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. AtheistRite

    @Kat, about my assertion that Koran recommends beating disobedient wives [Verse 4.34], you said "no, first you talk, not sleep [with them], then tap (beat is not correct as it implies physica/mental damage which is banned in islam)."

    "Tap"? Really? You really believe that? Or is that "tap" with a cane? And why not the other way round? Why doesn't the woman "tap" the man? This "tap" cr4p was invented to save Koran's face. It is BEAT, not tap. Also, where does Koran ban "physical/mental damage"? On the contrary, it is all about physical and mental damage to the point that the whole world is either Muslim, or under the rule of Islam.

    Why don't you introspect your deep-seeded contempt for those who simply do not believe in your prophet and tell me if that makes you a well-rounded person or a bigot.

    Consider this: You said that you can be my friend if I am a good person, but you still think I am going to hell for not believing Allah, because that is the choice I made. First of all, I have a problem with your belief that discounts my good deeds. Second, your holy book actually warns you against making friends with "sly" people like me, because I "can deviate you from your faith." It is your inherent goodness, that in spite of your book's warning you are ready to be my friend.

    Now consider this: My wife is a wonderful person in every sense. She is also a secular "Muslim", married to a non-Muslim who will never convert to Islam. What do you think of her now as an Apostate? Do you consider her equal to a Muslim woman married to a Muslim man, or do you think she is somehow contemptible for marrying outside the religion?

    December 4, 2011 at 6:33 am |
    • William Shelton

      And what translation of the Qur'an are you quoting, my friend? That makes all of the difference in the world on how you interpret this particular ayah, unless, of course, you read Arabic. Somehow, I don't think you do.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:44 am |
    • Eli

      Which are YOU using, Will? Here are the 6 most common English translations of the Qu'ran and what they interpret that "beat" word as:

      Rodwell: scourge; Dawood: beat; Pickthall: scourge; Arberry: beat; Shakir: beat; Ali: beat.

      I'm sure the version that you use translates it to "hug tightly and never let go".

      December 4, 2011 at 6:49 am |
    • Don't care

      Eli..........Right on brother. Is that plain enough Shelton?

      December 4, 2011 at 6:53 am |
    • Kat

      Atheist, you sound mad because seems to me I did not answer the way that satisfied your ego and I-am-better-than-thee because you think you're smart and rational that you must disbelieve in God.....Koran in numerous verses say do not hurt/harm wives, or people in general. The golden rule in Islam is "la darar wa la derar" = no harming others and no getting harmed by others..."can deviate you from your faith."? you're just pulling quotes from butt now....I did not say I contempt you or that I am better than you or your wife. For someone who does not believe in the hereafter you seem to concerned about it. I said you choose your destiny in the after life by your belief.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:54 am |
    • Eli

      Kat, men in 7th-century Arabia didn't see smacking their wives across the face as "hurting them". Wives are the property of their husbands, after all, so why not smack them? Mohammed himself smacked his wives! See Abu Dawud 2141 or Sahih MuslimMuslim 4:2127.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:57 am |
    • AtheistRite

      This is another popular line of defense of Koran from devout Muslims, that what others have read is not authentic unless it is in Arabic. I have read multiple English translations, and it is difficult to believe that they are all wrong. Can you point me to a good English translation of the Koran? Or is there none?

      December 4, 2011 at 7:05 am |
    • Kat

      Eli, actually smacking wives across face in Islam is forbidden. Islam also forbids the idea that women are property of men. Koran stresses equal rights and equal responsibilities on believing men and women...men and women were created from a single soul, women are free and can divorce, work, own, trade, inherit, and even teach men.

      December 4, 2011 at 7:05 am |
    • AtheistRite

      @Eli, "Koran in numerous verses say do not hurt/harm wives, or people in general", and yet it has verses to the contrary too. Fine people like you pick the better verses to follow, and vermin pick the worse ones. So, why Koran? You were gonna be a fine person anyway.

      December 4, 2011 at 7:12 am |
  2. Myers

    Plenty of people speak about how the only reason they are so religious is because they are in fear of being stoned, imprisioned, killed, ect. The one thing I've always seen in most of the religious people I've encountered, from every religion, is they all have similer fears. Most Christians fear they will go to Hell if they don't act according to the Bible. I think to many Americans want to poke fun or bash these religions just because of the Sept. 11th attacks. Just because their Muslim, doesn't mean they all want to toss come explosives in a vehicle and see what kind of damage they can do. Patience and understand is what's going to move our country into the next stage, no racism and ignorance.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:30 am |
  3. Rich

    Because they refuse to leave the seventh century?

    December 4, 2011 at 6:28 am |
    • Mirosal

      ok then, if they want the 7th century, let's give it to them... no electricity, internet, roads, no running water, no cars, busses or airplanes, no engineering skills, no currency, not a single luxury .. like Robinson Crusoe, it's primitive as can be. Let's see how fast they turn around.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:52 am |
  4. dHawkin(G)s

    The main difference between islam and other religions is the deep interference it makes with profane and concrete aspects of daily life and daily routine. In a clan-oriented social context it is very hard to be an outlier, not doing your prayers, not appearing in the mosque, not abiding to the rules. And indeed, as TK says, the sword of apostasty hangs above your head, in addition to all the social pressure. I have great respect for all persons who were raised a muslim but who are finding their own personal way.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:27 am |
  5. DavidCharles

    A couple issues with this piece: 1) Islam does not teach that only Muslims can attain paradise as this article implies. Muslims believe that only God judges people according to their intentions and will weigh their oogs deeds on the day of resurrection. 2) The Prophet (PBUH) did not "aim to nullify" the message of the previous prophets. He was sent to confirm what his brothers, the previous prophets, preached: God is One, without partners.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:25 am |
    • Eli

      Actually, no. The Qu'ran does indeed state that "Christians, Jews, and Sabeans" who are good people can go to heaven–but ONLY if they follow Islam. Doesn't make an ounce of sense to me, but there you have it. See Qu'ran 5:69 (Christians can go to heaven!), Qu'ran 5:72 (...but only if they don't believe Jesus is the son of God...?), 5:72-73 (Christians are DEFINITELY going to Hell), etc.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:29 am |
    • William Shelton

      Eli, whoever taught you to read missed the part about reading comprehension. Go back and try again, will you?

      December 4, 2011 at 6:34 am |
    • Eli

      Reading comprehension, Will?

      Qu'ran 5:69 (from quran.com): Indeed, those who have believed [in Prophet Muhammad] and those [before Him] who were Jews or Sabeans or Christians – those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness – no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.

      Qu'ran 5:72 They have certainly disbelieved who say, " Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary" while the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord." Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.

      ONLY Christians/Jews/etc who "believe in Mohammed's revelations" (ie are Muslims) go to Heaven. No one else. Which in practice means that only Muslims go to Heaven. You are the one who lacks reading comprehension, sadly.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:37 am |
    • William Shelton

      No, Eli, you are wrong. The very ayahs that you quote defeat your own argument, if you care to interpret them so. And, do remember, (1) the word Allah is nothing more than the Arabic word for God, (2), Islam believes that Muhammad came to CONFIRM the earlier prophets, not replace them. Please remove the stone from your eye and reread the Qur'an. Please, also select a good translation. That, too, makes a difference.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:48 am |
    • Eli

      You're delusional, Will. For all of Islam's failings, it has one good spot: it is clear. Those who do not follow Mohammed and his revelations go to hell. The verses I have provided state this just as well. And the website I linked to uses the most respected English translation of the Qu'ran. How sad that you deny what's in front of your face.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:51 am |
  6. Beefburger

    After we are using renewable energy resources, especially for vehicles, these ignorant camel jockies are going to be facing some tough times. Every one of these dirty Hajis that throw acid on schoolgirls are going to burn for eternity in the deepest, darkest valley of Hell.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:23 am |
    • DavidCharles

      Who is more ignorant than one who directs racist insults against his fellow human beings? From the Prophet's (SAAW) final sermon: All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; also a White person has no superiority over Black person nor does a Black person have any superiority over White person except through piety and good actions.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:31 am |
    • Eli

      @DavidCharles Protip: Adam and Eve didn't exist. Creationism is nonsense. Get with the times.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:41 am |
  7. Nate Mullikin

    When you write off everything after 'my invisible friend says' it doesn't leave much.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:15 am |
  8. chuckmartel

    From article 'new evidence suggests that Muslims tend to be more committed to their faith than other believers'. Gee you really think so? The average muslim has to whip out rugs and pray 5 times a day. Even bible bangers don't carry on like that. They also blow each other up in the name of jihad and are now trying to blow up people in the US/west. The US does not need this religous zealotry. They are much worse than bible bangers.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:15 am |
  9. jon

    If oil had not been discovered in the middle east, most muslims would still be riding camels. Their religion keeps them in the stone age

    December 4, 2011 at 6:11 am |
    • Grisel

      1.December 27, Meineke Car Care BowlWest VirginiaNorth Carolina2.December 29, Papa Johns BowlRutgersNC State3.December 30-Holiday BowlOregonOklahoma St4.December 31-Insight BowlKansasMinnesota5.January 1-OutBack BowlIowaSouth Carolina6.January 1 Capital 1 BowlGeorgiaMichigan State7.January 1-Rose BowlUSCPenn State8.January 2-Sugar BowlAlabamaUtah9.January 5-Tositos Fiesta BowlOhio StTexas10.BCS Championship BowlOklahomaFloridaTie Breaker 1International Bowl Jan 3UConnBuffaloTie Breaker 2How Many Yards will Sam Bradford (Oklahoma) throw for against Florida?168what..no Cotton Bowl???? GO OLE MISS!

      September 7, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • Mayumi

      I am in agreement with the pirveous comment. Why is the first response to silence him! I am sure the 3 judges are competent enough, together with the witnesses, to give this highly challenging viewpoint the rigorous scrutiny it deserves. Wilders has asked that the judges give him the opportunity to establish the truth of his thesis. And if he does so, then your political pressure is entirely seditious and self-serving.The correct course would be to understand thoroughly the arguments, and how the muslim immigrant community can proactively adapt to this, to ensure the most harmonious conclusion is reached.Back on the silencing point, i think it is all the more imperative he has the right to speak, as a FATWA calling for beheading was issued by an Australian Imam. How ironic that the dutch government should be trying him for hate speech against Islam and one of Islam's representatives is calling for his beheading. I can only imagine this has played right into the public perceptions of Islam as a threat to our way of life, no matter how finely expressed the moderate viewpoints of the majority are, until the militant violent international network is somehow expunged or disowned, Islam will include these parts within it.It is no good saying it is a warped interpretation of Islam, because the Haddiths do certainly allow critics of islam to be executed, both muslim and non-muslim. This is, of course, contrary to all legal frameworks outside of Islamic nation states and is precisely the control from afar and intimidation which elevates Islam from a mere challenge in cultural difference to a grave long-term threat on a par with fascism and communism (i.e. competing totaletarian ideologies with pattern of rules and regulations to organize all aspects of society).The more the muslim community tries to silence this man, the stronger his message will grow. If the NL judges rule against him, it will be like a death knell for Europe, and the next stage will be riots i imagine.

      September 9, 2012 at 1:50 am |
  10. jon

    Why does the media cut Muslims a pass yet bash every other religion? Fear of a Fatwa perhaps?

    December 4, 2011 at 6:09 am |
    • William Shelton

      Facts, Jon, facts. A few facts backing up your claims would be nice. Otherwise, you are just blowing hot air (which actually is the case.)

      December 4, 2011 at 6:22 am |
  11. Sonny

    Having read the christian bible, catholic, and the King James versions and the Upanishads (Hindu) and the Dhamapadas (Buddhist) and the Quran The only one calling for the forcible conversion of non-believers is the Islamic Quran. It states in no uncertain terms to 'slay the UN-believer where ever they are found'. It also states 'be not a friend to the christian and the Jew. Now how do you reconcile that with a peaceful non-violent religion?

    December 4, 2011 at 6:09 am |
    • chaz8181

      The Christians are no different from the Muslims. Look at history and the crusades and the inquision to name a couple. and now it was the invasion of Iraq..course our "Christian "president Bush said it was to destroy that "evil dictator.:' " do you really believe that? and look at the the persecution of the Mormons, and the Jews. It is a good thing that Jesus was a Jew and we still include the Old Testament in the Bible. otherwise we would be brain washed again . Jesus said "Love your enemies, do good to those who harm you" .. can we love our enemies and kill them..? another justification for the U.S. and freedom of religion and seperation of church and state.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:26 am |
    • William Shelton

      Sonny, when you claim to have read the Qur'an, you seem to have missed Surah 2, verse 256: "There shall be no compulsion in religion."

      I wonder if your reading of the other scriptures you also claim to have read is as spotty as your reading of the Qur'an. Oh, by the way, the verse I quoted, a part from being one of the best know verses in the Qur'an, is but one of MANY calling for religious tolerance. Go make your false claims elsewhere, will you?

      December 4, 2011 at 6:27 am |
    • Eli

      Ah yes William, that whole no-compulsion-in-religion thing. There is indeed no compulsion in religion. Except for the whole you'll-get-tortured-forever-in-hell-unless-you're-not-Muslim thing. Or that whole you-have-to-pay-a-tax-to-your-Muslim-rulers-if-you're-not-Muslim thing. But other than that, totally, no compulsion, man.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:33 am |
    • Muslim

      Unfortunately you only read Holy Quran and not understood it, if you think only knowlege of English is good enough to undetand Quantum mechanics then alas what can I say. To understand Islam you must talk to scholar who can guide you and you may understand it correctly. To answer you question you have quoted the quranic verses out of context, i hope you haven't done it deliberately! Why are you hinding the fact other religious text also talks about war ?, you looks to be clear idiot!

      December 4, 2011 at 6:33 am |
    • William Shelton

      Eli, remember the Inquistion? It's obvious you don't - or you choose to ignore it.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:51 am |
    • Eli

      Uh, what about the Inquisition? What does that have to do with anything? I'm not a Christian. I'm not Catholic. I'm not Spanish. So... what?

      December 4, 2011 at 6:53 am |
    • xyz

      Must have proper guidance, translation, source ? How about we do it proper ALL THE WAY...you know..like how the Vedic priest class were the only ones who could talk to the creator(s), or how about the ancient Egyptian priests order that were the only ones who could gurantee the elite class to the afterlife, like a door guard. THIS EXCUSE IS OLD, seriously, why all this reply to ELI sound like a desperate salesman stalling tactics. Eli has even given a source, and has the jurispudence to compare the translations, did all of you? Are any of you giving him a better source for translation? 2011 now, 1400+ years and still no credible translation means youre not fit to sell your product dear salespeople.

      No compulsion? Every religion has its own contradictions but at least Islam is very black or white about it because in hotel Islam, once you check in you cannot check out. Its really a classic, like a salesman telling you yes you if you dont like it you can always return the product but always, ALWAYS comes with a price.

      I like Islam, I really do – because they quite clear in its message – if you cannot persuade em with whatever is at your disposal, including taqqiyah (to lie), then you finish em. I like Islam its is a war monger's religion.

      -Lived under the guise of tolerant Islam all my life in Malaysia, and born a Sikh, a religion borne out of the torture of Hindus by the Muslim invaders.

      December 4, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • Yousuf

      1.December 27, Meineke Car Care BowlWest Virginia2.December 29, Papa Johns BowlNC State3.December 30-Holiday BowlOregon4.December 31-Insight BowlKansas5.January 1-OutBack BowlSouth Carolina6.January 1 Capital 1 BowlGeorgia7.January 1-Rose BowlUSC8.January 2-Sugar BowlAlabama9.January 5-Tositos Fiesta BowlTexas10.BCS Championship BowlFloridaTie Breaker 1International Bowl Jan 3BuffaloTie Breaker 2How Many Yards will Sam Bradford (Oklahoma) throw for against Florida?289.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:44 am |
  12. Eleanor

    It is becoming tiring watching and listening to the media having a field day with everything Muslim these days. Muslims are not assimilated. They live in tight knit communities. When you live like that you practice what others in the community practice. Assimilated Americans of every ilk are less religious because we are allowed to think for ourselves. I believe the founders called it "enlightenment". If you lived in the year 1600 in Spain you would have been a very religious Catholic not because you were necessarily religious in your heart but rather because your life and welfare would have been at stake if you were not. Muslims are hundreds of years behind the times. That's what makes them religious, no choice in their community. Christians and Jews have been American for a very long time. We are thinking for ourselves these days, and religious when we want to be, or not.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:08 am |
    • William Shelton

      Eleanor, I am "assimilated". In fact, there was no need for me to assimilate; I am eleventh generation American. Take your intolerant balderdash elsewhere.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:30 am |
  13. jon

    Themore important questions are why are Muslims more violent, why do they treat women like cattle and why are they still living in the stone age?

    December 4, 2011 at 6:08 am |
    • DavidCharles

      The real question is how we can counter media-induced stereotypes that program people like you to spew ignorance.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:19 am |
  14. Eli

    Oh, and Kat–since you never told me where you heard that "katal" means "to fight back in self-defense", I present you with this link–from a Muslim site!


    "The other word is "Katal", meaning: to kill."

    Whoops! Better find some new propaganda there, mate.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:02 am |
    • Kat

      from the books of interpretations....the correct meaning of the word is to fight back in self-defense, not to initiate aggression, as the Koran clearly says in other verses..."for God does not love transgressors" in context to wars

      December 4, 2011 at 6:17 am |
    • Eli

      Kat, you have yet to show me a single reputable source for it saying that. I have provided you with definitions from both secular and religious (Muslim) sources. Your propaganda has failed. Nice attempt, but a pitiful one.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:20 am |
    • Eli

      More sources, in addition to the ones I have already given you:
      http://online.ectaco.co.uk/main.jsp;jsessionid=bc303488070b2e7c3c30?do=e-services-dictionaries-word_translate1&direction=1&status=translate&lang1=23&lang2=ar&source=kill (second result)

      I think I have made my point by now. Again, I pity you immensely for being so brainwashed, and I hope you snap out of it one day.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:27 am |
    • Kat

      Eli, any child can tell you word by word translation is not a good way of understanding scripts or texts. You must read the full context and various interpretations in light of historical events when the verses were revealed.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:33 am |
    • Eli

      Kat, again, you are missing the point. In NO context–in no translation–does it mean "to fight back in self-defense". There is not a single source that says that it does. You are trying to reconcile an evil and vile faith with logic and failing at it. Sad.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:34 am |
    • Kat

      Eli, yes there is....katel (verb) is when someone fights back, that is how the word is used. Oktul is when one initiates aggression. I know because I studied it in school.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:41 am |
    • Eli

      You "know because you studied it in school" yet you cannot give me a single source saying so and every actual source says you're wrong. Cool.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:42 am |
  15. Beefburger

    Why are they more "religious"? Maybe because they don't want their head cut off whith some dou.chebag yelling "ALLU AHKBAR!". 2 divisions, Shia and Sunni, of the same religion killing each other over minor theological differences. Could you imagine the carnage if Baptists did the same with their 12 divisions? The "religion of peace" sure has a lot of their own body parts being blown to various bits. Face it, the whole religion is based on the rich Muslims getting more women in their harem and the poor dumb guys getting killed for them by being told that they will have all of the pu.ssy they want after they are dead. It used to be 144 vir.gins then it went to 72 and lowered again, what is it down to now? 3 World of Warcraft vir.gins and no one ever said if they are male or female. You are gonna get a dude that is a fat acne ridden gamer geek.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:01 am |
    • johanna

      hahahahahaha – beefburger, you made my day with the gamer geek comment. brilliant...

      December 4, 2011 at 6:05 am |
  16. lance.hemmert

    It's because Islam is very simple to follow. It requires no thought, just submission to authority. Scary stuff.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:00 am |
  17. AB

    Muslims are more religious because of the Scripture.
    When anyone with open mind takes the time and study the final Book very carefully the Truth becomes evident. Taking the time understanding and educating (go to scholars if req'ed) are the focal points; because there are messages in the Scripture if taken out of context unfortunately one may get away with wrong impressions.

    December 4, 2011 at 5:58 am |
    • Sonny

      The quotes I made are from their scripture. Islam is not a religion but a theological/political construction that has never come close to being anything but an excuse to treat women as slaves and any non- believer as an enemy.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:16 am |
    • Muslims yuck

      How old was Mohammed youngest wife ??you no don't you ??child molester that's who most Christians and Jews believe !!what a sick so called religion !!!!

      December 4, 2011 at 6:31 am |
  18. NoGr8rH8r

    Ignorance, lack of education and fear is why they're more religious. : )

    December 4, 2011 at 5:57 am |
    • Pj


      December 4, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  19. Creaturz

    The experts are confusing rituals with the ideal it measures the level of religiousness in a person.

    December 4, 2011 at 5:57 am |
    • Creaturz

      By the same measure then, Catholics are the most devote, which we know isn't true.

      December 4, 2011 at 5:58 am |
  20. Martin

    I'm guessing knowing that there is a good chance you'll get your head cutoff or killed by your own family for changing religion or acting against your religion has something to do with it. Just go to any Muslim country and start preaching whatever religion in a park and see what happens.

    December 4, 2011 at 5:56 am |
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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.