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My Take: Which photo will bin Laden be remembered by?
Will bin Laden be remembered by the contemplative image used by newspapers this week?
May 5th, 2011
04:38 PM ET

My Take: Which photo will bin Laden be remembered by?

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Images matter.

They matter to Greek Orthodox Christians who see the power of God in icons. They matter to devotional Hindus for whom the key moment in worship — darshan, or “sacred seeing” — comes when you look an image of the divine in the eye.

So the question of whether to release the death photos of Osama bin Laden is not a trivial one. It affects how bin Laden will be remembered — as a shahid (martyr), as “a mass murderer of Muslims" (as President Obama called him on Sunday night) or as something else altogether.

I think the president's decision not to release photos of bin Laden’s corpse was a good one. In this era of digital photography and Photoshop, photographs do not prove much. And they prove nothing at all to conspiracy theorists.

So circulating a photograph of bin Laden bloodied by U.S. troops would almost certainly do more harm than good, not least by fueling the perception that the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks is a martyr for true Islam.

But the absence of a death photo does not mean there will not be photos to remember bin Laden by. In fact, the iconography already seems to be emerging, and, at least for me, it is troubling.

The Time magazine cover art of Bin Laden with a red X over his face, along the lines of Time's May 7, 1945, cover of Adolf Hitler X’ed out, presents a mug shot of sorts of the jihadist hero.

But the most commonly circulating photographic image seems to be the one that ran on the cover of the New York Daily News (under the headline “Rot in Hell!”) and the New York Post (under “Got Him!”).  It also appeared on the covers of the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner, and on many other covers worldwide.

While the Time mugshot shows bin Laden looking straight into an imagined camera, this other image depicts him, bearded and turbaned, looking off into the distance - perhaps out into the future, or toward God. The spirit of the image is contemplative rather than combative, and the mode is spiritual rather than militant, as if we are intruding on a private moment this man is having with his maker.

When I saw this image, I was reminded of another iconic image: Warner Sallman’s “Head of Christ.”

This image, which according to its publishers (Kriebel & Bates) has been reproduced more than 500 million times, depicts Jesus looking a bit farther to the side, but he, too, seems engaged in contemplation. Once again, we onlookers are made to feel that we have intruded on his private dealings with the divine.

The setting is more luminescent than in the bin Laden photo. In fact, the halo effect is unmistakable. But in both cases what we are witnessing is religious iconography reminiscent of Catholic images of the saints or Hindu images of the divine. I do not know why newspaper editors around the world are choosing to run this image, but their choices matter.

Iconic historical events always seem to produce iconic images. The killings at Kent State on May 4, 1970, will forever be remembered by John Paul Filo’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of a 14-year-old girl (Mary Vecchio) wailing over the corpse of a student (Jeffrey Miller).

The June 5, 1989, photo by Jeff Widener of the Associate Press of a man standing in front of a column of tanks in Tiananmen Square will forever symbolize that failed uprising in China.

How will we remember bin Laden? That depends on which image takes root in our collective imagination. For now, I am glad that the image of bin Laden is not one of him shot in the head by U.S. Special Forces. But I also hope it is not the image of a holy man who has dedicated his life to God.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Islam • Opinion • Osama bin Laden • Terrorism

soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. enlifykneenty

    перачытаў ўвесь блог, даволі нядрэнна

    June 5, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  2. Jcp988

    I'm am coming at Osama's death from a Christians perspective... I'm curious what every thinks. Here's a link to my thoughts on it: http://tiny.cc/0bvdv

    June 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  3. Muneef

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2CE0fyz4ys

    Old Investment was scapegoated for a new investment being created....!!!

    May 16, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  4. Mike

    Somewhere deep in the ocean, there is a shark taking a whiz on bin Laden. That's fun to think about.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  5. Mike

    HMM, what will be the image he is remembered by???

    For me, I will always remember the party the night he was killed. See ya Bin Laden, freaking murderer!

    May 11, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  6. Observer

    Frankly, I was curious about the Sallman painting. I clicked. OF Course, I have seen it a million times. But in the same breath I have to say that this is THE kitschiest cheesiest depiction of a historical Jesus. Whitewashed, brain washed WASPish imagery of western self belief. The face shows a slightly doped up hippy from Haight Asbury. The real Jesus, if..., was a semitic jewish carpenter's son, with the lines of a hard life carved into his face, by sun and sorrow. But so it goes, we believe what we want to believe. We believe we are made in the image of god (dark? yellow? off-white?), and western christians believe Jesus looked like them, because we want to look like our idol, so we shape our idol in the image of ourselves. See, it's a self serving loop. And compared to the thousands of images of Jesus of past artistic periods, this one is pale and stale.

    May 11, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  7. Muneef

    Funny story;

    Two little boys, ages 5 and 7, are excessively mischievous.
    They are always getting into trouble and their parents know if any mischief occurs in their town, the two boys are probably involved.

    The boys' mother heard that a preacher in town had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The preacher agreed, but he asked to see them individually.

    The mother sent the 5 year old in the morning, with the older boy to see the preacher in the afternoon. The preacher, a huge man with a deep booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, "Do you know where God is, son?"

    The boy's mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there wide-eyed with his mouth hanging open.So the preacher repeated the question in an even sterner tone, "Where is God?!
    Again, the boy made no attempt to answer. The preacher raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face and bellowed, "WHERE is GOD?!"

    The boy screamed & bolted from the room, ran directly home & dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him. When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked, "What happened?"

    The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied, "We are in BIG trouble this time!" "GOD is missing, and they think WE did it!"

    May 10, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  8. Muneef

    Think Americans should worry more about natural disasters and man made disasters that are sweeping the states one after another,which causes more damages than any attack made by any Enemy...American Muslims in the states are under the same danger treats of natural and man made disasters as you are...!!

    May 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  9. Muneef

    How Islam should be Judged?

    Before Islam they worship idols
    After worshiping the one absolute God
    Before Islam they didn’t know Jesus or Mary or any prophets
    After Islam who deny Jesus or Mary become blasphemer 
    Before no payers no charity no family relation 
    After Islam it become must 
    Before Islam us-u-ry and slavery adultery was common
    After Islam got forbidden
    Before Islam women has no value and all her property to her husband
    After Islam become her own she can do what she like within Islamic laws 
    Before Islam the girls-child were buried alive 
    After Islam no girls-child were buried alive
    Before Islam no laws or guidance to people
    After Islam established the laws or guidance to people( sharia)
    Before Islam tribes killing each others 
    After Islam they became brothers 
    Before Islam there was no education
    After Islam became must and first word came to Muhammad from the angle was (read)
    Before Islam no scientific study
    After Islam seculars in chemistry and math the no.1234 are Arabic and innovated the ZERO 
    Before Islam they were tribes 
    After Islam became empire from Spain to china 
    And More……. I cannot do it 

    The Big change in history done by ( illiterate ) prophet Muhammad peace be up on him brought the people from darkness to light , but most people killed by the pride they do not want to admitted . 

    Quran verses;
    40) And certainly We have repeated (warnings) in this Quran that they may be mindful, but it does not add save to their aversion. (41).

    (88) And certainly We have explained for men in this Quran every kind of similitude, but most men do not consent to aught but denying. (89).

    And certainly We have explained in this Quran every kind of example, and man is most of all given to contention. (54).

    Islam is most hated for forbidding (Us-u-r-y) and Slavery-1
    http://groups.google.com/group/uk-911-truth/browse_thread/thread/60ca035f7bd0f152

    Islam is most hated for forbidding (Us-u-r-y) and Slavery-2
    http://groups.google.com/group/total_truth_sciences/browse_thread/thread/1031db57c63ea8f4

    Islam is most hated for forbidding (Us-u-r-y) and Slavery-3
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/13280717/Us!u!r!y-and-the-Fight-Against-Economic-Slavery

    Islam is most hated for forbidding (Us-u-r-y) and Slavery-4
    http://www.slideshare.net/brighteyes/ancient-slavery-us!u!r!y-and-property-regimes

    From all that did you figure out who would hate and be in war with Islam for forbidding both for the connection between them.!? Use your brains and imagination to learn the truth, as those were the real infidels who are in war with God and his Apostles...and not those who submit to submission...
       
     

    May 9, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  10. rizvi

    what about Obama bin laden, what is the difference?

    May 9, 2011 at 5:40 am |
    • Reality

      bin Laden followed the koran, that book that dictates Islamic male domination of the world by any means and death to all infidels..

      Obama was elected amongst other things to continue our War on Terror and Horror much of which is today instigated by the koran and the imams of Islam.

      An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression)

      The terror and aggression via a Partial and Recent and Not So Recent Body Count

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,483 and 925 in non combat roles. 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      Other elements of our War on Terror and Aggression:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat, 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols will follow soon.

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.

      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      May 9, 2011 at 7:08 am |
  11. Iqbal khan

    And this too............

    C:\Users\Khan\Desktop\The Truth behind 9-11 Who Is Osama Bin Laden.mht

    May 7, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  12. Iqbal khan

    Check this out folks....

    C:\Users\Khan\Desktop\Top Government Insider Bin Laden Died In 2001, 9-11 False Flag Attack.mht

    May 7, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  13. Muneef

    Capital Punishment:
    When is it Justified?
    [5:33] The just retribution for those who fight GOD and His messenger, and commit horrendous crimes, is to be killed, or crucified, or to have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or to be banished from the land. This is to humiliate them in this life, then they suffer a far worse retribution in the Hereafter.

    Actually that what they did they killed him as having committed horrendous crimes and then banished him from lands into to Seas.

    So actually he should be remembered for being sentenced twice rather than once? Once being killed alive and the second being banished from land to Sea but dead...!

    May 7, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
  14. Muneef

    The Afghan war was the last major, genuine proxy war of the present millennium. In the initial stages, it was the US, which used Afghans, Pakistanis and Muslims from other countries for making the Soviet army bleed without losing American lives.

    As the casualties amongst the non-Muslim Slav soldiers steadily mounted causing misgivings about the wisdom of the war in the Russian region of the USSR, Moscow increasingly started replacing the Slav soldiers with Muslims sent from the Central Asian Republics and the Caucasian region.

    Thus, in the closing years of the war, the US and the USSR tried to undermine each other and promote their national interests and strategic objectives by making the Muslims the cannon-fodder.
    http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/%5Cnotes%5Cnote52.html

    May 7, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • Reality

      A summary of the War on Terror and Horror for Muneef's benefit:

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols will follow soon.

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.

      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      May 7, 2011 at 8:54 am |
  15. Muneef

    ‘Al-Qaeda is a U.S.-sponsored Intelligence Asset used to Justify War in the Middle East: Interview with Michel Chossudovsky
    The Use of 9/11 as a Pretext to Wage War
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=2769

    May 7, 2011 at 7:59 am |
  16. Shahid

    And the image of the US is a country which lies to the UN to get permission to attack Iraq and its leaders are mass murderers who killed thousands of innocent Iraqi and Afghani women and children.

    The image of US is of a country that steals into another country without respect for its sovereignty and kills an unarmed man in front of his wife and young children.

    Thank you America for showing the world your real picture which is more gruesome than the one withheld by Obama.

    May 7, 2011 at 4:45 am |
    • pete

      American is the shining light. We may do some stupid stuff sometimes but we are still better than the rest. If you live here, no one is making you stay. Go see if the grass is greener, i promise you it won't be.

      May 7, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Reality

      Shalid,

      Some history:

      Our War on Terror and Aggression:

      An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression)

      The terror and aggression via a Partial and Recent and Not to Recent Body Count

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,483 and 925 in non combat roles. 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      Other elements of our War on Terror and Aggression:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat, 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols will follow soon.

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.

      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on 5/1/2011.

      May 8, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • Mike

      I don't think we should have invaded Iraq either. But, are you saying you disagree with us killing bin Laden? If so, please leave the country as soon as possible.

      May 11, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  17. Muneef

    See what is being said to bring fear and hatred towards Islam ;
    http://www.projesus.com/pg/articles/arab2.pdf
    See how Islam was conspired against in it's own countries.
    http://www.al-islam.org/al-tawhid/arabnationalism.htm

    May 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • Reality

      Muneef,

      Please post the following on the doors of your mosque:

      SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:
      THERE NEVER WAS AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR

      SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
      THERE WAS AND NEVER WILL BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY

      SAVING 15.5 MILLION ORTHODOX FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
      ABRAHAM AND MOSES NEVER EXISTED.

      Added details upon request.

      May 8, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  18. Mark from Middle River

    Reality and Heavensent, ....were you both separated at birth?

    May 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Whoops .. Muneef... well I take that back .. all three 🙂

      May 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Muneef

      Mark.
      What's up friend you are fine I hope,wish you all the best.

      May 6, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • Muneef

      Reality is just like the story of the knight who was fighting the windmills..."Don ......." nice story it was but couldn't pronounce to write the name of him...

      May 7, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Muneef

      The knight Don Kishot.

      May 7, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
  19. Reality

    The image of bin Laden is the horrific photo of the Twin Towers falling in flames and smoke as 3000 precious lives are being crushed. Such koranic-driven horror and terror continues today and will so in the future unless the koran is either modernized or "deep-sixed" just as bin Laden thankfully was on 5/1/11.

    May 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Mateezy

      Reality wheres your stupid steps for curing Muslims? Forgot to save a copy so you can randomly paste them on every article related to religion? hahaha, your a piece of work. Blind and ignorant!

      May 6, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving Christians from the Resurrection Con:

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      Of course, we all know that angels are really mythical "pretty wingie talking thingies".

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      o An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,
      o p.4
      o "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."
      o p.168. by Ted Peters:
      1. Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      o So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      May 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  20. Muneef

    freedom of speech and human rights ?!

    So it is that you either you write what they would like to hear,read otherwise if you are not a hypocrite as should then better watch it out to what you say if you had any believe of such human rights and freedoms!

    With out you know it, helicopters or thugs landing on your roof top or at your house back yard shooting you dead then throw you in a bag off a helicopter into the Sea with out being heard...!? Any wise family men should be stopping any writing on blogs or just keep your feelings and views for your self to be safe....!! 

    May 6, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving Muneef from bowing to Mecca five times a day is priceless. ( As posted on the doors of a local mosque )

      SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:

      THERE NEVER WAS AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR

      May 6, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Muneef

      [6:125] Whomever GOD wills to guide, He renders his chest wide open to Submission. And whomever He wills to send astray, He renders his chest intolerant and straitened, like one who climbs towards the sky*. GOD thus places a curse upon those who refuse to believe.

      May 6, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • ScottK

      "GOD thus places a curse upon those who refuse to believe." So what you are saying is that for those who want to believe he makes himself accessable, but to those who do not want to believe they are cursed and will not find him? So what about those who were gullable enough to want to believe at first but then later were wise enough to see through the deception and no longer believe? I guess they were not cursed until they were cursed, right? Sounds more like a very good car salesman "If you want a great deal I will make you the best deal ever!! But your'e still not allowed to see the dealer price, for you may curse..."

      May 6, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • SupremeAmerican

      LoL fun time is now.
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjW8SWuyuvs&w=640&h=390]

      May 7, 2011 at 3:14 am |
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About this blog

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