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. wisdom4u2

    Muslims are more religious because they aren’t aware that Jesus died for their sins, making ‘religion’ null and void. Religion always says what you ‘can’ and ‘can not’ do…Jesus says it already has been done ….by His shed Blood. Amen and Amen!

    December 3, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • TheMendicantBias

      Spoken like an idiot preaching to idiots. LOL.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      Only an idiot would have reply with your null and void words, bozo!

      December 3, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      *replied* ha.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  2. AFT

    "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."

    So basically this means that the Muslim world has not yet evolved. I agree with this statement. They're stuck in a barbaric past.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • Realist

      Exactly. The only tech advances they had was when the seat Holy Roman Empire was moves to Constantinople. After the seat was moved back to Rome, a vacuum occurred and Islam reverted to their barbaric roots.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
  3. Realist

    Actually, the reason is that Islam is a violent religion that subjugates their followers. Any deviation from what the leaders say is dealt with swiftly and viciously. All religions are evil and brainwashing, Islam is just the worst: Make an image of Muhammad; die. Damage the Koran; die. Talk against the leaders; die.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  4. Boris Hadenuf

    Well, all I can say is, I'm glad Mrs. Hadenuf does NOT have to walk around in PUBLIC in a BEDSHEET. I happen to think she is bodacious and awesome, and I am proud that men look at her in admiration.

    SO, anyone who thinks women should walk around in BEDSHEETS is going to have ME in their FACE.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  5. Mark Wolfson

    If parents of all religions would just stop indoctrinating their children and let them decide if religion is right for them when they are old enough to make a choice based on personal beliefs, and cultural mores, we would see organized religion all but disappear in just a few generations.

    You do NOT need man-made religious dogma to be a moral person. Nor should women be subjugated to lower-class status just because it says so in a book written hundreds of years ago. I find it almost funny when Muslim women say they are treated equally in Islam when only they have to cover their heads (and sometimes there entire bodies and faces) in the name of modesty. All so that Muslim men won't feel "temptation." What, don't Muslim women also get the same physical urges? Of course they do and so Muslim men should also wear the burqua out of respect. But Islam is a heavily male dominated doctrine and so that will never happen. Just check this out... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp3Eam5FX58. There are literally dozens of videos like this on YouTube.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Brian

      Actually you kinda do, otherwise morality becomes completely subjective. There would be no right or wrong, just enforcement of power.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Dan W

      This is a common atheist assertion, but they have no doctrine they can be held accountable for. Orthodox Jews have 613 commandments they have to follow, but there is no collection of works by which atheists have agreed are the foundation for moral behavior. Many atheists will claim that it is an innate sense of right and wrong but that feeling is subjective without a basis for comparison.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:46 am |
  6. you gotta be kidding me

    The reason Muslims are so religious is:
    *Fear of leaving the religion
    *State enforced ignorance
    *Lack of choices

    December 3, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
  7. Afrad

    Most comments are nothing but a pat on the back of one's own pre-conceived convictions and opinions about Islam, with complete disregard to the article's actual content.

    Let me tell you why Muslims are more committed to their religion: It makes sense. There is one God, to whom you may pray directly. There are several human messenger, among which Muhammad was just another one. (Jesus, Moses, Abraham, etc. are others). The same cannot be said about other religions, such as Christianity which got corrupted when the holly human prophet Jesus somehow morphed into a triple-headed sort of deity.

    That is why in Muslim communities, the more educated people become, the MORE religious people get (I know this for a fact), while in non-Muslim communities, the exact opposite is true.

    Long story short, stop and consider that Muhammad was an actual messenger of God. Read a neutral book on his life. It just might change your life (and afterlife). What could be more important?

    December 3, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Dan W

      Most of the people commenting are atheist. They think that believers are uneducated and that science has dispelled the idea of G-d.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:21 am |
  8. Ibno Malik

    god with lower g or God with Upper G our god muslim god is Allah asking muslims from above seven skys to worship and folow the prophets steps, sor are you gonna desobey him and folow humains just like you>>>>???

    December 3, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  9. Robert

    It seems interesting that most reasonable people recognize islam for what it is yet the media and politicians continue to soft sell the concept. To what end, I wonder?

    December 3, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  10. AC

    Hey there Washington.

    Just another possible sign that the National Media might be run/influenced by Islam.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Dan W

      It's because Christians, Muslims, and the Jewish people ultimately all believe the same thing. It's just that the Christians and the Christian media are in awe of how pious Muslims can be, terrorism and jihad aside.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  11. John

    The perception is that Muslims (or other extremely religious people) in other countries have fewer "options" than people do in other parts of the globe. When "all you have" is religion, you pursue it with zeal. I think "Gretchen" is spot-on in her post. Well said!

    December 3, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  12. Dan W

    I find it interesting that atheists are the first to swarm a story on religion. The opposite of love isn't hate, it's apathy. Putting this much energy into hating religion just means deep down you want to believe in something, but religion has turned you off of G-d. If your feelings about G-d were feelings of ambivalence and disbelief, you wouldn't have clicked on the link to this story.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Dan W

      But here you are, like a moth to the flame, and like a positive charge to a negative one. Dispel your negativity and leave believers to their believing.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • Observer

      Put out a story about gays and many hypocritical Christians crawl out of the woodwork to quotes passages that encourage hatred (never the Golden Rule). Those same people ignor the greater number of Christians who commit adultery by remarrying. It's pick and choose hypocrisy.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • Observer

      "leave believers to their believing."

      That should work BOTH ways. Unfortunately, it doesn't. Many believers aren't content to practice their religion at home and in their places of worship. They show no respect for others by trying to force their beliefs on them and deny equal rights.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • Dan W

      I agree that the religious should not be in the business of conversion. But at some point every religion becomes a tool of a person whose will is to control people and not to enlighten them.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  13. Archon

    Because they are less educated.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Dan W

      Do you have any books memorized cover to cover? Let alone a book like uses obscure language?

      December 3, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • Archon

      I was referring more to the fact that if you are educated enough about the world around you, you realize religion is bunch of silly nonsense replaced long ago by science.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • Dan W

      It was not replaced by science. Science is just hot headed enough to claim the ability to dispel all religion as myth, but at the same time they have gaping holes in almost all of their theories. I would suggest waiting to condemn believers until physics claims that it's done with it's work trying to understand the universe.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Archon

      "gaping holes" – no. Incomplete theories, yes. But your missing the point. Science is grounded on facts that can be proven. Religion is a bunch of nonsense and hearsay. There is not a single shred of evidence supporting the existence of a god. Not to mention the concept of an all-knowing and all-powerful god is logically impossible.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • Dan W

      What evidence would satisfy you? A picture of G-d? A recording of his voice? A postcard from Heaven? I've played this game with atheists before, you don't even know what kind of proof would satisfy you.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:18 am |
    • Archon

      As in science, any evidence that can be validated by experiment. I'm not picky 😉 For example, I can prove the theory of gravity by jumping.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • Dan W

      Can you prove that gravity is the a single force produced by gravitons or by centripetal force? Heaven is quantifiable, it's only a matter of time before science figures out how to decipher the image that's been obscured by the visible color spectrum. If we were able to prove the existence of G-d so easily it would remove the need for free will, until the day of the 'final correction' keep making questionable decisions. Free will is only a temporary condition. =P

      December 4, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • Archon

      I can provide equations that state how far from the ground I will go based on the force applied against it, how long I will stay in the air, etc. These results are consistent with experiment. As long as they are I have scientifically validated theory of gravity. The underlying origins of the gravitational force are inconsequential to that theory. How do you define Heaven. Is it a physical location? If so, where is it? What physical evidence of it do you have? There is nothing to decipher from the visible spectrum ... we can see it. Not sure what you argument of free will is, but we have it. Easy to prove too.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Dan W, I will become a believer when you arrange for me to have lunch with your god and during lunch, your god eliminates hunger around the world, as reported by independent observers, without taking retribution on me or anyone else, for my insolence and skepticism. Seems to me such proof would not be too much trouble for any reasonably competent god.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Dan W, and after you done are arranging this simple proof for your god, please "quantify" heaven, and name the scientists or scientific organizations that are working on "deciper(ing) the image that's being obscured."

      December 4, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • Dan W

      Archon – Religious people feel the same way about their belief; the details are inconsequential and their belief is all they need. Having an equation for something does not negate it's mystery. If the equation for the observation is all you need to satisfy your curiosity then your curiosity is only skin deep. If you could provide an equation for making prayers reality then it would be nothing more than a system that could be exploited, hence the reason and the need for unanswered prayers.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • Dan W

      Hot Air Ace – I can sense the fight in you words. I am not here for a fight, I am here to expand my understanding of the human condition. You may assume that existence has no meaning which would lead you to believe that lunch with G-d would be without consequence, but in reality it would negate the need for our physical existence.

      December 4, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • Archon

      The equations that define a physical phenomenon are a complete description of that phenomenon and therefore much more than "skin deep". If something cannot be observed directly or indirectly, then it doesn't exist. Belief/faith try to make more of something than there is to it by accepting additional information as truth without an evidence or observations to prove it.

      December 4, 2011 at 1:11 am |
    • Dan W

      I just typed a very elegant response, but it didn't show. Oh well.

      December 4, 2011 at 1:22 am |
    • Dan W

      The only thing that is complete in the equation is the math required to define how long something will take to happen. But why it's happening and what are the driving forces behind the phenomenon are still largely a mystery. Is it because of gravitons or is it because of centripetal force? Is it a combination of both? Or is it because of forces that we do not yet fully understand? There is nothing complete about our understanding of gravity except how to mathematically represent how long it takes for something to fall. The equation for gravity is likely much longer if you are going to explain it in terms of what is actually happening rather than by defining it as what your eye can see.

      December 4, 2011 at 1:25 am |
    • Dan W

      Just because something is outside our visual acuity does not mean that it does not exist. Our universe i painted in colors we can see and in 'colors' we cannot. I am not Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, but I know G-d exists. I do not simply think or believe He does, I know it.

      December 4, 2011 at 1:30 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Dan W, I am not looking for fight – I am merely asking you to back up your assertions. You claimed that atheists do not know what proof they require and I gave you a clear answer as to what would make me believe. You claimed heaven is quantifiable and I asked for further details. In both cases you are now waffling, unable to support your previous statements.

      Then you compound your penchant for making "silly" statements by claiming you "know" god exits! I won't waste anyone's time by asking how you know – a direct fact based answer would not likely be the result. I suggest you think you know many things but in fact you know very little.

      December 4, 2011 at 8:38 am |
  14. mark432

    Everyone loves a good story but really "have a good time all the time because you don't get nothing when you die". Good Luck!

    December 3, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  15. Jim J

    Theology? More like permanent brain damage from banging your head against the floor five times a day since early childhood.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  16. Colin

    As an atheist, it is fun sitting back and watching Muslims, Christians and Jews squabble over who knows best the wishes of the sky-fairy they all believe in.

    Jews say they are somehow superior and the "chosen people," Mulsims are convinced that their prophet rode a magic horse to Jerusalem and ascended into heaven and Christians think that god impregnated a virgin with himself, to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to forgive an original sin we now all know never happened.

    Like watching children playing in the yard.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • ReligionIsInsanity

      Exactly. I wish we could ship all the believers off the planet – then we could get down to the real business of becoming human.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • Dan W

      You are just trying to provoke a fight. Atheists like to use 'sky fairy' as a way of getting under peoples skin. Go pick a fight elsewhere.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • HotAirAce

      No provocation is required for a "my imaginary god has a bigger dick than your imaginary god" fight.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:39 am |
    • Dan W

      Your choice of words displays the lack of respect that you have for your fellow human beings, with or without G-d.

      December 4, 2011 at 1:07 am |
  17. AC

    The koran actually mentions converting non-believers and killing infidels. No other religion does this, except certain cults!

    December 3, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • John

      I've heard it said by religious scholars, that the only good Muslim is a militant extremist. I'm by no means an expert on Islam, but this is simply what I've been told by those educated in this field.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • ReligionIsInsanity

      Is this some kind of joke? Pretty much all of the old testament is a record of the tribes of Israel slaughtering everyone who wouldn't worship "their" god. And this is what's hysterical in the end – you've got these three groups worshipping the same vicious, violent deity – all claiming they're the "chosen people" – and all a bunch of moronic fools.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • Amanda

      So, you do not know that The Quran said "There is no compulsion in religion". Idiot!

      December 4, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Dan W

      If you're honestly trying to converse with one another speak at eye level. Don't try and cut each other down with name calling. Cite some works and quote some reference material for goodness sake. You lose the ability to impact one's belief cycle as soon as you start calling them names.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Dan W, you are a phony! You want everyone to play nice-nice but when asked for facts, you duck and drive and run away faster than Herbie.

      December 4, 2011 at 8:42 am |
  18. Washington

    What is happening to CNN? All the headline articles here seem to be about the virtues of Islam lately.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
  19. Starr

    It could also have to do with the fact that Muslims truly believe in their religion. Islam did not contradict science like Christianity did...Christians have constantly edited the Bible in order to "keep it up" with the times. Christians hundreds of years ago were confused at why their religion did not agree with scientific discoveries. The Catholic Church itself persecuted people who said the Earth was NOT the center of the universe! In addition, Islam has long let women divorce in the original text...Christianity had to be changed in order to allow divorce.
    In addition, Islam is more intertwined in daily life...Muslims pray five times a day! How can you forget your religion when you pray five times a day?!

    December 3, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
  20. ALI


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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.