Pew Survey: Western, Muslim tensions persist, but there's a tiny thaw
July 21st, 2011
03:59 PM ET

Pew Survey: Western, Muslim tensions persist, but there's a tiny thaw

By Joe Sterling, CNN

Westerners and Muslims continue to harbor negative attitudes toward each other, but there's a glimmer of change in Western attitudes, a new survey found.

The idea that relations are bad has become "somewhat less common" over the past five years in the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Russia, according to the survey, called "Muslim-Western Tensions Persist," produced by the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project.

Still, "Muslim and Western publics continue to see relations between them as generally bad, with both sides holding negative stereotypes of the other," says the center's report on the survey released Thursday.

Many Westerners view Muslims "as fanatical and violent" and few regard Muslims as "tolerant or respectful of women," the report says. Muslims in the Middle East and Asia generally see Westerners as "selfish, immoral and greedy - as well as violent and fanatical."

"However, the latest Pew Global Attitudes survey finds somewhat of a thaw in the U.S. and Europe compared with five years ago," the report says. "A greater percentage of Western publics now see relations between themselves and Muslims as generally good compared with 2006.

"In contrast, Muslims in predominantly Muslim nations are as inclined to say relations are generally bad as they were five years ago. And, as in the past, Muslims express more unfavorable opinions about Christians than Americans or Europeans express about Muslims," the report says.

"For the most part, Muslims and Westerners finger point about the causes of problems in their relations, and about which side holds the high ground on key issues. Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere who say relations with the West are bad overwhelmingly blame the West. However, while Americans and Europeans tend to blame Muslims for bad relations, significant numbers believe Westerners are responsible."

The survey, conducted March 21 to May 15 in a dozen countries and the Palestinian territories, updates a number of trend questions from a 2006 Pew Global Attitudes poll exploring how Muslim and Western publics view each other.

There are concerns in both cultures about "Islamic extremism."

"Majorities in the U.S., Israel, and across Europe are concerned about Islamic extremism in their countries. Meanwhile, most Muslims in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Egypt, Pakistan, and Turkey also express this view," the survey found.

Many Muslims blame Western policies for a "lack of prosperity" in their countries but also blame corrupt governments there, the report says.

"Perhaps reflecting the Arab Spring, in several Muslim and Western nations, people are more likely than they were five years ago to say the lack of prosperity stems from a lack of democracy, it says.

There is a "note of agreement" between Muslims and Westerners that Muslim countries should be "more prosperous."

"Muslim publics have an aggrieved view of the West - they blame Western policies for their own lack of prosperity," the report says. "Across the Muslim publics surveyed, a median of 53% say U.S. and Western policies are one of the top two reasons why Muslim nations are not wealthier. In contrast, few Americans or Western Europeans think the economic challenges facing Muslim countries are a result of Western policies."

The report also highlights other illuminating points:

- Muslims remain skeptical toward the belief that Arabs conducted the 9/11 attacks. There is no Muslim public in which even 30% accept what is regarded in the United States and other Western nations as an undisputed fact.

– Muslims "identify" with their religion rather than their nationality. Christians in Europe identify with their nationality, but "American Christians are split."

- "Ratings for Jews are uniformly low" in predominantly Muslim nations, but "solid majorities" in the Western nations "have a favorable opinion" of Jewish people. "Less than 10% of Muslims in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Turkey, Pakistan and Indonesia express a favorable view of Jews."

- Among Israel's minority Muslim community, "48% express a positive opinion of Jews, while 49% offer a negative opinion. In contrast, only 9% of Israeli Jews have a positive view of Muslims. Christians receive somewhat higher ratings among Israeli Muslims (67% favorable) than among Israeli Jews (51%)."

- A majority of people in four of the six mostly Christian nations surveyed say they have a positive opinion of Muslims. They are the United States, Britain, France and Russia. "The exceptions are Germany (45% favorable) and Spain (37%), although views toward Muslims have improved in both countries since 2006."

- "In Lebanon, which has a large Christian population, nearly all Muslims (96%) express a positive view of Christians. Narrow majorities of Jordanian (57%) and Indonesian (52%) Muslims also give Christians a favorable rating, while in Egypt - which has recently experienced violence between elements of its Muslim and Christian communities - views are divided (48% favorable; 47% unfavorable). Meanwhile, very few Muslims in Pakistan (16%) or Turkey (6%) have a positive opinion of Christians."

- While Muslim assessments of relationships tend to be "at least as negative as they were five years ago," Indonesia is an exception. Fewer Indonesians say Muslim-Western relations are negative.

- Lebanese Muslims are "consistently the least likely to assign negative characteristics to Westerns."

- In Jordan, concerns have dropped significantly over Islamic extremism in the past five years.

- There is a "widespread perception" that Muslims living in the West don't want to assimilate. People without college degrees are "more likely" than those who have them "to believe that Muslims want to remain distinct from the broader society."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Interfaith issues • Islam

soundoff (269 Responses)
  1. AvdBerg

    A number of people that have written to respond to this article have spoken of the interpretation of the Bible, which is the number one problem in this present world as the Bible itself teaches us that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20). Only few people (Matthew 7:14) are able to understand the Bible and as long as mankind remains separated from God, the Word of God will remain a mystery.

    Mankind in his natural state is unable to understand the Bible and unable to receive the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14).

    There is a natural body and a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:44). The only thing that separates the Natural body from the Spiritual body is the Baptism of Repentance (Mark 1:4). To repent means: to change spirits and to turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan, whose spirit mankind is of (Luke 9:55), unto God (Acts 26:18). This is not an interpretation. Many people search the Bible for in them they think they have eternal life, but when we bring them the Scriptures they don’t believe us (John 5:38,39). Confused? There is no need to be confused any longer. For a better understanding of the mystery of God we invite you to read all the pages and articles of our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    So, before mankind will be able to understand the Word of God, mankind requires to be converted and transformed by God (not by any religion) and only then mankind is able to understand the Bible, as it is God (John 1:1).

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how this whole world has been deceived as confirmed by the Word of God in Revelation 12:9. The Bible is true in all things and is the discerner of every thought and the intent of the heart (Hebrews 5:12).

    July 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • ....

      Still trolling trying to sell your cult and book it's complete garbage. Click the report abuse link to get rid of this troll.

      July 25, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  2. Beatrice

    The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good. (Psalm chapter 53)

    July 25, 2011 at 1:18 am |
  3. Reality

    The real Islam as noted by the following list of koranic-driven acts of terror:

    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.

    July 25, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • mike

      Your whole argument is thrown out the window, u spelt Quran , koranic like this just shows ur lack of knowledge and overwhelming ignorance, i suggest you go pick up a Quran and understand the truth before u started spewing nonsense

      July 25, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  4. Beatrice

    Jesus said, "I am the Truth. No one comes to God except through Me. Seeing Me is seeing God." (The Gospel of John, chapter 14)

    July 25, 2011 at 12:33 am |
  5. Muneef

    "Soon We will show them our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth" (Quran, surah Fussilat s.41 v.53).

    July 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  6. Muneef

    Signs of Truth from GOD...that the words of Quran is from GOD and ways or means on how the Holy Books and The Quran were revealed to messengers and prophets of GOD...beside it's prove that Ramadan is a Holy Month for GOD and Angels as Quran sura 97 about the "Night of Destiny"..Only GOD knows but seems another Jesus born in with another Miracle's yet to come...!!? 

    Quranic verses are written on a baby's skin who is born in Russia-Dagestan. Each week a new verse is written. The parents says that he wouldn't eat anything in the month of Ramadan till Iftar time ( he used to fast ). 2000 person per day visits the baby. For more info: 

    July 24, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Muneef


      July 24, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  7. toma

    let's pray those surveys really reflect reality ..... the world needs peace and understanding .......no more my religion is better ... or how can u see things otherwise ..... just embrace each other's differences ...

    July 24, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  8. Reality

    The nitty-gritty of Islam in less than 300 words:

    What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon? And what drives today's 24/7 mosque/imam-planned acts of terror and horror?

    The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means.

    Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed. Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein. Until then, no male Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere..................................

    July 24, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  9. Thinker23

    Muneef: You've said something about Hamas having "some sentiments toward Europeans imported into Arab lands".

    Would you have a problem with Jews having simlar "sentiments" toward Arabians imported into Jewish lands?

    July 24, 2011 at 8:04 am |
    • Muneef

      Not sure where or which lands of Jews you speak of...but any way I shouldn't speak in the tounge of others and Hamas speaks for it self I do not know what are their intentions..

      July 24, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • Thinker23

      Muneef: How come you're "not sure" which lands of Jews I speak of but you ARE sure which Arab lands YOU speak of? Can you SHOW THE LEGAL DEEDS proving that the "Arab lands" you speak of are indeed ARAB lands? and YES, Hamas does indeed speak for itself. If you DON'T KNOW their intentions that HOW COME you TALK about their intentions? Do you usually talk about things you have no clue about?

      July 25, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • mike

      prove to me that jews have a land that they werent kicked out of by god, exactly

      July 25, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
  10. Beatrice

    I think Islam is a positive influence in the West since the West lost much of decent purpose of living, became immoral/perverted and hostile to Christianity and refuse to read or honor God's Word, the Bible. Average people in free countries have much good to learn from serious Muslims. Praying that Muslims would find Jesus as their Divine Savior as He is.

    July 24, 2011 at 6:07 am |
  11. Beatrice

    Muslims should read the Bible during Ramadan( those literate ones), since many of them don't read Qu'ran anyway...

    July 24, 2011 at 6:02 am |
    • Muneef


      I think during the month of Ramadan you should fast and read the Bible may you get a glimpse of the "Night of Destiny"...read it pasted below to Reality.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:14 am |
  12. Muneef

    The month of Ramadan is at the Doors and only few days left;

    July 23, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Reality

      Mohammed supposedly spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy" named Gabriel. Common sense demands a neuron deletion of the Ramadan legend. It is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible terror for unbelievers.

      July 24, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Muneef

      The month of Ramadan was the month in which the Quran revealed to the Prophet of Islam (saws);
      Watch out for the "Night of Destiny";

      [97:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

      [97:1] We revealed it in the Night of Destiny.*

      [97:2] How awesome is the Night of Destiny!

      [97:3] The Night of Destiny is better than a thousand months.

      [97:4] The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by their Lord's leave, to carry out every command.

      [97:5] Peaceful it is until the advent of the dawn.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:09 am |
  13. Muneef

    Worship in Islam is every thing a person does ;

    The concept of worship in Islam is misunderstood by many people including some Muslims. Worship is commonly taken to mean performing ritualistic acts such as prayers, fasting, charity, etc. This limited understanding of worship is only one part of the meaning of worship in Islam. That is why the traditional definition that includes almost everything in any individual's activities. The definition goes something like this, "Worship is an all inclusive term for all that Gods love of external and internal sayings and actions of a person." In other words, worship is everything one says or does for the pleasure of Allah. This, of course, includes rituals as well as beliefs, social activities, and personal contributions to the welfare of one's fellow human beings.

     [5:2] You shall cooperate in matters of righteousness and piety; do not cooperate in matters that are sinful and evil. You shall observe GOD. GOD is strict in enforcing retribution.


    July 23, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • Reality

      Even farting is "controlled" in Islam:

      To wit:


      "Farting is problematic in Islam. During prayer, a worshipper must not fart. Sahih Bukhari (1.4.137) writes that Allah will not accept a Muslim's prayer if he/she passes wind during the ritual.

      The exception occurs if the worshipper farts silently, or the fart does not smell. In such a case, he/she may continue with the prayer (ibid, 1.4.139).Sunaan Nasai (1.162) writes that if you fart during a prayer you must redo ablution. Sahih Bukhari (9.86.86) says that for a "farter" Allah will not accept his/her prayer until he/she performs another ablution."

      July 24, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Muneef

      Is that all concerns you? Farting why are you like a gas chamber cannot stop farting or what?

      July 24, 2011 at 8:32 am |
  14. Muneef

    Where are the Advanced countries taking the world into;

    In addition to hybrid seeds,animals,humanizing cows milk and now we are exceeding limits into;


    On Friday, a group of British researchers has reported that scientists should ensure that when they inject the human genes or cells into the animals, the animals should accept these human genes. These criterions of inserting the human genes or cells into the animals help the scientists to study the effects of diseases or medicines on human bodies.

    These humanizing of animals should be carefully performed as any small mistake could lead to a disaster. The Chinese scientists have introduced human stem cells into goat fetuses and U. S. researchers have studied about the idea of creating a mouse with human brain cells.

    New rules urged on hybrid animal-human experiments;

    What will Human kind end up to be after all such experiments;
    Well those already the Quran has spoke of in these verses here;

    [2:204] Among the people, one may impress you with his utterances concerning this life, and may even call upon GOD to witness his innermost thoughts, while he is a most ardent opponent.

    [2:205] As soon as he leaves, he roams the earth corruptingly, destroying properties (The Cultivation) and lives (The Posterity). GOD does not love corruption.

    [2:206] When he is told, "Observe GOD," he becomes arrogantly indignant. Consequently, his only destiny is Hell; what a miserable abode.

    July 23, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • @Muneef

      "U. S. researchers have studied about the idea of creating a mouse with human brain cells."
      They've actually succeeded in creating a human with mouse brain cells. You were the result.

      July 23, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • Muneef

      Haha. Very funny really I like it..thanks for the compliment...

      July 23, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • @Muneef

      lol 🙂

      July 23, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • Muneef

      May your Thorns become Flowers...don't worry.

      July 23, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
  15. Muneef

    Read the Signs;

    As it seems today according to the signs from the religion blogs and hate crimes exposed at the Westren Media Headlines are signs can that be easily  read that there are minorities that one day may become as a majority against Muslims,Arabs or any coloreds.
    Those will continue into forcing all out of the Western countries which some claim to be for the Christians only while others claim it being for the Whites only...!
    Let us read about what has happened in the Spanish lands when it fell from the hands of Muslims into the hands of the Christians..such as by force immigrating or by mass killing of both Muslims and Jews after they totally used and abused them..! 

    Think of the Signs,such as the Texas Row Killer case, using the American Flag as a Patriot Freedom Fighter;


    Or the fresh developing story of The Norway Attack and the Motives behind it; 

    Brothers in Islam your motherland countries needs you,they need your knowledge,creativity,skills and maybe finance into establishing projects or business ideas no matter how small it is to start with....

    As Muslims you do believe in that planting a fruit tree where a traveler whether being a (Human or Animal or Bird) make use of your planted tree such as sleeping under it's shade or feeds on it's fruits..is considered as you have established what is called in Arabic (Sadaqa Gariah or Living Charity) that will be for your credit Alive or Dead . Such as that is meant by tree or a sastainable business,since that will allow owners and employed to support their families through it beside it paying it's Annual Zakah to Charity...

    It seems the West is claiming to become as was South Africa when it was used to be written on the Doors of Restaurants and Shops;
    'No Dogs & No Colored Allowed' sort of humiliation to Drive out the Unwanted Colors or Cultures !?!
    My sincere advice to every Muslims or Arabs is to invest in their mother land and not keep all in one basket otherwise if ever that day comes at least you will not leave empty handed needing to start your life savings all over again..since who gave you the Nationality today can as Easily take it from you as unwanted guest...! 

    Muslims your being and your high eduction in the west, you should start utilizing this into bringing developments and investments for your motherlands whether you knew it or not...or another option is by assisting your overseas fellow brothers in Islam...Or as we say"Build Your Self a House in Every Valley"..am sure that you will never regret if found the right honest people..

    July 23, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
  16. Muneef

    In the West every or any man's crime is considered being a mental case but every Muslim's crime is considered to be a Terrorist act...!

    Soonest any crimes or explosions take place in the West every body with out hesitations assumes or accuses the Muslims living in thse Western Countries....!  

    Now what can we consider this crime now is it Religious or Political? Or is it a mix of both as 2 in 1....? In such case I think the MidEast is in enough troubles already and would not need your Politicalized Western Christian faith in our countries since such as those acts would be expected from them some time latter...! 


    July 23, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  17. Rainer Braendlein

    Ask any scientist, and he will confirm the following: All Muslims together are the Islamic Empire. The Islamic Empire quasi is a worldwide state of all Muslim believers, called Umma. The Umma is neither a pure religious community nor a pure state, but a mixture of both.

    Umma has always been an enemy of the Western World, and will always be an enemy of the Western World. In Umma's eyes the Umma is the only community on earth, which has God's favour, and only a man, who is Muslim will have God's favour. Thus, the Umma wants to absorb all countries on earth and every single human being into it's fat body.

    The Umma was our enemy for about 1400 years. Why should it become our friend within the last seconds of history???

    I have never heard that a wolf has ever become a harmless sheep.

    July 23, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • Hana

      Please name the scientists you are quoting here. Anyone who studies religion knows that Islam is a factioned group just as much as the Christians and Jews are.

      There are Shia Muslims, who also break down to the Twelvers (mainstream), which has 2 different schools of thought and several subgroups like the Alawis, and the other groups deemed as heretical by the Twelvers (such as the Druze, the Ismailis and more). Then there are the Sunni Muslims who break down into 4 different schools of thought (all very different from each other), and from there you get several factions such as the Wahhabi's who are from the most conservative school of thought, but do not make up the entirety of that school. And you have other groups like the Sufis that have many different Orders that all have different traditions and interpretations. And, and, and, and....

      And each group has a tendency of thinking that the other groups are heretics and not True Muslims. Thus a long history of fighting between many of them. Much like Europe in the chaos of the Protestant Reformation. Then you add it other cultural issues such as rampant racism in some communities. It is anything but one unified group.

      So, no, the entire "Ummah" is not ONE Islamic Empire, there is no ONE Islamic Agenda, there is no ONE Islamic voice.

      July 23, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • BG


      Pay no attention to the elephant in the room.... it's not really there.

      Keep going, Hana. At this rate you'll soon be disavowing the existence of Muslims completely.

      July 23, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Hana

      Really BG? You are going to post a paper by some guy who is calling for Muslims to Unite and claim that it is some proof that the Muslims ARE united?

      Please do some serious research. Here is a general over view.


      It looks a lot like the different denominations of Christianity.... Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Coptic, Chaldean, Calvinists, Baptists, etc......

      July 24, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • BG

      @ Hana

      Seems you either didn't read the whole treatise, or just ignored the pertinent parts.

      "How the Unity of Muslim Ummah can be achieved?

      There is only ONE way to achieve the unity of Muslim Ummah and that way is the way of Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam). This way was used by the Companions of Allah's Messenger (May Allah be pleased with them) and the Muslim scholars during the 13 centuries of Muslim rule of this world. One may say that everyone follows Qur'an but we are still disunited. That's true. The dispute is not in the Qur'an."

      "The dispute lies with those scholars and their followers who interpret Qur'an based upon their own sectarian beliefs and ignore consensus of Islamic scholars (IJMA'). Muslims must return to the consensus of Islamic scholars which did exist from the period of SAHABAH (Companions of Allah's Messenger) till the fall of Khilafat-e-Islamiyah just one century ago."

      "Muslims must think as one nation and must overcome the linguistic, geographical, regional and ethnic differences. The agents of colonial empires have seeded the linguistic and regional nationalism among Muslims. Muslims must leave linguistic and regional nationalism behind and become one body. If any part of the body feels pain the entire body should feel it and find the cure for it."


      "It looks a lot like the different denominations of Christianity.... Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Coptic, Chaldean, Calvinists, Baptists, etc......"

      Sure. And if it wasn't for the daily prayers we couldn't differentiate Islam from any other fascist movements. So great... let's start comparing this-n-that. I'm sure there will be some revelations.

      July 24, 2011 at 4:15 am |
    • Hana

      BG, you still have shown nothing to prove me wrong or to prove Rainer correct.

      You show one paper, that one guy writes, asking for Muslims to unite. Much like the Pope keeps asking the Christians to unite, or any other religion with many factions ask for people to unite. Because they know that they are stronger together than broken up and hating each other. But calling for it and doing it are two VERY DIFFERENT things.

      Even within my own city, there are several Mosques. And for the most part, the people in one Mosque will actively tell you all of the reasons NOT to go the the other Mosques and how the people there are not True Muslims and if you go there, they will lead you astray. There is even one Mosque where the community is split between members that follow one school of thought and members that follow a different school of thought and it is causing tensions. I have had Muslims tell me that I am not a real Muslim because I dont cover my face. I have had other Muslims tell me that I am brainwashed and dont understand Islam because I do wear a hijab. I have had Muslim praise me for being a convert. And others look down on me because I am not from Saudi. Many Muslims judge, condemn, and/or hate other Muslims for being part of different groups.

      So, in the relatively small Muslim population of my home town... we are not one voice. We are not united. And the rest of the Ummah is the same way on a larger scale. Divided in many ways.

      Seriously, the Republican party has more unity than the Muslim Ummah.

      July 24, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • BG

      @ Hana

      You misunderstand both Ranier and me. We are simply acknowledging the existence of the Islamic Umma as is written in -any- koran, described in myriad books and presentations by Islamic proponents (sorry, I steadfastly -refuse- to call them 'scholars'), historians, and Islamic theologians.

      I'll simplify this for you. From the 7/24/11publication of the "Muslim Kid's Journal:"

      The Importance of Unity of the Muslim Ummah
      Published Feb 27, 2006

      Muslims should understand that unity is what will make us move forward in this world. Today the Muslim Ummah is behind in everything. Education, technology, trade and, most importantly, our faith. Non-muslims may not believe in our faith but their unity has made them come very far. Remember the era when the Muslims were united and held on to Allah's rope tightly? The Islamic empire spread from the east to west and Allah blessed them with wealth, fame, victory and honor. Muslims need to be united now more than ever.

      So no, Hana, Muslims are -not- currently unified. But they were.. and Islamic proponents are advancing the need for them to be once again.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • BG

      And remember, Hana, Islam -cannot- exist in a free democracy. If our liberal leaders keep encouraging muslim immigration into this country without limit, sooner or later there is going to be internal conflict(s). Personally, I think that violence is counterproductive. The Oslo bomber brought misery to the Norwegians, and in doing so irreparably damaged his cause, regardless that his actions were born out of frustration, fear, and misguided zealousness. I pray this was a lesson learned by the world, but truthfully, we all know that there's some pretty slow studies out there. (including the "1% of 1.6B" of your new brothers and sisters....)

      Personally, I believe in the power of the American ballot box.

      July 24, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • BG

      @ Hana

      "I have had Muslim praise me for being a convert."

      Well, there's a problem right there... You're a female who voluntarily converted to a cul1 that is dogmatically, inherently and openly misogynistic. Understanding that, I'm sure that both muslims and kafir alike must look at you with wonder. "Oh good, now she's one of us/them... I wonder what's wrong with her.

      Here's an interesting publication regarding a study done on Islamic converts in Denver, CO, cir. 2009. It's interesting reading to understand what drives someone like yourself into a cul1.


      July 24, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • BG

      "And others look down on me because I am not from Saudi. Many Muslims judge, condemn, and/or hate other Muslims for being part of different groups."

      Great. You joined a club where no one gets along with each other and most of them don't even like you.

      Brilliant. I bet Mom and Dad are so proud. Too bad they couldn't afford the cost of deprogramming you..

      July 24, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Hana


      No see, you still want to paint everything with one big paint brush. The difference between you and me is that I follow the religion, not the culture. The Quran specifically grants women rights and balanced equality in many ways. Far more than the Bible or the Torah or really most religious scriptures. And there are many Muslims who understand this and practice the faith that way. But, that is what I have been saying all along. Then there are cultures that exist that pick and choose and take things out of context to justify their behavior that is contradictory to what the Quran says. That is what I have been saying all along.

      You want to just take one paint brush and paint us all to be like one another in a negative light, to paint the religion in the color of its claimed followers. I am trying to show you the diversity that is there. We are not all the same. We dont all practice the same. We dont all interpret the same. So, rather than judge the religion based on the followers and the cultural influences that they carry. Try separating the them all. Look at the Quran as one thing. And look at the people in their separate groups.

      You seem to just want to see all of the negative and refuse to believe that there is anything good. Even with the charity discussion we had going on (that I seem to have lost in the pages), I tell you about true cases of charity work, by me, by my friends, by MUSLIMS... and all you refuse to believe that it is even possible for any of it to be honest charity work. You are the one shoving your head in the sand.

      If you have not noticed, I have always been honestly accepting of FACTS that there are human flaws in many Muslims, that there are very negative groups with agendas, that there are many destructive traditions in many cultures, and horrible actions in the past and present. I know about it all and dont refute it. I dont bury my head in the sand and pretend it is not there. I am just offering the OTHER SIDE of the story. The reality is that many Muslims are do not condone or approve of the negative actions that you want to focus on.

      So, please look at the broader picture and all of the different colors that exist there.

      July 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • Hana


      As for my conversion, I did not convert for people. I did not do it to join a club or make friends or get married to a Muslim man or any of the silly reasons that everyone assumes. (I am married now, but I did not even meet him until 4 years after my conversion)

      And yeah, not everyone likes me, some people hate me. But, that is true in any large group... work, church, volleyball league, etc. Any time you have a group, some people will not like others. It is just part of group dynamics. But, most people who actually know me, like me.

      As I said before, I view the Quran and culture as two very different things. I follow the Quran. I learn about cultures. But, I dont follow any of the cultures and traditions of the Middle East that are not actually from the religion itself.

      And I read your article that you posted. It seems to be a well written article. However, it is a survey of 13 people. And from what I can tell, none of them are like me. I had no bad childhood, no absent father, not quest to find a new religion, no permanent move, no major crisis, no my family did not turn their backs on me for it (in fact I was at a barbeque with them yesterday), no I did not loose friends over it, no I did not stop talking to my non-Muslim friends (actually I have few close Muslim friends, most of my friends are varied from Mormon to Catholic to Wiccan to Atheists, and everything in the middle), no 9/11 was not the reason for me learning about Islam or converting, though I did convert after 9/11 I had started studying it before 9/11.

      So, again, dont assume all Muslims are the same. Even us converts.

      July 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  18. Reality

    Saving Muslims is quite easy!!!

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

    Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

    July 23, 2011 at 7:53 am |
  19. OceanLight

    Both the West and Muslims in the West must work for the complete freedom of conscience (religiuous freedom) for everyone in the Muslim countries, if they are honest at all. Present Westerners have tendency to see oppression in other lands as cultural or something amusing. Bad, bad secularists. Only Christians concern everyone's liberty and safety.

    July 22, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • Muneef

      Did you say you were from Nigeria? Start from there...

      July 23, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • OceanLight

      Muneef, I'm Asian by ethnicity. Muneef, read the Bible and come to understand your God properly. Stop listening to your erroring imams or scholars who know nothing about the Bible. There is God's Book. Why would you listen to humans, setting aside God's direct revelation? Don't waste life. Even if you are afraid of the Bible thinking it is tainted, just read it. You will instantly know it is the Word of God. Choose to trust God's Word instead of your family or upbringing or other humans.

      July 23, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • Muneef

      The Torah and the Angeel are all in the Quran...and I have a strong faith in the Quran alone and i belong to no Immams...better study your bible well since as seems you do not know where to head.

      July 23, 2011 at 1:03 am |
    • OceanLight

      Muneef, I know I belong to Christ, the Divine Savior. His atonement covers me on the Day of Judgment and His Spirit enables me to live the life God intends for me. Raw human is defenseless at Judgment because one's good deeds never outweighs or covers one's evil deeds. Muneef, you need to believe Isa(Jesus) died for your sin on the cross and rose from the dead. There is no other way for you to be saved. The Word of God says so.

      July 23, 2011 at 8:31 am |
    • Muneef

      Just wonder why God deputed Prophet Muhammed if the only way is through Prphet Jesus only....? By doing this then there must have been a chance that some thing went wrong there after...!

      July 23, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • OceanLight

      Muneef, if Muhammed was literate and had the whole text of the Holy Bible, unlike today's Muslims, he'd have diligently read it all, repeatedly, and would've acknowledged Jesus! He highly respected Jesus. Please read the New Testament Bible which is all about Him! If I were you, that's what I would do as an honest human being! Discover the truth! It's available to you, Muneef. Please don't be lazy.

      July 24, 2011 at 5:53 am |
    • OceanLight

      Both before and after Jesus, there was no way of salvation for mankind besides Jesus. People got saved either by believing in the coming Savior or by believing in the Savior who died for humanity's sin, rose again from the dead, went back to Heaven and who is coming back to earth. The reason Jesus Christ is called the Savior of the world. There is no other. Man cannot save himself from his sin and its penalty. The cost of sinned(therefore every) soul is too high. The Bible says so.

      July 24, 2011 at 5:58 am |
    • Muneef


      Who do you worship Jesus or GOD ? I worship GOD and Quran is my salvation....

      July 24, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • OceanLight

      Munef, God's Word declares Jesus is God. God cannot accept you even in million years because your good deeds never surpass your evil deeds. You will get justice at the end of your life if Jesus' atonement covers you by your faith in Jesus alone. God tests honesty and sincerity of humans by how they view or treat Jesus. Read the Bible, Muneef. Without believing Jesus' death on the corss and His resurrection, God is only your Judge, not Savior, when you face Him.

      July 24, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • OceanLight

      Correction on the second line: "...if Jesus' atonement does NOT cover you..."

      July 25, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • OceanLight

      Muneef, if you truly valued everything in Qu'ran, you'd have read and studied the Bible. The Bible says laziness is sin.

      July 25, 2011 at 12:03 am |
  20. Muneef

    Why not on CNN..?

    The Power Of Words.
    Change your Words,Change your Worlds.

    Texas death row killer forgiven by shooting victim
    By Alastair Leithead
    BBC News, Texas

    Texas man executed for 9/11 revenge killing of store clerk, despite plea from surviving victim
    By Edecio Martinez Topics Daily Blotter

    Guess justice has to be considered from it's first signs or crimes and are not to wait until a row of innocents is accomplished by hatred..

    July 22, 2011 at 11:27 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.