Conflict, theology and history make Muslims more religious than others, experts say
A recent global survey suggests that Muslims are more religious than Christians and Hindus.
December 3rd, 2011
10:00 PM ET

Conflict, theology and history make Muslims more religious than others, experts say

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - Every religion has its true believers and its doubters, its pious and its pragmatists, but new evidence suggests that Muslims tend to be more committed to their faith than other believers.

Muslims are much more likely than Christians and Hindus to say that their own faith is the only true path to paradise, according to a recent global survey, and they are more inclined to say their religion is an important part of their daily lives.

Muslims also have a much greater tendency to say their religion motivates them to do good works, said the survey, released over the summer by Ipsos-Mori, a British research company that polls around the world.

Islam is the world's second-largest religion - behind Christianity and ahead of Hinduism, the third largest. With some 1.5 billion followers and rising, Islam's influence may be growing even faster than its numbers as the Arab Spring topples long-reigning secular rulers and opens the way to religiously inspired political parties.

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But while there's no doubt about the importance of Islam, experts have different theories about why Muslims appear to be more religious than members of other global faiths - and contrasting views on whether to fear the depth of Muslims' commitment to their faith.

One explanation lies in current affairs, says Azyumardi Azra, an expert on Islam in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim majority country.

Many Muslims increasingly define themselves in contrast with what they see as the Christian West, says Azra, the director of the graduate school at the State Islamic University in Jakarta.

"When they confront the West that they perceive or misperceive as morally in decline, many Muslims feel that Islam is the best way of life. Islam for them is the only salvation," he says.

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That feeling has become stronger since the September 11 attacks, as many Muslims believe there is a "growing conflict between Islam and the so-called West," he says.

"Unfortunately this growing attachment to Islam among Muslims in general has been used and abused by literal-minded Muslims and the jihadists for their own purposes," he says.

But other experts say that deep religious commitment doesn't necessarily lead to violence.

"Being more religious doesn't necessarily mean that they will become suicide bombers," says Ed Husain, a former radical Islamist who is now a Middle East expert at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

In fact, Husain argues that religious upbringing "could be an antidote" to radicalism.

American Muslim women who cover explain their choice

The people most likely to become Islamist radicals, he says, are those who were raised without a religious education and came to Islam later, as "born-agains."

Muslims raised with a grounding in their religion are better able to resist the distortions of Islam peddled by recruiters to radical causes, some experts like Husain argue, making them less likely to turn to violence.

But he agrees that Muslims are strongly attached to their faith, and says the reason lies in the religion itself.

"Muslims have this mindset that we alone possess the final truth," Husain says.

Muslims believe "Jews and Christians went before us and Mohammed was the last prophet," says Husain, whose book "The Islamist" chronicles his experiences with radicals. "Our prophet aimed to nullify the message of the previous prophets."

The depth of the Muslim commitment to Islam is not only a matter of theology and current events, but of education and history, as well, other experts say.

"Where religion is linked into the state institutions, where religion is deeply ingrained from childhood, you are getting this feeling that 'My way is the only way,'" says Fiyaz Mughal, the director of Faith Matters, a conflict-resolution organization in London.

The Ipsos-Mori survey results included two countries with a strong link between religion and the state: Legally Muslim Saudi Arabia, which calls itself the guardian of Islam's two holiest sites, Mecca and Medina; and Indonesia, home of the world's largest Muslim population.

The third majority Muslim country in the study is Turkey, which has a very different relationship with religion. It was founded after World War I as a legally secular country. But despite generations of trying to separate mosque and state, Turkey is now governed by an Islam-inspired party, the AKP.

Turkey's experience shows how difficult it can be to untangle government and religion in Muslim majority countries and helps explain the Muslim commitment to their religion, says Azyumardi Azra, the Indonesia expert.

He notes that there has been no "Enlightenment" in Islam as there was in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, weakening the link between church and state in many Christian countries.

"Muslim communities have never experienced intense secularization that took place in Europe and the West in general," says Azra. "So Islam is still adhered to very strongly."

But it's not only the link between mosque and state in many Muslim majority countries that ties followers to their faith, says professor Akbar Ahmed, a former Pakistani diplomat who has written a book about Islam around the world.

Like Christians who wear "What Would Jesus Do?" bracelets, many Muslims feel a deep personal connection to the founder of their faith, the prophet Muhammad, he says.

Muhammad isn't simply a historical figure to them, but rather a personal inspiration to hundreds of millions of people around the world today.

"When a Muslim is fasting or is asked to give charity or behave in a certain way, he is constantly reminded of the example set by the prophet many centuries ago," argues Ahmed, the author of "Journey Into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization."

His book is based on interviews with Muslims around the world, and one thing he found wherever he traveled was admiration for Muhammad.

"One of the questions was, 'Who is your role model?' From Morocco to Indonesia, it was the prophet, the prophet, the prophet," says Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington.

But while Ahmed sees similar patterns across the Islamic world, Ed Husain, the former radical, said it was important to understand its diversity, as well.

"There is no monolithic religiosity - Muslims in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia are following different versions of Islam," says Husain. "All we're seeing (in the survey) is an adherence to a faith."

Political scientist Farid Senzai, director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Washington, raised questions about the survey's findings.

"Look at the countries that are surveyed - Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Turkey," he says. "There are about 300 million Muslims in those three countries, (who make up) about 20% of Muslims globally."

Islam is "incredibly important" in Saudi Arabia, he says.

"But in Tunisia or Morocco you could have had a different result. It would have been nice if they had picked a few more Arab countries and had a bit more diversity," says Senzai.

The pollster, Ipsos-Mori, does monthly surveys in 24 countries, three of which are majority Muslim – Turkey, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. The other countries range from India to the United States, and Mexico to South Korea, and are the same each month, regardless of the subject the pollsters are investigating.

In the survey released in July, about six in 10 Muslims in the survey said their religion was the only way to salvation, while only a quarter of Hindus and two out of 10 Christians made that claim about their own faiths.

More than nine out of 10 Muslims said their faith was important in their lives, while the figure was 86% for Hindus and 66% for Christians.

Ipsos-Mori surveyed 18,473 adults via an online panel in April and released the findings in July. Results were weighted to make the results as representative as possible, but the pollster cautioned that because the survey was conducted online, it was harder to get representative results in poorer countries where internet access is not widespread.

CNN polling director Keating Holland also warns that in an "opt-in" survey, where respondents actively choose to participate, results tend to come from "people who are confident in their opinions and express them openly... not good for intensely private matters like faith or income or sex."

Online surveys in countries that are not entirely free are also open to the possibility that pollsters get "the approved response" in those nations, "where the people who are most likely to be willing to talk about such matters are the ones who hold, or at least verbalize, opinions that won't get them in trouble if they are expressed," Holland says.

That may have been an issue in Saudi Arabia, where respondents were given the choice of not answering questions on religion due to their potential sensitivity in the kingdom. The Saudi sample was the smallest, with 354 participants, meaning "findings for Saudi Arabia must be treated with caution," Ipsos-Mori said.

About 1,000 people participated in most countries, but sample sizes were smaller in the three majority Muslim countries and in eight other countries.

The survey participants did not reflect the true percentage of Christians and Muslims in the world. Christians were over-represented – as were people who said they had no religion – and Muslims were under-represented.

Nearly half the respondents identified themselves as Christian. Eleven percent were Muslim, 4% were Buddhist, 3% were Hindu and 3% were "other." A quarter said they had no religion and 6% refused to say.

Fiyaz Mughal, the interfaith expert, argues that even though the countries surveyed might not be representative of the entire Muslim world, the findings about Muslims rang broadly true. Muslims in different countries were committed to their faith for different reasons, he says.

"Saudi Arabia is an institutionally religious state. Indonesia has religion tied into its culture," says Mughal.

But Muslim immigrants to Europe also show strong ties to their religion, either as a defense mechanism in the face of a perceived threat, or because of an effort to cling to identity, he contends.

He detects a link between insular communities and commitment to faith regardless of what religion is involved. It is prevalent in Muslim Saudi Arabia, but he has seen it among Israeli Jews as well, he says.

"The Israeli Jewish perspective is that (the dispute with the Palestinians) is a conflict of land and religion which are integrally linked," Mughal says.

"What does play a role in that scenario is a sense of isolationism and seclusion in Israeli Jewish religious communities, a growing trend to say, 'Our way is the only way,'" he says.

Religious leaders of all faiths need to combat those kinds of attitudes because of the greater diversity people encounter in the world today, he argues.

They have a responsibility to teach their congregations "that if they are following a religion, it is not as brutal or exclusive as possible," Mughal says. "Things are changing. The world is a different place from what it was even 20 years ago."

Politicians, too, "need to take these issues quite seriously," he says.

"In the Middle East there are countries - the Saudi Arabias - where you need to be saying that diversity, while it may not be a part of the country, is something they have to deal with when moving in a globalized area," he says.

But Senzai, the political scientist, says that it's also important for the West to take the Muslim world on its own terms.

"Many Muslims want religion to play a role in politics," he says. "To assume that everyone around the world wants to be like the West - that they want liberal secular democracy - is an absurd idea."

- CNN's Nima Elbagir and Atika Shubert contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: 9/11 • Islam • Middle East

soundoff (5,459 Responses)
  1. Proud Muslim

    The radicalism in Islam is a new thing and has nothing to do with Islamic teachings in general. The radical mind set was an outcome of the atrocities made by West during the last 80 years. Post world war I, the western imperialist powers not only deprived the Muslims around the world from their land and resources but also deprived them from any political rights. The geographies were changed, history was brutally mutilated and instead of allowing true democracy to develop in Muslim societies dictators and aristocrats like Shahs of Saudi Arabia, Hosni Mobarak of Egypt, Zia ul Haq of Pakistan, Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, Saddam Hussain of Iraq and Hafiz ul Asad of Syria were installed as touts on the Muslim World by the western imperialist powers. These installed touts were not only backed by West to enjoy the precious resources of Muslim World but to create and perpetuate a political agenda that suits the West. Consequently, the years of suffocation resulted into breed of people who are inclined upon challenging the status quo through use of power as they have been unheard off for years and years. The West is responsible for the current quagmire and we can only get rid of this morass when people are allowed to exercise their right of expression and when their voices are taken seriously through actions representing their actual feelings by their governments.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Aren't you brilliant. Blame the West, all of our problems are their fault! Of course it is.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Proud Muslim,
      There were many bad things done in the name of Imperialism, that, I hope, would not be done today, but I would like to ask you, were those things done to Muslims or were they done to the people of those areas regardless of religion. You might make a case that they were mostly Muslims, but I think there were many others as well, like Hindus in India and Animists in Africa. I'm not saying that there weren't bad things done, I just don't think it is or should be a West vs. Islam situation.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  2. Snow

    Wow.. "People really are experts in talking about things they have no idea about".. Thats the quote I get in mind when I read the comments below..

    Knowing one side of an argument will not make you an expert at denouncing the other side, people!

    For every Christian that touts a point from bible and denounces a point in Qur'an, I can show a worser point in Bible
    For every Muslim that touts a point from Qur'an and denounces a point in Bible, I can show a worser point in Qur'an.

    But, you are not interested in knowing the truth.. are you? you just want to know the truth according to you!

    December 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Well said! (except for the word 'worser')

      December 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @Nonimus – LOL. worser things could happen.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  3. Muneef

    Abdul Daryabadi : And Nuh! recall what time he cried aforetime; so we answered him and delivered him and his house hold from a calamity mighty.
    Dr. Mohsin : And (remember) Nûh (Noah), when he cried (to Us) aforetime. We answered to his invocation and saved him and his family from great distress.
    Mufti Taqi Usmani : And (remember) Nuh, when he called (for help) earlier, so We responded to him and saved him and his family from the terrible agony, 
    Pickthal : And Noah, when he cried of old, We heard his prayer and saved him and his household from the great affliction.
    Yusuf Ali : (Remember) Noah when he cried (to Us) aforetime: We listened to his (prayer) and delivered him and his family from great distress.

    Abdul Daryabadi : And We succoured him against the people who belied Our signs; verily they were a people evil, so we drowned them all.
    Dr. Mohsin : We helped him against people who denied Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.). Verily, they were a people given to evil. So We drowned them all.
    Mufti Taqi Usmani : And helped him against the people who gave the lie to Our verses. Indeed, they were the people of evil, therefore, We drowned them all. [QETafseerComment] 
    Pickthal : And delivered him from the people who denied Our revelations. Lo! they were folk of evil, therefor did We drown them all.
    Yusuf Ali : We helped him against people who rejected Our Signs: truly they were a people given to Evil: so We drowned them (in the Flood) all together.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  4. lkjoij

    adsfaidfm afofws ao asodif

    December 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Moooo

      That is probably the most intelligent thing you've ever said.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  5. asni

    Although the Bible was written by men and was translated but it never lost its essence and purpose .Look at the prophecies precisely fulfilled of the birth of Jesus and on ! Israel being established as a nation and the end times scenario . Now we are looking into alignment of countries in the middleast for this big wars prior to the tribulation . The prophecy of Egypt ,what happened to Egypy now. Has the Koran has the same element as the Bible ? Think for yourself ,maybe there is something missing in the Koran . Lets wait and see , the book of Daniel says about Damascus of Syria oblitirated completety .It hasn't happened ever ,that means it is still to happen .The case scenario now is evident that might possibly happen.Look the ripening conditions between Syria and Israel ,even said by Netenyahu for Damascus doom if Tel Aviv gets attack . As a country as small Israel ,it should have been off the map ages ago .But it hasn't .Well the Bible said it wont – When Israel be established as a nation ,no one can uproot it . Even how much power the enemies around assults Israel ,the Supreme God of Israel fulfills his promise .So where's Alah .Alah isn't the God of Israel .Muslim brothers open your eyes ,you might have been deceived for centuries to beleive such doctrine away from the true God .

    December 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • ashrakay

      The Lord of the Rings is another good book if you enjoy fantasy.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Chacha

      Harry potter is the other, if I may suggest!

      December 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  6. Reality

    How much money would the following save the US taxpayers ?:

    Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
    There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror

    One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.

    Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.

    Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.

    Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons:
    There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!i.e. No Easter, no Christianity.

    The Mormon empire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and non-profits since there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.

    Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
    Abraham and Moses probably never existed.

    Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.

    All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.

    Now all we need to do is convince these 3.5+ billion global and local citizens that they have been conned all these centuries Time for a Twitter and FaceBook campaign!!!!

    (Note: the globe already has one billion agnostics/atheists on board)

    December 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Chacha

      US taxpayers won't save a dime. The banks and Wall street will strip you of your belongings soon again! Cheers!

      December 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • jacktheripper

      WW3 will be faught with nukes WW4 will be faught with sticks and stones
      the war will continue as long as there are religions oppressing people

      December 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "WW3 will be faught with nukes WW4 will be faught with sticks and stones"
      Don't you mean pincers and mandibles?

      December 5, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  7. Templar

    They should bring back the crusades.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Muslim

      So you want WWIII already?

      December 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • 3rdBat

      World War 3 sounds like a good deal of trouble but it will be the death of Islam if they start it. Guaranteed.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Little pigs little pigs

      Uh SCOWSE ME but WW3 was USA vs USSR. I think we know who won that one.

      We are entering the pre-states of WW4 Islam vs The World. Get ready!!

      December 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • William Shelton

      There are those who believe we already have, not that it would be a good thing. Bigot.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Muslim

      @3rdbat You wish!

      December 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Muslim

      Islam will NEVER finish. Try as much as you want and dream on. We believe in it and are proud of it! 😀 (You will try to judge Islam by what Muslims are doing around the globe but those guys don't follow/practice). Hate as much as you like, but we believe in our faith.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      What are they going to fight us with? Their high-tech 90's (if they're lucky) former soviet aircraft (most of it is 60s-80s)? Their advanced armor (same thing), their advanced missile technology (LOL, yeah right) their supperior navy? Their most advancy infantry are no better than goat herders/thugs that can goose-step march and spray & pray their AKs. Do I really need to go on?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Muslim

      @Little pigs little pigs: Although I am surprised by your confidence (pun intended), USA is not only stuck in Afghanistan but in Iraq and at home. Its not a pretty picture my friend! I don't see a win-win situation. Plus stop trolling the forum!

      December 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Muslim

      @Lucifer's Evil Twin: Afghans have dirt bikes and AK-47's, you are there for 10+ years without any result. WW3 my asz!

      December 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Didn't the Muslims with Saladin (sp?) take Jerusalem at the end of the Crusades?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @Muslim – fail. your pun was flat and ineffectual. You must not follow the news or know much about Americans. Iraq is over. Afghanistan is drawing down. Americans like a good war. You think if provoked, we would'nt turn iran into a glass parking lot? Because I can pretty much assure you that we would.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      That's because cowards hide behind civilians, are afraid to wear a uniform to identify themselves and don't mind selling drugs to finance their disgraceful behaviors.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Chacha

      @Lucifer's Evil Twin: I bet this is the only skill you have (to kill and destroy aka insane) and its not because of the US dropouts but because of Immigrants from all over the world researching and inventing. USA is mostly pot head punks and trigger happy kids in US army (soon to be on UI)

      December 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @chacha – If that's what you actually believe, than you are truly a fool.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Muslim

      i love my christian and jewish brothers and sisters i live in hormony with them

      December 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Reality

      Muslim et al,

      You still don't see the threat to world peace that Islam presents in the passages of the koran that demand death to all infidels and male Muslim control of the world by any means. Until these passages are deleted, your words will continue to fall on deaf ears and until these passages are deleted, no Muslim can be trusted.

      December 6, 2011 at 8:03 am |
  8. Me

    @FrePal, If you love your children, take them to a GOOD church, that preaches one true God. Sadly, that are some churches that give Christianity a bad name.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Muslim

      Agree. Finding the truth is a good thing.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      oxymoron "GOOD" and church. also totally subjective. what makes your church better than someone else's church?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • dean

      It's that 'one true God' part that ends up being the sticking point.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Don't Mosque's and Temple's also teach one true god?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • jahfer

      For that you need not go to Church, in your mind you believe and obey the Quran and its sunnah. Bro please read more about Islam. Try to find out why Islam grows faster than any other religion, in west too? no Forcing, no offering (like bishops do in India), no thumbers. Still why it is so when It has got a worst ever image in the west?. You knw y? BCOZ GOD SAYS EVERYONE PLANS AND DO THEIR CONSPIRACIES BUT ALLAH IS THE BEST PLANNER. so this worst image helped. Let people continue to hate Islam, that develop curiosity in some others to study the religion... So commentators do your best to tarnish Islam But things maynot go in your own way always..

      December 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Temple = Synagogue, doesn't it?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • ashrakay

      Also teach them to believe in Santa Clause, leprechauns, fairies, Zeus and and any other fantasy you can think of. Maybe they'll grow up to be just like you.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  9. Muneef

    GOD created man to worship him as Worshippers and not as slaves as you stated in reference to this verses;

    Sura 51:55/56
    Abdul Daryabadi : And admonish, for verily admonition profiteth the believers.
    Dr. Mohsin : And remind (by preaching the Qur'ân, O Muhammad SAW) for verily, the reminding profits the believers.
    Mufti Taqi Usmani : And keep reminding, because reminding benefits the believers. 
    Pickthal : And warn, for warning profiteth believers.
    Yusuf Ali : But teach (thy Message): for teaching benefits the Believers.

    Abdul Daryabadi : And have not created the Jinn and mankind but that they should worship Me.
    Dr. Mohsin : And I (Allâh) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone).
    Mufti Taqi Usmani : I did not create the Jinns and the human beings except for the purpose that they should worship Me. 
    Pickthal : I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.
    Yusuf Ali : I have only created jinns and men, that they may serve Me.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Vickers

      9:5 Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

      9:33 He it is Who hath sent His messenger with the guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religion, however much the idolaters may be averse.

      Islam should be destroyed because it is filth.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Muneef

      You should watch the movie "The Message" to learn why was this verse came down... This verse came down to the prophet when the idolaters of Mecca were exterminating who ever believed in Muhammed and his message of Islam in fear that this freshly known message will end their beliefs of idolatry changing their ways as well as in fear to lose their slaves by being compeled to free them...
      So you see that applied there and then only but might apply again if idolatrs or any party repeats history attacking exterminating Muslims and their ways of life...!

      December 5, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • MrThump

      Those damn crusaders left the job undone. Islam should have been wiped out completely. Don't worry, Muneef, we'll finish the job someday. We'll come get you if you ask for it. Are you asking for it? Or are you hiding? Come out and play...........!

      December 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Muneef


      Sahih International
      And We saved him from the people who denied Our signs. Indeed, they were a people of evil, so We drowned them, all together.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  10. salah kamel

    most commentators are fanatics, Islam spread quickly because it is the newest revelation of a message from Allah(God) , it says that we believe in all messengers of God from Adam till Muhammad, all holy books from God
    it is logic , all scientific theories make people convert to islam when they discover that quran and sunnah said that more than 14 centuries ago
    Muhammad was chosen by hundreds non muslim writers as the best man in history, steps before Christ( Peace be upon him and his brothers of messengers of God)
    All fanatics and atheist have nothing to do with the confession of scientists in all fields, including economy, science, biology, sociology , most are non muslims, but still christians
    we notice that most christians converted to islam are great men and scientists and famous artists, not bachward like those who attack islam , people in all societies are not standard to test holy beliefs on their behaviours

    December 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Vickers

      9:5 Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

      Islam does not teach science or math. Religions do not do that. To pretend that they do is to be a liar.
      Islam is the religion of hate and violence. It is a religion of filth and lies. Islam has no redeeming characteristics of it's own.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Muslim

      People here quoting verses from bible is nice. My only problem is that there are many versions of bible. Quran has ONE and only ONE version so either it is a true message or its not. So there is no doubt and the message is clear. OTOH the bible is altered so it is not authentic any more (We as Muslims respect bible as the book of God (Allah) but because of the alterations, we believe that the message is lost).

      December 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I'm not religious myself, so say what you want about "spiritual truth," but neither the Quran nor the Bible contain true and accurate science. They may be correct in some statements but as a whole their scientific statements should not be trusted without external verification. However, I doubt either book was ever intended for that purpose.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  11. adkhan74

    I have been going the comments of most of the people and impression I am getting is that people are commenting without learning about Islam. Islam is not Al Qaeeda or Taliban, just like Christianity was not Hitler and other lunatic like him. I do not blame the people commenting because they are not seeing good examples of Muslims around the world and in this world seeing is believing. But I want to invite my friends to read Quran, I guarantee you that most of your misconceptions about Islam will vanish. According to Guinness Book of World Records, Islam is the world’s fastest-growing religion by number of CONVERSION each year. We do NOT have the power to use sword in US and West to convert these people. I know we as Muslims are not setting good examples for rest of the world, however why these educated people of west are converting because they believe in logic and Islam is a religion which convince you with logic.
    Again I ask everyone, that before commenting please read Quran, you will find that Islam is not Al Qeeda and Taliban.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Religion = Hostis hvmani generis

      December 5, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Spock

      Logic has nothing to do with believing in super ghosts. You are a groomed, perfumed primate who communicates symbolically and is the product of a certain culture, nothing more. If you continue to think and act like a primitive beast, you will be treated accordingly.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Vickers

      4:89 They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them,

      Islam is a religion of hate and violence. No peace can be had with murderers, thieves, liars, and such filth!

      December 5, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Vickers

      4:101 And when ye go forth in the land, it is no sin for you to curtail (your) worship if ye fear that those who disbelieve may attack you. In truth the disbelievers are an open enemy to you.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Islam Fail

      Vinculorum id est mens et corpus, istorum.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • hik ba taray

      hik ba taray baba cha tou karay?

      December 5, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • salah kamel

      may Allah bless you, Muslim scientists who taught the world this modern svience, fair Christian scientists say that, i do not know why they do not comment on what fanatics who do not know islam except from the zionists who give bad image of islam to fool christians, though only enemies of all religions are the jews , zionists in particular who owns media , and economy of every western

      December 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Muslim

      I am a Muslim and I think the author was able to translate how I as a Muslim think about Islam and our view!

      December 5, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Muslim

      I say this is normal, there are not many level headed guys on this part of town usually.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Muslim

      Se habla español

      December 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • GodPot

      "I do not blame the people commenting because they are not seeing good examples of Muslims around the world and in this world seeing is believing."

      So if I can show you thousands of examples of people living healthy, peaceful, happy lives as atheists will that prove to you God doesn't exist?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • asni

      Although Islam might be the most popular religion in this age and is growing ,but it is written in the Bible inthe last days many will fall away and be deceived .Many christians now are psuedo christians - mass of them are confessing christian but living satanic lives .So where does islam fall into ? In fact there is massive shift underground of people leaving Islam and converting to Christianity – not because of missionaries but because of dreams and visions of Christs Jesus .This is another prophecy fulfilled in the book of Acts . Muslims are waking up to Jesus .
      Any publicity of other faiths and rejection of Jesus is evident ,whether it makes publicity of Islam as best religion ,down to New age religion ,the old babylon of Roman Catholicism ,Eastern mysticism is the agenda of the age to get people so far away from the truth of Christ .Jesus is the promised messiah and no other .Jesus said " I am the way the truth and the life ,no one comes to the Father except by me " ~ John 3 :16 . So where's Muhammed in that ,Jesus hasn't mentioned him either or there was any prophecy of him to come ,except for false religions to come .

      It's only with Jesus and the power of his name .If you are not sure muslim brothers, why not seek with your true heart and spirit asking God to reveal and if Jesus your prophet is only a prophet . Or call Jesus yourself ,he will reveal if you seek Him .

      December 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Muslim

      yo se ablo espanol yo soy un buen pendejo que mi madre no sabe que yo naci de la nargas de ella

      December 5, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  12. Jose M. Pulido

    If Islamists/Muslims hate the United States of America so much, why don't they go back to their God-forsaken Islamic countries? They have become a deadly dangerous niusance not only to the USA but to the whole world. These Muslims are willing to blow themselves up all the way to hell in order to murder Americans. Don't they ever feel embarrased and ashamed to be rejected in every country they invade? They hate us so much but here they are, making a pest out of themselve. It is about time to ban Islam from the USA.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Godless

      If you knew anything about Islam you would know they blow themselves up to get to Heaven, not to go to hell. Just like the same reason you follow your stupid rules, so you can get to some place that doesn't exist.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • adkhan74

      What will u do about nearly 2 million Americans who have converted to Islam. We do not hate the people of US, we are against those policies which are designed against Muslims. Look around you Muslims are the target, in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq. Nearly 1 million people have been killed by NATO and US led alliance in Iraq and Afghanistan. We regret 9/11 in which 3,000 innocent people died, however these 1 million killed were also innocent, they were also somebody’s sons, daughters, father, mother and may be hope of an entire family. The children growing in these countries are growing with hate. And this is being used as a seed of hate in other countries by fundamentalist. There is no war of religion, however religion is being used as a tool, and by labelling the terrorist as Islamic Terrorist the western media backed by western government has made it a war of Islam against the rest of the world. Terrorsit have no religion, as terrorist is a terrorist. Will end this on statement by Quran, if someone kills other human (not only fellow Muslim but any Human) it means he has killed the whole humanity. The religion that gives the world this message how can that religion be owned by Terrorist.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Muslim

      I lived in USA for some time and let me tell you that Muslims (most) don't hate people but we hate what USA does collectively to other countries, religions etc and if you go outside USA, this sentiment is everywhere (even Non-American Christians say this). This is what I have experienced everywhere.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Jose M. Pulido,
      "It is about time to ban Islam from the USA."
      Are you even from the US?
      The Consti.tution of the US guarantees the freedom of religion, so banning Islam, or any other religion, would directly violate our founding docu.ment.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • 3rdBat

      As someone who has been around a while, I can tell you that Muslims are not trusted for good reasons.
      I've read your Koran and it is a hundred times more supportive of terrorism than any other "bible" out there.
      I have no use for Muslims. Trying to get an honest answer from a Muslim is like pulling teeth.
      And these comments just prove me right. There can be no peace with Islam because it is not a religion of peace.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "As someone who has been around a while, I can tell you that Muslims are not trusted for good reasons."
      Perhaps that says more about you than about Muslims, eh?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • asni

      @ Adkan , the 2 million americans converting to Islam is a demonstration that the BIble prophecies are true specifically in the book of Matthew 24 .If that is true , that seals the truth what the Bible says will happen in the end times ,that many will leave the faith of Christ Jesus and follow false doctrines .I thought it was only Occultism , New Age Oprah Whinprey religion , adding to it is Idolatry , mass abortion , eastern mysticism religion Americans are shifting into - wow Islam is in line as well . Jesus tells the truth and sees the future .Does this ring a bell about Islam ? End times popularity ?

      If we see Damascus anytime Oblitirated by Israel as spoken by Daniel in the OT ,then people in the Muslim world should rethink ,is Muhammed telling the truth and the will of the supreme God that sees the future and destiny of mankind ?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Many others have 'been there, done that".

      December 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  13. Abu

    Unfortunately we are tied up in our wishes and most of us either wont believe or follow what our mind set & media portray. Islam is not only a religion is a entire system of life, i would say to bound islam in a "modern definition of religion" is in justice without knowing indepth.
    Unfortunately we muslims & our actions are the biggest hurdle in spreading the Islam. Let me give some virtues that we fail to portray .
    1) Islam Business & Trade System
    2) Charity in ISlam ( Zakah)
    3) Islam stands against Interest
    4) Islam Judicial system
    5) Islam inheritance laws
    6) Muslim brotherhood with Humanity.

    Come to topic , the reason muslim are more devoted towards their religion moreover islam is the fastest religion becos those who study and inspired by the Islam they already have their goal set for their life.
    But for those who believe that there is not except this life yeah its a life with wishes but wishes cant be fulfilled even you enter in grave.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  14. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Vivere commune est, sed non commune mereri

    December 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Islam Fail

      Quisque vitae tortor non moritur. libertas

      December 5, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • zzzzzzzzzzz

      Rectal itch est.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur

      December 5, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Islam Fail

      Vivamus nec turpis quoniam vos iustus ledo.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Muslim

      Say what?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @Muslim – هذا امر جيد لأنك مجرد ضرب العيش

      December 5, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  15. EU

    Muslims are brain washed from a young age, same with any type of religious stupidity.

    why do religious people go to the hospital ? or take medication ? Does not god provide everything for their needs ?.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Havildar

      Now you are being stupid. Don't you go to the Doctor/Hospital? Some of the Best Medical treatments are to be found in Hospitals run by "religious" groups which may be of any faith not just christian.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Religious organizations are capable of running good Hospitals, although the "best" hospitals in the US are not run by religious organizations, as far as I can tell (Mayo, Johns Hopkins, Mass Gen, Cleveland Clinic. http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/rankings).
      I think what @EU was saying is if their god were real and their faith were strong enough, why would they need medical attention at all?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Muslim

      @EU and your source is?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  16. Alex

    This is such a hunk of crap article! Im an atheist and can safely say that everything that was said about Islam can also be said about other Judao-Christian groups. They all think they alone know the truth!!! It has to do with poverty and poor education in large part. Just as we see extreme violence in Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil with groups that are Catholic with "gangster saints". or as we saw in the deep south in the early 20th century with the KKK. This is such a western-centric prejudiced editorial piece, TAKE A LOOK AT THE OLD TESTAMENT, ITS FULL OF INCEST VIOLENCE AND MURDER....and Muslims, Jews and Christians all believe it and think it's the "truth".

    December 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • PMach

      You are very much right.
      I am happuy to live in atheist country – Czech Repuiblic.
      None of the people I know goes to church and we have quite good and fullfilling live.
      Take care

      December 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005,[22] 19% of Czech citizens responded that "they believe there is a god", whereas 50% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 30% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force".

      Sounds like only 30% of your country are Atheist. Are you claiming Agnostics as none believers?

      December 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Muslim

      Atheists are the strangest people on earth!

      December 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Athiest

      Muslims are the strangest people on earth!

      December 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @Muslim, yes, it's much more normal to believe in an invisible super friend in the sky who magically bends the laws of physics to intervene in people's lives, and when you die you get to live for eternity as a ghost with everyone else who believed the same thing.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  17. NYCchick

    There are so many ignorant idiots on here. But what can you expect from people that don't have much of an understanding of any religion.

    December 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Islam Fail

      The world is full of ignorant idiots. Why would this forum be any different? Any time the word religion is brought up idiocy and the ignorant are automatically involved. It's the nature of the beast.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Little pigs little pigs

      Well you are from NYC and a woman so your opinion isnt worth a DooDee Squat.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  18. Jose M. Pulido

    Muslims here enjoy their freedom of speech and show their contemptousness by expressing their narrow-mindedness, but imagine a Christian even stating an opinion in Saudi Arabia or any other country oppressed by Islam? He would be arrested and beheaded as they did to all whom they call "infidels."

    December 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Good reason not to live in Saudi Arabia, but other than that, what's your point?!?

      December 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Vickers

      I think he was just grumbling, Doc.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Godless

      I see that humanity is oppressed by Christianity. Nothing that I can do will change that. I also won't be arrested for saying it, yet.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  19. gooddaysir

    And boy does it stink

    December 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I SAID, Good Day Sir!

      December 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  20. gooddaysir

    I farted

    December 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Fascist

      Have you ever farted in someone's face? When I was a kid, my best friend and I used to hold his older brother down and fart in his face. He could whip us individually, but together we gassed him. Yeah, good memories....

      December 5, 2011 at 1:57 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.