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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. Doug Allard

    f&&^ing Moslems. What a disgrace to humanity they are.

    September 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Allard Doug

      Moslems and not Muslims, eh!!!!!
      Hi Jew!

      September 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Edwin

      The destroyer is HATE, not muslims. And right now you are the carrier.

      There are evil muslims. There are other evil-doers who claim to be muslim. And there are evil non-muslims. Learn to hate less, and you will stop being a part of the evil in the world.

      September 2, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  2. reader 2010

    Islam destroy cultures.I was born in a country where people use to sing and dance before Islam took over.Now every body seems subdue.I know a person who can not merry a non Moslim girl.So he merried a Moslim girl to satisfy his family.

    September 2, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • *frank*

      Does she have large breasts at least?

      September 2, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
  3. J

    "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."

    funny thing...the koran mentions mary and Jesus but the bible NEVER mentions Islam, allah or muhammad...hmmmmm...

    September 2, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Mullah Omar

      Do you need help my son? Mullah Omar is here to help.–

      September 2, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Whatever

      Mullah will help you convert or kill you.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Yoda

      Omar should have informed you that the Quran was put together about 660 CE give or take a few years so it came after the Bible was kind of finalized.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • hakoon

      uhhh yeah the bible predates Islam, you just figured that out einstein?

      and if you really wanna goto that level, then i dare you, I DARE YOU to take an original bible in hebrew and as a jewish person to pronounce the verse 5:16 from the Song of Solomon in hebrew. If you are not a coward you will do this, but i will bet a 100$ that you never will

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

      uhhh yeah the bible predates Islam, you just figured that out einstein?

      and if you really wanna goto that level, then i dare you, I DARE YOU to take an original bible in hebrew and ASK a jewish person to pronounce the verse 5:16 from the Song of Solomon in hebrew. If you are not a coward you will do this, but i will bet a 100$ that you never will

      September 2, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Ken

      J,

      I believe it's been proven that the books in the Bible, both New and Old testaments were written hundreds and thousands of years prior to Muhammad's life began and his writing of the Koran. That would've made it kind of hard for any of the authors in the Bible to have mentioned anything Islamic.

      September 4, 2011 at 10:28 am |
  4. roadrager1

    Why is CNN always trying to make us "understand" or sympathize with this hate filled, cultist religion. You should be promoting Christianity instead, but CNN would never do that.

    September 2, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Mullah Omar

      Do you need help my son? Mullah Omar is here to help-

      September 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Be Afraid

      Its not a cult, it is an STD. Be afraid.

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

      "Why is CNN always trying to make us "understand" or sympathize with this hate filled, cultist religion. You should be promoting Christianity instead, but CNN would never do that."

      Too funny. As opposed to the hate-filled, cultist religion known as Christianity? Not one drop of blood shed in the name of that one, right?

      September 4, 2011 at 2:04 am |
  5. bert the fig

    star light, star bright, first star i see tonight, i wish i may, i wish i might, have the wish, i wish tonight....

    i wish....

    all muslims would vanish from the earth....

    September 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Mullah Omar

      Do you need help my son? Mullah Omar is here to help-

      September 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • lisa

      Advocating genocide are we?

      September 2, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • bert the fig

      nope, just want murders and thieves absent from this mortal coil....

      September 2, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • lisa

      I dont like murderers or theives either.

      September 2, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
  6. Yoda

    The Quran a tribute or the sword still echo in our collective histories. Remember my friends, to defeat an enemy, you must find harmony with them. Know your strengths and weaknesses and theirs and you have a combination to victory. May the Force be with you!

    September 2, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Mullah Omar

      Do you need help my son? Mullah Omar is here to help!

      September 2, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Yoda

      Yoda help is not in need, only vigilance and understanding for you to do

      September 2, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • JK

      so is that why America was friends with Saddam before killing him?

      September 2, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • speed

      shutup moron

      September 2, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  7. reader 2010

    Why do they keep beating us on the head to understand Islam.There are a lot of people that don't understand Christianity.I am one of them.I don't care about Islam of Christianity.So please stop telling people to understand Islam.

    September 2, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Mullah Omar

      Do you need help my son? Mullah Omar is here to help.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Dieyoung

      The Mormons are doing the same thing, they are trying to convert Christian nations into Momoism.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  8. dirtystone

    Deepening their roots....like a wart....digging in to be a cancer for America maybe. The most serious problem with islam is that the "peaceful majority" stand by silently as the "small radical minority" do the most horrendous things. There is no real outcry, and no visible effort to stand up and shun the nutcases. The next problem, is that islam by it's very nature runs counter to a free, tolerant, and progressive society, where the rights of gays, women, and other religious faiths are supposed to be paramount. islam is the least tolerant of all religions, and in it's purest form is un-evolved, and barbaric.

    September 2, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Mullah Omar

      Do you need help my son? Mullah Omar is here to help..

      September 2, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • AS

      -On 9/11, and many sermons thereafter, I've heard the Muslim imam RAIL against terrorism.
      -I am an active Muslim in my community and I continuously rail against it and its effects on our society and our world. As well as the bad name it gives our religion.

      We preach against it in our mosques and our conferences, but I don't think you've ever visited one of our mosques have you?

      http://www.islamfortoday.com/terrorism.htm

      Here are a list of speeches, scholars, and statements by Muslims against it.

      It is a stupid idea for Muslims to "march in the streets" in American against terrorism because its not like the terrorists care! They are radicalized beyond anything a normal family man Muslim could say to him. You think my saying something in a protest is cared for by a terrorist in Afghanistan or by a sleeper cell? Of course not! I'm a tax-paying, soccer dad Muslim. I fight terrorism by preaching against it and teaching against it in Sunday school. I've not nothing wrong and nothing more should be expected of me but to raise my family, abide by the law, pay my taxes, and preach against wrong when I see it in an EFFECTIVE place.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
  9. Mullah Omar

    So what are we talking about here? How is everybody here?

    September 2, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  10. MrPigly

    I wish I could say this article made me feel good. They may be deepening their roots, but I fail to see them deepening their appreciation for the country. Their religion allows them to lie, yet they claim it's a religion of truth; their religion allows them to kill, but they claim it's a religion of peace; their religion allowed the founder of the same religion to marry a 9 year old girl, yet they claim it's a religion of love; and their response to anyone who doesn't agree with them is to declare a jihad or to saw off someone's head. I am not comforted by this article – it serves to reinforce the idea that America is being ruined by the very laws and principles that we defend. Oh, and for all the haters, I'm not a christian or a jew either -so KMB

    September 2, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • mullah hajdar

      what is here to appreciate?hatred,demonization?arrogance?fascism?-well we do appreciate land and money.land we don't harm,for money we work hard.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • MrPigly

      @ Mullah – I'm sorry you don't appreciate this country, but I think the fact that you don't says more about you than anything else. In any event, your comment just proved my point, so thank you for the reply. Regards.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Mullah Omar

      Do you need help my son? Mullah Omar is here to help...

      September 2, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • MrPigly

      @ Mullah Thanks for the laugh!! Anyways, I would just be careful that the very things you have found to be wrong in America, the hatred, demonization, arrogance and fascism, aren't the same things you are carrying in your heart as well. Regards

      September 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • mullah hajdar

      what do you think we feel when you spill muslim blood?and the muslim revenge hasn't even started.we are not vietnamese to forget.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • JK

      so Pigly, let me tell you in my American english. kiss my rear. I am Muslim, I am American and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it. Either you can get along with your fellow Americans or move to another country. How about go back to Europe or wherever you came from because I am in my country and not going anywhere.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • MrPigly

      @ Mullah – I don't believe I accused you of being Vietnamese. And the truth is, I don't expect you to feel or do anything other than what you already are doing. You, and people like you, have shown that it is impossible for you to be anything but what you already are – violent, hateful, repressive, ignorant, untruthful – basically all the things you accuse Americans of being. In any event, please continue to respond (and thereby confirm everything I've said about you "rascals") although I am not sure I'll be able to – gotta check my windows and lock the doors – ya know how it is when people want to saw your head off; can't be too careful these days!!! Regards

      September 2, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  11. Ellie

    Nuns belong to a religious order ... they take vows. They DON'T cover their faces! Slowly but surely Muslims are infiltrating everywhere and it is increasingly scary!

    September 2, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Mullah Omar

      Do you need help my son? Mullah Omar is here to help,

      September 2, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • lisa

      Open your heart. Not all are scary. Most aren't. Most are beautiful, lovely people. You're just contributing to the broadening of the divide, which feeds the conflict.

      September 2, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  12. Jerry

    Islam teaches that Jesus is one of God's Prophets. By definition, a Prophet of God does not lie. Jesus said in John 10:30, "I and the Father are One". He also said in John 8:58, " Truly, Truly, I Say to you, before Abraham was born, I Am". Jesus is God the Son, the only begotten One of the Father in heaven.

    September 2, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • AGuest9

      And they are both lying.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • AN

      Read old testament. Also Bible is changed many times and everybody knows it is not in its original form. Quran on the other hand without any dispute is the only book from God, unchanged word by word .

      September 2, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • MrPigly

      @ AN – I don't mean to be overly disrespectful, but I doubt that the quran came from god just as much as I doubt the bible did – they're both books written by men – and if indeed the quran has not changed with time, I'm afraid you have just stated it's biggest weakness.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Common Sense

      Who is Adam's father?

      September 2, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Dave Davis

      Mr. Common Sense, God, the Creator of all, is the Father of Adam and the family of Mankind. God is without beginning or ending.

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

      AN: Mohammed wasn't born until 570AD. He was 40 years old when he claimed to receive revelation from Allah to author the Quran. Ancient biblical texts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and others show writings in the bible to be amazingly close to those original texts and the actual meaning to be the same. Mohammed, on the other hand, was known to stretch the truth just a might. Mohammed portrays Allah as a god completely different from the God of the new testament as told to us by Jesus, His only Begotten Son.

      September 2, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  13. D

    I talked to a muslim some years before 9-11 happened...he told me that in no way did Muslims believe that Jesus was the son of God...that it was a mistake made in our bible. Trust me, they dont revere Mary or Jesus. He could only say that Jesus was a good man. What else do you need to know?

    September 2, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • *frank*

      Some guy said some guy told him something...guess that's all I need to know on the issue.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • mullah hajdar

      true,we believe that jesus was a man,probably a son of some jewish neighbour,already married,who mary had an affair with,and who didn't want to pay child support.no resurection,either.though,american problem with muslims is not religion,it is political-america wants to rob muslims.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • AN

      You can yourself read Surah "Maryem" (mary). Instead of hearing from here and there. You will know exactly and then ask someone like 1800-WHYISLAM. Some people who have real knowledge. This is the sincere advise. You can make fun of Prohphet Muhammad but we can not make fun of Prophet Jesus. We respect all the prophets. All sent by God (Allah) and some have miracles given by God. Moses not burned in fire remember. etc etc

      September 2, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • Real Deal

      D,

      There are not quite as many flavors of Islam as there are of Christianity, but they interpret their beliefs in many different ways too.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • AGuest9

      No, "mullah", Americans don't want to be blown up by Muslims.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      mullah, you are no more a muslim than i am. j'accuse!

      September 2, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Jacob

      Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one gets to the Father but through me," now according to Muslims the "prophet" Jesus didn't lie....please someone try and explain this contradiction in Muslim belief to me. Jesus truly is the son of God, not just a "good person"

      September 4, 2011 at 12:46 am |
  14. Whatever

    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.

    Jews and Catholics did not stage a 9/11 attack. Such a direct comparison is rather presumptious.

    September 2, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • mullah hajdar

      you continue attacking muslims and you can expect more hatred back.you are the problem,you are criminals,you make problems.and stop demonizing muslims.whether you will hate us will not change the fact that muslims will defend themselves and their lands.whether you or your familly will be close when that happens,is anyone's guess.the only way that will make america safe is to leave muslims alone.your choice.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Abuali

      You mean Catholics who sodomize little alter boys or the European Jews that owned the slaves and stole Palestine w/a 60 year holocaust–that supported Apartheid? The drunk,welfare Catholics? your right,we're all tripping

      September 2, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • Whatever

      Abulia or whatever, no is the muslims who spread this religion at the point of the sword for 1000 years. Get a clue.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Whatever

      Mullah, back in your cave.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  15. Iron

    Great article. I am converted to Isalm. Islam is a true religion. I like to see more people choose Islam.

    September 2, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • Daniel Allen

      i don't see it that way. Please don't Ki-ll me

      September 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • Iron

      Daniel Allen: do not worry my son. LOL.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • carlos mendez

      You obviously don't even know the truth. The true is the one who know Jesus and His Father in Heaven. How can you worship God if you don't even know Jesus. Islam is not a religion. It is a cult a no nothing cult and rebellion of the true God. Islam need to be abolish everywhere in the world. They are nothing but a bunch of hypocrite liar and killer toward all society...

      September 2, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • g

      I also chose to convert to Islam. I did NOT listen to all the mis-information spread by other(i.e. haters). Instead, I chose to read the Quran myself and after reading the Quran and studying early Christian history and study information about the early Jewish-Christians(i.e. the people who actually knew Jesus. Not like Paul), I came to realise that Islam to be the religion for me. I was especially impressed how much the Quran actually agreed with the original followers of Jesus(i.e. Jewish-Christians). I would encourage everyone to investigate Christian origins for themself and not believe the hype preached and taught to them by others

      September 2, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • mullah hajdar

      more than 20.000 christians reverted back to one true faith in western europe in 2010.leave those dungeons of satan where they feed you with poor jokes,bad plays,mediocree music and inferior messages.come to God,you will not need credit cards to be happy anymore.become a human again.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Amy

      I hope you know if you have family or friends who do not believe in Islam they will burn in eternal hell-fire. I think you should read the Qu'ran and the hadiths.. all of them!

      September 4, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  16. jjheinis

    America is the promised land for Indians and Pakis as can be seen by the Hindustani takeover of the hotels and motels and their displacement of native-born Americans. The battle is lost.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Mullah Omar

      Do you need help my son? Mullah Omar is here to help.,

      September 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  17. Whatever

    Another pandering article from CNN. Must be owned by the U.A.E. or Saudi Arabia.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • COMMANDREA

      Pandering? This is an article under the religion blog. It's not news- it's explorative essay. The truth is that real Muslims and real Christians understand that they worship the same god and share many of the same beliefs and values. Now you know the truth. Do what you will with it.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Whatever

      It is still pandering.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • Whatever

      I love it when someone uses the expression"now youu know the real truth." Also, it should be God if you worship him, expert.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  18. Daniel Allen

    This article is written as a fluffy feel good piece, but it should be a warning to all non-mooslums. These people still believe in slavery. And that is just the teeny-tiny tip of the iceberg. look it up.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • wjs

      No, Daniel, we do not believe in slavery. You might try reading a translation of the Qur'an.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Mullah Omar

      Do you need help my son? Mullah Omar is here to help....

      September 2, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
  19. AN

    People want to live in their shell. They look and see through that shell. Bold people come out of the shell and look for the truth, rather than reading one phrase in Quran and think they got it all. Quran is the book of true word in its original form. Not change by humans as they please. History is there. Muslims are not angel. They are also human and among them good and bad. Some interpreth faith as they please. There is only one true religion in this earth. Find out before death after that there is no turning back and loser for eternal life. Find out for your own sake rather than listening to Lucifer, who wants to take as many human in hell as he can to take revenge. I think 1800-WHYISLAM is a good source to find out about any phrase of Quran. It does not hurt to find out about other religion from neutral sources. Otherwise enjoy while what you can !

    September 2, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • AN

      Daniel, since when you learn about freedom? Freedom and Justice are the essence of Islam. Justice same for all. Not different for rich or by hiring a lawyers who can speak most lies and put innocent people behind bars. Check History. Look when Muslims rule Spain, how non-muslims not only prefer to live under Muslim rule but florish. Any place of worship is forbidden in Islam. That was the message when Mecca was conquer. People at that time used to say same things about Islam as you are saying but message did get across. Its for you only not benefiting to anybody else. OTherwise enjoy while you can in this earth. There is only one true God and one day he will call us back. Thats all the time you have.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • Mullah Omar

      Do you need help my son? Mullah Omar is here to help.-

      September 2, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
  20. Unsettled

    I truly believe a person should be able to worship in any way they want and I have no problem with Muslims following their faith, except for what I see as the subjectification of women. I can honestly say that I HATE the scarving and veiling and the lower class status that are forced upon women, and I know that most of them say that they choose to wear the things that hide their femininity out of some misguided belief that it makes them somehow better, purer, or more holy, but what I see is that they've just bought into a male dominated system. I used to know these pentecostal women who followed the same logic and they could never see that they were being controlled like that either. If I were to be totally and completely honest, I would say that my discomfort with the veils and scarves is the deep fear that one day Muslim numbers will be so great that laws will be changed and all females would have to give up the rights our fore-mothers fought so hard to achieve. I know this isn't likely or logical, but I'm just being real about it.

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

      Are you uncomfortable with Nuns at the church too my friend?

      September 2, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • mullah hajdar

      we muslims don't care about you or your culture,we don't want to live with you,we consider you pigs,we want to live next to you.we like land and dollars,both are a-plenty.i don't need insincere,rotten,drugged,tattooed,promiscuous twisted my,myself and i,to be my friend.you are empty,worthless,dishonest and we don't need you.

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

      Nuns took their vows of their own free will, you schmuck, not because it was 'the will of" that pagan Allah you worship.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • AN

      I feel so pity about Mosihasteen. I wish he knows what he is saying.. I wish Allah give him guidance unless he decided to be among the losers after death and wish he could go back to earth to fix things.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Daniel Allen

      nuns do not cover their face. that is the point. and all christian women aren't force to wear the habit. Your example is very poor.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Unsettled

      Well, let's face it, Catholicism has had it's day of repressing not just women, but everyone. Yes, I am uncomfortable with how they hold women back, but their days of forcing religion on others is over. In effect their threat has been neutralized. Islam, however, is a growing religion, especially in the US. Their willingness to push others into their beliefs hasn't been fully tested. –I said my fear of what might happen isn't likely or all that logical, as fear usually isn't. I'm just putting the idea out there for Muslims to be aware of because I know for a fact that I'm not the only one thinking this.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • g

      if you know that what you're feeling is neither "likely" or "logical", then you are not being "real" about it. You're are being "unreal" about it.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • AN

      Unsettled....Let me tell you. I agree there are many Muslims doing what is not in the religion but in their culture. Face hiding is not required in Islam. Some places have the culture. Our objective is to find out the real message from God(Allah). If you don't know Muslims believe on all of the prophets from Adam , Noha, Abraham, Solomon, Moses, Jesus, and then Muhammad. There are many many more. They all have same message. Believe in one true God, Beware of the day of Judgement. Once you die you lose all your rights. Whats wrong in finding out the truth. If not satisfied don't believe it. Its better than pay attention to the Lucifer and his students. Remember Lucifer hate Human and you know why....

      September 2, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Cowboy

      Muslims are a virus , they force religion onto everyone . Get it together you sheep , quit reading an old book with made up stories in it .

      September 2, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
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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.