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. David

    I admit, I don't want a muslim living next to me. But it's not because they are Muslim, it's because they are religous. I am scared to death of all religous people. They all want to kill someone in the name of there God. They are the reason I keep a gun under my pillow.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  2. Christian Liberal

    We need to ask ourselves why Muslims hate America so much. The answer is simple: because they hate. In my personal experience, most Muslims – and I am talking about my neighbors who live across the street from me – are happy, actually deliriously happy, when they see terrorists kill Americans. No, they don't want to kill us. Just like I personally do not want to kill Osama Bin Laden. But I will be glad to hear if someone kill them. I won't celebrate his death – more like relieved. But they actually celebrate.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  3. funny_name


    Why are so many people worried about Muslims now? There were far fewer anti-Muslim attacks after 9/11 than there were in 2009 according to the article above. After the 9/11 attacks Bush famously described Islam as a religion of peace. It seems that for the past few years conservatives have made a sharp turn against the Muslim comunity. All of the sudden they started seeing Muslims as a threat. Why didn't they think so before 2008?

    Could it be that some Muslim threat suddenly materialized out of no where? It seems doubtful. A much more likely explanation is that politicians and pundits are spreading fear to a public that doesn't know much about Muslims. They are trying to make you afraid so they can distract and manipulate you. Why else would the GOP suddenly become Islamophobic after years of outreach under the Bush administration? Why else would they spread innuendo about President Obama possibly being a secret Muslim (despite the obvious contradiction that he drinks alcohol and eats pork)? Why else would national politicians get involved in a local NY City zoning debate over an Islamic Center?

    I don't understand why so many people eager to blindly follow the GOP's anti-Muslim platform after years of tolerance under Bush. I don't like being manipulated, but I have to wonder about others.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  4. Jon

    Take a look at the statistics regarding hate crimes. Over 70% are against Jews and less than 10% against Muslims. Not even Catholics are immune. Yet, the news makes it seem like only Muslims are being persecuted. Shouldn't we be trying to eliminate all hate crimes instead of just focusing on one religion?

    March 27, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
  5. Doug Allard

    Poor little Moslems...
    1, 2, 3 everyone feel sorry for them...
    Give me a break

    March 27, 2011 at 8:13 pm |


      March 27, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  6. tiff

    I think that perhaps Muslim Americans are being railroaded by our government at this time.. but the idea came about fro banning Sharia Law for a REAL REASON! A man in one of the states that surrounds Michigan severely beat his wife repeatedly. In court he claimed he had the right to hit her based on Sharia Law. THAT is the part they are trying to stop.. I doubt that they are trying to take away their religious freedom... The feds are just ensuring that people can't claim religion when they violate a major human rights law that is firm in this country!

    March 27, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
  7. James

    I like the new " Islamophobia "word you have come up with. We will never forget 9/11 and you are to blame. Anything you say in its defense is just plain baloney. MOVE elsewhere–Yemen, Libya, Pakistan, Iran,Iraq–I don't care which one, just move–In the language of my friends from Mexico–"Adios"-

    March 27, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  8. Solrac The Barbarian

    You people are mad!!! Brainwashed drones. Lets tally up the score. Domestic White Terrorists Attacks:

    Anti-Abortion Groups
    Attacks by the Jewish Defense League (2004)
    Unabomber attacks
    Oklahoma City bombing
    Centennial Olympic Park bombing (1996)
    Anthrax attacks (2001)
    Holocaust Memorial Museum Shooting (2009)
    Fort Hood Shooting (2009)
    Austin IRS atack (2010)
    Tucson Shooting (2011)


    Animal Liberation Front
    Army of God
    Aryan Nations
    Jewish Defense Leauge

    And for the other side:
    Al Qaeda, 911 attacks (here in the USA)

    How about you take your blinders off and realize that you probably have enough hate to include all racial groups, including your own. Don't set everybody into one category, unless you do it for all groups.

    Here are some factual statistics, from the FBI. I hope it clears up your diluted mind:

    An FBI report has shown that, contrary to popular opinion, only a small minority of terrorist attacks in the United States from 1980 to 2005 were carried out by Islamist extremists

    ^ "Terrorism 2002–2005". FBI. 2005. Retrieved April 9, 2010.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  9. Shawn

    If Mosques are haven for terrorist then i guess churches are haven for pedophiles. Priest molest more boys then I guess they should tear down all the churches

    March 27, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • CdnChick84


      That is one of the best comments I've read! Everyone has rights!

      March 27, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • bethe123

      Shawn - The dislike of Islam is not only because of terrorism. Did you a meaningful comment to make?

      March 27, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
  10. LoneZero

    some how my post ended somewhere else? crazy cnn

    @Solrac The Barbarian
    well said! There is also The Hutaree (which translate to Christian Warriors)a militia in 2010 during an eighteen-month investigation authorities allege militia members discussed killing law enforcement personnel by first killing a single officer and then attacking the funeral with improvised explosive devices.

    These men were Christian, radical/extremist in all religions are a problem and a danger. We need to address them all.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
  11. muslim to Christin

    There was an article on Friday regarding changing faith from Christian to muslim. How about an article on converting to Christianity in a muslim country. In most places that is a death sentence. Read about it at Voice of the Martyrs. http://www.persecution.com/

    March 27, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
  12. Pam

    Islam is a cancer. It is a cancer on this country, on women, on Christians (who, of course the lefty unicorn progressives could care less about). If you thing for a minute this religion and its followers intent is not to disband this republic, you have your head in the clouds.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
  13. LoneZero

    well said! There is also The Hutaree (which translate to Christian Warriors)a militia in 2010 during an eighteen-month investigation authorities allege militia members discussed killing law enforcement personnel by first killing a single officer and then attacking the funeral with improvised explosive devices.

    These men were Christian, radical/extremist in all religions are a problem and a danger. We need to address them all.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • NickOrlando

      Make no mistake, when someone in Islam kills in the name of Allah, they are actually fulfilling the tenants of the Quaran. When someone goes out and kills in the name of Christ, they are in direct opposition to the teachings of Christ. (Therefore not being a true follower of His.)

      March 27, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
  14. Kim

    Ridiculous. Visit Dearborn, visit the muslim community. People there are so friendly. My brother-in-law is muslim. He's a great person. I have never been treated with anything but kindness and respect from these people.

    I myself am agnostic but i don't treat people like crap because of their religion. grow up people.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Sadim

      If you had entered into deeper relationships, your status as a woman would have been made PAINFULLY CLEAR TO YOU.

      Since this did not happen, I guess you never really got to know them that well. They can pretend too.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • tiff

      Most civilized people know how to behave in front of strangers.. I'm not saying you B-I_L is a bad person, but the way Sharia is so discriminatory against women I do not understand how ANY American woman would be ok with it!

      Do you think it ok that your BIL make ALL family decisions? Would you be ok if he hit, kicked, punched, slapped, etc your sister? Sharia law says its ok if he does.. and if she leaves him, he is justified in killing her.. all according to the Sharia

      March 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Jeff Charles

      P.T. Barnum said a sucker is born every minuit

      March 27, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  15. Gary Dubois

    BLESSED ARE THE PEACE MAKERS.. Under that flag we came to realize that we as Christians welcome everyone with love into our community. However, Not the Muslims. I agree that until their Clergy stands up and agrees with us that there is no threat to their God that we allow others to believe in the God they want to, without fear of violence when others disagree with them. Then they are not welcome. Anti-Christ means enemies to the Christian Faith. This nation was declared to his Church> Delcared by Columbus as well. That these United States were for claimed for our lord Jesus Christ and saviour. This is our country and I agree that the American Muslim Community could and should say they will abide that wll others to include the Jewish faith shall live in peace, on our lands. If not... then let us do what we must do. In the courts. To be sure that No President mmay make or establish any laws that favors one faith over the other. Liken to the Anti Blasphemy laws that President Obama has said he backs for the Muslims. I believe as there are flowers that are different . So, are the different faiths to God. All are his.

    March 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Jeff Charles

      Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man goes unto the Father except by Me". So many people that proclaim to be a Christian don't even know what the bible says and should re-examine who they want to follow. Jesus said, "do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but with a sword". Muslims do not accept Jesus for who He is (God). They follow some raping and pillaging false prophet that was a child molester (his 1st wife was 5 when he married her and 9 when they consumated the marriage). Islam isfilled with lies and muhammad even says it himself in Al Tabari 6:111 when he said, "I have fabricated things against God and have imputed to Him words in which He has not spoken". Islam is not a peaceful religion when someone comes out of their ignorance and studies it. This is a Christian nation. Muslims reject Christ and are destined for hell. If they refuse Christ shake the dust off your feet and treat them as a heathen like the bible says and stop being a moron.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
  16. Sam

    A good advice for the US from Britan – must watch!!:


    March 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • bethe123


      March 27, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • Chellie H.

      Are you people serious!!!??? I live 4 blocks away from a Muslim Center and have NEVER had a issue!!! It is wrong of you to judge these people by the acts of others! you call yourself a person of GOD? Do you think GOD would be doing what you people are doing?? I lived in the south , Tullahoma and Cookeville Tn and i have never experienced so much HATRED toward people that are different!!! This is outrageous!!!!!!!! I will pray for all of your ignorance!!!!! Did you know FEAR is a sin? Judgement is a sin? Its people like you and your supporters that is causing this country to go to hell!!!! I feel so sorry for these people!!! All of you should be ashamed of yourselves!!!!! Look at ALL the violent acts that has been done against these people!!!!! !!! You people need to wake up and get a wiff of some intelligence!!!! I PRAY THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO GET THE PLACE OF PRAYER!!!!! What business is it of your what it costs and how big it is!!!!????ITS NOT!!!

      March 27, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • Hermione granger

      Many think the holy Qur’an is a book with no real connection with credible science. This is not the case. The holy Qur’an described facts 14 centuries ago proved to be correct in this eBook that describes the origin of life. This is the first exhibit in history utilizing core and advanced biology about HOW human creation happened from clay. See the credibility of the holy Qur’an. Search for: “ decoding human creation” BRAND NEW INFORMATION !



      please circulate the links to all

      March 27, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • Hermione granger

      Many think the holy Qur’an is a book with no real connection with credible science. This is not the case. The holy Qur’an described facts 14 centuries ago proved to be correct in this eBook that describes the origin of life. This is the first exhibit in history utilizing core and advanced biology about HOW human creation happened from clay. See the credibility of the holy Qur’an. Search for: “ decoding human creation” BRAND NEW INFORMATION !

      please circulate the links to all

      March 27, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  17. lucas

    I'm a white American male who recently ended a relationship with a Muslim woman. I entered the relationship with acceptance and an open mind. For all intents and purposes my actual relationship was one of the best I ever had. Unfortunately her family refused to acknowledge even my existence. They lived 5 miles from my home and in two years I never met them once. They exerted constant unrelenting pressure on her to end our relationship and find a real "muslim" man. Their hearts were filled with hate for me despite the fact I treated there daughter better than any guy she had been with in the past. Eventually their constant interference in her life drove her away from me. After having time to reflect I'm quite certain the Muslim culture overall is a religion built on hate for any outsiders of the Muslim faith. My ex now has been brainwashed and will be forced to find a man of their parents choosing and not her own. I'm angry and have never felt so blatantly rejected simply because I wasn't a Muslim. I've learned my lesson and will never involve myself in their hate filled world again.

    March 27, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Don't you hate facts

      *deep sigh* Since when did your personal isolated experience account for the millions of Muslims in the world? Get over your butthurt

      March 27, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • tj

      I have read the Koran and I believe that it violates the basic fundaments of superior subordinate relationships. I think the writers wanted the readers to believe a higher power has something to do with the Koran. But the relationships depicted show primitive inter-relationships. For example a person who might have hundreds of acceptable options has the choice of acceptable action delimitated to one, for virtually no valid reason whatsoever. Subsequently people are left with a dependence upon narrow bands of instruction which fail to allow for complex fluid reasoning. These defects have nothing to do with a superior providing instruction. What happend to you is an example of the narrow instruction set believers subscibe to. Other religions do the same stupid thing, ultimately this helps lead to war where the poor usually suffer the most.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Sadim

      His is not the only testimony I have heard in this regard.
      It happens to thousands of people, and not just with Muslims.
      Every insular religious sect does essentially the same thing to outsiders.
      Just another proof that religion is insane and damaging to society and individuals.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Jo

      I think you are not alone . And you are probably fortunate that you did not marry the girl, and up end with both of you being murdered by her family. That, unfortunately, happens more often than not. I live in Canada, and it happens quite often here. Islam is not a tolerant religion, but we are expected to be tolerant of them.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • bethe123

      The issue I have heard is that Muslim women cannot date non-Muslims....but Muslim men can. It does happen - rarely - you will find a progressive Imam that will marry an infidel man with a Muslim woman...but it is the exception, not the rule.

      This is yet another example of the lack of equality of women in Islam.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • See the light

      Muslim women are not allowed to marry a non-Muslim man.

      But Muslim men are encouraged to marry a non-Muslim woman with the understanding that as the head of the household, he will eventually convert her into Islam.

      So when someone says Islam is open to inter-religious marriage, as they always claim and the media swallows it as a whole, they're just telling you a half truth.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • Sam

      I'm an Arab who identifies as Muslim (but don't really practice Islam). I had a similar situation as yours, except I was dating a "Christian" woman. He family did the same thing to me and drove her away. Does that mean that all Christians are that way? NO. Don't be ignorant. Many so called "religious" people are not accepting of their children marrying or dating someone from "another" religion, and that's sad, but not all people are that way. Get over it

      March 27, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • Hmmm

      That is your side of a "he said she said" buddy.
      The End.

      Get over it...move on. Perhaps next time you might want to take on a little Asian or African concubine...Or maybe both!
      Maybe that's why Mommy and Daddy did not like you because the entire matter would have just ended with the feelings that you expressed in your post...which are hardly pro-Islam...pro-Arab etc tec.

      What a sad pitiful story for a sad little pitiful weiner.


      March 27, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • NickOrlando

      Find a real Christian woman with a REAL Christian (That would mean someone that actually FOLLOWS the teachings of Christ.) For Christ said Love your enemy, pray for those that curse you. Love and feed the poor. Be not lover of wealth but a lover of mens souls. God loved you and I so much that He sent His son Jesus into the world to die for all the strife in the world, for the turmoil in the world, for all the hate in the wold, for all the sin in the world. People may hate, religion may hate, but Christ came and died out of love for the whole world. You are a child of God if you so choose, know you are loved even when the world has rejected you!

      March 27, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
    • GI_Derrique

      Don't worry. It wasn't one "isolated" incident. It was one BOOK that made them all @ssholes. As long as they segregate themselves from us, then they have no right to complain. It's their way of cramming their beloved, pedophile Muhammed down our throats that causes us to hate them. This is on their shoulders, and only they have the power to change it. Stubborn primates.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Bethe123

      You are distoring the facts. Most Imams wlll not marry a Muslim woman with a non-Muslim man.

      Further, NO Imam will marry a gay couple...so a Muslim woman can never marry a non-Muslim woman.

      The treatment of gays in Islam is ...welll...would you rather be stoned or beheaded?

      March 27, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
  18. Sam

    More from Pat on dangers of Islam :


    March 27, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • Bethe123

      More PC! Excellent.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  19. Sam

    A good advice for the US from Britan :


    March 27, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • bethe123

      Never can get too much Pat Condel speaking on Islam...good job.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Bob S

      Isn't it amazing that so many who probably read nothing and certainly not the Koran are sure it is just another nice little religion and not a promise to kill all who do not believe as Muslims are forced to do? Pathetic. Any Muslim who will not try to kill others is not a real Muslim. Read the Koran, fools!

      March 27, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • Bethe123


      "Read the Koran fools?"
      At the end of the day, it is how the religion is applied that most people care about. Islam has a poor record on that measure.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:34 pm |


      March 27, 2011 at 8:44 pm |


      March 27, 2011 at 8:53 pm |


      March 27, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
  20. Hermione granger

    I have bought and read this awesome new eBook, which I believe makes sense of the overall picture of life, as we know it and as we studied it. It is important for people with faith to link the origin of humanity as scientific discoveries present it, with how religion tells us of our existence. Never before was a book written in such manner which merges the scientific understanding with the Islamic view of human origins. This is not another intelligent design book. It rewrites the scientific data with new interpretation that brings the work of the force behind life with human discoveries that seek to unravel it. I deeply feel that this book can be the beginning of a new thought process, which complements and advances the scientific knowledge we currently have and reorganizes the patterns humans tries to discern into a more fuller and bigger picture. This book questions the interpretation of the current scientific theories which were derived from deeply skeptical minds which have relied heavily on fitting the data to the hypothesis rather than letting the data speak for themselves. It is time that we question the validity of the scientific dogma that is currently being enforced and interpreted as logical facts just as we have questioned divine decrees. This book is a novel and original idea that could open the door for new heights in scientific research. It is worth a read and a discussion that is for sure, but the potential for the ideas that this book presents and the implications it brings to advance beyond the casual discussion to the serious examination and research and development is paramount. I encourage readers to find out for themselves, especially those who are interested in thinking outside the box, and these who are deeply seeking new avenues to reach the facts, how new patterns of thinking could rewrite and redraw the whole picture again. The links are shown hereunder:
    in addition to the advertisements that provides a short summary:
    please reflect and circulate to all. Best regards

    March 27, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Sadim

      uh, "deeply skeptical" scientists are going to be MORE objective and correct, not the opposite.
      I suspect your book only seeks to muddy the waters, judging by your description.
      "Intelligent Design" has been debunked over and over and over. It has been proven wrong again and again.
      If your book is just another attempt to promote that pathetic ideology, then take it and shove it up your ass.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • GI_Derrique

      @Hermione: Do you profess to have your "O.W.L.S." in Islamic study, then? The book you prescribe is no more fiction than Harry Potter. In the scheme of things, they're all "Death Eaters" to me, and as such, should be eradicated like cursed horcruxes. Unfortunately, in this version, Dumbledore is on their side.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:28 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.