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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. Upperhand

    Deport them all!!!

    March 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  2. johnqsmith

    I think many people's so-called "problem" with Muslims stem from 9-11. To this day, I have never heard of widespread condemnation of 9/11 of terrorism, other than empty lip-service. Why is there no "fatwah" against radical islamists? Why are there no proclamations that state if you commit terrorism you go straight to hell???

    It seems, from my view, that mulisms in general do not do enough to denouce and stop radicals. Afterall, the muslim commnuity is the only group who can put an end to it.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  3. ISLAM IS_EVIL

    What does islam show is?Well start here.

    ANOTHER PEACEFUL ACT IN THE NAME OF ISLAM..
    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.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  4. Bob

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com

    March 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  5. Balatazar

    Mohammed's mother should have her tubes tied.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  6. MDinNC

    The problem is complex, but he solution is simple. We simply need to get along. Muslims in America, like those clerics abroad, are slow to condemn the violence committed by radicalists. That makes it easy for people to put them all in the same box. The violence needs to stop, and we need to get along.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • busf

      Christians that commit violent atrocities are not supported by their doctrine. The New Testament's message never says to kill non-believers. Instead it speaks about Love and its power to conquer evil, turning the other cheek and so on...

      Muslims are supported by their doctrines the Quran and the hadith. Both speak about killing non believers and using the power of violence to spread the word of Islam.

      Knowledge is power, please pick up books and read and they you will understand why so many Americans do not trust Islam. Its because so many Americans currently have the freedom to READ and understand events for themselves! You can't find that in many countries around the world!

      March 27, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  7. frankie

    I had a vision that Lady Gaga was in the book of Revelations then she turned into a locust with the head of a Lady Gaga and flew into my bedroom and bit my privates off. It scared me a lot but I enjoyed it in a weierd way I hope I have this dream again!!

    March 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • anna

      You are ready to start a religion. Only, you are not big enough of a pig like the pedophile before you.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  8. NICK BERGDIEDFROMISLAM

    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. The U.S. military says no women are being held in the two prisons specified, but that two are in U.S. custody. Dubbed “Dr Germ” and “Mrs Anthrax” by U.S. forces, they are accused of working on Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs and are in a prison for high-profile detainees.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  9. ultimate guest

    Just because a muslim doesn't eat pork doesn't mean that they can't take the bk challenge.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  10. NICK BERGDIEDFROMISLAM

    Let the videos speak for islam.Not sure you will watch it.If not then you do not 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. /barenakedislam.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/american-nick-bergs-beheading-warning-graphic-images/

    March 27, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      And good old boys who went to church every Sunday never did anything remotely like that int he old South... did they? (And I'm not going back in time that far...)

      March 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  11. AI

    The repeated attempt to paint anyone on the right, or with any conservative views, as being racist xenophobes, is unbelievably dishonest and irresponsible. It's nothing but a concerted smear campaign, entirely motivated by politics. It's shameful.

    People are individuals.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  12. grumpygramma

    The part I find so hard to accept is that the people's mentioned country of origin is so messed up... Muslims or Mexicans...it's both the same. So when they come here and want to create a little 'mini-country' it upsets me because it's like they want to bring it with them. I think of Muslim's as people who fanatically practice a religion that stands for hate and intolerance of women and any other race or religion- am I wrong? Are we supposed to believe that every Muslim living here is in love with Americans?
    No they want to seclude themselves and create intolerance because they don't tolerate us. It is part of human nature to not trust the 'others' that compete for resources...I try to fight it, but basically I have no interest in people who reject everything about my way of life except for the 'rights' our forefathers gave us.
    Henry Ford was like the corporations of today It's all about cheap labor and union busting they don't care one bit about who does it or how it effects the very country where they became wealthy.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Maybe

      grumpygramma,

      I'll bet that the early English and Scottish and Dutch and German immigrants were pretty clannish too way back when. It takes time to blend. And perhaps the Revolution from British rule helped to unite them, somewhat... but it takes time and tolerance from ALL sides.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • karianez

      You mean like your forefathers did to the Indians? I don't see the generations of "English bluebloods" accepting the ways of the people who originally inhabited this land. Pretty selfish and racist remark. Good for your forefathers but no one else's??

      March 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • anna

      what our forefathers did has nothing to do with us. We are not our forefathers.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • sam62

      I only have one thing to ask, are you a nativeamerican?

      March 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  13. ahmed

    For all the muslims that disagree ...... PROVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  14. anna

    All we need in America is people who worship pedophiles.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      anna wrote: "All we need in America is people who worship pedophiles."

      I guess you feel it's better to keep the pedophiles we already have in the churches...

      March 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • anna

      If you don't understand the difference between worshiping pedophiles and putting them in jail, I feel sorry for you.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  15. Richard

    This is not "their own country" Their countries are in the middle east & North Africa. The USA is for "ourselves and OUR posterity.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • hamza

      dreams,dreams.your land is in europe.this one is going to be shared.i will bring 50-60 relatives,too.

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

      Why bringing them? Why not just multiplying like rats?

      March 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Stephen

      Really? I live here, and I'm white, educated, and a Muslim. get used to us, we are members of the fastest growing religion on earth. Sure hope you aren't right and when we hit a certain number BOOM, away you go.

      Cheers

      March 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • anna

      Stephan and Hamza, I am a pacifist, but you almost make me feel like wanting to eliminate you like vermin.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • chuckmartel

      Unfortunately Anna, the elimination of these type of vermin is the only hope for peace in the US. They are genocidal evil and pure disease.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  16. ahmed

    Islam and western society can never mix. They will forever be at odds because Islam does not allow for the acceptance of other ideas and religions. We as Americans are always made to feel guilty for not "accepting" muslims, but look around you! We accept EVERYONE! How can it be that Islamic people are so vocal about not being accepted when they, themselves, are so unaccepting of the rest of the world. Islam is the PINNACLE of hypocrisy!

    March 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Stephen

      We accept everyone!

      And the ones we don't accept we lynch and ostracize until they conform to white, Judea Christian values, and assimilate into our white pan European fascist society...

      But we accept everyone!

      March 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • chef dugan

      You are dead wrong – we do not "accept" everyone and we shouldn't. This is our country and it is going down the tubes because we "accept" everyone. It is not individual Muslims that are a danger it is the mindset that their religion demands. If you look at it objectively is looks and sounds pretty stupid but so do the Baptists and all the other "beliefs" that are supposed to come down from God. The God I know would vomit if he ever took a close look at their obnoxious behavior. And yes, we should follow France and ban the stupid head scarves.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • ahmed

      Actually, we do. But you're absolutely right, at some point we should draw the line. We need to maintain western ideals and defend them against those who threaten it!

      March 27, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  17. DB

    Actually what I want, what I believe the majority of Americans want is to be assured that the threat posed by Islamic radicals not to being ignored by our government and be assured that reasonable steps are being taken to address it. I want the government to admit that Islamic radicals pose a clear and present danger to the United States that exceeds that of all other terrorist groups.

    Announcing that the Fort Hood murders were not an example Islamic terrorism, but instead claiming that white supremacists pose the same threat only exacerbates the concern that the government is not facing the real threat. Claiming that airport security check for Muslims is the same as for granny is not only unbelievable but troubling.

    The more Muslims push to ignore the threat and the more politicians pander to the Muslims the wider the gulf will become as our people take increasingly greater steps to protect themselves.

    The best Muslims can do is recognize the dilemma, accept that there are people in their midst that would cause harm and that those people pose a disproportionate threat to all Americans
    .

    March 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Stephen

      You might want to take a look at what group, in the United states, as a religion is responsible for more acts of political violence and terrorism, it's not Muslims.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  18. mr.magoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    My comments are being moderated. lol. love freedom of speech. Curious how far You can take it before getting cut off.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  19. anna
    March 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  20. mr.magoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    Jon its ok that your gay. Mohamuudy was also gay.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • anna

      No, he was a pedo.

      March 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • mr.magoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      This topic is really explosive. no pun intended.

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

      A good advice for the US from Britain:

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

      March 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • karianez

      Sad. The lunatic fringe in all paradigms set up this condition of assault. Yes, Islam is a bit more "extreme" in their undertaking of the fringe causes...but it is along the same lines of the Westboro Baptisist church and their extremism and the church that just had the ministers hitting small children. So long as the tolerance of extremism is allowed, this will be the result. Persons associated with these groups, need to stand up and denounce their actions when they do not follow in line with teaching...unadulterated teachings. But, I must say with all honesty, Islam is a bit more frightening, but the others are none the less as dangerous for society.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:12 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 5:14 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.