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. anna

    fck islam, fck religion, fck stupid believers, fck head scarf, fck mekka, fck mohammed.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • peace

      ISLAM and JUDAISM are more similar – see http://www.jids.org. Same father, remember? In any case "religion" is for people who are afraid to go to hell; Spirituality is for people who have already been there via the trials of the human condition.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  2. Reality

    I have not qualms with practicing muslims. However, where I have a huge qualm is their doctrine of taking over the world with their Islamic law. This is the United States of America! Made up of many nationalities. The country with the most freedom on the the planet. I for one will fight to keep it that way. Any religion that promotes promotes barbaric behaviors should be illegal. Any religion that limits womens freedoms even to the extent of what they waar publicly, should be made illegal. All US citizens have the right to live in this country without fear of persecution especially within their own immediate family. When I hear of young ladies being harmed/stoned/killed and it being initiated by their own family members, well, that doesn't belong in this country. However, if some of the Islamic law practices are aloud to expand in this country, then it will become common here as it is in middle eastern countries. Well my friends, NOT IN MY COUNTRY! I'll gladly worship my God through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you may do the same with whomever your choose to worship. But don't try forcing your religious law that crosses the boundary of separating church and state on my country.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  3. mr.magoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    can someone please draw mohamuddy face takin it jesus of nazareth style.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  4. From Florida

    For thousands of years, people have used religion to k i l l in the name of God. At one time it was Catholics who did exactly what now Muslims do. And please don't give me this garbage about making a difference between extremists and peaceful religious people. There have always been c r a c k pots who in the name of religion believe they have a right to decide what supposedly God wants. Muslim is not only a religion but also a way of life. It has its own laws, tenets and as with many other religions, have different shoots of their beliefs. Some take it litterally, others choose to interpret texts. In any event, anyone, whether Christian, Jew or Muslim who find that they know what God wants and interfere with another person's life, beliefs or actions IS NOT FROM GOD BUT DOES THIS IN THE NAME OF THE D E V I L. It is clear that God has created us free to choose, that He has laws, that He does not need to use us to ram down our beliefs down the throat of people to attain His goals. He has given us our entire life to choose between right or wrong and He reserves the blessings or punishments to Himself. He does not need puny m o r o n extremists to carry out His will.
    Unfortunately, Islam has chosen the path of "It's their way or the highway". I say, you can practice your religion freely, but don't use underhanded ways to attract people using lies, deceit and brainwashing.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  5. marshall

    CNN is bias against Christians and Jews; it is so obvious...69 churches burned in Ethiopia by Muslims and no reports from CNN. CNN is a big disappointed....

    March 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  6. The Reason Americans Are Scared

    The reason Americans are scared is because Islam appears to be a totalitarian religion whose followers embrace the very ideals that Americans despise. Overall, we LOVE freedom – but your women are forced to cover everything and are treated as second-class citizens. We don't like that. You brutally whip people for drinking alcohol, but we have bars on every corner. I'm not saying who is right or wrong – we all have a right to our own opinion – but the two cultures do clash. I certainly wouldn't emigrate to your country and expect to booze around in a mini skirt and high heels (you'd lock me up or kill me, right?), so don't come here thinking we won't scrutinize you. You're in our country, now.

    Oh – and Timothy McVeigh was a lone wacko. Muslim terrorists are organized, numerous and much more frightening.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Tapatio

      Completely agree. If u want to live here, go by the rules of the land. If not, go back to your middle east, drive camels, potty in desert and wipe yourself with hot sand. We dont need you here.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Upperhand

      “People of all faiths should be free to worship without undue fear that the person in the next pew is a government agent,”

      Go figure...these Muslims are the only ones attempting to blow shi* up and they wonder why their phones are being tapped or if they have a govt. agent in their midst. The answer is pretty obvious, obey the laws of our land and keep your rabid followers from committing crimes...its as simple as that!!!

      March 27, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  7. Joe

    Why do we let millions of Muslims, Latinos, and other immigrants to come to the US. Most are here illegally. Do we need more people?

    I remember after 9/11 Muslims celebrating in Houston.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Lamar

      I am amazed that you would make such a statement. I can only imagine what the Native Americans thought when the Europeans came in the name of peace,but the lasted until the sun went down.

      This nation was formed out of bloodshed and on the backs of men and women who didn't have any rights. I think they call it Capitalism today.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
  8. Chuck Steak

    "Alienated in their own country" – are you talking about how the Muslims feel, or about how I feel when Muslims try to encroach on our basic freedoms/rights with their Islamic "requirements?"

    March 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Opinionguru

      Bravo ...for a real taste of this hypocrisy, be a soldier and visit a highly Islamic country. It's like stepping back a few centuries. Ever see woman get shot or stoned or have their hands chopped because "It's their Culture". Complain in Iran or protest on the streets of Tehran instead of hiding behind the backs of US soldiers and crying 'foul'.....show your Liberal Superiority when your life is on the line. I'm not the only one who watches our great Nation being ruined by what's coming into our borders and by what's already here.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  9. Wesley

    Honestly I would rather Metro Detroit not have been mentioned as close to the American soul for Islam, there are a hell of a lot more hindus, buddhists, pagans, satanists, and new ages over here than Islamics all of those religions I much prefer to Islam (or Christianity for that matter).
    Power to the people.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  10. hamza

    i think that you guys are scared of muslims and that is why you bark at muslims so much.3 million of us have frightened 300 million of you.and we didn't even start attacking you.and we here don't even hate you.we do think that you are rotten,but we don't hate you.how scared then you will be if you happen to face those ones from africa/asia that really hate you?

    March 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Susan

      Maybe its behaviors of the muslims against the infidels( US) we dont like. Maybe we didnt like seeing innocent Americans getting beheaded by evil muslims and maybe just maybe we didnt like seeing American soldiers hung and burned from a bridge by muslims. And maybe, it has something to do with being attacked on US soil by muslims. Could it possibly be because they try to force their religion and rituals down our throats, suing Disneyland over headscarfs, demanding prayer areas in our schools when there is suppose to be a seperation of church and state, unless of course your a muslim! I bet most people could make a list of things they havnt liked of what we have seen from the religion of PEACE! HA!

      March 27, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Opinionguru

      Nice propaganda hamza ... I remember the Nazis saying they sought only peace (on THEIR terms). So did Stalin and a few others. Say what you like ...the actions of your culture speaks louder than YOU!

      March 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • hamza

      you are misunderstanding and i am going to explain you.islam doesn't have anything to do with muslims' fighting america,it is a political problem,not religous.if you send your soldiers to a muslim country,and they get caught by muslims,YES,once more,YES,muslims will burn them and hang them on the bridge,that is why you don't send soldiers to foreign country,because they WILL be attacked,whether you like it or not.in muslim land or in china or in rusia or in any other sovereign country,invaders will get no mercy.and muslims are not fighting for PEACE,they are fighting for FREEDOM.if you send your soldiers there,locals will assault them.9/11 is a revenge for palestine and iraq1990,for israeli crimes and imperalism and stealing of muslim resources.if you want to live in peace,then leave muslims alone.it is up to you.america has a choice,muslims don't.if you choose to fight,then don't cry when you get hit.and we here will not fight nor help your dirty wars,you are on your own.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • hm

      honestly hamza i am muslim. i have great chritian and jew friends. we get along great. ur just scaring these people more than they are already scared of us

      March 27, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Tapatio

      dont worry hamza.
      Another Bush will come to office and will carpet bomb 2 more of your countries and you will be extinct from the face of the earth within a century.

      March 27, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • Upperhand

      @ Hamza – Hey Rug-Pilot Roach-Rancher Dune Monkey...we don't care!!! Get out of America and take your cave dwelling false "religion of peace" with you back to the desert where you belong!!!

      March 27, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  11. Susan

    Disgusting. Gee, I wonder why some Americans do not like Muslims? LOL

    March 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  12. izzy

    religion: a waste of human energy!!

    March 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Upperhand

      Is that so?!? Why then are you wasting time speaking against it?!?

      March 27, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  13. jedi

    Fallacy on this articles
    1. Not all those who oppose Islamism(which are the majority of Muslims no matter how moderate and peaceful they claimed to be) are right-wing. Sam Harris, Daniel C. Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Victor J. Stenger and Christopher Hitchens who are oppose to Islamism are from background of political left. I'm oppose to Islamism and I'm not a right-wing nor a member of a tea party like this article are generalizing.
    2. Peter King never said all Muslims are terrorist, and he's supported by Muslim like Zuhdi Jasser and Stephen Schwartz.
    3. Islamist themselves are considered ultra-conservative religious movement also known as religious right-wing movement themselves not to mention Muslim Brotherhood and their relation with the third reich.

    March 27, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Opinionguru

      Well said

      March 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  14. MCR

    I'm Jewish, and since I was a kid every synagogue I've gone to has had to have tight security, with guards and emergency plans. People gonna hate, welcome to the club.

    March 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • jedi

      This is trend of the Muslim world of how they view the Jews,very favorable" to "very unfavorable, 60% of Turks, 74% of Pakistanis, 76% of Indonesians, 88% of Moroccans, 99% of Lebanese Muslims and 100% of Jordanians checked either "somewhat unfavorable" or "very unfavorable" for Jews which are the majority of the Muslim world: http://pewglobal.org/2005/07/14/islamic-extremism-common-concern-for-muslim-and-western-publics/.

      March 27, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Denise

      MCR – your people have been pretty much the olse force behind Open Borders, and mutli-culturalism. so the problems in the USA can be laid at your synagogue doors.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  15. jedi

    According to the list of designated terrorist organization by UN, US, EU, Australia, Russia and India , the majority of terrorist organization are Islamic comparing to other form of terrorist organization.

    March 27, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  16. jedi

    For people who try to get us to focus on Timothy McVeigh and terrorism on abortion lets count the number Islamic terrorist incidents compare to other form of Terrorism in this year(2011) alone shall we? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_armed_conflicts_and_attacks,_2011. And for those who can't accept the list I assume you're trying to tell us this is a bias report since you're immune to facts.

    March 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  17. Reality

    Muslims are required to believe in the existence of angels for without the angel Gabriel, there is no Islam.

    This is a major item for Muslim neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils/jinn are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils/jinn are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    March 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  18. Stephanie

    “SHOW ISLAM NO RESPECT … It’s all about the Koran stupid Kafir” (Page 271)

    61:9 “…that He (Muhammad) may make it conqueror of all religion however much idolaters may be averse”
    9:33 “…prevail over all religions” 8:39 + 2:193 “…and religion should be only for Allah”


    March 27, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • dhondi

      ah, so that is what you are after.

      March 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • FJ

      It makes me sad when ignorant people like you go blabber idiocy and tension. You cannot cite parts of the quran individually because it's out of context. The plege of Islam is : There is no God but the one God and Muhammad is his messenger. Now I could just cite the sentence "There is no God" and say that Islam promotes athiesm. When in fact it beleives in the same one God of Jesus, Moses, and Abraham. Please don't make stupid posts!

      March 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Opinionguru

      Ignore these goons ...they seem to be of the liberatheist convention that holds nothing as truth except their own opinions. Islam has demonstrated time and again in every place they infest they will convert or kill. Remember who their supporters are when it hits the fan ...Treason has gone unpunished in this country for FAR too long.

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

      Wouldn't the world be a much better and safer place if we had NO religions at all! Why do people fall for this Bible/Koran myth? Glad I'm a freethinker. Just use your brain!

      March 27, 2011 at 5:06 pm |

      Let the videos speak for islam.know the true islam.
      slaughtered American contractor Nick Berg. Sitting in a chair, Berg made the following statement: “My name is Nick Berg, my father’s name is Michael, my mother’s name is Susan,” the man said on the video. “I have a brother and sister, David and Sarah. I live in … Philadelphia.”The video then changes to a scene of masked men, with Berg sitting in front of them. After reading a statement, the masked men were seen pulling the man to his side and putting a large knife to his neck. A scream sounded as the men cut his head off, shouting “Allahu Akbar!” – “God is great.” They then held the head out before the camera.THIS IS THE REAL FACES OF ISLAM.http://barenakedislam.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/american-nick-bergs-beheading-warning-graphic-images/
      In this case, just as it has happened so many times before, it seems that the executioners used a dull knife again. These guys really left the man take the imminent death with all of its worst. The knife wielding masked man slowly cut through the neck of the victim as if to take in the joy of causing slow and painful death. He cut through man’s trachea and esophagus which detached victim’s mouth from the rest of the body, yet he’s still making desperate attempts to scream and all the noise is coming out of his neck. It’s brutal.As carotid arteries got cut, the blood started gushing out in volume you have never seen before. The massive blood loss along with horrific sound this beheaded man lets out make this easily the most brutal beheading video you will have ever seen. Also notice how just before the beheading starts, the camera focuses on victims bruised arms. That man was heavily beaten prior to his painful execution. He was given a choice to say his last words – it’s in a language I don’t understand (possibly a Middle Eastern tongue) but you can tell the man has already gone through hell on Earth and knows the worst is yet to come. He likely wished for a quick death so he’s done with it, unfortunately for him, he was not granted that wish. Brutal video.I don’t want to sound mundane with warnings, but damn the damned – WARNING on this one. Extremely brutal video. Very bloody. You have never seen this much blood ejected out of man’s body before. Knife executioners used to behead this man was likely really dull which you can tell by what it took to cut through the soft tissues of the neck. The video then jumps to the footage of decapitated head laying atop man’s dead body – which I’m assuming is because cutting through his spine took them forever, so they got rid of that so they’re not ridiculed for being complete amateurs. Once again – this video will hunt you for years, even if you’ve seen previous beheadings and took it like a champ. This one is worse. The sound is extremely painful and the amount of blood lost is beyond comprehension. You can’t even believe heart can pump so much blood with each beat. Watch at your on risk, you’ll have to deal with it yourself if you opt to go for it. I’m not kidding, it’s the worst beheading video ever!It appears as though the name of beheaded man was Jasus Musel. The beheading was carried out by MUSLIMS.See a pattern??speak.bestgore.com/beheading/worst-beheading-video-ever-horrific-sound-massive-blood-loss/ outsidethebeltway.com/web_site_american_hostage_killed_in_iraq/-The video, on an Islamist site, identified the hostage as Eugene Armstrong and showed a masked man sawing his head off with a knife. The video showed the banner of Zarqawi’s Tawhid and Jihad group, which said it had kidnapped the hostage along with another American and a Briton in central Baghdad last Thursday. The video was the first word on the three men since a 48-hour execution deadline set by the group on Saturday expired earlier in the day.Tawhid and Jihad said in footage posted on the Internet on Saturday it would kill the three men unless Iraqi women were freed from Abu Ghraib and Umm Qasr jails in 48 hours. The families of Americans Armstrong and Jack Hensley and Briton Kenneth Bigley have appealed for their release. The men were seized from their house in an upscale neighborhood of Baghdad on Thursday by a group of gunmen.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • hm

      u pulled out those vereses in context

      March 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Upperhand

      Figures as much you Muslim trash!!! You people are psychotic and should be neutered and spayed....you don't deserve to breed.

      March 27, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  19. Eleanor

    Also my last remark here, as regards the right wing Christian anti everybody pastor from Florida. He should be run out of town. There is no place for that in my America either. But as to the hearings in Congress, it would not have to have occurred if we did not find home grown terrorism. And, we cannot keep looking at Timothy McVee as an example of Christian terrorism. McVee was a symbol of terrorism who happened to be Christian, though I doubt his Christianity. He was a right-wing neo-Nazi and there is no place for his kind in our country either.

    March 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Leila

      I don't know why people keep claiming this. That man denounced Christianity before he bombed the building. Even so, they wonder why we don't have a bunch of agents infiltrating churches? Christian churches aren't a normal venue for radicalizing Christian youth and we certainly don't have a lot of that in comparison to Muslim radicalized youth. The mosques are often used as a base to do so. If we started having a bunch of Christian terrorists popping up, I fully expect a government agent to infiltrate a church and I have no problem with it.

      March 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Kid, you forget the abortion clinics that were bombed by Christians, radicalized by their Christian churches that consider abortion murder. Hence, those folks feel free to bomb clinics and physicians homes.
      You forget the wonderful Christian organization that HAS a strong church presence, the KKK, complete with an armed militia.
      You forget neo-nazis and skinheads, who don't use religion at all, but HAVE attacked people, due to THEIR radicalization.
      But, we pay attention to one religion and ignore armed goons with heavy weapons of military nature!
      That is like buying a state of the art alarm system, then never turning the thing on OR locking the doors!

      March 27, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • hm

      well said eleanor

      March 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  20. Akabra

    At this point there really no need for long introductions people are not fools.
    The simple reality is that if Islam was not a religion it would have to be outlawed. Protection by the freedom of religion is a thin veil that can be stretch only that much before it snaps.

    March 27, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      I see, so YOU want the first amendment to only apply to SOME people?
      Very well, you may never speak again in public.
      We have amendments that are labeled the Bill of Rights. Not a Bill of Optionals.
      You have a right to free speech, not an optional that can be denied. You have a right to practice your religion, not an optional what the state must approve of. You have a right to a free press, not an optional if the propaganda ministry approves.

      March 27, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • frank

      A religion cannot impose it self on the rest of society, and moderate Muslims must stand away from their radicalized minority and stomp it out. If Islam really is a religion of peace as they say.

      March 27, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • annie

      Well, if we outlaw Islam then Christianity should be outlawed. The simple fact that so many Christians have such hatred and anger against others, and intolerance, means that those religions, too, are violent and extreme.

      March 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • annie

      Oh, and Frank? Same goes for Christians. Let's see the other Christian religions stomp out catholicism for their pedophilia. Let's see the christian religions stamp out the Westboro church and other so-called christian religions that think violence against abortionists is good.

      March 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Goyim

      So while the Jew media tells Whites that they do not have the right to have a county of their own ("Too White" video below this one), they are simultaneously telling us how these 1st generation Muslims are being "alienated" in "THEIR OWN" country. WOW! Unreal.. What nerve. OUR country is no longer OURS (according to the Jew), not even when it comes to a small county (they can't even give us our "White flight"), but the country itself now belongs to these immigrants who just recently arrived!

      *Of course I don't blame these Muslim immigrants for it, I blame the Jews with their blatant double standards and obviously anti-White agenda.

      The Message: "Hey racist White people, you are making these Muslims feel alienated. You therefor need to stop resisting this mass immigration and takeover of (what used to be) your country immediately. If you live in a community that is too White, then you need to make way for a bunch of freeloading non Whites to move in next door. And you better not make them feel alienated in what is now THEIR country."

      Think the Jew media gives a damn about these Muslims? Think again. This isn't a pro Muslim article, meant to garner sympathy for the Muslims. It is an anti White article, meant to instill more guilt into the mind of the average White person, in order to make sure they don't resist the Jewish agenda of White genocide. Either make them feel right at home OR find yourself labeled as a "racist".

      March 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • peace


      March 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Upperhand

      @ Annie – Do everyone a favor and shut your face....this is not about Christianity, its about Islam fool!!!

      March 27, 2011 at 6:09 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.