U.S. Christian, Muslim leaders to return from seeking hikers' release
U.S. hikers Shane Bauer (L) and Josh Fattal (shown in February) were taken into custody along the Iran-Iraq border in July 2009.
September 20th, 2011
01:14 PM ET

U.S. Christian, Muslim leaders to return from seeking hikers' release

By Stan Wilson, CNN

(CNN) - A prominent group of Muslim American and Christian leaders are scheduled to return to Washington Monday, following a six day visit to Iran where top government and clerical officials indicated to them that two American hikers would be released.

"Our goal has been to foster interfaith ties, build a system of understanding and ask the Iranian leadership to show compassion and mercy for the American hikers by allowing them to come home," said Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) who went to Tehran last week as part of a religious delegation.

The American delegation included Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, the Rt. Rev. John Bryson Chane, Episcopal Bishop of Washington, and Interim Dean of Washington National Cathedral, and former North Carolina State Sen. Larry Shaw, said Awad.

Read the full story here.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Milo

    They got off easy! I never bought the “we were lost BS” they were trying to get into Iran to report on the protests. I am surprised they were from Berserkly though, a place that prohibited the fire department from putting US flags on their trucks after 911 because it might offend someone. Iran should have locked them up and thrown away the key for their level of utter stupidities and hypocrisy.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  2. Alex

    Jayson Rex

    have some respect You i diot,..iranians/persians come from a culture and history far greater than yours,....just remember that! ....because of bunch of backward dictators rulling the country dosent mean the Nation as whole are like them!!.....up to 20-30 years ago some of socalled western nations were ruled by dictators...like East-Germay hand half of Europe....

    September 21, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  3. Jimtanker

    I have two comments:

    spies or not they need to be strung up. This is evolution at work. Lets weed these morons from the gene pool.

    Mathilda is an idiot. That is my second point. "The Bible condemns all r-a-p-i-sts and child-abusers to execution."
    Lets quote from the bible shall we?
    Duet 20:28-29:
    28 If a man happens to meet a vir-gin who is not pledged to be married and rap-es her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[c] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

    I say again, Mathilda is an idiot.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:21 am |
  4. when

    FACT: The factmeister is full of himself and doesn't have a CLUE as to what he's talking about! FACT: The factmeister cannot prove one word he posted and he knows it, with the exception being his final statement regarding the post being too long for him to bother reading it all the way through. That one I can believe and apparently so is the Bible because he obviously doesn't know what he's talking about but seems genuinly thrilled to hear himself blabber on. Cheers!

    September 21, 2011 at 1:59 am |
  5. Jayson Rex

    Iranians' contribution to world's affairs has been "taking hostages" for the benefit of their own Islamic demented agenda. First were the American diplomats they fast released when Reagan threaten to bomb them back to the stone age where most Iranian came from. Now we have the two hostages that are accused of spying – a very poor excuse that Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollahs are trying to use.

    The best approach the West could use is to place a few well aimed bombs and get rid of those Iranian terrorists posing as statesmen plus their nuclear pretentions – all at once. End of story.

    September 21, 2011 at 1:07 am |
  6. JWWRD

    This ignorance, hate, and misinformed bigots posting on this page should be ashamed. You all are a sad representation of humanity.

    September 20, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
  7. Mathilda

    Christians who cite the word "interfaith" are all either momentarily wrong or just plain apostates(pseudo-christian). Iran must be contemplating on how to use these hikers wisely but true wisdom and goodness is only found in the Bible.

    September 20, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  8. evil islam

    FACT= Islam says death to infidels.Who are infidels? We are they do not believe in islam.Sounds like a hate group..
    FACT= Islam Does NOT give women equal rights.Si why do they worship a religion that treats them so bad.
    FACT= Mohammad married a 9 year old = PERVERT.And you worship a pervert. Aisha was six or seven years old when she was engaged to Muhammad and nine when the marriage took place.Aisha stayed in her parents' home for several years until she joined Muhammad and the marriage was consummated.she was nine years old at the time.
    FACT = Followers of Islam are animals.slaughtered American contractor Nick Berg. Sitting in a chair, Berg made the following statement: “My name is Nick Berg, my father’s name is Michael, my mother’s name is Susan,” the man said on the video. “I have a brother and sister, David and Sarah. I live in … Philadelphia.”The video then changes to a scene of masked men, with Berg sitting in front of them. After reading a statement, the masked men were seen pulling the man to his side and putting a large knife to his neck. A scream sounded as the men cut his head off, shouting “Allahu Akbar!” – “God is great.” They then held the head out before the camera.THIS IS THE REAL FACES OF ISLAM.barenakedislam.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/american-nick-bergs-beheading-warning-graphic-images/
    FACT= Muslims do not care about the life of the innocent.
    In this case, just as it has happened so many times before, it seems that the executioners used a dull knife again. These guys really left the man take the imminent death with all of its worst. The knife wielding masked man slowly cut through the neck of the victim as if to take in the joy of causing slow and painful death. He cut through man’s trachea and esophagus which detached victim’s mouth from the rest of the body, yet he’s still making desperate attempts to scream and all the noise is coming out of his neck. It’s brutal.
    As carotid arteries got cut, the blood started gushing out in volume you have never seen before. The massive blood loss along with horrific sound this beheaded man lets out make this easily the most brutal beheading video you will have ever seen. Also notice how just before the beheading starts, the camera focuses on victims bruised arms. That man was heavily beaten prior to his painful execution. He was given a choice to say his last words – it’s in a language I don’t understand (possibly a Middle Eastern tongue) but you can tell the man has already gone through hell on Earth and knows the worst is yet to come. He likely wished for a quick death so he’s done with it, unfortunately for him, he was not granted that wish. Brutal video.I don’t want to sound mundane with warnings, but WARNING on this one. Extremely brutal video. Very bloody. You have never seen this much blood ejected out of man’s body before. Knife executioners used to behead this man was likely really dull which you can tell by what it took to cut through the soft tissues of the neck. The video then jumps to the footage of decapitated head laying atop man’s dead body – which I’m assuming is because cutting through his spine took them forever, so they got rid of that so they’re not ridiculed for being complete amateurs. Once again – this video will hunt you for years, even if you’ve seen previous beheadings and took it like a champ. This one is worse. The sound is extremely painful and the amount of blood lost is beyond comprehension. You can’t even believe heart can pump so much blood with each beat. Watch at your on risk, you’ll have to deal with it yourself if you opt to go for it. I’m not kidding, it’s the worst beheading video ever!
    It appears as though the name of beheaded man was Jasus Musel. The beheading was carried out by MUSLIMS.See a pattern??
    Watch muslims in the name of islam.Not 100 years ago but in modern day.Islam is evil and everyone who follows it becomes evil.Let the videos speak. http://www.bestgore.com/beheading/worst-beheading-video-ever-horrific-sound-massive-blood-loss/
    The video, on an Islamist site, identified the hostage as Eugene Armstrong and showed a masked man sawing his head off with a knife.
    watch NICK BERG get beheaded in the name of ISLAM then we can talk if you can watch the entire video.That is evil.Islam is evil.Here is a time line of muslim bombers.See the pattern???


    September 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Factmeister

      Fact: The Bible tells of God raping a young Jewish girl under the age of 13 so that a heretic could be born and form a cult.
      Fact: Every holy book is filled with commands to kill all innocent people who do not share that religion.
      Fact: Religions are nothing but lies.
      Fact: There is no god as described by any major religion.
      Fact: Your post is too long for me to bother reading all the way through.

      September 20, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • Mathilda

      The Bible condemns all r-a-p-i-sts and child-abusers to execution. All of them. Europeans and Americans killed innocent children and had no civility until the Bible educated them.

      September 20, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Jayson Rex

      Checking all your statements, I found them to be 100% correct. Congratulations!

      September 21, 2011 at 1:10 am |
    • Jacob

      I totally agree. You have some great links as well but you left one off – http://www.thegoodguise.wordpress.com. Learn about how Islam is related to the prophecies of the two witnesses. It's gonna shake your world to the core!!

      September 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
  9. Shadowflash1522

    If they're spies, they really suck at their jobs. If they're actually hikers, they're just stupid. I mean, it's not like they were in a low-profile, quiet countryside sort of area–they had to have known it was sketchy territory. Have they ever heard of such a thing as a "map"?! It's not like it just leaves off with a "Here be monsters..." before you get to the Iranian border, maps (and GPS) these days are actually quite good. Any navigator worth their daily water ration would have known *exactly* where that border was to within a couple of meters. Plus, there seems to be some sort of Stockholm syndrome going on with the female hiker who was released a while back...what's up with that?

    End rant. Carry on.

    September 20, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I was just telling my son I thought it would be nice to go hiking in Helmand Province.

      Such history to be seen, and the CIA will pay ALL his student loans!

      September 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  10. GSA

    Spies or not, you do something stupid then don't cry about the consequences later. I am travelling to India and have been many times before and always feel safe, but there is corruption and anything can happen at anytime, if it does I got myself into it i'll get myself out of it and not whine to others to help me out.
    @BG – i'm guessing since they wrote something anti-american, America should just forget freedom of speech and not let them back in? Ignorant. You an be against the US gov't helping them get released but not allowing them back in because they expresse their views won't help anyone.

    September 20, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • BG

      All three of these clowns are apparent islamic sympathizers and anti-American propagandists. I could care less if a U.S. Attorney does or doesn't actively advocate for their release. ("Jane, did you see that hiker paperwork for the Iranian embassy? I can't find it...damn. Oh well.") My guess is that they've become, either intentionally or inadvertently, political pawns in the U.S./ Iranian intelligence game. We'll never now the reality of their 'status' as either spies or simply dumbshít political activists.

      All I'm saying is, if they're simply dumbshít anti-American activists (could they really be CIA 'employees?' Well, sure, it's -possible- ... I guess.) we shouldn't be in a hurry to retrieve them. They were, of course, perfectly happy in Syria.

      September 20, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Minor correction

      Yes, no intelligence agency in its right mind would create a cover story by having a few anti-American editorials appear in some local papers. No, they can't be spies – no espionage agency would do something like that. Really. Really they wouldn't.

      September 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • BG

      I say tomato, you say tomahto. Maybe we'll find out, probably we won't.

      September 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  11. William Demuth


    Lets call a spade a spade.

    They are spies. Does anyone with more than a fifth grade education doubt it?

    I am surprised the Camel Jockeys didn't execute them ages ago.

    The war already seems inevitable so setting the precedent that interlopers die might have given them a tactical advantage.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • BG

      These three (Sarah Shourd was 'released' earlier for 'medical' reasons) lived in Syria writing anti-American editorials for years prior to taking their little "hike" on the Iranian border.

      I hope they keep the two little ba stards until their fingernails rot off. Shourd is nothing more than an ignorant propagandist tool who will soon fade completely from the public picture (if she hasn't already) save for her empty mewing and whining about the 'injustices' imposed on her two peeps.

      September 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  12. hahaha

    "Our goal has been to foster interfaith ties" . . . . better leave your texts at home

    September 20, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • atheistic quake

      quaking much about the Inter Faith dialogue?

      September 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • William Demuth

      atheistic quake

      Is an inter faith dialogue where they yell Allah Akbard in Esperanto before blowing themselves up?

      September 20, 2011 at 4:26 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.