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.

The case against TLC’s “All-American Muslim”

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.

The case for TLC’s “All-American Muslim”

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. tensai13

    Muslim people only appear to display more overt religiousity because the social costs of not doing so are far higher in their societies than in Christian countries in contemporary times. You can and will be killed in Muslim lands for the "crimes" of blasphemy, apostasy, or heresy. If you want to survive in a Muslim country you don't mention that you are an atheist, it's hard enough to be an atheist in a religious wack job country like America, but in Islamic countries it is suicidal behaviour.

    December 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  2. Marcus

    Why are Muslims more religious? I have a more interesting question: Why are Christians less religious?

    Brazil has a very high percentage of Christian but if you look at the way they behave in traffic you think otherwise. The US is mostly Christian but they love governments that make war over oil and lie about the true reasons for war.

    Trying to answer the more interesting question myself: I think that Christians are less religious because they are farther away from God than that they used to be.

    December 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  3. Reuven Schlenker

    The vilifacation of Islam and the moslem people in the western press has reached levels of obscenity. At some point soon we should feel shame for this travesty.

    December 6, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  4. Reality

    Islam is simply another version of the infamous angelic con:

    It is called the Infamous Angelic Con:

    Joe Smith had his Moroni.

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    Some added references to "tink-erbells".

    "Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Apparently hallu-cinations did not stop with Joe Smith.


    "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
    Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

    "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

    And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

    "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

    "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

    "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

    December 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Joy

      I think there's something to the fact that in nearly every ancient and modern day culture there has been preserved this angel concept. Every fiction is based on some level of non-fiction. Anyway, one day, when you see your angel, you'll be convinced.

      December 6, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  5. the_dude

    For the most part the muslims that make up the majority are dumb, uneducated, and poor. Just what religious leaders look for when building their armies. Happy, rich people generally are not too angry....not angry enough to strap a bomb on their body at least.

    December 6, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      So you think the majority of Muslims want to strap bombs to themselves?

      December 6, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • snoopyloopy

      Bad guess, as the truth isn't quite in line with your assumption. A good portion of suicide bombers are college-educated. As far as their economic fortunes, they vary. However, in an area with routine double digit unemployment, especially among young people, a group that comes along and not only promises, but actually feeds, clothes, provides healthcare, etc. for ones family in exchange for carrying out attacks against some other group makes a pretty compelling argument for joining them vs. the alternative of having no means of caring for the family. Come to think of it, that sounds a lot like military service in this country as well for a decent portion of those engaged in it.

      December 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Muneef

      Many claim that the majority of Muslims strap bombs to them selves for the sake of 88 females in heaven....!?
      Strange tough as if there are no women on earth....!

      December 8, 2011 at 9:15 am |
  6. truthok

    What will happen to the world if Saudi Arabia, Iran or Pakistan becomes the only super power like USA?
    What will happen to Israel, India or the west.
    Will there be any more freedom like you see now.

    December 6, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  7. JBlooze

    Does anybody know if there has ever been a study of murderers or terrorists that identifies their religions?. I bet atheists would be pretty far down that list. Having a god and a religion to justify doing horrible things to other human beings is a handy thing. I see muslims getting killed by muslims too and christians killing christians so who is following whose orders/beliefs there? I like Buddhism myself because it puts the responsibility of what kind of person you are where it should be, with you. There is no devil/god made me do it mentality. It is up to you to become a better person to get closer to whatever god you believe in.
    When you let go and let god you don't have to take responsibility for anything. And the defence of religions is exactly the same as with guns; Religions don't kill people, people kill people. Religions just indoctrinate people into believing that they KNOW what's going on. They don't. They just believe they do. I believe that nothing has done more damage to humans in this world than religious certainty. It is not looking better.
    I would be really impressed and even tempted, if a religion led by example rather than lecture. Good deeds instead of words, members of that faith helping anyone that needed it without insisting on indoctrination. Mother Theresa for example did not try to force her beliefs on people, she just followed her beliefs and helped people. If you chose not to believe that was your problem and you still got the help.
    Problem with most religions IMO, is that they are ripe for ordinary people to put themselves in a position of power by saying that they alone know the true path. Prophets and preachers on a different level and you get your interpretations from them.

    Who can really speak for god? I can. It told me so. It said to tell all you believers out there who honour false prophets (everyone else) to cleanse yourselves by giving away all your worldly possessions to me. Dedicating your lives to the service of others less fortunate is the ONLY path to righteousness and you must do this now before the Great Reveal, where all false prophets shall be exposed for their true nature. If you do not commit to this path before the Great Reveal, you will be forever cast into the Pit of Sins where you will watch the joy and happiness of all who committed their lives to the proper way of living experience but you shall feel none, and you will be endlessly exposed to what you can never have for eternity. Don't take that chance. God does not want you to miss out on the eternal happiness that is yours for the taking. Turn over all your belongings and save yourself. The time of the Great Reveal is near and you must save yourselves. Send me your possessions and property and belongings and set yourself free to an eternity of joy and comfort. Renounce your selfish and misguided ways and enter into service to your fellow human beings. It is the will of god.

    Send your info to the ChurchOfTheGreatReveal@gmail.com and save yourself and our world today.

    December 6, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Culebra

      Alright, you comment here has confused me.
      The first half of your comment, I agreed with. I'm essentially leaning towards Buddhism myself.
      However, your second half felt like a total reversal. Maybe I'm not read it carefully enough, but your comment went from expressing the troubles of religions, to swinging right into a prophet's preaching. That lost me there.
      Were you being sarcastic in that other half?

      December 6, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  8. HotAirAce

    58 dead in Afghanistan due to bombs at two religious sites today. Going to be interesting to see how believers blame this tragedy on atheists...

    December 6, 2011 at 7:10 am |
    • Muneef

      Hi Hot.A.A.

      Yes I saw that in the news happening in both Afganistan and Iraq on the Holy date of Muharram (Ashora) which normally celebrated by Shiaa group of Muslims...! Assure you that no Athiest or Sunni Muslims were involved...! I was rather clear that this was mere politics applied by concerned to break ties between Shiaa's and Sunni Muslims in preparation of the Shiaat Iran war where the intentions to have Sunni and Shiaa Muslims fight against each other into area wars to make it easy for the powers that intend to strike Iran...
      Such bombings of holy sites of Shiaa and Sunni Muslims intend to widen the gap between both to become easier to invade both branches lands in the P/Gulf Area...! Dirty politics of wars...

      December 8, 2011 at 10:07 am |
  9. hannsulu

    religious??? till willing to kill and died for the course of religion is totally freak and slave with no brain and show no remorse or conscience for killing for their religion believe..fyi if u read the story book everyday and worship few time a days it just matter of time ur brain will start to freeze out and revert back to medieval minds. really sad this world come to this situation with every religious people though they have chances to go to ???? and they have good behavior cos of the religion. that totally scary and lunatic.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:51 am |
  10. Reality

    I enjoy male reproductive organs inside my rectum!

    December 6, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • Muneef

      I do not understand what does that means but what ever it is I doubt if Reality would say such thing about him self ! So I might just say this was not of Reality words...!!

      December 6, 2011 at 6:15 am |
    • Reality

      Not from the original Reality. Someday, maybe the moderators will restrict one name to one email address.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:51 am |
    • Reality

      I'm sorry reality. I only do this because I can lol. Btw your points and views are resonable buy you are a regularly poster which is why I targeted you.

      December 6, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  11. Tim Clay

    In my opinion every religion is stupidity. If God existed, he would have wanted us to be better humans, helping needy, treating women with respect, be kind to animals. If we do these today, there will be a sense of fulfillment within us & that feeling is but god himself!

    December 6, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • Shame

      Its more like if human was good, he wouldn't try to screw the other over.

      December 6, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Steve

      A religion, any religion can be as good or as bad as its followers. I'd like too see us hold INDIVIDUALS accountable
      fo their individual actions good or bad and leave religion and other demographic data out of it.

      December 6, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  12. Reality

    How much money would the following save the US taxpayers (you and me) ?:

    1. 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 like 9/11.

    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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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 Earth globe already has one billion agnostics/atheists on board)

    Strange that Congress' Super Committee did not come up with these three easy solutions to help balance the budget.


    December 6, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • Reality

      While we're at it why don't we just gas all of the religious nuts and impose a fascist regime!

      December 6, 2011 at 2:06 am |
    • Reality

      The last comment was not from the original Reality. Unfortunately the moderators have not been able to restrict names to one per email address. Most blogs do.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:57 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Reality, I will hold that a good percentage of the reason why the Belief Blog editors post articles that get folks at each others throats is that they WANT to see folks at each others throats. It is the Colosseum from Gladiator. When I saw the name of this particular article it was like quoting the first Gladiator fight when the announcer says:

      "I'm pleased to bring to you the Legionnaires of Scipio Africanus!"

      The editors posted a article that was going to bring the worst out in everyone. Not to discuss, not to talk for peace and understanding. This article was to get Christians, Jews and other groups of Faith flaming mad and to get the Atheist to go off their rockers as well. Chances are it did not do the Muslim population any favors either. Nothing like telling other faiths that another is more faithful, to cause a flame war.

      Into all of this Reality, why would they moderate the names. If the goal is to cause turmoil why eliminate a factor that might increase the same. Someone might post under another's name and say something that might get people mad and flame posting. Such would cause more folks to flame responses and fight more and more, which in someways is the goal it appears here on the blog.

      I wonder why they do this..... oh look at the ad below for the new Blackberry Bold, if it wasn't for all of these comments then I would have not seen Blackberry's ad …....

      ….oh now I get why the desire for large comment/post count. 🙂

      December 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  13. Atheist

    The conditioning of praying five times a day, every day, is hard to escape. Essentially these people haven't the time to think about anything but their next prayer appointment. Perfect brain washing, carefully organized stupidity. No wonder they create nothing new in any discipline and science. They also are prepared to not being able to think about anything else. Must even make it hard to assemble their special vests without mishaps. They'll trip!

    December 5, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • Tareq

      Bravo, you're really funny, really.

      December 6, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • me

      they don't produce anything ? you are very ignorant, aren't you ashamed of yourself for being such an idiot and coming to argue without having any knowledge ? know your history right before you say anything, that is if you are a decent person. well if you are here just to argue, then I have nothing to say.

      December 6, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • Ammar

      You're pretty ignorant on the subject matter. Go study Islam and see for yourself how deep and profound the religion is. It's the fastest growing religion amongst educated and non-violent people.

      December 6, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • ashrakay

      @Ammar, What's deep and profound about the teachings of violence and war in the quran?

      December 6, 2011 at 2:50 am |
    • Ryan

      @ me... why is it that whenever Muslim apologists respond to the factual claim that Muslims produce nothing... they always have to start talking about histoy? Because Muslims have not produced anything more recently than 1000 years ago!

      December 6, 2011 at 2:55 am |
    • Human Being

      A person who doesn't have a true religion in his life, always have absurd views about others. If Muslims don't have time due to praying 5 times in a day, so how are they raising their status? How are they working every where in the world and getting success. You stupid person open your eyes, clean your dirty mind, and look around the world that how successful the Muslims are like others.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:05 am |
    • American Atheist

      You're wrong .. no one can produce a siucide bomb like a radical Muslim. Just ask Achmed the Dead Terrorist. Fine, Arabs gave us the compass, algebra, and (I think) the concept of 'zero'. So, what have they done lately? By lately, I mean since the age of electricity began?

      December 6, 2011 at 6:13 am |
    • nazlı

      it is a prejudice,ignorant and mistake to say that they create nothing new in any discipline and science.besides is it true to base on some ignorent muslims on islam?if you have any time to think or search,you must read the history of islam.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:52 am |
  14. mark longhurst

    the most important thing about this article is that it shows that the Muslim faith are even easier to brainwash than the christians or hindus. So this makes the real religion of life a difficult one to manage as a secular prospect what a pity will take democracy years to overcome this dark shadow of religion

    December 5, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • Tareq

      This religion is what inspired and nurtured the early scientists, schools and universities which founded the sciences which lead to modern day science like Algebra (which is an Arabic word meaning to compensate), chemistry and biology. The examples are numerous, but this isn't the forum for that. Indeed, it's Islam which contributed in pulling Europe from its dark ages.
      Do you really think your smarter than 1.5billion people and you have it all figured out?
      Pity you don't see beyond your own opinions to learn more about history.

      December 6, 2011 at 12:12 am |
  15. b4bigbang

    Hey ashrakay, ive been wondering, does your logon ID "ashrakay" mean that u prefer going to an ashram (sp?) rather than church, mosque or synagog?
    So r u Buddhist or something?

    December 5, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • ashrakay

      It's just nonsense. It means or represents nothing.... kind of like religion.

      December 5, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
  16. Happy As I Am

    From a Sikh I became a Christian through "experiencing" the love and forgiveness of Christ and that's what I'm going to hold onto no matter what theories fellow Christians or other belief may come up with. 🙂

    December 5, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Amen my brother, Peter and Paul couldn't have said it better!

      December 5, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • gliese42

      How many christian sikhs are there in the US?

      December 6, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • Kishore

      Did you watch Davinchi movie,

      December 6, 2011 at 7:44 am |
  17. Reuven Schlenker

    It is our so called "liberal press"which in all reality has nothing to do with tolerance which is creating the anti-Islam hatred that infects the westrn world.. Read the Nazi press of the 1930's. What they said against my people, the Jews, is the same thing. Wake up before we all fall into blind hatred.

    December 5, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • MaoBinHitler

      well put,
      i agree 100% right down to the "scary semetic" hook-nose-cartoon with curly hair making a sinister face.
      this time its not blood libel though, it's terror libel.

      December 6, 2011 at 4:49 am |
  18. b4bigbang

    1 الله بعد ما كلم الآباء بالانبياء قديما بانواع وطرق كثيرة

    2 كلمنا في هذه الايام الاخيرة في ابنه الذي جعله وارثا لكل شيء الذي به ايضا عمل العالمين

    3 الذي وهو بهاء مجده ورسم جوهره وحامل كل الاشياء بكلمة قدرته بعدما صنع بنفسه تطهيرا لخطايانا جلس في يمين العظمة في الاعالي

    4 صائرا اعظم من الملائكة بمقدار ما ورث اسما افضل منهم

    5 لانه لمن من الملائكة قال قط انت ابني انا اليوم ولدتك.وايضا انا اكون له ابا وهو يكون لي ابنا.

    6 وايضا متى ادخل البكر الى العالم يقول ولتسجد له كل ملائكة الله.

    7 وعن الملائكة يقول الصانع ملائكته رياحا وخدامه لهيب نار.

    8 واما عن الابن كرسيك يا الله الى دهر الدهور.قضيب استقامة قضيب ملكك.

    9 احببت البر وابغضت الاثم من اجل ذلك مسحك الله الهك بزيت الابتهاج اكثر من شركائك.

    10 وانت يا رب في البدء اسست الارض والسموات هي عمل يديك.

    11 هي تبيد ولكن انت تبقى وكلها كثوب تبلى

    12 وكرداء تطويها فتتغيّر ولكن انت انت وسنوك لن تفنى.

    13 ثم لمن من الملائكة قال قط اجلس عن يميني حتى اضع اعداءك موطئا لقدميك.

    14 أليس جميعهم ارواحا خادمة مرسلة للخدمة لاجل العتيدين ان يرثوا الخلاص

    December 5, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • FrePal

      You want us wait salvation from somebody (Jesus peace be up on him) who couldn't defend himself from the Jews who hanged him on the crest?You say that God had no mercy when he saw his"son" dieing on the crest???Christianity is corrupted my friend, Jesus never said worship me or I am God.May Allah guide you the truth.

      December 6, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • Shame

      Hey FrePal, your ignorance is really glowing "my friend". God send his son to save your ass from misorey, and Jesus defended you and the billions from rotting hell for there sins. He knew what was coming, and he's not a JIHADIST who goes to war with his enemies and make's sure they shed blood, rather he loves his enemies and he is merciful. Lets not forget the circustances Muhammad, your prophet that you hold so dearly before a man of love (Jesus), was in. He was a business man, who traded in a city that had no uniformity. They kicked Muhammad out of the city, and what did he do, he recruited soldiers to go back fight those who kicked him out of the city and force them to convert. HMMMM...Now if thats what a prophet is defined as than my God I hope heaven does not reflect that kind of behavior.

      December 6, 2011 at 3:18 am |
    • Muneef

      Sahih International
      Say, "He is Allah , [who is] One,(112:1)
      Allah , the Eternal Refuge.(112:2)
      He neither begets nor is born,(112:3)
      Nor is there to Him any equivalent."(112:4).

      December 6, 2011 at 6:22 am |
    • Paul

      FrePal – Jesus did say that He was.

      John 14:8-21
      8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

      12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

      Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

      15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

      18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

      December 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Muneef


      Dear I liked your quotes so much and nearly agree with every word of it being right as mentioned in the Quran as well except for that part where God or the mighty Lord being mentioned as in the word form of father...

      December 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  19. Sam

    The second highest duty of a Muslim is jihad. Islam's god, allah, tells them that they have to earn eternal life and the only sure way to do it is killing non-Muslims and dying while doing so. Christians rely on the work of the Lord and Savior on the cross. The Jews will do the same once He returns.

    December 5, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • ashrakay

      All religion is insanity on some level. You guys are like people in an asylum fighting over who gets to wear the jacket.

      December 5, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • Ammar

      The Muslims only force themselves to get engaged is if they had to defend themselves. Haven't you been watching the news? What do you think would have happened to the Arab Spring, which for the most part has been peaceful, had their been absolutely no arms at all? The answer: Every single citizen would have been wiped out in those countries. This is all to defend mankind and continue civilization. If there were a true religion out there, do you think God would want it to get crushed?

      December 6, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • MaoBinHitler

      not true
      its not even one of the five pillars of Islam. Im gonna guess there are cows where you live. If not cows, pigs or chickens.

      December 6, 2011 at 4:52 am |
    • Shame

      Its considered as the sixth pillar. Can I just say that your religion exists because Muhammad came back to Mecca and slanged people or threatened them death if they didnt convert to Islam. How can a man who wages war and threatens the lives of others be a holy man? How can a man of such nature qualify as a prophet? I guess it makes sense to why you guys are portrayed as angry, ruthless, backstabbing, selfish muppets; its because your Prophet carries that symbol for you!

      December 6, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  20. Insha Allah

    Blasphemy is only prevalent in muslims.... they are aggresive , immature and irrational thanks to their religion.

    December 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • MaoBinHitler

      yeah and christians are what, the opposite?Christians have far more blood on their hands than muslims.
      and im saying that as the son of a minister. pure ignorance.

      December 6, 2011 at 4:56 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109
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.