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. fs

    I was ready to post my thoughts after watching the video and reading the article. However as I scrolled down and read the comments written in response to not only the article but to each other, I thought why waste my words? All I saw was childish bickering with someone from one religion putting down someone from another. Terrorism does not stop at killing innocent lives and running planes into buildings, rather is begins with such hatred for one another that most have you posted on this blog.

    After awhile the comments stopped getting me worked up and made me laugh because each and every one of you that has tried to represent you religion by putting down another has wronged your own religion and made a joke of it. It takes a dignified and respectful person to truly represent a faith, clearly most of you are not. So step back and reflect on yourselves before going out and misrepresenting your religions and making mockery of yours or others beliefs. Represent yourselves in a manner that wants people to learn what you represent. Once you have accomplished that, you have accomplished being a true believer.

    finally, although this may fall on deaf ears, learn to respect and love people even when you don't agree with them or their beliefs, that is what makes you human. I am a muslim woman that has seen 9/11 and the aftermath. The lives it destroyed whether you were muslim or not. We're humans just like any other religion and we hurt as well. Living under a microscope post 9/11 has not been fun. However it's given most us the opportunity to truly represent our religion for what it is. Look for the good, there is so much good being done by muslims, yet the ignorant still search and magnify the worst. Islam is not the only religion with people that do evil, every religion has them. You choose what you want to focus on, the good or the bad because it does not define the religion, rather it defines you.

    For those of you that think you know each others religion based on excerpts on the television, newspapers etc. Think again, until you have actually read, researched and tried to understand the religion you have no right to speak upon it. It is easy to tell those that have, they will speak intellectually while the others will speak ignorantly.

    September 9, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  2. Peikovian

    This is the 21st Century. He could choose reason, as Franklin and Jefferson did centuries ago.

    September 9, 2011 at 2:27 am |
  3. CSX

    Select a religion that was started 2000+ years after Genesis is written and almost 600 more years after Christ. Borrow from both. Now that is original.
    Get passed the dogma and religion and behold, there is a God in heaven and his Son is Jesus.

    September 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  4. John


    September 7, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  5. H. B.

    I seriously doubt that this man has genuinely STUDIED Islam. For one thing, Muslims offer "sweetened-up" versions of their holy books in the free world – to minimize the most unlovely parts and gain more converts. Here's an example:

    "The Prophet is not supposed to take any captives to strengthen
    his position on the earth. You want worldly gains but God wants
    the life hereafter for you. God is Majestic and All-wise (8:67)."

    That was from my downloaded Quran (since then slightly changed) about 7 years ago.

    "It is not fitting for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of
    war until he has made a great slaughter in the land." [Quran

    That was from a captured jihadi, quoting Quran from memory (I think it was to a NY Times reporter)

    These are supposed to be the same verse of the Quran.

    Now tell me, is this due to a translation problem? Surely both Arabic and English have words that mean "slaughter," don't they?

    Most religious people do NOT study their holy texts. Muslims, to gain Western converts, rely on this. Most Muslims, like most Christians, etc., only listen to the preaching. Therefore, most Western Muslim converts have been converted to an Islam that doesn't EXIST, and never did. This guy is probably one of them.

    He can't BE a genuine Muslim and have GENUINE respect for any other faith. My 16+ years of studying Islam makes that quite clear. But since Muslims are supposed to lie to us infidels, how can anyone know that he really IS respectful of other faiths? We can't rely on his saying so. The only thing we can go on is his behavior as a legislator, and in his private life, to the extent that we can learn of it legally.

    Because if he WAS converted to the real Islam, he would have to be in complete concord with the jihadis, with total global conquest (by any means) for Islam, with marriage to and sodomy of baby girls, with lying to us infidels, with the "righteousness" of beheadings, stonings, hand-loppings, slaughtering non-Muslims, torture and killing of Muslims who quit the faith, slavery, etc. I prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt; that he's just one of millions of "wazooed' Westerners. Because if he WAS a genuine Muslim, he couldn't be a worse choice as a legislator. If he's just a wazooed one, he might genuinely believe Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance.

    I think it matters to the voters which one he is.

    September 7, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • paperjihad

      Seriously, dude, there is only One Qur'an...no sweetened version. Honestly, you think you know more about Islam than a practicing Muslim does? It's almost an insult. It's like Bin Laden claiming to be an expert on Christianity. You'd really think his interpretation of the Bible would be in line with most practicing Christians?

      Let's see how superficial interpretations of a religion go. Matthew 7:6 reads, “Do not give to dogs what is sacred; nor throw your pearls to swine lest they trample them under their feet, and then turn on you to tear you to pieces.”

      If we were to base our entire interpretation of Christianity on proof-texting this verse, we must conclude Christianity’s opponents are little better than human wildlife, an accusation you and many others seem to think Islam holds toward non-Muslims. We also know there are many opinion leaders in the US, such as General Boykin, a former officer in the invasion of Iraq, who blatantly calls for a Holy War against Islam. One must imagine what the Muslim sitting in another part of the world thinks when he reads Boykin’s many comments and knows his military participation of waging war in the Middle East.

      We must conclude, then, by the words of the Gospel and the actions of its followers Christianity believes its opponents are little more than feral wildlife who must be dominated.

      Of course my hypothetical conclusion is both absurd and outrageous. Just as it is absurd to over-simplify and demonize the faith of 1.7 billion people based on the same shallow, self-serving methodology I have just pointed out.

      September 7, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • paul

      The koran has been massaged and changed like any other religious texts. Only fools believe otherwise. Long before it was standardized, there were many differing verses of the same thing. There were extra verses that got dropped. The people that compiled the book knew this and took advantage of it to further their own political agendas. Muslims are ignorant of this since they are taught never to question the perfect. It is all a lie from the start. But the book is flawed from the start because it teaches hatred and killing of non muslims. islam is the world's biggest lie.

      September 8, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  6. someone who can read

    when a faith has certain common grounds with another faith which preceded it in time in more than 600 years, who do u think is right?!
    if u read (past tense) the old and new testament at least once, and then u read the qoran, u can easily spot the links, but of course mistranslated and misled facts and misinformation, and voilà, islam is born.

    By the way, i think now u consider it is ok to marry a 9-year old girl?!?!

    and talking about marriage, so you agree on bigamy now? and what about the divorce rate in muslim countries being hire than non-muslim countries even though they allow bigamy, therefore, more options and less chance to cheat or divorce,,, yet the numbers surpass other countries. Go figure.

    i can keep talking all night, but i just want you to read, really read... and then, when u make a stupid decision, at least it'll be an informative stupid decision

    September 7, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Rihanna

      have you ever heard of second Qur an, from time memorial there has not been any change, if there is then i believe is you who did it. and wait for your purnishment ok! but we Muslims believe in our religion of Peace ok! we love our religion. thx. u google the unchallenging quran,

      September 9, 2011 at 6:35 am |
  7. Linnea

    A lot of people here need to grow up, educate themselves, and learn to love their neighbors as themselves (gee, where have I heard that one before??)
    There is much in Islam that is beautiful and good, just as there is much in Christianity (or in any faith) that is beautiful and good. Go take a world religions class, or read some books on Islam (like Karen Armstrong's A History of God). Quit listening to the voices of fear and hate. Yes, there are plenty of people who twist Islam into something ugly, but the same is true of Christianity.
    Muslims are children of Abraham, just as Jews and Christians are. I believe God is big enough to welcome and love us all, no matter what we believe. Also, I hate to break it to you, but the Bible was written by *humans*. It did not arrive by fax from heaven!

    September 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  8. Anthony Vaughn

    Islam is clearly a false religion and cult.

    Simply google "Islam is a false religion" and read with an open mind.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Shahid

      Simply read the Qur'an with an open mind.

      September 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  9. SickOfTheMuslims

    I hope you don't declare yourself a muslim to help your career, because it won't.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  10. Sanjay Desai

    “I just felt it was ritual and dogma,” So, Keith, tell me how did all this change now that you converted to Islam?

    September 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  11. Muneef

    M. Asad
    Islam at the Cross Roads, S M Ashraf Publisher
    Lahore Pakistan


     It was then for `the first time in history that Europe conceived itself as a unity-and it was a unity against the world of Islam. Without indulging in undue exaggerations, we can say that modern Europe was born out of the spirit of the Crusades. Before that time there existed Anglo-saxons and Germans,
    French and Normans, Italians and Danes: but during the Crusades the new
    concept of "Western civilisation", a cause common to all European
    nations alike, was created; and it was the hatred of Islam that stood
    as godfather behind the new creation...

    September 7, 2011 at 6:59 am |
  12. sam edwards

    If anyone recalls back before 9/11 or way back before WW2/1948, before the creation of ISRAEL, immigration of European jews to USA;peaceful intergration between christians and moslems was excellent.The jews poisoned this relationship!!! it was a big mistake by BALFOUR in those years that the crown and its puppet the USA to appopriate Palestine to these jews instead of giving them UGANDA or CANADA which was once said will settle the jews.both JIMMY CARTER and MEL GIBSON faulted this decision and blame the jews for ALL world problems.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:40 am |
    • Gamal

      very true

      September 7, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  13. Vijai

    You area sick man. Pl re-convert back to your original faith. The Muslim faith is dirt and a joke.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Gamal

      You can't prove that your religion is true but you can prove that it's false. There is proof that Islam is true and no proof that it's false. Just go to islamreligion.com.

      September 7, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  14. PRISM 1234


    THANK YOU for posting the video above!

    I don't believe you could find this type of story on CNN religion blog....Even if they had it, you could be sure of THEIR OWN slant added to it.....
    One thing said in the story stood out : "they (Muslims) are beautiful people, but they are deceived. Christ died for them. They NEED TO KNOW THE TRUTH.
    This is exactly how I feel, and my heart aches for them..... because so many really want to serve God, but they don't know how to seek Him, so they remain trapped under the heavy yoke of religion that bars them from going beyond it's rule over them. They will NEVER find God to KNOW Him And HAVE RELATIONSHIP with Him, unless they break out, from this religion's oppressive rule over them. This video has blest my soul, and I rejoice for those precious people comming out and being set free!

    September 6, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  15. Carla

    Muslims need to trust the Divine Savior Jesus. There is no salvation in any other name. (Acts chapter 4)

    September 5, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Reality

      The inane Carla of many names continues to ramble.

      September 6, 2011 at 12:14 am |
    • diane

      yup, that is what He taught. No man can come to the Father except through me...something like that. We believe and pray for those who do not

      September 6, 2011 at 1:55 am |
    • Reality

      John 6: 44 "No man can come to the Father except through me" is a single attestation i.e. found no where else in the scriputures making said passage historically unreliable.

      For example see:

      1. http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=353_Bread_of_Life

      2. Professor Gerd Ludemann's review in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 473.

      September 6, 2011 at 7:52 am |
    • Reality

      John 6: 44 "No man can come to the Father except through me" is a single attestation i.e. found no where else in the scriptures making said passage historically unreliable.

      For example, see:

      1. http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=353_Bread_of_Life

      2. Professor Gerd Ludemann's review in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 473.

      September 6, 2011 at 7:53 am |
    • yahya muldrow

      I don't know see the name Jesus mention anywhere in these references from Bible and Qur'an saying worship Jesus for Salvation.

      GOD IS ONE

      Your God is One God. There is no god but Him. (Qur'an, 2:163)

      . "He is God, Absolute Oneness." (Qur'an, 112:1)

      New Testament

      ... The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. You are right in saying that God is One, and there is no other but Him. (Mark 12:29, 30, 32)

      Old Testament

      "There is no one like You, O Lord, and there is no God but You." (1 Chronicles 17:20)

      You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides Him, there is no other. (Deuteronomy 4:35)


      Say: "People of the Book! Come to a proposition that is the same for us and you-that we should worship none but God, not associate any partners with Him, and not take one another as lords besides God..." (Qur'an, 3:64)

      New Testament

      It is written: "Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only." (Matthew 4:10)

      Old Testament

      But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you, and go off to serve other deities and worship them, then I will uproot Israel from my land... (2 Chronicles 7:19-20)

      September 6, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Reality

      21st Century Reality Concerning the Five Major Religions

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “

      "The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      3., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      5. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current crises:

      The caste system and cow worship/reverence.

      6. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      September 6, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • John

      Carla, Muslims cant be claim to believe Islam unless they believe Jesus, however, they have to believe Jesus(peace be upon him) as great prophet and messenger sent by God with pure and divine law of Allah(God)for mankind, therefore Muslims are the most followers of Jesus then the Christian themselve< so for urself just make little bit more research about Islam and Muslim.

      September 7, 2011 at 12:56 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      @Yahya Muldrow

      Yahya, you seem to refer a lot to the Bible, but you pick what suits the points you want to make in favor of Islam.
      You DON"T UNDERSTAND Christianity, but there is a reason for this.
      I challenge you to read these Scriptures out of the Holy Bible:

      Isaiah 9:6,7 – prophesied of Jesus Christ, the coming Messiah LONG before Christ's birth fulfilled in Matthew 1:23

      For unto us a Child is born,
      Unto us a Son is given;
      And the government will be upon His shoulder.
      And His name will be called
      Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
      Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
      Of the increase of His government and peace
      There will be no end,
      Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
      To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
      From that time forward, even forever.
      The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
      Isaiah 53 – Prophesy of Christ suffering and atonement for the sins of mankind
      Who has believed our report?
      And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
      For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
      And as a root out of dry ground.
      He has no form or comeliness;
      And when we see Him,
      There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
      He is despised and rejected by men,
      A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
      And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
      He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
      Surely He has borne our griefs
      And carried our sorrows;
      Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
      Smitten by God, and afflicted.
      But He was wounded for our transgressions,
      He was bruised for our iniquities;
      The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
      And by His stripes we are healed.
      All we like sheep have gone astray;
      We have turned, every one, to his own way;
      And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
      He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
      Yet He opened not His mouth;
      He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
      And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
      So He opened not His mouth.
      He was taken from prison and from judgment,
      And who will declare His generation?
      For He was cut off from the land of the living;
      For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
      And they[a] made His grave with the wicked—
      But with the rich at His death,
      Because He had done no violence,
      Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
      Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
      He has put Him to grief.
      When You make His soul an offering for sin,
      He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
      And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
      He shall see the labor of His soul,[b]and be satisfied.
      By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
      For He shall bear their iniquities.
      Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
      And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
      Because He poured out His soul unto death,
      And He was numbered with the transgressors,
      And He bore the sin of many,
      And made intercession for the transgressors
      Malachi 3:1 which fulfilled what Jesus spoke in Matthew 11:10
      Behold, I send My messenger,
      And he will prepare the way before Me.
      And the Lord, whom you seek,
      Will suddenly come to His temple,
      Even the Messenger of the covenant,
      In whom you delight.
      Behold, He is coming,”
      Says the LORD of hosts.
      Philippians 2:6-11
      Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
      And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
      God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.
      Hebrews 1, whole chapter in which partly it is written:

      But to the Son He says:
      “ Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
      A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
      You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
      Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
      With the oil of gladness more than Your companions
      Revelations 1
      To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings[b] and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
      Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
      “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End", says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
      Further on...
      Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Write[i] the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.

      September 7, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      There is a 2nd part to this post, but CNN will not let mne post it, inspite of no "bad" words in it.
      The bottom line is her, friend....
      There is a number of Scriptures from Old and New Testament worthy to write down, but time is not allowing to do so. The things you said in your post can only have effect on those who are ignorant of the Scriptures themselves, not understanding what the Spirit of God is saying, or they haven't read them........
      The c0nc'lusion of the whole thing here is: Jesus is either a liar, and claiming him as a prophet as Quran does, would be a blas-phemy!....
      He is what the Bible says He is, what He Himself claims He is, when HE says "I am ALPHA AND OMEGA, the Beginning and the End"!
      Christianity is not a religion worshiping more Gods' There is only one God , but manifested in there persons. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ came to reveal the Father, to declare Him, explain Him. He said: you see Me, you see the Father. Holy Spirit is the One who tes-tif-ies of Christ, and He is the One who draws men(kind ) to God, revealing who Christ Jesus is. Without Him there is NO KNOWLEDGE of God.

      September 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      SO, why trying to argue that we, Christians worship more then one God? Ra'ther PRAY that He will SHOW you, draw you to Himself, and RE'VEAL to you who Christ is.
      Because without Christ, His att0nement thru His shed bl00d as of the Lamb of God for all mankind, you, dear friend, or any other huamn being, have any c0vering for your sin!
      And without it you can't stand before God in your own righteousness, no matter how good and 0bedient you were in your life....... Because He de-cla-res, that all our righteousness is as dir'ty ra'gs in His sight. ONLY in CHRIST"S righteousness we are hi'dden, and are acc'epted to the Father.
      I hope and I also pray that the eyes of your understanding will be opened, and you will see the truth spoken in this post. I also pray for others who will read this post. I de'eply care for Muslim people... They need to know the truth, because Jesus Christ came to give THEM ALSO, as the whole humnanity (who-so-ever will recieve Him) the gift of eternal life. But they must come on His terms, and must come out from the empty religion that binds their souls in darkness, blinding their eyes!

      September 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Had to try again, got it in 3 parts.... CNN"s blogs can be real pain! Glad went through!
      Good day to all! 🙂

      September 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • NSafi

      uhhh..... muslims believe in jesus too

      September 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      NSafi, it's not sufficient to believe that Jesus Christ was just a prophet like Abraham, Moses, Isaiah and others. It's WHAT you believe about Him that matters. If you read the Scriptures I posted, and say "this is not Jesus Christ", then you don't believe in true Jesus Christ, of whom the Spirit of God, which is the Spirit of truth, testifies and bears witness.
      Unless one believes in Christ as the Lamb of God who came to give His life as ransom for us, sinners, as Isaiah (ch.53, posted above) prophesied, there is NO redemption for this person, because he has no sacrifice for his sins. Do you understand the meaning of that?

      September 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  16. Carla

    Longevity facts:
    Islam – 1,300 years
    Atheism – 70 years
    Sodom and Gomorrah – less than 25 years

    September 5, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • gsw

      Atheism has been around for 100 million years. First there was fear, then worship and sacrifice, then strange men in dirty robes. All the while there have been scientists, freethinkers and people who had enough sense to realise that no church actually has the power to sell bits of heaven. The only difference is that for the last few hundred years, it has been illegal to murder atheists, at least in the west.
      The islamics are currently calling it blasphemy and murdering people, but that won't make the earth flat – however much they prostrate themselves.

      September 7, 2011 at 7:24 am |
  17. Tom Johnson, LargoFL

    1.3 billion potential Islamic terrorists
    28 August 2011
    In this world, at this time, there are approximately 1,300,000,000 people of the Islamic faith. In the past, there has been a Caliph, an almost supreme Islamic leader. Right now, there is no Islamic equivalent of the Catholic Pope, one single, (supposedly) infallible, religious leader to be a final decider. If these Islamic people follow their own strict interpretation of their religion, they could all become what we call Islamic terrorists, people who are willing to use terrorist techniques and to die to kill people not of Islamic faith. In their religion and in their eyes, this is their duty. And if they die doing their duty, they go right to heaven. It is written in the Quran, God’s word spoken to Muhammad, written in Arabic (no translations), not subject to debate and modification. It is law.
    The focus is on Israel, but Israel is not the only country or group of people that the Islamics would attack. If you are not Islamic, you are the “unfaithful”, the enemy of Islam. Period.
    Do not take my word for it. Do your own research. I have no desire to become an Islamic scholar.
    Consider the list of international Islamic terrorist attacks that you are familiar with: 911 in New York, Pennsylvania, and DC (USA), US embassies (Africa), USS Cole bombing, the failed underwear bomber (over Atlantic Ocean), the London metro bombings (England), the Madrid metro bombings (Spain), the attack on a Moscow theater that held children hostage (Russia), the attack against Mumbai Opera House (India), attacks against Xinjiang Province (China). No one is immune.
    Reasoning will NOT work. This behavior is part of the Islamic religion. Nation building will NOT work. Look at Iraq, Afghanistan. Withdrawal will NOT work. We need their oil, sand, and camel dung. The only thing that will work is to “Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick”.
    Sad to see that 10 years after 911, so many people in America and around the world still do not understand the nature of the Islamic threat to peace.
    Tom Johnson
    Largo, FL, USA

    September 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • sam edwards

      islamic terrorist deaths&christian terrorist deaths
      1-HITLER a christian, killed 50M people world wide
      2-MUSSOLINI, a christian, killed 5M europeans
      3-DE GAULLE, a christian, killed 1M algerians/africans
      4-USA PRESIDENTS, all Christians, killed 3M koreans,vietnamise,iraqis and afghans
      5-THE CROWN,THE BRITISH EMPIRE, christians, killed 20M ' native americans/red indians and australian ABORIGINS.
      pls tell me know WHO /WHICH RELIGION is a TERRORIST ???

      September 7, 2011 at 4:18 am |
  18. joe800

    ...so because 1.5 billion people believe in Mohammed it makes it right?..or true?...what about the billion Hindus?...or how about the religions practiced BEFORE Islam 1500 years ago?... religions that were practiced for 10 of thousand of years before Islam or Christianity, religions that brought us science, and theater, and civic organization...they managed to exist longer than Islam, but werent able to survive Islam...

    September 5, 2011 at 11:58 am |
  19. AmericanPatroit

    I'm a PROUD AMERICAN MUSLIM. There are too many negative comments going around about Islam. These are because of ignorance and partly due to muslims themselves (not Islam). Muslims are getting bad name because they have gone astray from the the duties to GOD and duties to fellow human beings. By the way, the basis of Islam is oneness of God. All the glories go to God and none others.

    September 5, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  20. Dan

    Very nice story. His personal experience is inspiring. Salaam!

    September 5, 2011 at 10:15 am |
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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.