My Take: Muslims deepened their American roots after 9/11
Civic groups that American Muslims launched before 9/11 expanded dramatically after the attacks.
September 2nd, 2011
02:08 PM ET

My Take: Muslims deepened their American roots after 9/11

Editor's note: Eboo Patel is Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based organization building interfaith cooperation, and author of Acts of Faith. Follow him on Twitter: @EbooPatel.

By Eboo Patel, Special to CNN

In the early years of Islam, when the Muslim community was small and frequently under attack, the Prophet Mohammed sent a delegation of recent converts from the city of Mecca to the kingdom of Abyssinia. The Abyssinian king was a Christian and when he asked the Muslims about the faith they followed, one of the Muslims recited the Quran:

She said, "How shall I have a son whom no mortal has touched, either have I been unchaste?"

He said: "'Even so my Lord has said; 'Easy is that for Me; and that We may appoint him a sign unto men and a mercy from Us, it is a thing decreed.'"

These lines are about Mary, mother of Jesus. They show how Muslims revere her and that they believe that Mary was a virgin when she bore Jesus, just as Christians do.

But some enemies of the Muslims emphasized to the Abyssinians that the Muslims had a different view of Jesus than Christians did. Sure, Muslims believed that Jesus was one of God's prophets, these enemies said, but they didn't believe he was God's only son or humankind's savior.

And yet the king of Abyssinia was so moved by the commonalities between his Christian faith and Islam that he ignored those who sought to sow division, allowing the Muslims to stay and practice their faith in his kingdom.

This story is a metaphor for the path that Muslims in America have taken since the tragic events of 9/11 ten years ago. In the face of those who would paint us as "foreign" or "other," we are emphasizing the values and beliefs that Islam holds in common with other American communities.

As the American Muslim community started to grow in the 1960s and 1970s, largely through immigration from the Middle East and South Asia and conversion by African-Americans, Muslims focused their energies on establishing families, building businesses and advancing their careers.

With respect to religion, there was a huge amount of work involved in opening mosques, finding spaces to hold Muslim weddings and funerals and creating educational outfits to teach our faith to our children. Like Jews and Catholics before us, Muslims also showed concern for family and the faithful back in the countries of their birth.

But by the 1990s, Muslims began looking outside our own community, launching projects to strengthen ties between us and the rest of the country.

The idea behind these new organizations was simple: Muslims were now calling America "home" and Islam called us to cooperate with and serve neighbors of all backgrounds.

In Chicago, the INNER-City Muslim Action Network was formed to run community development programs, ranging from anti-violence interventions to feeding the hungry.

In the San Francisco Bay area, Muslims launched a group called ING to send Muslim speakers into schools and to community groups to emphasize shared values. In Washington, the Muslim Public Service Network got going to provide fellowships for young Muslim interning in the nation's capital.

As opposed to focusing solely on the Muslim immigrant community, this new generation of groups worked closely with African-American Muslims. And the groups' model of reorienting the Muslim community toward the United States attracted support from Muslim leaders.

"Home is not where your grandfather was born," says one of those leaders, Muslim Public Affairs Council founder Maher Hathout, "but where your grandchildren will be buried."

After the 9/11 attacks, Muslims grieved for fellow Americans who perished in the attacks, whose ranks included Muslims. We were shocked when some of our fellow citizens threatened mosques and pointed their fingers at Islam, treating us as if we were in league with the terrorists, rather than as fellow victims and mourners.

Those accusations made us realize that too many of our neighbors knew too little about us and our religion. In turned out that the event most Americans associated with Islam was 9/11. The Muslim figure they were most likely to recognize was Osama bin Laden.

This problem was exacerbated by a small network of activists and intellectuals intent on spreading ugly misinformation about Islam, presenting our religion as inherently violent, its adherents as dangerous fanatics.

For all the pride we Muslims took in having established our mosques and families and businesses in the United States over the past generation, we had the same realization that largely immigrant religious groups like Jews and Catholics had in earlier decades as they strove to deepen American roots: we had to invest more energy into bridge-building efforts with the rest of the country, to place more emphasis on commonalities.

Just as Jews and Catholics deepened American roots by launching an array of civil society organizations, from schools to universities to hospitals to social service groups that have benefited the broader American public, so would Muslims.

As a result, the American Muslim organizations launched in the years leading up to 9/11 have moved to the center of the American Muslim consciousness. Many of them grown dramatically since 9/11, expanding staffs, budgets and programs.

The change the groups have inspired has been remarkable.

A new generation of Muslims are becoming public policy experts, writers and social entrepreneurs, launching organizations that seek to build understanding and cooperation between Muslims and the rest of the country. These American Muslim leaders will be the architects of a network of civic organizations that will one day look like the networks that Catholics and Jews have established.

Muslims are not the first faith community to experience discrimination in America and we're not the first to respond by building bridges outside the community. It's precisely the path that Jews and Catholics walked before us, and it's a crucial part of the American story: a nation defined by its diversity and built by the contributions of its many communities.

The opinions expressed are solely those of Eboo Patel.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Opinion

soundoff (823 Responses)
  1. sharky

    Mr. Patel you do know that Mohammad conquered Mecca and took it over and forced people to convert to Islam or else right ? Kinda says something right there. Further more in real truth Islam and the West do not mix.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • AN

      For your kind information, when Prophet Muhammad took over Mecca, he let go one of the biggest enemy of Islam, Abu Safiyaan. Prophet not only did not hurt him but said whoever stay in his house will not be harm either. In this war, at that time , he annouces No one will hurt: No woman, No children, No elders, and No trees and ofcourse No innocent (Non-combat). Go read and then talk please.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Mosihasteen

      OK lets talk about the twenty million Hindus beheaded for not converting to Islam a few centuries later. Islam is a barbaric, intolerant dog's religion.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • John M.

      Sharky, do you know that Christians did the same thing - to each other and to Jews. Ever hear of the Spanish Inquisition? The St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre? The Massacre of Wassy? The French Wars of Religion? How about the Marranos - people who were secretly Jewish in Spain, who had to pretend they were Christian in order to not be killed for not converting? Sharky, don't be a hypocrite and don't set a double standard when it comes to judging a religion and its history.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      Sharky, christianity's hands are not clean in that regard either. It did not spread across europe by peace and love, it spread by conquest and death.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  2. odono

    I have accepted the Old testament Jewish bible and the New Testament Christian bible, and they both talk about the God who loves mankind who will create the new heavens and the new earth for all who loves righteousness and peace, but I cannot accept the koran that speaks about hate and murder to all who don't believe in allah. Such a big contradiction to words of our so call brother's of peace althought they are brothers thru Abraham's sons Issac and Ismael,and if Ismael would be alive today, he would condemn those who hate his brother, just like Jesus said in the new Testament.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • wjs

      Odono, from what you say, it is obvious that you have not read the Qur'an. Please do so before you rant again. You might learn that you are simply wrong.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Albert

      Instead of claiming he is wrong and resorting to name calling, why don't you instead mention why he is wrong and prove you are right?

      September 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Edwin

      Honestly, I would take advice on what it is to be muslim from a muslim, not from a book, and certainly not from a person who studies religious texts so he can bash religions.

      September 2, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  3. Daniel Allen

    When i travel to a foreign country, i don't expect that culture to adapt to me, i adapt to it. I expect nothing less from people who come to this country. Respect us and our laws, and we will respect you, as long as you don't try to Fundamentally change our country like our President is(look up Obamayourmama's speech a week before his winning the election). Hey mooslums.....dont bring your daughters over here if you don't want them dating American boys and wearing blue jeans. Stay in the rat hole you were born in. Izlam is not only a religion, it is an entire way of life. Their laws are based on their religion. The way they handle money, Go to school(except for females), Dress, eat. Its everything to them. Be very weary of these people.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • wjs

      Daniel, as I replied to you in another post, the rathole I was born in is called Oklahoma. So what would you have ME do?

      September 2, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Edwin


      Do you say the same thing about Mennonites and Amish people? And do you say the same about people from California, who wear outlandish clothes 20 years beyond what they wear in the midwest? What about Hasidic Jews?

      Our country has a LOT of different cultural bases, not just one. If you dislike people who don't conform, be less hypocritical and bash them all, not just one small group.

      September 2, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  4. Ozymandias71

    Americans who believe in Islam have every right to practice their religion, just like Christian denominations, the key here is that as long as secular laws are not broken, then there's not an issue. The First Amendment applies to ALL citizens of this great country.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Daniel Allen

      read my above comment. izalam is not just a religion. research it. The moozlims who are "in it to win it" will put on any face to gain the upper hand on an infidel. It is not only allowed in their so-called religion, it is encouraged. It is a fight for what the future looks like. They don't want our western ways. And i don't want their horribly oppressive beliefs put on me. Who's side are you on? You and/or your children will have to pick one day.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:49 pm |

      Yes you would be correct Ozy, And separation of church and state protects us from our own government to believe what WE want to believe!

      September 2, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • A Theist

      @Hobbit........ You have won my award for wittiest name I have ever seen on this blog. Well done sir/madam!! An utter stroke of originality, sincerely! 😀

      September 2, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  5. Tom

    What blatant agenda pushing cnn, who are you kidding. And mullahajdae GFY.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  6. rrim

    Tolerance; the thing that made America great. Intolerance; the thing that is making America irrelevant.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Paul

      Tolerance made america great and easy to infultrate and take over.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
  7. Bluecrane

    This mob of hateballs can't live with a few Jews occupying a sliver of land in the Middle East I don't have to live with them here.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • mullah hajdar

      move back to europe

      September 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • twnc

      hey mulla...take your A$$ back to the desert and chuck some rocks. We're sick of you people....Droop off our welfare state in Africa on the way

      September 2, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  8. Pastor Evans

    Jesus Christ is Lord!!! Heaven and earth will pass away, but God's words will never pass away!!! Meaning that what the Bible says and what God is saying and revealing presently, is what stands or will last!!!

    September 2, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • mullah hajdar

      blah,blah,blah,...where is the basket to put the money in?

      September 2, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • *frank*

      No, I'm Lord!!!
      Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

      September 2, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • Whatever

      Heaven will pass away? Darn, guess I can quit trying to be good to get there.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  9. Whatever

    As long as one talks about them as muslims first, not as citizens of whatever country they reside in, I will not trust or care. No other religion consistently tries to set itself apart and subject others to their believes rather than just integrate as an immigrant traditionally is expected to do.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • mullah hajdar

      maybe you want us to kill natives,like you did.or,to enslave black people?or to assault people around the world?ok,we get it,you hate us,we hate you,too.f-you,understand?

      September 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm |

      I would agree, and as the Christian religion fades to atheism, we will be the "terrorists" with a good cause.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:46 pm |

      @ Mullah Hater....yeah I think he gets at least your point of view!

      September 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Be Afraid

      Mulaa mulla, you have been killing indigineous people for over a thousand years, that is how islam spread. No need to become modest now.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  10. Marty in MA

    All religious zealots are a threat to peace and prosperity.Enough with ancient beliefs. This is a new world in every way from the founding of this country. Almost nothing is the same.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Jeff

      We still have bacon.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  11. Jumbojet77

    When every non-Muslim is "gone", thru conversion or "the world fate possible" (ie murder), will the world then be a peaceful place as far as Islam is concerned? Let me see, let's ask the Sunnis and Shiites.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  12. George

    WAR !! It's a CRUSADE !! It will never end.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • George

      Calm down George, religion gives the masses something to share with their kind and helps with the fear most commonly associated with the unknown, the ultimate unknown, death.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  13. thommen


    September 2, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • A Theist

      Having a little Smeagol/Gollum crisis there buddy? And I'm pretty sure a gaint rock is sitting on your shift key. That, or you don't know what "caps-lock" means.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • A Theist


      September 2, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Ozymandias71

      Slobber, rant, and rave all you want – American Muslims have the SAME right to practice their religion that you do. Don't like it? Tough. Freedom of Religion is a cornerstone of American society.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Seyfudeen

      funny thing is that true christians don't believe that jesus died on the cross either.. Today's "christians" believe whatever is easy for them.. According to some "christians" Jesus "knew" he was going to die on the cross and this was his mission and purpose for coming. To "die for our sins" and he had the last supper etc explaining the event that was to take place. According to those same "christians" "Jesus IS GOD." According to those same Christians Jesus is our "LORD" and is not a prophet. But yet, according to those same "Christians" Jesus said while on the cross "My God My God why have you forsaken me??" If Jesus is God as "christians" claim, who was he talking to... himself??? Not to mention that it clearly says that jesus was on his hands and knees praying in some verses in the bible.. Who was he praying to, himself?? Not to mention Luke 18:19 when someone called Jesus "good master" in the Bible, Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone." Who was he talking about, himself?? LEARN YOUR RELIGION and you will see that Islam is the true religion and preaches the same message as Abraham, Noah, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon, Moses, Jesus etc to name a few.. And while you at it, learn your book. All of it.. And when you get done, explain to yourself and everyone the verse where Jesus spoke of a prophet to come after him. John 16 verses 5-14 to name a few.. Who was he talking about? Himself? lol oh wait.. maybe you will say he was talking about the holy spirit.. BUT WAIT.. The "holy spirit" was already mentioned to be here before those verses so that can't be it.. Maybe you will just say that person didn't come yet.. Get it together people.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  14. dougaussie

    the fact is that moslems like to inhabit western countries for their freedom and then convert it to an islamic sharia dictatorship with all the trimmings, like child brides, multiple wives, the surpression of women, capital punshipment by cutting things off. They have no concept that western nations are based on a different set of cultural laws. When islam takes root in america it will destory the usa as we know it over time till abraham licoln is torn down because its a statue along with the statue of liberty. Unless it can be tamed to adopt secular islam like turkey...er...which seems to adopt a military dictatorship every so often too.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • lottafun

      Wow! To say that statement is a gross generalization in the worst way is an understatement!

      September 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • mullah hajdar

      western nations have killed between 80 and 120 million people in 20th century only.western nations invented fascism,nazism,communism,inquisition,guillotine,lynching,crusades,imperialism,concentration camps,goullags,terrorism,and most important of all-propaganda and brainwashing.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  15. KC

    Deepened it like a weed that is.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  16. Sagebrush Shorty

    Muslims are more rooted in their religion than they are in America. They are also too willing to turn a blind eye at the outrages committed in the name of their so called peaceful religion.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Newyorker

      That may be true for some Muslim communities around the world, but it is absolutely not true about American Muslims. This was the point of the article, which you would have gotten had you actually read it.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  17. Muneef

    Guess they have the right and obligation to deepen their roots in America or any where in the world including their own countries and not only over seas... Sustainable Development is an obligation on to us all Muslims or Non Muslims where ever they are...!!! Deepening roots is not by adding many births of generations but rather by showing love to the land and people by Sustainable Development in Fight against Pollution and Corruptions to their lands and communities..!?! or am I wrong?

    September 2, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • J.W

      I think you are right. It is good that they are able to do that in America. I hope that they are able to do that in the Middle East as well.

      September 2, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Muneef

      Inshallah all of can make Earth a better place for peaceful and prosper life...

      September 3, 2011 at 4:29 am |
    • Muneef

      Muslims are not all from the Middle East only....? Muslims cover large scales of lands in Asian and African continents before Europe or the Americas..... Truly Islam was sourced from the Middle East but that did not just stay there only due to the vast immigrations that took place from the Middle East area and mainly the Arabian Peninsular due historical wars,conflicts & trades as back as earlier times that goes back even before "Islam/Quran by Prophet Muhammed (saw)"...!!
      The earliest immigration known was from Yemen at the era of "The Flooding of the Marib Dome"...!

      September 3, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  18. Reality

    And the idiocy of it all is that Muslims like Eboo aka Ebrahim Patel, believe in and are driven by the myths of the OT, NT and the koran especially in mythical Abraham and a mythical "pretty, wingie, talking, thingie" aka Gabriel!!

    But there is money to be made with such idiocy.

    e.g. Eboo Patel pays himself well ($131,000/yr) from his Interfaith Youth Core "non-profit" group's receipts (government grants, donations etc.) which, based on the group's IRS Form 990, appears to be more of a stock holding company ($2,335,960 portfolio in 2008- guidestar.org) for Mr. Patel than it is a "non-profit". Non-profits do not pay taxes on dividends, interest or capital gains.

    And did Eboo Patel's Interfaith Youth Core work for Obama's election campaign as we see Eboo is not only on the recent Chicago Council of Global Affairs' task force but also on Obama's Faith advisory council?

    And did a Faith Initiative grant from the State Department help defray the cost of CCOGA's reports and Mr. Patel's task force pay? (Mrs. Obama was a former member of the CCOCA).

    September 2, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • BG

      @ Reality

      Eboo is also responsible for establishing Harvard's Pluralism Project. Now there's some interesting reading !

      I bet it's pretty challenging to "docu ment the contours of our multi-religious society, explore new forms of interfaith engagement, study the impact of religious diversity in civic life, and contextualize these findings within a global framework" when islam is the most intolerant theo-political organization on the planet...

      Or maybe Harvard's concept of Pluralism applies to all religions except islam? Come 'on ... tell the truth, Harvard. Or did islam just gave them a written press release? Did they actually accept the lunch meeting invitation? I bet they were so nice...

      Harvard.. such a bastion of liberalism. Or Princeton and Columbia. They're all the same. Thank goodness for the Saudi capital infusion. It really helps out the budget, and now they only have to raise the tuition 4%.

      *sigh of relief*

      September 2, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  19. J.W

    I think it is great that Muslims can live in the United States and thrive here, just as people of other faiths can. That is the great thing about living in a democracy. I think that the stereotypes that we have of Muslim is more of the Arab traditions. I think that Muslims that do not live in Arab countries are probably more relaxed about some of the strict rules of the Muslim faith.

    September 2, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Frogist

      @JW: I know that for a fact. Not every muslim is a fundamentalist. Not every muslim is an oppressed woman or a violent man. One of my best friends is a business woman going for her Masters degree who dresses like any other elegant American woman and likes to party, and is not ostracized by her community or family, but encouraged to be herself. The stereotypes do none of us any good. They serve only to hold us back and prevent women like my friend from freely expressing who she is in her country and in ours.

      September 2, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • J.W

      Maybe once the Middle East is peaceful 5 years from now some of those traditions may go away, and then some of the fundamentalist Christian beliefs will go away, and we will all be happy.

      September 2, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • BG

      " Not every muslim is a fundamentalist. Not every muslim is an oppressed woman or a violent man."

      The issue isn't the them. It's about the unwillingness of islam to control, modify, or abolish, both here and abroad, the tenants that are interpreted to create problems; this consequentially places all muslims under scrutiny.

      Rightfully so.

      September 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • BG

      " Not every muslim is a fundamentalist. Not every muslim is an oppressed woman or a violent man."

      The issue isn't them. It's about the unwillingness of islam to control, modify, or abolish, both here and abroad, the tenants that are interpreted to create problems; this consequentially places all muslims under scrutiny.

      Rightfully so.

      September 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Anton LaVey (ACTS)

      Peace in 5 years????? Keep dreaming

      September 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • BG


      Chances are better that you'll have 'gone away.'

      sorry for the 2x post folks. Thought I caught a typo...eh.

      September 2, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • J.W

      That is my prophecy that there will be peace in the Middle East in 5 years. I think we are making progress. It will take several small changes at a time but we can get there.

      September 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "It's about the unwillingness of islam to control, modify, or abolish, both here and abroad, the tenants that are interpreted to create problems"

      Like who? There is no central organization that regulates the Islamic faith. From what I can see, most of the Islamic faith is broken down into small regional areas that are controlled by a Iman or cleric of some sort. Not everywhere, but in a lot of places here in the US.

      September 2, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • BG

      @ Uncouth Swain

      Well, it seems that Frogist "knows for a fact that not every muslim is a fundamentalist."

      Plus she knows a muslim-American party girl that might be of some help...

      Or maybe their respective islamic governments can 'lend some assistance' with all the nastiness and confusion... unless, of course, they don't want to. Seems they have the perfect opportunity now... oh, wait. The Brotherhood's knocking at the door. Were we expecting them? I thought we told them to make an appointment. Well, never mind. Let them in before they bust the door down.


      September 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • BG

      @ J.W (pbuh)

      Your "prophecy?"

      Oh, my.

      September 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • J.W

      Their respective Islamic government of a Muslim American? What would that be?

      September 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Frogist

      @BG: I'm not sure what you mean. At first you say it's not the "liberal" muslims you are worried about then you say they are all under scrutiny. Isn't that a contradiction?
      Also is it that you want "Islam" to abolish parts of it's Quran? Is that what you're saying? The Quran is what it is. Much like the Bible is what it is. And while the Bible changes depending on who wants to change the interpretation, it still hasn't abolished anything to the extent that its followers aren't anti-woman, anti-gay, etc etc. But a lot of Christians are not hom-opho-bic or misogynists despite that. And that does not mean I must hold all Christians under greater scrutiny because of what's in a book. So no, it doesn't place all muslims under scrutiny at all.

      September 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Anton LaVey (ACTS)


      Maybe once the Middle East is peaceful 5 years from now some of those traditions may go away, and then some of the fundamentalist Christian beliefs will go away, and we will all be happy.

      The extremists will not go away easily. Freedom and education is the key and that takes time. Perhaps in 50 to a 100 years.

      September 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • BG

      Overseas... obviously I was thinking Arab Spring.

      What's the role of the ISNA other than to eat dinner with Obama? http://www.isna.net/
      btw, I believe that the word you were looking was prediction.

      September 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Frogist

      @BG: Yes, I do know it for a fact, BG. Just like I know for a fact, that all Christians aren't fundamentalists too. And actually no, my friend isn't American. And she doesn't live under an Islamic gov't. Why would you assume that she does?

      September 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • J.W

      I think that these recent uprisings is showing the Arab people that they need to make a change. I think that change is starting to happen now in Libya. I think once U.S. troops leave Iraq we will gradually start to see it become more peaceful there too. What we really need is for Syria to get its act together. Maybe other countries in that region will start holding them accountable, and they will see that they must change as well.

      September 2, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • BG

      @ Frogist

      Can you direct me to where I stated "liberal" muslims? I'm getting a bit blog-weary.

      "Also is it that you want "Islam" to abolish parts of it's Quran? "
      Sure. Write an opinion, hadith, whatever. If the christian bible was the source of indeterminable confusion and global violence it would have been re-written many times over. Re-written? Wait a second...

      September 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Frogist

      @BG: "liberal" in the sense of using a more liberal interpretation of their holy book rather than a fundamentalist one.
      And no, the violence in the Christian Bible has not been re-written out of it. Although it strikes me as somewhat disturbing that misogyny and hom-opho-bia isn't enough for you to want that book changed as well. Especially since it absolutely does provide a "source of indeterminable confusion" which is at least one requirement of changing it that you cited. And hasn't prevented Christians from using it to justify violent acts.
      But more strange than that, it seems you think that the violence in predominantly muslim countries come solely from the Qu'ran or so much so that it can be wiped out by changing the words in it. That seems a little naive to be honest.

      September 2, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Frogist

      @BG: Also you never answered my question about what you said being contradictory.

      September 2, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • BG

      @ Frogist

      Anything to do with Sufi frogs? Just curious about your name after all these many months.

      " misogyny and hom-opho-bia isn't enough for you..."
      And the difference between word and deed is.. ? If archaic christian language was ever literally or unilaterally applied I would worry. But western women aren't covering themselves, being blamed for ra pe, or receiving beatings endorsed under the auspi ces of their religion. And say, did you hear about gays getting married in the U.S. ? It seems that hom- ose-xuality doesn't even exist in the islamic world, so you can keep the hom-ophobia label to yourselves, thank you very much. Acts of christian violence are few and far between, but thanks for the attempt to compare christian exception to muslim rule. That's always entertaining...

      "... violence in predominantly muslim countries come solely from the Qu'ran or so much so that it can be wiped out by changing the words in it. "
      It'd be a start, and certainly preferable over doing nothing at all. But then again it would be difficult to change what's already perfect – right? So, maybe is isn't naivete that's the problem.. it's just optimism. What's your suggestion again? Do nothing?

      I stated that there was an inherent perceptual cause-effect relationship. What someone 'claims' or not is immaterial. You brought up contradiction, not me. I consider it to be a non-sequitur to the discussion.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Frogist

      Hi BG,
      No, my name has nothing at all to do with religion except the -ist. It actually is a high school nickname that stuck. And since I adhere to no particular religion, I added an -ist to mean a religion based on me. Therefore Frog-ist.

      Where have you been, BG? Women have been and are still being blamed for r@pe because we're horrible sirens, didn't you know? And yes, that's coming out of Christian mouths sadly. The current reasoning on abortion and birth control coming out of Christian camps pretty clearly shows that women are still persecuted for their se-xuality. If we do the deed (or are even perceived by someone else as wanting it), we must pay the price. Some clever ladies directly confront that idea by doing Sl-utwalks. Are you saying that the degree is not as bad as totalitarian muslim countries therefore they must change their book before you advocate changing "ours"? I'm not sure how that measurement works.

      And just because we actually have legal gay marriage, and not in the whole country, and not if the evangelical Christian presidential hopefuls have their way... well I guess that ho-moph-obia label does start to seem more and more relevant.Just because it isn't even acknowledged in other countries doesn't mean it's non-existent here. None of what you said explains why we need to tolerate the "confusions" in the Bible while eliminating them in the Qu'ran. The books don't seem to have a lot of relevance in what the followers do.

      Also I wasn't relating exception to rule as you say. I was merely pointing out what seems like a flaw in what you say. If you insist that removing violence from the Bible means removing violence from Western Christians, then how do you reconcile that there is a great deal of violence in the Bible but not as much violence in say the US as in totalitarian muslim countries? There's just proportionally more book violence in the Qu'ran? That seems hard to believe.

      Also I didn't make a suggestion, but I don't suggest "correcting" the muslim holy book if I don't also advocate "correcting" the one belonging to the Christian, hindu or otherwise which is what you seem to be doing. If changing a book was all it took, well we could censor ourselves into civilization, now couldn't we?

      You consider it a non-sequitur to clear up confusion about something you wrote? Well I guess it's a good thing I'm not following what you say religiously. Or I might have to insist you edit your words.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Edwin

      I think it would be, hopefully will be, great to live in a time when muslims in America are not strongly hated by people who don't actually know them. But hate in America won't go away - even if we come to tolerate or embrace muslims, some other group will become the target of hate.

      I live in a town where the only synagogue is closed, because it repeatedly was subject to vandalism and arson threats. In the America *I* see, christians live openly about their religion, but those who are not christian (whether jewish, atheist, muslim, or anything else) have to constantly be careful who they talk to. Even at the (public) university there are christian student groups, but no jewish or muslim ones.

      America is not, and never has been, a country founded on tolerance.

      September 2, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • J.W

      well women should not be so hot and men wouldnt have to r.ape them.

      September 2, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  20. RightTurnClyde

    "Y e a h . .a n d . .t h e . .J a p a n e s e . .s t a r t e d . .l i k i n g . .h a m b u r g e r s . .r i g h t . .a f t e r . .P e a r l . .H a r b o r . .. . . .a n d . .t h e . .G e r m a n s . .d e c i d e d . .t o . .s u r r e n d e r . .r a t h e r . .t h a n . .f i g h t . .i t . .o u t . .a t . .O m a h a . .B e a c h . .. .a n d . .E l v i s . .i s . .s t i l l . .a l i v e . .i n "" . .A r e a . .5 1 . .. . . .a n d . .O b ..a m a . .i s . .g o i n g . .t o . .c r e a t e . .t h o u s a n d . .o f . .n e w . .j o b s . .b y . .N e w . .Y e a r . . .a n d . . .y o u ' r e . .g o n n a . .l o v e . .2 0 1 2 "

    September 2, 2011 at 2:23 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.