My Take: Congressional hearings on Islam betray American values
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King at Wednesday's hearing on Muslim radicalization in U.S. prisons.
June 15th, 2011
04:01 PM ET

My Take: Congressional hearings on Islam betray American values

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

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

The anti-Muslims are at it again.

It is commonplace to think of the United States as a tolerant nation, an asylum for immigrants from all nations and religions. But throughout U.S. history there are moments that remind us of our collective depravity—our inability as a nation to live up consistently to the values articulated in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Today is one of those moments, because Representative Peter King (R-NY) held a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Muslim “radicalization" in U.S. prisons.

Some who watched the hearings this morning might be experiencing a sense of deja vu, since this is Round Two in King's hearings on the "radicalization" of Muslim Americans. But watching King's bigotry on display brought me back to a much earlier moment in U.S. history: the burning of a Catholic convent by Protestant protesters in Charlestown, Massachusetts, in 1834.

Surprisingly, this mob action was done in the name of American values. The good Protestants of Charlestown burned down this nunnery in the name of the sacred cause of liberty. Catholics were opposed to liberty (or so went the rioters' logic), so the Catholics had to go.

And in this case they did go. Although many of the good citizens of Boston denounced the arson as criminal, the Massachusetts legislature refused to indemnify the Ursuline nuns who ran the school for their loss. So after a brief sojourn in Roxbury, Massachusetts, where they were repeatedly threatened and harassed, the Ursulines decamped to Canada in 1838.

As an Irish American Catholic who is on record supporting the terrorist group the IRA, Rep. King should be familiar with the history of anti-Irish and anti-Catholic bigotry worldwide. He should also know that bigotry at home has repeatedly sparked violence against Irish Americans and American Catholics—the burning of churches, the tarring and feathering of priests, and the murders of innocent laypeople.

After Representative Laura Richardson (D-CA) said at today's hearing that King's obsession with Islamic radicalization "can be deemed racist and discriminatory," King said that "the purpose of this Committee is to combat Islamic terrorism because that is the terrorist threat to this country."

I disagree. I think the purpose of King's hearings is to call into question the Americanness of U.S. Muslims by branding their religion a threat to the nation. And once again I observe that we have been here before, including in 1855 when Protestants circulated an image of Pope Pius IX crumbling the Constitution in his right hand while plunging a sceptre into an American eagle with his left.

King has said that the threat of Islamic radicalization is a "real issue.” I agree.

But the “real issue” here is not the radicalization of Islam in U.S. prisons. It is the sacrifice of American values of liberty and tolerance on the altar of anti-Islamic prejudice. More specifically, it is the abuse of the coercive power of the federal government (something conservatives used to care about) to attack one religion and one religion only.

His last hearing, held in March, on "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response" was an embarrassment to the House and its Homeland Security Committee. But King apparently has no shame. Like the anti-Muslim comments that will doubtless accompany this post, he continues to give voice to the fears and hatred of Americans rather than to what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.”

So it looks like these hearings will continue (King has announced a third installment for late July) until either the American public makes it clear that it will not tolerate federal attacks on particular religions or the voters of King’s Long Island district make it clear at the ballot box that they want a representative dedicated to conserving American values rather than undermining them.

In my view, neither outcome could come too soon.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Church and state • Islam • Politics • Religious liberty • Religious violence • United States

soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    Should the innocents peaceful ones be held responsible or punished or rejected for an act of some hostile political mafia groups or terrorists ?!         

    Wonder if such an act is considered fair ? Don't you think such act will only drive them innocents into becoming as them out of their injured pride and unjust hostility ?

    After all Islam is like Christianity which we knew as Muslims being called in our Arabic Quran as  "Nazarenes" since "Jesus is a Nazarene from Nazareth" it is now consisting out of many sectors.... where it should not be  held guilty all sectors for one or two sectors that consists of extreme hostile teachings or acts of violence say for example (KKK) acts...? Can all Christians or Americans be held guilty towards such racial acts of one or few groups that had made it self an ideology developed out of many ideologies that passed through out past and present history such as of for example;
    -The America's History.
    -Marx's. (Svt)
    -Hitler. (Grmn)
    -Moe . (China)
    -Then come the Irish and Cubans fronts trained Palestinians  much of their acts which ended well developed to the new movement that Holds Religious names although most are far from what they been named and use it as a mask to hide their real faces as done in some annual festival in Venice,Italy. 

    You will only feel for innocent Muslims the date you become to have your own Christian Groups getting your own killed and rejected worldwide as those disguised groups who caused Innocent Muslims suffer worldwide...

    June 16, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  2. Yisrael Chai

    I have many Mooslime friends and they tell me how violent their faith is and how they all dream to dominate America and Israel by bringing Shariah. These hearings are necessary if we want to keep America safe. It is not like Rep Peter King has incarcerated all Mooslimes, he has freedom to speak and he is a lawmaker. Mooslimes only know how to bomb and spread terror. This is a cult not a religion, bent upon destroying the world if their shariah is not implemented.

    June 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Muneef

      What nationalties or races of those Muslims friends you had? Guess after all each has a dream of his own then should the rest be condemned for the freedom of speech of other dreamers?

      June 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  3. Reality

    More on the koranic passages and world domination:

    "Mohammed could not have known the size of the world, but several passages in the Koran show that he envisioned Islam dominating all of it, however large it might be: “He it is who sent his messenger . . . that he may cause it [Islam] to prevail over all religions´(Koran 9:33, M.M. Ali; see also 48:28 and 61:9). M.M. Ali designates these three passages as “the prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam in the whole world.”

    Mohammed’s successors, the caliphs, quoted passages like these to inspire Muslim armies as they advanced out of Arabia, imposing Islam by the sword upon a peacefully unsuspecting Middle East and North Africa, as I described in the previous chapter.

    Islamic armies, imbued with what Mohammed claimed was divine authorization, imposed Islam by force over vast areas, all the while extorting wealth from subjugated Jews and Christians to fund their ongoing conquests. As I noted, major defeats at Tours, France, in A.D. 732, and again at Vienna, Austria, in A.D. 1683, halted Islam’s attempt to take all of Europe by force. Gradually Islamic forces were forced to retreat from Europe, except for part of the Balkans. But Islam has again set its sights on a conquest of Europe and of European civilization, wherever the latter has spread to North and South America and other regions. Muslim strategists ask their followers, Why do we find in these modern times that Allah has entrusted most of the world’s oil wealth primarily to Muslim nations?

    Their answer: Allah foresaw Islam’s need for funds to finance a final politico-religious victory over what Islam perceives as its ultimate enemy: Christianized Euro-American civilization. So, Islam follows Nazism, fascism and communism as the world’s latest hostile takeover aspirant.

    Nazis, fascists and communists failed. Does Islam have a better chance at success? I believe it will flounder if we awaken to its threat in time; yet, if there is not adequate planned resistance, Islam does have a better chance of succeeding. Communism’s world takeover attempt was guaranteed to fail because its economic policy was naively contrary to human nature. Advocating the rubric What is mine is thine, and what is thine is mine, communism failed to see that human nature will not keep those two balanced propositions in equilibrium. Like a female black widow spider consuming her mate, the latter part of the formula makes a meal of the former, leading to the collapse of any system based upon that formula.
    In contrast, political systems do well if they can persuade people to adhere to What’s mine is mine and What’s thine is thine maxims.

    Only if a strong religious incentive is added does such an idealistic formula have any long-term chance. Even then success will be spotty. But communism (and Nazism, for that matter) excluded religion. And that mistake was the final nail eventually clamping a lid on communism’s coffin. Communism, on a historical scale, perished while still in its childhood.
    Islam is not repeating communism’s mistake. Mating political cunning and incredible wealth with religious zeal, Islam does have a chance to succeed and will succeed unless major parts of the Western world unite to take appropriate countermeasures. But many Western leaders, unable to believe that a mere religion could possible be a serious political threat, keep proclaiming themselves as Islam-friendly, reasoning that all religions are good-aren’t they?

    A Muslim strategist in Beverly Hills, California, declared several years ago, as quoted by a friend of mine: “Now that the struggle between Western democracies and international communism is winding down, it is time for the real and final struggle to begin, and we are going to win!” – D. Richardson

    June 16, 2011 at 7:26 am |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      And as a result of the push back of Muslims in Europe, we had the Inquisition in Western Europe to ensure everyone toed the Roman line, and the Religious Wars in Eastern Europe, with Catholics and Protestants killing each other in the name of God. The technical detente between Rome and Constantinople was shattered by this. Under Islamic rule, all denominations of Christianity were treated with equal dignity. The big problem the Christians had with that is the equal dignity of treatment extended to the Jews. That was why Jews were especially targeted by Their Most Catholic Majesties of Spain after the Reconquista.

      June 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Reality


      You noted:

      "Under Islamic rule, all denominations of Christianity were treated with equal dignity. "

      Apparently, that did not last long if it happened at all. Some examples of Islam's koranic/mosque-driven terror and horror:

      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.

      June 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  4. Marie Kidman


    June 16, 2011 at 2:39 am |
  5. jaxkyle

    Rep. King seems to be a bigoted version of McCarthy. With some Republicans, Newt, requiring loyalty pledges of their cabinet, it appears the Republican party is beginig to resemble some new version of the Nazi party..

    June 16, 2011 at 12:57 am |
  6. John Steel

    Islam has become a violent, misogynist cult spreading a message of hate and intolerance around the world. Imagine how peaceful this planet would be if all Muslims disappeared tomorrow. To all those "moderate Muslims" – I suggest you start showing the level of outrage towards your whacko brethern you do towards perceived discrimination.

    June 16, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • jaxkyle

      Imagine how much less hate and self-righteousness the world would have without the biggest human lie, religion.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • tonberryahlam

      Truth is... We do! Just so happens no news outlet is around to film it! Peace!

      June 16, 2011 at 1:57 am |
    • skytag

      "Islam has become a violent, misogynist cult spreading a message of hate and intolerance around the world."

      This is nonsense with no connection to reality. I'm sure there must be some value in putting your ignorance on display for all to see, but I can't imagine what it is. Given that there are five times as many Muslims in the world as there are Americans, more than 1/5 the world's population in all, if what you say were even remotely true things would be infinitely worse than they are.

      "Imagine how peaceful this planet would be if all Muslims disappeared tomorrow."

      This is the problem with people like you. You see the world through your imagination instead of how it really is. We invaded Iraq. How peaceful was that? The Soviets invaded Afghanistan. The Nazis weren't Muslims; most of them were Christians. In fact, none of the major powers in WWII were Muslim. The Vietnam war didn't involve Muslims. The Korean War didn't involve Muslims. The American Civil War didn't involve Muslims. Yes, if all Muslims disappeared tomorrow the world would be very peaceful, except for all wars and conflicts that have nothing to do with Muslims.

      "To all those "moderate Muslims" – I suggest you start showing the level of outrage towards your whacko brethern you do towards perceived discrimination."

      Another ignorant bigot chimes in. Moderate Muslims do speak out against the extremists. I accept that you haven't seen it. You should accept that you not seeing it is different than it not happening.

      Furthermore, this somewhat popular notion that a failure of moderate Muslims to exhibit what you consider an appropriate degree of outrage means they support terrorism has no rational basis. When a white man dragged a black man to death behind his pickup truck a few years ago I didn't see any expressions of outrage by whites. According to people like you I should conclude that whites condone such behavior.

      Innocent Muslims are not under any obligation to prove anything to you or anyone else. People like you wouldn't know a real American value if it bit you in the a$$.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:57 am |
  7. HotAirAce

    Given that there have over 10,000 cases of abused children at the hands of priests, I think that the rcc should be investigated next.

    June 16, 2011 at 12:04 am |
  8. FairGarden

    I think Islamified America is far better than secular America.

    June 15, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • tonberryahlam

      I think a UNIFIED America is BEST!

      June 16, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  9. Never Say Never

    it's not "anti-Muslims" you idiot. man, you guys are so good at wordplay. "anti-immigrant" instead of "illegal" immigrant. "anti-union" instead of being against collective bargaining for "government" unions. something the creator of the afl-cio even thought we shouldn't have. but, the media twists and turns words and meanings, repeats it over and over, until the public thinks it's true. just like the nazis used to do. here's what it is, it's "anti-terrorism". and yes, most terrorism today is by muslim radicals. and of course, most muslims are good people, but you try and make it sound like this is against all muslims, because you are a liar and a disgrace to the truth. shame on you!

    June 15, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • tonberryahlam

      Depends on your definition of "Terrorism". Most of the reported Terrorist acts are Islamic Extremists yes.. but it only makes up for a small percentage of acts actually covered under the international definition of "Terrorism" in the legal sense... But you probably already knew that.

      June 15, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • papia

      There are equally great number of non-muslim Chinese and Hindus in the western countries including the US. Has anyone seen them terrorising people like the muslims here? Nope! Why do only the muslims have problems with the rules of this country?

      June 15, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • papia

      There are probably more non-muslim Chinese and Hindus in the western countries including the US. Has anyone seen them terrorising people like the muslims here? Nope! Why do only the muslims have problems with the rules of this country?

      June 15, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • skytag

      @papia: "There are probably more non-muslim Chinese and Hindus in the western countries including the US. Has anyone seen them terrorising people like the muslims here?"

      How many Chinese and Hindu countries have we invaded and occupied in the past 10 years? How many repressive dictators have we supported in Chinese and Hindu countries? You need to spend some time studying our history in that region of the world. We've meddled in the affairs of Muslim countries many, many times.

      "Nope! Why do only the muslims have problems with the rules of this country?"

      To what "rule of this country" do you refer? The rule that says we need to interfere in the internal affairs of Muslim countries at every opportunity? Yeah, I don't understand why the Chinese and Hindus aren't up in arms about that either.

      June 16, 2011 at 6:04 am |
    • mike c

      Unfortunately, bigoted and prejudiced people of any persuasion are not good at semantic distinctions. Those are the ones who said or say: the only good (Indian, Jew, Muslim, Asian, African, immigrant, etc.) is a dead one. They do not think of good, bad or indifferent, prejudice does not allow one to see the humanity of those being demonized.

      June 16, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  10. Billy Davis

    Peter King is just another bigot in the long line of Republican bigots.

    June 15, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • Never Say Never

      and you're a hater, a moron, and a tool of the far left zealots.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  11. Corey

    Thank you, Stephen Prothero!
    You are a real American. You live by the values of our founding fathers..

    June 15, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  12. Corey

    Mr. King should resign. He has the right to be a Bigot as a person but as a gov. rep. he shuold not practice Bigotry. What do you think?

    June 15, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  13. Eric

    Amazing article...thank you.

    June 15, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
  14. John Ostrom

    We're at war with radical Islam. Special measures should be taken by the goverment. King is doing what's politically incorrect but someone needs to.

    June 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  15. Nick

    Anyone who's visited an Islamic country will immediately be glad this isn't one. It's usually privileged, white, upper-class people who feel they need to save the rain forest and poor, disadvantaged Muslims since they're paying for slavery guilt. Well, visit those countries and get a real taste of their medicine. It's an awful, detestable lifestyle which encourages slavery of women, strict adherence to Sharia law, death penalties for common crimes, censorship, mob mentality and generally promotes ignorance of non-Islamic values.

    Anyone disagree? CITE EXAMPLES!

    June 15, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • GKK122

      You are the idiot of the century......stupid. Go get educated first not by the Tea Party King AH's but by real teachers who provide education not crap like what's in your puny brain.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • John Ostrom

      Nick you're absolutely correct.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • Nick

      I notice you're unable to CITE EXAMPLES as I put in BOLD TEXT. lol Typical. Your post was the equivalent of a kindergartener calling me a "poo-poo head." lol

      June 15, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • Kat

      Muslim women have been elected as prime ministers, presidents and vice presidents. When was the last time a woman elected president in the US?

      June 15, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • Aasim Soomro


      June 15, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • Dylan

      The United Arab Emirates? Egypt? Moron.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • jomo1960

      No, not all muslim countries are alike – go check out Turkey, a secular, modern islamic country...

      June 15, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • Nick

      @ Dylan: Moron? lol Here's a citation, since you obviously never went to college and don't know the definition of the word. (http://articles.cnn.com/2010-10-19/world/uae.court.ruling_1_islamic-law-sharia-law-ruling?_s=PM:WORLD)

      UAE huh? Yeah. Right.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • GodMadeEarth

      I would have to respectfully disagree. Turkey is a fairly moderate Islamic country with growing trade relations. The UAE is the market example in energy trading. While they are both not true Islamic governments as envisioned by the Prophet, it is fair to say that they are not westernized and can be demographically categorized as Islamic.
      I think you can find success in certain Islamic regions. That being said, I quite like porkchops and beer....so, no Arabian vacation for me.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • michae1hawk

      I've lived in the Middle East. Nick is right. Study Islam, it's a way to justify crime against outsiders.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • Corey

      I disagree, Nick. I have visited Malaysia, Morocco, and Lebanon. I did not see any of your claims!
      Are you sure you have been at any Islamic country?

      June 15, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • Daniel

      NIck, I lived in Jordan and Egypt, and have worked very closely with people from across the Middle East. They're usually pretty typical people. No better or worse than you or me. They have things they dislike about their governments (a little obvious with the news now), but almost none of it has to do with religion.

      In fact, the biggest complaint I've heard about Islam in the Middle East was from my Coptic Christian friend in Egypt who complained that when she was a kid the early morning Ramadan celebrations would wake her up before dawn. But then again, she also told stories about how fun those parties were when she got older.

      My Christian host family in Jordan took me to a bunch of Ramadan celebrations. Then again, we also went to Church each Sunday night too.

      Seriously man, where do you get your ideas from? Yeah, bad stuff happens in Pakistan and Yemen, but it also happens in Chicago, London, and Paris. There are bad people, but it's people who are the problem, not an entire religion.

      By the way, I was born, raised, and lived in Iowa until I was 20 (I'm 25 now). My family is pretty much all Republican, and when my mom visited me in the middle east, her biggest comment was about how good the food was.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • papia

      Nick, you are absolutely right! There are equally great number of non-muslim Chinese and Hindus in the western countries including the US. Has anyone seen any terrorist activity by them like the muslims here? Nope! Why do only the muslims have problems with the rules of this country?

      June 15, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • tonberryahlam

      Did you know Gang Violence counts as Terrorism?

      June 15, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • skytag

      You're confusing culture with religion, which is pretty easy to do in a country where the two are so intimately intertwined. The countries that match your descriptions have cultures that haven't progressed as quickly as those in western society. Go back far enough and you'll find plenty of examples of oppression and persecution of women, minorities, and other religions in Christian societies.

      June 16, 2011 at 6:19 am |
    • Muneef

      Some one said bad staff happen in Yemen....!? Yemen had imported bad staff say for example the Islamist group that kidnapped the tourists in Aden many years ago were racualy Yemenies but of British nationals...even this so called terrorist the Americans intl call " Ollaqi" is Yemeni but American national...so you see terror is being exported to us from America and Europe otherwise we had no problems before hand...
      Even that "Taj Mahal Hotel in Mombay" was attacked by Pakistanies holding British passports...so you see we are the victims and not the victimizers here....!

      June 16, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • Muneef

      Some one said bad stuff happen in Yemen....!?

      June 16, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  16. Believer

    Wow....talk about selectively quoting history....Mr Prothero "forgot" to mention something called the inquisition.....were the catholic church killed millions....x millions because they refused to be or remain catholic. In that context the burning of a convent is not worth mentioning. I totally agree with freedom of worship for all, including those who are Muslim. However for a catholic scholar to claim persecution In the U.S. is laughable.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • Nick

      Yeah. And that was during a time when the Catholic church was combating religious persecution from the Moorish invasion of Europe. Read up on how the Muslims treated people during the occupation and you'll get a good idea why the King of Spain exiled 200,000 of them in the 1680s.

      June 15, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • Kat

      Nick, so why did they treat Jews the same way as Muslims? Were Jews mistreating Christians too?...face it, the inquisition is just another chapter of the Bible believers' history of mass murder, slavery, intolerance, and atrocities.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • papia

      Check out how muslims invaded India for centuries, killed and converted so many by force!
      Sorry Nick, by mistake I hit the "abuse button." You are 100% correct.

      June 15, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • tonberryahlam

      Check out how many countries have engaged in "mass murder" of the Muslim population on their own and neighboring countries...

      June 15, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
  17. David Johnson

    The Republicans would really like to convince the American voters, that the Muslims are a threat and only they can save American from them. Don't fall for it. The Republicans always establish an enemy to protect the country from. It is an election ploy.


    June 15, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • GKK122

      Exactly ......to win election they will sell their mothers to anyone....or even their wife or daughters.....all in the name of winning elections power hungry AHs.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
  18. George

    The Muslim agenda in America includes having people post favorable comments on national news websites to try and give an impression that normal everyday Americans have open arms for Islam, when that is certainly not true.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • Believer

      You are right about the fake posters....but it doesn't work for them. You can see right through their speech patterns, and most voters don't read these opinions articles.

      June 15, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • skytag

      Yes dear. Whatever you say, dear.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:32 am |
  19. Elle

    I feel terrible on behalf of my Muslim co-workers and friends, who are such genuine, decent people, that this man King is playing the hate card and stirring up distrust and bigotry. King shames America's ideal of toleration and equality; the freedom of each individual to seek meaning in his or her own personal way. I know we fall short of that ideal, but still, we don't abandon it, for heaven's sake. It's a cheap shot, what he is doing. If somebody of one's background, culture or race has committed a high-profile crime, it puts the others of that background in a vulnerable position. I found myself having to assure a Muslim co-worker that I did not hold 9/11 against her whole people. It hurt me that she, an educated, humorous person of the highest integrity, would ever think that I could feel that way. But she worries that her family is in danger - and that is thanks to the know-nothings, bigots and paranoids who have infested this country since its founding. It's not an exclusively American characteristic, of course, bigotry. But decent people have to speak out against it. And that is what King is espousing and stirring up. Call it by its real name: Bigotry.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • Nick

      You're equally ignorant. You're assuming all Muslims should be treated like your "decent" co-workers who are assumed to be respectful, law-abiding citizens. Don't judge a group by the actions of a few. That's the definition of bigotry and you just expounded that vice in your post!

      In no way are the timid, Americanized Muslims representative of the HOARDES of Muslim fighters plaguing the Middle East right now. I'm betting your co-workers wouldn't be as friendly and lovable if they were the majority in your area; you'd be strongly encouraged to don the Hijab as well. 😉

      June 15, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • Aasim Soomro

      Hey Nick, I'm a Muslim and I was born in Cleveland, OH. Am I a "representative of the Muslim fighters in the Middle East?" I don't think so, Also, there is no compulsion of religion in Islam. People are free to choose any religion they wish. Want examples of the tolerance? Look at the Moors in Spain. They had Jewish and Christian people in high-ranking positions in the courts and palaces.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • josehead

      In many muslim countries, changing your religion from Islam to anything else is punishable by death. Yeah, you're not a represenative of Muslim fighters in the Middle East, you are a wannabe from Cleveland...

      June 15, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • Bobbb

      Bigots? I never proclaimed a Jihad against al Americans and Westerners. I never flew planes into the tallest buidings in their biggest city. But there is only one way to end a Jihad – one side or the other has to be completely anihalated, and if I had my druthers, I'd rather it be them – the muslims and as they put it – each and every one of them.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • tonberryahlam

      I am a Muslim born and raised in the Middle East who immigrated to America.... I was not raised with the notion that America or the West was bad. I was raised to be against violence... My Jihad is within myself... a struggle for bettering myself, not something that I push upon others and I have never met ANYONE with the machinations of annihilation of destruction of ANYONE! I know it means little to those who do not wish to see reason... No one is perfect. Calling the deviants of a religion you do not live the true believers is like saying the Slums are the safest places to live. Peace! Salaam! Shalom!

      June 15, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • Muneef

      Well me as a Muslim I would love to live among Muslims and non Muslims of one race or multi races but main thing of course mutual respect as a one country nation...
      I liked it in the MidEast countries that has Christians and Jews among it's population but not like it when some foreign ideas and thoughts come over disturbing the population unity by planting s-us-pi-cions,fears and hatred among them or to fight over some political powers stepping over all...
      Only such things breaks the unity of any such country whether it consists of the same race in different religions or of different races and different religions..but sharing the same faith in balance of justice...the sharia teachings are all developed laws derived from the Torah and the Quran...to cure nations diseases once for all and it can be moderate or can be extreme...depending on the mentality if well educated or an ignorant one...!! 

      June 16, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
  20. FairGarden

    Americans are spoiled by Christians. They must learn not to blaspheme from Muslims.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:32 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.