My Take: Defending TLC’s ‘All-American Muslim’ against Muslim complaints
Samira Amen, who's featured in "All-American Muslim."
November 28th, 2011
02:38 PM ET

My Take: Defending TLC’s ‘All-American Muslim’ against Muslim complaints

Editor's Note: Khurram Dara is the author of "The Crescent Directive: An essay on improving the image of Islam in America," coming this winter (Tensile). He tweets @KhurramDara.

By Khurram Dara, Special to CNN.com

For the last decade, Islam has been under a lot of scrutiny, and understandably so. When you’ve got terrorists all over the world declaring war on America and the West in the name of Islam, it’s only natural that people will have questions.

But this reasonable concern has rapidly turned into irrational suspicion, with anti-Muslim groups seizing on the opportunity to paint all Muslims in America as radical-loving, violence-approving foreigners.

The problem is that the response from American Muslims has been about as effective as Herman Cain’s PR strategy in the face of sexual harassment allegations. Instead of pooling our resources to combat radicalism, or taking a more active role in our communities so that other Americans better understand us, we’ve resorted to defense tactics.

We tell people that the Quran is being taken out of context. We focus on efforts to try to “educate” the American public. And we desperately cling to the idea that if people just had a better grasp of the facts on Islam, they wouldn’t buy into anti-Muslim propaganda.

Unsurprisingly, none of that has changed Americans' view of Islam.

So when I heard that TLC was doing a reality show about several American Muslim families, I was intrigued. The show wasn’t going to feature scholars refuting the (ridiculous) claims made about Islam. It was going to show regular Muslim families living in America. It was going to show, rather than simply tell, people about Muslims and Islam.

After three weeks of airing, “All-American Muslim” has done just that. Whether it was Mr. Aoude prepping his pregnant wife for that hectic hospital trip, or newlyweds Jeff and Shadia worrying about how their families will get along, it has shown viewers the single most important truth that will change the perceptions of Muslims: We are just like everyone else.

There has been widespread praise from TV critics, calling the show "intimate and heartfelt" and "as good as it gets" and praising TLC for how it has "upended the conventions of reality television."

The show’s premiere had 1.7 million viewers, making it the No. 2 program in its time slot among key demographics and scoring TLC's best Sunday prime time performance in more than a year.

Predictably, the show was also met with harsh and unfair criticism. Anti-Muslim groups wasted no time citing this as another example of Muslims trying to “take over” America.

This was expected. What wasn’t expected was the reaction from some other American Muslims.

“The families aren’t Muslim enough.”

“They aren’t good role models.”

"They don't represent all American Muslims."

Is the show a perfect cross-section of the American Muslim demographic? Are they the most religious families? Is it full of people you aspire to be one day?

No, of course not. It’s reality TV. It’s entertainment. We American Muslims ought to look at it in the grand scheme of things instead of just criticizing the show by saying it “doesn’t represent me.”

You’re right. It doesn’t represent you.

That’s because no TV show, no organization, no movement is ever going to represent you better than you can represent yourself.

“All-American Muslim” is not going to change the image of Muslims on its own. But it’s got the right idea. It’s premised on the fact that people judge a group not just on its beliefs, but also on their interactions with members of that group.

So if you don’t think “All-American Muslim” represents you, then go out into your community and show people what being Muslim is all about, from your perspective. Whether it’s a book club or a basketball league, we can all have our own “All-American Muslim” moments.

The most important take-away from a show like “All-American Muslim” is that we Muslims should focus our efforts on showing average Americans that we share far more in common with them than some would like them to believe.

And you don’t need a TV show to do that, you just have to have the courage to break out of your shell and share in those experiences with your American brethren.

Don’t treat TLC’s reality show as the only hope for changing our image, or as our one shot at showing America what Islam is all about. Don’t treat it as needing to be a flawless, immaculate portrayal of Muslims in America.

Treat it as a first step. Consider it a new approach. Look at it as the beginning of the long journey we have ahead, in changing the negative stereotypes about Muslims in America.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Khurram Dara.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Opinion • TV

soundoff (2,050 Responses)
  1. Raj

    Send all muslims to their own country and then talk about muslim rights. They got too much freedom in America than they deserve.

    November 29, 2011 at 10:55 pm |

      Well said!!

      December 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  2. vw

    have any of you ever been to disney land? did you not see the, what i found to be, surprising amount of muslim families? do you think they go there because they hate America? do you think the woman in the burka who was having her picture taken with micky and minnie mouse while she was smiling ear to ear was a person who hated America? cuz... i don't.

    November 29, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • OldTimer

      They are just as good and bad as most people when they are doing secular activities, unless the activity and their actions are based on religious bias. Religious people cannot be trusted to make rational decisions where their religion is concerned.
      This is more or less true for all religions on a comparative and individual basis. But it is the delusional nature of religion in general and the violent nature of some believers interpretation of clearly violent and sociopathic religious texts that cause all of these problems like religious terrorism and injustices and crimes of every sort.
      So they go to Disneyland. So what? If they thought their god was telling them to blow it up while blending into the crowd, how would you be able to tell the difference? You wouldn't. Anyone could do that if they wanted and no one would be able to see the danger because it would always be hidden. Crazy people use it to kill others all the time.
      It is the essential vulnerable nature of a free society that we all walk down the sidewalk trusting in strangers we don't know who might be carrying a small nuclear device and looking like a regular person. Or they might be dressed a bit strange and be safe to be around at all times.
      I try to tell people it's about psychology but no one likes to talk about that. Crazy world we live in, that's why. Everyone's nuts about something. Even me.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:44 pm |

      Who said they hate America? Why wouldn't they love it hear. Their husbands I'm sure are making a good living here. They want to convert America.

      December 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  3. Bhargava

    The bottom line – Abrahamic religions are King religions – God made in the image of a medieval King. Get donw on ur knees, beg & grovel & if he is pleased he will let u stay in his castle or else it is the dungeon for u! These religions appeal to the weak & cowardly – all those mircales, magic & prophecies – things get done with no work! yay! God wants to be our servant, cater to our every need for eternity! isn't that wonderful? sit on our butts, eat, drink, enjoy – and all we had to do was get down on our knees, beg & grovel & cry a few croc tears! and off we go to pleasure land on our bellies!

    November 29, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
  4. Bhargava

    Nice article but I would love to see how these guys behave towards minorities in their own countries. They suddenly discover minority rights when they come here. Back in their own countries, even their own minority, women are treated as 2nd class garbage. Minority muslims are illtreated and sometimes killed. Minorities of other religions are totally discriminated.
    They can convert u using any means but no muslim may convert to yours
    Maybe if they took their own lessons home, then these kind of articles would be more beleivable

    November 29, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • Katherine

      That is the part that makes me angry. Muslim men are cowards afraid to give their daughters and wives any rights out of fear. They fear equal footing with women. Maybe it is because they realize that women ultimatley hold all the power and just as t hey gave them life, also has the power to snuff it out.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
  5. Iqbal Khan


    November 29, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • vw

      i love this man. while i can not agree with his vision for the USA i do feel with out a doubt that he is the most honest, sincere man in the US congress and that he BY FAR is the most honest GOP candidate. and obviously i think he's correct about our foreign policy.

      November 29, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
  6. vincentvango

    this is exactly on point–the comments are sad

    November 29, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
  7. DropIt

    hes so cute why can't all muslims look like him, no girl has a problem with that

    November 29, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  8. vw

    congratulations, and i mean that.

    November 29, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  9. larry5

    how can one defend something that can not exist?

    November 29, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  10. vw

    they're working on that democracy thing ya know.

    November 29, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Katherine

      About time they worked on that democracy thing. Women's sufferage (the right to vote) was almost 100 years ago for us. Women can't even drive in Muslim countries. Doubt they will be voting soon. But then again, in Muslim countries it is unlikely females will live through the teen years. They may be married at 10, pregnant at 14 and killed for honor before they reach the age of majority.

      November 29, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • Katherine

      I hope they are working on that democracy thing. Women's suffrage has been 100 years in our culture. Women can't even drive in Muslim countries yet. Also being married at 10, pregnant at 14 and killed for honour before the age of majority it is not likely many will have the opportunity.

      November 29, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
    • vw

      alot of what you said isn't true
      women can drive in a lot "muslim' countries. and as i'm sure you know there are women taking matter into their own hands in saudi right now. further more, it is Very arguable that Many of the dictators that have been in power over the years have been placed in power by the west. don't get me wrong i'm not anti west nor anti american and i can see why that was done at times. but to imply that democracy isn't present solely because of islam is silly. surely you know the last time there were fair elections in egypt or tunisia was somewhere between 30-40 years ago. but those people have said "enough!".
      also women in the US weren't allowed to vote until 1920 and blacks, realistically, much later than that. we're still sorting things out here at home. we now have an electoral system powered almost purely by the dollar. likening our presidents to blockbuster film rather that world leaders.
      my girl shared a car with her brother at 17 in indonesia. she grew up not wearing a hijab but designer jeans. let these people write their own history and their nations, while they won't look like ours, will produce a greater level of freedom for all citizens than has been seen in our lifetime. i'm disgusted by much of the ignorance that is promoted in many other nations as i am in my own. but lumping them all in together is... unjust.
      for at the end of the day we, all of us, have far more similarities than we do differences.

      it's like if someone used the film Red State to propose that all christians we that way. they're not, and millions of muslims esp those living in the US, but elsewhere as well, don't deserve the gross generalizations i've seen on these threads today.

      merry Christmas

      November 29, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • Katherine

      You must forgive me. I am from Canada and our women's suffrage was in 1913 (almost 100 years). I realize that some Muslim countries are more progessive than others. I think what angers me is that I fear for women born as girl children or married to men who are not honorable. I come from a French/Irish upbringing and I have a long line of strong women going back 100s of years in my family. When watching the reality TV show of "All American Muslim" I thought the smartest sister of all was the one who married the Irish American. She was very wise indeed. I am happy that your daughter got to drive. I think for us Western women, we really do not understand the Hijab. In my Catholic upbringing, women did wear veils in church but I like the history behind it – so as not to tempt the angels. In Muslim culture I am told it is to sheild yourself from the eyes of the unclean. That is to suggest that men have no control.

      November 29, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • vw

      now, you must forgive me, when i said my girl i meant my girlfriend. i'm an American of irish catholic heritage. my girlfriend grew up in Indonesia.
      my mother is a devout Catholic and wears a veil everyday when she goes to mass, yes everyday. i am a buddhist now and feel indifferently about a woman covering her head, though respect the choice to do so, so long as it is a Choice. and yes i find the implication that women must cover themselves to protect men from their... urges as pathetic. but i think a lot of it has to do with reverence to God just as my mother wearing the veil. i too am angered and offended by anyone who wishes to oppress women or anyone for that matter in any way.
      i think the important thing to realize is that there are literally millions of muslims who feel the same way.
      all of my friends who are muslims are women, i know few but i am close with them. none feel oppressed. this oppression is not universal with in the muslim world.
      i mean i could show you pics from my FB of a dozen muslim women out on their own for girl's night, none wearing hijabs and all having a wonderful time without any of the their male counterparts if they even have them.

      there have been catholic women shot in N ireland for loving a protestant man but we don't view that as a "Christian' flaw.
      ya get where i'm coming from?

      generalizations are dangerous in a free society, they lead to a closed one.

      November 29, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • vw

      btw, it s been nice finally having a civil conversation with a person on this thread. thanks

      November 29, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • Katherine

      vh; thank you for the clarification. I consider myself a recovering Catholic in many respects. I have had a great deal of awe for Buddism since I was a child and heard the closest thing to the truth about God that I had ever heard. Meanwhile, I am of course not as peaceful in my soul as I would like to be and although I do not like anyone to be mistreated. I am loath to think of women or children in a position to be abused. I am sure that there are Muslim women who do not feel oppressed but do they really, honestly have choices. I also agree in my Irish Catholic upbringing that even women of my Mother's generation would have had to choose between love or her family over a Potestant (mixed marriage). Happily in my time I have seen my grandmother come to terms with such a situation. But you have to remember the troubles were a long struggle and they were not so apt to abandon what they had fought so hard for. I try not to think of those historical injustices except to use my Irish surname with pride and to have my children carry Irish names even though they are half WASP.

      November 29, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
    • vw

      yes they really don't feel oppressed and yes wearing a hijab is truly often times a choice. esp among younger woman today. millions are oppressed though and i solute those actively working to change that. i think this is true, women being oppressed, to some extent in more countries than not. it's every nation's responsibility to change that. and many muslim nations are working on it. at least elements within those nations are. oppressive regimes are hard to topple without massive military force. as we've seen in syria etc. they will hold on to power at any cost. you see these gov't systems aren't there for the people, the people are there for them. but they, the people are working like we've never seen in history to make a change. we can only pray it's a change towards secular democracy. then rights will start to flow.

      i have a decent understanding of the troubles i think – i only reference them to show how the trappings of tradition and prejudice are a universal issue, one that we as a people are all struggling with.
      and i certainly think you should use your irish name with pride, also you don't really have to bring up the WASP side. i won't tell if you don't. 😉

      regarding buddhism, i recommend anything by alan watts.

      be well

      November 30, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Katherine

      I know there are good people in every society working for change for the better. I really hope for the sake of women and children that those men and women brave enough to demand those changes are successful. Whatever our prophet that is what we should all pray for. Thanks for the reading suggestion. I just finished reading the Art of Happiness.

      November 30, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  11. Stephanie

    You'd be surprised! Last Christmas, there was even a Santa in the mall in Amman. =)

    November 29, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
  12. Joe Gets

    We are so stupid. We get all riled up if someone threatens us but we go and attack other countries to steal their resources and if they fight back we call them terrorists. We are the real terrorists.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Be Afraid

      I agree with you, you are stupid.

      November 29, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • ModerateMainer

      I vote you move away from all these horrible terrorists and go live with the good guys. Let me know how cave life works out for you.

      November 29, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Katherine

      That's because those countries don't know what to do with the resources anyway. They know what to do with the poppies but not the oil. They are riding mules and camels they don't need oil.

      November 29, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  13. Joe Gets

    Only criminals are afraid of Shariah Law. If we had Shariah Law in the Us, we would be saving billions of dollars every year. Shariah law justice is quick and cheap. No need for damn lawyers just honest witnesses whose honesty can be testified to by other people.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Be Afraid

      Stupid comment. Go back to Pakistan if you like shari law.

      November 29, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Katherine

      No rights. Sounds Muslim.

      November 29, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • rs1201

      why don't you go back to your sharia law country...you're really not welcome here...BTW, if you think that a country with sharia law is so wonderful, that's all the more reasons for you to go back from whatever third world country you originate from...go...please go!!!

      November 29, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Katherine

      Time for a One World Order. 3/4 of the world, living like they did 2000 years ago could be gone and the world would be a better place. Once again I am convinced that White people must have crashed here from a more intelligent planet. It is only where white people have been that the world has had any progress.

      November 29, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Katherine

      Just to show I am not racist I will also credit China they are not white but they were advanced 10,000 years ago. More advanced than Muslim countries are today.

      November 29, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • Bhargava

      sure quick and cheap & real nice when the veridict goes in your favor. Try being a woman or a minority and get any kind of justice with this sharia law

      November 29, 2011 at 9:26 pm |

      If you like Sharia Law go to Saudi Arabia. Every country has their own laws. You cannot impose Sharia Law on the US. My family left the Middle East because of Islamic Rule so you can do the same if you don't like it here.

      December 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  14. Be Afraid


    November 29, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Joe Gets

      I'm more afraid of my fellow Americans than of Muslims. It's stupid people like you who are the cause of misery in this world.

      November 29, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • pilks

      Well you must be REALLY afraid of american-muslims

      November 29, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Be Afraid

      You people are funny, I just wrote muslims and you assumed, haha.

      November 29, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Katherine

      From what I have seen all the misery in the world is in Muslim countries. If you treat the infidels as badly as you do your own people and your own families we should be very afraid.

      November 29, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
  15. pilks

    Just take off the headwrap, learn english, pay your dang taxes, put your kids in school, try to contribute to your community in some way and dont be one of the already too many people mooching off gov programs and opinions will change.

    You may say there are lots of people that dont do that... well they are rejected in society generally as well. Atheist dont like hearing the word God during the pledge or see people praying before they start a little league game.. welll I dont like seeing a car full of people wearing all that muslim gear... or in full scarf and robes or burka buying groceries or at the bank or on a plane... guess why.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Bhargava

      Well i am theist but i don't like to see prayer in a public place either. Keep ur prayer confined to ur house of worhip and your home. Don't bring ur religion to a publc place, thank you

      November 29, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  16. Iqbal Khan


    November 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Francis Balliardo

      The three idiots and their useless messages.

      November 29, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  17. Reality


    (from the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and 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 29, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • ModerateMainer

      So witty, clever, and hilarious. Wait, it was none of those things. Thanks for wasting my time. Hopefully you at least plagiarized that and didn't spend too much time coming up with that drivel.

      November 29, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Lost in Translation

      " ... Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi."

      You might want to do a little light reading, lest you appear trite and uninformed.

      November 29, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for those who are "reading challenged": (using a PowerPoint slide)




      Added details upon request.

      November 30, 2011 at 12:04 am |
  18. mjadd

    As a waiter who works hard to support my family, I have a hard time understanding why "American Muslims" struggle with the concept of tipping adequately. Instead of tipping 7-10% on average, how about a 15-20% tip, which is customary? This effort alone, would make huge strides in the perception of American Muslims by the service industry!

    November 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Jack

      All those middleasterners of all religions are tight as heck

      November 29, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Stephanie

      Hmm, my 'middleasterner' boyfriend usually tips 50%. So that's cool that you're stereotyping, I guess.

      November 29, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • pilks

      middleasterner...but is he muslim? and middleaster or do you mean american-muslim?

      November 29, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Blow Me

      So Stephanie's bf either has drug money or oil money. Good catch there, sweetie. He's a keeper.

      November 29, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Stephanie

      Actually, you'd be surprised how many people who have work in the service industry tip 100%. I know quite a few who do because they realize how hard waiters work for such little pay. It's not drug money, it's just being kind.

      November 29, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • rs1201

      Hey Stephanie
      your boyfriend is either loony tunes or you're a very big liar...pick the one that applies!!!

      November 29, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • ModerateMainer

      Just to be clear, we are NOT talking about throwing change in Ronald Mcdonald's coin box right? I think Stephanie is confused.

      November 29, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  19. Melanie Oberg

    Notice CNN "belief blog" did not post an article of those opposed to the propaganda being shoved down our throat by TLC.

    Fight Back: https://www.facebook.com/BoycottTLC

    November 29, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • ModerateMainer

      Please explain which aspect is Propaganda?

      November 29, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  20. David Johnson

    Protecting America from Muslims, is one of the Republican reasons that they should be voted for. Republicans always invent / find something only they can protect Americans from.

    Vote for the Dems. Republicans are racists.


    November 29, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Melanie Oberg

      "muslim" is not a race. Dems always throw the race card - even when their is no race involved. Nice try!

      November 29, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Melanie Oberg


      November 29, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • The Truth

      @Elaine, bigots, racists... Same connotation. If you have read some of these comments you will notice most are promoting hate. That's very "american"!

      November 29, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Katherine

      Be thankful you live in a country where you can vote. How many Muslims living in Muslim countries can say that.

      November 29, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • OldTimer

      HI David, I see you wrote a post that was immediately misunderstood. Good message, bad syntax. Cheers to you, mate!

      November 29, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • OldTimer

      Sorry, I meant grammar not syntax. I suppose it doesn't matter when you get a result from a Republican, eh?

      November 29, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.