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.

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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. Really

    @Hitler II ROFL compound interest

    December 5, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • Hitler II

      Bless you.

      December 5, 2011 at 1:15 am |
  2. kyle

    Dear CNN,
    In this article you detail many things about one religious tradition and explore the tensions and pillars (no pun intended) of that tradition. However, I think something really exciting to do – visionary, even – would be to explore some universal religious concepts (the Cosmic Wheel, for example) and bring out the many things that bring different faith traditions together. Today was my school's Holiday Concert, and while I go to a Catholic school, prayers from four major faith traditions were read (Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and Christian). One could not help but recognize the similar language in the prayers, and how powerful it was! That's the kind of thing worth writing about; articles like these only serve to cement in the boundaries we place between us and "the other." Food for thought...

    December 5, 2011 at 12:59 am |
  3. Alex

    It's quite simple actually...Europeans (western world) spearheaded the age of discover and colonization. Once you you start seeing and experiencing things that religion says should not exist you start doubting...add to that the fact that religion is a luxury of civilized man...a luxury that can only be afforded when your community doesn't have to struggle every day for its survival..which was the case of the colonists...and the fact that its difficult to keep your foot on someones neck when they are 3k miles away..which the colonists were..it's easy to see how the catholic church lost its hold on western man. Not too many years before that the catholic church was just as barbaric and murderous as Islam is today. Personally I just don't see any way the arab world can free itself from its religious problem.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • Really

      Actually you just answered it yourself that Arabs should become colonist themselves.

      December 5, 2011 at 1:00 am |
  4. shucknjive

    Don't you mean, why are they more eager to kill others???

    December 5, 2011 at 12:56 am |
  5. Roderick

    A couple of things; Christians USED to be as much or more "religious" than Muslims until the liberals of society kept chipping away at Christianity's influence on our societies. It is a FACT that most of universities and hospitals in the West were founded by Christians. It is no wonder that when Muslims look at the West and Christians, they see morally debasement.

    A question that should be asked is HOW did Indonesia become the most populous Muslim country - since historically Indonesia was not Muslim. Was it through sheer ideological supremacy of Islam or was it through as the Qur'an prescribes, "submission" - forcing people to submit or die or pay a protection tax? Every time Islam is put up against other ideologies, in a free-market manner, Islam fails. This is true of every "religion" that was born out of compulsion. Take Mormonism for instance, which is very similar to Islam - both claim their prophets came to correct the former religions. Both Islam and Mormonism have a violent origin, violence by its founder. Whereas Christianity is different in 2 major ways: 1) Jesus didn't claim to merely be a prophet from God; He claimed to BE GOD. 2) Jesus never advocated violence to force people to accept Christianity.
    So, Muslims AREN'T "more religious"; they are merely more dedicated to their founder, much in the same way cults are dedicated to their founders; i.e. Mormons.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • D

      And you can define Christians having been more "religious" than Muslims how? Right. you can't.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:57 am |
    • Really

      Jesus never said I am God kneel before me. What are you talking about ? You just have incidents in bible where someone think they saw people praying to Jesus it might as well in Muslims terms have been that Jesus was leading the prayer as is in Islam.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Amish. Not even the Muslims can handle their level of Faith.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • paq

      Mormons, the thousands I personally know, are not dedicated to Joseph Smith. We are dedicated to Jesus Christ who called a prophet to restore to the earth the church and teachings Christ wanted to be on the earth. It is evident, though many Christian sects don't claim to have prophets, they have founders who try to follow the teachings as they see them. Were it not so there would only be one Faith and not the many which came of one faith. I am sure you're particular faith/church can be traced back and found to have branched off of others many times.

      And the violence. Yes, there were some people who made bad decisions which were not inspired of God, and others who did what was needed to defend their lives, liberties, families and freedom of religion. Or maybe you were talking about the thousands of acts of violence towards the early LDS church members which ultimately led them to leave an area to be kicked out by mobs and force to a new area and the same thing happen until they came to Utah.

      Unfortunately even in Christianity much violence was had in that name, wrongfully. This doesn't mean Christ, in whom my faith is rooted, was wrong in his teachings.

      I encourage you in your good pursuits and commend all righteousness you fulfill, but must say you are misguided when it comes to Mormonism. I don't know much about Muhammad, but if you understand him as correctly as you do Mormonism then you are also incorrect in those conclusions.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:54 am |
  6. Kris

    Muslims simply have a better marketing program than other religions. If you believe that people believe what is told/preached to them, then Islam, with most sects promoting five praying events each day, has the best conditioning/marketing program. If I read/heard/consumed any type of information (true or not) five times per day, eventually I'd believe it.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • Really

      That is the thing that drives people away from Islam no one has the time to pray five times a day. What marketing strategy are you talking about ?

      December 5, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"If I read/heard/consumed any type of information (true or not) five times per day, eventually I'd believe it."

      You mean like FoxNews, MsNBC, BBC, and CNN .... they are 24 hour a day information ... do you find yourself weak minded enough to believe everything they tell you?

      December 5, 2011 at 1:01 am |
  7. mjmj

    oh wow, you people are going crazy over an article that represented facts only..
    this is not cnn opinion, but Islam became very noticeable and a good topic for today's news.

    anyway, Islam is more complete than Christianity in my opinion.. And this is because Islam did not lose any of its weight during the years, while the bible changed thousand times (remember the 4 gospels—the guys who u truly don’t know which one to believe). This leads us to the fact that most of Christians aren't following the exact same bible written 2000 years ago. So basically (Christians with name only)

    Another point that I want to mention here is, do you all remember from where Judaism came from? Middle East, how about Christianity? Middle East. Islam? Middle East as well.. Therefore the same ppl who were able to make the European ppl convert to Christianity, are also the same ppl who make them convert to Islam..

    THINK please. It all came from Middle East. Mohammed story is not a lie, why would Middle Eastern lie about him and not lie about Jesus or Moses or David…etc!
    Jesus was not European! He was Middle Eastern!! All the prophets came from this area!
    Why can’t we link things together!?

    December 5, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • Answer

      "THINK please. It all came from Middle East. Mohammed story is not a lie, why would Middle Eastern lie about him and not lie about Jesus or Moses or David…etc!"

      Look at the indoctrination from your own words. It's so laughable 🙂

      December 5, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • Really

      Well something is special about ME they even get oil even if they have desert.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • Know What

      "Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!" - Golda Meir 1973

      December 5, 2011 at 1:04 am |
    • Answer

      Do you want to do a sophisticated analogy of your words, and do it comparatively, against that to the choice of cheese?

      Here I'll show you.

      The ancient Cheese of christianity which came from Europe has morphed into so many varieties that it no longer resembles its past form and shape. It still has it's hold in cheese lovers worldwide. It's been processed into so many flavors and still 'reeks' the same. It still is still produced roughly the same way but with different ingredients. It is christian cheese in name only. Still it is christian cheese.

      However Islam cheese has the same aging process long held and passed on. It still has it's same weight it holds today as the past. It still stinks the same as it did 2000 years ago. Do you all still remember where Judaism cheese came from? .. bla bla.

      [Insert your stupid insipid stuff] Therefore the same ppl who were able to make the European ppl convert to Christianity cheese, are also the same ppl who make them convert to Islam cheese..

      Yes it all still stinks today – this cheesy religious crap.

      December 5, 2011 at 1:07 am |
  8. podunk

    those silly muslims

    December 5, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • Really

      Yeah how did they dare to become more religious than Christians. Now people need to go to church five times a day just to compete with them not happening.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:46 am |
  9. Santhosh Kuwait

    Dear Editor,
    If you study the life of these people (Muslims)you will come to know the real fact, They like to pray in front of every one, it's only to show other's about there faith in such things. For them Mohammed is like a God, same like an idol. Jesus is the only way to the heaven, no other shortcut. Just study the life of Jesus and Mohd, Jesus lived a sinless life, because he is God. There are many things man can't do, but there are also things God can't do. .... God cannot sin.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:39 am |
    • Answer

      You and a muslim will always be killing yourselves for this fact. We see it everyday.. all around the world.

      Could you all [the religious nuts] just get it over with – make it quick?! Thanks.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • Tarik

      Actually our prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him and all the prophets such as Jesus the christ) is not seen as God, he's the most noble MAN and the greatest PROPHET but he's NOT God nor do we worship him. In the Quran it says "Say (oh Mohammad): "I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration has come to me, that your God is one God: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner." 18:110 .

      You said: but there are also things God can't do

      I ask: can God die? Does he need to eat and drink and as a result need to deficate?

      Islam is: Worship God alone he has no partners and there are no dieties other than Him. There is nothing worthy of worship except Him alone he has no son nor does he has a mother nor is there anything like Him the glourious the all mighty. This is what your first commandment says and this is what Jesus the christ preached and this is what all the prophets preached. and this is the only path to salvation

      December 5, 2011 at 1:21 am |
    • Answer

      Rant on about the salvation crap..

      You surely need to be saved due to your own level of fear of death. Those who realize that there is no afterlife can care less about your delusions. Keep on lying to yourself.

      December 5, 2011 at 1:54 am |
  10. Jona

    Islam is not just a religion alone, it is also a political system, with an indoctrination.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:38 am |
  11. b4bigbang

    Know What

    If a god wrote that book, he was very sloppy to leave such poor doc.umentation and evidence.

    You tout this "God" as omniscient, but an all-knowing being would have known that these writings could be and would be so easily mistranslated, misconstrued, misunderstood and misinterpreted and that they would not be believable to anyone who truly investigates them.

    If u really investigated the history of the Bible, u would find that there are major archeological discoveries that have put the "bible has changed from the original and is an edited error-ridden book" theory to rest years ago.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:29 am |
    • Really

      Yes but certain doubts are necessary to things to happen. We are not here just for our judgement there is a higher purpose just as there is no Good with out evil being present. Our God is a logical God that means illogical contradictions are out.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • Answer

      People who do not know how a book is put together – from pieces of paper and glue are the least bit interested in the facts of how the bible or koran came together. Hence they still believe it is the complete truth.

      It's just logic that you add as many pieces of paper together to make up a book, but you have to consider what is being left out. In that last statemetn is the heart of the matter. One of pure acceptance by morons who do not understand how a book is made. Poor fools.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • Really

      @b4bigbang Forgot to mention Bible still has a lot of errors.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • Know What


      There is not a shred of verified evidence for any of the supernatural beings or events in the Bible. It only tells about the fantasies of those early Middle Eastern Hebrews.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:52 am |
  12. Hitler II

    [Mugger]: "Your money or your life." [No response] "I said: YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE!" [Jew]: "I'm thinking ...."

    December 5, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Maxx

      hitler ii;

      You still here? Don't you have something else to do like catching up on 'Mien Kompf' or studying the waffen ss manual on how to gas little children to death?

      Good evening.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • Really

      Where do you heil from ?

      December 5, 2011 at 12:38 am |
    • Hitler II

      No, I'm not reading Hitler this evening, and I'm more interested in exposing Jew atrocities in the Middle East than wasting my time on Jew brats.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • Maxx

      hitler ii;

      OMG, for a moment I thought you were a Palestinian infiltrator. Is that true? Jewish atrocities! Would you care to compare that against your Hitlertarian history? Really? Would you honor us all and attempt to support your claim based on Israel's current political and military climate facing the Iranian nuclear crisis coupled with the Muslim Brotherhood's takeover of Egypt leaving the Jews exposed on three theaters as they daily receive rocket fire from Hamas, Hezballah, etc.. all the while being advised of restraint by the US and the UN. Good luck!

      Good luck.

      Good evening.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • Hitler II

      Maxx, you're having a Jew meltdown. Try to relax and think about something pleasant, like compound interest.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • Maxx

      hitler ii;

      I'M having a Jewish meltdown? Have you read your own posts? No, I'm having a Nazi Meltdown. I stand in opposition to everything you stand for, just like our vanishing WWII vets. Your obvious hatred of another ethnic group is most disturbing as you have not demonstrated your Aryan supremacy in any way. Your hate posts have obviously been noted – just go back and read them. Maybe you should think about something else like -therapy.

      Good evening.

      December 5, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • Hitler II

      Maxx, you are an impudent Jew. Find another foil for your neurotic babbling. I'm not in the mood.

      Good evening (jew)

      December 5, 2011 at 1:12 am |
  13. Really

    Bring on the hate wagon.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • Hate Wagon

      Here I am!
      Put your hate in here, next to the Islamic suicide bombers!
      Everybody all hating each other?
      I hate that hating hate hater!
      Haters gonna hate! And I'm the wagon!

      December 5, 2011 at 2:01 am |
  14. zedds


    December 5, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • Answer

      An angry muslim lover.. nice.

      Turn off the caps.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Maxx

      Thanks but;

      I think I discovered true Islam on 9/11 while I watched the towers collapse in NY. I don't think your website offering is going to appease anything.

      Good evening.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:32 am |
    • ashrakay

      What's with the nutters and all caps?

      December 5, 2011 at 1:13 am |
    • truthBtold

      Muslims worship a child molester, a child rapist, a murder, and Mohammad is an evil man who told tall tales to his followers so they would stay with him. Islam is a false doctrine religion and everyone who partakes of it is going to Hell according to the ONLY true book which is the bible. Mohammad hated Christians and Jews and in the Quran it says to kill them all. Muslim is the worst religion to get into because every Muslim sold their soul to Satan. Islam is an evil religion because Mohammad was an evil satanic person and look at the behavior of all who follow The false prophet Mohammad. Tell me, If Islam is such a kind religion, why are there no Christian churches in any Muslim country? and what happens to ANY Muslim who reverts to Christianity which is the TRUE faith and belief? STOP FOLLOWING SATAN AND START FOLLOWING GOD ALMIGHTY AND HIS ONLY SON JESUS CHRIST!!!!

      December 5, 2011 at 1:15 am |
    • ashrakay

      @truthBtold, and christians worship a god that commands the murder of women and children, accepts ra-pe, and gives instructions on how to handle slaves. Congratulations! You sure picked a better fantasy to buy into.

      December 5, 2011 at 1:47 am |
  15. Reemo

    Why can't people just read the article and move on. The comments are so horrible. I mean come on people! Be more mature! It's so sad how media has brainwashed people and their common sense. Just because a religion is a "problem" because of radicals that don't represent a population of religion doesn't mean you should hate on the religion. Hate on the radicals! They are uneducated and don't know what their doing! Go back in history and look at how religion has been such a huge part in conflicts and war and so much more. Anyone can go back in time and find the worst time of a religion. At this time it's Islam's worst time because of these radicals. Doesn't mean you should see a religion as the worst religion in the world because of what's happening in your lifetime. The world goes on! Example: Bloody Mary killing the protestants to bring back Roman Catholicism. I don't go around saying their horrible and all of Catholics slay people. Please people get your information right! Go to the right sources. People would be glad to answer your questions at a local mosque and ask for a shiekh.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • Answer

      Oh get off your high horse. This is the internet. A connected forum that won't be controlled – a force for change. For any topic, to fuel hate or stave it. You aren't the voice of reason telling people to "just shut up". People hate it when you tell them to "shut up" over the internet. You fool.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • chthys

      No. We are supposed to hate the religion, and are being led to do so by our media. Why? Because 70% of the world's remaining oil reserves are beneath muslim countries and we need an excuse for war in order to take control of them. If these reserves were in India, for example, we would be hating Hindus instead.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • Andy Anderson

      It makes more sense to 'hate on' the notion that it's a good idea to believe in things without evidence to demonstrate that they are actually true, and call doing so 'faith' and pretending it's a virtue.

      December 5, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • ashrakay

      Would you rather we go into the churches and mosques to expose the delusions?

      December 5, 2011 at 1:17 am |
  16. Answer

    I have question for those well educated fanatic muslim supporters...

    "Does a muslim women who blows herself up in the name of Islam get the same amount of male virgins in your paradise?"

    **I love to laugh at this one 🙂

    December 5, 2011 at 12:18 am |
    • Maxx

      O.K, I'm in on this one...

      What is promised to females in heaven? 70 virgin males? Is that in the Koran? Anybody; please respond. I honestly do not know.

      Good evening.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • Mariah001

      If she wants too..yeah! muslims believe that in paradise all wishes come true..now look at the mirror and laugh your butt out!

      December 5, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • Answer

      It is a logical fact that when any man or women creates an image of "heaven" or a "paradise" that he/she will think god is their slave. Just look at the proof of anyone typing out what they will get or get fulfilled when they die. This is a really good self-delusion.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:29 am |
    • Joe

      In the Koran there are a few things promised. A creek, a fruit tree and a chaste woman. The 72 virgins came from clerics. Also, women are worth half that of a man, at most. So, doubtful.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:29 am |
    • Enlightened

      You can laugh your head off cause your are reading made for morons islamic study and not the true islamic faith. By the way heaven is whatyou wish for. Happiness your family your lovers everything will be eternal in heaven.

      I do not know where you read the 72 virgin thing may be quran translation by you ? crazyy is the word that spells you

      December 5, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • Alex

      @ JOE ... OK, so if women are only worth half of what a man is worth, if she blows herself up, does she only get 36 virgin men? who cares, gotta get back to my ham sandwich......

      December 5, 2011 at 12:35 am |
    • Answer


      "Happiness your family your lovers everything will be eternal in heaven."

      Give the illusion another boost to support your own need for it. That is so typical – your belief. When none has ever returned to tell the tale of a heaven you need to keep on rehashing just your claims about it. Poor suckers. Do everyone a favor and die and see if you can gain entrance to your heaven. Do it tonight thanks.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • Maxx

      O.K., but;

      I'm still looking for an answer from an Islamic position. Anyone out there, hello, please provide an answer. Thank you.

      Good evening.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • nonChristian

      Oh no no no....women when die BECOME these virgins. How do you keep up with the supply for such virgins anyway. My best bet is when a muslim woman dies she undergoes heavenly hymenoplasty and is given to terrorists as part of their "72 virgins in heaven" gift voucher.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • I Don't Get It

      Who'd want 36 virgin men?!

      December 5, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • ashrakay

      Heaven for a muslim women is that she gets to be a man and treat other women like cr-ap.

      December 5, 2011 at 1:19 am |
  17. chuck wagon

    8... walk as children of light:

    9(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

    10Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:17 am |
  18. Reemo

    You really have to look into where you get your information, if you don't know what your talking about it's better if you don't talk at all. Bashing a religion and saying nonsense. I think if you really have time to look up worst and wrong information that isn't true probably heard/read from the media or non-muslims who think they know everything about the religion. I think you should actually go to a local mosque and ask the questions to a real muslim/sheikh to get your questions answered and your information right. Anyone can go back in history and get the worst in religion and say that that religion is horrible. Going back before the U.S. was an independent country, in Europe the form of Christianity was what wars were fought over. Bloody Mary do you guys remember that? No one goes around saying Christianity is the most awful religion because that one women did that. Radicals are the problem here not the religion. Just because that religion is the "problem" and is considered the "bad" religion in the media in your life time doesn't mean it's true. Look back at history!! That's all I'm saying.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:11 am |
  19. WK

    This is just evolution in action. Since they kill those who believe differently, natural selection will favor those who are most fervent and fanatical.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • Enlightened

      Where do you get your moronic ideas. Put it in your thick skull that muslims do not kill those who think differently.
      Our religion teaches love and to love all living beings because they are created by Allah

      December 5, 2011 at 12:28 am |
    • An Infidel

      OK "Enlightened".. I've read the Koran, and Mohammeds biography, and History, And I've seen those passages that instruct you to "Kill them where you find them" I've read of Muhammeds raiding parties. I've charted the spread of Islam by conquest through History.

      If you follow Muhammed, do as he did.. grab your sword, mount your horse and go kill your enemies, and subdue the remaining cowards with taxation and no rights.
      Muhammed was a killer.. wake up!!! Everywhere Islam is.. there is war and bloodshed and hatred.


      December 5, 2011 at 12:48 am |
  20. b4bigbang

    another thing (besides your faries) that doesnt lend itself to lab test is String theory. maybe some day theyll have a lab test, but 4 now its solid theory w/no proof (called philosophy by one scientist, even tho Hawking buys into it.).
    But i digress, u dont see the point to honest investigation so just dismiss right?

    December 5, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • ashrakay

      No one is saying string theory is true. However scientist work to both verify or prove its existence or prove that it doesn't. We do this by testing in order to confirm or deny the reality. Once it has been confirmed it becomes a law of physics. Once a theory no longer can be supported, scientist don't continue to cling to it for the rest of existence, making excuses about why reality doesn't match up with their theory. Can you see the difference between science and religion now?

      December 5, 2011 at 1:24 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.