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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. frank

    I don't know, it was an actor on the tv but maybe in real life Jesus was even more rude to his mother than the tv show actor, how can we know for sure lol!

    May 28, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  2. frank

    Muneef, I dont understand it either. There's something strange with the whole matter, I cant put my finger on it but all I know is it gives me the creeps lol!

    May 28, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  3. frank

    I saw the show on cable. When Jesus killed the animals and had a big smile it gave me the creeps!!!

    May 28, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • Muneef

      That was a face and a smile of a paid actor and not the real Jesus that no one seen...?

      May 28, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
  4. frank

    Oh, maybe he was nice in the Quran to his mother, but in the bible he is quite the rude fellow, his father should have disciplined him for such cheekiness!

    May 28, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • Muneef

      Frank.

      Now isn't that strange! How can a Holy Book that is considered to be the book of believers and written by his companians speaks cruelly of Jesus and a Holy Book that been brought up by a successor prophet speaks well of him...and his mother?

      I think in the bible all prophets and messengers of God were mentioned in a way showing them to be less in morals and ethics than spoke of that in the Quran?? We in Islam learn our morals and ethics from the stories and personalties of the prophets...but the way mentioned in the bible as you stated would just do the opposite ??!

      May 28, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
  5. frank

    Muneef, yes I read them, thank you!
    I saw him being rude and heartless to his kind mother and being cruel to the innocent pigs in a tv show about the Jesus and his life. He said rude things to the kind woman who was his mother and she was a good hearted woman, then he tortured the innocent pigs who were causing nobody harm but were just looking for some foods to eat. Jesus made them go crazy and they scream and jump into the canyon to die on the rocks to make the pain in their heads stop. When it happened Jesus had a big smile on his face, it made me think he was not a nice man. Why would he be rude to the nice mother and torture the animals? Then he smiles about it! why!!!!

    May 28, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
  6. frank

    wait, is that from the Mormon book?

    May 28, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
  7. frank

    Muneef,
    Thank you for the many words, but I still don't understand how he was the "son of man" if he was the son of a god and a woman and there was no man. This wording is troubling to my sense of direction.
    -Also, why was Jesus so cold heartedly rude towards his mother? He did not seem like a very nice person, to be so rude to his mom, who seemed to be a very nice woman.
    -Also, why did he send demons into innocent pigs? Torturing the innocent pigs with such severe mental trauma seems like a needless and heartlessly inhuman way to prove a point.
    -Why he do it?!!!? WHY!!! FOR THE LOVE OF WATER WHY!!! Please advise!

    May 28, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      Frank.
      Did you read my verses which were chosen for you to read about his creation...?
      Secondly where did you read these stories about him being unkind to his mother or turning demons to pigs,from??

      May 28, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Muneef

      Frank;

      [19:30] (The infant spoke and) said, "I am a servant of GOD. He has given me the scripture, and has appointed me a prophet.

      [19:31] "He made me blessed wherever I go, and enjoined me to observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and the obligatory charity (Zakat) for as long as I live.

      [19:32] "I am to honor my mother; He did not make me a disobedient rebel.

      [19:33] And peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I get resurrected."

      The Proven Truth
      [19:34] That was Jesus, the son of Mary, and this is the truth of this matter, about which they continue to doubt.

      [19:35] It does not befit GOD that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is.

      [19:36] He also proclaimed, "GOD is my Lord and your Lord; you shall worship Him alone. This is the right path."
      .

      May 28, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • Muneef

      Frank.

      These were verses from the Holy Quran....that I have quoted for you...

      May 28, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
  8. frank

    what the f is the "son of man" supposed to mean, anyway?

    May 28, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Muneef

      Frank.
      Actually we are sons of men...but for Jesus (saw) was a son of a woman "Jesus the Son of Maryam" meaning there was no man involved but rather by the power of the word of God through the Holy Spirit;
      ---–
      [3:47] She said, "My Lord, how can I have a son, when no man has touched me?" He said, "GOD thus creates whatever He wills. To have anything done, He simply says to it, `Be,' and it is.
      ---–
      [4:171] O people of the scripture, do not transgress the limits of your religion, and do not say about GOD except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was a messenger of GOD, and His word that He had sent to Mary, and a revelation from Him. Therefore, you shall believe in GOD and His messengers. You shall not say, "Trinity." You shall refrain from this for your own good. GOD is only one god. Be He glorified; He is much too glorious to have a son. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. GOD suffices as Lord and Master.
      ----
      Mary
      [19:16] Mention in the scripture Mary. She isolated herself from her family, into an eastern location.

      [19:17] While a barrier separated her from them, we sent to her our Spirit. He went to her in the form of a human being.

      [19:18] She said, "I seek refuge in the Most Gracious, that you may be righteous."

      [19:19] He said, "I am the messenger of your Lord, to grant you a pure son."

      [19:20] She said, "How can I have a son, when no man has touched me; I have never been unchaste."

      [19:21] He said, "Thus said your Lord, `It is easy for Me. We will render him a sign for the people, and mercy from us. This is a predestined matter.' "
      ----
      [23:50] We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign, and we gave them refuge on a mesa with food and drink.
      ----
      Jesus: Another Example

      [43:57] When the son of Mary was cited as an example, your people disregarded it.

      [43:58] They said, "Is it better to worship our gods, or to worship him?" They said this only to argue with you. Indeed, they are people who have joined the opposition.

      [43:59] He was no more than a servant whom we blessed, and we sent him as an example for the Children of Israel.

      [43:60] If we willed, we could have made you angels who colonize and reproduce on earth.

      Jesus and the End of the World*

      [43:61] He is to serve as a marker for knowing the end of the world, so you can no longer harbor any doubt about it. You shall follow Me; this is the right path.

      [43:62] Let not the devil repel you; he is your most ardent enemy.

      [43:63] When Jesus went with the proofs, he said, "I bring to you wisdom, and to clarify some of the matters in which you dispute. You shall reverence GOD and obey me.

      [43:64] "GOD is my Lord and your Lord, you shall worship Him alone. This is the right path."
      ----–
      Deterioration of Religion

      [57:27] Subsequent to them, we sent our messengers. We sent Jesus the son of Mary, and we gave him the Injeel (Gospel), and we placed in the hearts of his followers kindness and mercy. But they invented hermitism which we never decreed for them. All we asked them to do was to uphold the commandments approved by GOD. But they did not uphold the message as they should have. Consequently, we gave those who believed among them their recompense, while many of them were wicked.

      [57:28] O you who believe, you shall reverence GOD and believe in His messenger. He will then grant you double the reward from His mercy, endow you with light to guide you, and forgive you. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

      [57:29] Thus, the followers of previous scripture should know that they have not monopolized GOD's mercy and grace, and that all grace is in GOD's hand. He bestows it upon whomever He wills. GOD is Possessor of Infinite Grace.
      ----–

      May 28, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
  9. JohnR

    @BG I made the mistake that your original comments about David Johnson were in the spirit of a well-meant tease. I tried to build on that well-meant tease. David can indeed be blunter than a NY cabbie having a bad hair day. And frankly, so can I. I thought we all understood that the behavior of people who stand on conviction can by definition fall outside what passes for good manners in brain dead "polite society". But David is also funny and has this nice habit of staying on topic. You, meanwhile, presume to disparage him as intentionally demeaning the person while claiming that you respond to content. All I can say is that you've shown in the past few days that the opposite is in fact the case. Grimly expressed ad hominems just don't make it.

    May 28, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      -> "You, meanwhile, presume to disparage him as intentionally demeaning the person while claiming that you respond to content. "

      Come on JohnR, let us be fair. BG has not done anything any of the rest of us have been doing to tear into each other. Its devolved into a bar room fight these days and you are telling BG that he shouldn't bring a baseball bat into this brawl...use it "up side" David's head... while at the same time many of us are doing the same.

      May 28, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • JohnR

      No, I'm telling BG that he shouldn't say David Johnson demeans the person while he, ie BG, sticks to content and then do almost nothing but try to demean people for the next day and a half. Hypocrisy just bugs me, doncha know?

      Anyway, as I said, I am not allergic to "obnoxious" behavior, consider myself more than a bit obnoxious at times (fairly frequency, actually) and recognize it as the way people of conviction often get, no matter how often "polite" society tries to shove all passion and conviction under the rug of stifling "go-along-to-get-along-ism". So it bothers me vastly less that BG is acting as many of us indeed have been than it does is that he claims not to be doing so. Even wild-eyed nasty people like Lycidas admits that she acts the way she does. Why can't BG?

      Meanwhile, for those who DO prefer more "civilized" discourse, I nominate YOU on the "believer side" and Peace2All on the "non-believer side" as two people who know better than most, including everyone else here (myself very much included), how to make pointed remarks on cotent w/o making excessively barbed remarks about people.

      May 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • BG

      @ JohnR

      Neither do abstruse rationalizations. Let me let you in on something....

      If someone's a pr!ck, then they're a pr!ck. David Johnson happens to pride himself on being a pr!ck. He's very successful at it, usually eliciting the reaction he's aiming for. Call him on it outright and he'll either serve up more sh!t, or simply ignore you. Personally, I've had my fill of the 'DJ and the Dude' show a long time ago. About 6 months ago I used the name 'Dancing with Trolls' when I was convinced that many of the routine posters on these boards were eloquent however maladjusted soph omores feeding on the good-intentioned yet oblivious. I used to get soooo offended at the inconsideration. I used to actually think that these CNN boards were for legitimate discussion...can you believe it? We-ell, f' me and anyone that looks or sounds like me!!

      The 'discussion boards' are all just a f'n game, John; simply a big mind-f. Don't take it seriously. If you haven't developed the maturity to form an opinion on things that really matter, you aren't going to benefit from anything -said- in here. This place is nothing more than a virtual ball-pit.

      You haven't figured all this out yet? Mark has. Anyone with two connected brain cells has after staying in here for any amount of time. Whatta'ya need, John, a program with all the players' names and numbers? Batter-up! Get in there, kiddo, and get a 'hit!'

      *snort*

      May 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @BG I've been on internet discussion newsgroups, boards, lists and blogs of all sorts since the mid-90s and I know very well that there is a lot of BS and useless talking pointlessly at cross-purposes, etc, etc. So don't presume to "enlighten" me. I also know, however, that they can be educational tools for those who choose to use them that way. If you don't want to be here or want to be here SOLELY to fling personal insults (especially after congratulating yourself on how above all that you are), I suggest that you pack up your cynicism and move on. If you, on the other hand, the topic actually interests you, how about getting back on topic?

      May 28, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • BG

      @ John Richardson

      Feel better? That's good... unfortunately it seems that you still don't get it. That's ok; it'll come in time.

      You give these particular boards far too much lati-tude; be careful with presumption or you'll find that your altruism spreads a bit thin on your stale mid-90s naivete biscuits. This ain't your father's discussion board...

      May 28, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @BG Ah, more "above it all" sophistication from someone who recently accused (someone probably just pretending to be) a convert to islam of being motivated purely by pe-do-philia! We are all so honored to have you in our midst, oh wise one! I'm so looking forward to learning more about how the world REALLY works from such a towering intellect!

      May 28, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • BG

      @ John Richardson

      Yeah, you'd have to pay for 'knowledge' like this anywhere else.

      There you go.. that's better. Lighten up and take a load off your overworked, under-compensated psyche.

      May 28, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
  10. mahdi y

    This is nothing new! In Iran many of the mosques offer martial arts and body building etc... as part of their activity... This is an imitation of what have been existing in Iran for atleast 32 years and nothing is new or creative about this idea.....

    May 28, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • makhan

      Nice thats really great that this happens in iran. I guess we sholdnt give credit it to Imam Muhammad here, instead to iran. Nice job iran, way to go, were proud of you!

      Seriously man cant give someone credit for being bold enough to open amosque in a run down area to help the locals fight crime rates.

      May 28, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  11. JohnR

    @BG Don't flatter yourself!

    May 28, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  12. Muneef

    OMG....I do not believe what I hear ....Where one man saying would cause a whole nation or race be suspected and discriminated all over the world...!!! This is not fair not fair at all... This one man just with few word has thrown atomic bombs against all Muslims in the name of Taliban Pakistan by their Tribal man speaker (Mahsood)...
    This man not only thrown the bomb on Islam but even against Christians,Jews and those whom he called Infidels...!?

    How can a man execute nations bringing distrust,fear and hate among them in the country as well as to those aboard working or citizens in other countries!!!?.this is unfair and unbelievable.... He has made of the late Ossama as the Prince of believers!! 
    Now only I understand what these blogs were talking about...what's happening to the world is far more dangerous Plague than any Birds Flu... Pigs Flu...or Cow Madness..!!!!  This is madness from some one speaking in the name of Islam to do any believers or non believers for a crime they have not committed...that was one of the commandments made to Children of Israel;

    Grossness of Murder
    [5:32] Because of this, we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people. Our messengers went to them with clear proofs and revelations, but most of them, after all this, are still transgressing.

    May 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Muneef

      Seems to be too early for our president to leave the presidency chair otherwise with tribal majority country such plague"Idology" can easily be transmitted into this tribal, mountainous country area....!
      http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/yemen.htm

      May 28, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Hi Muneef,

      whom do you mean?

      May 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Reality

      "Maulana Masood Azhar is a Pakistani mujaheddin leader and the founder of the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, based mainly in the Pakistan-administered portion of the state of Kashmir.[citation needed]

      India lists Masood Azhar as one of its most wanted terrorists due to a history of militant activities".

      Just another misquided Muslim just like the other 1.5 billion. And all because of some mythical angel !! Beyond significant stupidity!!!

      May 28, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Muneef

      No not really because the one I heard talking was named "Mehsud" and not "Masood" strange that I couldn't find this video recording on web although was on the news last Friday night!!

      May 28, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  13. James

    After seeing this video, I have decided to accept Islam as my way of life. I think media has been very biased and portrayed Islam as bad religion but in reality it is the solution.

    May 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      My heartfelt sympathy for you!

      May 28, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • James Abdul-Haqq Browne

      My heartfelt congratulations to you, my new brother in Islam!

      May 28, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • BG

      @ James

      Tell the truth... you just want to marry a little 10 year old girl without having to go to jail. " Nooo officer! It's not pedophilia... I'm a Muuuusslim! - we're allowed !! ... tell the officer, Cindy.. you're my wife !! Cindy? CINDY, get back here !!! "

      May 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • John Richardson

      If Islam is the solution, I say give me more problem!

      May 28, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • BG

      @ John Richardson

      Careful what you ask for... you really want "more problems?" More Islam is on it's way to fulfill your wish!

      May 28, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  14. Reality

    Some words of wisdom for the imam and his priest and rabbi buddies:

    o
    1. There was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no bases.

    2. There was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    3. There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    4. There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    5. There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    6. Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    7. Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    May 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Muneef

      The Reality of Death
      By Dr. Saleh As-Saleh
      From Oklahoma & Islam
      © Daar Al-Bukhari 

      Life in this world has an appointed term, and the end of the term will definitely come...
      The righteous will die and the wicked will die...
      The worriers for just causes will die and those who run from death will die
      Those who busy themselves with correct belief will die...
      and those who treat people as their slaves will die...
      The brave who rejects injustice will die, and the coward who seeks to cling on to the life at any price will die...
      The people of great concern and lofty goals will die, and wretched people who live only for cheap enjoyment will die...
      Wherever we will be, in a fortress or in a tent, we will die...
      All will die:
      Allah (God) says:
      Everyone shall taste death...
      [Quraan 3: 185]

      No one will escape death. Allah says:

      Say: Verily, the death from which you flee will surely meet you, then you will be sent back to (Allah), the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen, and He will tell you what you used to do.
      [Quraan 62: 8]

      This life is a period of trials and tests. Allah says:

      He (Allah) has created death and life, that He may test which of you is the best in deed. He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.
      [Quraan 67:2]

      http://www.quraan.com/index.aspx?&tabid=34&artid=61

      -------
       
      Death: An Ultimate Reality
      By Prof. Shahul Hameed
      http://www.islamonline.net/
      Throughout the ages, mankind viewed death as something gruesome and frightening, something that should be postponed indefinitely or abolished if possible, once for all.

      This was because of two reasons. First, death cuts short the life of this world. Second, there was no "proof" about the chance for a new lease of life in a world to come. Death is, as Shakespeare's Hamlet said, "the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns" to tell us their story.

      All the same, there was also the belief among religions that death served as a kind of passage to another more important arena of life.

      From the Islamic point of view, death is a reality of life, a certainty from which no one is exempt. God says in the Quran what means:

      [Every soul shall have a taste of death: and only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved from the fire and admitted to the garden will have attained the object (of life): for the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception.] (Aal `Imran3:185)

      As it is mentioned in the verse, there is going to be a Day of Judgment one has to face after death, when each will be paid in full the fruit of what he or she has earned in this life.

      Those who sowed evil will reap evil and those who sowed good will reap good. All the allure and glamour of this world would then prove to be of no real worth; what is of enduring value would be provided in that world to come.

      http://www.islamawareness.net/Death/death_article004.html

      May 28, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Reality

      And Muneef continues to believe in the idiocy of angels!!!! Strange very strange but the Three B Syndrome penetrates deep into the neurons of many misguided humans!!! Muneef, take the two minute, priceless cure!!! Just don't tell your local imam, he might have you stoned!!!

      May 28, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Muneef

      I have no Imam other than the Friday Prayers Mosque Imam who gives us the Friday preach and we pray behind...other than that we have no one other than God and Muhammed (S.A.W).

      May 28, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Finger Puppet

      There ARE those people you list who existed in their cultural mythological contexts. Some of them probably did exist in some form or other, to me it's not important, as the concept of "historical accuracy" never entered the human consciousness as an "idea", until many centuries later. They ARE valuable, as cultural artifacts, in trying to tease out the ways the cultures of their days worked and changed and tried to survive and justify and doc-ument themselves.

      May 28, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • Reality

      Muneef, Muneef, Muneef and the rest of the Muslims out there,

      Time to come to grips with your life revolving around a mythical "talking, wingie, thingie" named Gabriel. Lets hear it, I DO NOT BELIEVE IN ANGELS" i.e. the first step of the first day of the rest of your life!!!

      May 28, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Muneef

      Up to you to believe or not but here you are attacking every body who says he believes and that is not right of your rights.

      May 29, 2011 at 7:01 am |
    • Reality

      What the belief in mythical Gabriel has brought about:

      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.

      May 29, 2011 at 7:39 am |
  15. Rainer Braendlein

    It is high time for getting an objective judgement of the Islamic issue. I live in in one of the most northern "Islamic cities", called Munich. Everywhere, where I go, I am surrounded by Moslems. I personally want to know, how to handle the Moslem people.

    I am just a Protestant Christian and accept the Bible as Holy Scripture of Christianity. A professional interpretation of the Bible comes to the following conclusion: God gives us (the Christians) the command to love all people, not depending on colour, religion, status, nationality, etc.. We are supposed to love the Moslem people. This I want to prefix, in order to avoid any missunderstandings.

    Although we should love our Moslem neighbours, workmates, ..., we of course are allowed to check out their belief. The basis of an objective judgment solely can be the Koran, because it is the basic scripture of Islam. Sometimes we meet kind Moslems, sometimes we meet Moslems, being a little bit out of line. Not every Christian knows the Bible and not every Moslem knows the Koran. However it is not impossible that a Moslem gets to know the Koran. Here begins the problem.
    The Bible (according to its true interpretation) requires us to love the Moslems. The Koran requires the Moslems to ... (sorry, X-rated). As reasonable people we will make a worst case calculation. Worst case a Moslem knows the Koran and wants to practice its doctrine. This problem cannot be solved by cruise missiles, but solely by prayer. God may protect and preserve us. Can we pray, when we live a vicious life? No! God can only help us, when we really try to live the "good life".
    Otherwise it is really possible that He uses any Islamic nation as a birch, to educate us. God forbid!

    There is one single exception for loving a Moslem. Assumed a Christian Country is attacked by an Islamic country, the Christian country is allowed to defend itself. Only during the ongoing battle a Christian is not soley allowed, but obliged to kill (of course a strange job for a Christian). There is a great differnce between an ordinary Moslem (for instance our workmate) and a Moslem soldier, serving in a most satanic host. By serving in a satanic army a man loses all rights of protection. He has taken the "sword" and know he will feel the "sword".

    As far as I know there is no ongoing great war between a Christian country and a Muslim country at the moment, excepted the civil wars in Nigeria and Sudan. Let us use the time, we still have, to become faithful Christians, so that God can protect us.

    What I said about war, is only valid, when the Christian country has not attacked the Islamic country before. A true Christian country will never start an aggressive war, in order for instance to get materials of the neighbour.

    May 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • yankeelover1

      I couldn't agree with you more. I'd like to see more stories like Imam Suetwidien Muhammad's. Something POSITIVE from a group of muslims for a change.

      May 28, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  16. Jesus Jesus

    Jesus was not a GOD.. he was merely a human who got slaughtered by the jews whose a$$ u christians wipe till this day.. lol.. I don't believe in a god that can be physically harmed by a human.. I dont believe in god that can be killed.. My god can't die.. he has been and he will be there forever.. if he can't, he sure aint my god.. Ya'll need to use some common sense.. To the fool that said there aren't 1.5 Billion muslims and the numbers are inflated - There are more practicing muslims in the world than all the other practicing religions combined.. Muslims aren't morally bankrupt like others.. Every chritian nation has a playboy including the Vatican edition.. can we say the same about muslims? nope.. exactly!

    May 28, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Mike

      I love you brother, but your wrong and hateful!! Jesus is the Lord, Jesus is God in human form!! Learn the Gospel. Also, Jesus, according to the Muslim faith, is a Prophet. But according to Jesus, he is the Son of Man. You can't be both!!! BTW, there are more Christians on this earth than Muslim's and we are growing everyday all over the world. Love you neighbor, stop the hate!

      May 28, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Hussain

      Dear Mike do know about JOSHUA EVANS
      i would like to recommend for you to watch on you tube a video of joshua evans type in Youtube "top ten reasons why jesus is not god".

      And evidence are from the gospel !!!

      May 28, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Mike
      You said: " Jesus is the Lord, Jesus is God in human form!! Learn the Gospel. Also, Jesus, according to the Muslim faith, is a Prophet. But according to Jesus, he is the Son of Man. You can't be both!!! BTW, there are more Christians on this earth than Muslim's and we are growing everyday all over the world. Love you neighbor, stop the hate!"

      Actually Mike, you have no proof that there is a god. Jesus may never actually have existed. Do you have proof?

      The Muslim religion is the worlds fastest growing religion. Christianity is shrinking. This is mostly due to increases in Muslim populations.

      Cheers!

      May 28, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • grace

      the fastest growing religion worldwide is now christianity. The supernatural God is on the move amazing stories of revlations of Jesus as God are coming in from the middle east constanty, Korea, China are on fire with people hiding in caves crying out to Jesus in praise, and supplication. He is so real, so loving, but to find him yhou must surrender to his will for your life and each day seek to love him with all your heart and soul and mind. He is worth it. He heals, he is always present, he is performing signs and wonders today. see sid roth, bethel church, christ community/david hess for more on building your relationship to jesus, god and the holyspirit so you can experience the joy of the Lord and his peace. All religions have value and worth, ive practiced and studied them all, but the most powerful and supernatural is the Holy spirit. May Jesus reveal himself to you –be on the look out for him. He LOves you!

      May 28, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Muneef

      Jesus s.a.w.
      As per the Quran verses was named as "Jesus the Son of Maryam" therefore he was the son of woman and not the son of man.
      Jesus was the Prophet and the Messenger sent to children of Israel...he was the "Messiah". He was created from the spirit of God. He was the word of God. He was supported by the holy spirit. He was able of many miracles by the power of God...

      May 28, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  17. Osman F Osman

    If Islam is such a bad religion and promotes hatred, terrorist and all the other stuff that they do, then why is it that this religion is growing so fast in the US and EU, especially after 9/11? There must be something good in the Quran. Unfortunately e all have bad apples, so do you.
    Thank you, Imam Muhammed for making a difference. Thank you, CNN for promoting this positive article. This is what Americans are about, making a positive difference. GOD bless you all.

    May 28, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Mike

      The growth in this Religion is because of immigration!!!! I for one could never understand how a truly educated woman could fall for this cult!!!

      May 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  18. llatpoh

    how about giving this article the same front page status as the Philly Imam story rather than burying it... your bias is shameful...

    "Imam and Trinidad native Kareem Ibrahim was convicted Thursday of conspiring to detonate fuel tanks and a fuel pipeline at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, according to a statement from the U.S. Eastern District Court of New York."

    May 28, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  19. laugh

    Wow amazing!

    May 28, 2011 at 11:10 am |
  20. Jeff

    As I watch you people take a relatively benign story and begin to fight about your respective imaginary friends, I can only put my forehead in my palm and feel pity for humanity. Grow up and embrace reality.

    As for this man who is doing what he can to help your highly-religious (mostly Christian) country overcome its ridiculously high crime rate (much higher than most other, less-religious, developed nations), good for him! You should support him or shut up. Think you can do better? By all means, go for it!

    May 28, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Mike

      This is nothing but CNN (Communist News Network) junk!!

      May 28, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
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About this blog

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