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April 2nd, 2011
01:00 AM ET

Living under the headscarf

Editor’s Note: "Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door" features the Muslim community of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where sisters Dima and Lema Sbenaty grew up and live. CNN’s Soledad O’Brien chronicles the dramatic fight over the construction of a mosque in the heart of the Bible belt. Watch “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door” airing at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET April 2 on CNN.

By Elizabeth M. Nunez, CNN

Few items of clothing inspire as much controversy as the hijab, or headscarf. To some it represents oppression or radical Islam.

But to American-born Muslim sisters Dima and Lema Sbenaty, the hijab is a source of pride.

“Before I thought it would bother me to wear a scarf in public. I was surprised to feel that I was proud of my religion and all of my friends," says Dima Sbenaty, 20.

"We all go out together and they’re all wearing headscarves as well. It’s nothing that I’m ashamed of, and that’s part of my strength with my religion.”

The sisters have lived most of their lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Now they are students at Middle Tennessee State University. Lema, a chemistry major, wants to become a pediatrician and dreams of tending to children in Ethiopia. Dima, a biology and chemistry double major, is working toward becoming a dentist. Neither has decided if she will permanently wear a hijab, but both cover during daily prayer.

In Arabic, hijab roughly translates as “barrier” or partition. In Islam, it refers to the principle of modesty in behavior and dress, as described in the Quran: "Say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments.”

Women raised in the faith like the Sbenaty sisters say the moment to start wearing a hijab is theirs to choose.

For others who convert to Islam, like Ivy Balloul, a blue-eyed American raised as a Methodist, the hijab comes with her adopted faith. “This was part of me converting to Islam," she said. "You can’t divide it up into little pieces and pick and choose what you want. It’s a whole package.”

Ivy, married to the imam of the Murfreesboro mosque, has received negative comments for wearing a hijab. “One man said to me in the post office that I can take off my scarf, that I’m free here. Another woman felt like I was a traitor. A man called to me one day from his car telling me that, uh, I should go back home.”

But these experiences do not discourage her from covering her head.

“I feel like I have more respect. Before, I could be pumping gas in my car and some guy would whistle or make some type of catcall. It was an uncomfortable situation," she said.

"When you put on a scarf ... [you] know that people can’t look at you as a sexual object. The first time I put it on I felt more comfortable in my own skin.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Muslim

soundoff (1,575 Responses)
  1. Chamborde

    Another piece of liberal blather from Soledad O' Liberal and CNN.

    April 2, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  2. Dawn

    Goodmorning all, can you visit HelpFaye.ORG a friend of mine with 2 babies is fighting for her life.... Thanks so much

    April 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  3. MG

    If they want to wear that rag on their head then they need to find a country that wants their culture, not here.

    April 2, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  4. Wiseguy

    "I feel like I have more respect. Before, I could be pumping gas in my car and some guy would whistle or make some type of catcall. It was an uncomfortable situation,"

    In reality, most people look at Muslim as a terrorist. So when you wear that headscarf, you think you're respected? I don't think so. People are fed up with Muslim like you that's why they want to stay away from all of you much as possible. With your terrorist kind of mentality, people give whatever you want and you can get whatever you want just to avoid such trouble. YOU KILL ME? I KILL ME.....KABOOMMM!!!

    April 2, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • LB

      "In reality, most people look at Muslim as a terrorist."

      Your statement lacks very basic intellect and truth. And if true, the problem has more to do with how easily brainwashed people like you've become. It has nothing to do with harmless Muslims practicing their faith. To you, a woman wearing a head scarf = KABOOM. LOL!

      "People are fed up with Muslim like you..."

      You are presuming to KNOW me? Your alarming ignorance, bigotry and hatred for minorities is like a disease. Please seek medical help and counseling.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • BG

      "KABOOM. LOL!"

      Actually, LB, I don't believe that laughing after an explosion is an appropriate response. "KABOOM" generally involves bad things. At least that's been my personal experience.

      Blood. Echh. Messy. Not funny.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • LB

      You're hilarious, BG...perhaps you need to re-read my comment before properly quoting me?

      "To you, a woman wearing a head scarf = KABOOM. LOL!"

      "Lol" was not for the kaboom part. It's "lol" time when deranged peeps like you or Wiseguy think that innocent Muslims wearing head scarves pose a national security threat to our country.

      Lol, no?

      April 2, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • BG

      @ LB

      Please define "innocent Muslims."

      And re: "kaboom"... very unfunny. You have a mindset that's very foreign to me. Either that, or your sense of humor just really sucks.

      April 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  5. FifthApe

    Gary – Where did this come from:

    31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
    31:18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

    What a nice god you have there....

    April 2, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Gary

      Yes FifthApe and that's why Jesus came to fix their religous ideology much like Islam is today. He was killed by this very same Ideology of which the Jews followed. Jesus paid the price for all and Christians were born. Jesus preached "Love one another as I have loved you".

      April 2, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  6. Juil

    Google ...Islam Religion of Peace there is a site that will rock your world. And to peacppl you explain this web site they tell the truth and it's all there for people to read. Peaceful religion don't think so.....

    April 2, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • peacppl

      im sorry you get brainwashed by biased websites....Islam is a religion that easily can be taken out of context by the ignorant and uneducated .....ignorant muslims and christians alike....you look at websites of ignorant muslims and tell me they represent me? dont think so!

      April 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • BG

      Show us one Imam or country that is willing to change the Koran and eliminate the parts that are 'confusing' the ignorant violent muslims among you.

      Oops. That's right. It's perfect just as it is. Sorry, my bad.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  7. Abdullah

    Peace be upon those who follow the right path.
    Why do not you try for 3 days: Out of my zone (I rather to call it this way over out of my comfort zone)
    Wear the hijab for 3 days, like virgin Mary did (according to her pics in your churches)
    Pray while prostrating, asking Allah for guidance. Jesus did it: ”And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed”( Matthew 26:39)
    Even Jesus’ disciples submitted as Muslims:“When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified”( Matthew 17:6)
    So, who is closer to Jesus and Muhammad religions? Whose women like the Purest Woman ever walked on the Earth? it is the MMMMM word...hhhooooooo

    April 2, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Gary

      Jesus was speaking to his diciples and said in the book of John verse 16 1-4: " All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them." You nor any woman on earth can wear or behave in any kind of way to make yourself "Pure". Only Jesus can make your heart pure.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • alshabbah

      Jesus The Eternal word of God of the Bible is not the Jesus that is portrayed in your Quran. He is God Word, He is GOD in Flesh who dwelt among us and became the perfect sacrifice to satisfy the Justice in God the Father. So don't blaspheme against Jesus Christ Gods begotten son. He is not a Muslim as you claim, don't mislead people and God in his written Word the Bible says If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. NIV Revelation 22: 18-19.
      Purity is not in the clothes you wear, it is something to do with the heart. You cover yourself and have all dirty thinking in the mind that is not pure. God does not see the out ward expressions but he sees the heart and the all knowing Almighty decides who is pure and who is not. I know from first hand experience what goes in the so called pure Islamic countries, how women are treated, how they treat their own gender. Don't try to paint a rosy picture for unsuspecting naive people. Most of the western are naive in the sense they see the people of other cultures in accordance to their own culture, so they become a easy target for the lies spoken by people of other cultures. Burst out from the bubble of ignorance, read about the Islamic culture from authentic sources and decide for yourselves ow much deception is going on in the world. Any way these things will happen and the only Democratic country in the Middle East Israel will face hatred from all the countries of the world and Jesus Himself will come and deliver Israel because it is personified in the Bible as Gods eyes. Zechariah 2:8 (New International Version, ©2011) 8 For this is what the LORD Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye—

      April 2, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      @ Alshabbah,
      Your comment is a blessing to me, because I know it is the TRUTH, and every part of it is true ! ! !

      But this part of what you said is worth posting again, so that it may open some people's eyes to the truth:
      "Purity is not in the clothes you wear, it is something to do with the heart. You cover yourself and have all dirty thinking in the mind that is not pure. God does not see the out ward expressions but he sees the heart .... Don't try to paint a rosy picture for unsuspecting naive people. ", because many people in western societies ar VERY naive!

      April 2, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Finger Puppet

      @alshabah,
      Your local community center probably has an English class you could attend for free.

      A question : How can Jesus be the only begotten son ? The doctrine of the Trinity says god was eternal, that would be all three persons. Either he was begotten, or he wasn't. If he was, he began to be in time. That means he wasn't eternal. Either these words mean something or they don't.

      April 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      @Finger Puppet,

      What is it that causes one to make smart aleck remarks to – or – about someone, when they don't like the content of their post? I find that those who have their own inferiority complex issues usually point out such trivial things as someone 's misspelling or their language handling difficulties, as if those things would discredit what the person is saying...( Mind You, They Do NOT!)

      And if, by not finding that kind of fault, they'are not able to do that, they use subtlle attacks on other person's character by belittling them!....... In fact, when someone is doing those type of things, it already exposes their own insecurities and lacking...

      Has it ever occurred to some of you people, that a person who is NOT an American, yet speaks or writes English good enough so you can read it, that they are to be commended , not scolded for it.

      I like to see some of you go and learn a language that's not your own! Maybe you have no ability to do it ! Why then making smart aleck remarks about those who can! You should be embarrassed!

      April 3, 2011 at 12:25 am |
  8. PRISM 1234

    They say it's their source of pride.... Maybe that's why when they are in pu-blic among other people, one can never see them smile or have a friendly face.... And even when someone is kind , saying kind words to them and their children, they give a blank, ho-llow stare, that has no human feel to it. If that's what their religious pride produced in them, they have gained nothing but that which they reflect on their faces......

    I don't think those poor women know what they are saying when they speak of their "source of pride" . It only shows how mislead and ami-ss they are!

    As for modesty... How can pride produce modesty? By outward appearance? That's the fa-llacy of all man made religions. They always decorate themselves by outward appearances, while covering under them what's rot-ten inwardly. They have to do that, in order to substi-tute for truly KNOWING God....and that's an age old problem with (man made) religion.
    But there is a WAY to be modest, and appear decent, in order to not to pro-voke lu-stful thoughts in those around... The hijab IS NOT the one, and it does not pre-vent them!
    And to think that it "dem-ands respect"... well, that's what they like to think that it is!. It's more the pity, and helpless gaze at someone who put themselves in a self made ca-ge, and you can't do anything to set them free... And if you try to get near , on their faces you see what their thoughts are! So you just leave them alone! It is a sad shape to be in, to be so mislead as to take pride in such co-ndit-ion!

    April 2, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • peacppl

      read read read..learn learn learn ....and then you will at LEAST understand a little better

      April 2, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • bethe123

      "They say it's their source of pride.."..

      Very sad, it is like a cult member defending the cult.
      Inflicting Islam on your children is child abuse.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • LB

      I can tell from your comment that you have utter disdain for "such people". It also amazes me that you seem to think you know them better then they know themselves! Your talent for reading facial expressions is also priceless. Hmmmmm....very interesting indeed.

      "...they give a blank, ho-llow stare, that has no human feel to it."

      Did you ever stop to think that maybe we're aliens from Mars and are not capable of human emotion?? Does it make more sense now?

      P.S.- What's with all the hyphens?

      April 2, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • BG

      Shorthand for blog stut-ter.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      "P.S.- What's with all the hyphens"
      Why don't you send an e-mail to CNN Moderator and ask them about their "word- filter".
      Does this answer your above question?
      As for the rest or your remark, keep your sarcasm to yourself, if you can't carry any other useful conversation!

      April 2, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • bethe123

      LB
      -
      I can tell from your comment that you are ignorant.

      Try reading "Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali...or if you don't want to buy her book, her youtube videos are free. In other words, try educating yourself.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • LB

      Prism 1234567....awww, did I hurt your feewings?

      You don't like my sarcasm, eh? Too bad!

      April 2, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      LB, no your sarcasm does not hurt "my feelings"...
      I did not mean to step on your toes by telling as it is with the muslim women. You never gave me a feed back why do they stare so blank, and hav that certain look on their faces You do know that the eyes are the mirror of one's soul, and their faces tell thousand words, don't you!
      I know that you know that what I Said is the truth.... It's just that the truth sometimes hurts.But it's better then lying to yourself. It is a sad case of existence to live in a lie!

      April 2, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  9. JT

    What's the point of spending billions and having our soldiers die to fight for our way of life, when it's just being destroyed from within?

    April 2, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • peacppl

      hyuck...hyuck ...yee haw...and amen!.... whatever dude

      April 2, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Ghost of Sitting Bull

      I agree. No more treaties with white protestants. Get out of my land.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Brian

      In case you missed the joke, JT – the American way of life is religious freedom and diversity. This land did not always have a white majority and it may not for much longer. It did not always have a protestant majority either and if it doesn't some day it will still be America. The majority way of life in the USA CHANGES through time. Stop being scared it it.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:58 am |
  10. Diana

    There are few articles of clothing that will ostracize a person more than the wearing of these garments.
    Businesses will not hire nor guys date these girls.
    It is the same as lepers in ancient biblical times...what they wore made people avoid them.
    It is like a huge neon sign saying "Stay away" and "I reject you".

    April 2, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • peacppl

      hello....the girls dont want to be dated...they want to be chaste... i cant take it when fellow americans are so ignorant!

      April 2, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  11. peacppl

    If you so called educated fellow americans read an unbiased book about the faith you will be pleasantly surprised!

    April 2, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  12. Gman

    1 Corinthians 11:5
    "But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

    April 2, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  13. Sarah

    Oh Soledad O’Brien, your schtick is tired and worn, and no one is paying attention you anymore. You've been with CNN for like a hundred years now. Shouldn't you retire and allow someone new to bring CNN's ratings back up.

    April 2, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Geoffrey

      No one? I am ... I really like Soledads stories. If you don't like them, don't listen to them and don't comment on them. Obviously you paid attention didn't you?

      April 2, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  14. KING OF SANITY

    I agree with sagbrush

    These kind of stories are meaningless and add no value to whatever we know.We see muslim women all the time with hijabs
    They choose to dress like that at their own will and its silly to keep showing us what an adult decides to dress like.
    Its NONE of my business to care what food you eat and what head scarf to put on your neck
    CNN get a life and more interesting stories,recycling stories is in poor taste

    April 2, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  15. L0gic

    I'm no fan of the whole Islamic thing, but at least they don't make me look at their underwear, like some thug with 10 gold teeth, gold chains , goofy backward hat, Timberlands and his pants sagging a foot below his waist. If we're going to hassle somebody about their clothes, lets start with making people PULL UP THEIR PANTS.

    April 2, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  16. JustJ

    All this about how Islam requires a hijab... not sure about that one. I once lived next door to a Muslim family, very nice people, the Ramadan feasts always smelled amazing- the mom never wore a hijab! I used to teach music, had Muslim students, some days they'd cover their heads and some days they wouldn't. Just not sure that that is a set in stone "law."

    April 2, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Geoffrey

      Many Muslims choose not to war a hijab. That does not mean that there is anything wrong with those who do. it depends on individual custom. I might add that other religions have similar ideas of modesty and individuals within the religion choose different ways of expressing the idea.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  17. Sagebrush Shorty.

    What exactly is the purpose of this article? These women chose the life they now lead. Big deal. If they want to belong to a primitive cult then I guess that's their business. But don't keep bombarding us with these bleeding heart stories. We know what Islam represents even if these women refuse to see it.

    April 2, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • jurgen

      well said

      April 2, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Geoffrey

      Primitive Cult? That is outrageous in its ignorance and bigotry. First, Islam is older than protestant Christianity. Second, the practices of Islam go back to the teachings of Jesus and all the prophets loved by Christians and Jews alike. There are 1.5 billion practicing Muslims in the world today. Primitive Cult? Exactly where do you evolve this obscene ignorance? How can you be so self satisfied that you really know? I can tell you that all you have is ignorance and bigotry for one of the worlds great faiths and one that has far more in common with Christianity than Judaism.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • justme

      Right on!!

      April 2, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Gary

      Sory Geoffry or whatever your name is. Islam distorts and differs from the Jesus that Christians follow. The Koran teaches that Jesus did not really die for the sins of the world (I think so that Mohammad could keep his followers on their toes to do His manipulative bidding.) but regardless, it is a distorted Jesus. Secondly Jesus preached Love they neihbor do good to those who harm you. Mohammad teaches the exact opposit. Kills those who insult Islam (such as drawing a cartoon of Mohammad) So this "religion" when followed to the fullest can be deadly.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • BG

      "Exactly where do you evolve this ...?"

      Umm... well, here, for starters. And there's lots, lots, lotta lots more. Actually, it's kind of hard to miss, unless you're trying to avoid it on purpose.

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umwUeG7bsRA&w=640&h=390]

      Oh, sorry. It was from a Fox News affiliate. I guess the whole video was staged with people just pretending to be Muslims.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • AJTiger

      Sagebrush, totally agree. Journalists try SO hard to find places in America where intolerance exists so we can be politically correct and say "see, non-Muslims also have prejudice." But the truth of the matter is by and large Americans are more accepting and tolerant of other religions than the media would have you believe. And sure there are whack jobs out there on the fringe (Gay funeral protesters in Kansas), but honestly, how often do you encounter people like that, and even if you do, you aren't in any danger of being killed by them! This country isn't anywhere near as bad as most of the posters on CNN would have you believe. Would you feel more comfortable calling Jesus a fraud to a Christian in America or calling Mohammad a fraud to a Muslim in any Muslim country??? Thought so!

      April 2, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Sagebrush Shorty.

      Geoffrey....... I firmly believe that Islam is a cult and it's killing of fellow Muslims is more barbaric and obscene than any perceived notions you may have of my position.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  18. cregis

    Why do women have to be modest and subject themselves to some man's rules of behavior? That's what these stupid American Muslims don't get. They are obeying men. Some man said centuries ago that women should behave in a certain way and they go along with it, the same can be said for other religions. I guess these women think they are choosing to dress this way but they are still obeying the rules set down by some man.

    April 2, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Geoffrey

      They are not submitting to some mans rules of behavior. They are doing what they like. Why don't you read the article? Probably the same reason you believe your own bigotry without question and without bothering to really find out what this practice means. I might add that covering the head for modesty is not unique to Islam. Reflect on your own bigotry and then reject it because it is you who are grotesque, not these ladies or the men in their families.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • peacppl

      get a life and learn to read,,,frm one stupid american to another

      April 2, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Gary

      It has absolutely nothing to do with mans rules. You must have been abused to even think that way. It is worn because Mohammad says they must be covered and it does not to protect them but to protect the Muslim males from lusting after them. If the Muslim male falls with her and she is married it's death to both of them. If she is not married and he is then it is 100 lashes and possible stoneing under Sharia Law. American's who convert have no real depth of understanding to what they are getting involved in.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Brian

      While I suppose that I partially agree that the headscarf is rule of dress created by men to get women to dress and behave a certain way there are two points. 1) Already stated above – they are choosing to dress this way. 2) Do you think miniskirts, modern high-heels, boob implants, thongs and push-up bras were created by women? Western men encourage a type of dress, too; and some women choose to dress this way. If women wanted to be "free" of men they'd all were comfortable clothes.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • FifthApe

      Gary, where is this from:

      21:21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Dan

      Cregis is absolutely right. And, btw, Mohammad was a MAN, not divine, and a very FLAWED MAN at that (see his slaughter of nonbelievers). Anyone who believes in God and thinks that God gives a crap about what women wear on their heads needs to get said head examined. Not to mention it's NOT A RELIGIOUS requirement to wear the hijab.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • David

      Muslim men are REQUIRED TO ALSO DRESS IN MODEST ATTIRE. The dress codes is for both.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  19. Dc mortimer

    Any religion that advocates death to its fellow human beings for any reason , is not a religion of peace .

    April 2, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • FifthApe

      Then Christianity is surly not a religion of peace (if you have read the bible).

      April 2, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Geoffrey

      Exactly why do you think that Islam is unique in this regard? It is not and in fact has some of the most detailed injunctions against killing of any religion. Christianity has by far the greater body count. So, I am curious where you get these obscenely bigoted views? What precisely is the source of this or are you repeating what your dirty bigoted mind wants to hear? Oh ... PS, I'm Jewish but I am dedicated to what is true and opposed to bigotry and lies.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • peacppl

      learn about the religion before you make ignorant comments

      April 2, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Gary

      Don't be fooled by FifthApe and Gregory the "Jew". These are more than likely Liberal Atheist who hate Christiany to the point they would embrace the Murderer and crucify the Loving savior on the cross.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • peacppl

      I guess Catholisism promotes pedophilia....

      April 2, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Sekemet

      Including christianity which often implies that you will burn in hell if you do not accept jesus christ as you lord and savior and uses millions of missionaries to bring about cultural death and religious beliefs of many people around the world and then use military backing and weapon distribution to put their elected puppet in power and then say the church and state is now separate.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • FifthApe

      Gary – Have you *read* the bible? It does not get more hate filled than that. Talk about evil.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • johnborg

      You may be correct. HOWEVER, no religious group represents an entire religion. There is no set way to interpreting sacred text or devising theologies. So, yes, there are Islamic groups who promote death of non-Muslims. Yet, Ann Coulter and Pat Robertson seem to do the same thing from a Christian perspective.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Mike

      Dear Geoffrey and other ignorant posters - there are no legitimate strains of Christianity currently in practices that advocate death for any religious offense. Contrast that with thousands of Muslims who find any pretext to kill in the name of their religion - see the UN workers killed in Afghanistan because some preacher in Florida merely contemplated burning the Koran. Religious crazies are bad and Islamic crazies the worst.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Gary

      FifthApe.. Yes I've read the Bible and because of your lack of understanding of what it is you like to preach that Christians killed in the Bible of which they did not. The Old testiment reflects what the Jews did following Cannon Law. The New Testiment reflects the birth of Christ and thus Christ preached "Love They Neighbor as theyself". Now I'm still waiting for the God of Islam to send a new prophet that preaches the same but he hasn't arrived yet. Infact I don't think he or she is planning on comming.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • AJTiger

      FifthApe: provide a reference in the New Testament that advocates killing a fellow human being.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • FourEyes

      The Crusades........

      April 2, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • Jordan

      Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all commanded to kill some group of people.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • FourEyes

      These posts remind me of some funny parodies of religious inter-religious social relationships.

      You have bought into the reason this company uses discussion boards. You are the best free advertising.

      Pawns

      April 2, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Gary

      Sekemet, sounds interesting but the fact of the matter is where Christians are there is liberty. I don't read about millions of missionaries forceing natives to "convert of die" as islam teaches. "Cultural death"? well that is an Athiest term and Atheist are responsible for 160 Million deaths in this world. Rember Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot to start? And then this you speak of taking over countries puting puppet powers in place? Well have you ever heard of the 1922 invasion of Symrna where the Islamic Turks slaughtered hundred of thousands of Armenian Christians?

      April 2, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Dc mortimer

      Yep, I would agree and you...and... I would also include, the God of the 'fundamentalist' Christian's, yes...? In my opinion the Christian God is a real p-i-s-s-e-r with those that don't bow down and...'believe.'

      As I understand it for those that don't believe... maybe you are o.k. here on Earth, but... man, wa-tch out... after death, as apparently, just because you 'didn't believe'... it's 'sorry charlie'... you are to 'burn in the lake of fire' or hell ...'forever.' 😯

      But, yeah... I guess there are a lot of people that buy into that Christian God version of 'eternal torment' and punishment as being... well, o.k. Hmmm.... everyone is enti-tled to their opinion i realize, but... isn't there 'anyone' else out there that has a problem with that version of a supposedly eternally loving God, that will 'torture' us forever because we didn't believe... or is it just me...?

      Peace...

      April 2, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Gary

      Jordan, Atheism isn't the answer to your observation that all religions kill those who appose them. Atheist such as Stalin, Mae and Pol pot where Atheist and instead of a picture of Budha or Jesus hanging on the wall over the fireplace it was their picture and they killed millions for different reasons.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  20. Incontinentia Buttocks

    Islam ! ! ! I'm so afraid ! ! ! Muslims turned me into a newt ! ! ! Burn them ! ! !

    By the way, where would I go to see these scheming lurking muslim devils? I just don't ever run across any bomb-carrying taliban types. Is there some place I have to go to have them shove sharia down my throat? I personally have never run across any of them? It would really help my self-righteous indignation if I actually experienced it. The only muslims I see are more interested in selling me Jack Daniels, or driving me somewhere in a cab. And they never try to force sharia on me, though the liquor store guy does try to sell me beef jerky as well.

    April 2, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Hmmm

      Beef jerky is the devil's meat.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      As a snack, you just can't beat beef jerky. You just can't beat the devils meat.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • cass

      You could come to Aurora, Colorado wher the muslim and his father were caught before they blew Americans to kingdom come. Everyone thought they were just wonderful neighbors–yeah right.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Apparently, I must have missed the "fact" that TImmy McVeigh was Muslim.

      Oh, wait.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • norcalmojo

      Where would I go to see Americans burning muslims?

      April 2, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • David

      You go to the Middle East to see that norcalmojo.

      April 2, 2011 at 1:12 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.