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September 1st, 2011
10:24 AM ET

My Faith: Rep. Keith Ellison, from Catholic to Muslim

By Chris Welch, CNN

Minneapolis, Minnesota (CNN) -Prior to 2006, few people even knew that then-Minnesota state legislator Keith Ellison was a Muslim. Because of his English name, he said, no one thought to ask.

But five years ago, when he ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives - a race he would go on to win - word of his religious affiliation began to spread.

“When I started running for Congress it actually took me by surprise that so many people were fascinated with me being the first Muslim in Congress,” said Ellison, a Democrat now serving his third term in the House.

“But someone said to me, ‘Look Keith, think of a person of Japanese origin running for Congress six years after Pearl Harbor–this might be a news story.’”

Though Ellison's status as the first Muslim elected to Congress is widely known, fewer are aware that he was born into a Catholic family in Detroit and was brought up attending Catholic schools.

But he said he was never comfortable with that faith.

“I just felt it was ritual and dogma,” Ellison said. “Of course, that’s not the reality of Catholicism, but it’s the reality I lived. So I just kind of lost interest and stopped going to Mass unless I was required to.”

It wasn’t until he was a student at Wayne State University in Detroit when Ellison began, “looking for other things.”

He doesn’t have an elaborate explanation of what led him to convert to Islam in college, though he said he was “drawn to the multi-national congregation.”

“I would really like to hear somebody who is really articulate about the elements of their faith conversion. I'm not,” he said. "I investigated it, it worked for me, and it made me have a sense of inspiration and wonder, and I became a Muslim. It's been working for me ever since.”

Ellison's political opponents have made his faith an issue in his congressional campaigns.

“I would caution [opponents] that it doesn't work. People are not hateful like that," he said. "If you come up saying, ‘Vote for me because Ellison is a Muslim and I’m not,’ nine out of ten voters are going to see that as the silliness that it is.”

“It doesn't hurt my feelings at all," he said. "In fact I actually feel sorry for these people.”

And he said he has never had a second thought about converting.

“My faith and my identity as a Muslim - I never saw it as something that made my job harder," he said. "It’s just an aspect of who I am. It's the time that we live in. We have to respond to the realities of the world we’re in.”

But Ellison acknowledges that his faith has given him something of a national profile, not always in ways that are welcome.

In March, he testified in nationally televised congressional hearings, called by Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, to explore what King said was radicalization in American Muslim communities.

At the hearing, Ellison choked up as he described the sacrifices of Muslim Americans who tried to save others in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“Without any of my choosing or desire I became somewhat of a symbolic figure," Ellison said. "And I urge anyone to avoid becoming a symbolic figure if you can. But I ended up in that position, so I just figured why not talk about it? Why not help try to bring people together with it?”

“Faith really should be a bridge, not a wall," Ellison said. "Because at the end of the day we should be focusing on what you believe, not what your religion is.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Islam

soundoff (1,073 Responses)
  1. Reality

    Dear Rep. Ellison, (in case you missed this on p.1)

    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..

    September 1, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
  2. Jeff

    What I don't understand I'd why people can't give Christianity a second chance. Its the better of the other religions

    September 1, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • CrystalRiver

      Jeff, in fact Christianity is the only true religion with the Divine Savior. All other religions don't have salvation.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • Al

      "All other religions don't have salvation."

      How do we know this? Because our 2,000 year old book says so. So there.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:34 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      it's hard to give something a second chance when all evidence points to the contrary...when the deity of the belief system contradicts itself...when little children suffer or for that matter any human does

      September 2, 2011 at 8:23 am |
    • Stevie7

      I gave it enough of a chance the first time around, so I'll pass. And being able to look at religions more objectively, it seems to me that there are equally as valid religions. Buddhism, for example, seems a whole lot more peaceful and a whole lot less rigid.

      September 2, 2011 at 8:39 am |
  3. Jerry

    The thing that gets me is how these so-called "journalists" find anything newsworthy in one man's conversion from belief in one imaginary sky-fairy to a belief in a completely different imaginary sky-fairy. (Unless, of course, you consider both to be essentially the same imaginary sky-fairy and what you're really buying into are the words of some primitive sociologists, con men, and drug-addled and/or drunken "prophets" who spun a good enough yarn to get the stupid, the suckers, the "less-than-sane-and-rational, and the other manipulators of men to either buy into their hooey or to see within it a path to power for themselves.)

    September 1, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  4. Dennis

    “I just felt it was ritual and dogma,” Ellison said.

    Do Muslims not have to pray 5 times a day and observe Ramadan?

    September 1, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
  5. Jimmy

    Muslim or Catholic it doesn't make any difference.The fact that he is a liberal democrat is the reason not to vote for him.We have to remove as many liberal democrats from the government as possible.The House of Representatives is under control,we will take back the Senate and White House in a few months.Liberal democrats are the worst possible choice to hold elective office.

    September 1, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • JT

      No, I would say that those who speak to their invisible nonexistent friends are worse.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
  6. JT

    “I just felt it was ritual and dogma,” Ellison said. “Of course, that’s not the reality of Catholicism"

    Yes it is.

    September 1, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Dennis

      funny, at least he had the understanding of himself to know it isnt, and your ignorance and intolerance of Catholicism says infinitely more about you.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • JT

      No, he's just trying to appease you cults who are in power since he belongs to a minority cult in the US.

      September 1, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  7. Warren Joe

    I posted 3 different times and looks like the forum moderator censured it and didn't like since it was good... So CYA U Later CNN , reading my news somewhere else...

    September 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • A Theist

      IT has to do with certain words. The filter checks for strings and substrings that contain anything "profane". Because of this, you have to use words carefully with editing, such as ti.tled and se.xy.

      September 1, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Warren Joe and others that have trouble posting.

      If your post doesn't show it was most likely censored. Previously it would be visible to you only with a header saying "Your comment is awaiting moderation.".

      CNN uses automated censoring that looks for words, or fragments of words, that are considered offensive. My guess is that your post had had a forbidden word in it.

      Posts that are too long, or contain too many URLs will also get rejected.

      The following words or word fragments will get your post censored (list is incomplete):
      arse
      bastard
      bitch
      cock
      coon
      cum
      cunt
      douche
      effing
      fag
      ftw
      fuck
      homo
      horny
      jackass
      jap
      jism
      kooch
      nipple
      orgy
      pis
      porn
      poo
      prick
      rape
      sex
      shit
      slut
      snatch
      spic
      tit
      twat
      vag
      whore
      wtf

      To fix that you can break up the word by putting an extra character in, like consti.tution (breaking the oh so naughty "tit").

      September 2, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  8. Doug brock

    One year after Rep. Ellison's first term, 2007, a Muslim prayer room was built at the St. Paul/Minn airport. The Muslims claimed that they were being discriminated against. One thing about America, cry discrimination and boy will they American Taxpayers HAVE to pony up the money. Would be an interesting exercise to see how much if any this cost?

    September 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  9. Jfz

    What Christians should remember is that Judaism, Christianity and Islam came from the same area of the world and from the same offspring, whether you like it or not.
    The Middle East had and will always have Christians, they are our brothers. Regardless of all the atrocities the crusaders did to Arabs and Muslims during the middle ages.
    It is sad to see "Christian" west (Europe, Americas, and the lies) do not accept Muslim presence in their countries. The funny thing is that Muslims are always accused of being intolerant. If that was the case, why do you have centuries old churches in Arab countries, do not tell me because they are defended by NATO. Do your research, Muslims had the upper hand for centuries, they protected churches in Jerusalem. Again, do your research.
    The hard fact for you to believe is that, people in that area converted to Islam, and willingly.
    Pray for peace and understanding, open up your mind, there are more commons than differences.

    September 1, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Jfz

      Typo, meant to say (Europe, Americas and the likes)

      September 1, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • bono

      yeah right! Take a bible with you to soudi arabia and see how torelant muslim countries are!

      September 1, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Dhay

      Are really serious-–Try being a Christian in Iran, Irag or Pakistan and most Musliam countries. Those Countries do not have fredom of religion.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Jfz

      You are right about bibles in Saudia Arabia, they are fearful of promoting Christianity there.
      But other that, what about Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia... etc?
      Even Pakistan, don't you think there are Christians there?
      And finally, are you looking at the last couple of decades of history?
      What about the two crusades ordered by the church? Who called who an infidel?
      How did Muslim presence end in Spain? how much did Muslim presence contribute to the advancement of Europe in the middle ages when you guys were hunting witches and vampires?
      Lets look past that, and seek friendship and cooperation, wars are not good, be open minded, this will be better for our children. Keep in mind that there are so many Muslims love the Unites States and think of it as home.
      Use these Muslims as power in your hand and do not make them enemy. Try talking to a Muslim and get a first hand experience, may be they are not as bad as you think.
      Peace!

      September 1, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • Dennis

      Those "centuries old churches" survived because at some point they were CONVERTED to mosques (like St Sophia in Constantinople). Some were converted back. Those few that survived as churches had their bell towers torn down and had to pay heavy taxes to exist, could never be 'repaired' or expanded, and often were drenched in the blood of their members depending on what muslim was in power at the time.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • Jfz

      @Dennis, this is a very silly argument. They only churches that were left were the useless ones or the ones that paid taxes... Muslims could have leveled all churches and removed all traces of Christianity from their countries (which would be horrible), but they did not and will not.
      The taxes part is also a playbook talking point, Muslims paid higher taxes back then (research Zakat). Christians preferred living under Muslim rule when Muslims ruled half Spain, why would they if they had to pay higher taxes.. Research yourself with an open mind.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Dennis

      JFZ,

      Some corrections to your 'assertions':

      You talk about the 'two crusades'. First, your facts are wrong. There were at least 5 major crusades in the middle east and several more in Eastern Europe and western europe.
      The "crusdaes" were initiated at the REQUEST of the BYZANTINE EMPIRE, so to make the claim that they were a spontaneous action of the west is an outright lie. Additionally the Byzantines requested military support BECAUSE of CONTINUED attacks against them by Islamic powers. This is after almost 400 YEARS OF attacks by muslims on byzantine territory.
      To Spain, you talk about how muslims left but neglect to mention HOW THEY GOT THEIR! By CONQUEST, you neglect to note that they only stopped because of men like Charles Martel who repulsed their attacks. You neglect to note that even after the 5 Crusades, the Muslims began aggresivley attacking into 'Christian territory' in the Balkans and the Mediterranean, with raids into Italy, southern France and attacks to the gates of Vienna.
      So your ONE SIDED abbreviated hisotry is a complete lie.

      As far as muslim contributions to europe, again, you are mistaken, try BYZANTINE GREEK contributions to Europe. The greeks kept up the 'light of civilization' while the rest of europe was in the dark ages and much of that technology and learning went back to the west after the 4th Crusade and subsequent losses by the Greeks as the rich fled from MUSLIM CONQUEST and PERSECUTION.
      Try and read more than a crib sheet on history, read of the sieges of Vienna, the conquest of Rhodes and Cyprus, the expansion of the Ottoman empire and the reconquista of spain.
      You also NEGLECT to note the conquest and brutal massacre of thousands, perhaps millions, of Hindus in Muslims OTHER DIRECTION OF CONQUEST INTO the Indian Subcontinent.

      BTW, by the time of the Salem Witch trials (1692) and the Inquisition before it, the muslim world was in decay.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • Dennis

      JFZ,

      You obviously did no studying of medieval times. Yes the muslims COULD HAVE leveled all churches if they wanted, and DID in some cases. They did not in an effort to make conquest EASIER. As far as Taxes, NO, muslims in the middle ages did not pay higher taxes, non-muslims paid the jizya tax, which orginally was only intended as a temporary solution until all non-muslims were converted. However, after taking over territory and discovering they had no talent to actually rule them, nor could they by their religion acutally do have the tasks they needed done, the Arabs 'allowed' christians and jews to remain and continue to pay the jizya. Muslims owed military service and the zakat, but that was NEVER at a higher rate than the jizya.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • BG

      @ Dennis

      Good job. The only way to counter propaganda is with facts.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
    • Dennis

      JFZ,

      Seriously? Your 'evidence' that non-muslim jizya wasnt high was that Christians and Jews stayed in Spain under the Muslims? Why did any English Nobles stay in England after 1066? Their taxes were higher. Whats their excuse.

      You still neglect to account for HOW the muslims got to Spain to begin with. You managed to point out two crusades but said nothing of that.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • Jfz

      @Dennis, yes, Muslims conquered Spain to begin with. Army to army, man to man. Did they massacre masses? you tell me? The answer is no.
      Facts are facts, I cannot argue about that. Invasions are not a good thing, agree with that? I hope that you do, but most likely you do not.
      On the Crusades, apparently, you and I read different history books written by different authors.
      My understanding is that the Church claimed that Muslims are Infidels and denied Christians access to Jerusalem, which is not true.
      Muslims cannot eliminate Christians just as much as Christians cannot eliminate and alienate Muslims. It is a fact of life, you will feel better when you come to that conclusion, I guarantee you.
      God bless you.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
  10. Neil J

    Great! Another enemy ot America and the West in Congress.
    I guess he's a democrat as well.

    September 1, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • garc

      Well, he certainly couldn't be a republican. They pick one token person of color and the rest could not be any whiter.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
  11. Limbaugh is a liberal

    The censorship at CNN is astounding. Why? Because I pointed out all the murder, oppression, enslavement that Christians did in the name of the Bible, you had to take down my post within minutes?

    September 1, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • um...

      Does someone have that list of 'moderated' items they can copy-paste for this poor fool?

      September 1, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • garc

      I QUOTED Bible verses every bit as bad as the uneducated, fearful christian quotes on here (I won't dignifiy christian with a capital letter because the posters here do not behave like the leader they supposedly follow). So it was taken down immediately. What I think is happening, though, is it's being reported as abuse even when it's not. When you actually quote stuff from the Bible, it really ticks off the people here who'd like to say it's better than any other holy book.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • JT

      Y'all don't take this censorship so personal CNN views the gathering of certain letters together as unsuitable for human eyes. For example....believe it or not.....you must spell const-itution with a hypen so that the most horrible of words "t-i-t" (remove the hyphens) is not embedded. Even though CNN can use this most foul three letters together in the article you are commenting on, it will cause your eyes to melt from their sockets if you were to type them.

      September 1, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  12. Peter E

    There are over a BILLION muslims in the world. It's the second largest religion in the world, and if you count denominations, Sunny muslim is THE largest denomination in the world now, even exceeding Roman Catholicism.
    Over a BILLION people living day-to-day, who also have families, friends, and hardships. Just like us.
    And yet we characterize ALL of them on maybe on one ten thousandth (i.e. aboutn 0.01% for those who ar republicans and hence never learned anything) of that who are violent criminals and danger to society.
    That percentage is not much worse than what CHRISTIAN Americans are doing to FELLOW AMERICANS.
    And one thing republicans want people to forget: the number one DOMESTIC (i.e. American born) terrorist has been a registered republican, military veteran, vocal NRA advocate, and Christian, (the chaplain at his very execution was a Catholic priest!) one Timothy McVeigh.
    Shall we start stereotyping ALL NRA members, or all veterans based on the handful of murderers and terrorists that they nurture?

    September 1, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Neil J

      I got news for you...the Obama Administration is already doing doing so.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • garc

      Yeah, Neil J, Obama is sure some Muslim, especially when he attended REVEREND Wright's CHURCH. Church....get it? Christian? Church? Or when he took out bin Laden, after years of republican posturing but never doing anything?

      September 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Dennis

      I love it when people like you do this. You construct an argument based on illogical conclusions or downright misinfortmation. The issue with Muslim terrorists is that they commit terror IN THE NAME OF their religion, not in spite of. IF Timothy Mcveigh, or any 'Christian' criminal done what they did in the name of Protestantism or Catholicism and IF the Catholic or Protestant church were as mute or quietly supportive of such actions as the Muslims and thier imams have been, than you would see the same backlash against them. CASE IN POINT, note the vitriolic attacks on the Catholic Church regarding child molestation accusations. Do you hear Catholics or the Church crying about persecution or their rights? NO, you see attempt after attempt to make amends and clean up the problems.
      BTW, for you failed argument, Mcveigh was an agnostic BY HIS OWN DECLARATION and by reports from a close friend Lou Michel!!! Get your facts straight if you actually want to make a point.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • tolerance

      Come on, people have done terrible things in the name of EVERY religion and it doesn't mean everyone is nuts. Just because some thing was done in the name of a religion dosn't mean it represents it. Just because of the horrible things the Inquisition did doesn't mean that all Christians are power-hungry maniacs! Also, there is also violence in the Bible and Torah too (I am a Christian and I know I don't follow a violent religion). Even though some Muslims do hate the west, very few resort to extremism. Please, get your facts straight.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Kyle

      Uh, garc, I hate to break the news to you. But uh, obama didn't take bin laden out. NAVY SEALs did .

      If I recall, the media reports show obama sitting with some people watching it on tv from the comfort and safety of a room thousands of miles away, on the other side of the planet. obama didn't do any of the leg work to track bin laden down either. He was too busy taking vacations or pretending to be interested in the economy and people's jobs.

      The military and various 3 letter agencies did the work. They got bin laden. Not obama. Don't give me that broken record about obama giving the order. WHO WOULDN'T HAVE GIVEN THE ORDER?

      The ignorance shown in your word is a testament to what is wrong with this country and why people like obama end up in office. Even CNN posted an article yesterday about how sorry all the liberals are for voting the hero into office. If CNN posts something like that, it should tell you something about how horrible of a job the genius is doing.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Kyle

      tolerance.

      reread your bible. It IS violent. You know, that whole thing about god having children murdered. Oh, and destroying the life of job over a wager with the devil. I can find plenty of examples for you.

      And before you say, "That's the old testament," then perhaps you should be a good little christian and read the part about jesus himself saying that every letter of the law will be followed. He wasn't speaking about the new testament. He wasn't alive when it was written. So, if you aren't following the old and new testaments, then you aren't a real christian.

      The end.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
  13. Descarado

    How can one describe a cult that subjugates its entire female population as a religion? One can never reconcile Islam with women's rights, universal suffrage or Western democracy. There is no such missing link as a "moderate Muslim." A moderate Muslim would be an unfaithful Muslim. A faithful Muslim is violent and intolerant of anyone but another Muslim cultist.

    September 1, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • garc

      "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection." (Timothy) "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but [they are commanded] to be under obedience, as also saith the law. " (Corinthians) "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." Ephesians. Don't worry, though, you guys will elect someone like W again (Perry), when it was W who got us into the economic s-pile we're in now, and Perry wants no separation between church and state at all, kinda like....Iran!

      September 1, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Jfz

      I guarantee you are bashing Muslims and there treatment of women based on media reports. Have you ever met a Muslim family before? I advice you to do so, you will change your beliefs.
      Do you know what the rest of the world hears about US social fabric? High crime rates, drugs, gangs, bank robberies, pregnant girls in their teens, women killing their babies to have fun with their boy friends. Police beating minorities, Teachers molesting students, etc. We all know these things happen, but they do not represent the majority of US citizens, correct?

      September 1, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • Kyle

      Jft or Jtz or whatever your name is...

      Have you met a christian family before?

      I bring this up because in both myths of the bible and the koran, women are property. You know why it doesn't appear that way in some of the families that call themselves muslims and christians? Because they aren't following their religions as required. Please read both books and you will find what the rest of us already know.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  14. zc

    because he can bent on the floor cause of his leg injury and in islam we can pray while sitting if we are in pain

    September 1, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  15. Tim

    While I agree that everyone should have freedom to believe as they choose as well as not forcing their beliefs on others, I have a problem with Islam. The muslim faith in addition to supressing women and free thinking, teaches them to lie to "infidels". So you don't know who are the true peace loving Muslims and who are the radical terrorists. Secondly, they use democracies to their end. They use the freedom of religion to get a foothold, then intimidate others to bend to their will and once they have been come the majority from having large families, you get Sharia law. Just look to europe to see our future. Non Muslim europeans are having to cater to the muslims for fear of having terrorist attacks if they don't apease them.

    September 1, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • robert

      i totally agree with you. i'll be damned if i would knowingly vote for a muslim for anything short of a cat catcher.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • guyfawks

      What European country has sharia law again? do you even know what sharia law means or what it is? I am very interested in your response.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • rjz

      "The muslim faith in addition to supressing women and free thinking, teaches them to lie to "infidels". So you don't know who are the true peace loving Muslims and who are the radical terrorists. Secondly, they use democracies to their end. They use the freedom of religion to get a foothold, then intimidate others to bend to their will and once they have been come the majority from having large families, you get Sharia law. Just look to europe to see our future. Non Muslim europeans are having to cater to the muslims for fear of having terrorist attacks if they don't apease them."

      Really? What a bunch of paranoid nonsense. I lived in Europe for a decade. There's an element of truth to what you say; in that paranoid Europeans agree with you that muslims are taking over. And there are terrorists, just as there are in the United States and for their tacit compliance, even moderate muslims must speak up or be held culpable. But using democracies as a foothold to implant sharia law? I'd love to see an example of that outside of Iran (which is hardly the case you're trying to make, I imagine). Relax, sir. Give up the hate, and maybe you'll find muslims to be generally nice folks, just like christians and jews and most everyone else. The religious may be misguided into believing in a man in the sky, but it doesn't make 'em bad people. They do that on their own.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Kyle

      And this is different than christianity........ how?

      Read the bible. Women are garbage in the bible. And before you go spouting off about how the old testament doesn't count as I've heard a thousand christians say before... KNOW THAT THE BIBLE ITSELF QUOTES JESUS AS SAYING: "EVERY LETTER OF THE LAW WILL BE FINISHED."

      That was BEFORE the new testament was written. Jesus chastised people for not following the jewish law. What does this mean? It means jesus wanted the old testament followed. The old testament gave men permission to do pretty much whatever they wanted to women.

      Islam isn't the only garbage, contradictory, filthy myth that people are stupid enough to follow. Better include all of the others along with it.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Frank

      Tim, you really need to do your study. Evil minds have spread a lot of misconception about Islam. I would suggest that you read the Holy Quran in full translation with full commentary. Understand the context and then give your opinion. By the time you finish doing this probably you would too accept and convert.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Abudu Rahman

      @ rjz, While I agree with your assessment, Muslims do not worship a man in the sky. In no Islamic scripture or readings will you find Allah being referred to as a man or anything close to creation anywhere in the universe. There is no, absolutely no reference whatsoever of any comprehension of what Allah actually is. All we are given are His great attributes

      September 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Kyle

      Frank. You are incorrect.

      The two copies of the koran on my bookshelf at home were filed under comedy-horror after I read them. One does not need commentary to see the contradictions the book is full of. They are books of violence, hate, and they don't make sense. At all.

      You know why muslimism is so screwed up? Because the koran is so full of holes and lack of direction no one can figure out what they're supposed to do with it.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Tim

      This is in response to some responses to my message. 1.) I am not a christian, Kyle. I am a deist. 2.)Frank and rjz, I hate no one group of people. I only said I have issues with their teachings because of the violence associated with the Muslim faith. Other than Muslims I don't see any other major religious group in modern times calling for holy war and committing terrorist acts. 3.) I am a history major guyfawks and I did not say sharia law is in europe. I said that is where it is headed. When people can't criticize a religion without fear of terrorist acts then there is a problem. Unfortunately when people really wake up to the danger it will be too late. Maybe I am paranoid, but I'd rather be paranoid than a victim.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  16. nobama

    Just curious...
    Did CNN do a similar piece on Newt Gingrich's conversion to Catholicism?
    (I think not)

    September 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • garc

      No, they figured having covered (in the distant past) his family values thing while having married multiple times–once while having carried on an affair while his current wife had terminal cancer–was interesting enough.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Kyle

      That's because no one cares. It's not like he's a priest. Therefore children are safe. He's just another sheep.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  17. socalpimp

    BOOOOO.....He does pray prostrated on the ground....CNN just chooses to show a picture that resembles the way Christians pray....That way he seems normal

    September 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Marrakech

      If you had watched the entire video before you rushed to spew your hate, you would have seen that he is wearing a leg cast...

      September 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Kyle

      Leg cast? Some devout muslim he is. A real muslim would get off of his motorcycle at 150 MPH to kneel and pray when the loudspeaker started screaming towlie prayers.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  18. Ahmad

    I am an Ex-Muslim from Iran.
    Massive number of people are leaving Islam in countries like Iran. It is so bad that the Criminal Islamic Regime of Iran started burning bibles, cracking down on Bah'ais, Increasing pressure on other minorities even Sufi Muslims by shutting down their places of worship. You perhaps read about all these in the news.
    The FACT is that if there was freedom of religion in Islam, massive numbers of people would easily come out of the closet and declare they are leaving the terrorist religion of Islam. Islam belongs to ARABs only!

    September 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • hamza malik

      If they are burning bibles and we dont like it, why are we burning qurans

      September 1, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Warren Joe

      Shame on you to talk on behalf of the people that have thousands of years in rich cultural and social advancements in the world... Ebne Sina and Khayyam are just a couple of Islamic samples that revolutionized medical and math systems in our modern time... and just so you know when these guys were working on their projects, everyone else was dealing with Dark ages which was after Christianity was introduced to people... SO Islam is not the problem, Its people like you that want an easy way out so go spread your Hate somewhere else and don't talk on behalf of my PEOPLE you loser! Iranians don't sell out for fame only betrayers do... I love our country and hate what the government is doing there as well but never blamed Islam for it.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Abudu Rahman

      Ex-Muslim, present day clown. Stop lying...

      September 1, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Kyle

      Warren, let's face facts here.

      islam and christianity are to blame for a lot of problems. If it wasn't for these two myths that stupid people are easily sucked into, then there would be fewer problems in the world.

      Remember, christians and muslims are nice because they have to be in order to get into heaven.

      Atheists are nice because they want to be.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • EGYPTIAN

      I agree 100%

      September 3, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • Islam is the only True Guidance

      First of all, you are a biggest liar by claiming Muslim. Secondly, If someone leaves Islam, it will not harm anyone but himself. thirdly, at the time of death, he will regret and wished he was Muslim and follow the true path of Islam.

      February 19, 2012 at 3:35 am |
  19. Che

    Catholicism ritual and Dogma? What do think Islam is? ritual praying 5x a day, 5 pillars. Talk about ritual.

    September 1, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Kyle

      I know.

      The catholic corporation is at least smart enough to make money off of the idiot sheep that all go to church.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  20. MartyB4

    Bless you Ali. If only more people would understand the way you have come to understand.

    September 1, 2011 at 7:18 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.