My Take: Muslims should stop apologizing for 9/11
Muslims praying last month in Los Angeles, California, at the end of Ramadan.
September 7th, 2011
12:11 PM ET

My Take: Muslims should stop apologizing for 9/11

Editor’s note: Aman Ali is a New York-based writer, stand-up comedian and the co-creator of 30 Mosques in 30 Days, a Ramadan road trip across America.

By Aman Ali, Special to CNN

New York (CNN) - As a Muslim, I’m sick of people asking me how I feel about 9/11. What do you want me to say, seriously?

Do you want me to say, “It was a great plan, mwahahaha!” before I fly off on a magic carpet?

I was born and raised in this country and was just as shocked as everyone else to learn there were people on this earth so vile as to commit such a horrific attack - or to even think about doing it.

But I didn’t do it. Neither did 99.999999999 percent of the roughly 1.5 billion people in the world who also call themselves Muslims. So why should I or any other Muslim apologize for what happened?

Nickleback is planning on releasing another album. Should I ask white people to apologize for that?

Just like Christianity and Judaism, Islam unequivocally condemns terrorism. Don’t take it from me, though. Grab a copy of the Quran from a library and find out for yourself.

Don’t rely on some cherry-picked crackpot interpretation of the Muslim holy book that you read on some Islamophobic hack’s poorly designed website. Speaking of which, Islamophobes need to put down the Quran and pick up a book on HTML programming and Flash.

When 9/11 happened, I can understand why the average person would want to know what Muslims actually believe. After all, the terrorists claimed they were acting in the name of Islam.

That’s why hundreds of Islamic organizations around the globe condemned the attacks and told the truth about how Islam doesn’t condone terrorism whatsoever.

But that was 10 years ago. Why are mainstream American Islamic groups like the Islamic Society of North America, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim Public Affairs Council still condemning the attacks and just about any other act of terrorism that pops up in the news?

Weren’t we clear before how we feel about terrorism? If people didn’t understand us for the past 10 years, what makes Muslims think they’re going to understand us now?

If I have to explain 10 times to my little brother how to operate the toaster in my apartment, that’s not my fault because of inadequate messaging. It’s my brother’s fault that he’s dumb.

It’s ridiculous for Muslims to continuously condemn and apologize for stuff when every religion has their fair share of crazies.

Imagine you’re in the habit of partying with a group of friends. And every party you go to, there's a friend in your crew that spills grape juice on the carpet - the really awesome kind of grape juice that’s in the fancy wine bottles (we Muslims don’t drink alcohol but we still can party like ballers).

How would you feel if people stopped inviting you to their parties because your one friend kept spilling grape juice? That's how I feel. I'm really annoyed I have to keep apologizing or condemning Muslim extremists that keep spilling their grape juice of hate on the world.

Dictionary.com defines the word apologize as “to offer an apology or excuse for some fault insult, failure, or injury.”

When 9/11 happened, I was 16 years old and playing Tetris during English class on my TI-83 calculator. I’ll apologize for not paying attention to Mrs. Fulton’s lecture at my high school in Gahanna, Ohio, but that’s about it.

Just because people hundreds of miles away claimed they were Muslim and committed a terrible act doesn’t mean I should apologize for it.

Mike Tyson started sucking really bad in the boxing ring after he converted to Islam. Should I apologize for that? Oh, and I think I saw a few Muslim-sounding names in the production credits for the movie “Green Lantern.” I guess I should apologize for that, too.

I’m not trying to be insensitive about 9/11. Of course my prayers and sentiments are with anyone affected by the tragedy. The same goes for any act of terrorism.

But I’m not going to apologize or condemn them because I don’t need to prove my patriotism with some kind of McCarthyite litmus test. The Pew Research Center released a study last week that found that Muslim Americans are far more pleased with how things are going in the United States (56%) than is the general public (23%).

That finding is not going to provoke me to question the general public’s patriotism. But please stop questioning ours.

The 9/11 attacks were a terrible tragedy that changed all of our lives. There’s no way we can ever forget what happened.

But what we Muslims can do is advance the conversation, rather than repeating the same old condemnations. Condemnations and apologies are like an out of style fashion trend, the parachute pants and neon hair scrunchies of civil discourse.

What Muslims need is an extreme makeover. Now that’s some extremism I can get behind.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Aman Ali.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 9/11 • Islam • Opinion

soundoff (2,556 Responses)
  1. WWRRD

    A quote:

    But that was 10 years ago. Why are mainstream American Islamic groups like the Islamic Society of North America, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim Public Affairs Council still condemning the attacks and just about any other act of terrorism that pops up in the news?

    The reason it keeps coming up is becasue the islamic terrorist attacks continue unabated.
    Mumbai India

    There is a problem within the islamic faith. A siginficant faction of your faith believes in the killing of innocents. Accept it for what it is and work to squash it. Muslims have far more abililty to deal with this effectively from the inside than secular governments can. They just refuse to see it for what it is.

    September 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Jonathan

      What percentage of Muslims? You say a significant faction, so I'm curious what percentage your consider to be a significant faction.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth

      If you tally up the dead, it seems the Jews, and Evangelicals kill far more Muslims than the reverse.

      You can't ask one group to stop hating, while tolerating the other hatreds. Not because it is unfair (which it clearly is) but because it wont work.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Ed

      @William Demuth

      What happened to you personally to make you hate Christians so much? You obviously have no love or frankly respect for any religion, but you dislike of most religions is normal for your typical atheist. You think they are wrong and at least a little stupid. But when it comes to Christians your seem to have a deep routed venimous hatred with a great deal anger to boot. So I was just wondering what did some Christian jerk do to you personally to cause it?

      You know what you don't have to answer that. Let me apologze to you for whatever it was. I sure it was wrong and they should have done it. Sorry

      September 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Fred Phred

      Jonathan, it's significant enough that everyday I read about a bombing that has killed innocents somewhere in the world. Open your eyes. People love to find the one nutcase as an example – "look at Timothy McVeigh" or the guy from Norway, 2 cases over the last 15 years.

      I can count 2 cases of muslim terrorist bombings in the last 2 days. Notice the difference? It's as you say – "significant".

      September 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth


      It was this Guy named Christ. Talked a lot of nonesense, and put together a viscious street gang back in the old neighborhood.

      It seemed he HATED anyone who didn't want to wear his colors, so he sent his bro's out to convert them or destroy them

      Lots of people suffer at the hands of this gang, but some of us still fight back.

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


      Ok I get you don't want to say thats fine again just let me apologize sorry

      September 7, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth


      No need to apologize. Just go to church, say three Our Fathers, and tell the priests to pay their taxes and leave the altar boys alone.

      September 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Fred Phred

      A good start would be "I swear to defend this country against all enemies". That's the price we all pay for living here.

      After seeing the cheering that went on after 9/11 it was sickening. It's time for muslim's in this country to be viligant citizens. As a whole, you don't have the right to say "it wasn't us". There were 19 hijackers, months of planning, it was a big operation, and somebody could have dropped a dime and saved 2752 lives – BUT THEY DIDNT !! They stood by and let it happen.

      99.99% had nothing to do with this. But here is what you 99.99% do have:

      – You have the obligation to report religious leaders that are crossing the line.
      – You have the obligation to report anybody who seems to lean towards extremism.

      These are all obligations of living here as a citizen.

      You don't have to apolgize, but it doesn't mean you are free from obligation.

      September 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Jonathan

      @Fred Phred

      I routinely read about U.S. drone attacks that kill innocent women and children.

      September 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Jonathan

      @Phred Honestly though, what you and I have read is not a complete picture of what goes on in the world, but it's worth noting that the majority of the bombings I read about are by Muslims against other Muslims. I condemn killing no matter who's killing who, but the examples I'm talking about are tribal/sectarian/and or political conflicts.

      I don't see much difference between Sunni/Shia conflicts and the Protestant/Catholic violence that terrorized Ireland in the 90's.

      September 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Jonathan

      @Phred "After seeing the cheering that went on after 9/11 it was sickening." What cheering are you talking about? That's a serious and genuine question. I remember reading about such things, but that was ten years ago and I don't recall the details.

      Are you aware that Iranians held a candle light vigil in downtown Tehran for the victims of 9/11? I guess they didn't get the worldwide Muslim memo that they're supposed to hate Christians and rejoice in their death.

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

      It does not believe in the killing of innocents I am 14 years old and I know more than you. Study and read the Quran there are millions of english meanings out there pick one up. Then you will see how Islam works. The quran in fact says if you kill one person its like you killed all of human kind so dont tell me it encourages murder cause it doesnt.

      September 7, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • reality

      Wow!! the people who do not have any problem with collateral damage (aka deaths of innocents) accuse others of terrorism. First of all Muslims have no responsibility for individual crimes, second there have been rise in terrorism with western thugs killing more innocents in Muslim world, looks like blind hatred for Muslims and killing all Muslims wherever you get them is not the answer to problem.

      September 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Muslims have not butchered any body like you westerners have butchered Jews

      You can't just pinpoint some individuals when western government are busy in killing millions of people around world.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Gregory

      Jonathan; Drone attacks DO sometimes kill innocent people. But there's a key difference here that even a child of minimal intelligence should be able to pick up on, which you do not seem able to comprehend – the targeting of suspected militants and accidentally killing innocent people in the process (which is a horrible thing) is NOT the same as a premeditated attack solely on the civilians of another country (or even one's own country). The Americans target militants – to the believer of fanatical Islam, everything who is not a Muslim is a militant and a viable target to be killed. If you don't get the difference, you're just as blind as a radical Christian or Muslim.

      September 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Thor

      Since my ancestory has passed from Dane to French to Canadian over the cours of a couple of thousands of years, I can truthfully say that my family has endured much murder and suffering from Catholics/Christians/Whites..... even though I am white. So don't tell me that I don't recognize racial bias and hatred. My father and his father before him have both warned me of what to beware of and to prepare for. ....and here it is again... from Teaparty and from Muslim:

      Qur’an:9:88 “The Messenger and those who believe with him, strive hard and fight with their wealth and lives in Allah’s Cause.”
      Qur’an:9:5 “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”

      September 14, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • Ron

      Every religion has issues. You'll see that if you open your eyes. The only good thing about religion is that it's the best business model around.

      September 16, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • bruceben9

      big billy demouth. where do you get your facts? your rear end?

      September 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • 2011cnn2011

      its been ten years,....I have yet to hear a muslim publicly announce terrorism, and I watch alot of news...for sure I didnt here an apology or speaking out when 9/11 happened..(now that we are kicking the crqp out of em, you wanna say sorry? You should have been on every muslim channel in the world denouncing it...you didnt and you dont...silence is worse, than being sorry...

      October 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • 2011cnn2011

      william deluth remember who started this war on 9/11? That invited us to defend our country...if ya dont want war, dont start one.

      October 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  2. Jonathan

    "When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you may nations...then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy." Deuteronomy 7:1-2, NIV.

    September 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  3. Rev. Rick

    Quoting Mr. Ali, "What Muslims need is an extreme makeover. Now that’s some extremism I can get behind."

    Bingo, Mr. Ali ! But this, your last comment, undermines your entire article. Most Christians, and I suspect Americans in general are confused about Islam and Muslims. Don't devote Muslims, extreme or not, believe that the Quran is the perfect word of God and that it is without error? And as you point out, there are many "crackpots" who will cherrypick Quranic scripture to place emphasis where it DOES apparently condone violence against "infidels" especially if it advances the cause of Islam. So who are we to believe? Are we to believe that the Quran is NOT perfect and that some scripture should not be taken at face value? If that's so, then one of the pillars of Islam has just fallen.

    Islam has a PR problem, but so far there does not appear to be a central voice for Islam – someone (a Muslim) who has emerged who can reconcile the "perfect" book of the Quran, with what passes for common sense. Over the centuries, Christianity has evolved and has managed to coexist with democracy. However, I must also admit that there are Christian conservative elements (crazies) who would gladly hij-ack the consti-tutional separation of church and state if they could, and push their conservative Christian agenda as the norm.

    In summary, Mr. Ali, I sympathize with you. No, we cannot blame 99.999% of Muslims for 9/11, but for many of us – perhaps most of us – it's difficult to tell who is with us, and who is against us (US).

    September 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth

      Rev. Rick

      Shall we apply the same logic to the Bible, where your God has killed humans like cattle, and has promised to anhiliate humanity again?

      Perhaps we might question its references to slavery, ritual murder, cannibalisim and religious war?

      Peerhaps we can correct the abominations it encourages, and clarify its wording to prevent the future attrocities its followers shall engage in?

      September 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      Mr. Demuth

      You're preaching to choir. I do not take the Bible, nor any other "divinely inspired" book, literally. All such books may have some use for moral guidance, but such books must be tempered with common sense and co-mpassion. The problem with all scripture is it was written by humans, and humans are not perfect, regardless of their inspiration. I was raised as a conservative Christian, and it has taken the better part of 30 years to rid my psyche of the senseless guilt and shame that I was left with in that tradition. I will say that out of all scripture, I am most struck by the following which is attributed to the Buddha. The Budda said:

      "Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and an-alysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

      If we could all live by that one rule, the world would be a much happier place – regardless of who said it.

      September 8, 2011 at 7:24 am |
    • Disciple

      I read a few months ago that atheism is taking on a more militant, hate-filled stance. Reading Mr. Demuth's comments would certainly make it seem so. Like a lot of (not all) atheists, your characterizations of scripture are more "caricature" in nature. No honest, studied reading of the Bible would come up with the conclusions you've arrived at. You need to read Lee Strobel (a former writer for the Chicago Tribune). He once despised and ridiculed Christianity, too. Until he investigated it closely. He's now an devout disciple of Jesus Christ!

      September 8, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  4. Yoda

    "What Muslims need is an extreme makeover. Now that’s some extremism I can get behind."

    Agree with that, i do

    September 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  5. Sun Stevens

    Not once have I ever apologized for something done by some nutjob, just because that nutjob has something in common with me (religion, country of origin, etc...). I'd suggest the Muslims consider a similar approach. That said, if I saw someone in my neighborhood involved in slavery, or child abuse, I'd certainly take action against them. Perhaps Muslims in the Middle East should consider a similar approach there as well.

    September 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Muslims have not butchered any body like you westerners have butchered Jews

      May be you would also consider opposing the right wingers in your country who propose to kill millions around world.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  6. MrMufasa

    Precisely. As an American, should I apologize for Timothy McVeigh's domestic terrorism in Oklahoma City? Or should I apologize on behalf of Timothy McVeigh as a white male? Perhaps the U.S. Army should apologize for Timothy McVeigh. After all, McVeigh was a veteran of the Army. Let's face it. You demand an apology from all Muslims for 9/11 because you yourself are a bigot. You're the one who hates. You hate all muslims, and you want them ALL to suffer because you personally hate them. There's the new America. Oh how patriotic. Where o where has my country gone. Now we're just overrun with pseudo-patriotic, Confederate-flag-loving, jarhead nationalists who think freedom and justice are all about persecuting anything non-white and/or non-fundamentalist Christian. Just listen to country music. You can hear Alan Jackson sing all about not knowing the difference between Iraq and Iran, but... So ignorance is patriotism now???? God help us.

    September 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  7. Anon


    September 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • BookerLeetz

      I agree entirely with your sentiments expressed in the article. I too believe it's not the Muslim communities place to apologize for extremist wack-jobs that only have hate in their hearts, just as I don't expect the entire Christian community to apologize for idiots like Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. What I would expect to see and have not to date, is the kind of outrage expressed by the Muslim community against terrorists who twist Islam is something that parallels the anger over the Dutch cartoonists depicting Mohammad, or Phelps burning a Koran. It doesn't seem right that Muslims will outright riot and kill people over a picture but you won't see that kind of anger directed at people who blow up 100s of people in the name of Islam.

      Don't apologize to me or anyone over 9/11, but get outright angry and protest the actions of those that give your religion such a negative depiction instead of blogging about it or making a few statements to the media. That would make a lot more sense to me.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Mark Swagger


      September 8, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  8. Eric

    Isn't it a bit disengenuious of the write to ask us to 'pick up a copy of the Quran' when he knows that Muslims think that this 'holy book' can only be correctly taught and interpreted in Arabic? What is up with the dishonesty? I am not saying that any of what you said is wrong. (which some of it is) I am just calling a spade a spade. We can't pick up the book and read because people of the Islamic faith would discredit 'our interpretation' since we didn't hear/read it in the Arabic language.

    September 7, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Jonathan

      That's not entirely true. Although I'm an atheist, I have a copy of the Koran at home (as well as two copies–NIV and KJV–of the Bible and the Book of Mormon as well). The Koran I have was published in English by a Muslim scholar.

      It is true that there is always something lost in translation, but here's a newsflash for people. The bible wasn't written in English.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Magic

      Yes, it is interesting that these Middle Eastern desert gods, who are purported to be omniscient and omnipotent, communicated so poorly... and didn't know that new languages would be added across the world over time, and that their "word" would be so vastly and grossly mistranslated, mistranscribed, misunderstood and misinterpreted.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Eric

      I am also an atheist and you missed my point. I am not saying that translations do not exist. I am saying that the reason the prayers, greetings and salutations are given in Arabic is because the muslims believe this to be the true language of their religion. You cannot ,in their eyes, correctly understand or interpret their beliefs if you haven't read or head it in Arabic. So even if 'we grab a copy' , as the author suggests, or mediocre attempts at understading their faith will not stand up to their scrutiny. The author knows this and still insists that we 'grab a copy' and 'correctly understand' his faith. This is impossible using their own criteria of understanding.

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

    So you use a toaster example to say Americans are STUPID!!
    Why don't you just leave this country and join with the folks you feel close to, and not rapsodize about guilty feelings you and your ilk have about 9/11. You should be thankful that people in the USA are law abiding and the law is upheld in cases where your people are victimized, why don't you write about this?
    Muslims in genral were applading the acts by the people who did 9/11, secretly laughing at the USA, and this is the support on which the extrmists are relying on to keep the terro issues going forward.

    September 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • regis990

      Paranoid much?

      September 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Jonathan

      @regis990 DP isn't paranoid. He's a mind reader and therefore knows what every Muslim thinks. Be afraid... be very afraid!

      September 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Geekalot

      Wow, DP. Harbor anger much? Seriously. You seem to have completely missed the point of the commentary. In spite of the fact that the author along with the vast majority of muslims in this country had absolutely nothing to do with 911, they are repeated asked to prove their loyalty. Sure, not directly, but that is how I am sure it must feels when years after the event people constantly ask how they feel about 911....oh, you are a muslim...how do you feel about 911? I am a white guy...so why don't people constantly ask me how I feel about the Oklahoma City bombing? After all I have about as much connection to that horrible attack as your average American muslim has to 911.

      You stated "Muslims in genral were applading the acts by the people who did 9/11, secretly laughing at the USA, and this is the support on which the extrmists are relying on to keep the terro issues going forward."

      Site your sources to be validated as evidence or shut up. Saying something like this does make it true....and before you go off, no, I am not a muslim. I am an atheist.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  10. rs

    Muslims have apologized for 9/11 in the past?!?!? When? Where? How? Name one instance?

    September 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Geoffrey Hamilton


      September 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • reality

      They don't need to.

      September 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  11. Bob

    Maybe you should all read "Because they hate" by Bridgette Gabriel. It explains the Muslim way.

    September 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Jonathan

      That's an appeal to authority, which is a logical fallacy. Maybe you should read the Koran?

      September 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • regis990

      @Bob, so I should believe a Christian conservative when she gives us her views on Islam? Hmmm, maybe I should ask a retired Gestapo officer his views on Judaism.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Got it

      @Yakia, why get so defensive about the koran? why don't you give us some verses that talks about showing love to all of mankind irrespective of their religion,
      oh btw., if you could also expound on what an 'infidel' means?

      Why not educate the masses about koran?

      September 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Muslims have not butchered any body like you westerners have butchered Jews

      And who is Bridgett ? Is she the same Christian terrorist who kill 2000 innocent Palestinians ?

      September 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  12. What

    Who told em 'bout the 72 virgins???

    September 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Muslims have not butchered any body like you westerners have butchered Jews

      Not me, and not 1.5 billion other Muslims.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Brian Macker

      It wasn't "Westerners". It was the Nazi's who butchered the Jews and the rest of us Westerners fought against them. Unlike the many Muslims who sided with the Nazis, especially the Jordanians who became "Palestinians". In fact the whole reason the Ottoman empire fell is because it sided with the Germans in the past and lost.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
  13. Thought

    Why did you even apologize in the first place? You didn't have to. It wasn't your fault or the 99.9999% of Muslims who aren't terrorists. It was the terrorists fault who just happened to be crazy and downright out of their da*n minds. No one asked you condemn it either. You don't have to. So it really sounds like you are getting defensive on what you think you have to say to the people who ask. Just ignore it. I wouldn't apologize for anything I didn't do. So why should you?

    September 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Peace2All


      It seems that there was and has been a tremendous backlash against Islam, and Muslim's in general in the U.S. since 9/11.

      And, yes... there is a consistent demand from many in this country for the Muslim's to denounce the 9/11 attacks, even though the attacks were committed by religious zealot's that are not representative of the normal, peace-seeking Muslim.

      They have often felt threatened (as some of them have been threatened).

      I believe this is at least some of where the author is coming from.



      September 7, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Fanny

      Tremendous backlash? Where? There have been a few incidents here and there, but with the majority of Americans the issue never comes up in a way where a backlash could be promulgated.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Peace2All


      "backlash" didn't infer direct violence or incidents. However, all you have to do is read these blogs for instance, and you will get a sense, 'still' of the 'backlash' of dislike, fear, and often hatred towards anything Islam.



      September 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Al

      Seriously? Have you ever watched Fox News?

      September 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • The Truth

      Muslims preach non-tolerance. And even as you’re reading these comments your thinking-“infidel”. All Muslims who believe they are better than the rest of us (because we’re not Muslims) are at fault for 9/11. Stop hiding behind your cowardly religion and actually work to make this world a better place. Out of all the religions you named Islamism is the only one who AS A WHOLE leaves the world worse than they found it. All religions have bad apples--but Islamism way has more than its fair share. Including you Aman Ali. We don’t feel sorry for you, we feel sorry that you actually believe the Quran is more than a book of lies-that has tricked you into a miserable existence of degrading woman and looking at your fellow-man like we are beneath you.

      September 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  14. Reality

    Aman Ali should apologize for being a Muslim considering what the koran teaches i.e. world domination by any means and subjugation of women by any means.

    Ayaan Hi-rsi Ali in her book, Infidel, says it brilliantly and succinctly:

    To wit:

    "Thus begins the extraordinary story of a woman born into a family of desert nomads, circu-mcised as a child, educated by radical imams in Kenya and Saudi Arabia, taught to believe that if she uncovered her hair, terrible tragedies would ensue. It's a story that, with a few different twists, really could have led to a wretched life and a lonely death, as her grandmother warned. But instead, Hi-rsi Ali escaped – and transformed herself into an internationally renowned spokeswoman for the rights of Muslim women."

    ref: Washington Post book review.

    some excerpts:

    "Some of the Saudi women in our neighborhood were regularly be-aten by their husbands. You could hear them at night. Their scre-ams resounded across the courtyards. "No! Please! By Allah!"

    "The Pakistanis were Muslims but they too had cas-tes. The Untou-chable girls, both Indian and Pakistani were darker skin. The others would not play with them because they were unt-ouchable. We thought that was funny because of course they were tou-chable: we to-uched them see? but also hor-rifying to think of yourself as un-touchable, des-picable to the human race."

    "Between October 2004 and May 2005, eleven Muslim girls were ki-lled by their families in just two regions (there are 20 regions in Holland). After that, people stopped telling me I was exa-ggerating."

    "The kind on thinking I saw in Saudi Arabia and among the Brotherhood of Kenya and Som-alia, is incompatible with human rights and liberal values. It preserves the feu-dal mind-set based on tr-ibal concepts of honor and shame. It rests on self-deception, hypro-cricy, and double standards. It relies on the technologial advances of the West while pretending to ignore their origin in Western thinking. This mind-set makes the transition to modernity very painful for all who practice Islam".

    (hypens added to some words to defeat the inane word filter used by the moderators of this blog)

    September 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • LKJ

      Ayaan Hirsi Ali has an agenda. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but it is not in support of Islam or Muslims. Go ahead and read what she has to say, but balance out your reading with someone else with a different point of view. There are many good Muslim women writers. (I try to be one of them.)

      September 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • J.W

      LKJ you are a woman? Where are you from?

      September 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Reality

      From Sir Salman Rushdie's book "Satanic Verses", p. 376, paperback issue – for those 1 billion Muslims to read as they are forbidden to purchase or read said book:

      One of the passages that prompted the crazy Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa against Sir Rushdie:
      Mahound = Mohammed
      Gibreel = Gabriel

      "The faithful lived by lawlessness, but in those years Mahound – or should one say the Archangel Gibreel? – should one say Al-Lah? – became obsessed by law.

      Amid the palm-trees of the oasis Gibreel appeared to the Prophet and found himself spouting rules, rules, rules, until the faithful could scarcely bear the prospect of any more revelation, Salman said, rules about every da-mn thing, if a man farts let him turn his face to the wind, a rule about which hand to use for the purpose of cleaning one's behind.

      It was as if no aspect of human existence was to be left unregulated, free. The revelation – the recitation- told the faithful how much to eat, how deeply they should sleep, and which se-xual positions had received divine sanction, so that they leamed that so-domy and the missionary position were approved of by the archangel, whereas the forbidden postures included all those in which the female was on top.

      Gibreel further listed the permitted and forbidden subjects of conversation, and earmarked the parts of the body which could not be scratched no matter how unbearably they might itch.

      He vetoed the consumption of prawns, those bizarre other-worldly creatures which no member of the faithful had ever seen, and required animals to be killed slowly, by bleeding, so that by experiencing their deaths to the full they might arrive at an understanding of the meaning of their lives, for it is only at the moment of death that living creatures understand that life has been real, and not a sort of dream.

      And Gibreel the archangel specified the manner in which a man should be buried, and how his property should be divided, so that Salman the Persian got to wondering what manner of God this was that sounded so much like a businessman.

      This was when he had the idea that destroyed his faith, because he recalled that of course Mahound himself had been a businessman, and a damned successful one at that, a person to whom organization and rules came naturally, so how excessively convenient it was that he should have come up with such a very businesslike archangel, who handed down the management decisions of this highly corporate, if noncorporeal, God."

      September 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • reality

      You are a moron.

      September 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  15. hkandil

    Thank you for this! Took the words right out of my mouth, just expressed them in a far funnier way 🙂 Your last part though, "What Muslims need is an extreme makeover. Now that’s some extremism I can get behind." – this is already happening! This is what the revolutions all across the Arab world are doing, transforming the face of Arabs (not that all Arabs are Muslim), and our Muslim-majority nations. 2011 has been a year for the world to see Muslims in a new light, that Muslims want democracy and freedom just as much as any Western nation does. Yet the tragedy of 9/11 and bringing it back up, 10 years later, is being rammed down the throats of the public and not letting them forget this fearful image they have of those bearded men and scarf-donning women. Anyway, Muslims DO need to stop apologizing. It's not our fault. Thank you Aman, keep it up!

    September 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  16. Sam

    Salaam brother. I agree with you. I don't apologize for something I had nothing to do with. However I have come to see this sort of influx of inquiries as a blessing. Subhan'Allah, when someone asks me about 9/11, or what they have heard about Islam in general, this presents me with an opportunity to insha'Allah answer their questions and spread some knowledge that they probably otherwise wouldn't have gotten in their own daily surroundings. As frustrating as it can be to feel as though the world is attacking us, we should see this as a gift, that someone was actually motivated enough to ask US something, and insha'Allah now we can correct their misconceptions. You may not get through to anyone, or you may actually break a barrier. Only Allah knows, but it is certainly worth the effort regardless. 🙂

    September 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Answer


      You and the author of this piece should not have to apologize. I agree.
      It is a very wide paint brush of intolerance from others expecting all your people to be as one. It is always the few that make the core society be taken in a bad light. People will not recognize individuals for the individuals that they are, they want the all or nothing paint brush.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  17. WIlliam Demuth

    While I agree apologies serve no purpose, can the author understand why Americans might choose to not permit emigration from the armpit of the world that is the middle east.

    Just as ALL Germans were condemned for the attrocities of the Nazi's, why should your group be any different.

    Fix your corner of the world, or rot in it, but do NOT come here after ruining your part, and then expect us to embrace the culture you used to ruin it.

    One does not invite a bed wetter into his own bed after seeing the bed wetters mattress.

    September 7, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Jonathan

      Was it right that ALL Germans were condemned for the acts of the NAZI's? I don't think that is fair, and your comment seems to attempt to make excuses based on the fact that other people have done similar things.

      Just because "someone else did it" doesn't mean that it's right, so don't use that as an excuse.

      Also, what do you mine when you say "your part of the world." The author stated he was born and raised in this country.

      September 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Got it

      Jonathan a.k.a Yahia, you sound better as Yahia why call yourself Jonathan?

      September 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • LKJ

      My grandmother grew up speaking fluent German. But when WWI broke out she had to stop speaking German and stick to English. By the time I started studying German in high school, she had forgotten all but a few words and phrases. Yes, it has happened before. But that doesn't make it right.

      September 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth


      Then why has Germany outlawed the Swastika?

      It is QUITE ok to determine that a belief system is unacceptable in a society. It is done all the time.


      Yes it WAS correct to condemn them all.

      You see 9-11 was WW1. When WW2 came, the gloves came off, and WW1 was finally finished.

      If we come to WW3 with the Muslims, we will put them in camps where thet assimilate or rot.

      In war, one needs to be practical

      September 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Jonathan

      @Got It I have no idea who you are referring to, but a) it doesn't matter who said what; the facts are the facts, and b) I'm amazed that you would waste your time posting something that has nothing to do with the article and the subsequent dialogue, but the bottom line is that your post serves no purpose other than to attack someone you don't know.

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


      Then why has Germany outlawed the Swastika?

      It is QUITE ok to determine that a belief system is unacceptable in a society. It is done all the time.



      In my opinion, it is not ok for a government to repress ideas and ideaologies. What makes America great is that we don't have a block on our freedom of speech. Granted, you and I might find one group's speech morally repugnant (i.e. the Ku Klux Klan, the Westboro Baptist Church, the Neo-Nazi party, etc). This country was founded on rebellious thinking, questioning the status quo.

      I'm glad to have it that way. I'd rather tolerate people saying unconscionable things, then have my ability to speak what's on my mind taken from me simply because it is not the majority opinion.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Horenblorr

      Then the problem comes back to what people believe and why they would believe incredibly stupid and psychotic things.
      Sure, we can all be free to express our demented ideas, but a person with a lack of intelligence should be protected from lies as they are often unable to understand that the lies are lies.
      Indoctrination happens regardless of your call for "freedom". There are billions of people being indoctrinated into madness who have no freedom to refuse.
      You want freedom to brainwash people into believing lies. I do not agree that such a freedom should be allowed.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth


      So a High School teacher can call an African kid a Nig@#$? Of course not

      Can your boss call ther lady with the short hair a Bull dy##? Of course not

      So can a cop follow a We# Ba$$ because they KNOW he is a criminal? Of course not.

      Practicality must rule. Societal norms are ALWAYS established, we just need to be honest about it.

      We supress expression in public at ALL levels, and if we didn't we would have a problem.

      Do you know how many times my ANFO recipies are pulled offline in this new era? I had some posted for over a decade, and now one stinking poison gas grenade diagram and the feds are up in arms.

      The world is a changing!

      September 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      The definition of "brainwashing" is a bit of a broad-sweeping term with little to no substance. How does one determine if someone is brainwashed? Because they believe something that isn't proven by science? So we should just abolish anything that isn't proven by science?

      That's hardly fair. This country was founded on religious freedom. You can believe whatever you like.

      An interesting argument, is that science is the cause of the most human deaths. People used science to invent everything from swords to nuclear weapons. Let's face it. Humans are more than willing to create new ways to kill each other. So perhaps religion gave people the impetus, science gave them the tools.

      But then, I would say, "No, science didn't kill people. People killed people." So let's stop blaming religion or science or anything else for the mass amount of deaths. Let's just call it like it is. People are selfish and power-hungry and will do anything under the sun to obtain or retain that power.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      So a High School teacher can call an African kid a Nig@#$? Of course not

      Can your boss call ther lady with the short hair a Bull dy##? Of course not

      So can a cop follow a We# Ba$$ because they KNOW he is a criminal? Of course not.

      Yes, these can all be said without having to fear being imprisoned. Now, there may be other consequences, but you won't spend time in jail for it. Freedom doesn't mean a lack of consequences.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Answer


      Then why has Germany outlawed the Swastika?

      It is QUITE ok to determine that a belief system is unacceptable in a society. It is done all the time.


      Yes it WAS correct to condemn them all.

      You see 9-11 was WW1. When WW2 came, the gloves came off, and WW1 was finally finished.

      If we come to WW3 with the Muslims, we will put them in camps where thet assimilate or rot.

      In war, one needs to be practical


      Promoting the perpetual war that is already in the American psyche. You will see your war happen. It's inevitable because it is what you want to really happen. The more Americans that climb onboard to this message of 'we have to wage war back on to them" concept will fuel the desire and acceptance of your war propaganda. You've forgotten the how and what it takes to bring peace. War is easy – spread hate and keep it going. You are exactly the world you want to make.

      You want the war to happen? Your government will comply with your demands. It is doing just that in this current time.
      There are people who want peace. To work and create a family. You are not one of them.

      Your life's true calling is a martyr-ship for war. Please enlist in your army and be glad because that is what you really want in the first place. Please go and fight. Train your hardest to kill your enemy. They will go and do the same because you have the same desires as those on the other side promoting exactly the same war mentality.

      I will ask you to die. You apparently want a quick death so there is no point.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth


      I am surprised!

      Starvation and malnutrition are still one of the primary causes of death. Murder (through warfare) is as well.

      As a Christian I would have expected you to be silly about science, but without it BILLIONS of your indoctrinated buddies would have died in the womb!

      September 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth


      When one has rats he gets a cat to kill them.

      I do not want to kill ANYONE, I just want you zealots to kill each other.

      Please die in your holy wars, and I shall remain here and sleep with your woman, and reeducate your children.

      Happy Jihad (or whatever YOUR cult calls it)

      September 7, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • DamianKnight


      Agreed. Science has been a wonderful thing to have in society. I don't deny it. But science is a double-edged sword. It can be used to heal, it can be used to kill. Funny, religion is the same way...

      September 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth


      Yes, these can all be said without having to fear being imprisoned. Now, there may be other consequences, but you won't spend time in jail for it. Freedom doesn't mean a lack of consequences.


      That is absurd. Consequences are a MEANS to regulate speech.

      Just go to Brooklyn and question a cops manhood or Jesus, and you will get a beating AND go to jail on bogus charges.

      We FORCE values on people every day and you know it 🙂

      September 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth


      Agreed again! Both Religion and science arepowerfull tools often used for evil.

      Just remember, I do not believe science is divine.

      If your Lord is divine, why does he permit the glory seekers to use his church in vain?

      Perhaps he expects his followers to hold them accountable on his behalf?

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

      "How does one determine if someone is brainwashed? Because they believe something that isn't proven by science? "

      No because they believe in something only because someone is tricking them into believe something, usually happens to the youth (0-8 years old) because their minds are so pliable and can be so easily influenced by "truth". Their minds are not able to comprehend what is true and what isn't when there is no hard evidence to back this truth, therefore people can manipulate their minds to believe something is fact when in actuality it isn't.

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


      You label everyone with the zealot phrase? Very easy thing to do isn't it? For you – someone who doesn't have the capacity to think for himself – it comes as no surprise. I hate all religions. I want them all to disappear. I am a proud atheist and i will kill a war monger in real life and as well as in the war or words over the internet. Your kind has no place on this earth.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Tracy L.

      Actually Jonathan – yes. The German people should – as a whole – be blamed and held accountable for what the Nazi's did to the Jews. They turned a blind eye. The vast majority of them knew exactly what was going on and they were too weak – had too much fear – to stop it. Now, there were some very brave German's who did risk (and give) their lives. And it was those Germans who got the concept that if they did not stop the atrocities being committed against human lives – or at least try – then they were as guilty as the perpetrators actually physically committing the crimes. But again – there are exceptions to every rule.

      It's the same as if our government was to just start killing off a minority race. It's not us – it's our government. Should we be held accountable if we just let them do it? Or are we innocent simply because we were not the ones who actually committed the murder?

      It's the very same thing if you hear your neighbor beating his child – over and over again. You are just as guilty of abusing that child as the father is. Because you knew about it and you did nothing to help.

      If you know of abuse and you let it happen – then it might as well have been your hands that committed the abuse whether you like it or not.

      And that’s a fact, Jack.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth


      Look another Jesus freak shows his stripes!

      Squirm all you want, the hook is in. We are going to drag this beast on shore and let it drown in its own spit.

      Your time has passed, and history shows Jesus shall go the way of all the other bogus Gods before him.

      Good Riddance!

      September 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Answer


      Well said on many points. Most of them I agree with and support.
      There are also factors of the mind and physical restrictions to enable one to respond to such acts that happening to others.
      If a person was wheelchair bound, for instance, what ability has that person have? There are exceptions as always even you realize to see, which I approve. There are rationales above all in every man, woman and child after all. Do they willingly put themselves into danger for the protection of others. Some do and are brave and are thus accorded their due as heroes. Others are chicken – whether held back by fears of being caught in a reversal law conundrum. For these it is the personal 'limitation' you have to review. To paint a blatant label across all the society is one I see 'iffy'. I don't majorly favor the wide brush. It's hard to sort the out the small pockets – so using the wide brush is prefer. That is why I agree with you.

      September 7, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • DamianKnight


      I invite you to read our First Amendment. A high school civics course would explain this. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to as.semble, and to peti.tion the Government for a redress of grievances." Now read it carefully. What's the first word? CONGRESS. Yes, Congress can make no law. That doesn't absolve you of all consequences. If you say something disrespectful to your boss, expect to be terminated, because your boss is not Congress.

      As to your second point, here we go again. Yes, we acknowledge that the RCC allowed priests to engage in se.xual perversions with children. Christians, including the Catholic church, have condemned the acts. No, the priests haven't been brought to justice. Why? I don't know. I don't have any power to prosecute people in this or any other country, nor do I have a hotline to the Vatican, nor do I even ascribe to Catholicism. I know, I know, I'm just as bad because I'm part of the same "cult." Blahblahblah. This tired diatribe has been going on ad naseum.

      September 7, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Answer


      "Look another Jesus freak? " lol

      That made my day! William accords his non-comprehension in the word atheist as one who accepts religion.
      Too rich .. too rich! When can i expect the religious zealots to approve of my ticket to heaven. By your definition all atheists are then approved to go to heaven right?

      Poor William, it would help to read more.

      September 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  18. Petra H

    Where are the apologists? Oh, they'll be along soon to pretend things are not as bad as they really are....like Aman Ali...

    September 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Muslims have not butchered any body like you westerners have butchered Jews

      So Its only bad when some white westerners die ?

      September 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  19. Phred

    A typical response from another muslim who hasn't discovered the truth about his religion. Sad.

    September 7, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Jonathan

      Phred and Skeptical: Why don't you quote those specific passages instead of making unsubstantiated assertions?

      September 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Answer

      What is the truth about your religion? It's easy to just criticize another, but where is your answer on your own religion.
      Type out what you know about yours first.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  20. Skeptical with good reason

    Aman Ali, it is clear you haven't read your own Koran. It has many passages commanding Muslims to kill unbelievers and to treat them as viciously and nastily as possible, including lying whenever it seems a good idea to do so to fool unbelievers.

    Or maybe that's what you're doing, lying.
    Either you're lying or you're ignorant of your own religion or maybe both. I do not expect any Muslim to apologize for following their faith right into a building filled with innocent people. And guess what? Not many have bothered trying to gloss things over.
    You didn't do it? Great. Now get a clue and quit acting like the Muslim faith is anything to be proud about. It's not.

    September 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • LKJ

      I wrote my doctoral dissertation about Islamic jihad, concentrating in large part on the verses of the Qur'an dealing with fighting. Only one of the members of my doctoral committee was a Muslim, and my advisor wasn't a Muslim, but they all approved my dissertation. I can state unequivocally that the Qur'an does not advocate violence. There are passages about fighting, and many of them contain specific instructions (such as how to make congregational prayers while on the battlefield) or injunctions (such as proper treatment of prisoners of war). Islamic jihad rivals the Geneva Conventions in terms of the restrictions placed upon military action, and it is the U.S. that has most recently waged war that is far worse than jihad through the bombing of civilians and torture of prisoners. It's true that some Muslims do stupid things and blow up civilians. Some Christians, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, etc. do stupid things. But we don't indict an entire religion, or an entire holy book, on the stupidity of a few.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Answer


      So to put it lightly, it was a set of laws and customs. From the time of their language capabilities, it was the best set of words that they could manage to relate their feelings into their morale code. Then my opinion is that it should be revised to use modern more developed language concepts to show and reflect their position. It comes down to acceptable changes.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • J.W

      Plus during that time the Muslims were persecuted and they had to fight. In the OT there is much violence, because there were wars going on. They looked at God for guidance. They are not saying that we have to fight today.

      September 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Peace2All


      " I can state unequivocally that the Qur'an does not advocate violence. "

      You do understand that a lot of the information that some people use to continue the mind-set that Muslim's are bent on world domination and killing the infidel's, etc... is based on a lot of alleged quoting of the Qur'an.

      Since you did your dissertation on Islam, it would be helpful to counter-act some of the alleged passages that get quoted on these blogs, as that is a lot of the justification for some for their continued hatred of Muslims.



      September 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Have you read the book of every religion ?

      Looks like you have not done that, other wise you won't just pinpoint Koran, you will talk about the Zionism and "God given land" which is killing millions of people in middle east.

      September 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
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.