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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. Pastor Evans

    Jesus Christ = Draw everyone into His blessed eternal Kingdom by love (agape) in order to set them free
    Islam = Convert everyone into eternal Hell by force in order to control them

    Take your pick, it's your choice!!!

    March 27, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Smite Me

      If you kids can't play nice with your superheroes, someone is going to have to take them away from both of you.

      March 27, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
  2. Carlton

    Everyone is not deceived like the Crescent New Network. Islam's only goal is world domination and control. Look at the history of Islam and their mode of operation today. Act and speak good publicly in America, but when nobody is watching try or accomplish their 100 strategy, how to take over America through infiltrating its political system. Again, everybody is not naive or dumb. In the name of Jesus Christ, your plans will never succeed!!! Look at your own Muslim dominated countries globally as we speak, and you want others to experience this crap? You are the stupid ones!!!

    March 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  3. Sue in Georgia

    The Mantra video clip: Looks as if the KKK ain't dead after all!

    March 27, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  4. MuslimLover

    I hate seeing a decapitated American soldier, killed by the muslims, lying on the street the muslim civillains looked on pointed at and laughed at...Oh! man an inhuman act. I hate muslim. I would love to serve them and their blood-thirsty mohammad some nice BBQ pork with muslim branch (?) red wine for dinner. Americans and Canadians keep fighting until all the dirty muslims are out of our countries.

    March 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  5. Sam

    Roger Stockham is a recent Sunni convert who wanted to blow off that Shia mosque in Dearborn. It is funny that the author Dan Gilgoff isn't aware of that and is using a Sunni on Shia attack as if it were a non-Muslim American attacking Muslims because of "Islamophobia"!!!!!! It goes to show how hard the media is trying to portray any attack on Muslims as "Islamophobic" while every day hundreds and thousands of Christians and other religious groups face discrimination, persecution and even death in Muslim countries. No body speaks for them. Mr. Gilgoff will you ever write an article on that please?

    March 27, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  6. BugsMalone

    Believe after the little tear jerking story I will take CNN off my news source list.

    March 27, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  7. Betty M

    "“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."

    Well. we didnt have Cardinals running around saying all Americans should die, did we ?

    Maybe if the American Muslim community would stand up, quit crying like a bunch of babys, and start condemning the actions of the radical Islamics people will (or would have) been less prejudiced against them. Maybe if the American Muslim community would realize that US law trumps Sharia law every time, people would not be prejudiced against Muslims.

    But instead of being somewhat intelligent and realizing they were in a bad position, they just choose to cry, and quite frankly it's probably long past the time when they could have prevented this mess

    March 27, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  8. clyde

    no good

    March 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  9. Immigrant

    It is not their country. Ask the Christians how they survive and are surpressed in Muslim countries. Ask a Christian Egyptian why they flee Egypt. Ask why the Christian is persecuted in Muslim dominant countries. They plan the same here. It is in their Kouran. Ignore it and you will die the wrath of many others. They say it is their time now. Be forewarned.

    March 27, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  10. Buster

    I am alienated from my country too, but I am agnostic. I wish everyone would forget about their religions and the fairy tales that go with them. Be free!

    March 27, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  11. Den

    The muslims have already polluted our country and we have foolishly allowed them to do as they please as they set up shop to murder and terrorize under the cloak of religion.

    March 27, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • John

      very ignorant! Learn about Islam and the vast majority of its peaceful followers before promoting your uneducated viewpoint.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • sick to my stomach

      How exactly have muslims polluted "your" country? And do you mean the doctors, teachers, engineers, lawyers, taxi drivers, small business owners, good neighbors or someone else? Just curious... Thank you.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      you don't really need muslims to terrorize your countries, you are doing a pretty good job before the muslims came along. have you already forgotten world war two and the nazi and communist holocausts? the whole world was being terrorized by your grand parents. and their corpses have nt even started rotting, thats how recently that was.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • No Muslim slave

      Muslims have destroyed pretty much everywhere they've gone. Yes, do get an education, and you will find out that what we're saying is true. Only ignoramuses defend Islam.

      The Religion of Body Pieces

      March 27, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  12. Ron

    Awwww, look at all the Glen Beck goons and Fox News brained washed teabaging facists on here... so sweet to have all you zoombies in one place.... Please spray something, the stench of death and decay is killing me.

    March 27, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • No Muslim slave

      Shut up, Ron. You're obviously mentally ill. But have fun being enslaved under Islam. I'm sure your masters will love you.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • dee carter

      let me guess your name is ron-al wahdeei, see u on the "day of judgement", thats in what about 1500 yrs from now or something like that? may the flying spaghetti monster hae peace upon you

      March 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  13. Ismael

    Look at the picture. Does anyone see any women in the picture? Where are the ladies? They are not at the prayer service. Why not? Why are they not at the daily 5X a day prayer service with the boys?
    America, wake up! These genocidal religions are not your religions. You have begun as a nation against religion. You were begun as a nation being persecuted by religion. Do not allow any religion into your midst. Islam is not a religion. Most religions are ideologies but Islam is especially so and it is one which is at war with America's values. As such it has already declared war against us. This ideology is no different than communism. It is a threat to our way of life.
    (I do not want people to think that I am against Muslims. I have the same message for Catholicism. It is a false ideology that is contrary to our way of life. Its worship of hierarchy and a false god based out of Rome does not reflect America. Now it is being pushed down our throats by the illegal migrants from the South with their idols vestments. )
    Our way is that of happiness, Dale Carnegie, Protestant Work Ethic, fairness and business. Our trust in God is universal. All pretenders to the throne are considered idolatry. That includes Mohammed and his ways with 9 year old girls. CNN seems to have an agenda. Maybe they can stick to news instead of social policy.

    March 27, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Ismael wrote: "Our trust in God is universal."

      Only among the delusioned ones... God is as real as Santa Claus and the tooth fairy...

      March 27, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • LKJ

      I am a Muslim woman and I am not oppressed. Should I tell you about the two years my husband worked in fast food, after he had earned his doctorate, so I could earn mine? Or maybe I should just point out that my husband bought me a car. Because of my health, my husband also does nearly all of the housework, incluing my laundry. And he does all this without complaining. Oh, and my husband is a devout Muslim.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • sick to my stomach

      Unlike church, mosques are not for picking up a date. Men and women pray separately so their minds will be on worship not $eX

      March 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      muslim women's boo ties are too precious for us to cheaply put them on display for your cameras! thanks but no thanks. you are welcome to ogle your own cheap women instead. they can be rented for camera service pennies on the dollar.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      LKJ wrote: my husband bought me a car.

      Just don't try to drive one of those in Saudi Arabia...

      March 27, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  14. Ron

    Look at all the brained washed Fox news watchers on here.... they are out in droves... the stench is killing me...

    March 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • toto77

      Are you dead already?

      March 27, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • No Muslim slave

      Okay, idiot – have fun with your Islamic master.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • dee carter

      ummmm im not sure who you're refferring to, but if you didn't grow up in a krazy muslim house, you can purchase a ticket to stone-ville in saudi arabia, and sit in da front row:0

      March 27, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  15. Reb

    To (B)iraq Hussein Osama: "Treat their women with respect and dignity." OMG ROFLMAO That is the most absurd statement I have ever read! Is that why women in the Middle East are forced to sit in the dirt and beg for food to feed their starving children? They aren't allowed to take a job so their only recourse is to sit and beg and she better make sure she has that burka on and doesn't dare look any man in the eye. IS THAT RESPECT AND DIGNITY? Get real. Why any woman would fall for this woman hating and fearing religion is beyond me. Most of the religions demean women to some degree or the other but in this day and age a religion that condones stoning women and making them beg for food while denying them any of the means to help themselves is pure hatred. I'm not usually intolerant, but I've seen too much about how you treat your women to drink that koolaid.

    March 27, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      Muslims and Islam treat their women with great respect and dignity. The joke is on you. its like trying to explain respect and dignity to a culture which does not practice the ideals. lost cause. let me try to put in language you will understand. "in Islam women are like a double cheese whopper with Super-size fries". Now you follow?

      March 27, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • dee carter

      dont 4get that's in the quran, you know the book that was "written" by some really normal god

      “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).........and now, let's hear from kraaazzzzeee muslims that have an "answer" for everything such as "Well Christians didnt treat their woman any better, and nyah nyah nyah nyah,.....or "Oh yea, prove he's not real, prove it, prove that there is something wrong with the quran, prove it" ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm no thanks dupid

      March 27, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  16. FugXu

    {“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."}

    People of all faiths should be free to shop without undue fear that the person in the next isle is a radical nut with a bomb and death wish for all the nonbelievers around'em. Pretty twisted isn't it? So what is the solution to that problem?

    In the end, everything is lost in translation, or filtered out by the individual...take your pick.

    March 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Kyle

      I agree, but the problem is that Islam is becoming less about faith, and more about change and control of the government of the country in which it is operating. Ask France, England, Germany, etc etc. They were all open and tolerant, and now are paying for that decision.

      Islam is a fine religion and a terrible government.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  17. Richard

    Muslims have dozens of their own countries. Perhaps they would feel more comfortable living there.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfB_F936bU8&w=640&h=360]

    March 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Ron

      Was someone holding notes for you to read next to the camera? It sounded like you are too much of a bimbo to have a mind of your own. Race problems? what do you know about race problems. Just go put on some make up and try to look pretty... That is all you are good for dim bag.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      perhaps if you did not ship BILLIONS and BILLIONS of dollars in military hardware there, yes, perhaps they would indeed feel more comfortable there!!

      March 27, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Memo

      They will leave your country once the US leaves their countries! As simple as that!

      March 27, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Kaos32

      I think I will stay since I was born, raised and am serving this great country that has freedom of religion.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Dude

      Christians have many countries of their own. Why don't Christians got there?

      The founding fathers made it very clear that this country is not Christian, nor based on Christianity. Thomas Jefferson read the Koran and was so inspired that at the time of his death he was studying Arabic so he could read it in it's original language.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • GoHomeifyouCantmeld

      Great post. What she says is right on the head of the nail. Whites are expected to take all the crap. What the blacks here dont understand is that these invaders wont be kind to them either.

      March 27, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  18. Mark

    And this time CNN don't remove my post! This is supposed to be free speech remember!

    March 27, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  19. Tommyn

    Every day I read and saw all bad things about muslim. Be greatful to the countries (US & Canada) that give you and your children better lives. I have not seen a single protest from the muslim communities on the street against muslim terrorists...WHY? Which side you are with? If you hate US or Canada that much go back to your own middle eastern countries. If you want Sharia law go back to your own countries.

    March 27, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      its kinda hard to protest against the terrorists when their enemy (the US Government) is itself an international terrorist. you know what i mean?

      March 27, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • dee carter

      HEHEHEEH, ya "moslems" why don't you go back to the middle east, with all your muslim brothers, you know the ones that you say don't follow the religion, that they are extremists, why don't u book a hotel room and upgrade to the stoning suite?

      March 27, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Dude

      There have been many anti-terrorist demonstrations on the part of Muslims. They rarely make the news.

      Although, it does seem that depicting the Prophet Muhammad is protested more vocally than murdering in his name. Both are affronts to Islam.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • dee carter

      how come muslim and terrorist or anti-terrorist are always in the same sentence, and muslims that protest against terrorism, are not following the quran, those are ppl that are just like the christians today that don't follow their religion at all but for some strange reason, just can't let go of a krazy god floating in the sky, GO WILD!!!! KRAZEE for christmas

      March 27, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  20. Mark

    Cry me a river GO AWAY! Go to a country that is Islamic and leave America. Hey Muslims how does it feel? This kind of persecution has been happening to us Christians here in America for a long time. Doesn't feel very good does it? Stop whining!

    March 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • sick to my stomach

      The abused becomes the abuser.. Go see a shrink if you truly believe in what you said.

      March 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • MAL

      How could the majority ever be persecuted? I think you are confusing America with the Roman Empire before Emperor Constantine.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Mike

      So Mark if some one in American says "That is mighty Christian of you." What does that mean? Also What would it mean if someone said "That is mighty Muslim of you" or "That is mighty Jewish of you." I'm sorry but in America Christian means good and everything else is bad. So go sell you paranoid delusions of persecution somewhere else.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Jacobtheliar

      You sure do sound like a fool! good day!

      March 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • MuslimsareEv!l

      There are LOTS of muslim countries. PICK ONE! Oh, you don't like them? Realize that islam is designed to establish a ruling class and it stinks if you're not at the top of the pecking order? Realize that a group with no morals makes a pretty bad living environment?

      So you move away and come here and try to change ours into THAT? Get real and get out. Today is the day we quit being shy about it. Speak the TRUTH!

      March 27, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • No Muslim slave

      Islam is evil, pure and simple. Those who truly follow it have murdered over 200 million people worldwide, and the numbers keep climbing. Why is ONLY Muslims who are complained about ALL THE TIME ALL OVER THE WORLD? Do we see people complaining about Buddhists or Hindus? NO!! Sorry, Muslims, but the problem is NOT on our end – it's on the end of Islam. You need to grow some morality and leave this sick cult.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Kyle

      I dont have much sympathy for the plight of the muslim-american. Islamic America, or Free America; they two are not compatible. We better decide which we want.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Dude

      When I go for a walk around my neighborhood, I can pass at least six different Christian churches.

      Mosques, synagogues, temples, shrines etc total zero.

      From that it is plain to see how Muslims are forcing Christians underground. Let me explain it further. If the Christians lose just six places of worship, then my neighbors would have to drive to get to the nearest church. By contrast, if the Muslims build one more mosque, they will be up to a total of one.

      I am so tired of Christians playing the oppressed minority card.

      When I went to grade school, you would get sent to the principal's office and get beaten up (by Christians) for not singing praises to Jesus during the Christmas season. But, Islam was scarcely mentions. The Principal defended the Christian students who bullied others.

      I'm Jewish. Muslims are welcome in my neighborhood, as far as I am concerned. I have some Muslim neighbors, they are fine. Never bang on my door to tell me how much better their religion is than mine. Can't say that of my Christian neighbors.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • America1776

      What happened, that being an ameriacn who has genertaions of families who are from this country, seem to be considered a/an racist becuase they believe in their religion/culture and outherwise their way of life.

      The influx of folks outside the US seem to think/government/we should change our "belives/way-of-life" and laws to support their way of life in the name of "CIVIL RIGHTS". Lets not forget the way of life that WE AMERICANS were raised to EXPECT. I'M AFRAID THAT POLICTICAL CORRECTNESS WILL DESTROY WHAT WE CHERISH MOST OUR FREEDOM

      March 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Sam

      A good advice for the US from Britan:

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhN6CG1zCRc&w=640&h=360]

      March 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Sam

      More from Pat on dangers of Islam:

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlIRoXuWXLI&w=640&h=360]

      March 27, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
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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.