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May 27th, 2011
10:12 AM ET

Imam fights street crime with mosque fight club

Editor's Note: This piece comes from a new CNN special “Stories: Reporter.” Tune in Saturday at 7:30PM EDT to see the full story.

By Eric Marrapodi, Dan Lothian, Chris Turner & Tom Foreman, CNN

Philadelphia (CNN) - Listen to the FBI and you will know that violent crime dropped over almost the whole country last year; murder, aggravated assault, forcible rape. Listen to people in some parts of Philadelphia and you will know that the Northeast is not part of that trend. Here the numbers keep climbing.

Violence comes to their streets as surely as sunset. Abandoned houses share corners with makeshift memorials to victims; often young men who get caught up in events they don't anticipate and can't escape.

"Around here it's not every safe to walk up the streets," one kid said. "Someone could come up to you and start shooting at you for no reason; just 'cause you're from that 'hood."

That is why Imam Suetwidien Muhammad chose this place to start hitting back.

"I came up in this neighborhood," he said sitting in the morning sun on the steps of a former plumbing supply warehouse. "This neighborhood was averaging six murders a month. There was a lot of violence, a lot of trash. We needed to bring about change."

So 10 years ago he started Masjid Muhammad of Philadelphia, a mosque in the old rundown warehouse. As he sat and explained how the mosque had grown to 500 members, workers above him pushed and slapped stucco into the three story stone facade above him. They started by fixing up the inside so people could have a safe place to come and pray.

Congregants said the place perennially smells like fresh paint because the imam is always busy fixing or improving something.

Inside the doors from what was once the plumbing supply loading dock are a small deli, a barber shop, a hair salon, a restaurant and a sprawling prayer space. But Imam Muhammad's pride and joy is upstairs, above the worship space; a boxing gym where the children of the neighborhood come every day.

"It's so unusual that we come under a lot of fire from even a lot of Muslims," he said. "Muslims will say, 'Muslims aren't supposed to engage in boxing.' They'll say, 'You are not supposed to hit a person in the face.'"

He smiles and points out that the gym is named after one of the most famous Muslims in the world: Muhammad Ali. "I don't look at it as such a violent thing, and I know the real violence is in guns and weapons and different things that happen in our community."

The young boxers are a range of ages. Some were raised Muslim, some Christian, some follow no faith, but all are welcome. The lessons are free and not just about boxing. Imam Muhammad talks endlessly about discipline, respect, education and commitment; about young people turning into responsible adults.

He knows all too well that just outside the doors others are pushing different messages, about gangs and drugs, and young boxers must run the gauntlet to come train. So he wants to get good habits established early.

"We don't have a lot of time to waste," he said. "When you come into this gym, this is where serious stuff starts. We want their commitments to be serious. We want them to be serious parents. And it all starts here."

Certainly, boxers like Jeremiah Kendrick take it seriously, if only because it gives him a safe harbor. "I'd rather be here than standing outside. You know how Philly is; the crime rate and everything. If I can avoid getting shot at and fighting I'll avoid that anytime of the day."

The snap of leather gloves on the heavy bag rings out. A steady thump from jumping rope hits the floor.

Worshippers can hear the sparring overhead as they pray their five prayers a day below, but the gym is something of a natural fit. Imam Muhammad was an amateur boxer who weathered almost a hundred fights, winning the vast majority, before hanging up his gloves. He was 88-8.

"I probably lost three times and was probably robbed five times," he said with a broad smile.

Philadelphia itself has a rich heritage of boxing that dates back well into the 1800s, producing champions such as Sonny Liston and Joe Frazier. But boxing clubs are closing. A few miles down the road, Frazier's famed gym is padlocked. On the faded concrete you can still see the outline of the letters that once hung above its door.

As he watches his young proteges jab and duck, swing and move, Imam Muhammad makes no apologies. He says he hears the critics, but he has seen too many young men walk in full of troubles and headed for more. "My hope for them is that they will immediately turn their life around."

He knows this is the fight of his life, and theirs too.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Leaders • Muslim • Pennsylvania • Prayer • United States

soundoff (398 Responses)
  1. Ron

    I don't need them to fight street crime. I need them to infiltrate terrorist organizations and feed law enforcement intel. Anything less than that is useless and dishonest.

    May 28, 2011 at 5:57 am |
    • Alex

      Unless u r sitting in Afghanistan, STFU! Atleast they are doing something unlike you sitting on your a.s.s

      May 28, 2011 at 6:07 am |
    • Derrique

      Now we're talking!! =)

      May 28, 2011 at 10:00 am |
  2. BG

    No, I had it in file.

    May 28, 2011 at 2:51 am |
  3. Russ K

    Philadelphia AND Muslim boxers?

    I smell a Will Smith movie in the making. Executive producer: Sylvester Stallone

    May 28, 2011 at 2:26 am |
  4. Yousef Eshmawi

    I get amazed. Life passes by so fast. If you're willing to consider the possibility that Islam is the last reminder from the Divine before the Day of Judgement aren't and you haven't gone to a local book store and purchased a translated Quran, aren't you at least curious to see and consider what the Creator of the universe has to say to you in retrospect of all history to date and everything to come before the final Resurrection? I think we all get attached to what we've grown up with a know, and although Judaism and Christianity are real past messages it's like insisting to use old technology, it's very much out of date. "If Moses was here, he would put down the Torah, and pick up the Quran." that's something the Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him said.

    May 28, 2011 at 1:24 am |
    • Joe

      The future is atheism, not another imaginary Sky Daddy. When's the last time an atheist crashed a jetliner, waged war, or blew themselves up because of their beliefs?

      May 28, 2011 at 1:35 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      -> "...the possibility that Islam is the last reminder from the Divine before the Day of Judgement aren't and you haven't gone to a local book store and purchased a translated Quran, aren't you at least curious to see..."

      I will the day all the Muslims go to a book store and purchase and read the Book of Mormon the testament of Jesus Christ.

      ... Yousef, aren't you interested in the most recent text in the Abrahamic faiths?

      May 28, 2011 at 1:35 am |
    • aswanishome

      I have read the quran and I'm actually saddened that our people keep promoting these teachings. I read somewhere (else) that you'll know a tree by its fruit and the harvest from Islam has been death, enslavement of women, child marriage and countless atrocities – all of them endorsed by this book. I don't want virgins for murder, I don't want boys with teeth as white as pearls, etc. I want to live my life, be a good person, lead by example and let others make their choice. Having lived in the ME, I know that Islam tolerates no others and slowly strangles anything around it. Perhaps you should evaluate it again. God will be more pleased if we actually seek him and not follow the lies of a man that preached hatred of others, preached lying in God's service is okay, set an example by marrying an 8-year old, reaches across time to inspire the murder of non-believers, tells us to enslave our women, etc. God will be much more pleased if we make a single journey to find him and let others do the same. Please, no more lies here or elsewhere.

      May 28, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • Pooky the Profit-Prophet

      @MfMR
      How can you say that ?
      I was the last time She revealed herself to mankind. An angel, named Gabriel, came flying in through the window, and sat next to me at the bar last night, and kept buying me drinks, and told me I was very cute. A sacred orgiastic rite ensued. It was quite the revelation, let me tell you. At least she told me she was a ..... oh wait ?

      May 28, 2011 at 2:51 am |
    • JR

      I've read three different translations from Arabic scholars of the Koran and I'm not impressed. I had the opposite reaction. If Moses read that book he would say something like 'hey, they stole my stuff'. To me it looks like he took some of the substance from Judiasim and Christianity, played with it like silly putty and added things.

      May 28, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • Derrique

      I think your meds are outdated. Nobody cares about your BS, and nobody is going to convert to that garbage. ESPECIALLY on a CNN forum. Any religion that looks for 'God' in their poo already sounds crazy. Just don't get mad and blow me up for saying that, please.

      May 28, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • You'reInteresting

      ...Atheists don't have beliefs. You can't blow something up for something that doesn't exist. The lack of these beliefs, however, is likely a contributing factor to many of history's a holes. You think, if Kim Jong-Il was Christian, that he'd be a communist dictator? Or Stalin? Or Mao?

      I love how everyone on CNN so passionately hates religion. It's really very sweet. I guess if you're an idiot, it's best to try to group yourself with people who actually intelligent like Stephen Hawking in order to try to fool people. That must be why.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:39 am |
  5. Jane

    RIP macko man rhandy savange u will b mist.may the angles sing to u and take u tto that ring in the great clouds 4ever.
    1938-1011

    May 28, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • BG

      1938-1011

      Steroid-induced time travel?

      May 28, 2011 at 1:22 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      oooh yeahh !!!!

      RIP

      May 28, 2011 at 2:03 am |
    • OH YEAH!!

      No rapture on my watch! Jesus, I'm coming to take you out, Oh yeah!!!

      RIP

      May 28, 2011 at 6:29 am |
  6. Bannister

    But if there was a group of White Nationalists who boxed, fought crime and cleaned up their neighborhood, would CNN do a positive story on them?

    Think about it.

    May 27, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • Kazi

      CNN should do a story on them. It does not matter what your beliefs are, as long as your beliefs lead you to do good things and fight against crime.

      May 28, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • Sweetenedtea

      Not sure how your question is relevant - I see no mention of racial nationalism in this article - but given the historical propensity of "white nationalism" toward hate, bigotry and the advocation of violence and discrimination against non-whites, it's seriously unlikely that a positive story without incredible negatives would come out of any such organization.

      May 28, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      -> "The young boxers are a range of ages. Some were raised Muslim, some Christian, some follow no faith, but all are welcome. "

      Bannister, will the White Nationalists do the same. I am imagining the klan teaching little Jewish, African American and Hispanic children how to box. 😀

      May 28, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Peace2All

      @MMR

      LOL...! Now THAT was funny ...!!! 😀

      Peace...

      May 28, 2011 at 1:46 am |
    • Usama

      White supremacists are not the same as Muslims–Muslims don't want to wipe out anyone who is not a Muslim or who is not white.

      May 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  7. A. Navi

    I'm a moslem and i think lots of you don't know nothing but how to say bad things about anything not because u read and you know what u talking about but mostly hate for others. i fear some of you get paid for the job well done here. lots of people know its nothing but punch of guys have nothing in life but open their mouth at anything like dogs barking but the caravan keeps on going . do something better . what someone can do to make you guys believe that yes there are good guys out there whom do good ?? that's all.

    May 27, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Were you going to post an answer to that puzzle, or do we just draw diagonal lines until we figure out which words go in which direction ?

      May 28, 2011 at 1:03 am |
    • husseina

      I was a moslem, too. Someone told me to do nothing but read the koran for what it was. I did and I was less than impressed. They then told me to look around me and see the results of forced servitutde to the koran. I did and was very sad. Does this mean that other religions are perfect – certainly not. But, they aspire to perfection by starting with a lesson of perfection. Islam starts with a violent message and the message that anything is alright as long as it promotes Islam. It also says that the things forbidden as evil in this life are somehow rewards in the next life. It was hard to come to this point for me, especially when Islam says to bow and chant 5 times a day. No deity would be served by this useless exercise, but it does keep overriding any other independent thought process, isn't that the purpose. Long story short, my wife and I left Islam. And the people that encouraged us to find the truth at the mosque and in our families? They treated us viciously from a social and employment perspective. But we perservered, left and now work with others to leave. Moslems like to point to the growth of their followers, but it doesn't please any God in heaven to see people brought to him by intimidation at the point of a sword. For those of my brothers reading this and questioning Islam, I say continue your search.

      May 28, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • hajji

      husseina that is one of the best comments I have ever seen in my life.
      thank you very much!

      May 28, 2011 at 3:38 am |
    • Derrique

      Oh, geez. Another deranged towel-head, speaking in tongues. Is there a translator in the form??

      May 28, 2011 at 10:07 am |
  8. OneandOnly

    (1) Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful; (Chapter #4, Verse #36)

    May 27, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • Derrique

      Sounds like a '10 Commandments' knockoff.

      May 28, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  9. Muneef

    That was a very Good intentioned act and hope more Mosques and Church's adopt such practice intended to clean the neighborhood and streets from such filthy acts and crimes... My best wishes to those good intentioned...

    May 27, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Agreed!

      May 27, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Muneef

      Well said...! Also, I hope that you are staying -safe- in the 'low-lands' of Yemen away from the bombs...?

      Be safe...

      Peace...

      May 27, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • kanon

      @ Fantasy...oh I mean "Reality"
      Do you have anything better to do than troll these boards?

      May 27, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • baller23

      @reality: It's ironic that your name is reality, and the only thing that comes out of your mouth is nonsense.

      May 27, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • SayWhaaa!!

      Reality Your life is so sad.

      May 27, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Muneef

      May God guide us all to the path of the righteous...Amen

      May 28, 2011 at 7:48 am |
  10. Zeb

    @BuckyBall – As this is a WordPress blog, (which they don't really go out of their way to let you know), the information about what smilies work here is located here:

    en.support.wordpress.com/smilies/

    You can try different ones but I think you'll find that only the ones listed on the wordpress site are the only ones that actually work here.
    They could change this, of course, but then we'd be inundated with all sorts of bouncing smilies, etc. used by any kid who wanted to have fun with that.
    Yet they are not unwilling to make the occasional attempt at progress, so if you were to pay them enough money they might change everything for smiley-afficianados like us...

    May 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      As this is the Belief Blog, all In can say is : "Bless you" .

      🙂

      May 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Zeb

      ATCHOO!

      May 27, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @BG David Johnson doesn't need to take any courses! He could write the definitive book! Indeed, even as a child, he could make a roomful of pre-9/11 Manhattanites go silent with amazement at his skill. He was what is known as a "prenoxious child".

      Ok, ok. I'm just using the opening that BG gave me to work in a hilarious neologism my brother spontaneously came up with while discussing Saul Kripke's self-hagiographic childhood memories as recounted in the NY TImes magazine many a moon ago. (For those wondering, Saul Kripke is a philosopher whose one truly preCOCIOUS feat was to publish a proof of the completeness of modal logic as a teenager. Another, actually on topic idea he had a s a young kid that he seemed really proud of but whcih is actually quite stupid is that if god is everywhere, you push a bit of god out of the room when you enter. Um, if god is EVERYWHERE, that means EVERYWHERE, not just everywhere that nobody is current situated. Yeesh.)

      May 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Wow, my latest post sure ended up in a strange place!

      May 27, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @John Richardson

      LOL...!!! No worries -John, it has happened to the best of us. When it happens we usually just spout some 'quantum theory' reason as to the 'why' and then re-post it in the appropriate place and move on. 🙂

      You still can find us down below and re-post if you like.

      Peace brother....

      May 27, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Peace2All! Every time I try to repost, I get a message from the blog that I "already said that". Hey, no friggin' kidding I already said that! I just want to say it in the right PLACE!!!!!!!

      May 27, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • BG

      @ John Richardson

      Actually, I didn't give -you- an 'opening,' and I especially wouldn't encourage you using it for all that convoluted drivel.

      May 27, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @John Richardson

      Ahhh.. yes. Had that one happen too. The filter typically won't re-post if you have said it already once or sometimes twice. So you have to change it.

      Try doing this: Hit the 'back' button and go back to your post and (change a couple of words or some of the verbiage slightly).

      That 'should' do it.

      Let's see how that goes.

      Peace...

      May 27, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • BG

      @ John R. & Peace

      Or simply make a minor change to your text and re-post to get around the 'repeat' filter.

      May 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @BG And you think David Johnson is obnoxious?

      May 27, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • BG

      @ John Richardson

      Sorry. Here you go.

      http://girlygirlsurvivalguide.blogspot.com/2010/11/how-to-heal-bruised-ego.html

      All better?

      You need to understand a big difference between David and I. Dave will do his best to insult, discredit and demean the -individual- for what he perceives as personality faults and character weaknesses secondary to 'believing' in any deities of choice.

      I, conversely, will simply offer up my opinion on what you're saying without proffering editorial on your intrinsic value. So just shake it off, Rocky; slather on some Icy Hot and get back out there.

      May 27, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • Zeb

      @BG – You should know better than to say something nasty like that about David Johnson. He's not rude.
      Really, you've seen rude and it wasn't him. It was probably me. Remember that time you thought David and I were the same person? And you thought I worked for CNN? Do you remember those good old days?
      Could it be that you are having some sort of brain fart?
      David is a cheerful guy who rarely calls names or stuff like that. You are doing him a disservice by painting him in a false light. Shame on you. Whatever is up your butt needs to pack up and go home for the weekend. David has a gift. You have a gift. Yours isn't working right now. That means you should wait until you have something better to say.
      Seriously.

      May 28, 2011 at 1:12 am |
    • Quantum Gravitational Fluctuation

      @Peace2all
      THAT'S right ! Your posts actually go to every possible place, in every possible universe, and then end up going in a wave function...oh never mind. Hey I just had a three way, (not THAT), with Bucky and FP, and looky what Zeby taught us !
      :twisted::evil::roll:

      May 28, 2011 at 1:14 am |
    • Quantum Gravitational Fluctuation

      👿 🙄

      May 28, 2011 at 1:18 am |
    • Peace2All

      @QGF

      Yep... -Zeb is the man when it comes to these things. He taught us the sacred knowledge long ago. Then he was known as -Sum Dude.

      Peace...

      May 28, 2011 at 1:29 am |
    • BG

      @ Zeb

      Rather than stumbling down memory lane why don't you offer to buy an actual girl a drink rather than changing your beer from your left hand to your right?

      May 28, 2011 at 1:33 am |
    • Zeb

      @BG – Nope. Still not working. Try again.

      May 28, 2011 at 2:05 am |
    • Special Snowflake

      *yawn*

      May 28, 2011 at 2:08 am |
    • Zeb

      @Quantum – I had to laugh there. Thanks. Quantum indeterminacy must have messed up your smileys in an indeterminate manner or something along those lines. 😀

      May 28, 2011 at 2:12 am |
    • Quantum Gravitational Fluctuation

      Exactly. But please don't open the box. I'm out of cat food, and Snuffy is better off in his quantum state.

      May 28, 2011 at 2:31 am |
    • JohnR

      @BG I never went anywhere, kid, and wouldn't even considering leaving because of just because some ill humored oldby happened to stop back.

      May 28, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  11. Frogist

    Good for you, Imam Muhammad! It's always impressive to me when people do even little things to help those in need. You're doing something big. Giving kids a place where they are safe and taking in all comers. Sometimes a little structure and a little caring is all that is required to make real worthwhile change for the good. I wish you and you rmasjid all the very best.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  12. David Johnson

    @Steve(the whatever)

    The bible does indeed teach crazy things. Things that are not true.

    God created Adam from a handful of dirt; Talking snakes; trees that bear fruit, that imparts knowledge and eternal life; a global flood, that required a pair of each organism on earth, be stuffed onto a boat; people who lived hundreds of years; a man who was swallowed by a fish, only to be spit up 3 days later, unhurt; a tower god was afraid might reach heaven; a woman who is turned into a pillar of salt; talking donkeys; unicorns; satyrs; a leviathan god creates and then does battle with; a zombie messiah, who was actually god incarnate; zombie Saints who left their graves and wandered about the town; belief in a circular, flat earth you could fall off the edge of.

    LOL! Believers believe the Darndest Things!

    Cheers!

    Cheers!

    May 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      That's why we are called those "of" Faith you silly Atheist 🙂

      May 27, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  13. Steve (the real one)

    The first rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club! Do you not see the movie, Sheech!

    May 27, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Frogist

      LOL@Steve! I was waiting for someone to say it!

      May 27, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Zeb

      @Steve – I, too, was waiting for someone to say it, but since I have yet to see the movie, I did not feel qualified this time...

      May 27, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  14. Rainer Braendlein

    Answer to Stevie7:

    Everbody goes where he wants to go. Heaven is the place of God's presence. People, don't get to heaven, are simply people, saying: I don't want to live together with Jesus Christ. Jesus just accepts the will of the people. Condemned are solely wicked people like mean people. Imagine a man, who gave you no food, when you were hungry.

    Compare Bible and Koran directly, just read both books. What's written in the Bible cannot be invented by human beings, this are no human thoughts, but divine thoughts. What's written in the Bible MUST come from above, because the thoughts are very high and sometimes beyond reason. The Koran is very awkward and you feel it, when you read it. The Koran is somewhat "gloomy" and boring, that's just a matter of fact.

    The Bible contains every doctrine, we need for now and for ever. Basically historical events take place according to not changing principles. There is nothing new beneath the sun. It is just that our modern world has become a little faster by automation. Thus, the biblical doctrine is fully sufficient even for today and there is no need for new divine revelation.

    Your last statement is false. It is not possible, to call into question the good message of the Bible by single verses.

    May 27, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "What's written in the Bible cannot be invented by human beings, this are no human thoughts, but divine thoughts."

      This is merely your opinion. Many others (most others, since most of the world isn't Christian) have a different opinion. It is fully possible, and actually quite plausible, that everything was written by humans.

      And you claim my last statement is false by saying: "It is not possible, to call into question the good message of the Bible by single verses."
      So, by that measure, stoning disobedient children is a good thing? And the whole noah's ark thing – killing innocent children for the sake of a mulligan is a good thing? What about killing all of the first born of egypt – also a good thing (you'd think an all powerful god could have freed the jews without slaughtering infants)? Do you want me to list others? Where is this "good message"? that you only get into the exclusive heaven club if you worship some wrathful, violent deity? Otherwise you get to suffer for all of eternity? Wow. Some god.

      And the Koran is boring? What – you find mindless amounts of genealogy to be riveting?

      " the Bible MUST come from above, because the thoughts are very high and sometimes beyond reason." I'll ignore the 'beyond reason part for the moment – but the followers of just about every single religion would say the exact same thing about their text and the same criticism you give to the Koran they would give to the bible. Why is your text so much more special?

      And again, which bible are yo ureferring to? The catholics, who's bible has more books, would say that their additional texts are needed, while the protestants would say they are not. Not sure how to reconcile that with your claim that, "The Bible contains every doctrine, we need for now and for ever" – because whatever you claim, many Christians will claim otherwise.

      May 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Rainer Braendlein

      You said: "What's written in the Bible cannot be invented by human beings, this are no human thoughts, but divine thoughts. What's written in the Bible MUST come from above, because the thoughts are very high and sometimes beyond reason."

      I could quote verses from the bible, concerning slavery, human sacrifice, fear of women's genitals, flat earth, zombies, etc. The bible is indeed an invention of humans.

      Cheers!

      May 27, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      @David Johnson

      Wait ... the world ISN'T flat?!?!

      May 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • JohnR

      People don't "choose" to go to hell. They choose not to believe in something as uncompelling as christianity. For lots of people, the issue of what is for them an exotic religion doesn't even arise. Your beliefs are repugnant and I'd hate to see YOU indoctrinating kids.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      The people in Jesus' time believed the earth was flat. They believed the earth was flat, with a dome over it, which contained the sun, moon and stars. God was thought to live in Heaven above the dome.

      So much for biblical wisdom.

      The bible reflects the morals and knowledge of ancient man. Not a god.

      Look at all the denominations of Christianity there are (~ 34,000). Each denomination can show you scripture, that "proves" they alone, understand the wants of Jesus/god.

      All of the denominations could not be correctly interpreting the bible. Many are contradictory.
      Many of these denominations believe only their members will be saved.

      If the Christian god exists, and He is all knowing and all powerful and all good, why didn't He provide a bible that could not be misinterpreted? That everyone's comprehension of His wants would be the same?

      ambiguity – a word or expression that can be understood in two or more possible ways : an ambiguous word or expression.

      1. If the Christian god exists, He would want everyone to know His wants, without ambiguity.
      Otherwise, what would be the point of god supplying man with a book of His will?

      2. The bible god provided, is ambiguous.
      This fact is evidenced by there being 34,000 different denominations of Christianity.

      3. Therefore, the Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Cheers!

      May 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • ScottK

      "because the thoughts are very high and sometimes beyond reason." I think maybe you meant to say "because the authors were very high and sometimes beyond reason." ... They did like to hotbox the tabernacle back then...

      May 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Rainier: The bible is the word of god because the Quran is boring? Did I get that right? Billions of muslims might disagree...

      May 27, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      @Squirrel-Bejesus
      Fluffy has granted you, for your very kind words yesterday, and your pleasant cowering, an extra syllable.
      Enjoy your weekend, it should be a great time for rodent golf.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Bejesus

      @Fluffy,

      Well, since you know that atheism is a religion at all, me and some of the other rodents were thinking instead engaging in one of my favorite sports: no golf. You're welcome to join.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • SayWhaaa!!

      The Bible was written by humans. Whatever man I really don't care what Americans, christians, jews, hindus think of Islam anymore. Your hate will never end.

      May 27, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      @Juggling Squirrel-Bejesus
      Fluffy got a hole-in-one in Wii golf today. Fluffy was very happy. That probably counts as : no-golf.

      May 28, 2011 at 3:17 am |
  15. JohnR

    They better get some MMA in there if they are serious about self defense.

    May 27, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @JohnR

      Agreed... I have done quite a bit of MMA.

      Peace brother...

      May 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • JohnR

      Yo Peace! So maybe YOU should start a gym for self-defense. I'd rather see kids learning from you than from the imam OR people like Rainer.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @JohnR

      Thanks -John... I appreciate your vote of confidence.

      Peace brother...

      May 27, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Zeb

      @Peace2All – We'd all vote for you if you ran for office too. 😀

      May 27, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Zeb

      LOL...!!! 🙂

      Peace...

      May 27, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • BG

      @ Peace

      If you do start your own fight club please don't go all Ed Norton (his character was never given a name) on us ! 👿

      May 27, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @BG

      -BG !!! 🙂

      Where have you been, my friend...? Or... has the 'man of many names' been posting here under a different moniker, and i didn't catch ya' this time...?

      No worries bro... I promise 'not' to go all Ed Norton ! LOL...

      Peace brother...

      May 27, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • BG

      @ Peace

      Nope – I was coerced into taking my wife's -advice- (it really wasn't advice, per se) to 'get a life' and do some home renovations. Things are interesting in here lately, 'eh? Is Zeb another incarnation of Sum Dude? Has David Johnson been taking graduate courses in 'Advanced Obnoxiousness' ? And a plethora of 'Steves' and long-winded folks with names I can't pronounce...

      Whew. Can't believe I've knocked-around in here for almost a year now. How about it? Was it last August? And you've been at it since, what, May? Happy Anniversary!

      As far as this article is concerned I guess I can only draw on my childhood experiences learning boxing at the "Y" (which also sponsored events for the old AAU.) As long as the kids aren't being subjected to the Salat, then wth. It's more important that they're off the street.

      However, if there's "prayer time" involved at the end of each lesson....

      May 27, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • BG

      @ Peace

      I almost forgot my old flame, Frogist. It seems that she was away for a while too; nice to see her back in form.

      May 27, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @BG

      I understand the -wife- giving advice situation...LOL.

      Yeah... things have been pretty interesting as there are a 'plethora' of newbies... some with 'very' long-winded names that I can't pronounce either.

      Yes... -Zeb a.k.a. -Sum Dude is back on as his internet was apparently down for awhile. Very good to have him back on here. Also, yes, you are correct, -Frogist is back and starting to post again.

      I think you are right... It was May or April, but yep... been a year + I guess for me, and August for you. Not sure yet if this is a good thing that I want to admit or not (being on this 'crazy' -belief- blog), but wth.

      As for the article...of course, I agree with you.

      Take care, my friend... hope to see ya' back on here a bit more.

      I miss your sharp postings and your wicked sense of humor...!! 🙂

      Peace brother...

      May 27, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
  16. Reality

    Well intentioned is Imam Suetwidien Muhammad but his religion's history and theology are seriously flawed as is the history and theology of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Paganism and Judaism.

    May 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  17. Peace2All

    From the Article:

    "The young boxers are a range of ages. Some were raised Muslim, some Christian, some follow no faith, but all are welcome. The lessons are free and not just about boxing. Imam Muhammad talks endlessly about discipline, respect, education and commitment; about young people turning into responsible adults."

    Taking this article and for discussion's sake Mr. Suetwidien Muhammad at his word, I believe that for someone to help teach and educate these youth on the absolute importance of: education, discipline, commitment, responsibility and respect is helping to provide a valuable service to these kids at an early age. Possibly to help set and keep them focused on a path to living a happy, healthy, productive life.

    I applaud this man and his efforts to make a difference in the lives of some of Philadelphia's youth.

    Peace...

    May 27, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Zeb

      If he is not indoctrinating them in his religion, then I too support his efforts to help kids learn how to focus and defend themselves. Quite a departure from my regular rants, I must say! 😯
      (hay bro! I hope you are well. The editors are giving us some mellow articles I see. A nice change, but I have been without internet for weeks so I may be wrong about that...) 😛

      May 27, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • Zeb

      I should add that I think the guy should offer other types of martial arts as well. And provide them with helmets to protect their heads from the crazy stuff going on in this world.... 😛

      May 27, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Chicken Little

      I just hope none of these kids is EVER left alone with any clergy person, no matter their stripe, or it leaves open the possibility that what happened in Atlanta, on the other board, will again happen here. Parents YOU are responsible for your kids, ALL the time.

      May 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      One could say, the Imam preaches the law. But here begins the big problem of mankind. We are not able to keep the law, because we are bound by the original sin. The more we solely hear the law, the more we get desperated about ourselves. The more we try to do the law, the more we notice our live is contrary to the law. Who will save us from this body of sin? Thank God, there is a Redeemer: God's only begotten Son, called Jesus from Nazareth. The Koran doesn't provide a Redeemer, the Bible povides a Deliverer.

      May 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Zeb

      🙄

      May 27, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @zeb

      LOL...!! -zeb... really...? 🙂 LOL...!!! Hey, good friend, how are you...? 😯 Thanks for letting me know it's you.

      Sorry, to hear that you have been without internet. We have missed you here.

      So, hope that you have been well...?

      And, as for the article, yes, you know I'm all about the MMA.

      Peace brother...

      May 27, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Rainer Braendlein
      You said: "One could say, the Imam preaches the law. But here begins the big problem of mankind. We are not able to keep the law, because we are bound by the original sin. The more we solely hear the law, the more we get desperated about ourselves. The more we try to do the law, the more we notice our live is contrary to the law. Who will save us from this body of sin? Thank God, there is a Redeemer: God's only begotten Son, called Jesus from Nazareth. The Koran doesn't provide a Redeemer, the Bible povides a Deliverer."

      Hmm... But, evolution accounts for the diversity of organisms on the planet. The creation story is a myth. No talking snake. No trees that bore knowledge and eternal life.

      There is tons of evidence for evolution.

      If the creation story was just a myth, then there was no Adam and Eve.

      If there was no Adam and Eve, then there was no original sin.

      If there was no original sin, then there was no need of a redeemer.

      If there was no redeemer, then Christianity is based on a false premise.

      Cheers!

      May 27, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Rainer Braendlein

      Hi -Rainer...

      You Said: "One could say, the Imam preaches the law. But here begins the big problem of mankind. We are not able to keep the law, because we are bound by the original sin. The more we solely hear the law, the more we get desperated about ourselves. The more we try to do the law, the more we notice our live is contrary to the law. Who will save us from this body of sin? Thank God, there is a Redeemer: God's only begotten Son, called Jesus from Nazareth. The Koran doesn't provide a Redeemer, the Bible povides a Deliverer."

      I'm really curious here... what does your posting have to do with the good things that this man is attempting to instill and offer to these young people...?

      Respect, Education, Responsibility, Commitment, Discipline, etc... Whether you agree with Islam, really has -nothing- to do with the service that apparently he is providing to these kids.

      So... Rainer... what am I missing here from your post...? Or, did you just want to continue to proselytize your belief in Christianity...? Something else...?

      Sincerely curious...

      Regards,

      Peace...

      May 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @Zeb,
      Howdy. There are a few of us here who would like to learn to use and make emoticons, as you do, especially the animated ones. Would you be willing to share where you learned that ?

      May 27, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Bucky Ball

      Hey -Bucky...

      -Zeb is one of the people that i was referring you too concerning the emoticons.

      Peace brother...

      May 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Zeb
      If he is not indoctrinating them in his religion, then I too support his efforts to help kids learn how to focus and defend themselves.
      -----–
      You do realize it is a gym at a mosque and not the YMCA, right?

      May 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Sorry, sometimes I cannot avoid to express my convictions. What I wanted to say is the following: Preaching the law (respect, education ...) is not enough and not sufficient. We need someone, who gives us the power to keep the law. That is a matter of daily experience. And "regretably" our daily experience is according to the biblical message. We actually don't need the Bible, in order to realize that we need deliverance. The Bible just names the Deliverer.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @Steve: "You do realize it is a gym at a mosque and not the YMCA, right?"
      ---------
      And? As long as he's not making lessons on the Koran or Islam part of his program, who cares? If he's protecting kids, from the streets and themselves, why is this possibly a bad thing?

      May 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Steve(the real one)

      In your post to @Zeb, responding to my post... Are you suggesting or inferring that teaching kids these valuable life skills and lessons in a Mosque automatically= Islamic Indoctrination...?

      Regards,

      Peace...

      May 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Stevie7
      And? As long as he's not making lessons on the Koran or Islam part of his program, who cares? If he's protecting kids, from the streets and themselves, why is this possibly a bad thing?
      -----
      My point is it is a Mosque! Do you really expect him to say nothing about his faith? I am not saying that is what he is doing, I am just saying it is to be expected. I said nothing about saving his community being a bad thing, it is a great thing! Perhaps you misunderstood me. I wouldn't expect a religious lesson at the YMCA but I would at a mosque. That is all I'm saying!

      May 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      What the Imam does, is not a bad thing, but not enough. Imagine a burning house. In this situation you don't need someone who tells you, the fire should be put out, but you need someone who puts the fire out. Everbody tells me, put the fire out, but who really helps me to put out the blaze.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Peace2All
      In your post to @Zeb, responding to my post... Are you suggesting or inferring that teaching kids these valuable life skills and lessons in a Mosque automatically= Islamic Indoctrination...?
      Regards,
      Peace...
      -------
      What I am saying is it could be expected for the Iman to say something like" according to my faith, we deal with this issue in this manner....". I'm not saying it is Indoctrination, just saying he could give practical examples of how he deals with issues with his faith. I talk about my faith on this blog all the time. It is indoctrination? He may tell to to respect their parents or elders (that is apart of his faith). It is also pratical and not indoctrination.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      @Steve,

      I dunno – I've been at tons of functions, groups, and classes at churches and never had anyone try to convert me.

      Would you have a problem if a church started up a similar program, took in kids from all types of religious backgrounds, and tried to spread the message of the gospel to them?

      May 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Fordham Jock

      @Rainer,
      Are you a high school, (or that level, if in Europe), student ? (I seem to recall that you said something like that a few weeks ago.

      "Preaching the law (respect, education ...) is not enough and not sufficient. We need someone, who gives us the power to keep the law. That is a matter of daily experience. And "regretably" our daily experience is according to the biblical message. We actually don't need the Bible, in order to realize that we need deliverance. The Bible just names the Deliverer."
      Sorry to hear that. But as you get older, you will undoubtedly come to understand, and gain the confidence to know that you can indeed really actually be true to your ideals, and not have to refer to that ancient Near Eastern mythology, (the talking snake thing), to explain to yourself why you do the things you chose to do.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "What the Imam does, is not a bad thing, but not enough. Imagine a burning house. In this situation you don't need someone who tells you, the fire should be put out, but you need someone who puts the fire out. Everbody tells me, put the fire out, but who really helps me to put out the blaze."
      ------------
      I would say that the only one putting out any blazes in this story is the Imam. He's the one getting the kids off the street. He's the one that's preventing violence. He's not telling the kids to get off the street – he's actually doing something about it.

      Would you only be happy with this program if it included Christian indoctrination? Do you feel the same way about this Imam's programs as yo udo about similar secular groups?

      May 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Steve(blah, blah, blah)

      You asked: "I talk about my faith on this blog all the time. It is indoctrination?"

      In order for it to be indoctrination, I think there would have to be at least a small chance of someone believing it. So, no.

      Cheers!

      May 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      @David (yada, yada) Johnson
      You asked: "I talk about my faith on this blog all the time. It is indoctrination?"
      In order for it to be indoctrination, I think there would have to be at least a small chance of someone believing it. So, no.
      Cheers!
      -------
      You just made my point! Thanks. I hereby dub thee David (yada, yada) Johnson! Because thats what I hear when I read you. Actually I hear Charlie Brown's teacher! So maybe it is David (waah, waah, waah, waah, waah) Johnson. On second though that's too long and it sound like crying (hhumm) decisions, decisions! What the heck Yada, Yada! This is actually to be considered an honor 'cause one of my favorite shows of all time is Seinfeld! Lots of yada, yadaring on Seinfeld! I'm just having a little fun David. I hope your taking this in the right way!

      May 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Zeb

      @David Johnson – Dude, you just cracked me up with that last one. Thanks, bro!
      A post worthy of Mr. Hitchens, that one was...!

      May 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Zeb

      @Peace2All – I am as well as could be expected, I guess. Staying off the internet, even involuntarily, has many positive sides to it.
      I like the idea of the MMA, although I was into freestyle martial arts before the MMA even became a phrase, so I am a little old-fashioned about it, I guess. Channeling that energy is a good thing for many people, including those around us.
      When I discovered that channeling it did nothing to eradicate or even deal with the underlying causes, it gave me more to think about.
      I don't like it being held in a mosque any more than any other anti-religion person, but it's the people who do the actions, not the building, anyway. He sounds too "secular" to worry me at this point.

      @Steve (one of them) – Get real please, and consider what you are about. What is at the root of what you oppose?

      May 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Zeb

      Hey bro... glad to hear that you are doing well. And... yes, sometimes, i think taking a break from this 'blog' in particular, has it's benefit's to it, yes...? (*reminding us of our pounding heads !) LOL...

      As for the article, again... I understand where you are coming from. Hence my statement or disclaimer in the beginning...at taking what this man is doing at face value.

      And, I agree, at this point...until proven otherwise... he sounds like he is engaging these kids in an activity while also helping them with some very important mental, emotional, social and just general over-all life skills. So, we are very much in agreement there.

      Yes... it 'is' the actions, and not the building.

      BTW...again, great to see you back up here and running !!!

      Peace brother...

      May 27, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Peace2All

      Steve (the real one)

      Hey -Steve...

      You Said: "What I am saying is it (could be) expected for the Iman to say something like" according to my faith, we deal with this issue in this manner....". I'm not saying it is Indoctrination, just saying he (could) give practical examples of how he deals with issues with his faith. I talk about my faith on this blog all the time. It is indoctrination? He may tell to to respect their parents or elders (that is apart of his faith). It is also pratical and not indoctrination."

      Steve, if I possibly misunderstood your posting to -Zeb, my apologies. From first glance at your posting, without your further elaboration, that was how I took it.

      I see that you are including 'qualifiers' into your statement -now-, such as..."could." And of course, he 'could' be doing what you say, and... in my original posting, and as -Zeb and I discussed, so far... until proven otherwise... seems that this man is doing a good thing to me.

      I do understand that it is in both of these 2 monotheistic religions(Islam and Christianity) to 'proselytize' and promote your faith. So, I believe, I at least partly understand where you are coming from on this.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      May 27, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Peace2All
      Hey -Steve...
      Steve, if I possibly misunderstood your posting to -Zeb, my apologies. From first glance at your posting, without your further elaboration, that was how I took it.

      I see that you are including 'qualifiers' into your statement -now-, such as..."could." And of course, he 'could' be doing what you say, and... in my original posting, and as -Zeb and I discussed, so far... until proven otherwise... seems that this man is doing a good thing to me.

      I do understand that it is in both of these 2 monotheistic religions(Islam and Christianity) to 'proselytize' and promote your faith. So, I believe, I at least partly understand where you are coming from on this.
      Regards,
      Peace...
      --------
      No apology required Peace, I wasn't very clear earlier. I do appreciate it though!

      May 27, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Zeb
      @Steve (one of them) – Get real please, and consider what you are about. What is at the root of what you oppose?
      ---------
      My bad. I was not clear. I do not oppose, I congratulate him. I am just saying since this is at a mosque, faith could be a part of it. I do not oppose that either. My response was an attempt to address your remark about indoctrination. Question, would you still be supportive if faith (in any measure) entered in?

      May 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Juggling Squirrel-Jesus
      @Steve,
      I dunno – I've been at tons of functions, groups, and classes at churches and never had anyone try to convert me.
      Would you have a problem if a church started up a similar program, took in kids from all types of religious backgrounds, and tried to spread the message of the gospel to them?
      -----------
      Not problem at all as I don't have a problem with the Iman speaking about his faith either. The gym is in a mosque (or above it). I was not clear in my first blog, Sorry to all that were confused. Simply stated I congratulate the Iman for taking action and i fully expect him to share his faith (perhaps not indoctrinate but share). Hope that was better and more clear!

      May 27, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Zeb

      @Steve – In "any" measure? That a pretty large order, isn't it?
      Yet my answer is this:
      I do not support the religious indoctrination of any child, as that is simple child abuse, no matter how lovingly or humanely done. Lies are lies. Teaching a child to believe lies is child abuse plain and simple, no matter if it was done with love. Child abuse with love just adds a sick twist to the whole thing, really.
      So I am opposed to any little "slips" of his religion into the learning process of these kids. But I am not in a position to do anything about it other than try to argue some reason and logic into people's heads.
      Actual solutions usually require action, not wishful thinking, yet my hopes of helping everyone may very well be an empty wish, for the madness is always spreading faster than the good stuff.

      May 27, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Steve (the real one)

      You said: "My point is it is a Mosque! Do you really expect him to say nothing about his faith? I am not saying that is what he is doing, I am just saying it is to be expected. I said nothing about saving his community being a bad thing, it is a great thing! Perhaps you misunderstood me. I wouldn't expect a religious lesson at the YMCA but I would at a mosque. That is all I'm saying!"

      But Steve(the dim bulb), you really have no experience with the Religion of Islam. You are expecting them to proselytize, because that is what the Christians would do. Shame, Steve.

      Cheers!

      May 27, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      David Johnson
      But Steve(the dim bulb), you really have no experience with the Religion of Islam. You are expecting them to proselytize, because that is what the Christians would do. Shame, Steve
      -----–
      David (yada, yada) Johnson,
      Your right, I don't!! I guess that is one point for you!

      May 27, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • Sweetenedtea

      @Steve:

      You are aware of what YMCA stands for, right?

      May 28, 2011 at 1:44 am |
    • Zeb

      @Sweetenedtea

      Shhh! You give him a clue and his head will explode!

      May 28, 2011 at 2:17 am |
  18. Rainer Braendlein

    Answer to "jimtanker":

    The Koran is a pure concoction of Muhammad. Just read it and get disillusioned. He or his officers wrote it many centuries after Christ (the Bible was yet complete for a long time) and it reveals nothing new beyond the Holy Bible. I have read the Bible several times and I am convinced, it doesn't teach anything strange.
    The Bible is the Book of progress, liberty, love, righteousness, deliverance, etc.. No other book can promote the live of a man more than the Bible. Of course sometimes we need some introduction by recognized teachers of the Christian Church like Luther, Bonhoeffer, etc..

    http://www.confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    May 27, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Stevie7

      Did you restrict your reading to the new testament only? Because even then reaching a conclusion that of "The Bible is the Book of progress, liberty, love, righteousness" makes it seem like you skipped over a whole lot of inconvenient parts. For example, where exactly is the love in god saying that most people will not get to heaven? Why would such a loving god condemn most people to hell? Why would a loving god murder the entire planet – women, children, infants, and then unborn included – with the exception of a small handful?

      As for "The Koran is a pure concoction of Muhammad" One could easily say such things about the bible, but just add a few more authors. At least we can be fairly certain that Muhammad actually wrote the Koran, as opposed to the hearsay tales of the authors of the gospels. And while the bible may have been "complete" before writing of the Koran, that completion left out many works. In fact current versions of the bible don't even agree on how many books there should be. So which "complete" bible are you even referring to?

      And why do you think that god was talking to a lot of people for a lot of years, but then has gone eerily silent for the last 2000? Seems to me like he could stand to clarify a few things.

      One can easily cherry pick verses of the Koran to show the text to be either good or evil. One can easily do the same thing to the bible. To ignore the good of one and the bad of the other pretty much destroys any argument you might have had.

      May 27, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Rainer,
      It's great that you have at least read some Bonhoeffer. I won't even start down the immensely long list of "crazy stuff" and "strange things" that the bible DOES contain, as I'm sure the others here will save me that time, and I have to go to class. I also don't "buy" the Koran, but it is instructive to understand the process by which it was formed, and the different process by which your collection of texts, in general, were formed. They both are cultural products of their times, and as such, are at least interesting.
      "The Bible is the Book of progress, liberty, love, righteousness, deliverance, etc."
      It's also a book of hate, destruction, despair, the slaughter of innocent life, and the occupation and theft of other people's property, wives and children, all sanctioned by one or more of the deities, which the people involved, worshiped, (Yahweh and Ashura among others).

      May 27, 2011 at 11:57 am |
  19. myweightinwords

    It is refreshing to see someone who cares and who puts that caring into action.

    I hope those kids appreciate what they are being offered.

    May 27, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  20. Rainer Braendlein

    It seems, the Imam, mentioned above, is concerned about the youth. Maybe he really is, I don't know his heart.

    However there is a basic problem. Who can guarantee that he doesn't put on a show? Of course nobody can judge the Imam at the moment and is not even allowed to do it. Despite of that an unpleasant feeling remains, when an Imam takes care of Christian youth.

    It is really hard to trust an Imam, because the Koran teaches strange things. I can solely hope that the Imam doesn't know the Koran or doesn't read it, in order to be able to imply that he has a pure, loving heart.

    The Bible tells us to love our neighbours, no matter what they believe. What tells the Koran a Muslim concerning his Christian neighbours? Answer: Strange things.

    http://www.confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    May 27, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • jimtanker

      And the bible teaches just as crazy things as the koran. Dont even try to say that it doesnt.

      May 27, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Steve (the real one)

      jimtanker
      And the bible teaches just as crazy things as the koran. Dont even try to say that it doesnt
      ------
      I have been waiting for somone to respond since you posted this but they have not. I so will:

      IT DOESN'T!

      May 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Rainier: Your bible teaches you to love your neighbour but you're still suspi-cious of the Imam? It doesn't say love your neighbour unless he disagrees with you or is a muslim. Maybe you should put your suspi-cions aside.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Zeb

      @Steve (the re al one) – You have failed again. IT DOES!

      May 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Zeb
      @Steve (the re al one) – You have failed again. IT DOES!
      -------------–
      Example please. Before your answer, understand Christians live under grace and not law. What that means is you can pick anything between Matthew and Revelation! Ready?

      May 27, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I don't trust any religious leader – they're all lying charlatans peddling pure crap.

      May 27, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Zeb

      @Steve – Since when does the Bible only consist of the New Testament? What the fck?
      As for the Bible teaching stuff as crazy as the Koran, I don't see how you can possibly defend the Bible. It is a collection of psychotic babble and all I have to do is lay the whole thing down in front of you along with a copy of the Koran and tell you to start reading.
      I hate it when you turn into a troll. Go back under your bridge, Steve. I've got to take a break from this. Maybe I'll come back later with more of the abuse you keep asking for... 😛

      May 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Evan

      Rainer Braendlein,

      remember, when Jesus told us to love our neighbors, He was referring to everyone, which includes Muslims and Atheists.

      May 27, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • BG

      @ Evan

      Did Jesus ever have the opportunity to meet a Muslim...? However, it's fairly clear that he didn't think atheists were alright or he would have left them alone.

      Those pesky, sanctimonious atheists... always trying to change people.

      Wait a second...

      May 27, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @BG I don't think anyone has ever read Jesus's prescription to love your enemies as applying only to enemies of record circa 30 AD. And, not that Christians have a great record of living up to it, but it's fair to say that Jesus would have drawn a distinction between atheism and atheists, as in love the atheist, hate the atheism.

      May 27, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Zeb
      @Steve – Since when does the Bible only consist of the New Testament? What the fck?
      As for the Bible teaching stuff as crazy as the Koran, I don't see how you can possibly defend the Bible. It is a collection of psychotic babble and all I have to do is lay the whole thing down in front of you along with a copy of the Koran and tell you to start reading.
      I hate it when you turn into a troll. Go back under your bridge, Steve. I've got to take a break from this. Maybe I'll come back later with more of the abuse you keep asking for...
      -----------
      Abuse? More like a tickle with a feather. No the Bible does not consist of NT only. But you fail to understand we do not live under the old ceremonial law. The prohibition to shellfish,clothing, and animal sacrifice do not apply and is not valid for Christians.

      May 27, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • BG

      @ John Richardson

      "... not that Christians have a great record of living up to it..."
      Put your prejudice back in your pants – nobody wants to see that here.

      "...love the atheist, hate the atheism."
      The poor beleaguered memory of the mahātmā. If you think about the inherent dichotomy of the "love the person but hate their (xyz) it makes just a little less sense.

      May 28, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • Zeb

      @Steve (there alone) – But your NT is based on the OT. The OT is part of your religion whether you purport to follow a particular passage or not. You are a cherry-picking s.o.b., Steve. The issue is the Bible vs the Koran, not what insipid strain of delusion you harbor within your festering skull.
      The Bible has crazy nonsense in both the OT and the NT anyway. You can try to distract from the insanity by labeling it different or saying it really says something else, but in the end it's full of crazy nonsense. Instead of wasting my time taking the Bible line-by-line along with the Koran, why don't you just admit you haven't barely read the damn thing?
      It's clear you don't understand what simple logic and reasoning can show as regards your Bible, for the contradictions themselves make up a hefty list too long for me to bother with just to satisfy your trollish desires.
      Plenty of people have told you over and over again all this stuff. Why don't you try something intelligent instead?

      May 28, 2011 at 12:39 am |
    • BG

      @ Zeb

      "You are a cherry-picking s.o.b., Steve."

      Nice Professor Turgeson imitation, Dude.

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxTo9d2KM2Y&w=640&h=390]

      Saaaay It! SaAAAY it !!

      May 28, 2011 at 1:01 am |
    • Zeb

      @BG – Without java, all I see is an ugly, pale yellow box. Is that the point you were trying to make?
      Please, I used to get after Iqbal khan for doing the same stupid thing, bub. Did he become your hero all of a sudden?
      I know you love you them muzlins, boy. If you got something to say to me, spit it out.
      Next, I suppose you'll quote the Q'uran at me like Muneef does. Go ahead and quote other people's words some more, since you apparently have none of your own.
      And look out for those Pakistan nukes, eh? The ones you thought we were building for them? Yeah, man. You're a real catch. I bet all the girls think you're a real fun date. Could you misunderstand me some more? I just get a kick out of your outlandish responses. They remind me of you...as a young child.
      Meh.

      May 28, 2011 at 1:37 am |
    • BG

      @ Zeb

      You're pretty good at the 'dish it out' part, but you suck at the 'take it.' I bet being out in polite company is tough for you.

      That's unfortunate.

      May 28, 2011 at 1:49 am |
    • Zeb

      @BG – Anytime you'd like to "give it to me" feel free. I just haven't seen anything like that from you lately.
      Don't worry, I'll turn the burners down soon. You sound a little too crispy already. Welcome to the internet, fly-boy.

      May 28, 2011 at 2:20 am |
    • BG

      @ Zeb

      "...those Pakistan nukes, eh? The ones you thought we were building for them?"

      Not what I said. I said that we shared knowledge with them through the U.S. CTR (Combined Threat Reduction) Programs primarily with Russia, however Iranian and Pakistani scientists were also allowed into the programs. We also shared information with South Africa as early as the '50's, but their government finally dismantled their nuclear program in the 90's. C'mon, Dude. You're a bright fellow. Stop with the tantrums already.

      May 28, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • Zeb

      @BG – Did you actually look that up? Ha ha ha ha ha! You're great, you really are. LOL
      I trolled you pretty good there. You didn't have to go to all that trouble on my account did you? Not for little ole me!
      Oh, this is great! I haven't had an old fashioned troll like this in ages!
      More please! 😀

      May 28, 2011 at 2:47 am |
    • BG

      @ Zeb

      I haven't been 'nasty' for months. I don't know what your problem is, but I can tell you that you're losing credibility by flying off the handle at a simple, albeit deserved, barb. I used to look forward to interacting with you; you're intelligent and opinionated.

      You're also a bit... inconsistent. I'm being kind. Take your pills, please. I'd like the old Dude back. We can even talk about religion.

      May 28, 2011 at 2:50 am |
    • BG

      No, I had it in file. No trouble. Seems that you're buzzing here, so later, Dude.

      May 28, 2011 at 2:52 am |
    • Zeb

      @bg – What? I'm supposed to conform to your ideals or something? Ha ha ha ha ha ha! I haven't seen anyone do that in a long time either!
      Wow, I guess I was missing your flair for the ridiculous all this time. Don't go! We can talk!
      Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

      May 28, 2011 at 3:02 am |
    • Zeb

      @BG – Seriously, if you have something you'd like to chat about, like the article, go ahead. Knock yourself out.
      This is a comment section. You don't need me to validate your comments, do you?
      Or do you?
      Really, I cannot guarantee that I will be able to respond. You're just going to have to be a real trouper and let your words stand on their own. Be strong. You can do it.
      Seriously, the comments I like best are the ones that say something. This is a waste of time. You need to say something instead of constantly doing this 'ad hominem' stuff. Really.
      See? I can take it AND dish it out. But I am not tied to this website, either. So please do not rely upon me, especially as you view me as "inconsistent", for I do not post here for you, but for me. I express myself the way I want when I want.
      It's called "free speech".

      May 28, 2011 at 3:09 am |
    • JohnR

      @BG It's "prejudice" to say that Christians don't have a great record living up to something that the espouse? Wow.

      May 28, 2011 at 2:30 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.