Senate panel schedules Muslim rights hearing
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin called the hearings.
March 23rd, 2011
07:58 PM ET

Senate panel schedules Muslim rights hearing

By Rachel Streitfeld, CNN

Washington (CNN) - For the second time this month, members of Congress will hold a hearing on American Muslims - this time with a decidedly different spin.

A Senate Judiciary subcommittee plans to consider “measures to protect the rights of American Muslims” in a March 29 hearing, just weeks after an unrelated House committee prompted a flurry of controversy and media attention by examining the “radicalization of American Muslims.”

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said Tuesday that he called the hearing on Muslims’ civil rights in response to “a spike in anti-Muslim bigotry” including highly-publicized protests over a proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York and a Florida pastor who planned to burn copies of the Koran.

“Our Constitution protects the free exercise of religion for all Americans,” Durbin said in a statement. “During the course of our history, many religions have faced intolerance. It is important for our generation to renew our founding charter’s commitment to religious diversity and to protect the liberties guaranteed by our Bill of Rights.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) welcomed the hearing Wednesday as a “positive development.”

The advocacy group came under criticism at the Muslim radicalization hearing, during which some House members said CAIR had counseled its members against cooperating with law enforcement - a charge the group vehemently denies.

“Given the (radicalization) hearings, given the threatened Koran burning last year, given the opposition to the mosques you see across the country, our story is very much front and center of the civil liberties struggle right now,” said CAIR Legislative Director Corey Saylor.

“I think it would be very important and useful to let people see what’s going on,” he said.

Durbin’s office released a list of speakers for the hearing:

Muslim civil rights leader Farhana Khera; Roman Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick; Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez, the Obama Administration’s top civil rights official; and former Assistant Attorney General Alex Acosta, the Bush Administration’s top civil rights official.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Politics

soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Tonino

    People wake up the CIA is deeply involved in the sleazy and corrupt behavior in the Middle East, even negotiating with Islam extremist groups…you fill in who! Lybia no really!

    March 28, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  2. Kathy McKenziw

    Muneef, Great comment

    March 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Muneef

      Kathy McKenziw. Thank you,I think you seen it that way because you are a believer while non believers do not see it the way you do...

      March 27, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  3. Muneef

    Just remember this;

    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    [17:63] He said, "Then go; you and those who follow you will end up in Hell as your requital; an equitable requital.

    [17:64] "You may entice them with your voice, and mobilize all your forces and all your men against them, and share in their money and children, and promise them. Anything the devil promises is no more than an illusion.

    [17:65] "As for My servants, you have no power over them." Your Lord suffices as an advocate.

    Al-Isra sura 17:
    [17:70] We have honored the children of Adam, and provided them with rides on land and in the sea. We provided for them good provisions, and we gave them greater advantages than many of our creatures.

    [17:71] The day will come when we summon every people, together with their record. As for those who are given a record of righteousness, they will read their record and will not suffer the least injustice.

    [17:72] As for those who are blind in this life, they will be blind in the Hereafter; even a lot worse.

    [17:73] They almost diverted you from the revelations we have given you. They wanted you to fabricate something else, in order to consider you a friend.

    [17:74] If it were not that we strengthened you, you almost leaned towards them just a little bit.

    [17:75] Had you done that, we would have doubled the retribution for you in this life, and after death, and you would have found no one to help you against us.

    [17:76] They almost banished you from the land to get rid of you, so they could revert as soon as you left.

    [17:77] This has been consistently the case with all the messengers that we sent before you, and you will find that our system never changes.

    March 26, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  4. Aijaz

    exactly what "facts" did you share with us when you initially responded. if you cared for a civilized discussion I would have entertained you, but instead you threw insults... so don't be so surprised with the response your received.

    March 25, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • jedi

      Yeah as if you're the saint here. Cut the act will ya. Thats what you people do. Trying to show the world you're saint and your way of life is better than everyone – The truth is you're no better.

      March 25, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  5. Muneef

    Pearls of Wisdom from Ali bin Abi Talib

    Success is the result of foresight and resolution, foresight depends upon deep thinking and planning and the most important factor of planning is to keep your secrets to yourself.

    49. Be afraid of a gentleman when he is hungry, and of a mean person when his stomach is full.

    50. Hearts of people are like wild beasts. They attach themselves to those who love and train them.

    51. So long as fortune is favouring you, your defects will remain covered.

    52. Only he who has the power to punish can pardon.

    53. Generosity is to help a deserving person without his request, and if you help him after his request, then it is either out of self-respect or to avoid rebuke.

    54. There is no greater wealth than wisdom, no greater poverty than ignorance; no greater heritage than culture and no greater support than consultation.

    55. Patience is of two kinds: patience over what pains you, and patience against what you covet.

    56. Wealth converts a strange land into homeland and poverty turns a native place into a strange land.

    57. Contentment is the capital which will never diminish.

    58. Wealth is the fountain head of passions.

    59. Whoever warns you against sins and vices is like the one who gives you good tidings.

    60. Tongue is a beast, if it is let loose, it devours.

    62. If you are greeted then return the greetings more warmly. If you are favoured, then repay the obligation manifold; but he who takes the initiative will always excel in merit.

    63. The source of success of a claimant is the mediator.

    64. People in this world are like travelers whose journey is going on though they are asleep. ( Life's journey is going on though men may not feel it ).

    65. Lack of friends means, stranger in one's own country.

    66. Not to have a thing is less humiliating than to beg it.

    67. Do not feel ashamed if the amount of charity is small because to refuse the needy is an act of greater shame.

    68. To refrain from unlawful and impious source of pleasures is an ornament to the poor and to be thankful for the riches granted is the adornment of wealth.

    69. If you cannot get things as much as you desire than be contented with what you have.

    70. An ignorant person will always overdo a thing or neglect it totally.

    71. The wiser a man is, the less talkative will he be.

    72. Time wears out bodies, renews hopes, brings death nearer and takes away aspirations. Whoever gets anything from the world lives in anxiety for holding it and whoever loses anything passes his days grieving over the loss.

    73. Whoever wants to be a leader should educate himself before educating others. Before preaching to others he should first practice himself. Whoever educates himself and improves his own morals is superior to the man who tries to teach and train others.

    74. Every breath you take is a step towards death.

    75. Anything which can be counted is finite and will come to an end.

    76. If matters get mixed up then scrutinize the cause and you will know what the effects will be.

    March 25, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  6. Aijaz

    BG, i won't argue with you.

    "When you argue with an idiot, they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience"

    March 25, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • BG

      Don't let the facts get in the way... just name call. It's what we've come to expect of you. Thanks for the validation.

      March 25, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  7. Aijaz

    I just wish Americans could first figure out how to pronounce the words Islam and Muslim. Maybe then we could move on to more complex issues.

    March 25, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • BG

      Actually, most Americans have moved beyond Islam and Muslim. Our new vocabulary list includes kaffir, jizya, and dhimmi. We're pretty sure what they mean, too..

      So take your "more complex issues" and put them where your sun never shines and your crescent moon never shows.

      March 25, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
  8. Tonino

    Americans are slaves within their own Nation, they work like dogs, pay taxes on property, get the least days of vacation, are obese and unhealthy, and last but not least in debt to their eye balls. Hypocrites, America economy is dying, their education system is falling apart, third world countries education is exceeding them, USA is at the bottom of the list, shame on you, their infrastructure is decaying, their world policy is as old as apple pie.
    America will collapse just like any other socialist government based on the Romans rules.

    March 25, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Reality

      So Tonino,

      What utopia do you live in?

      March 25, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Muneef

      Think he means that continuos wars are exhausting your country's financial status and as a result systems are becoming poorer for the individual welfare.... Your country is facing exhaustion,consumed,drained out of her wealth for some reason only God knows what...

      March 25, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  9. Reality

    Saving the Senators a lot of time and at the same time saving many lost souls :

    Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslim souls:
    There never was and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam

    Saving 2 billion lost Christian souls:
    There was and never will be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity

    Saving the souls of 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
    Abraham and Moses never existed.

    Added details upon request...............................................................................

    March 25, 2011 at 12:30 am |
  10. Amalia Sheran Sharm

    Didn't the X-Men movie start out this way?

    March 24, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  11. Muneef

    Yup you are nuts.

    March 24, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Muneef

      Sorry that was meant for the Yup Jedi....who need a full course of correction as a (Robot)...

      March 24, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • BG

      Seems that Jedi is one of the few Muslims here that's not on the Islamic autopilot.

      March 25, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Muneef


      Think she said she is from the minority of non Muslims living in Islamic country like Malaysia or was it Indonesia and she feels they are not being just to her people being minority...but only God knows what race or faith she is of...

      March 25, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • BG

      I misunderstood. Thank you for the correction.

      March 25, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  12. Tony

    The Euphrates Will Disclose Mountain of Gold

    March 24, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Muneef

      Hi Tony.

      It said black gold under the Euphrates river bed...so it must have been the crude oil stolen by the you know who as part of oil for food program....

      March 24, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
  13. Tony

    Democracy is a legislative system in which all citizens of society exercise direct and equal participation in the development proposal and passage of legislation into law. Universally there is no accepted definition of democracy, other then equality and freedom which have been identified as important characteristics of democracy since ancient times. Democratic principles are reflected in all citizens being equal before the law, and having equal access to the legislative process and course all is controlled by the elite.

    March 24, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  14. Tony

    Why all wars intervention are accredited to the US even if the US does not go in first,?

    March 24, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Muneef

      She had been the executive force used by the so called masters of the world who had planed the world how it should be looking like....they are many organizations that rules her will remotely,guess you know who?

      March 24, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • BG

      Why didn't the Arab League send in their own military resources instead of enlisting the help of the western allies?

      Oh, that's right. Muslims have a problem shooting at Muslims.

      Let the West do it. So they can complain about it later.

      This is bullshi1. We have no business in Libya.

      March 24, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • Muneef

      You must be joking...who has turned the table from the first place in all those countries rebelling against their leaders? You have failed in Iran but succeeded in Arab countries because our leaders were not as tough as were China and Iran in dealing with their own...
      Silly that although Somalia's population suffer much more and made every country that is close to it suffer but no one wanted to be part of correcting situation because she has no oil but for Libya every body jumped because she has lot of oil and one of the best or the most expensive type...!!!

      March 24, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • BG

      4% of the world's LSC. 4%. First the Arab League complained that we didn't support the people of Libya. We waited. No action from AL nations. We waited. Then the Arab League said we waited too long, so we were supporters of Quaddafi's dictatorship. When we finally went in with international support we were castigated for 'attacking' Libya instead of simply enforcing a no-fly zone....

      While the Arab League continues to sit on their hands.

      March 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • Muneef


      The madman has drown you into a war with the whole of Africa....he made of his land a battlefield against the west....we will see I going to become a swift operation or a long term commitment to endless war...the madman is capable of bringing and financing endless african troops...and the war now became from being an internal civil war into a war against foreign troops...which could mean many who were against him will become with him against the west....??? Only God knows what will happen in time to come...

      March 25, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Muneef


      The Arab League is useless shame that is good for nothing,never in their life have agreed on one thing,never. They only come together to disagree with each other or throw accusations on each other...they had never made any policy to help each other to overcome their difficulties as a one Arabic nation...but rather Ego were few see them selves as above all others because they have more of petrodollar than others....

      March 25, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Muneef


      Since Arabic countries many are considered as royalists and others as republicans....never you will see them trust each other and might even have some thing like cold wars against each others.

      Take for example Yemen located in the southern&western of the Arabian peninsular is the only republic existing country surrounded by royalists...GCC so what could you expect for Yemen to suffer as a direct result of same! Surely she will be accepted by them only if she is to become a royalist it self and that what was for the present suffering of Yemen...

      March 25, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • BG

      @ Muneef

      If the Arab League is such an obvious and known sham, why do the participant countries bother with them at all? Is it like a dysfunctional Arab UN? The UN itself obviously has no interest in getting involved in Libya, nor does the AL. Who's left?


      And the Arabs can nit-pick and criticize NATO later as their political circu-mstances dictate. It seems that Arabs are simply cowards masquerading as shrewd manipulators.

      March 25, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Muneef


      Well I am an Arab a Yemeni Arab...and assure you that Arabs are not cowered upon wars since as Muslims they fear not death....but for very few of them who became so unbelievably rich they loved life and living much more than what their faith tells them to do....therefore in order not to lose that or share it with the poorer ones should expect they play a lot politicly..beside many do not own their words but are remotely controlled by the west...their protectors...
      Any way changes are taking place today so let us see where it will land to better or worse...

      March 25, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Muneef


      By the way I think they are maintained to remain scattered because some fear they might get to unite for which many in the west would not want to see them becoming....since that would not be in favor of Israel & her allies... So you see only inference has made them the way they are today...majority are double agents...

      March 25, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • BG

      @ Muneef

      What the world realizes is that the oil cannot be shut off to the west. The west does not trust the ability of Islamic rule to get along with other nations or even within their own boundaries. Imagine no more royalty, dictators, or other 'control' imposed upon ME nations. What will you do? How will you treat each other and other nations of the world? Can you function within a democracy? Can you have meetings without yelling or threatening each other? Can you solve disputes without bombs? The world is waiting to find out.

      You folks need to stop looking to lay blame with others and start looking in the mirror. Especially now.

      With Best Intent & Kind Regards.

      March 25, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • Muneef

      Have tried three times to answer with my post but as seems moderation not allowing it to pass...therefore I would hold it for a different occasion since it is time for my fajir prayers...
      But really been nice talking to you...thank you and peace.

      March 25, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
  15. Judy

    Hmmmm....sometimes you just don't know where to start...I am a Muslim convert, and no, no one held a sword to my throat...I don't want Sharia law implemented, but I did consult it for my will. I like the US and was born here, as were my parents, but I DO hate the fact our elected representatives are bought and sold like cattle at an auction.

    I am SOO tired of nimrods telling others what "we" believe and what "we" want. Why don't you just try talking to people? Why don't you ask us what "we" want? You might be surprised to find we are all different, not one seething mass of "whatever" that you can stereotype to hate. Get to know us, you might be surprised to find we are kinda cool people. While we are not without our crackpots, please don't judge us by the worst of us.

    And Jedi, get your finger off the key

    And lastly, this country was founded for religious freedom for all, not only for "select" religions, or that wouldn't really be religious freedom than would it? Just like "select" justice, really isn't.

    March 24, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • BG

      "don't want Sharia law implemented, but I did consult it for my will."


      PS.. Islam is far more than 'just a religion.' Or is that too difficult a concept for you ?

      Jedi, or anyone else, is free to contribute. You're free to ignore them. But you're not in a position to -demand- he "gets his finger off the key."

      Or is that something you learned during your "conversion?"

      March 24, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • jedi

      @ Judy

      Who in the world are you to tell me that? Because I barrage people like you with facts and you can't accept it. Check out the trend:

      March 24, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • step

      Judy, I'm a convert too, thank you for your post.

      March 26, 2011 at 9:43 am |
  16. Tony

    what shell we discuss today

    March 24, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  17. Tony

    hi to all...

    March 24, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  18. Jedi

    Yup the so-called Islamic Democracy they called it just because they have right to vote and make decision to persecute blasphemer, apostate and those who breaks Islamic dietary and moral laws.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  19. Jedi

    fucntioning democracy where those muslim that are not adherent of sunni islam will be persecuted.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  20. Jedi


    fucntioning democracy where those muslim are not adherent of sunni islam will be persecuted.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:56 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.