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. QuranCompared

    Please consider the following site:



    April 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  2. Muneef

    [15:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

    [15:1] A.L.R.* These (letters) are proofs of this scripture; a profound Quran.

    [15:2] Certainly, those who disbelieved will wish they were submitters.

    [15:3] Let them eat, enjoy, and remain blinded by wishful thinking; they will find out.

    [15:4] We never annihilated any community, except in accordance with a specific, predetermined time.

    [15:5] The end of any community can never be advanced, nor delayed.

    [15:6] They said, "O you who received this reminder, you are crazy.

    [15:7] "Why do you not bring down the angels, if you are truthful?"

    [15:8] We do not send down the angels except for specific functions. Otherwise, no one will be respited.

    God's Messenger of the Covenant*

    [15:9] Absolutely, we have revealed the reminder, and, absolutely, we will preserve it.

    [15:10] We have sent (messengers) before you to the communities in the past.

    [15:11] Every time a messenger went to them, they ridiculed him.

    [15:12] We thus control the minds of the guilty.

    [15:13] Consequently, they cannot believe in him. This has been the system since the past generations.

    [15:14] Even if we opened for them a gate into the sky, through which they climb;

    [15:15] they will say, "Our eyes have been deceived. We have been bewitched."

    April 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  3. MO


    April 2, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  4. dori

    Religion is the greatest form of mind control on this planet. It's has been created and revised by mortal men with agendas of self serving, corrupt and power grabbing motivation. Generally people adopt the religion of their birth and can be molded into fanatics. The islamic faith teaches that if you are not a follower, you are an infidel (enemy), Christians believe if you're not Christian you don't get to heaven. Basically..........I'm better than you. Sick and twisted and mindless.

    April 2, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  5. Admiral 149

    Since Christianity has been converted in to a form of Marxism in our cities; the spiritual vacuum had to be filled by another belief structure. Islam is the new urban religion. The first amendment does give people the right to practice Islam, but, that does not mean that Islam is good for peace. There are reasons that Christian Nations are free, while Islamic Nations are not. As the U.S. replaces Christianity with Islam, and Marxism, our personal freedom and prosperity will vanish little by little, until we will live in bondage like the mobs we now see on news broadcasts from third world Muslim Countries.

    April 2, 2011 at 8:40 am |
  6. Muneef

    Al-Istighfaar (Seeking Forgiveness)  
    'O my 'ilãh You are my Lord, there is no 'ilãh but You. You created me, and I am your bondservant, and I will stick to my covenant and promise [of faith and sincere obedience] to You, as to my ability. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done, I acknowledge, to You, your bounties upon me, and I acknowledge, to You, my sin. Thus forgive me, for none forgives sins except You. 

    The Earthquakes & Natural Disasters  (part-1)   

    The Earthquakes & Natural Disasters (part-2 )    

    April 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Muneef

      Signs of end of time on earth...
      By John Miller
      According to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, may Peace Be Upon Him, there are minor and major signs in the comings of judgment day. The minor signs are as follows:

      The disappearance of knowledge and the appearance of ignorance (Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah, & Ahmad)
      Books/writing will be widespread and (religious) knowledge will be low (Ahmad)
      Adultery and fornication will be prevalent (The Prophet, peace be upon him, said that this has never happened without new diseases befalling the people, which their ancestors had not known.) (Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah, & Al-Haythami)
      When fornication becomes widespread among your leaders (The Prophet, peace be upon him, said that this will happen when the people stop forbidding evil) (Ibn Majah)
      Adultery and fornication will be performed in the open
      The consumption of intoxicants will be widespread (Bukhari & Muslim)
      Women will outnumber men......eventually 50:1 (Bukhari, Muslim, & Ahmad)
      Killing, killing, killing (Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah, & Ahmad)
      The nations of the earth will gather against the Muslims like hungry people going to sit down to a table full of food. This will occur when the Muslims are large in number, but "like the foam of the sea".
      People will beat others with whips like the tails of oxen (Muslim) ?The Slave Trade
      The children will be filled with rage (at-Tabarani, al-Hakim)
      Children will be foul (at-Tabarani, al-Hakim)
      Women will conspire (at-Tabarani, al-Hakim)
      Rain will be acidic or burning (at-Tabarani, al-Hakim)
      Children of fornication will become widespread or prevalent (at-Tabarani, al-Hakim)
      When a trust becomes a means of making a profit (at-Tirmidhi, Al-Haythami)
      Gains will be shared out only among the rich, with no benefit to the poor (at-Tirmidhi)
      Paying zakat becomes a burden and miserliness becomes widespread; charity is given reluctantly (at-Tirmidhi & Al-Haythami)
      Miserliness will be thrown into the hearts of people (Bukhari)
      Episodes of sudden death will become widespread (Ahmad)
      There will be people who will be brethren in public but enemies in secret (He was asked how that would come about and replied, "Because they will have ulterior motives in their mutual dealings and at the same time will fear one another.") (at-Tirmidhi)
      When a man obeys his wife and disobeys his mother; and treats his friend kindly while shunning his father (at-Tirmidhi)
      When voices are raised in the mosques (at-Tirmidhi)
      People will walk in the marketplace with their thighs exposed
      Great distances will be traversed in short spans of time
      The people of Iraq will recieve no food and no money due to oppression by the Romans (Europeans) (Muslim)
      People will hop between the clouds and the earth
      A tribulation will enter everyone�s home (Ahmad)
      The leader of a people will be the worst of them (at-Tirmidhi)
      Leaders of people will be oppressors (Al-Haythami)
      People will treat a man with respect out of fear for some evil he might do (at-Tirmidhi)
      Men will begin to wear silk (at-Tirmidhi)
      Female singers and musical instruments will become popular (at-Tirmidhi)
      When singers become common (Al-Haythami)
      People will dance late into the night
      When the last ones of the Ummah begin to curse the first ones (at-Tirmidhi)
      People will claim to follow the Qur'an but will reject hadith & sunnah (Abu Dawood)
      People will believe in the stars (Al-Haythami)
      People will reject al-Qadr (the Divine Decree of Destiny) (Al-Haythami)
      Time will pass rapidly (Bukhari, Muslim, & Ahmad)
      Good deeds will decrease (Bukhari)
      Smog will appear over cities because of the evil that they are doing
      People will be carrying on with their trade, but their will only be a few trustworthy persons
      Wealth will increase so much so that if a man were given 10,000, he would not be content with it (Ahmad & Bukhari)
      A man will pass by a grave and wish that he was in their place (Bukhari)
      Earthquakes will increase (Bukhari & Muslim)
      There will be attempts to make the deserts green
      The appearance of false messengers (30 dajjals) (Bukhari)
      Women will be naked in spite of being dressed, these women will be led astray & will lead others astray (Muslim)
      The conquest of Constantinople by the Muslims (Ahmad)
      The conquest of India by the Muslims, just prior to the return of Jesus, son of Mary (peace be upon both of them)(Ahmad, an-Nisa'i, at-Tabarani, al-Hakim)
      When people begin to compete with others in the construction of taller buildings (Bukhari)
      There will be a special greeting for the people of distinction (Ahmad)
      The Euphrates will disclose a treasure (The Prophet, peace be upon him, said that whoever is present should not take anything from it) (Bukhari & Muslim)
      Two large groups, adhering to the same religious teaching will fight each other with large numbers of casualties (Bukhari & Muslim)
      Wild animals will be able to talk to humans (Ahmad)
      A man will leave his home and his thigh or hip will tell him what is happening back at his home (Ahmad)
      Years of deceit in which the truthful person will not be believed and the liar will be believed (Ahmad)
      Bearing false witness will become widespread (Al-Haythami & Ahmad)
      When men lie with men and women lie with women (Al-Haythami)
      Trade will become so widespread that a woman will be forced to help her husband in business (Ahmad)
      A woman will enter the workforce out of love for this world (Ahmad)
      Arrogance will increase in the earth (at-Tabarani, al-Hakim)
      Family ties will be cut (Ahmad)
      There will be many women of child-bearing age who will no longer give birth.
      There will be an abundance of food, much of which has no blessing in it.
      People will refuse when offerred food.
      Men will begin to look like women and women will begin to look like men

      The Major Signs:

      Although they appear here in no particular order, it is important to point out that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that these last, major signs will follow each other like pearls falling off of a necklace...

      Masih ad-Dajjal (The AntiChrist)
      The Mahdi
      The appearance of Masih al-�Isa (Jesus Christ), the son of Mary (peace be upon him)
      Ya�juj and Ma�juj (Gog and Magog)
      The destruction of the Ka�bah and the recovery of its treasure
      Emergence of the Beast
      The smoke
      Three major landslides (one in the East, one in the West, and one on the Arabian peninsula)
      The wind will take the souls of the believers
      The rising of the sun from the west
      The fire will drive the people to their final gathering place
      Three blasts of the trumpet (fear & terror, death, resurrection)

      March 31, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply

      April 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  7. Kendra

    1st of all the word muslim means "The 1 who sumbits to Allah(God)" & they r not known as christians. Christians believe Jesus is the greatest, but muslims believe Mohammad is the greatest, the seal of the prophets. & b4 yall start judging others beliefs go do ur research 1st so u wont look like a dummy. b/c d questions ya'll ask & d things yall say are so disrespectful and childish. Amend. #1: freedom of religion. So we should respect others beliefs. & b4 yall say muslims r bad...how can ya" say dat? All muslims arn't bad b/c every1 of them didn't do anything 2 harm america. Yall need some praying 2 do.

    March 31, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  8. carolina

    There has been a lot of quoting from the Koran (we can argue if they are quoted in context or not...) so let's quote from the Bible too.

    ON WAR:
    Samuel 27
    Whenever David attacked an area, he did not leave a man or woman alive, but took sheep and cattle, donkeys and camels, and clothes.

    Samuel 25
    41 She bowed down with her face to the ground and said, “I am your servant and am ready to serve you and wash the feet of my lord’s servants.” 42 Abigail quickly got on a donkey and, attended by her five female servants, went with David’s messengers and became his wife. 43 David had also married Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both were his wives.

    Genesis 19
    30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.”
    33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

    March 31, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  9. TG

    Just check the track record of Islam. Terror and hate towards non-Muslims, especially Christians and Jews. Then check to see if Christians or Jews would be welcome at Mecca or Medina. Now that you have those answers realize that whatever they write in blogs is nothing but falsehood when it comes to what they believe. They are taught that it is ok to lie when it furthers their cause. Internal subversion is what they intend in the US; bottom line is they want Islam to conquer the world. Check out what the Ayatohlla is saying recently in Iran concerning taking over the world and defeating the United States. Do not be fooled or ignorant on this issue. Read Hal Lindsey's book, The Everlasting Hatred The Roots of Jihad to find out the truth. We love freedom in this country, but don't be naaive; they will use the freedom that we love for their diabolical ideology. May God bless and protect the security of our great nation. May He expose this hideous situation among those who claim they love what we are and what we stand for. God bless!

    March 31, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • John Roberson

      Islam just needs time to grow up.. There will always be radicals.. Just like we have them in Christianity..It was the last of the 3 Abrahamic religions.. And it is exactly 600 years behind the times.. The problem is that it's stuck in the middle ages.. And most of there followers are peasants with no real education except what is taught by a Mullah from a book
      But what were the Christians doing 600 years ago? .. Exactly the same thing..

      We now know that religion is the cause of most evils and always has been.. They just need to awaken to what modern societies already know

      March 31, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Muneef

      Thus, Islam bases people's relational conduct on kindness. Hence, it condemns intolerance, prejudice and bigotry, and rejects discrimination based on color, creed, national origin or religion.
      The Muslim acceptance applies to all elements of life and must reflect in all of the Muslim's affairs. The teaching of Islam towards proper behavior, anger control, patience, treatment of spouse, parent, neighbor, the young and the old, the friend, the enemy, the environment and specifically the People of the Book are evident in the Holy Qur'an and the life and example of the Prophet Muhammad (p).
      In calling people to the Islamic Faith, for example, a Muslim must be wise, sensitive, humble and considerate. The Qur'an teaches:
      "Invite (all) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and discuss with them in ways that are best and most gracious." Qur'an, 16:25.


      March 31, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • Muneef

      Are we in war only now I began to understand atheists and agnostics who turned to be the are the right ones refusing to join such movement of crusaders against other religions?


      March 31, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
  10. gerald

    If you are a christian,watch this>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbv1XzrUmVE&feature=related See for yourself what is truly going on.

    March 31, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  11. James

    Go back to Meca and do your thing __

    March 31, 2011 at 9:03 am |
  12. Thomas

    I have Muslim friends, I was in a relationship with a Muslim, nearly got engaged to one. The problem is not Muslims in general, the problem are those, almost always from the middle east, that slap the word "Islam" on every screwed up cultural tradition that they can come up with, and find some Mullah (like a priest or pastor) who agrees with them. Between the Qur'an and the Hadith you can "interpret" anything you want out of the text. If you look at places like Malaysia or Indonesia, even though they do have sharia in many cases, you'll find that, in general, they're respectful towards one another and foreigners as well. It's because they keep their culture separate from their religion. Remember that there are more than a BILLION muslims in the world, I am pretty sure they're not all terrorists that stone women, etc etc.

    March 31, 2011 at 7:17 am |
  13. Hellmonkey

    All this crazy idiots who have never met or been around Muslims keep talking about them the same way the KKK demonized blacks after their formation in Georgia. I particularly love it when they want to quote the Q'uran to prove their point, when the Bible if full of instructions to convert or kill anyone that is not a Christian. The Bible even has instructions for proper conduct when rapping your slave. But that's just technicalities, I gues.

    March 31, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  14. George

    Yep.. that's right. Muslims GET OUT!

    March 30, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • laila

      you should get out too...unless ur an American Indian u should get out too...ur ancestor came from Europe too and stole the land from the indians

      March 31, 2011 at 1:23 am |
  15. 12IVEHADIT

    “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.


    March 30, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Lynn

      Why wasn't it mentioned that this 'hate monger' that planned to bomb this mosque was, himself, a MUSLIM?

      March 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • laila

      American people are still so ignorant and still haven't figured out the reasons they are hated all over the world. I still hear stupid comments like ohh " they hate us bc they don't like they way we live" "they hate us bc we aren't muslims" give me a break. It is American foreign policy on other countries and its double standards and trying to police the world..it is all about politics that ur hated, dont make it over religion.

      March 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  16. ~Ryan

    It is all prophecy.

    March 30, 2011 at 5:38 am |
  17. kojack

    I don't get it, why is the Muslim religion in the news all the time? If a Muslim believes in God then why are they not considered Christians? Why is this religion so different from the rest? If people believe in whatever they believe in why are they not just lumped into the "Religious" category. I am pretty sure when our founding fathers said freedom of religion was meant to be that you can practice which ever way you want and discussion is not required. So why, may I ask is this even in the news?

    March 29, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • laila

      you would be surprised that there aren't much difference between the 3 Major religions but too bad people are to uneducated and ignorant to know that.

      March 30, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Mr. Ashley Burleson

      Do you get the fact that 9/11 was a Muslim operation? Do you get the fact that a significant proportion of the Muslim population believes it is their duty to kill Christians and Jews? Do you get the fact that nearly 100% of the terrorists in the past 10 years have been Muslim? Do you get the fact that practically every Muslim dominated government thinks Israel is the enemy? What else do you not get? Take your head out of the sand and wake up!

      March 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • budtree


      there's a HUGE difference, do your homework.

      March 30, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • FJ

      Hey Mr.Ashley,

      Islam does not tell us to kill Christians and Muslims. In the Quran it tells us to respect them as the People of the Book. I don't know where your getting your jacked up facts, but you should confirm your sources. As for saying that 100% of terrorists are muslim, first of all you should know that Al-Qaida and the taliban are not muslim. They have distorted Islam to thier evil liking and brainwash children to stike fear. They are nothing but a bunch of policital apes trying to justify what they do with religion even when it has nothing to do with it. Many Mulsim governments have an unfavorable view of Israel because they continue to deny any plans of giving Palestine sovereighinty. Mulsims would be happy if Israel would peacefully co-exist with Palestine but Isreal insists on not giving up land. Next time you throw a bunch of sentences togethor, please make sure you have your facts right. Thank you.

      March 30, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • carolina

      I agree with you. The 3 major monotheistic religions are not actually not that different in their essence. One Book draws inspiration from the other. The Christian Bible Old Testament is basically the Jewish Torah; many Biblical characters, such as Lot and Noah, are also in the Koran. People tend to pat attention and to emphasize the differences in order to promote hate instead of focusing on the shared beliefs that could lead to a greater understaning between the 3 religions.

      March 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Mike

      Islam is different from other religions because it does not allow for tolerance of other beliefs. Everywhere Islam has spread in the world has been filled with violence and hatred and persecution of others. Just look at the history of the middle east, turkey, cyprus, kosovo, iran, iraq, afghanistan, pakistan, sudan, indonesia, egypt. Now even places like France.

      Yes, the Koran has some good verses about charity, but those were lifted from the Judaeo-Christian bible, then perverted. Instead of being voluntary, it is mandatory. If you want to leave you must be killed. If you insult mohammed or the koran you must be killed. Then, when people try to object saying this is wrong, Islam preaches paranoia that they are being persecuted, so they must terrorize and kill.

      I don't hate muslims. I feel sorry for them that they are so deceived into believing the false prophet mohammed, the first terrorist.

      March 31, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  18. Bill Peters

    It sickens me to think that people will Trample on the 1st Amendment Right to Freedom of Religion out of fear. That First Amendment gives Christians the right to Worship as they please and it gives Muslims the right to Worship as they please, this also includes being able to Build Mosques.

    March 29, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • budtree

      Pray on, quit blowing sh1t up.

      March 30, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
  19. HonLincoln

    Muslim will pretend to be peaceful in the beginning. But then demand for Sharia enforcement will increase. Once they have critical mass, they wil demand Pakistan in USA. Explain why not ?

    March 29, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      HonLincoln wrote: "Muslim will pretend to be peaceful in the beginning. But then demand for Sharia enforcement will increase. Once they have critical mass, they wil demand Pakistan in USA."

      Sort of the way the Christians have gone about it over the centuries?

      March 29, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • hm

      right on praisethelard

      March 29, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Muneef

      Well now I no longer know if you were talking about Islam or about Muslims in General or just about Muslims originating from Pakistan only....??

      March 29, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Kristy Howard-Clark

      I totally agree with you.If Muslims do not want people hating them then they need to stop behaving in hateful ways toward people who do not believe as they do. If Muslims want to live in peace, then let others live in peace.

      March 30, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
    • FJ

      Hey Kristy,

      How are muslims behaving bad? If your going to say the typical excuse like al-qaeda or the taliban, you should know that we don't count them as muslims. They are probbably the most hated people in all of Islam. They are renegades and hypocrites who have distorted and warped Islam to thier blood thirsty liking and brainwash other people for political power. They are not muslims.

      March 30, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
  20. Magic


    "hitler was a catholic, who served as an altar boy and attended catholic school."

    Yes, and Stalin too... he even studied for the Catholic priesthood. This may be where they got the roots of their, "We are better... we are the best" mentality.

    March 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Alan

      HHitler was no Catholic. You cannot advocate the killing of the Jew and praise Jesus a Jew Himself. Nice try at deflection.

      March 30, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Hellmonkey

      LOL: "HHitler was no Catholic. You cannot advocate the killing of the Jew and praise Jesus a Jew Himself. Nice try at deflection" he says.
      The first jewish concentration camp was in Rome. It was run by the pope and the catholic church. You should look up this thing called "The Inquisition" and then talk about how the jews did back then.

      March 31, 2011 at 2:02 am |
    • midwstrn girl

      Hilter was catholic and used the church to gain power and bless the troops going to war. Read a history book. Christians have hated Jews for killing Jesus.

      April 1, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Tom

      Why would any of you guys move to some other country, and not really want to be there??? Assimilate? Learn the language? Hey, it's the world, but it is also someone elses homeland.. Not disneyland morons.

      April 1, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.