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. Lora

    Why aren't there any women in the photo for this article? All I see are men praying. Is it because women are separated and do not have equal rights as men in the Muslim world?

    March 27, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • ben

      yup. Islam, well....doesn't like the ladies to much. DOnt worry though, the prophet mohammed got married, to a 9 year old girl! So um....yeah. yay islam!

      March 27, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Upperhand

      In Islam women are property...they are primarily used as s*e*x toys!!

      March 27, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  2. In doubt that the Koran is the literal word of GOD

    How would Mohammad who never read or write know Iron atomic weight and number more than 1400 years ago "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUA0EGTGFtg".. too many coincidence and a living miracle till this day. By the way Mohammad name is mentioned in the songs of Solomon. Yes by name. Before you check your bible check the Hebrew version in the dead sea scrolls and see with your own eyes. But again if you want not to believe in the final testament and prefer Hannity's and Limbaugh's words I can't help you there.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  3. Lora

    CNN is does not report on Christian persecution. Christians are persecuted around the world. Look at two websites that help persecuted Christians. There is a death sentence for Muslims who convert to Christianity. Please read about persecuted Christians athttp://www.opendoorsusa.org/ or Voice of the Martyrs.com http://www.persecution.com/

    March 27, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  4. Upperhand

    From the Master of Disaster himself....."Let me be clear!!!", "Make no mistake!!!", 'LET ' me be perfectly clear!!!', "Understand this!!!"'.........IDIOT!!!

    March 27, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  5. Lora

    CNN is focuses on the Muslim religion again. CNN is trying to brainwash readers into believing Muslims are being persecuted in this country. Have they ever done an article on the Christians that are persecuted across the Muslim world? There is a death sentence for Muslims who convert to Christianity. Please read about persecuted Christians athttp://www.opendoorsusa.org/ or Voice of the Martyrs.com http://www.persecution.com/

    March 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  6. Upperhand

    Here are examples of what THE SO CALLED "RELIGION OF PEACE" teaches ALL its followers....not just some!!!

    “Fight and slay the non-Muslims wherever ye find them” and “seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); unless they repent” Surah 9:5

    "Do not take the Jews and Christians as friends" Koran 5:51

    "Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.” Koran 2:191

    “Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood.” Koran 9:123

    “When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them.” Koran 9:5

    “Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.” Koran 3:85

    “The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them.”... Koran 9:30

    “Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam” Koran 5:33

    “Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies.” Koran 22:19

    “The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them.” Koran 8:65

    “Muslims must not take the infidels as friends.” Koran 3:28

    “Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an.” Koran 8:12

    “Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels.” Koran 8:60

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

      get this evil. satanic junk off of here now!!!!!

      March 27, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Becca

      get behind my you lying satan!

      March 27, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  7. Rex

    I'm not going to bother reading all 1000 plus comments. But here's the deal, plain and simple.
    When you immigrate to a Country, you are to take on the role as a citizen of that Country.
    Therein lies the problem. When European immigrants fled to America during the war, when they arrived in the U.S. or Canada, they were thankful for their newfound freedom and did everything they could to become true citizens of their new Country.
    Todays immigrants flea their homeland for what ever reason and upon arrival here, thumb their nose at our customs and carry on as if they still lived where ever it is they fled from.
    If you're of Islamic faith and have a desire to live in North America, then remove the symbolism and act like you're proud to be here.

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

      Rex wrote: "When you immigrate to a Country, you are to take on the role as a citizen of that Country."

      You mean... behave the way the European Christians behaved when they came to this hemisphere?

      March 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Monongahelan Super-Monkey


      March 27, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  8. Upperhand

    "Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.

    No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless wa...rriors at every step..." – Sir Winston Churchill

    March 27, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      And in what way is this any worse than christianity?

      March 27, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Upperhand

      @ Praisethelard – Well isn't it obvious you fool...are you that stupid or only pretending?!?

      March 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  9. Upperhand

    "Those who know nothing about Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those people are witless. Islam says: 'Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all!' Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by the infidel? Islam says: 'Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter them.' Islam says: 'Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword.' The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim." – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

    March 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  10. justgottasayit

    Like it or not, Islam-ists hijacked planes and flew them into the World Trade Center. They touted the right to do it based on their religion. So muslims better get used to being disliked and not trusted and in fact they'd do well to get used to being not wanted in any neighborhood. They can say that it was 'radical muslims' who do the violence, but guess what? Who's to say which ones are violent and which ones aren't? Also, muslims come to countries who are basically Christian and insist that their ways be tolerated and accommodated. Do you see Christians being accommodated in their countries, such as Iran? HA!!! If they don't like acclimating to a Christian country they can go home. Their religion is violent. Period. And I for one don't have any respect or tolerance for violent people.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Voice Of Reason

      You, sir, are very ignorant. Good day.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Becca

      You are so very right!

      March 27, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  11. Upperhand

    “There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it,” said Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

    March 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Becca

      there are no good muslims or islamists. They all carry a creed of hatred toward Israel and the United Statesl Wish I could see when Jesus shows up on his white stalliion and throws them all into the lake of fire!!

      March 27, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Bill O

      Beca: Do you actually read the words of Jesus in the Bible? If so, how can you square your level of hatred with his greatest commandment along with loving God? Is your faith so weak that you fear another religion instead of actually serving as an Ambassador of Christ by emulatiing him and trying to follow the cross? If you're a fundamentalist, of course it is and of course you won't. As my late grandfather – a Southern Baptist Minister of all things, back when it wasn't a religion for those comfortable with their own bigotry and hatred – told me many years ago that there is no room for hatred in a Christian heart. I belong ot a different denomination and though not perfect, at least I don't have to go through life as full of hatred and hostility as many of you. Anyone who hates as much as so many of the people on here are not Christians, desptie their self delustions. So spare me the "this is a Christian nation" crap. If you want to make it more Christian, I suggest you start acting like you are one. I believe in the power of my faith, and if I harmed by that, so were the apostles and other early Christians. And they didn't kill their persecutors. In fact they didn't even whine about them.

      March 27, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  12. Upperhand

    “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers…” ~ Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

    March 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • WickedNorth

      Sounds like something the Pope would say, or any priest/rabbi/monk.

      March 27, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  13. Upperhand

    The Five Deceptions of Islam:

    1.) "Islam is a religion of love."

    2.) "Islam is a religion of peace."

    3.) "Allah is just another name for God."

    4.) "We worship Jesus Christ like you do."

    5.) "Koran is the Divine Word of Allah."

    March 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Only 5 deceptions?

      How many deceptions are there in the old and new testaments?

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

      you have no idea what you are talking about ! why dont you read and educated yourself first, then make comments!

      March 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  14. Upperhand

    "Islamophobia": The fear of speaking out against the rapidly growing religion/ideology that is out to repress all who do not follow its doctrine.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • WickedNorth

      So close, but no cigar. Try again. (Hint: use a dictionary next time.)

      March 27, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  15. The Dude

    Muslim religion is more than that it is there way of life. Everything outside of this well known fact that does not fall in line is considered unholy. Simple fact of the matter is weither you are christian,jewish,athiest or something other than muslims they feel you are there enemy as according to there khoran. I really hope that the muslims understand the sleeping lion is starting wake up again and when the citizens become tired of this movement and decide to act it will be the everyday joe. I do not believe people truly undrstand the magnitude or strong building resentment starting to manifest itself. Muslims are not my neighbors they are simply my enemy as set forth by there faith and way of life certainly not by mine.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  16. Not religious

    Muslims have been always been bad sales people. I am not a religious fellow per se but one verse in the Koran stopped me when the Koran says "We [God] sent down the iron". Now any one knows one or two things about iron knows that Iron is the death sentence of stars, once formed in its core, the star explodes scattering heavier elements in the process thus it was indeed sent down. Now this is not the eye catching part nor the fact that this chapter is called Iron located at the core of Koran just like how Iron is formed in the core of stars but the fact that the verse number and chapter number represent atomic number and atomic mass for Iron receptively. Further more The word iron in Arabic Just like Hebrew has weights and guess what the total of the word Iron in Arabic comes up to (57). Now that can be all coincidence morons. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUA0EGTGFtg

    March 27, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • angered and annoyed by the biased press

      No, it's a guy taking a parable out of context to conform with new scientific findings.

      March 27, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
  17. chuckmartel

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

    Now there is a muslim with an idea. This country already has more than its share of GD religion. The last thing we need are a bunch of rag headed dark age fundamentalists who have to whip out rugs and pray 5 times a day. Everything else about these creatures rots as well. Muslims do not belong here and I hope things just get worse for them.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  18. agni-12

    just wait for far right wingers to take over the country for five or six terms in a row, castration becomes mandatory for all muslims. This will bring an end to the rat mindset of Allah followers to mulitply like maggots.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Greg Finkel

      There is article "Islam's 20-year plan for U.S." from JOSEPH FARAH'S G2 BULLETIN Posted: August 04, 2003 and reprinted in 2010 WorldNetDaily.com . The article gives a Plan for islamozation of America.

      March 27, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  19. Upperhand

    Deport them ALL...get them out of America...their ideology is narrow minded and does not have the best interest of America or its people in mind.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Upperhand wrote: "Deport them ALL...get them out of America...their ideology is narrow minded and does not have the best interest of America or its people in mind."

      I could say the very same thing about the christians who colonized this hemisphere...

      Religion is a fraud!

      March 27, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Upperhand

      @PraisetheLard – Your face is a fraud. – SMILE

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

      deport all the whites to europe.white folk has commited genocide and slavery

      March 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Khadijah

      I am an American Citizen, born in San Diego, and served in the Army during Vietnam. I converted to Islam in 2006 because Christianity had gotten so bizzare. Islam and Christianity are not complete oposites in fact there are a great many similarities. Did you get your degree in religious studies from FoxNews? What if your ancestors had not been allowed to stay in the US? If you will answer me, then please get clean and sober first.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Becca

      I couldn't agree more.... get someone who has the guts and get them out of this country now!!!

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

      @ Hamza – I'm not white or European....you on the other hand need to stay in the desert after all that's where you people belong with your 7th century cave dwelling so called "religion of peace" It never should have seen the light of day!!!

      March 27, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Faten Lebanese

      give a proof that one Muslim has caused you harm. If you want them out, so Israel should be out of Palestine. Just think a little bit, how it could be for a Jewish country to be rooted in the Arab world! i mean they have just came to the Mideast region in 1948. Imagine that one invades your house one day and pretends it belongs to him. what will u do? however Muslims in US have not cause any harm, and they live peacfully with other American citizens.

      March 27, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  20. Dea2

    Our nation was founded on Freedome of Religion. If we don't give everyone that right, none of us deserve it. If we insist that Muslim women take off their scarves we need to insist that Pentacostal women wear pants and cut their hair. It's all or none. Anything else is unAmerican.

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

      What are you talking about?!? Islam is a total opposite of Christianity you ignorant fool!

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

      A good advice for the US from Britan:


      March 27, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Sam

      Dangers of Islam:


      March 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • John/kc

      The only thing I personally would outlaw is the Burka. People do not have the right to cover their faces in public else they look like thieves in the night. No Burka in public!

      March 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Common Sense

      Your thought process is flawed

      March 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Greg Finkel

      Islam is not a religion, but a cult.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Mike

      this one has gone around many times, each time is a Beautiful reminder. Blessing to all!!

      Change Your Thinking
      Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
      The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.
      The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.
      One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band – he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days, weeks and months passed. Then one morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
      As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
      Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.
      He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed. It faced a blank wall.
      The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, 'Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.'
      There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy. Today is a gift, which is why it is called The Present.

      March 27, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • WickedNorth

      Is Islam is a cult, what does that make Christianity?

      March 27, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • angered and annoyed by the biased press

      We did not allow Mormons the freedom to be polygamous when we allowed Utah to become a state.

      We should not allow Muslim women to remain insular by covering their faces with a garment, either burqa or niqab.

      If someone opposes the very foundations of our society, we should not allow them to use those foundations to deprive others of those rights.

      March 27, 2011 at 7:50 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.