization.

      You know, maybe, just maybe if you tried thinking about things objectively instead of looking for a way to prove something you want to believe your arguments might have more value.

      March 6, 2011 at 4:25 am |
  18. hbk

    Never ever trust a muslim. He will choose islam and no one else. I dont hate muslims. I respect all religions but this is a fact.

    March 5, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • Another Larry

      Anyone who would choose someone else over his religious beliefs is a hypocrite. Any real Christian should be willing to side with his belief in God over his country if the two are in conflict.

      March 6, 2011 at 4:16 am |
  19. Dave D

    Gotta be sensitive to the muslims. Gotta be sensitive to gays and lesbians. Gotta be sensitive to African Americans and Hispanics..........and most of all, I have to be accepting of being called a racist tea-bagging redneck, even though nobody who has ever called me that has actually met me. Nor have they provided any proof of racism at the events which tea partiers allegedly screamed slurs at blacks....but they just KNOW that we're racist....just like the KNOW that obama has a valid birth certificate which nobody has seen. Hmmm.....quite the double standard, over and over.

    After the Ft Hood shooting, we were told not to rush judge the muslim shooter, or whether it was an act of terror, but when the AZ shootings happened, libs couldn't blame the assumed crazy right winger nutjob fast enough. When we learned that if anything, he was a leftist, it was then Sarah Palin's fault for using a target on a map.....as politicians on both sides of the aisle have done for years.

    We're being told that we must be tolerant of all.....while Janet N has assumed that our brave military veterans are the most likely to be future domestic terrorist....and we have TSA feeling up grandmas to make sure she isn't bringing a bomb onboard our airplanes.

    You'll have to forgive me, but I'm exhausted from being tolerant towards those who are intolerant towards me. You have to give respect to get it. I'll be waiting.

    March 5, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • Joe

      Amen!!!

      March 5, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • hope4now

      agreed

      March 5, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • asb

      Dear Dave,

      Obama has not presented his birth certificate because the president of the united states does not need to lower himself to the standards set by conspiracy theorists and t-baggers. and why should he? people like beck and Limbaugh are so incredibly unimportant in the world that exists outside of fox news, its not even funny. But you, like most T-baggers, never do research. The state of Hawaii has presented the newspaper article in which Mr. and Mrs. Obama announced the birth of their son, Barack. Look it up!
      Oh, and another thing. John McCain was not born in the United States, yet no one on the left cries foul. Yea he was born on an U.S army base in Panama, but that that sure as hell ain't the continental U.S.A.
      And for the record, Not only did Palin place cross-airs directly on the district that gabby giffords represented, but she, not liberals, coined the term "Don't retreat, reload"
      And if you're waiting for respect for people like Hayley "the civil rights era was't that bad" Barbour or Mike" obama was rased in kenya, i mean Indonesia," Huckabee, then i hope you got a book and a comfy chair my friend. cause its not happening.

      March 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • Steve

      Thank you for a thoughtful and all too true response.

      March 5, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • Another Larry

      Poor you. How much have energy have you expended fighting the double standard that favors you over the people you're so tired of tolerating? Do people claim you're a terrorist just because of your religion? Do people protest when your religion wants to build a house of worship? Are you part of a demographic where people have been beaten for the sport of it? Are you part of a group that had to fight long and hard to have the same rights white Americans had from the very beginning? Do people treat you as if you don't belong here because of your ethnic background?

      I don't know you, but I can already tell you're self-absorbed and care little for the challenges others face.

      March 5, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • Another Larry

      As for Tea Partiers being racist, let me share my experience with them and those on the far right in general. They are virulently opposed to president Obama and never pass up a chance to insult him or belittle him. They like to mock his name and are more likely to believe he wasn't born here despite the fact there is no reason to doubt his birth. They regularly tell lies about him to demonize him and misrepresent his motives. They love to label him with scary labels like fascist, socialist, and communist, which they're apparently dumb enough to believe are interchangeable. They find the most inane reasons to criticize him, such as the story Fox News did criticizing him for his choice of mustard.

      Now, his opponents always tell me they just oppose his policies, but when pressed, I've yet to find even one who can intelligently discuss any of his policies. No, it's quite clear they just hate him, or hate the fact that he's president, and they're desperately looking for excuses to justify their hate. So the question this behavior raises in the mind of any objective, reasonable person is, what's the real reason they hate him and why are they hiding it?

      What's also clear is that they get all their information from sources they value because those sources pass their ideological litmus test, not because of the quality of the information it supplies them, which explains why the only thoughts they ever seem to have are those fed to them by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. (It's rather ironic a group that's more educated than the average American would put so much stock in the paranoid ramblings of a high school graduate like Glenn Beck.)

      "I don't hate Obama because he's black. I hate him because he's the villain in fairy tales Glenn and Rush tell me."

      March 5, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • wyciwyg

      thank you DaveD. i too am fed up to my eyebrows trying to appease the sensitivities of ppl who USE race-religion to twist our laws and customs 90 degrees against us, who hold USA in contempt as litte more than a cash cow to be milked at will. AM also extremely irate @ our elected officials for their irresponsible spending, country-destroying borrowing, their elitist insulation and arrogant disdain of the ppl they should be SERVING.

      March 5, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • SadieSadie

      @ Another Larry...
      Because no lefties mocked George W. Bush when he was president? Because they didn't say foul things about him? Because they wouldn't have/did at every oportunity undermine his role as president. Oh wait... yes they did!
      If you are on the oposite side of the political table then chances are you will not agree with whatever the other person is doing... it is called politics/human nature. Suck it up buttercup!

      March 6, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • Another Larry

      @SadieSadie: "Because no lefties mocked George W. Bush when he was president?"

      The "he did it first" argument is very popular with seven-year olds. It's not valid when they use it and it's not valid when you use it.

      A lot of people disliked Bush, but I can assure you they were not all "leftists." I voted for the guy, twice, much to my chagrin and I think he was utterly incompetent. (The only reason I didn't vote for Kerry in 2004 was that I couldn't stand John Edwards.) Unlike the folks on the right who can't seem to articulate an intelligent basis for their opposition to Obama, I would be more than happy to articulate the reasons for my feelings about Bush. In short:

      – His administration did nothing for seven years to address any of the problems that had been eating away at the foundations of our economy since before he took office.

      – He added $4.9 trillion to the national debt in the absence of any serious recession or significant unemployment.

      – The Bush tax cuts perpetuated the flow of income and wealth from the bottom 90% to the top 1%:
      In 1980, the top 1% earned 8.46% of the total AGI, and the bottom 50% earned 17.68%.
      In 2002, the top 1% earned 16.17% of the total AGI, and the bottom 50% earned 14.23%.
      In 2008, the top 1% earned 20.00% of the total AGI, and the bottom 50% earned 12.75%.

      – Bush started a war, something no other president has ever done and previous presidents understood we should never do.

      “The defense policy of the United States is based on a simple premise: the United States does not start fights. We will never be an aggressor. We maintain our strength in order to defer and defend against aggression to preserve freedom and peace.” — Ronald Reagan

      Suck it up buttercup.

      March 6, 2011 at 1:58 am |
    • Another Larry

      "just like the KNOW that obama has a valid birth certificate which nobody has seen"

      Obama *has* produced a valid birth certificate issued by the state of Hawaii. You can view high resolution pictures of it online. The director of the Hawaii state department of health has issued a statement that he has personally confirmed Obama's birth records.

      Obama has produced a Certification of Live Birth, which has been inspected by various organizations and is the only form of birth certificate Hawaii has issued since they computerized all birth records for people born after 1907 in 2001. At that time they stopped issuing Certificates of Live Birth, which is what they call a copy of the original birth certificate.

      March 6, 2011 at 9:17 am |
  20. Maloof

    "...Be an apologist if you want, but the greatest slavers in history, both westward and eastward, are Moslems (Arabs)." – History has enough and more record to show their role in slavery – that is how they made money.

    March 5, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • d127

      For all those who wants nothing to do with Muslims in America, here's news for you:

      – Muslims serve in all branches of the Armed forces. In fact, there are more muslims serving in the Military than there are Jews! Do your research!
      – There is rarely a hospital in the USA where there is no Muslim doctor on staff – you can't afford a heart attack in America without Muslims
      – There are Muslims teaching at all Universities
      – Muslims build your electronics at all Hi-Tech american companies
      – Muslims even enable your IT for you to browse the web and spew your hatred
      – Muslims fill your gas tanks at stations
      – Muslims transport you in their taxis
      – Muslims check you in at the airport
      – Muslims....and the list goes on

      Like it or not – Muslims have been around since America was discovered – the Moors sailed with Columbus and a large percentage of slaves were Muslims. Muslims have been around and are here to stay! If you don't like this simple fact, you can leave our country and migrate to some bigoted place elsewhere!

      March 5, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • hbk

      d127

      lets say you are a muslim ... will you choose usa or islam ... b honest in the name of allah

      March 5, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • d127

      In the name of Allah, I choose USA AND Islam. I see absolutely no conflict there. I love both and I live for both. My life and the life of thousands other Muslims testify to that fact.

      If you cannot comprehend this, then the problem is with you not with us.

      March 5, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • Sulayman F

      You can and I do serve both actually. Pray 5 times a day and volunteered at a local fire department / ambulance and clinic.

      March 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • asimj

      islam teaches muslims just to take, not return the same respect or privileges to non-muslims in place where they are in majority. islam and its followers are alway plotting to kill non-muslims, yet enjoy all the products and kindness of non-muslims shamelessly.

      March 5, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • d127

      @ asimj: really? Muslim Americans contribute more to America than the average American. Muslims are more educated, are more professionally employed, earn more, are more socially upward mobile, give more to charity and pay more taxes than the average American. Muslims die for this country – visit Arlington!

      Do some serious reading... just because you put things in your mind doesn't make them true!

      March 5, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • Another Larry

      There is nothing honorable in trying to turn people against Muslims with such talk. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      March 5, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • Upperhand

      You forgot one more, – Muslims will kill all who oppose Islam.

      March 5, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • d127

      @Upperhand – if this was the case, then there would have been 6 million muslims trying to kill you in the USA. The fact is we are busy saving your life daily in the hospitals and the emergency room all over the country

      March 5, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • Rabid Rabbit

      @hbk:

      Let's say you are a Christian. Will you choose USA or God? Be honest in the name of Christ.

      March 5, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Another Larry

      "Let's say you are a Christian. Will you choose USA or God? Be honest in the name of Christ."

      A lot of them choose their wallets over Christianity. I wish I had a dollar for every Christian who's asked, "Why should I have to pay for someone else's health care?"

      March 6, 2011 at 3:54 am |
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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.