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. Suleiman

    I love Islam. The only religion that connects me to the One True Creator (Who has no partners and nothing is like Him).

    March 27, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • a2b3

      I am with you!

      March 27, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  2. frootyme

    This is the age of educated idiots. Uneducated people of stone age were more civilized than all of us.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Tom

      cultures and religions by themselves are harmless.. it's this whole push for multiculturalism that not helping anyone.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • harol bish

      My sentiments, exactly.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  3. Sammy

    The Hadith
    Bukhari vol. I, no. 28 The Prophet said, "I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful."
    Bukhari vol. I, no. 301 Allah's Apostle . . . said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you women . . . I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you."
    Bukhari vol. II, no. 161 The Prophet then said, "I also saw the Hell-fire and I had never seen such a horrible sight. I saw that most of the inhabitants were women."
    Surah 4:34 Men are the managers of the affairs of women . . . those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them. Jihad (Holy War)
    Surah 2:190-194 Fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight you . . . and kill them wherever you catch them . . . if they fight you, kill them. Such is the reward of those who suppress the Faith . . . And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah.
    Surah 2:216 Fighting is prescribed for you
    Surah 2:244 Fight in the cause of Allah
    Surah 4:89 If they turn apostates, seize them and kill them wherever you find them.
    Surah 4:91 Seize them and kill them wherever you get them.
    Surah 5:33 The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and his apostle . . . they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall be struck off alternately, or they shall be banished from the land.
    Surah 5:51 O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Another Larry

      Save it. The only basis for judging them is their actions. What you're doing, trying to foment fear and antagonistic feelings toward a religion is reprehensible.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Jason

      No, Larry.

      A person either believes their religion or they don't. It is either the truth by which they direct their lives or it isn't. They either believe that God (Allah) exists, and that Islam is his will, or they don't.

      If they do, then they believe in a religious that espouses hatred and non tolerance towards women, and towards any one who does not share their religious beliefs. If they don't, then they should stop pretending that they do, because their act of cowardice gives succor and support for those who DO believe.

      Simple say "Well many muslims have a very lukewarm and mediocre amount of faith" does not change the fact that the religion is, at its heart, about dominance, violence, and xenophobia. It is a religion which gives full permission to hatred and oppression of any one who is imperfect in the eyes of the person doing the judging (who can be any one, even though they are themselves imperfect).

      March 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  4. cheryl


    March 27, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • dhondi

      except they hate us for our freedoms.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Another Larry

      @dhondi: "except they hate us for our freedoms."

      Ignorant nonsense. I can't believe people believe such tripe. The Muslims in other parts of the world who hate us hate us because of U.S. foreign policies that have been meddling in their countries for at least 60 years. Try studying our history in the Middle East. It isn't pretty.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  5. tjc360

    OK CNN, Stop with the Muslim articles, everytime I go to look at the news there is an article on Muslims this week, how Islam shaped rap, this guy turned to Islam, Muslims on the edge, screw this Muslim religion crap and do the news.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:50 am |
  6. David Hartman

    No surprise that the liberal CNN does a piece pandering to Islamists & portraying them yet again as 'victims'. No mention whatsoever regarding the truth about the nature of Islam, the hate intolerance, violence, duplicity & supremest ideology. What next CNN, a piece about the virtues of Sharia?

    March 27, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • Another Larry

      Why do you want CNN to do an article about something that isn't part of Muslim communities in America? If Muslims are as you describe why don't we hear about all those terrible things happening in Michigan?

      March 27, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • harol bish

      You dude u have no substance. Why blame CNN for tellling the truth. Go listen to Beck and crowd

      March 27, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • No Muslim slave

      You liberal idiots have no clue that we are not listening to anyone but MUSLIM LEADERS worldwide. Perhaps you could try educating yourselves instead of being dhimmi idiots?

      March 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  7. Mick

    Maybe, just maybe American have a hard time accepting Muslims is because it's a satanic, barbaric religion. Just look at its history and perverse writings of the Koran. They don't really consider women to be human. Almost all women and children are abused by the men. Great culture, great religion.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Another Larry

      No, that's not it. Americans are by and large ignorant of anything outside their own lives and tend to be easily frightened. Muslims in this country are not barbaric or satanic. What a ridiculous suggestion. FYI, you don't get much more barbaric than the Spanish Inquisition, when the Catholic church tortured, executed, and exiled people for not being good enough Catholics.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • harol bish

      Abrham had 4 wives

      March 27, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • No Muslim slave

      Mick is correct. "Another Larry," you really are an America-hater, aren't you? So, there are all these Muslims in southeast Michigan – 500,000 of them. Are they NOT Americans? I guess they know nothing about other cultures – wait, you're right for once! These "Americans" know nothing about the other cultures of America – and that's the whole problem. And another problem is that many of us non-Muslim Americans know WAY TOO MUCH about Islam. You might try to learn a few things, instead of posting stupid remarks here.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  8. Al Abdullah

    Why don't all Dearborn Muslims who feel ostracized move to Yemen where they will be much more at home? One can put on the headscarves, pray 5 or 10 times a day, practice Sharia, etc and get jobs without any difficulties? Culturally they will fit very well.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Another Larry

      Apparently you want an American that's racially and religiously pure, kind of like Hitler's vision for Germany. We'll just make everyone who is different than you feel unwelcome so they'll leave. It's the new American way. Thanks for sharing.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Another Larry wrote: "It's the new American way"

      No... it's the old American way... Only WASPs and slaves need apply...

      March 27, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Another Larry

      PraiseTheLard: Good point. The Republicans have said that ensuring Obama isn't reelected is their #1 priority. In other words, nothing is more important than getting back to having a white president like the founding fathers intended.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • No Muslim slave

      Another Larry, I've never seen so many straw men in my life. You really are an ignoramus.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • hamza

      why don't you move back to europe?

      March 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  9. vlad

    The Muslims have been playing the same vile game for 14 centuries. They are programmed to hate all except Muslims, and to convert all infidels or kill them or make them second class citizens under Muslim domination. They are very unlike almost all living creatures, where the mother gives her all to protect their children. The Muslim mothers are happy to see their children die in an effort to kill infidels. I have traveled extensively in most of the Arab countries and confirm that they are as bad or worse than their bible(Koran) and the world we be a far better place if they went elsewhere....Mars for example. We need to fight them with all our energy and with no remorse, otherwise we will become their 2nd class citizens (dhimmi). I would rather be dead than that.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • Another Larry

      What tripe.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • No Muslim slave

      What tripe comes out of your mouth, "Another Larry." You are an ignorant idiot, whereas this guy knows what he is saying. What cave have you been living in? Was it in Afghanistan, by any chance? Shut up, already, and stop enabling Islam to destroy the world, you fool.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • vanhoopcoach

      Larry...a two-word 'answer'.
      And an answer that did not dispute truths from their 'ggod book.'

      March 27, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
  10. Sammy

    Surah 9.5 So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful....this is known as the verse "of the sword" and it explains that muslims must fight anyone who chooses not to convert to Islam..
    it is considered to represent the final development of Jihad in Islam
    Overcome people who do not accept Islam: Surah 2:217...4:71-104....8:24-36,39-65
    4.89 They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.
    47.4 So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates. That (shall be so); and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have exacted what is due from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others; and (as for) those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will by no means allow their deeds to perish.
    9.123 O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).

    the last revelation from allah regarding christians and jews Surah 8.39 And fight with them until there is no more persecution and religion should be only for Allah; but if they desist, then surely Allah sees what they do.....in other words fight those who reject islam until all the worship is for allah alone...
    Sayyid Qutb the founding father of modern jihad in his book Social Justice in Islam..stated that Islam does not respect human rights,womans rights or democracy..all these are western ideas from infidels muslims do not acknowledge them...
    there is a basic principle in Islamic law called Al Qaeda Al Faquhia which states that anyone who denies any of the Islamic truth is an infidel..and the application of this priciple means that anyone who does not comply with Islamic priciples completley must be killed.....

    March 27, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  11. David

    It is said Islam will take down America before mexico does. Even Obama admits he is muslim. We can't blame Obama, we need to blame the American voter who is too dumbed down to even know what they are voting for anymore.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Another Larry

      Obama has never said he's Muslim. Why do you people lie so much?

      March 27, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Chris

      I'm sorry. Did I miss the news conference? When did Obama ever say he was a Muslim? Not that it should matter. You should stop getting your "facts" from Fox news and then coming to CNN's site to spew their BS. We only want the facts here.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      And they say that muslims are ignorant...

      I'm sure many of them are, but so are many "Americans" (whatever that designation means... as far as I know the only real Americans are the ones whose anscestors were here before 1492...)

      March 27, 2011 at 10:21 am |
  12. tiger

    Islam, start accepting that parts of quran are lies and stop ramming those lies in young kids.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Another Larry

      The same thing can be said about the Bible.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Jason

      I agree. Burn them both and be done with it. Religion's only purpose is to harness the power of the ignorant masses to be used against them.

      March 27, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  13. bill

    I am saying it would be our government's job to protect us from the muslim invasion. They have sold out the country.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • Another Larry

      Maybe the government needs to get you some psychiatric help for your delusions.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • a2b3

      Invasion??? Are you kidding me?? We are just 4% of the entire US population. Do you know who is actually invading US?? It's the LATINOS.

      March 27, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • No Muslim slave

      Bill is correct. The government has been bought out by the Muslim Brotherhood. "Another Larry" is another moron.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  14. tiger

    Islam, stop teaching hatred in mosques and madarssas.
    Start respecting other cultures.
    Islam stop attacking Jews.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • freeddoom

      have you listened to john hagee lately.he is a good example of spewing hate from the pulpit.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Jesus

      The Hagees are taping into the bigotry of people to line their own pockets. They're one of the wealthiest of the religion hucksters out there. Hate generates revenue!

      March 27, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • Another Larry

      Stop buying into fear-mongering from the religious bigots on the right.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • No Muslim slave

      Notice how when "tiger" speaks the truth, a bunch of idiots have to come out and frantically point fingers elsewhere.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  15. tiger

    Allah is treating muslims, the same way muslims treated others in Saudi Arabia.
    I want all the demolished churches and synagogues in Saudia Arabia to be restored from muslim money, and repealing of Sharia that says like of non-muslims is inferior to muslims.
    I want Mecca stone to be returned to Pagans.
    Accept the theft and return it.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:42 am |
  16. Sammy

    Typical CNN free open discussion yeah right!! you cut peoples opinions while only keeping up posts like Hamza calling Americans idiots..Way to go CNN you are pathetic. I wont ever bother posting an opinion on this site its a waste of time. CNN your a disgrace.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • Another Larry

      I intend to hold you to that promise. Good riddance.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  17. unfortunate

    Here is the beautiful thing about all of these hateful and ignorant comments: when CNN looks at whether or not to continue running stories based on different subjects such as Islam and Muslims in America, they look at reader interaction, comments and how many views a particular story gets for example. So when they look at reader interaction for this particular story all they see is numbers, not the uninformed vitriol most of your Fox numbed brains seem to defecate out of your fingertips. If you're Christian and claim that the Koran has more violence than the Bible you have read neither.
    Remember friends, Hitler was a protestant.

    Atheism is the only true light.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Hitler was raised Catholic... Of course, later on he was an equal-opportunity mass murderer, with special attention paid to the Jews...

      March 27, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  18. anondetroit

    The Muslim community hurt itself tremendously after 9/11 when they ran out of their homes (on American soil) and danced and cheered in the streets at the news of what the terrorists that took over the jets had done. With actions like these, how are we to believe that our "neighbors" are any different? Because "they" said so? Because our source of news told us to or made us question ourselves? Political correctness? After the actions of the Muslim community in Detroit (the day of and after 9/11), I say it is on their shoulders to prove to the rest of America otherwise and stop trying to "guilt" me into changing my opinion I mourned with most of America on 9/11 and thereafter.

    Some of you will tell me that my thought process is flawed and that the Muslim community needs respect and I have to ask you if you feel the same way about the KKK, after all, not all of them are violent?

    March 27, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • sick to my stomach

      Seriously...wth are you talking about? I live near one of the largest muslim communities in the usa and noone was dancing. Instead the mosques held press conferences *gasp* denouncing these acts. quit spreading lies and do something about your ignorance...

      March 27, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • freeddoom

      with all due respect,are you on crack or somethin??? because you thing your hallucinations are true.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Another Larry

      Your thought process is not flawed, you're just telling lies to turn people against Muslims. There were no such protests in the United States.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  19. AJ JONES

    }8.? (

    March 27, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Ian

      Thank you so much for saying this. People do need to realize the things that are right in front of them instead of pointing the finger!

      March 27, 2011 at 9:40 am |
    • Jesus

      I am more concerned with the Mormons trying to influence elections in the USA that some Islamic group that has existed here for a hundred years.

      March 27, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Another Larry

      @ Jesus: "I am more concerned with the Mormons trying to influence elections in the USA that some Islamic group that has existed here for a hundred years."

      Oh look, religious bigotry targeting another group. Mormons have been here for over 170 years. Why the sudden concern about them influencing elections?

      March 27, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • tiff

      I do not for one second dispute what you are saying..
      THIS is what I have a problem with: SHARIA LAW BEING A VALID DEFENSE IN COURT CASES...

      A muslim man in the USA tried to claim protection under Sharia Law for severely abusing his wife.. he claimed he was justified according to his relgion.. the first judge allowed that crap! But the DA was smarter and took it higher and the man was rightfully charged with domestic violence.... I would hate for our laws of protection for women to cease to exist!

      March 27, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
  20. Ian

    Many of you people posting comments about this subject are ignorant and know not what you speak of. I am a Catholic and even I have Muslim friends that are actually from Egypt. They are not cruel and evil people; they are actually very nice and kind. They came here for a better life and that is what they got. You guys need to open your eyes and stop going with the flow. There and bad Muslims, but there are also bad Christians. For instance, in Germany a Muslim male was shot to death by a Christian just because he was Muslim. Then his wife was stabbed to death in court by a different christian because of her headscarf. Muslims do believe in the same God we do that is why they are one of the three Abrahamic religions. The only difference is that they do not believe Jesus was the son of God and that he was a prophet followed by Mohammad. But then again, the Jews thought Jesus was evil and had him killed. The evil Muslims are the Wahhabi who preside in Saudi Arabia. these people are the extremest. NOT THE SUNNI, OR THE SHI'A. The Wahhabi seek to bring fear into the world. If you people woulds actually pay attention to the world around you, you would learn that they destroy the other Muslims too. They commit terror on The Sunni and Shi'a people...Not just Christians!!! The Wahhabi are the one you should blame for 9/11 not all Muslims of Arabs. Most are good like us. There headscarfs also have nothing to do with what they believe, thye wear them because the Qur'ran tells them women must cover themselves. Pentecostalism says women must not show their legs or wear makeup...so does that make them evil too? All you need to know is...Don't judge a book by its cover, read the contents first. Remember this also...The Wahhabi are Muslim extremist, The Nazis are Christian extremist...So we both have bad in our religion; Do let that bad blind the good. They certainly don't! Be friendly and get to know them before you instigate. The Muslims I know are some of my closets friends now. Take all that I have said into consideration please!

    March 27, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Susan

      Ian, you forgot to mention there are bad Catholics! You forgot to mention the child molesting priests you fund when you go to church. You also forgot to mention the catholic followers who enable the child molesting priests by giving the catholic church those funds!

      March 27, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • harol bish

      Look,everyone should cool their heat. I am from Guyana and grew up with muslims and ever other religion you can name.
      People are not bad. Each of us wants the best for or children and wants them to at least know about their heritage.

      The best, no, the bestest, person was a man man named Heidatullah, a muslim. He took care of us all as his own children. He was a major maji in the madrasa et he never hated no one or espoused hatred of anyone. No, he never tried to convert anybody or give give them free anything to make them think his way is is the only way.

      This country needs the book I studied as part of my high school education. It was called Comparative Religion.

      Hatred and anger makes the body and eventually the mind/soul weak and sinful. Love as Jesus did, as Ghandi did, as our parents showed to us, as our circle and friends (real ones) demonstrates.Nobody can go wrong then.

      Loves fosters love, hate engenders hatred.

      Not to give Ossama and the backris of the world a pass. They must be eradicated, totally.

      But. Please do not wipe everyone with a big brush

      March 27, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • David Goren

      Why throw the Jews into this? The Jews had Jesus killed? No, God sent Jesus here to die for our sins. Remember? It's part of Catholic doctrine. You can't have it both ways. Still, the Jews are still paying for this, so it seems. The majority of Muslims here are peaceful, yes, but the radical element is large and dangerous. The peaceful Muslims need to lead the charge in the U.S. to distance themselves. I don't see them doing that. They need a public relations campaign. Maybe they don't feel that they have to do this, but they do. Their religion is being hijacked. People don't understand the religion so this is natural. Whether it's fair or not, it's on the shoulders of moderate, peaceful Muslims to turn the tide.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • tk007e

      Hey Ian, you're here ranting and raving about Arabs and Muslims being nice people. Okay, I will grant you that. Everybody has the "niceness" quality in them...You're also bellyaching and blaming ignorance for the way Arabs are treated. In case you're not aware, Arabs enjoy more previleges than African Americans who have been in this country for centuries. In your earlier posting you alluded to the "Third World" being African countries and non-Arab Asian Countries. If the word "Third World" is a stigma word, then I guess in your view it's okay to stigmatize Africa and non-Arab asia. You're such an ignorant hypocrite! Last I checked Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria, Syria etc are all Arab and extremely Third World. Why don't you go and live in Saudi Arabia , Egypt or Iraq and see how long you can survive practising your catholic religion..I doubt that you're a true catholic. Most Muslims believe the Pope is the devil, anyway!

      March 27, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Another Larry

      tk007e, you should work on your reading comprehension skills. He didn't say all countries in Africa and parts of Asia are third-world countries. He simply said that's where most third-world countries are located.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • tk007e

      AnotherLarry, your Guru Ian sought to distract from the topic by introducing Africa, yet again, in the discussion that had no relevance to the Third World and Africa...Let's assume the premise was that "the fact that Arabs are associated with the Thirdworld" leads to their being "discriminated against" in America. According to Ian this premise is false. In fact what Ian is subliminally, implying is that the argument should be that Arabs should not be discriminated against because they are NOT from the Third World! In fact Africans, being from the Thirdworld, according to Ian and his blind follower AnotherLarry, should bear the burden of discrimination, Not Arabs. See AnotherLarry, you missed the part of "reading between the lines" in your Comprehension 101, EINSTEIN!

      March 27, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • Jason

      Every one's a decent person, until they stone you to death for adultery, lynch you because you're black, or watch you get taken away to a concentration camp because you're a Jew.

      Religion in general has a terrible track record with regard to tolerance, and Islam, being the youngest of the major religions, is the worst.

      March 27, 2011 at 6:37 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.