Will this year's Hajj have an ‘Arab Spring’ effect?
Tens of thousands of pilgrims perform the evening prayer at Mecca's Grand Mosque on Wednesday.
November 4th, 2011
07:57 AM ET

Will this year's Hajj have an ‘Arab Spring’ effect?

By Dan Gilgoff and Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) - The annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is the world's largest gathering of Muslims - the biggest annual gathering of humanity, period.

So it's no surprise that Middle East experts expect this year's pilgrimage, the first to happen since the Arab Spring began last year, to be different.

The pilgrimage, called the Hajj, happens in the same global neighborhood as countries that have been roiled by protests, revolutions and war over the last 11 months.

But there's uncertainty about exactly how this Hajj, which officially begins Friday, will be different.

Some experts are watching for potential flare-ups in Saudi Arabia, a country governed by an unelected royal family and where freedoms are limited. They note that ordinary Saudis will be rubbing shoulders with Arabs making pilgrimages from countries that have staged anti-government demonstrations and have unseated long-entrenched regimes.

"This idea of freedom and dignity is spreading like wildfire, and at a gathering like the Hajj it's conceivable that the electricity coming from these ideas will be picked up," says Akbar Ahmed, the chair of Islamic Studies at American University. "This is what scares the Saudi bureaucracy."

"There are thousands of pilgrims who want to topple the established order of the Saudi monarchy," he says.

But Ahmed and others say the Hajj's effects on the Arab Spring are just as likely to be much broader, as many pilgrims share notes on uprisings and overthrows before returning home to countries ruled by despots.

"This is a venue where you can come into contact with hundreds of thousands of people, so for people who are coming from these newly liberated lands, it is a bit much to ask to say absolutely nothing about it," says Kelly Pemberton, an assistant professor at The George Washington University who studies Islamic reform movements.

"Many people are going to see this (Arab Spring) as a sign of God's favor," she says.

At the same time, experts on the region note that the Hajj is a solemn religious event that is physically and spiritually demanding and that affords little time for politicking, raising doubts in some scholars' minds about the magnitude of a Hajj effect on the Arab Spring.

The Saudis haven't announced special security measures for this year's Hajj.

But the event, which draws roughly 2.5 million pilgrims, has long been managed with military precision, and scholars say the government there has been preparing for months for its first Arab Spring-era Hajj.

"They'll be on guard for a flashpoint moment or a riot, something that flares up and becomes something," says Ahmed, referring to Saudi security forces. "In Tunisia, one man set himself on fire and three months later the Egyptian president is toppled."

There has been political violence during the Hajj in the past, most notably in the 1980s, on the heels of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini's followers attempted to disrupt the pilgrimage throughout the '80s, though their plots were repeatedly quashed by Saudi security forces.

In 1987, however, Iranian pilgrims incited a riot that killed more than 400 people, according to globalsecuity.org, a stark illustration of the rift between Shiite-ruled Iran and Sunni dominated Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has not seen the kind of protests now roiling countries like Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, but people there lack many basic freedoms. Political participation is limited.

The Saudi government has been politically sensitive to its people since the outset of the Arab Spring, spending billions on domestic programs aimed at improving the lot of its citizenry.

And scholars say that Saudi Arabia has supported anti-government forces in some Arab countries, including rebels in Libya and protestors in Syria.

"I can't image anybody is going to show up in Mecca denouncing the royal family," says Juan Cole, a Middle East specialist at the University of Michigan. "A lot of people going to Hajj will be connected with the (Egypt-based) Muslim Brotherhood, which has longstanding good relations with the Saudis."

Some experts speculate that Saudi Arabia, which tightly controls the numbers of pilgrims allowed to attend Hajj from each country, is reducing its quotas from certain politically unstable countries to curb the influence of would-be revolutionaries.

The U.S. embassies in Egypt and Tunisia, two countries that have seen their governments overthrown this year, did not immediately reply to requests Thursday for statistics on slots for pilgrims granted by Saudi Arabia.

Some scholars say the governments of other Arab countries are likely to be reducing the number of pilgrims allowed to attend Hajj in Saudi Arabia this year.

"The leaders of Syria, Yemen, Iran and Saudi Arabia are somewhat worried about the Hajj providing a forum for people to trade ideas and strategies and coming home to pick up protests and really find the momentum to get things going," says Pemberton of George Washington University.

Since late last year, some Muslim religious happenings in the Arab world have become forums for anti-government activity.

In Egypt, Friday afternoon prayers - the most significant prayers of the week for Muslims - served as catalysts for the biggest anti-government demonstrations of the revolution.

When Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down in Egypt, the announcement came on a Friday, hours after Egypt's Muslims had observed afternoon prayers.

In Libya, rebels reached a turning point in a six-month old civil during Ramadan of this year, when evening prayers at mosques helped ordinary people organize against Moammar Gadhafi's regime.

With Gadhafi dead, more Libyans may get to attend this year's Hajj than in years past. Other post-revolution Arab countries may send a more diverse mix of pilgrims.

"The biggest effect is the allocation of Hajj visas," said Asim Khwaja, a Harvard University professor specializing in international development. "Some countries did a lottery, some did rationing, and with the government changes, if countries were doing rationing in the past, you can imagine they were sending friends and officials."

"Now there may be a more egalitarian mix," Khwaja says. "This will be a more democratic Hajj for the Arab world."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam

soundoff (1,060 Responses)
  1. Pravda


    November 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • Iqbal Khan


      November 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  2. Pravda

    Major Nidal Malik Hasan and Sergeant Asan Akbar were both good US Muslim soldiers according to the Qur'an. And the 19 9/11 terrorists were also good Muslims according to the Qur'an. All killed US citizens in "Jihad". Any Muslim that follows the teachings of the Qur'an word for word are Radical Muslims. Islam is a cancer to civilized nations everywhere.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Iqbal Khan

      Your knowledge about Islam and Quran is very shallow please get more knowledge about islam check out some of the following websites:

      And as far as 911 there is no solid proof that muslims were behind those attacks, please do some research in this regard start google search or go on youtube.com check out these names and some of these sites...
      Alan Sabrosky--Dov Zakheim-John Philger.

      November 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  3. Pravda

    Oh look at all the future terrorists in the picture above! Hopefully it will not have an "Arab Spring" affect, as all the nations that have completed a successful revolution are already headed towards radical Islam. Islam is a religion of hate an intolerance.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
  4. Reality

    From p. 15:

    One more time:-–

    Saving Muslims from the hajj and other hyped events is quite easy!!! (developed by yours truly based on the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Imam Bayhaqi)

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:
    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

    Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

    November 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • no trespassing

      Would you cut it out? It doesn't do anything but make everybody scroll faster. Or at least change it a little so it's not the exact same thing every time.

      November 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Reality

      Fast scrolling is good as is reiteration as it is a good learning tool.

      November 8, 2011 at 12:12 am |
  5. Iqbal Khan


    November 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Pravda


      November 7, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
  6. Iqbal Khan


    November 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Pravda

      The Qur'an says to kill all Jews and Christians because it is a twisted religious cult led by a warmonging ped0phille.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
  7. Iqbal Khan


    November 7, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Pravda

      More lies...

      November 7, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  8. tony

    @ Reality

    you are pure liar and evil what ever you post have nothing to do with Islam.remember Hitler was christian does he was realy a christain?

    November 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • No trespassing

      See, the minute you start throwing around the word 'evil' when you disagree with someone, it shows what a backward idiot you are. Your hideous spelling skills are just a bonus.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  9. Iqbal Khan


    November 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Pravda

      Muslims are allowed to lie to further the cause of Islam. It is the only Abrahamic based faith where it is okay to deceive.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  10. Yusuf

    Assalaam Alaykum (peace be with you);

    Those who honestly desire to seek the truth in a pure, sincere and humble way, will soon realize that Islam is true and all the falsehood about Islam will perish.

    Holy Qur'an 9 : v32

    "They intend to put out the Light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will not allow it except that His Light is perfected even though the disbelievers hate it"


    Those who commit evil acts in the name of Islam and use the name of Islam to perpetrate these evil acts will be accountable on the Day of Judgement, as will ALL human beings be accountable for their own deeds. This is revealed to mankind in the Holy Qur'an in Surah Az Zalzala (The Earthquake).

    Holy Qur'an 99 : v1-8

    When the earth is shaken to her (utmost) convulsion, [1] And the earth throws up her burdens (from within) [2], And man cries (distressed): 'What is the matter with her?' [3] On that Day will she declare her tidings: [4] For that thy Lord will have given her inspiration. [5] On that Day will men proceed in companies sorted out, to be shown the deeds that they (had done). [6] Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it! [7] And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it. [8]


    Mankind has potential to do great evil, but mankind has also potential to do great good. This is why this life is a test for the eternal life in the hereafter. If you intend to do evil and carry it out, then expect the hell-fire, but if you intend to do good and carry it out, then expect the mercy, love and compassion of Almighty Allah. But know that Allah is Most Forgiving, for those who turn to him in submission, supplication and repentance.

    Holy Qur'an 39 : v53

    "Say: O My servants who have transgressed against their own souls, despair not of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful."


    Let me ask you, if a person without a driving license crashes a car, would you blame the car or would you blame the persons ability to drive the car? Islam is a perfect way of life (the straight path) as setup by Our Lord, the Creator; but Muslims are not perfect, as are all human beings. It is our make-up to be weak and make mistake; be tempted by the Satan to carry out evil deeds, but we also have a choice, to do it or not and to see refuge with Allah from the evil whispering of the Satan.

    Holy Qur'an 4:28

    "Allah doth wish to lighten your (difficulties): For man was created Weak (in flesh)."

    Holy Qur'an 4: 79

    "Whatever good, (O man!) happens to thee, is from Allah; but whatever evil happens to thee, is from thy (own) soul. and We have sent thee as a messenger to (instruct) mankind. And enough is Allah for a witness."

    Holy Qur'an 114 v1-6

    Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind, [1] The King (or Ruler) of Mankind, [2] The Allah (for judge) of Mankind, [3] From the mischief of the Whisperer (of Evil), who withdraws (after his whisper), [4] (The same) who whispers into the hearts of Mankind, [5] Among Jinns and among men. [6]


    When a Muslim is confronted with an evil situation or evil insinuation, he/she should see refuge with Allah, the Almighty, the Protector, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

    Holy Qur'an 113 v1-5

    Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn, [1] From the mischief of created things; [2] From the mischief of Darkness as it overspreads; [3] From the mischief of those who practise secret arts; [4] And from the mischief of the envious one as he practises envy. [5]


    The Qur'an is a miracle of miracles, I invite you to listen to this recitation. May Allah, the Almighty soften your heart and open your mind and guide you.

    Suran Ar-Rahman – The Beneficent – 55




    November 7, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  11. Iqbal khan


    November 7, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  12. Iqbal khan


    November 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  13. Iqbal khan


    November 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  14. Iqbal khan

    Please watch all parts to gain knowledge,and refrain taking points out of context, remember only knowledge can make you a better and powerful person.


    November 7, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  15. Yusuf

    Assalaam Alaykum

    Tens of thousands of pilgrims ? more like Millions and growing! Allahu-Akbar

    Consider how much effort and planning it takes for a football match of 50,000 spectators to take place including all the security etc. In Islam, it takes literally minutes for such a gathering to take place, after the call to prayer is made, 5 times a day. All prostrating to the One and Only true, living God (Allah in Arabic).

    Holy Qur'an 112 v1-4:
    "Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; [1] Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; [2] He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; [3] And there is none like unto Him. [4]".

    Discover Islam, read the Qur'an!


    November 7, 2011 at 7:11 am |
    • Reality

      Discover the real Islam. We did and this is what we found:

      As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      November 7, 2011 at 7:36 am |
    • Ashraf

      Well said Yusuf...the infidels and unbelievers like "Reality" will try their best to lead us astray and to tarnish the image of Islam,yet despite all their efforts,Islam is still today the fastest growing religion in the world.As God says in the Holy Quran...."Be steadfast,all together...and hold onto the rope of Allah,and be not divided among yourselves"....

      November 7, 2011 at 7:59 am |
    • Yusuf

      Assalaam Alaykum (peace be with you)

      Islam forbids the killing of Innocent people.

      Holy Qur'an 5 : v32

      مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَٰلِكَ كَتَبْنَا عَلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنَّهُ مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَلَقَدْ جَاءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِنْهُمْ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فِي الْأَرْضِ لَمُسْرِفُونَ

      On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land. (32)


      November 7, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • Yusuf

      @Ashraf – Assalaamu Alaykum Brother

      I would not resort in calling people "infidels" or "unbelievers". Winning people's hearts and minds does not come from name-calling and such but through wisdom, kindness, tolerance and love.

      Holy Qur'an 29 : v46

      "And dispute not with the People of the Book (Christians and the Jews), except in the best way, unless it be with those of them who do wrong. But say, ‘We believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; our Lord and your Lord is One; and it is to Him we submit (in Islam)."

      Holy Qur'an 16 : v125

      "Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious."


      November 7, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Reality

      o "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)

      "Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons...he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home..." (Surah 8:12-)

      "Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)

      "...make war on the leaders of unbelief...Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them..." (Surah 9:12-)

      "Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:27-)

      "It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith [Islam] to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters [non-Muslims] may dislike it." (Surah 9:31-)

      "If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men." (Surah 9:37-)

      "Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)

      "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-)

      "Say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom..." (Surah 17:111)

      "'How shall I bear a child,' she [Mary] answered, 'when I am a virgin...?' 'Such is the will of the Lord,' he replied. 'That is no difficult thing for Him...God forbid that He [God[ Himself should beget a son!...Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood..." (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)

      "Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him...He has given you the name of Muslims..." (Surah 22:78-)
      "Blessed are the believers...who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)...These are the heirs of Paradise..." (Surah 23:1-5-)

      "Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Surah 48:29)

      "Shall the reward of goodness be anything but good?...Dark-eyed virgins sheltered in their tents...They shall recline on green cushions and fine carpets...Blessed be the name of your Lord..." (Surah 55:52-66-)

      November 7, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Reality

      o Islam gives women almost no rights and treats them like fodder for the male species as so bluntly noted by Aya-an Hi-rsi Ali in her autobiography, In-fidel.

      "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".

      More on the treatment of females in Islam:

      Islam’s widespread practice of amputating the cli-to-ris and sometimes part or even all of the vul-va from the ge-n-ita-lia of Muslim women, affirmed in a had-ith by Mohammed himself, most likely also traces back to the founder’s deliberate abuse of se-x to lure pagan males into his cu-lt. The more the male s-ex drive is purposefully aro-used, the more the female s-ex urge may have to be proportionately suppressed, lest org-iastic he-ll begin to spread.

      Consider then what frequently happens when even a modestly clothed young Western woman walks alone in broad daylight down a street in, for example, a non-Westernized area of a city in Pakistan. Muslim men around her can see her face, hair and neck—maybe even her ankles. Some of them perceive that much exposure as intent on her part to a-rouse them. The fact that she is not accompanied by a male relative confirms their susp-icions. Knowing that she, a Western woman, has not been subjected to that cruel amputation which Islam forces upon millions of Muslim women, some males may even imagine that she must feel s-exual desire for them.

      They tend also to perceive themselves as not responsible to exercise decent social restraint. Rather she is responsible not to tempt them! Whatever lewd thing Muslim men around her say, do or feel as a result is regarded as her fault alone. . . .
      During a major upheaval in Indonesia in the late 1990s, s-ex-crazed Muslim men gang-ra-ped dozens of Chinese women in shops, homes and even in the streets, shouting in Arabic, “Allahu Akbar!” (God is great!)*


      November 7, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Reality

      And why the expansion of Islam?

      The number of global Muslims indeed is 1.5 billion basically because of the very high birth rate in Islam.
      According to official surveys, "the disapproval of family planning is highest among Muslims", while "the practice of family planning methods in 1980 was lowest amongst Muslims (only 23% of those surveyed practised it as opposed to 36% Hindus)".[1] They further admit that between 1971 and 1981, "the Hindu population was up by 24.15%, whereas the Muslim population shot up by 30.59%".

      Once the bowers to Mecca, however, see that they have been conned by the "angelic" hallucinations of a long-dead, warmongering, womanizing (11 wives) Arab, these 1.5 billion lost souls will quickly become secularists, are gnostics or atheists and a semblance a global peace will spread across the globe.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • No trespassing

      Screwing up the forum with a ton of videos, and long quotes from the Quran don't make your point. It's just annoying.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  16. tototamd6

    This is a meesage to be send to all the humans in the world , islam is a grate riligion no matar what others say
    terror in the world is because some strong contries need it to occoure in other week contries , i dont care but
    you all must no what is the real islam .

    November 7, 2011 at 2:42 am |
  17. Iqbal Khan

    See, Listen and try to understand, how and what muslims say in their prayers
    also check out this site..www.Islamhouse.com


    November 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • tony

      @ MR.Iqbal Khan

      Sir once agin Thank you for you Infromation about Islam. I wish more Muslaim like you make comment so ignorant can understand ISLAM better. Evil thinker always hate ISLAM any way. Lord Almighty Reword you for Noble words.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:34 am |
    • No trespassing

      Leaving links would have been fine – posting all these vids just shows a lack of etiquette. And tony, you're still an idiot.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  18. concerned4487

    Capitalism productions are of good and services that are privately owned. Whereas, socialism productions are of good and services that are collectively owned. Economic
    equality is an economy in that all of the inhabitants are equally wealthy, and have the same status in the economy, because they have had the
    same opportunities, non discriminant on race, gender, skill, culture, or wealth condensation.

    November 6, 2011 at 9:26 pm |

    Top 10 Reasons Why Jesus is not God – Joshua Evans a former Christian youth minister- TheDeenShow


    November 6, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  20. Sultan5


    November 6, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
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.