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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. chuck58

    Let's not kid ourselves. Islam is a hateful religion, with the mantra of convert or die. In 2-3 generations if the Muslin population grows exponentially we will most certainty have our own brand of terrorism with churches and synagogues being blown up. Things are quiet because the Muslims are a small portion of the population. Look at Ethiopia, now the Catholics are being driven out and terrorized by the Muslim minority. Any group that clings to ancient. beliefs in a modern society is destined to want to strictly adhere to those tenets. Come back in 150 years and tell me how things are..

    March 27, 2011 at 8:18 am |
    • Marcus

      Did you forget about the Inquisitions and the Crusades where Muslims in Spain were asked to convert or die?

      LOS MORISCOS (EXPULSION OF MUSLIMS FROM SPAIN BY INTOLERANT CRUSADERS) 'CONVERT TO CHRISTIANITY OR DIE' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4VVj3rZtN4

      March 27, 2011 at 8:23 am |
    • ab

      LOL what a buffoon. Open up a history book some day, read some Christian history, and then come tell me which religion is the violent one.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • Atheism is the only truth, god isn't real

      You're right, musilms, your religion is not violent at all, the past 100 acts of terrorism were not muslims who worshiped islam.

      We're not talking about the CRUSADES or other deaths of people thousands of years ago, we're talking about MODERN HISTORY, people TODAY that are committing acts of terrorism, muslims and those that follow islam, murdering people.

      Convert or die, in the 21st century... it is not excusable whatsoever.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • a2b3

      Chuck you are ignorant 🙂

      March 27, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  2. Bones

    I respect the people, the religion and the culture. I'm not required to "like" the culture or pretend to like it. I am not required to enjoy having a culture injected into our own whose beliefs run contrary ours. Freedom of religion and speech do not cover treating woman as second class citizens. Embrace it and assimilate or move to a culture that more closely follows your beliefs.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:17 am |
    • Marcus

      Really?

      "Behold," the angels told Mary, "God has given you the glad news of the coming birth of a son whom He calls His Word, whose name will be Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, who will be a man of honor in this life and the life to come, and who will be one of the ones nearest to God. – The Holy Qur'an 3:45

      March 27, 2011 at 8:19 am |
    • wial

      I've seen Pat Robertson draw on a blackboard how in a family the father submits to God, the mother to the father, and the children to the mother. Ban Christianity, based on that? Certainly such chauvinism is vile, but we built this country on tolerance. Many Muslims are far more modern and progressive than many Christians, and vice versa. We all need to learn.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:10 am |
    • Bones

      I'm not religious nor advocating for any culture based on religon. So progressive, moderate or radical, if the culture you are in expects you to assimilate, then do it, or go where the culture accepts your beliefs. I'm quite sure if I walked into the local mosque to learn about the religion my presence there would be as intrusive and foreign as their presence at the local water park.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  3. Michael Lovestar

    I have never heard any muslim come out in public and say that al Qaeda and terrorism is wrong. I have never heard of muslim rallies against terrorism. We know without having to be told that there are radical muslims in america, its a no-brainer. Why havent so-called American muslims done anything to turn these people in?

    March 27, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • Marcus

      Holy crap dude...Muslims have been saying it forever! Here is just one of thousands of websites where Muslims have talked against it! http://www.islamdenouncesterrorism.com

      March 27, 2011 at 8:18 am |
    • Michael Lovestar

      What good is a website that nobody has ever heard of? I'm saying that there NEEDS to be a VOICE from the muslims against terrorism if they EVER hope to change people's minds.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:26 am |
    • Marcus

      The voice is there, it is very loud...my Muslim friends talk about it daily. I watch it on good media channels (not the Iran wannabe FOX NEWS aka Christian Republican Theocratic channel) Muslims denounce terrorism daily very vocally, however they are overshadowed by right wing biggots who want to burn Qurans and persecute Muslims. I am actually thinking of converting to Islam because it is said that the most persecuted people are the people of God.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:28 am |
    • ab

      Try watching the news on occasion....and I don't mean Fox.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:42 am |
    • Michael Lovestar

      Oh come on now, be real... if just ONE mosque in America held a peace rally AGAINST terrorism, it would be BIG news. The AP would pick up on it in a heartbeat and spread the feed out to its members, and then Rueters would pick up on it, and so on. So give me a break.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:51 am |
    • wial

      Everything you said is wrong.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:07 am |
    • Atheism is the only truth, god isn't real

      "Oh come on now, be real... if just ONE mosque in America held a peace rally AGAINST terrorism, it would be BIG news. The AP would pick up on it in a heartbeat and spread the feed out to its members, and then Rueters would pick up on it, and so on. So give me a break."

      Why do you think that hasn't happened yet? Because they actually support "terrorism" because it fits in line with their primitive religious beliefs. If you read between the lines, they mostly approve and praise terrorist acts, most of them support those acts, there are a select few that don't but they sure aren't vocal enough about it to convince the masses that islam is "peaceful". It is a violent religion, if not the most violent with the most fanatics.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • a2b3

      If I believe what you are saying then I ask you how many times did Christians condemn and protest against the killing in Palestine? How many times did you protest killing of innocents in drone attacks which average kills 99% innocent people. Majority of Muslim hate the ideology of hatred, we hate terrorism in all forms and hate people who follow it. Muslims are themselves victim of terrorism. in 911, 3000 people were killed but since then more than million Muslims have been killed.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  4. Alienation??

    Don't blame Americans, blame Mohamed Atta

    March 27, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • wial

      Which is like saying, don't blame the Germans, blame whoever set the Reichstag fire.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:06 am |
  5. RK

    Let us have some plain thinking without and agenda. If there is phobia towards a community/religion, first question is why the phobia it self developed. I personally believe that there is a good reason for many people to delvelop islamophobia because of the all the things happening in this worls from this community. LETS PUT THE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS ASIDE AND TALK ABOUT RESPONSIBILITIES BEFORE TALKING ABOUT RIGHTS. The so called rights does not exist without first showing responsibility before. Why not the community leaders step forward and start a compaign against against terrorism for religious reasons. Then I am sure American people start falling in love towards this one of the great religion.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:15 am |
    • wial

      You're wrong about rights and responsibilities. At least as far as the USA is concerned, rights are inalienable. They are not dependent on living up to responsibilities. This may not always be clearly understood, even in the law, but it is true. Nor is it to say responsibilities aren't important, but if people could not have rights unless they lived up to their responsibilities, no one would have rights.

      I'm glad you're not as blindly opposed to Islam as some commenters here though!

      March 27, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  6. Italian

    Its time to realize that there are muslim terrorist islam is dangerous and violent religion and there goal is not to integrate like other immigrants too America.. That is the problem other immigrants come to this country like my grandparents and tired hard to become American being respectful and muslims want us to forget about terrorism to turn a blind eye, why? Cause there feeling are being hurt, maybe you should try to understand Americans that lost love ones in endless war, or Americans that lost loved ones on 9/11. You want a mosque in downtown NYC, we read history books we know that islam puts mosques on areas of victory across the globe. I am not ranting some conservative speech, I am well educated multi-cultural duel citizen and I say to the Muslims try interrogations . Try not to come to America and demand sharia law? Maybe then people would be more loving in return. America will not change for you, you must change for America. I am sorry it that is not politically correct nothing wrong with being proud of your culture or practicing your faith, but at some point you must understand someone else's faith, and fears, and learn to adjust.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:15 am |
    • Marcus

      Maybe next time the Mafia commits a crime we can blame all Italians and go Bomb Italy with our Airforce?

      March 27, 2011 at 8:17 am |
    • Italian

      I have hear italians apologize for the mafia, work against the mafia. Not put up a statue of Don Gotti in NYC that for sure. Muslims want respect, they want to tell you peace is the core of there religion its not. Muslims that come to America have to learn to take responsibly and at times change be more respectful of people.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:20 am |
    • Marcus

      Let's ban all Catholic Churches in America and kick out all their pedophile priests...does that sound good? We are talking about a persons faith and beliefs, you can't dictate what another American believes. There are 10 million American Muslims (as much as there are Mormons and Jews in the world.)

      March 27, 2011 at 8:26 am |
    • ab

      How many people died because of Hitler? I'd say Christianity is far more violent than any other religion out there. They're the real terrorists.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • Faber McMullen

      Ab: Who ever said HItler was a Christian? He in fact killed Christians like Dietrich Von Bonhoefer. I think he had the values of a Muslim Extremist. He just wore a different uniform.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    • wial

      Yes you are ranting some conservative speech.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • ab

      "The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and co-operation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life"–Adolf Hitler

      Sort of speaks for itself, doesn't it?

      March 27, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • ab

      That's a quote from Hitler's own manifesto.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • Atheism is the only truth, god isn't real

      All religions are bad and all religions kill people, all religions are also fake, all gods are not real, and all religious people are more primitive and less evolved (or brainwashed) than those that do not need to believe any religion to live their lives. We don't need the psychological crutch of religion or the believe in a supernatural being to help us explain the complexities of the universe simply because we can't answer every single question we have (causal determinism). To be religious, is to be ignorant.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:11 am |
  7. DrMabuse

    Instead of railing against the muslim radicalization hearings, why don't they rail against the muslim killings and acts of terrorism around the world? Using McVeigh as an example of home-grown terrorism is an evasion–that was ONE incident that happened 16 YEARS AGO. Who has committed, let's say, the last 100 acts of terrorism around the world. No doubt the majority (or all) were committed by muslims.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:14 am |
    • Marcus

      I will tell you why Mr. Christian Republican Theocrat...it's because you can't give collective guilt and punishment to Muslims. That is what the Nazis did to the Jews in Germany, unless you are saying that we have become Nazi Germany!?

      March 27, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • DrMabuse

      @MArcus I'm not republican, I'm not Christian and I'm not a theocrat. You answered my question with a non sequitur. Typical.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:22 am |
    • wial

      There are numerous examples of home-grown Christian terrorism. McVeigh is just the most obvious example. Remember the bomber in Atlanta? All those people incited to violence by Beck et al over the past couple of years? All the abortion clinic bombers and killers? Get your facts straight.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • Atheism is the only truth, god isn't real

      "Who has committed, let's say, the last 100 acts of terrorism around the world. No doubt the majority (or all) were committed by muslims."

      Quoted for TRUTH. It is undeniable. Sad that human beings still follow primitive religions and believe in the supernatural without a shred of evidence proving any god of any religion is real. Human beings are still primitive. We will evolve out of it some day and religion will die. I can't wait.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:08 am |
  8. Human condition

    Lots of postings both pro and anti religion which is to be expected on such an emotional subject. I'll try another route on this. How about it's about the human condition and the natural defect rate of all things biological or man made. Whether it be a religious reason or not humans will always hate and just as we continue to invent new ideas in commerce we continue to invent new ways to hate. While being a Christian I am well aware of what's been done in the name of Christ over the centuries as I am aware of what's been done in the name of Islam, Judaism and a whole host of other beliefs and of course Non-belief. Atheist have pushed philosophies that have lead to death also. Having said that.....we are in the here and now at the moment and must address what is going on here in the USA. While we've had our own home grown crazies none have proclaimed to have killed in the name of Jesus Christ. One nut case affiliated with a church killed an abortion doctor and has received his just deserts. Radical Islamist kill in the name of their God and go as far as verbalizing it before hand. Sadly neither the politicians, law enforcement nor the Muslim community leaders will be able to address the growing domestic radicalization that is occurring here in the USA. It is here to stay folks and just another symptom of the human condition. There is truly nothing new under the sun when it comes to us humans.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:12 am |
    • wial

      Wow you were doing so well there until your false claims about no Christians killing in the name of Christianity. Half the US army does that. Or more. I was thinking, "at last, a Christian here who talks sense" and then ... slide into absurdity. Can't any of you think with reference to facts?

      March 27, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  9. Ynotturbo

    The Islamic religion is not peaceful. Has anyone not seen what happens in the Middle East or remember 9-11??? Don't let them fool you with thier sad story about not being accepted. The Muslims hate the other religions because they are taught that from a very young age. Raise your hand if your religion stones people to death or kills a family member because they cheated on a spouse or embarrassed the family...!!! They Pray 5 times a day for Jihad. They come to America and set up shop to teach hatred. It's really not a big secret. The only problem is that the people in power are too scared to do something about it like the French did. Banning the crazy outfit they make the women wear. Heck, in the middle east they don't even want women to get educated. I say you do not let anymore people in the country and deport all that are here illegally. 50 years from now they are going to have more members in the crazy religion then ever and blood will be spilled here in the US. That is if the USA is still around by then. It might be Mexico...

    March 27, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • Marcus

      So, why does the Bible talk about killing disobedient children? Christianity is not peaceful if you want to judge a religion like that. Islam is part of the Abrahamic tradition. We as Americans should embrace them as our brothers.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:14 am |
    • wial

      By your logic all Christians should be deported because Timothy McVeigh was Christian.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • Atheism is the only truth, god isn't real

      All religions are fake, why you would want to believe something that isn't real is beyond me.

      Do you believe Santa Clause is real too? no? why not? Can you show proof Santa does/doesn't exist?

      Santa must be a deity too, just like allah, just like "god".

      March 27, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • GI_Derrique

      @Marcus: Which Bible are YOU reading, you ignoramus? Show me the passage.
      @Wial: McVeigh was a professed Atheist. That was 16 years ago. Thought everybody knew that by now. Were you born yesterday? How about under a rock?
      Do either of you actually know what you're talking about, or are you just distracting everybody else from the REAL issues being discussed. Get off this thread if you can't stay on topic.

      March 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  10. truthfull

    to all you muslims out there if you want to show us that islam is a peacefull religion show an act of kindness to the world begin by your own countries
    1- allow for churches to be built freely in the arab world
    2- stop percecution and killing of christian minorities
    3- and stop hating the USA while you live in this great country and enjoy the freedom it gives you unlike your own countires
    for the sake of your children and our children
    proove it to the whole world if you are really a peacefull religion by your actions

    March 27, 2011 at 8:10 am |
    • Marcus

      I guess religious fanatics are as dumb as they look, can you read? Go visit http://www.islamdenouncesterrorism.com Christian Republican Theocrats want to take over so they are escape goating Muslims.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:12 am |
    • DrMabuse

      @Marcus: That's "scapegoating." Read a book other than the koran once in a while.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:25 am |
    • Marcus

      My father is a Baptist Minister, but I am going to convert to Islam I think after seeing what Christianity is like. Thanks for the help.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:30 am |
    • DrMabuse

      Why don't you give up your religious delusions altogether and embrace atheism? Religious belief only causes trouble in the world.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • truthfull

      @ marcus
      Thanks for the kind and peacefull reply. that doesn't help. Also calling me a religious fanatic and dumb only goes to proove my point and reflects on you. all i asked for was for muslims to proove themselves by actions i wasn't atacking. Thanks again.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • Faber McMullen

      Interesting "Truthful". You will note that none of the Muslims commenting on your post address the questions. They always are hiding the ball. The truth. If a Christian or a Jew tried to worship freely in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, etc etc...we'd be killed in a week. That;s just fact.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • wial

      They've already done all that, in many places, and at the moment they are attempting to overthrow dictators all over their Muslim world. At least show a minimum of understanding of what's going on.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • ab

      Faber...is that why Christianity is the 2nd largest religion in Indonesia, and why there are about a million Christians in Saudi Arabia? Try reading a book from time to time, Einstein.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • Elsa

      @ab – those Christians in Saudi Arabia are not considered citizens with rights. They are treated most shamefully by the Muslim majority of 90 percent. They are not living in peace, but barely tolerated.
      Is that the point you were trying to make?

      March 27, 2011 at 9:31 am |
  11. Marcus

    We do not want a Christian Republican Theocracy of European-Americans in this country. Those are the people who hate Muslims. The rest of us that don't want a Christian Theocracy love Muslims. 🙂

    March 27, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • Eric

      Marcus, don't be ridiculous, only muslims love muslims everyone else hates them. You know, I think the rest of the world is just tired of the cowards blowing everything up.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:12 am |
    • Ynotturbo

      Muslims are the enemy. Period. Who else is crazy enough to crash jet aircraft filled with innocent people into buildings. THE MUSLIMS.... Wake up. Maybe Hitler went after the wrong religion...

      March 27, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • Marcus

      God, I can't believe these people call themselves Christians. I seriously am thinking of converting to Islam after reading all this intolerant hatred towards them. Thanks for helping me decide. I think I might just go visit a Mosque tonight and see how long it takes to convert.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:31 am |
    • WOW

      Ynotturbo, are you kidding me? how can you say such a hateful thing?

      March 27, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • ab

      Imagine that...a bunch of pedophiles pointing and calling another group of people terrorists. Christians are pedophiles AND terrorists. McVeigh? Hitler? KKK?

      March 27, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • wial

      bravo! We can always keep striving to educate the young. The current crop of republicans will die off eventually, and then the whole world will breathe a long awaited sigh of relief. I do pity them though, to be blind to so much love.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:51 am |
    • Atheism is the only truth, god isn't real

      All religions are poison to humanity.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • Professor

      "Escape goating" again?????????? Come on, Marcus!!!!

      March 27, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  12. staciesmom

    Too bad, if these people don't like it, they are free to move to another country, just as I am free to leave if I so desire. They should go over to the middle east where their beliefs are embraced!

    March 27, 2011 at 8:07 am |
    • Marcus

      "US Treaty of Tripoli: Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Muslims"

      March 27, 2011 at 8:10 am |
    • ab

      Marcus...don't bother these mental midgets with historical data and facts. It's like evolution...God put that information there to fool you!!

      March 27, 2011 at 8:35 am |
    • wial

      but but but they do like it here! They're willing to die in defense of the great freedoms of America, because like all people except maybe a few confused and bitter nativist Americans, they understand the continuing promise of the new world.

      Maybe we need to set up a special place for people who hate Muslims to go so they can be free of any challenging diversity. A "Tealand".

      March 27, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • Atheism is the only truth, god isn't real

      well, islam is the most violent, keep them in the mid east, let them stay condemned to their 3rd world primitive countries, they can worship their primitive religion there. While we're at it, let's get rid of all the other religious people, put them all on an island, and let them duke it out, keep the smart, non-religious, kind hearted and sane people here and profit.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • samson

      To staciesmom-"go where their beliefs are embraced".......because the native americans were so eagerly embracing christianity when WE(europeans) showed up? Perhaps our forefathers should have sailed their happy lil' behinds back to England–where their beliefs were embraced? Karma's coming full circle-Muslims are only doing what christians( my belief, by the way..) did to the "indians" in days past.......so chew on that for awhile

      March 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  13. Bubba North

    I believe in freedom as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others and go against American laws. This will accelerate the end of America. Keep them out of this country. We need to smarten up and close our borders and recognize it for what it is.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:06 am |
    • thepianist

      But they are multiplying like rabbits.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:14 am |
    • wial

      Freedom means the right to change the law, not just the responsibility to obey the law. Also, re the comment, "multiplying like rabbits" is a profoundly racist phrase I haven't seen applied to Muslims since used by the Danish neo-Nazi Ole Nydhal in Europe in the 1990s. Bravo! A new low!

      March 27, 2011 at 8:45 am |
  14. Justme

    All the major religions teach that we should love God and our neighbours, yet religious people are some of the most intolerant, hateful people you can ever meet. Just look at all the hateful comments made toward Muslims. People who make these comments know nothing about the Muslim religion and refuse to look into it.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:04 am |
    • wial

      Quite so, but to be fair, non-religious people can be just as bad if not worse, because they've never tried to make a commitment to anything so have no grasp of the failings of human nature in that regard. At least religious people know we're unworthy of the divine and thus can have a bit of sympathy for each other (except American religious people living in their pre-fab gated communities of course. They're just lost souls spitting hatred into the dark).

      March 27, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • Elsa

      @wial – how can you be unworthy of something that doesn't exist? Your religion is all made-up, fake, a fraud, a lie.
      Face the truth of your "holy" words and your "holy" men. They are not based on truth and it shows.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:19 am |
  15. rebecca

    the fact that you say that christianity is not influential is shocking. i myself am wiccan and have suffered many long winded speeches and debates about that fact. why i have to answer to them, or they believe i will go to hell, a place I DON`t BELEIVE IN is beyond me. i am centered in my views and practices, and i imagine that many peaceful muslims feel the same way. they don`t have to prove themselves to anyone and i would love to see a christian church wiretapped. many people WILL come forward with information. but a place of worship is SACRED!!!!

    March 27, 2011 at 8:03 am |
  16. Tim

    You dont see other religions and other nationalities trying to make their religion primary in the States as the Muslims are trying to do. I have all the respect in the world and do not think all Muslims are Sharia Law extremists, but the message I get is they think we are "infidels".
    Whats sad to me is this country was always a God first loving country based on the countries forefathers, and to make everyone happy what was once primary for this country now is now allowed to be public? Ie, prayer in schools, Christmas being not about Jesus, and riots for nativoty scenes.
    I have one question, if I went to one of these Muslim countries and told them they should be more open minded to Orthodoxy, Catholicism, etc what would happen?

    March 27, 2011 at 8:03 am |
    • timothyn

      Christians think Muslims are Infidels... the word "infidel" itself is from the english language and the source of the hatred is Christianity.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:25 am |
    • wial

      Most of them would think about being more open-minded. That's what would happen. Never easy for any human, to be sure, as proven by so many comments on this blog. As for people of various religious faiths coming to this country and trying to follow a better way of life based on their faith, that has been happening all along. E.g. the Pilgrims? The Jews who escaped Hitler? The Catholics who settled Maryland? The Buddhists and Hindus? Where do you get your facts?

      March 27, 2011 at 8:40 am |
  17. john smith

    Look at the way they dress, live, kill each other, kill us, bombs, suicide bombers, etc. etc. They want to take us back to the 14th century. It took us 600 years to get OUT of the 14th century. Yep, I don't like them. Yep, they scare me. They do nothing but complain about the rest of us yet they have MANY MUSLIM countries of their own. If you don't like my house...LEAVE.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:03 am |
    • ab

      Except it isn't really your house now, is it. Last I checked, your ancestor were immigrants too, unless you happen to be Native American, which I sincerely doubt. That makes you no different from them. IMMIGRANT.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • wial

      So you're willing to give up the benefits of higher math, built on algebra, invented by them, and decimal notation, ditto? Heck, your vaunted house was built with the help of their "14th century"! Come on people, this anti-Muslim hatred is completely unworthy of anyone who would wish to be called American.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • Elsa

      You cannot bring up math and science done by Muslims without facing the fact that they live on a sphere yet pray in one particular direction. Not very intelligent geometry going on there, is it?

      March 27, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  18. paul

    These muslims must be watched very closely. The fact that they will lie to your face to promote islam should be sufficient reason. Islam is conflictive, violent and intolerant of others. It has no place in America because it seeks to destroy our freedoms to impose their vile shariah laws. There should be a moratorium on all mosque building. These places will be used to subvert our way of life and for fomenting sedition. I'm sorry if this is harsh but the alternative is much worse for us Americans.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:02 am |
    • ab

      Because Christianity has zero violence in it's history, right? Nope...the reformation, Inquisition, and Crusades must have all been in my imagination. And isn't the Vatican one big "victory church" built by the Romans? Prove me wrong.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:30 am |
    • wial

      Your statement is harsh yes, and goes against everything America once stood for, yes. It's based in prejudice and a welter of misinformation. Do you blame all conservatives for the actions of Timothy McVeigh? Maybe you should, but you don't, right? Think it through. The Muslims and Christians in Egypt together just succeeded in a peaceful, *peaceful, hello?* revolution. That's not easy in any society and they did it in the face of intense provocation from the forces formerly supported by our supposedly great country. Read the news. Get a clue. Sorry if this is harsh but you need help.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • Atheism is the only truth, god isn't real

      I partially agree, let's get rid of all religious people and only let people immigrate once they pass an IQ/sanity/logic test.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:58 am |
  19. BossMan114

    And do these countries from which these Muslims hail tolerate Christianity? what a bunch hypocrites. This is a Christian nation last I checked. And also, last I checked why do we need Islam in America? We are just fine with out it. Get rid of these haters.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:00 am |
    • Tim

      Yes exactly. I dont even have an issue either with muslims, but dont try to make it a primary religion here to us "infidels"..No one bothers them for praying here. I see muslims praying at work, I respect them when I pass through the room they are in, I talk to them. What is confusing about their religion is they pray and are faithfull but why do they have violence in the mix and oppose other Faiths. I believe in Jesus Christ, I do not hate muslims or thing they are different than me. Thats the difference Christianity is based on loving and helping others, even your enemied.
      Christ is the son of God, and look what he allowed to be done to him. He did it for a reason, to set an example to be tolerant and to wash away our sins. "Father forgive them for they do not know what they do"

      March 27, 2011 at 8:09 am |
    • god isn't real

      Jesus didn't exist, its just a story, and it isn’t real.

      Stories similar/identical to the story of jesus.

      Alexandria: Aion
      Asia Minor: Attis
      Babylonia: Antiochus
      Egypt: Osiris and Horus
      Greece: Dionysus and Asclepius
      Syria: Adonis
      Italy: Bacchus
      Persia: Mithras
      India: Krishna

      The reason why all these narratives are so similar, with a godman who are born to virgins, who were born in caves or mangers, who were visited by 3 wise men, who lives were threatened by evil rulers, who had to flee for his life, who was at 12 noon in the house or temple of the "Most High" thereby beginning "his Father's work" at "age" 12, who begins their ministry at the age of 30, who was tempted by a Devil, who has 12 followers or disciples, who later sends out the 72 disciples, who walked on water, who raised the dead, who does miracles, who was crowned with thorns, who was crucified and resurrected after 3 days, who descended into hell for these 3 days, who rose again after 3 days, who ascended into Heaven, is that these stories were based on the movements of the sun through the heavens, an astrotheological development that can be found throughout the planet because the sun and the 12 zodiac signs can be observed around the globe. This same story is repeated down through history over and over again in almost every sun worshipping nation under "the Sun".
      Do your research before you so blindly follow your religious beliefs, whatever they may be.
      Learn about why religion and "god" was created, for all religions around the world, be a smart human being, not a sheep.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:20 am |
    • timothyn

      @bossman: judging from your response, the hater is you. yes, we do not need haters like you in our country.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:22 am |
  20. petemg

    We are all taught that Moslems are peace loving people. Why then do they have to have their own law that covers up honor killing. If they are so peace loving why do they have to kill to protect their honor. And if their law were to go nationwide, will that give them the right to kill non Moslems. Get with the program, if you want to live in America, abide by our laws. I also have a problem that have to abide by some suggestions in watching this show tonight. You have the right to practice your religion, just do not shove it down our throats. We have problems of when you dictate where you decide to build against the majority population.

    March 27, 2011 at 7:59 am |
    • timothyn

      The so called "honor killing" you are referring to is forbidden in Islam. You need to stop listening to your hate mongering masters and talk to some muslims.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:20 am |
    • sally thomas

      You are right petemg. I say to them...If you don't like it here, go back to where you came from. We don't want muslim/islam here in the first place. You'll be peaceful until the time comes to enforce what your book teaches. I'm not fooled!! Bye, bye!!!

      March 27, 2011 at 8:22 am |
    • wial

      I take it you'd object to Jewish kosher law too? And Hindu caste system customs? And Seventh Day Adventist food rules? Where does it stop? How about the rules of baseball?

      Anti-Muslim hysteria brings dishonor to America.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:23 am |
    • sally thomas

      To timothyn...No reason to talk to the muslim/islam ones. Their book teaches them to lie if it can further the cause of islam. That would be a wasted conversation, since you could not trust them in the first place, because the book they follow teaches them to lie.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:25 am |
    • ab

      Sally...care to quote me the passage in the Qu'ran that tells them to lie? I'll wait...

      March 27, 2011 at 8:28 am |
    • timothyn

      @ sally: you have a very warped view of the world (one that is shaped by your christian masters and by watching foxnews, TBN/CBN). Christian extremists are bigger threat to our freedom than Muslims. If Christian extremist had their way, they would shove it (Christianity) down our throats (and its happened many times in the past).

      March 27, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • ab

      @Sally – yeah, that's what I thought. Another neocon put in its place...how can it be so ridiculously easy?

      March 27, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • Atheism is the only truth, god isn't real

      I have an idea, let's get rid of all religions, then the world could actually be at peace.... aside from fighting for land or natural resources.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • John

      To wial: Anti-Muslim hysteria will make America safer

      March 27, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Repentigny

      To: Atheism is the only truth, god isn't real

      Absolutely; God did not create man; Man created god.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • arif

      Honor killing is not islam but a cultural thing... Islam prohibits honor killing.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Repentigny

      To: arif

      Yep, that's the ONLY killing type they prohibit. Everything else is encouraged.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Muslims must lie according to Islam

      Question:
      Are Muslims permitted to lie?

      Summary Answer:
      Muslim scholars teach that Muslims should generally be truthful to each other, unless the purpose of lying is to "smooth over differences."
      There are two forms of lying to non-believers that are permitted under certain circu-mstances, taqiyya and kitman. These circ-umstances are typically those that advance the cause Islam – in some cases by gaining the trust of non-believers in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them.

      The Qur'an:
      Qur'an (16:106) – Establishes that there are circu-mstances that can "compel" a Muslim to tell a lie.

      Qur'an (3:28) – This verse tells Muslims not to take those outside the faith as friends, unless it is to "guard themselves."

      Qur'an (9:3) – "...Allah and His Messenger are free from liability to the idolaters..." The dissolution of oaths with the pagans who remained at Mecca following its capture. They did nothing wrong, but were evicted anyway.

      Qur'an (40:28) – A man is introduced as a believer, but one who must "hide his faith" among those who are not believers.

      Qur'an (2:225) – "Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts" The context of this remark is marriage, which explains why Sharia allows spouses to lie to each other for the greater good.

      Qur'an (66:2) – "Allah has already ordained for you, (O men), the dissolution of your oaths"

      Qur'an (3:54) – "And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers." The Arabic word used here for scheme (or plot) is makara, which literally means deceit. If Allah is deceitful toward unbelievers, then there is little basis for denying that Muslims are allowed to do the same. (See also 8:30 and 10:21)

      Taken collectively these verses are interpreted to mean that there are circ-umstances when a Muslim may be "compelled" to deceive others for a greater purpose.
      From the Hadith:
      Bukhari (52:269) – "The Prophet said, 'War is deceit.'" The context of this is thought to be the murder of Usayr ibn Zarim and his thirty unarmed men by Muhammad's men after he "guaranteed" them safe passage (see Additional Notes below).

      Bukhari (49:857) – "He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar." Lying is permitted when the end justifies the means.

      Bukhari (84:64-65) – Speaking from a position of power at the time, Ali confirms that lying is permissible in order to deceive an "enemy."

      Muslim (32:6303) – "...he did not hear that exemption was granted in anything what the people speak as lie but in three cases: in battle, for bringing reconciliation amongst persons and the narration of the words of the husband to his wife, and the narration of the words of a wife to her husband (in a twisted form in order to bring reconciliation between them)."

      Bukhari (50:369) – Recounts the murder of a poet, Ka'b bin al-Ashraf, at Muhammad's insistence. The men who volunteered for the assassination used dishonesty to gain Ka'b's trust, pretending that they had turned against Muhammad. This drew the victim out of his fortress, whereupon he was brutally slaughtered despite putting up a ferocious struggle for his life.

      From Islamic Law:
      Reliance of the Traveler (p. 746 – 8.2) – "Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible (N:i.e. when the purpose of lying is to circu-mvent someone who is preventing one from doing something permissible), and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory... it is religiously precautionary in all cases to employ words that give a misleading impression...

      "One should compare the bad consequences entailed by lying to those entailed by telling the truth, and if the consequences of telling the truth are more damaging, one is enti-tled to lie.

      Additional Notes:
      Muslims are allowed to lie to unbelievers in order to defeat them. The two forms are:

      Taqiyya – Saying something that isn't true.

      Kitman – Lying by omission. An example would be when Muslim apologists quote only a fragment of verse 5:32 (that if anyone kills "it shall be as if he had killed all mankind") while neglecting to mention that the rest of the verse (and the next) mandate murder in undefined cases of "corruption" and "mischief."

      Though not called Taqiyya by name, Muhammad clearly used deception when he signed a 10-year treaty with the Meccans that allowed him access to their city while he secretly prepared his own forces for a takeover. The unsuspecting residents were conquered in easy fashion after he broke the treaty two years later, and some of the people in the city who had trusted him at his word were executed.

      Another example of lying is when Muhammad used deception to trick his personal enemies into letting down their guard and exposing themselves to slaughter by pretending to seek peace. This happened in the case of Ka'b bin al-Ashraf (as previously noted) and again later against Usayr ibn Zarim, a surviving leader of the Banu Nadir tribe, which had been evicted from their home in Medina by the Muslims.

      At the time, Usayr ibn Zarim was attempting to gather an armed force against the Muslims from among a tribe allied with the Quraish (against which Muhammad had already declared war). Muhammad's "emissaries" went to ibn Zarim and persuaded him to leave his safe haven on the pretext of meeting with the prophet of Islam in Medina to discuss peace. Once vulnerable, the leader and his thirty companions were massacred by the Muslims with ease, belying the probability that they were mostly unarmed, having been given a guarantee of safe passage (Ibn Ishaq 981).

      Such was the reputation of Muslims for lying and then killing that even those who "accepted Islam" did not feel entirely safe. The fate of the Jadhima is tragic evidence for this. When Muslim "missionaries" approached their tribe one of the members insisted that they would be slaughtered even though they had already "converted" to Islam to avoid just such a demise. However, the others were convinced that they could trust the Muslim leader's promise that they would not be harmed if they simply offered no resistance. (After convincing the skeptic to lay down his arms, the unarmed men of the tribe were quickly tied up and beheaded – Ibn Ishaq 834 & 837).

      Today's Muslims often try to justify Muhammad's murder of poets and others who criticized him at Medina by saying that they broke a treaty by their actions. Yet, these same apologists place little value on treaties broken by Muslims. From Muhammad to Saddam Hussein, promises made to non-Muslim are distinctly non-binding in the Muslim mindset.

      Leaders in the Arab world routinely say one thing to English-speaking audiences and then something entirely different to their own people in Arabic. Yassir Arafat was famous for telling Western newspapers about his desire for peace with Israel, then turning right around and whipping Palestinians into a hateful and violent frenzy against Jews.

      The 9/11 hijackers practiced deception by going into bars and drinking alcohol, thus throwing off potential susp-icion that they were fundamentalists plotting jihad. This effort worked so well, in fact, that even weeks after 9/11, John Walsh, the host of a popular American television show, said that their bar trips were evidence of 'hypocrisy.'

      The transmission from Flight 93 records the hijackers telling their doomed passengers that there is "a bomb on board" but that everyone will "be safe" as long as "their demands are met." Obviously none of these things were true, but these men, who were so intensely devoted to Islam that they were willing to "slay and be slain for the cause of Allah" (as the Qur'an puts it) saw nothing wrong with employing Taqiyya in order to facilitate their mission of mass murder.

      The near absence of Qur'anic verse and reliable Hadith that encourage truthfulness is somewhat surprising, given that many Muslims are convinced that their religion teaches honesty. In fact, it is because of this ingrained belief that many Muslims are quite honest. When lying is addressed in the Qur'an, it is nearly always in reference to the "lies against Allah" – referring to the Jews and Christians who rejected Muhammad's claim to being a prophet.

      Finally, the circ-umstances by which Muhammad allowed a believer to lie to a non-spouse are limited to those that either advance the cause of Islam or enable a Muslim to avoid harm to his well-being (and presumably that of other Muslims as well). Although this should be kept very much in mind when dealing with matters of global security, such as Iran's nuclear intentions, it is not grounds for assuming that the Muslim one might personally encounter on the street or in the workplace is any less honest than anyone else.

      -copied from .thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/011-taqiyya.htm (I'm lazy)

      March 27, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Repentigny

      To: Muslims must lie according to Islam

      No wonder those people are sick.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:56 am |
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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.