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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. Ted Ward

    The question is: "who are the muslims next door?" I can read. I've read the Koran. It is downright scary. I don't see or hear anything here that puts me at ease as to what is written in their holy book against pretty much everyone on earth. In addition, there is a long history of islamic militarism and conquest starting at the very beginning of Islam. The Koran was itself originally written down because so many early muslims who personally knew the prophet were being killed in their own wars they initiated against the "infidels". I don't see anyone addressing this. I see typical pc self-righteous posturing and whining but no sense of contrition or humility. Somehow it's always everyone else's fault that people aren't thrilled about having muslims next door. According to the Koran muslims don't want to blend in and assimilate, they want to take over and then oppress. I don't want that ! Who wants a mosque to go up next door, then pointy towers going up and loudspeakers obnoxiously playing the muezzin's call five times a day, every day? Enough, CNN. Address these issues, please !

    March 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      perhaps you should study the history of your own militarism. you are afterall sitting on enough ar senal to blow this entire solar system to smithereens. Then you can have a fresh new look at muslims and you will be shocked to discover they are actually a lot less violent than your own ilk. militarism. laughing out loud. he thinks muslims are more militarist than his own ilk. jesus, blind as a bat.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • Bethe123

      20 face lash, prison for dancing in Saudi Arabia

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16978938/ns/world_news-mideast/n_africa/

      Islam ...the evil next door.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  2. David

    We have enough problems with illegal aliens trashing America, but we don't need to make this a muslim country just because our commander and chief admits to being muslim..

    March 27, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      When did Obama ever claim to be a Muslim??? Only some ignorant Republican voters thought that... even McCain had to tell them that Obama's a Christian...

      March 27, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
  3. Concerned

    I am a person who is not a member of any religious denomination, I thank my lucky stars that I live in country that allows me to live my life in freedom. And even though I do not believe in god. I can walk into any church in North America if I desire and sit down and feel welcome.TRY TO DO THIS IN A MOSQUE.
    If I lived in a Muslim country, I would not be allowed to live with the same rights and freedoms as the Muslim population.
    Islam is a dangerous religion, it suppresses freedom and human rights.
    I fully understand why people are concerned about Islam in North America, we are free society and we don't want to lose that freedom.
    Religious law cannot be placed above government law and human rights.
    Many immigrants come to North America to escape oppression and find freedom. The Islam religion is one of the most prominent source of this oppression.
    Maybe these immigrants should leave behind the social and religious beliefs when they come to their new country and embrace the social and religious beliefs of their new home.
    Can we blame anyone in North America for being concerned about the spread of Islam, look at all of the problems in the Arab world and North African countries.
    Remember strength comes in number....... as the Islamic population increases in North America our freedoms will decrease.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • vanhoopcoach

      Great post.
      CONCERNED, you are right on point.
      There are many countries that those who want to follow the Muslim faith can live in.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • j navis

      this is the usa and we have freedom of religion. to compare us to any other country is a fallacious argument

      March 27, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
  4. Nigel

    I am disappointed to see how people here are divided into liberals and conservatives and taking opposite sides of the issue without noiticing the real proble. I am all for religious freedom but please realize what islam is and encouraging that philosophy is not good for the humanity.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • Kenny

      Wow, you actuall see GOP and DEM thing going? wow you are agenius

      March 27, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
  5. Bob

    Do some research on whats going on in the U.K. and France. Islam is totally taking over. Mc Donalds that is serving food only that only muslims would eat. And their DEMANDING that everyone changes for them. Once they build and move, you can't go back. I don't trust them. Also the "Call to prayer" that is broadcast from the mosque 5 times a day will be loud and annoying.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • John Glenn

      Call to prayer 5 times a day could be annoying, but not more annoying than a damn church bell ringing all damn day.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      whhhat? McDonald's is all of a sudden serving healthy food???

      March 27, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  6. vanhoopcoach

    John, I, like many other West Virginian's, have voted a democrat ticket all my life.
    I write for three published sporting media outlets, have coached varsity basketball in West Virginia for 30 years and know our populace as well as most.
    That said, I can't think of anyone that I know closely or as an associate on any level, that would allow a mosque here.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
  7. Workingman

    Interesting:
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXY4LsK28IY&w=640&h=360]

    March 27, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
  8. Mark

    What's with CNN why do they delet my post on the forum?

    March 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  9. Andy Sullivan

    I am a 911 survivor , responder and worked on the pile many weeks after the attacks. I am currently fighting this atrocity of a Victory Mosque at Ground Zero and right now we have taken down 2 Imams and so far almost no financing. This nonsense with the Muslims playing like they are the ones whose rights are being enfringed upon is absurd. This is how everything begins. They start with mild mannered Muslims who move into a community and people welcome them and genuienly like them and soon comes the Mosque. At this point a destination has been established and now it opens up the door to the most radical of leadership to come in and basically hijack the Islamic Community . At this point the original settlers are terrorfied and keep quiet while these people garner financing for whatever terrorist event their Imam chooses. All done in the name of religion. It must stop now while this could be still bloodless.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • Kenny

      You sounded like a patriot. BUT then you turned into a .......

      March 27, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Crusader

      Bless you Andy. I say no to the victory mosque. Keep them and all the problems they bring OUT of this country.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • 26009

      Andy. It's almost 10 years to late but Thank you. I was on a fire department ambulance crew for many years. I don't know if I could have done what you did. Again...Thank you.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
  10. Larry Arabeeya

    Perhaps it was the fact that all of Dearborn was out in the streets jumping up and down cheering on 9/11 that put people off of this "peaceful" religion. I don't know.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • John Glenn

      I hate to be the one to say this, but prove it you LIAR

      March 27, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
  11. Bobby McGee

    I have no problem with anyof them as neighbors. Very generous, friendly people who reach out to others They respect family, work extremely hard and value friends. To share a meal in their home is a great honor to them. I've had much worse neighbors.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
  12. Tanya

    I live close by and I know the Muslims in Murfreesboro. I have been to several of their Eid parties. They are very nice people. They only want a new Mosque because they have outgrown their current one.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      LIAR LIAR
      you are lying, you are not from Mufreesboro and you have never met a muslim in your life. Muslims are evil people. Grow up and go meet a Muslim. Muslims are the WORST PEOPLE ON EARTH.

      Don't listen to her, everybody, she is a TROLL.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
  13. What?

    WHAT MUSLIMS ARE DOING IN EUROPE THEY WILL DO IN AMERICA. THEY ARE NOT GOING TO MAKE AN EXCEPTION FOR US.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
  14. Ex Muslim

    I do not understand CNN's policy of showing Muslims as victims and keep showing videos and interview of people who converted to Islam. Why does CNN not show videos and interview of pepole liek me who quit and renounced this evil, toxi and violent idealogy? Are you guys (CNN) willing to interview me and show the video of me explaining why I left Islam. By the way I am from Peshawar, Pakistan if any Muslims doubts about my past religion.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      I hope you atleast got a visa to come to amreeka for all your troubles, wink wink! Would be a shame you converted out of Islam to end up in hell and got nothing to show for it in this life.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • Bethe123

      Saudis order 40 lashes for elderly woman for mingling:

      http://articles.cnn.com/2009-03-09/world/saudi.arabia.lashes_1_fahd-saudi-arabian-religious-police?_s=PM:WORLD

      Islam...really don't want it next door.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  15. Clyde

    Islam must be stopped. Freedom of religion does not mean we have to tolerate the establishment of a religion of murder in our own country.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
  16. j navis

    just watched soledad's program. i truly appreciate the people of murfreesboro, i do. i am from a parish in la. that voted for david duke for governor back in the 80's, i think, and they make us look like rhode's scholars. thanx, tennessee

    March 27, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
  17. Muneef

    Pearls of Wisdom from Ali bin Abi Talib

    Success is the result of foresight and resolution, foresight depends upon deep thinking and planning and the most important factor of planning is to keep your secrets to yourself.

    49. Be afraid of a gentleman when he is hungry, and of a mean person when his stomach is full.

    50. Hearts of people are like wild beasts. They attach themselves to those who love and train them.

    51. So long as fortune is favouring you, your defects will remain covered.

    52. Only he who has the power to punish can pardon.

    53. Generosity is to help a deserving person without his request, and if you help him after his request, then it is either out of self-respect or to avoid rebuke.

    54. There is no greater wealth than wisdom, no greater poverty than ignorance; no greater heritage than culture and no greater support than consultation.

    55. Patience is of two kinds: patience over what pains you, and patience against what you covet.

    56. Wealth converts a strange land into homeland and poverty turns a native place into a strange land.

    57. Contentment is the capital which will never diminish.

    58. Wealth is the fountain head of passions.

    59. Whoever warns you against sins and vices is like the one who gives you good tidings.

    60. Tongue is a beast, if it is let loose, it devours.

    62. If you are greeted then return the greetings more warmly. If you are favoured, then repay the obligation manifold; but he who takes the initiative will always excel in merit.

    63. The source of success of a claimant is the mediator.

    64. People in this world are like travelers whose journey is going on though they are asleep. ( Life's journey is going on though men may not feel it ).

    65. Lack of friends means, stranger in one's own country.

    66. Not to have a thing is less humiliating than to beg it.

    67. Do not feel ashamed if the amount of charity is small because to refuse the needy is an act of greater shame.

    68. To refrain from unlawful and impious source of pleasures is an ornament to the poor and to be thankful for the riches granted is the adornment of wealth.

    69. If you cannot get things as much as you desire than be contented with what you have.

    70. An ignorant person will always overdo a thing or neglect it totally.

    71. The wiser a man is, the less talkative will he be.

    72. Time wears out bodies, renews hopes, brings death nearer and takes away aspirations. Whoever gets anything from the world lives in anxiety for holding it and whoever loses anything passes his days grieving over the loss.

    73. Whoever wants to be a leader should educate himself before educating others. Before preaching to others he should first practice himself. Whoever educates himself and improves his own morals is superior to the man who tries to teach and train others.

    74. Every breath you take is a step towards death.

    75. Anything which can be counted is finite and will come to an end.

    76. If matters get mixed up then scrutinize the cause and you will know what the effects will be.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
  18. Angel

    All of a sudden, Muslims are the victims that need to be accepted? yea, no.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • vanhoopcoach

      Angel....+1

      March 27, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
  19. The Truth

    My fellow Americans, the majority of us know what Islam's real motives and intentions are, destroy and control, anyone and anything that's not Islam. Our American politicians (regardless of party) are in their pockets because of oil. What this country needs is a real awaking to the fact that our very own money-hungry greedy political leaders are selling out the entire country to anyone for a buck!!!

    March 27, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • Kenny

      Bottom line. All of you are religious FANATICS. How about you live your life as you see fit. Stop judging and being judged. You obviously have your beliefs.. thats all you need

      March 27, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
  20. Allan

    I wonder what would happen if a Christian would move to a Muslim country and practice his religion in their country? Until this is allowed, I will never believe their "peaceful" intentions....... What countries are the most violent and suppressive to their people..... let me guess....... Islamic (Muslim) let countries..... someone better wake up in this country before letting millions into this country........

    March 27, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • What?

      Heads would be rolling.......literally.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      In Muslim countries, Christians are allowed to practice their religion. But they are not ALLOWED TO PREACH their religion. As a christian, you are welcome to pray to your three-headed God and abstain from sinful activities like any good Christian. No one is stopping you!! But if you want to preach your FALSE RELIGION to Muslims in order to convert them, Muslims do not allow that. Because this may lead a Muslim to hellfire! Imagine, you worship the one true God and someone comes along and bribes you to worship a three headed pagan God. According to the Koran, thats straight to hellfire for eternity.

      In order to save people from ending up in hell fire, we Muslims prohibit you from preaching. Fair enough?? I think so. Would you allow someone who to come to your town and start burning people by dousing them with petroleum and lighting a flame on them?? No you would not! You would find that totally totally objectionable. The same feeling is to be found among Muslims when you show up in their midst and start "putting them on fire" by preaching falsehood to them, which is your religion.

      You should appreciate the Muslim position, they care about their fellow men, and are not hypocrites. They say your religion is false and they act accordingly.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • Yousef Abed

      Allan, don't be such a disgrace to America and what it stands for. How about you finish middle school and learn about this country. If not you can leave this great country.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
    • Brad

      the most oppressive and cruelest islamic country in the middleast would also coincidentally be are best ally...saudi arabia

      March 27, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • Kenny

      Question, since we want to group all muslims into one ship... are all christians members of the KKK??

      March 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      POINT B
      the same goes in reverse. you think islam is false, but you allow Muslims to preach in your midst. End result, thousands and thousands and thousands of your people are converting to Islam. Meaning you are allowing 100,000s of your people to go to hell (according to your theology) and ARE DOING NOTHING ABOUT IT. Thats because your religion says, "just sit on the side of the road and DO NOTHING. Just praise the lord and hallelujah hallellujah. Everything will take care of itself. An angel will descend from the sky and drive these Muslims away. Don't worry." But that is your religion, Islam is not that way. According to Islam, if you see an evil, you ACT ON TRYING TO PREVENT IT. DON'T SIT AROUND WAITING FOR ANGELS AND HOLY GHOSTS TO SHOW UP." This is why Islam is so popular nowadays in modern times. Its a religion of ACTIONS, not just WORDS.

      POINT C
      you are welcome to go to the local mosque in the muslim world and pray to Allah. Allah is what you call HOLY FATHER, one of your three headed Gods. You do not need to build a church there if all you want to do is pray. Why? plenty of mosques and same God. Pray to Jesus at home and Pray to Holy Ghost at the local pub, and pray to Holy Father at the mosque, no need for a church. Thats why we do not allow you to build any churches there. Kapish?

      March 27, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • Islam is good. Christians are evil

      Osama, Muslims seek to convert others to thier beliefs, but use force and coercion to stop Christains from doing the same. This comes from a pathetic low self esteem problem, in knowing that if the two are compared side by side without threat of beheading, most thinking people choose Christianity. But then again, Christianity was founded by a self sacrificing man of peace, not an illiterate warlord who was responsible for many acts that would today be called war crimes.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • Bethe123

      Allan,
      On the whole, what you have said is accurate.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • Shawn

      Before you read my opinion on your statement i want you to know that i'm am a Christian teenager and my opinion is probably one of the least biased responses you'll get. One year ago in my AP world history class we learned about many religions and their beginnings including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. It's ironic that Islam seems so radical today because the way it spread was the least violent way out of all religions. Christians, for example, rushed to america in part to force their beliefs upon the indigenous people. Islam was different, it spread through merchants and other travelers and was very tolerant of other beliefs it encountered. Islam's tolerance allowed for preexisting culture to mix in Islam. It is the preexisting cultures that mask true Islam today. Islam itself is not a violent religion.
      So all of you who think you know everything and who think you "know' Islam is violent and evil, please educate yourselves enough that a sixteen year-old doesn't find you stupid and ignorant.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • Bethe123

      Shawn - Your age is irrlelevant. You are still clueless.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • j navis

      all christians are certainly not kkk, some are nazis!!

      March 27, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
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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.