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Muslim Americans on edge
March 27th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

In key American Muslim enclave, alienation is growing

Editor’s note: The original version of this story omitted the fact that the attorney for Roger Stockham, who was charged with making terrorist threats against a Dearborn mosque, says his client is a Muslim convert.

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Madison Heights, Michigan (CNN) - Dawud Walid asked the worshipers for a show of hands: How many had heard about the Muslim radicalization hearings in Washington earlier that day?

About half of the 50 or so Muslims in the banquet hall-turned-mosque indicated that they had.

So Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Michigan chapter, briefed the other half about the hearing, calling it an “unfortunate first in American history.”

Then he went further, warning about what he said were a handful of growing threats to American Muslims.

“As we approach the 10th anniversary of September 11, we are seeing unprecedented acts of Islamophobia,” Walid told the worshipers at the American Islamic Community Center, 10 miles north of Detroit.

“After 9/11, it was coming from a few right-wingers,” he said. “But now, in 2011, we’re seeing it from Congress.”

Walid went on to tell the congregation that a dozen states - from Georgia to Missouri to New Mexico - are considering bans on Sharia, or Islamic law, and warned that such bans could lead to prohibitions on women wearing the hijab, or headscarf, and even on Muslims worshiping Allah.

“Praying five times a day is Sharia,” he said. “Do you go to jail for that?”

As one of the largest and oldest Muslim enclaves in the nation - and, with its century-old ties to Ford Motor Co., one that’s intimately bound up in the modern American story - the metro Detroit community is perhaps as close as one can get to the soul of American Islam.

At a time when the country is wrestling with its views on Islam, the faith causes relatively little friction in the largely Arab cocoon of southeast Michigan.

But narratives playing out in the national media, from the radicalization hearings spearheaded by New York Republican Rep. Peter King to the wave of proposed Sharia bans to anticipation of the September 11 anniversary, have left many Muslims here feeling ostracized in their own country.

The community is growing more defensive in the face of what many here say is a national climate of suspicion reminiscent of the period immediately after the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

In response to what he called “a spike in anti-Muslim bigotry,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, is holding a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing Tuesday on “measures to protect the rights of American Muslims.”

Witnesses will include Roman Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick - the former archbishop of Washington - and the top civil rights officials from the administrations of Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

On this Thursday night, however, worshipers at the American Islamic Community Center echoed the embattled tone of the guest speaker from Center for American-Islamic Relations.

Hadir Ghazala, a 49-year-old Iraqi immigrant in a black-and-white polka-dot hijab, said she’d been turned down for jobs at local salons because she refused to remove her headscarf.

Mohammed Elzhemni, 39, bemoaned what he called a growing national stereotype of Muslims as terrorists.

“These people raise their families and work hard,” he said, gesturing to a cluster of small children chasing each other across the mosque’s faux marble floor. “I’m a manager at GM and work to make the country better. This is the true face of Islam.”

At a time when King and others are alleging that radical American Muslims pose an under-acknowledged threat to national security, a popular refrain among Detroit-area Muslims is that they’re the ones under attack.

The sentiment is especially acute at the Islamic Center of America, which calls itself the nation’s largest mosque.

This year, police said they thwarted an explosives attack on the house of worship in Dearborn, just west of Detroit city limits. In January, police arrested a man in the center’s parking lot in a car they said was packed with fireworks.

Police said the suspect, Roger Stockham, drove to Dearborn from California. He faces two felony charges carrying maximum sentences of up to 20 years.

The arrest provoked state and local law enforcement agencies to urge the 70,000-square-foot mosque to bolster security and develop a new emergency response plan.

“We’ve never had an incident like that, where we were targeted by someone who wanted to do us harm based on who we are,” said Kassem Allie, the center’s executive administrator.

To Allie, the incident is evidence that some Americans are being radicalized against Islam, turning the allegation of growing Muslim radicalization on its head.

“The suspect was apparently radicalized quite some time ago,” Allie said. “And there are other instances of radicalization that are of great concern to us.

“I have no problem addressing Islamic radicalization,” he said, monitoring the mosque's security cameras from a computer screen in his ground-floor office. “But there should be an acknowledgment that other communities have the same problem.”

Indeed, a common complaint around Dearborn, the epicenter of southeast Michigan’s Muslim community, is that the only time religion is mentioned in a crime story is when the suspect is Muslim.

“When Timothy McVeigh did his bombing, we didn’t investigate or blame Christianity,” said Al Machy, 32, referring to the 1995 attack on a federal building in Oklahoma City that left 168 dead.

Machy works behind the counter at the Golden Bakery on Warren Avenue, a miles-long Dearborn strip lined with halal butchers, hookah bars, Lebanese restaurants and locally owned groceries with names like Baghdad Market and Sahara West. Signs for most businesses are in Arabic.

“Every day, there are hundreds of rapes and murders, and they never put the words 'Christian' or 'Jewish' in the story,” said Machy, an Iraqi refugee who arrived in the U.S. after the Gulf War.

Unlike most such crimes, in which religion doesn’t appear to be an issue, recent instances of homegrown terrorism - such as 2009’s Fort Hood shooting and last year’s failed Times Square bomb plot - were allegedly carried out in the name of Islam.

But many Muslims around Dearborn say those cases garner inordinate news attention while recent attacks against Muslim Americans, including the defacing and burning of mosques, are largely neglected.

According to the Justice Department, there were 107 anti-Muslim hate-crime incidents in 2009, the most recent year for which statistics are available, compared with 28 such incidents in 2000.

After a sharp spike in 2001, when there were 481 anti-Muslim hate crime incidents, there have since been fewer than 200 such incidents annually, though there were generally fewer than 50 in the years before 2001.

Muslim advocacy groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, say they have seen a more recent uptick in anti-Muslim threats and violence.

Officials at the Islamic Center of America, which draws about 1,200 worshipers for Friday prayers, say local law enforcement encouraged them to take a low-key public stance on the January explosives arrest. Authorities wanted to avoid inspiring copycat attacks or reprisals, mosque officials said.

The mosque issued a news release after the suspect’s arrest but limited its interviews with the media. Chuck Alawan, 80, a founding board member of the mosque, has some regrets about the mosque keeping relatively quiet about the incident.

“You never hear about all the threats against mosques,” Alawan said in the thick Midwestern accent of a lifelong Michigan resident.

“I was born in this country, and I have never felt persecuted,” he said. “But it’s getting close to that.”

As Alawan spoke, a surveyor from the Michigan Department of Transportation was setting up equipment on the mosque’s lawn as part of a “vulnerability study” after the January incident.

Last week, the Islamic Center of America learned that the Florida pastor who triggered an international firestorm last year by threatening to burn the Quran would take part in an April protest at the mosque.

The protest against "Sharia and Jihad" is scheduled for Good Friday, two days before Easter.

"It is necessary that we set very clear lines for Muslims that are here in America,” Terry Jones, the Florida pastor, said in a statement Wednesday announcing his plans to protest at the Dearborn mosque. "If they desire to change our Constitution, in other words to institute Sharia, then these Muslims are no longer welcome in our country."

Officials at the Islamic Center of America are still deciding how to respond, though they are leaning toward a Good Friday counter-event that would bring together religious leaders of different backgrounds to encourage tolerance and interfaith dialogue.

"For us to try to fight fire with fire like in this case - to fight hate with hate - is really unproductive and actually destructive," said Allie, the mosque's executive administrator. "Under different circumstances, we'd welcome a dialogue with Terry Jones or other detractors, but it's got to be civilized."

Developments like the mosque protest have some local law enforcement officials sympathizing with growing Muslim anxiety.

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad is among them. He estimates that he has received 10,000 anti-Muslim “hate e-mails,” some calling him a “Taliban police chief” or alleging that he’s persecuting Christians.

The senders assume he’s Muslim because of his last name, Haddad says, even though he’s a Christian of Lebanese descent.

Like Alawan and Haddad, many Arab-Americans in the area trace their local roots back generations. The first big wave of Middle Easterners arrived in southeast Michigan around 1910 to man Henry Ford’s automobile plants in Highland Park and Dearborn.

Those immigrants were mostly Christians from the area that is now Lebanon but was then part of the Ottoman Empire.

“Ford seemed to think that that this particular segment of the empire was industrious and productive and a good source of cheap labor,” said Saeed Khan, a lecturer in Islamic history, politics and culture at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Khan said Ford also favored immigrants from that region because, unlike some other groups, they tended to be light-skinned.

After the defeated Ottoman Empire was carved up at the end of World War I, Christians were given favored status in the newly created Lebanon, provoking more Muslims to exit the region. Some wound up in new Arab strongholds like metro Detroit.

“Especially after Henry Ford announced the $5 workday, (immigrants) would get off the train in Detroit looking for work, and police would pick them up and take them to Ford’s Rouge plant to apply,” Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly said, referring to a huge Dearborn manufacturing facility that opened in the 1920s.

Today, southeast Michigan’s Muslim population is estimated at nearly half a million, Khan said. Though there are larger Muslim populations in New York and Southern California, there are few places in the country with such a heavy concentration of Muslims.

“Once Henry Ford established that community, it had a pull effect and became an epicenter of Arab life,” Khan said. “It was influenced by employment opportunities and the availability of resources like mosques and schools.”

Though Dearborn retains its Lebanese flavor, the area’s Muslim community includes many immigrants from India, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere, along with a growing Eastern European contingent and many African-Americans.

The historic Muslim presence here helps explain why local allegations of Islamophobia are pretty rare - and why Haddad, the police chief, suspects that most of his anti-Muslim e-mail is from outsiders.

Zeinab Dbouk-Chaayto, a recent immigrant from Lebanon, says that she was the only woman donning a hijab when she took classes recently at Madonna University, a Catholic school in Livonia, just west of Dearborn, but that no one gave her any trouble.

The school’s conservative culture jibed with her Muslim values. “There’s no partying and no alcohol,” she said, adding that administrators in a school office where she worked even threw her a baby shower and a birthday party.

Local law enforcement officials, for their part, say they strengthened ties to greater Detroit’s Muslim leadership after September 11, launching a program called Bridges to create an ongoing dialogue between those leaders and the FBI, state and local law enforcement, and other government agencies.

“Sometimes, there’s a relative who feels that someone in the family might be doing things that probably aren’t in the long-term best interest of the country, and they want to bring that forward,” said O’Reilly, the Dearborn mayor, explaining the program.

“But they don’t want to be responsible for throwing a family member in jail,” he said. “There’s a delicacy to that, so they have a dialogue about where people can bring this stuff forward.”

Haddad, the Dearborn police chief, said the Bridges program helped create a parents’ task force to combat gang activity in the city’s Yemeni community. That move contributed to an 11% drop in crime in the heavily Yemeni South End neighborhood last year, he said.

At the same time, many Muslims around Dearborn are convinced that they are under government surveillance, exacerbating feelings of alienation.

Sitting with friends at the Islamic Center of America, Alawan says, they often joke that law enforcement has the mosque’s phones tapped and its rooms bugged.

“The agencies will deny it,” he said. “But we know they’re doing it.”

The suspicion was given credence after FBI agents killed a Muslim cleric in an October 2009 raid in Dearborn.

The charges against the imam, Luqman Ameen Abdullah - which included mail fraud and the illegal possession and sale of firearms - were based on information from three confidential FBI informants who’d infiltrated Abdullah’s mosque.

The case raised the specter of government spies in other Dearborn area mosques and prompted a 2010 letter of protest from Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

“People of all faiths should be free to worship without undue fear that the person in the next pew is a government agent,” Conyers wrote, invoking the FBI’s wiretapping of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as a regrettable precedent for such surveillance.

Many Muslims around Dearborn find it ironic that what they see as a growing suspicion of Muslims in America comes at a time when much of the Arab world, from Tunisia to Egypt to Libya, is rising up against despotic leaders and demanding more U.S.-style freedoms.

“While the Islamic world is rising up against dictatorship, dishonesty, deception and corruption … America should show solidarity with people who are looking for dignity and democracy,” Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi told hundreds of worshipers at recent Friday prayers at the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights, a mosque situated across the street from Henry Ford Community College.

“That’s not the right time to bring another wave of Islamophobia and ignorance,” he said, blasting the King hearings of the previous day. “It is so dangerous to provoke people who are ready to commit hate crimes with this kind of wrong information.”

Elahi wasn’t referring to the danger of inciting Muslim radicals to commit terrorism against the United States. The threat, in his eyes, is that Americans will be provoked to terrorize Muslims.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Michigan • Muslim

soundoff (3,082 Responses)
  1. Common Sense

    You can have freedom of religion but still not be allowed to block the exit isle on a crowded bus while you, as a Muslim, choose to bow to the East and pray for 10 minutes. This is imposing your values and culture on others. Embrace common courtesy and American values and America will embrace you! Quite the WHAA WHAAA!

    March 27, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • MBFrazee

      You said it so well. Isn't the lady in this report that said her scarf cost her a job the same one that complained because she was forced off an airplane because the stewardess overheard her to say, "it was a "go"? To an American (or a Jew) those words put you on alert if said by an obvious Muslim – not because we're prejudiced but because they've cause so much harm to us in the past. You can't torture someone and then expect them to welcome you with open arms.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • agreed

      As a Muslim, I agree that no one should block the pathway in a bus or any public area to perform their prayers. Prayers are required to have basic etiquette which include not interupting others.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • wial

      Many decent Americans already embrace and even deeply admire Muslims, especially after the recent events in Egypt. They are the new leaders of world democracy, now that America has become a corrupt empire and authoritarian China is no better.

      I know you think you're being reasonable but as the Muslim commenter politely points out, you're still coming from a standpoint of ignorance of the issues.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Dave

      I worked with a muslim guy 16 years ago. While the rest of us were working, Very strenuous back breaking labor, this guy would run off on his prayer breaks, and would claim that he could not do things in which he would get his prayer clothes dirty. We were given two 15 minute cigarette breaks and a 30 minute lunch break. Curiously this guy never took his prayer breaks during one of the allotted break times, and would whine and refuse to work at anything that was to labor intensive. He quickly alienated himself as the lazy muslim opportunist. Yes he was a lazy person and self righteous at that.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  2. John

    I wish more Muslims would speak out against the radical ones who want to destroy my and their nation.

    I also do not want Sharia law here in my nation. Is that too much to expect. Otherwise the Muslims here in Michigan are good people.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • wial

      Why do you assume they don't? Could it be you're just not listening?

      March 27, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  3. Adeel

    Maybe this is a scare tactic to promote further encounters in Libya? I'm just saying, its a little fishy...

    March 27, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  4. KatB

    Welcome to America... Where we disrespect all people of faith and distrust/hate our neighbor.

    My word people, listen to yourselves: so full of hate for each other. People who rise up against America and want to defeat us are relishing in this rhetoric and your behavior against one another.

    Take a walk down your neighborood today (or tonight) and tell me you can do it with out fear or judgement. The land of the free has become the land of fear. What made America great were the rules of social engagement. Know your neighbor. Check your self and Unite America! Unite!

    March 27, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • wial

      My neighborhood is full of Ann Coulter readers and people who make misogynist jokes about Nancy Pelosi (lord knows if they get along with each other but never mind) so I'll take a pass on that, thank you.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • a2b3

      I agree!!

      March 27, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  5. KMT

    Just keep letting in the enemy is all we do , and is the reason why Napolitano keep saying next attack will come from within if we keep the door open then she is probably right .

    March 27, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  6. Steve

    Really, CNN??? Let's see. . . "Black in Amerika", "Muslim in Amerika". Soledad, why instigate the division?

    March 27, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  7. Karen

    I don't know why CNN keeps these stupid comments sections going. Ignorance, bigotry, and spammers flood these boards. Some of us just want news free of the stupidity of other readers. And since CNN abdicates its responsibility to moderate the boards they just whip up the masses. No wonder the rest of the world – Muslim or not – thinks we're so horrible.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • wial

      You don't have to read the comments. Personally, I find trying to lance the insipid prejudices of right wing Americans almost entertaining - though to be sure, the skin over their received-opinion-filled abscesses is usually too thick for me to get through and help them.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:27 am |
  8. Kris

    I feel the use of the term "enclave" in this story is pejorative. In recent years that word has frequently been used derisively to refer to something hidden and perhaps nefarious, something to be rooted out of the larger community. Muslims are no more an "enclave" in southeastern Michigan than the Irish and Polish Catholics there.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  9. Adeel

    Just because Muslims act their religious beliefs in a better illustrated manner does not make them any different then you and I. I wish humans would realize we are all the same and this devolution of society is what is causing conflict within. We are All Americans, however we choose to live our lives, if you are geographically placed within the borders of The United States of America.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  10. JustSaying

    Anyone else getting tired of the propaganda?

    March 27, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • wial

      The right wing propaganda, most certainly.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:24 am |
  11. alboze

    It seems to me that the greatest threat to Muslims is other radical Muslims. Without the heinous acts carried out by these radicals, nobody would be pointing any fingers at peace loving individuals. I feel that the Muslims who want peace and acceptance of their religion should be directing their frustrations toward the radicals instead of expecting non-Muslims to embrace Islam despite its radical element.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • MoreSnow

      Here here! In other words, if I was Paris Hilton's dad, I wouldn't thrash the Press for constantly making my family name look bad. I would take little Paris aside and say, "Honey, could you tone things down a bit and stay out of the news? You're making us all look bad."

      March 27, 2011 at 10:34 am |
  12. Dwight

    The Muslims I have met here in Michigan are good hard working people. I'm not scared of them.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  13. stephan

    It would help if we didn't pick up dead carcasess on the battle field from americans, fighting our troops, and what about the 17,000 terrorist attacks by the religion of pieces since 9/11? Never hear a peep from them here, this means that they support the terror attacks.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  14. Edward

    Pit Bulls have not been banned for nothing. Pit Bulls attacked (sometimes fatally) children, adults and other pets. Unlike other breeds of dogs, Pit Bulls were far more likely to commit this kind of violence. NOT ALL PIT BULLS, BUT ENOUGHT PIT BULLS to have them banned in cities and neighbourhoods across this country. Why were people afraid of this dog? Just because it had a tendancy to attack more than al other dogs? Well, yes. Did we need to ban all dogs? No, only the breed that had given itself a terrible reputation through its violent behavoir. I propose that people are afraid of Islam (Islamaphobia) for just cause, just as people had reason to fear Pit Bulls. Do ALL muslims attack people? No. Do too many muslims attack people (for cartoons for example) Yes. It is not true that Budhists were responsible for 9/11. It is not true that Hindus tried to blow up a plane with liquid explosives. It is not true that Christians tried to blow up a jet using exploding shoes. It is not true that Mormons tried to blow up a jet with exploding underpanties. It is not true that the Jews attacked in Mumbai. It is not true that agnostics attacked the trains in Spain. It was not athiests that tried to bomb time square in NYC. It is not true that it was a Taoist that tried to blow up the people attending a tree lighting cermony in Oregon. So, what is wrong with seeing what IS true? That all of this violence has been at the hands of Muslims. Islamaphobia would be: an unreasonable or unfounded fear of Muslims. I am not as Islamaphobe as my fears are well founded and absolutely reasonable.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • wial

      Oh come on. The US has slaughtered millions of innocents in the past 20 years, and we did it under the national flag. At least 2 million in Iraq alone. How are Muslims worse than that?

      March 27, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Michael

      ......while it IS true that a Christian blew up a building in Oklahoma City.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Gary

      Thank you.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  15. Doug Allard

    Great... more whining from the Moslems.
    What a bunch of babies

    March 27, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  16. David

    We let these people stay and we get 911. We let millions of illegal aliens stay, and they bankrupt California. This isn't the country I once knew. Our politicians gave America away decades ago.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Willow

      Time to join us and become a Libertarian...as long as corrupt politicians are being chosen in every election nothing will ever change.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • wial

      So it's not the historically low tax rates on the rich, corruption in the financial industry, and the massively expensive foreign wars causing the deficit problems, but the poor productive people doing the work for the rest of us? I live in California and I see a lot of Mexicans and Latino Americans working their butts off. Maybe I should stop paying attention to facts and start paying attention to Glenn Beck!

      March 27, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  17. Keegan

    While I prersonally, support the Muslims in the U.S. and believe they should be able to worship where ever they wish, I do not agree with CNN putting their own, opinionated story the the homepage of their website for about the past week. This is biased reporting, and could be seen as propaganda.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • MoreSnow

      Good point re: the bias. Clearly, a ban on Sharia doesn't mean a ban on Islam. It simply means Muslims won't be able to impose their practice on other Americans in much the same way the Christians are not able to impose Christmas celebrations on Jews & Muslims. This story is heavily slanted towards promoting a National conversion to Islam.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • A Muslim

      You make the choice to click on the story. You really don't have to. But have you considered that CNN is posting all these stories because this is an issue that has actually come to the forefront? You have other news networks that spend a lot of time demonizing Muslims, a rise in hate crimes against Muslims, hearings that say most Mosques are radical (which is so UNtrue!), and politicians getting ready for the GOP ticket that are speaking a lot of anti-muslim rhetoric... have you considered that perhaps CNN is doing right by showing the other side of things? Providing a platform so people have a chance to see the other side of things? Afterall... isn't that what news is supposed to do? Show both sides and inform?

      March 27, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • TiredofBeingPC

      Hey to "A Muslim", how many imams have preached messages of love and tolerance? I suspect not very many. From what I have read, messages in mosques tend to be defensive. How about messages that are introspective. There are many things that aren't right with islam. Dare to address them. Dont pin blame wholly on others for your misguided teachings and resulting negative consequences. But perhaps its forbidden in islam to confront the painful truths when those truth hurt islam. Imams may be taken out too. Very much the philosophy of islam in dealing with anyone who stands in its way.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  18. Rushikey

    Nothing will change the nature of Christianity, and Islam as both are based on Abrahamic religion (everything happens as a will of God) and we believe in faith. This is wide contrast with other peaceful religions like Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh, who believes in Karma (cause and effect) and avoid wrong doing to avoid effect of that. Wrong doers are taking advantages of this fact, as God will forgive their seen, so they get a licence to hate and kill each other. Nothing will change this!!!!!!!

    March 27, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • wial

      To be sure the bizarrely positivist notion a creator God, widely refuted in some of the more advanced religions you mention, is a problem for the Judeo-Christian-Muslim tradition, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's an absolute hindrance to moral development, although some of the comments here might make one think so. Many Jews Christians and Muslims attain enlightenment like the rest of us. No metaphor can obscure the truth completely.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • Michael

      Good points........I would like to see those who use religion as an excuse to spread division, hatred and intolerance fade away to the dustbin of history.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:24 am |
  19. KMT

    50 million illegal Mexicans god only knows how many American hating Muslims on our doorsteps and Obama`s main concern is how we look to the Muslim world , he might be the only one who cares what they think , what the hell is this country a door mat for the world and its crazies I don`t know where we might be as a nation 10 or 15 years down the road but it don`t look good for America but good for illegals and Muslims

    March 27, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Tstrick

      So reload your .22's, vote for Sarah Palin, and send all those gawddamm foreigners back where they came from.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • wial

      I guess "Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" is old news for the morally insensate of this country.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Chippewa

      Blow up our buildings then wonder why we dont welcome you with open arms. BS. Dont know what it is with CNN doing so many stories on Islam...anyways i agree with Tstrick's comments is the pt of my post. No religion is perfect but quit trying to shove Islam down my throat....NEVER will agree with a religion where their prophet married a 6 year old...doesnt sound right to me.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Michael

      You mean crazies like you and your xenophobic and bigoted ilk, right?

      March 27, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Dinan Pirech

      Oh I wonder where you came from, how about Ireland, Englend or Germany no mather your grandparents didnt magicly decend from haven.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  20. Ohhiya

    I thought nobody was welcome in detroit?

    March 27, 2011 at 10:06 am |
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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.