Your Take: Comments on a congressman's conversion to Islam
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison was raised Catholic but converted to Islam in college.
September 2nd, 2011
11:11 AM ET

Your Take: Comments on a congressman's conversion to Islam

It's no surprise that our Thursday post on U.S. Rep Keith Ellison's conversion from Catholicism to Islam fetched loads of comments.

Some commenters discerned a pattern of CNN conspiring against Christianity (have they noticed all our thoughtful stories about Christianity?):


Anyone notice this pattern?

Again the SHAMEFUL cnn promoting Islam and atheism at the expense of Christianity. I wonder what the schmucks at CNN will do when they realize the hammer is about to be dropped on their daughters by all the MOOSLIMS.

Lots of commenters vented anti-Muslim sentiments:

I am an Ex-Muslim. I am free, I am happy and I am now a proud Infidel......Islam is the religion of hate and suffocation. Islam is the religion of wife beating and polygamy. Islam is the anti-women religion and it hates free thinking. Islam is a crime against humanity.

First Muslim member of Congress? Let's hope he's the last.

Some came to the defense of Muslims. The first one in this list is a response to Sara's comment from above:

You're quite an American. The founding fathers would be proud.

Judge NOT...
As a Christian, I read the Quran after 9/11 because I couldn't believe the news that a Book of God could incite people in such a negative way. I was right, the Holy Quran confirms the Bible and vice versa if you read them both with an open mind. I am very happy that I read both because both teach the right lessons. For those of you nay sayers that say religion is a way to manipulate the weak-minded, how little you know about life and how little you know about your own potential. Read both as books, then study both as a life lesson. By doing this you will find your place in the World and after. God reigns, God is great and God gives peace to those that seek it. Instead of criticizing others, look inward at your emptiness and know that there is an answer, ONE answer. If you can't understand it, I truly pity you.

Many of the people who post on this website seem to never met or befriended a Muslim person and therefore put the face of terrorism on every Muslim they never met. This is why it is important to expose people such as these, people who have never left their little oyster shells, to one of millions of peaceful, law-abiding Muslims in America and one of billions of law abiding Muslims in the world. That is the significance of this story. Otherwise, we run the risk of becoming a developed, civilized nation, super power that is a breeding ground for haters and paranoid nut cases such as the terrorist Anders Behring Breivik (the Norwegian terrorist) in this ever shrinking, increasingly global world.

Lots of commenters expressed alarm about what they said are Islamic threats to American culture and law:

I am not going to say that one religion is better than another, but the lifestyle of Islam is not the lifestyle of the western civilization. I am concerned simply that our lifestyle and the laws and culture that made this country great will be lost. Look how made Muslim run countries are. I do not want any impact Muslim law just because we have Muslim congressman. It does not mix.

And as always, droves of atheists lampooned religion, Muslim and otherwise:

I believe in Leprechauns. Can you write a story about me too?

All religions are the same. They are fantasy based and would not survive a generation if they didn't brainwash children before they learn how to think. Maybe Scientology differs, but what is Scientology?

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Comments • Islam • Politics

soundoff (493 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Buddha was great. He left his wife and child to find the "meaning of life." Great man indeed.

    September 3, 2011 at 12:16 am |
  2. M khan

    Quran and Islam has the message as the original Bible as both of the books are from same God , its A fact that Bible been rewritten people has made changes to it . and Quran remains the same as it was revealed 1400 years ago. A killer , A rapist , A polygamist etc Are act of Individuals not religions no religion teaches people to Harm others . THE Mormon Polygamist Warren Jeffs is 55 years old was married to a 12 year old and a 14 year old who had his baby . ( Act Of Individual ) it doesn't give anyone to right to judge his religion. so Calm down Read the Quran as a Book you will be Astonished to know what you heard and media is so wrong . may God Bless you.

    September 3, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • Anon

      What a bunch of apologetic BS.

      September 3, 2011 at 2:12 am |
    • Real Deal

      The Bible and the Quran were no more "revealed" to these guys than the Harry Potter stories were "revealed" to J.K. Rowling or that "Star Trek" was "revealed" to Gene Roddenberry... or any others to any other creative writer.

      September 3, 2011 at 2:22 am |
    • J.W

      Anon do you ever say anything intelligent or do you just say the same five word sentences over and over?

      September 3, 2011 at 2:27 am |
  3. Jamal Uncreativemuslimname

    Hate is such a wonderful thing, makes this world a better place, I'm sure it makes us better individuals too. Carry on with the comments of understanding, knowledge, and wisdom. At no point was slavery, racism, and women's rights an issue in the "land of the free".

    September 3, 2011 at 12:06 am |
  4. Anon

    Nothing new here. He just converted from one screwed up religion to an even more screwed up religion.

    September 3, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  5. SurRy

    Perhaps only atheists should be allowed in Congress. Personally, I prefer folks who operate in a reality-based world to those who believe in fairy tales, fables and make believe.

    September 2, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • Nick

      AMEN! (ironic, right? haha) I agree though. We have separation of church and state (THANK GOD, there I go again), so we really should only have people who we KNOW will operate as public officials without any undo influence by religion, which should HAVE to stay part of people's private lives and play NO role in our public policy whatsoever.

      September 3, 2011 at 12:09 am |
  6. Texan

    The religion of Islam is dead-wrong.

    September 2, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • SurRy

      All religion is made up nonsense that has no place in a modern world.

      September 2, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • myar

      i am a kid and read about islam and learned the greatness. Have you taken the time to meet with a Muslim person? They are not terrorist, and their religion is a religion of peace, kindness and hospitality. There are many Christians and Jews who have committed crime that killed hundreds of innocent lives, but not all Christians and Jews are called terrorists. So why all Muslims are called terrorist and prophet Muhmmed called a murderer when only a few did the sin of killing not all. If you had taken the time to learn the beauty of the religion and those who fallow it your life would have changed, your thoughts would have changed. One more point if Islam is a religion of murder why is it the fastest growing religion in the world. Understand the religion don’t judge it by its cover. Then come and post the truth for those who decide to look elsewhere from the given path of heaven.

      September 3, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • Anon

      ^ What a bunch of Islamic apologetic nonsense.

      September 3, 2011 at 1:33 am |
  7. Jonathan

    I think the biggest lesson is that 95% of people who comment on internet websites are jerks looking for a fight. Myself included (the truth hurts).

    September 2, 2011 at 11:41 pm |

    I like Turtles!

    September 2, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
  9. Sam

    Freedom of worship is a right of any person living in the USA.

    September 2, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • nonterrorist

      Reply to Sam: Freedom of worship, yes; freedom of jihad, no.

      September 2, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Nick

      Nonterrorist, you're a racist moron.

      September 3, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • dearypie

      @nonterrorist do you even know what Jihad means? The Arabic translation means to "struggle". All of us are then guilty of Jihad in our daily lives. Who doesn't struggle against cursing out the person who cuts in line, or struggle against eating more than we need to, or struggle against walking away when an elderly neighbor needs help carrying his groceries to his car, the list is endless. First thing you need to do is then educate yourself on a topic before you comment on it. Freedom of speech comes with the responsibility of owing up to what you say.

      September 3, 2011 at 12:17 am |
  10. Karen

    Politics is not about Religion. In this country, there is a separation of church and state. I am tired of hearing about the persecution of Christians or Muslims or Athiests in regards to politics. It has NO place in whether a person can do a job or not. Please find something more important to fight about. Many of us are tired of religious wars. . .this IS NOT a Christian state. It is one of many religions that are practiced by the people who reside here. . .

    September 2, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • SurRy

      Amen. Er, right on!

      September 2, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • dearypie

      Well put!!

      September 3, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  11. DanW

    I was struck by the comment that the Bible and the Quran confirm each other if you read them "with an open mind". What does that really mean? Does it mean that your mind is open to whatever thoughts pass through it? Does it mean that your mind is open to influence? In this case I think that his/her mind was open to the idea that the Bible and Quran were compatible and were saying essentially the same thing, and what do you know, that's what he found! Unfortunately, extremists of both Islam and Christianity read their scriptures and find what they are looking for, and the result is a plague on us all. Are these minds really open, or are they just looking for confirmation of what they already believe, much as those who listen to Rush or Beck.

    September 2, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • Robert

      The same thing can be said about the Bible and the Book of Mormon. The Bible is a record of God's dealings with the ancient peoples in the old world. The Book of Mormon is a record of God's dealings with the people in the ancient Americas, at about the same period of time. God is no respecter of persons. He sent prophets to both continents. The Bible recounts the birth and life of Christ in the old world. The Book of Mormon recounts the visit of Christ to the ancient inhabitants of the Americas, soon after his ascension into heaven. He even confirmed to his disciples in the old world that he would visit these other peoples: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." John 10:16

      September 2, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Hafeaz

      No stupid. An open mind is useing your natural senses between right and wrong of what God gave us. Etremist use their open mind yes but put their own opinion in it from being closed minded on one or a few things from their own personal belief.

      September 2, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • Real Deal


      Well, he missed a few continents. I guess he was tired and wanted to hurry back to his cloud for a nice bowl of ambrosia!

      It is simply outrageous that you really believe that bunk.

      September 2, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • nonterrorist

      The Bible says, "Thou shalt not kill." The Koran says to kill the "infidels" wherever you find them. The Bible says that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. The Koran says God has no son. The Bible and the Koran are as different as day and night. The Koran is a counterfeit Bible, and just as a counterfeit dollar bill looks like a real one to someone who isn't familiar with real dollar bills, the Koran looks like a real Bible to someone who isn't familiar with the real Bible. To anyone who has more than a superficial knowledge of the Bible, and any knowledge of the Koran, they convey opposite messages. You can love your neighbor, or you can kill your neighbor, but you can't lovingly kill your neighbor, so you will never reconcile Christianity and Islam.

      September 3, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • Anon

      ^ Then why does your imaginary christian god commands to kill? Here comes the standard apologetic BS like always.

      September 3, 2011 at 1:57 am |
  12. b4big bang

    oops btw that post is @Vandalii

    September 2, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  13. b4big bang

    depends upon what you mean by "go together". I agree that the old testament has spiritual lessons for Christians, but all a person needs to follow God is contained in the NT. Indeed, whenever you read about some cult doing violence, abusing underage girls, or breaking any other of our current laws, it's almost always on of their leaders pulling scripture from the OT. In fact, even the so-called mainstream groups (Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, etc, etc) can only site OT scripture for their violent acts of the past. Failing that, they might as well say "we just decided to do it on our own", because they know, and you know, that the NT teaches non-violence (which is exactly why we have Quakers, Menonites, etc).

    September 2, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • nonterrorist

      In order to properly understand the NT, you really need to understand the OT. For example, the NT says that John the Baptist was a voice in the wilderness. That means nothing unless you know that Moses heard a voice speaking to him from the burning bush in the wilderness. The NT says that Jesus gave Simon Barjona the nickname "Rock". That means nothing unless you know that God told Moses to speak to a rock in the wilderness. The NT says that Jesus offered people living water. That means nothing unless you know that water gushed from the rock that Moses was supposed to speak to in the wilderness. These allusions to the OT need to be understood for the NT to make sense, otherwise, it's just as if you're reading the last half of a novel, without having read the first half.

      September 3, 2011 at 1:09 am |
  14. Kafir4life

    Is Keith aware that he is locked in now..what idiology, religion, political party, social group, fraternity order the killing of its followers if they decide to leave????? Not even the most vile of satanic cults!!!!!!

    September 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • J.W

      Islam probably doesnt either.

      September 2, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • dearypie

      Actually there are ex-Muslims that have left the Islamic faith in Muslim majority countries (i.e. Egypt, Tunis, Turkey, etc.) and have suffered no ill effects for doing so.. Iran and Saudi Arabia doesn't represent the entire Muslim population.

      September 3, 2011 at 12:25 am |
  15. Raed

    Dear U.S. Rep Keith Ellison,

    Congratulations! Welcome to Islam my brother.

    September 2, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
  16. Shawn

    I don't care who practices what religion. As long as Sharia law stays FAR FAR FAR from the law here in the US, I don't care if 2 gay guys get married, convert to Islam, adopt 3 kids, run for Senate and smoke Marijuana in their bedroom...its none of my business.

    Again, as long as the absolute ridiculousness that is the entirety of Sharia law remains out of US law, be whatever religion you want.

    September 2, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
  17. Kevin

    So he converted from Catholicism to Islam. Big deal. That is pretty much on par with saying he now likes 'The Hulk' better than 'Iron Man'. Exchanging one fantasy for another.

    September 2, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  18. Gman

    another conversion..........i just converted again........to dontgivearatsassism

    September 2, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
  19. Abraxas

    One can hardly blame African Americans for turning to Islam, when the only other alternative, at first glance, would seem to be the religion of their former slave owners. Many of them go to church clutching the same bible that was used to justify their enslavement. In contrast, the Jews, for as long as they were enslaved in Africa, still retain to this day, the religion of their ancestors. Africans, kidnapped by their fellow tribesmen and then sold as slaves to Europeans, have almost entirely abandoned the religions they practiced before their captivity, and now kneel before the God of their former masters; their bodies free, but their souls still enslaved.

    September 2, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • Gman

      ill bet one dollar you just got home from therapy...........give it up!

      September 2, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • Kevin

      You are correct about one point: Anyone who bows to any god or gods is truly enslaved.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
  20. ytuque

    Mohammad was a murderer, robber, rapist, slave owner, polygamist, pedophile and wife beater. Jesus and the Buddha were none of these things. Fundamentally, the differences between the islam, christianity, and buddhism comes down to the differences between the men who founded/inspired these religions. If you don't believe me, you haven't read the biographies of these men.

    September 2, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • Gman

      Well said Que , well said!

      September 2, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • Anon

      Both Jesus and Buddha are myths, end of story.

      September 3, 2011 at 12:06 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.