March 26th, 2011
07:00 AM ET

How Islam shaped one rap artist

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” airing at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. E.T. April 2 on CNN.

By Sarah Hoye, CNN

Philadelphia (CNN) — It’s noon on a Friday, and the parking lot at Al-Aqsa Islamic Society in North Philadelphia is quickly filling up.

One of Philadelphia's best-known rap artists, Freeway, jumps out of a black sport utility vehicle and dashes through the pouring rain to the prayer hall inside.

Islam has been a part of his life since he was a teenager.  Yet it wasn’t until adulthood that his faith changed who he was an artist.

“My faith means everything to me; it’s the thing that keeps me going every day,” the father of two said. “It’s my core, it’s my soul.”

When he was 14,  Freeway - aka Leslie Pridgen - took Shahada, the Muslim confession to faith. 

Since then, he's had to balance his Muslim faith and his credibility as a hip-hop artist. 

Freeway jump-started his career a decade ago at Roc-A-Fella Records under the tutelage of hip-hop mogul Jay-Z. Today, the independent artist has collaborated with the likes of Mariah Carey,  producer extraordinaire Jake One and Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon.

When Freeway first hit the music scene, his pithy lyrics were laced with rhymes about hustling drugs and other aspects of ghetto life. But his approach to music has changed as he evolved as an emcee and matured as a man.

 “The fans can get more out of my music now because I have more of a message,” he said. “I’m more conscious about what I say now because in Islam we believe that you’re going to be held accountable for everything that comes out your mouth.”

Misogyny and the perils of street life have been a part of hip-hop since its inception, and Freeway is no stranger to the urban grind.

He lost a cousin and close friend to gun violence and had his own run-ins with the law, having served jail time for drug possession.

The life experiences the self-described “reality-rapper” so adamantly declares over heavy beats are what have shaped Freeway into the man, the father, the artist and the Muslim he is today, he said.

“I’m definitely not in the same situation I was in when I first started, when I was still in the streets running around doing a bunch of crazy stuff,” he said. “Every day is a temptation, every day is work.” 

He's not the only rapper balancing a devotion to Islam and trying to maintain a hard edge on his music, said Amir Abbassy, Freeway’s manager.

“Lupe Fiasco, Q-Tip, Mos Def - they’re all openly Muslim,” he said. “In the music culture, anybody who has a little bit of fame fits that rock 'n' roll persona.”

Freeway was speaking at a Philadelphia school’s bullying workshop on the same day the controversial congressional hearings on the radicalization of Muslim Americans led by U.S. Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, were taking place in Washington.

Freeway said he felt the hearings unfairly targeted Muslims.

“It’s foolishness, it’s nonsense,” he said of the recent hearings conducted by the New York Republican. “You can’t judge a whole group of people for a few people making mistakes.”

Freeway got up that day at dawn for his first prayer of the day. In total, he will take time to pray five times throughout the day, a practice called salat, performed daily by many of the estimated 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide.

Why Muslims pray five times a day

When Freeway is done rapping, his faith will be there, his manager said.

“His faith - that is his life,” Abbassy said. “ He doesn’t wake up with a microphone in his hand. He wakes up and prays."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Music • Muslim

soundoff (874 Responses)
  1. charles

    so when do we get an article on what happens to muslims who convert to christianity?

    March 26, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • bethe123

      Muslims who convert to Christianity are apostates and so have to worry about being killed. It might be a little more difficult to get them to agree to publicity.

      March 26, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Wade

      CNN, if you need a victim to rally around, why not Sarah Palin? She is hated for her religious beliefs. Oh...I forgot, YOURE the ones who hate her. Never mind.

      March 26, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • Brian Macker

      Hell, Palin is hated and called stupid for speaking the truth like: "They're our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska." Maybe because they are too ignorant to know that this is in fact true, but most likely because she's an evil Christian.

      March 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      they get their visa to come live in amreeka and speak on the Fox News speaking circuit, so there is no point of reporting on people who convert for material gain! Its more fun to report on people who get nothing for all their trouble of converting to some foreign religion.

      March 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  2. kuwait_999

    Islam is a false religion... a religion full of Hatred, Killing, Revenge

    I gave up on Muhammad

    Now... I follow Christ's teaching... am feel peaceful, appreciate life, appreciate other human around me

    March 26, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      thank you christians for invading Iraq and saving us moslems from your puppet moslem dictator Saddam Hussein.

      March 26, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • LKJ

      You're describing Muslims, not Islam. I converted to Islam over 30 years ago and I admit there are times when Muslims nearly drive me crazy. But I came to Islam through the Qur'an and that's what keeps me here. (And don't starting verses about violence. I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation on Islamic jihad and when the verses are put into historical context they make perfect sense. My dissertation was published in 1990 and this summer my son and I plan to revise and republish it. Hope you check it out.)

      March 26, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Forward... march.

      @ Osama.
      Christians DID NOT INVADE IRAQ, THE U.S. Military under orders from the U.S. government DID. WE HAVE THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. You, Osama, speak lies and deceit.

      March 27, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • Roberta Rubin of Silver Spring, Md.

      Obama will be Lord on Dec. 21, 2012.

      April 3, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  3. PMG

    To all of you who think Islam is a peaceful religion, look around and see what they are doing to people. How is stoning women a peaceful act? My God are you blind or just plain stupid. When do you see a group of muslims standing up publicly for America/Americans? NEVER. There are no protests against what is going on. DON'T BE SO FOOLISH. Your political correctness will get us all killed.

    March 26, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • StringerBell

      Islam has its laws Just as amerikkka does...their a woman is stoned for adultery and fornication. Here she Just becomes famous and is adored and a NY times best seller.

      March 26, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • CP3NOLA

      oh and also, in islam your not actually supposed to do that. see if u knew anything about islam, you would have realized that over a couple of centuries the native cultural practices got mixed in with the religion itself, there in you get stoning. oh and also no where in the hadiths or the koran/quran does it say women have to walk around in hijabs and what not, and also the prophets daughters were educated so the whole girls cant go to school misconception is incorrect as well.

      March 26, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • Sick of morons

      Oh lynching african americans is fine though right?

      March 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Brian Macker

      Only a moron would think a illegal lynching reflects on those who are against it, in the same way that an actual law requiring stoning reflects on the people who insist in supporting it.

      March 26, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      Men are also stoned to death for adultery. But you ignorants would nt know that, because stoning men does not make good news as stoning women does! Whoring western women and stoned muslim women on the other hand make great front page news, from whence you derive your entire world view, or so it seems.

      March 26, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  4. Eric

    You ALL sound very angry. And ignorant. You all should really look at the real issues in the world. Gas prices in America are sky high. Food prices are sky high. Companies and the government have us all in a tight chokehold and all we can do is point fingers @ a religion? Seriously? Healthcare is SKY HIGH. But no one targets doctors to make them stop charging so much. I be if people weren't So greedy, muslims wouldn't blow stuff up. I bet if America handled its own problems and stayed out of other countries business muslims wouldn't blow up stuff.

    March 26, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • Diane

      I agree with you. This country needs to stop sticking it's nose in the affairs of sovergin countries and start taking care of it's own problems. Of course, the reason that our government is running amok is the lack of cooperation between it's citizens. It is time for everyone to stand together and DEMAND true change.

      March 26, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Brian Macker

      "You ALL sound very angry"
      Is that a complaint? If so I suggest you read your own comment to see how you sound.

      BTW, I guarantee you that you're ignorant to the actual causes of those things you rant about.

      March 26, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  5. Fred H.

    CNN.... I suggest you move your headquarters to Mecca. I wonder how they take to Anderson Cooper?

    March 26, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • magilla

      Anderson Cooper cannot go to Mecca without converting to Islam first. If he is caught in Mecca there will be 1 year of prison and then he will be kicked out (deported). There is a 90% chance that he will be beaten to death for daring to enter mecca as a non believer.

      March 26, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  6. eriF_nO_liveD

    I am gonna go smoke some opium, then write a book and bury it in the ground. When it is uncovered a new religion of more haters will arise. Why? because to many people believe in what MEN write and then go blow crap up (well actually they threw rocks at each other first). Dont' blame me God told me to write it. What was I going to do again?

    March 26, 2011 at 9:46 am |
  7. Average American

    And the purpose of this article is???????

    Any underlying left wing propaganda here? Think about it.

    March 26, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • I Paid Attention In Science Class

      It's certainly not a left-wing thing dimwit. I'm as liberal as it gets and most liberals detest Islam.

      March 26, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Brian Macker

      A lot of them sure don't act like they detest it. They act like they detest Americans more.

      March 26, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      The purpose of the article is to showcase intolerance in America...

      March 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  8. I Paid Attention In Science Class

    So I wonder how he integrates executing gay people and denigrating women into his rap songs. After all it is the Muslim way.

    March 26, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • myke

      It is also rap. the gay bashing and women hating is ALREADY there!

      March 26, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Brian Macker

      It's an obvious transition from misogynist rap to Islam.

      March 26, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      Misogynist Rap to Islam is not a transition, but an improvement. Muslims in general treat their women with respect and dignity. They provide for them while they are pregnant and raising children and are faithful to them in marriage. Motherhood is hepd to the highest honor in Islam. Higher than fatherhood!

      March 26, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Megyn Kelly of Fox5 News

      Rap songs are good but they need to be on the Obama Christian God philosophy since Obama will be Lord on December 21, 2012.

      April 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  9. Spence

    Hey CNN, I haven't sen any articles of muslims converting to Christ! You need some names? There's plenty out there if you're interested! Wouldn't fit your agenda, though, lol!

    March 26, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • 2/8

      LoL, I like that one.

      March 26, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      I bet you would nt be able to find more than ten well-known ex-Muslims who have converted to Christianity. "plenty" is a relative term obviously.

      March 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • bethe123

      OK, here you go... ex Muslims...many fear for their life for being apostates.

      Islam is such a wonderful religion (LOL)


      March 26, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Megyn Kelly of Fox5 News

      Conversion is good as long as Obama can work with God above. Obama will be God on December 21, 2012 and that is good news.

      April 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  10. justin

    Two white guys sit in a bar. One says to the other "i hate muslims, they blow up our buildings". The other says "Timothy McVeigh was a Christian".

    March 26, 2011 at 9:40 am |
    • Spence

      good one justin. There once was a christian that blew something up, so let's ignore reality. you're a genius!

      March 26, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • justin

      Hmmm, point is Christians are as bad as Muslims. F'n moron

      March 26, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • magilla

      Yes "Timohty McVeigh" blew up the building for the cause of Jesus, when he blew the buildings he was yelling "Jesus is Great". Of course he was fighting agains the non-believers housed in those buldings. ha ha ha..ha.ha

      March 26, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • JackoB

      Do something that stands against everything for which ALL Christianity stands, and be proud of it, and you're not actually a Christian. Moron.

      March 26, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • justin

      And one more reason why any and all religion is the biggest farce out there. My god is better than yours. KILL!!!! So much for the peace that it preaches.

      March 26, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Wade

      Having actually read the 4 gospels, I cant see any evidence that McVeigh was a Christian: and according to the apostle Paul, the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, patience, kindness and self control.

      March 26, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • Megyn Kelly of Fox5 News

      As a news reporter for Fox5, I want to tell you what I found out from the New American Bible and from the Obama Christian Church here in Washington, D.C. is that president Obama will be God on December 21, 2012 and that the White House will be the new Heaven on that date too and that will make the world good. There will be a One-World-Government in which we will be dumping our bank accounts and giving all our money to the Obama Christian Campaign. Our bank accounts are of satan because of Americans being corrupt and we need to change. By 2012, Americans will be dancing on the streets of D.C. naked and singing praises to Obama as our Lord and Savior. That is the good news gospel of Obama and God!

      April 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  11. Joe

    Too bad there isn't a god.

    March 26, 2011 at 9:40 am |
  12. no one

    this is exactly the crap that which keeps anyone from watching cnn or taking it seriously

    March 26, 2011 at 9:40 am |
    • Wade

      No kidding!

      March 26, 2011 at 10:00 am |
  13. end

    Bye Feedom...............................

    March 26, 2011 at 9:40 am |
  14. LEADER



    March 26, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Hawkeye1012

      Are you referring to Clapton?

      March 26, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Paul

      Yes, and while we are all doing this, please let me carry my Bible into Saudi Arabia.

      March 26, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Roberta Rubin of Silver Spring, Md.

      The only true and honest God is the Obama Christian God and Obama will rule the world on December 21, 2012. The White House will be the new Heaven on earth. That is the best news of the world. Call us at 301–598-1925 or 301–598-4391 for details. Thank you!

      April 3, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  15. Hawkeye1012

    To the extreme, I rock the mosque like a vandal! Ice, ice, Mohammed!

    March 26, 2011 at 9:38 am |
  16. AnHonestMan

    I applaud Freeway for what he has done with his music. I can only imagine as to what this man has seen during his lifetime as North Philadelphia is an extremely rough area. It is always good to see a music artist show that his/her priority is not money but doing something they enjoy while helping spread valuable messages of peace to society- a message echoed by pacifist artists such as the Beatles and Bob Marley just to name a few. To criticize Muslims on this post, because of the hateful actions of a select few, is extremely ignorant and malicious. Every major religion has had its up's and down's through history, but thats what makes people human– no one is perfect. The religion of Islam is very peaceful proffering messages of hope and love, but because some individuals misinterpret the message (much like Spanish Christians during the Inquisition) it is automatically deemed a sort of occult faith. It is unbelievable to see such blind hatred for a religion which 99% of the American population is not actually familiar with. Sure you can find passages in their holy text to manipulate in such a way as to solidify the claim that all followers of Islam are evil, but the same can be done with nearly every religion's primary text. Religion is a matter of faith far beyond the realms of logic and reason, making interpretation a sheer necessity. Whenever something is left to interpretation lack of proper education will always create a group of individuals who take extreme positions based on their erroneous deductions. I wish that every bigot who hates Islam would only take a second to reflect on their hateful, misguided stereotypes and actively shadow someone involved in the real Muslim community so that they could witness what I have just said. Blind hatred will only lead our society down the path to sure destruction, and the only real solution is compassion.

    Oh and by the way, I am not a Muslim myself but rather a Roman Catholic. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all share very similar messages and facets of their faith by the way.

    March 26, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • eriF_nO_liveD

      "Oh and by the way, I am not a Muslim myself but rather a Roman Catholic. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all share very similar messages and facets of their faith by the way."

      The message must be, kill the other guy, because that is all we have been doing since the inception of religion.
      Thou shall not kill. That is fairly simple to understand and yet.....................religious zealots from all religions are all just to stupid to understand this because they believe what their “masters" tell them.

      I'll just stick to praying to god in my own way. Peacefully without pressure from some organized religion that really only wants my money.

      March 26, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  17. bethe123

    What is with CNN and its Islamic propaganda?
    What is the penalty for apostasy CCN in Islam? Death. Change your mind and no longer want to be a Muslim, and you can be killed.
    Where do I sign up?

    March 26, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Roberta Rubin of Silver Spring, Md.

      There is only one honest religion and that is Obama being Jesus Christ of the world and that will be on December 21, 2012. The White House will be the new Heaven on earth on that date too. That is good news from the Obama Christian Church in Dupont Circle downtown. For more info, call us at 301–598-1925 or 301–598-4391.

      April 3, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  18. chuckmartel

    Just what we need, jihad rap. Notice how all converts to islam in the west are ignorant, stupid morons. No brains, no education.

    March 26, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Wade

      Yep. Prison seems to be a prime recruitment center...The Bell Curve at work.

      March 26, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • StringerBell

      What?! Lol ...intelligence is not a measure of how intelligent you are but how you react in situations that require you to respond with intelligence.

      March 26, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Baman

      StingerBell, Maybe you thought you came up with a profound new way to define intelligence, but it didn't work. I think the term you are defining is called "reasoning".

      March 26, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  19. aPerson

    Well it's more than plainly clear tht a lot of people are maliciouly ignorant.
    As for Islam and slavery,has everyone forgotten the near genocide that almost happened with the African slave trade?And how Christianity defended slavery?
    I'm not a Muslim and I have not intention of being one,but can't you people open your eyes and see that the world is bigger than your narrow thouhts?!
    Several groups of people did heinous acts but innocent people should not pay for their mistakes!
    How can a Muslim in any part of the world pay for something that another person did?!
    I can see tht a lot of people have lost all use of common sense.

    March 26, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • Nana

      Near genocide? How many more had to die so it could qualify as genocide?

      March 26, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • paul

      I have read the the black slave trade, the blacks were captured by other blacks and muslims were involved. Then they sere sold to white traders to bring to the New World to sell. So you see muslims were involved.

      March 26, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Brian Macker

      A respected Saudi Imam is trying to bring back slavery. Mohammad was a slaver after all.

      March 26, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      No Muslims were involved in the Atlantic Slave Trade. Atleast according to western scholarship. All the slaves bound for the New World were from the West Coast of Africa (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Congo). The Portugese and later other Western powers had their own channels of securing slaves. Because they used to pay for these slaves with brandy and liquors among other things. And Muslims do not drink nor trade in aclohol.

      Nor were African Muslims catching their fellow Africans on behalf of the white people. Because in Islam, it is illegal to "enslave" someone. Slaves can only be bought if they are already enslaved or created as a result of war (i.e. prisoners of war). To enslave someone purely as a commercial enterprise is a major sin in Islam. The whole idea of buying slaves in Islam is with the long term goal of freeing them. Better to have a slave under muslim stewardship than for him/her to be abused by a non-Muslim master.

      March 26, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Brian Macker

      They are participating in slave trade right now in Northern Africa for the purpose of profit.

      March 28, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  20. chuck

    CNN – The Crescent News Network has done it again, glorifying Islam. Just wait until their hit piece tomorrow night "The Muslims Next Door" depicting Muslims as a poor struggling peaceful minority picked on my Bible belt bigots. If the so-called peaceful Muslims would defend their faith by denouncing the Muslim terrorists I might believe the terrorists are just a fringe group like all faith groups have... but their silence is deafening, leading me to believe they have their tacit approval to dominate the world. I am not naive, just look at history and the stated goals of Islam - world domination. WAKE UP AMERICA!

    March 26, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • ric

      So what does that say about Christians and Catholics been doing since you speak of track records.

      March 26, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • bethe123

      Yes, agreed, CNN has lost my respect.

      March 26, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • Tyrone

      I don't know what set of talking points leads people like you to say "Muslims don't denounce violence and extremism," but we do that every single day. Every time there is a terrorist attack, the leading Muslim organizations in America and around the world denounce it. Go to the website of any major mosque in America, and the first thing you'll see is a statement denouncing terrorism and decrying it as counter to our faith.

      Maybe you should learn the facts instead of blindly follow whatever filth your buddies Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck spew.

      March 26, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Baman

      People who accuse Fox of slanting the news don't have a clue how bad CNN is. CNN continually trys to find articles on subjects that blatantly challenge the American way of life (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). The Muslim religion is a direct threat to all three.

      March 26, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Vesstair

      No, what's deafening is the earplugs you use so you can't hear Muslims denouncing their radical fringe.

      March 26, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • bethe123

      Just because you say so does not make it true. Have you looked at Pakistan lately...Assinating people for challenging the blasphemy laws...Come on.
      How many Muslims have come forward to publish the Danish cartoons or protect the artists that drew them. None.
      Why did the woman in Seattle who jokingly suggested we have a "Draw Mohammed Day" have to change her name and go into hiding. How many Muslims stood up for her?

      March 26, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • Mr. Nas

      Read Quran: Chapter 29 Verse 46

      March 26, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • muslim

      you know i hear this alot from people who claim to be reasonable, that if they saw muslims denouncing terrorism they would respect that its just a loud minority that commits these acts. myself and every muslim i know denounce terrorism in every way we can. we live peaceful, productive lives. we hate that people who believe violence is the answer have hijacked the public view of our faith. there are tons of conventions and events all over the country in which muslims denounce terrorism. there are scholars and politicians and musicians who try to use their platform to denounce terrorism. so what would you like us to do? do you think cnn is going to cover the tens of thousands of people at a convention that teaches people how to better themselves and their community or are they going to cover the guy who tried stuffing a bomb in his underwear? how about this, go to the mosque closest to you and just have a discussion with the imam or anyone else there instead of basing your opinion on the hate-mongers.

      March 26, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • bethe123

      Terrorism is only one aspect.
      It is the beliefs of Islam itself that are a problem...even if terrorsm did not exist, those beliefs would.
      Nobody wants Sharia.
      Nobody likes the Islamic treatment of women.
      Nobody likes honor killings.
      Nobody likes being stoned for blasphemy.
      Nobody likes being assisnated for challenging the blashphemy laws.

      I could go on...but terrorism is not the only issue. It is Islam itself, as it is currently practiced.

      March 26, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Mr. Nas

      Thanks to CNN!!
      Why much hate I see in many comments, is that really how we think these days about one another.
      What's wrong with CNN trying to balance instead of dividing our nation apart like FOX and some religious leaders?

      The comments attacking CNN reminds me with stories with some southern wise people before the Civil war, when few tried to save the nation from a war by asking their leaders to listen to the other side, they were considered "Traitors".

      March 26, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Baman

      This is my last post on CNN. I have had it with their idiotic lead stories. They publish articles to make Christians and Jews look either like demons or idiots and, at the same time publish all these feel good articles about muslims (and in this case they included rap music). At least with Fox News, I can filter some of their obvious right leaning segments. With CNN it is a constant barrage of anti american BS with a strong dose of liberalism. I wll no longer watch or read anything published by CNN.

      March 26, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • muslim

      @ bethe123
      what do you know about islam besides the sensationalized points you listed above? you are referring to the most controversial and least implemented parts of islam as practiced today. you are judging islam based on the lowest denominator. its as if i based christianity on the westboro baptist church. did you know islam dictates that if someone were to take anothers life, it is as if they are killing the whole world and if someone were to save anothers life, it is as if they saved the whole world. did you know islam makes it mandatory to donate a portion of my money to help the poor if i have the means? did you know islam tells us there is no compulsion in religion. did you know islam tells us to abhor violence unless it is to defend the oppressed? did you know that islam tells us that heaven lies at the bottom of our mothers feet? did you know that islam tells us that the most beloved person in the world to a muslim is their mother, 3 times more than their father? did you know honor killings have no basis in islam and have been denounced by scholars the world over? there are 5 pillars in islam that are the base of the entire religion: 1) a belief in one god and the prophet muhammad as his messenger, the last of many messengers including jesus and moses and abraham; 2)prayer; 3)fasting; 4)giving charity; 5) making the pilgrimage to mecca. what part of those things do you find so offensive?

      March 26, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • @muslim

      Let me try to answer some of your points based on Koran, hadith and history of islam. I will not use any non-muslim sources or interpretations.
      @muslim said: did you know islam dictates that if someone were to take anothers life, it is as if they are killing the whole world and if someone were to save anothers life, it is as if they saved the whole world?

      You are quoting quran 5:32-34 with gross distortion, you should go and read quran yourselves.

      The above verses have become so popular among the Islamic apologists and sympathizers that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, even quotes it in his speech delivered at Cairo University in June 4, 2009. Visiting the countless pro-Islamic websites, forums and blogs on the net, you are almost guaranteed to be confronted with this verse. But try as you might, you will not find it in a Qur'an, regardless of whether or not you're reading it in its original Arabic or in one of its many English translations. The reason for this is quite simple: the verse in question does not exist. Yes, it may surprise some but deception is permitted in Islam. Therefore the most pious of Muslims can lie with a clear conscience, knowing that their actions are furthering the cause of Islam.
      Question to @muslim So please tell even if I were to believe you on what you said, does quran 5:32 applies to non believers also or does it apply to Muslims only? I believe that this verse applies to muslims only. You can kill kufars (non-muslims) all you want. That’s because Islam regards non muslims as less than human.

      @muslim said: did you know islam tells us there is no compulsion in religion. did you know islam tells us to abhor violence unless it is to defend the oppressed?

      You are quoting an abrogated verse from quran 2:256 – Deception again
      If you read history. What you quoted did not do much good to those who are not Christians. It certainly didn’t help the Hindus. Muslims moved into their lands and slaughtered tens of millions of them, for no other reason than they were “polytheistic idolators”.

      Anyhow, what your prophet said in 2:256 has been abrogated later by quranic kill verses of 9-5 & 9-29.
      I can trash the rest of your deceptive lies (taqiyah), but I guess this is good enough start to expose the lies of muslims like you.

      March 26, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • muslim

      "Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs." Quran 5: 32

      the verse doesnt exist? lol let me guess, you get your education on quranic interpretation from jihadwatch or some other hate mongers. YOU believe it only applies to muslims, good for you, most muslims dont. the exceptions stated in the verse are for those who commit murder or corruption in the land – it doesnt say anything about excluding people of other faiths. it is addressed to the children of israel because that is the context in which it was revealed, but it is clearly accepted as a universal truth. i have always been taught by my parents and my religious leaders that taking an innocent life is an unforgiveable sin. i shouldnt even respond to you because you make your blind hate perfectly clear when you claim muslims are professional liars and so i know there is no reasoning with you. but i hope a more reasonable person will be able to read this and learn that there are muslims everywhere who are model citizens striving to just be good people in this chaotic world, including in their own community, that would love to have a discussion with them about what islam means to them.

      March 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • paul

      I think the reporting will have the opposite effect. People are going to see the truth about islam. Once that is known, then its curtains. Most American can figure it out.

      March 26, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • muslim2

      @ Muslim lol you see that guy cannot respond to what you said, because he knows that we are not liars, and that he knows he should read the Qur'an more thoroughly and not get "his information" from the hating sites.

      March 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      >> That’s because Islam regards non muslims as less than human.

      Islam may regard them as less than human, but God (in the Quran) does not!

      Verse 2:62
      (The truth is not as they – the Jews – claim, but this:) Those who believe
      (i.e. professing to be Muslims), or those who declare Judaism, or the
      Christians or the Sabaeans (or those of some other faith) – whoever truly
      believes in God and the Last Day and does good, righteous deeds, surely
      their reward is with their Lord, and they will have no fear, nor will they grieve.

      March 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • @muslim

      LOL now you come out of your rat hole and write the whole verse (instead of the deceptive single line you wrote earlier). Do you think people who read your post are stupid? C'mon re-read the 5:32 again and c'mon show us 5:33 in continuation as well.

      The first thing to note is that, the command (allegedly of Allah) applies to the “Children of Israel” (i.e. Jews). It does not apply to Muslims. Probably, that is why you find a lot of killings of innocent civilians by extremist Muslims today. The extremist Muslims read nothing but the Koran and know their stuff better than the moderate Muslims (an oxymoron) and non-Muslims who don’t read the Quran.

      Secondly, the verse does not use the word “innocent” anywhere, in any translation. Thirdly, a person can be slain for (i) murder or (ii) for spreading mischief in the land (fasad). Now what is spreading mischief in the land (fasad)?

      Do some more research, here are some clues...
      Muhammad, aka Allah, erroneously mistook Quran 5:32 to be a revealed verse of the Torah. He didn’t know that it was in the Talmud and couldn’t figure out how “Whoever kills one person, merits punishment as if he had slain all the men in the world” was connected to the Abel and Cain story. And President Obama, out of his ignorance or deception, obviously passed on the noble Jewish teaching as Islamic to placate Muslims.

      March 26, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Roberta Rubin of Silver Spring, Md.

      I want to say that the Obama Christian Church in Dupont Circle has good news for the public. It teaches that Obama will be God and the White House will be the new Heaven on earth on December 21, 2012. Hey, that is the best news ever. I woul.d love to enter the new Heaven on earth. Better than that ond jerusalem in europe.

      April 3, 2011 at 5:07 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.