Muslim campaign looks to repair Sharia’s reputation
The organization’s PSA features Rais Bhuiyan, a man who was shot in the face as part of a revenge shootings post 9/11 but went on to lobby for the right of his shooter.
March 2nd, 2012
05:00 AM ET

Muslim campaign looks to repair Sharia’s reputation

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – A major American Muslim group is embarking on a national campaign Friday to clarify a word it says has been given a bad name by recent global and domestic politics: Sharia.

The Islamic Circle of North America says its effort is aimed at “educating Americans” on what it says is the noble meaning of Sharia through conferences, billboards, and TV and radio PSAs.

The group is also launching a national hot line to answer questions about Sharia and Islam.

For more than a billion Muslims around the world, Sharia describes a way of life, from dietary laws to a code of moral life. For some conservative American critics, the word is sinister – connoting a draconian legal code that they contend threatens to subvert American law.

Sharia was politicized in the post-9/11 world as the U.S. paid more attention to perceived threats from the Muslim world, said Zahid Bukhari, president of Islamic Circle of North America.

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More recently, Bukhari says Republican presidential candidates have used the word to foment Islamophobia.

“We should have a federal law that says Sharia law cannot be recognized by any court in the United States,” Newt Gingrich said to a standing ovation at the Values Voter Summit in Washington in 2010? “No judge will remain in office that tried to use Sharia law.”

“Some politicians like to abuse the word in this national spotlight they have,” Bukhari said. “They are trying to make it a dirty word.”

The campaign includes a website titled “Defending Religious Freedom: Understanding Sharia” listing ways people can get involved and answering questions about Sharia.

In the “Sharia FAQ” sections, it discusses what Sharia exactly is, whether it’s a threat and how it affects women.

“Muslims are taught to respect the laws of the land they live in as long as they can still effectively practice being Muslim,” the website says. “Islam is a faith, a way to be in a community with others and be in a relationship with God. Like other people of faith, whose values are inspired by religious tradition, Muslims can be and are engaged citizens.”

One public service announcement  features Rais Bhuiyan, who was shot in the face as part of a post-9/11 revenge killing but went on to lobby for the right of his shooter. “Join me in the fight against hate, ignorance and Islamophobia,” Bhuiyan says in the ad.

Islamic scholars admit the definition of Sharia is complex. There are multiple contexts of the word – theological, historical, contemporary – and different applications have different meanings.

“As Islam moved to different countries, it began to adapt to a historical context,” said Akbar Ahmed, chairman of Islamic studies at American University in Washington. “For example in Iran, Sharia means something slightly different than other countries.”

The religious meaning of the word, said Ahmed, is the path to righteousness.

But that changed in the public mind after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, according to Clark Lombardi, professor of Islamic law at University of Washington in Seattle.

“Sharia has become a political buzz word,” Lombardi said. “The word Sharia has an extremely wide and complex semantic tradition. To use the word is a fraught path.”

In 2010, Oklahoma voters approved a ban on imposing Sharia, though courts have blocked the measure from taking effect. Other states across the nation have mulled similar bans.

According to Lombardi and Ahmed, the proposed bans don’t make sense because implementing Sharia law in America “doesn’t add up.”

“This contemporary debate is slightly out of proportion,” Ahmed said. “Indonesia – they don’t have Sharia and they are a majority Muslim nation. If the Muslim community is 2% in America, how can 2%, even if everyone wanted it, impose Sharia on the 98%?”

Lombardi said what some may consider as a law inspired by Sharia could also be a law in line with the Judeo-Christian traditions.

“Let’s say that Muslims and Evangelicals both voted in a state, democratically, to ban gambling and drinking alcohol on the grounds that they both believe it is immoral,” Lombardi said. “Evangelicals because they find it in the Bible and Muslims because of their understanding of what God wants. Is the state applying Sharia law?”

Lombardi went on to say that some laws, whether they originate from secularism or from religion, can comply with Sharia. But that doesn’t necessarily mean those laws are based in Islam, said Lombardi.

“A law would not become Sharia law just because Muslims are behind it,” Lombardi said.

Some said the fear is escalating.

“We are almost reaching hysteria levels,” Ahmed said. “When people say, ‘Sharia is coming to America,’ I ask, ‘Who is bringing it?’ It doesn’t add up.”

But Frank Gaffney, president of the conservative American Center for Security Policy, said that concerns about Sharia law in the U.S. are valid.

“I am not concerned about these guys imposing Sharia on us tomorrow,” Gaffney said. “I am concerned, though, that that is exactly what they want to do in the future and are making progress in doing that.”

Gaffney said the Islamic Circle’s Sharia campaign would “only muddy the definition of Sharia further.”

Pamela Geller, an outspoken Sharia critic, agrees with Gaffney.

The campaign is an attempt to “whitewash or outright deny the elements of Sharia that conflict with Constitutional freedoms: the denial of the freedom of speech and the freedom of conscience, and the institutionalized discrimination and subjugation of women and non-Muslims,” Geller said.

In response to the ICNA program, Geller wrote in an email that a group she is affiliated with, Stop Islamization of Nations, will roll out a “multicity program to educate the American people on the true meaning of Sharia and the threat it poses to our cherished freedoms.”

This campaign will include billboards and radio ads – both of which were rolled out in the Kansas City area last week.

Harris Zafar, spokesman for the United States Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, says that opinions like Gaffney’s and Geller’s show no matter how much an organization focuses on a program, it will never reach everyone.

“There are always going to be the Pamela Gellers of the world,” Zafar said. “People who have their intentions and no matter what we educate, it is not going to connect with them.”

“This debate becomes a distraction from allowing us to talk about more meaningful things,” Zafar said. “We like having dialogues about spirituality, but we get distracted by conversations of Sharia, of jihad, of apostasy and the conversation becomes more about this is what Islam is not, as opposed to a proactive conversation about real Islam.”

The ICNA campaign plans to draw in its 30-35 chapters across the country and will be highlighted prominently at the group’s annual convention in May in Hartford, Connecticut.

"ICNA is making an honest attempt to reach out and connect to our fellow Americans and introduce them to our Islamic faith,” said Naeem Baig, ICNA’s vice president of public affairs.

“We see it as our responsibility to clarify misconceptions about American Muslims."

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- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Islamic law • Sharia

soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. Pete (DE)

    I suggest the muslims take their silly allah back to where it belongs. In the filth it was born of.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  2. rick nowels

    it's all the easter bunny.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  3. Asma Sheriff

    I find the non-Muslims very hateful and deceptive. I am not sure why they always resort to curses when they can't win an argument. And most of their arguments are based on lies, so they lose credibility to even have a decent dialogue with the Muslims. I love Islam and I pray that the good non-Muslims learn Islam from the proper authentic traditional sources.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • BRC

      You've made a bit of a generalized statement there. I am not a muslim (I am in fact an atheist), and like many other atheists I know (even some here) I do not use false information, nor do I curse or rashly insult your faith. That being said, I don't believe in it, there is no proof for it, and I have no intention of following it. The issue that I have with Sharia law, is the addition of the word law. to live a life following the path of Sharia because you feel it will bring you close to Allah is a noble thing for you, I'm sure it requires personal sacrifice and discipline. ANd that's all good and well FOR YOU. But it should only be for YOU, it is a personal philosophy. When it becomes law, as tends to happen in Islamic nations, not always but often, then people are FORCED to follow that path, even if they don't believe in it. Since there is absolutlely no proof that it is real, I believe it is fundamentally wrong to base laws on a religion, and to force people to follow a lifestyle they disagree with. So yes, follow the path of Sharia and the pillars of the Koran, I have no problem with that, and can happily discuss the merits/concerns of each; but I will actively oppose any measure that would require others to do the same.

      IF it helps, I feel exactly the same way about Jewish and Christian doctrines as well. there is value to leading a disciplined life that follows a strict code, and as a personal choice that's fine, but I will actively oppose any measure, law, or proposition that allows those BELIEFS to govern the way people live their lives as well.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  4. Rational Libertarian

    "For some conservative American critics, the word is sinister – connoting a draconian legal code that they contend threatens to subvert American law."

    Some conservative Americans want to bring in almost the exact same legal code drawn from Biblical law. Read Leviticus everybody, it makes Sharia seem almost reasonable.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • JohnR

      Conversely, a lot of non-conservatives oppose Sharia and all forms of religious law being imposed on society.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • W247

      Rational Libertarian

      Really? You are going to say that Christians are going to try to force Levitical law on everyone? Have you read the New Testiment? Do you know what Jesus says about the Law?

      March 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  5. Mark

    It is is legitimate to resist the implementation or normalization of Sharia law. This video is an excellent example of why we should be concerned. It's four minutes long, done by the NYTimes and features how those who hold to Sharia are pressuring moderates in Kano, Nigeria.


    March 2, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  6. Abu Yusuf

    There is no evidence that Sharia is bad for human beings. It might be bad for corrupt corporations, the deceptive media establishment, useless entertainment industries and the last but not the least – the freemasnic devil-worshipping baby-killing anti-christ loving war-mongering money-stealing zionist network of the world!

    The major issue that kuffar have with Sharia is the penal codes. Well, those penal codes ARE IN THE BIBLE AS WELL.
    Sharia has the most beutiful and just laws for mankind. Every day sincere Christians, Jews, Atheists, Hindus etc. are converting to this beautiful religion, not by force but by choice. Majority of these converts are women.

    There is a well organized hate group in the world specially in America and Europe that is propogating lies, hatred, falsehood, misinterpretation, misrepresntation, mockery etc against Islam. Guess what, it is exactly this kind if stuff, that is actually making the Muslims stronger in their faith. It's a win-win situation for the Muslims.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  7. William Demuth

    Philosophy based on ancient books?

    Murder, tourture, war and all manner of depravities are the basis of your morality and philosophy?

    Society would bebettter off dead.

    March 2, 2012 at 8:41 am |
  8. Reality

    Islam’s Koran and World Domination- a history lesson we all better learn

    "Mohammed could not have known the size of the world, but several passages in the Koran show that he envisioned Islam dominating all of it, however large it might be: “He it is who sent his messenger . . . that he may cause it [Islam] to prevail over all religions´(Koran 9:33, M.M. Ali; see also 48:28 and 61:9). M.M. Ali designates these three passages as “the prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam in the whole world.”

    Mohammed’s successors, the caliphs, quoted passages like these to inspire Muslim armies as they advanced out of Arabia, imposing Islam by the sword upon a peacefully unsuspecting Middle East and North Africa, as I described in the previous chapter.

    Islamic armies, imbued with what Mohammed claimed was divine authorization, imposed Islam by force over vast areas, all the while extorting wealth from subjugated Jews and Christians to fund their ongoing conquests. As I noted, major defeats at Tours, France, in A.D. 732, and again at Vienna, Austria, in A.D. 1683, halted Islam’s attempt to take all of Europe by force. Gradually Islamic forces were forced to retreat from Europe, except for part of the Balkans. But Islam has again set its sights on a conquest of Europe and of European civilization, wherever the latter has spread to North and South America and other regions. Muslim strategists ask their followers, Why do we find in these modern times that Allah has entrusted most of the world’s oil wealth primarily to Muslim nations?

    Their answer: Allah foresaw Islam’s need for funds to finance a final politico-religious victory over what Islam perceives as its ultimate enemy: Christianized Euro-American civilization. So, Islam follows Nazism, fascism and communism as the world’s latest hostile takeover aspirant.

    Nazis, fascists and communists failed. Does Islam have a better chance at success? I believe it will flounder if we awaken to its threat in time; yet, if there is not adequate planned resistance, Islam does have a better chance of succeeding. Communism’s world takeover attempt was guaranteed to fail because its economic policy was naively contrary to human nature. Advocating the rubric What is mine is thine, and what is thine is mine, communism failed to see that human nature will not keep those two balanced propositions in equilibrium. Like a female black widow spider consuming her mate, the latter part of the formula makes a meal of the former, leading to the collapse of any system based upon that formula.

    In contrast, political systems do well if they can persuade people to adhere to What’s mine is mine and What’s thine is thine maxims.

    Only if a strong religious incentive is added does such an idealistic formula have any long-term chance. Even then success will be spotty. But communism (and Nazism, for that matter) excluded religion. And that mistake was the final nail eventually clamping a lid on communism’s coffin. Communism, on a historical scale, perished while still in its childhood.

    Islam is not repeating communism’s mistake. Mating political cunning and incredible wealth with religious zeal, Islam does have a chance to succeed and will succeed unless major parts of the Western world unite to take appropriate countermeasures. But many Western leaders, unable to believe that a mere religion could possible be a serious political threat, keep proclaiming themselves as Islam-friendly, reasoning that all religions are good-aren’t they?

    A Muslim strategist in Beverly Hills, California, declared several years ago, as quoted by a friend of mine: “Now that the struggle between Western democracies and international communism is winding down, it is time for the real and final struggle to begin, and we are going to win!”-D. Richardson

    March 2, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  9. Nii Croffie

    1. Breed out the infidel
    2 Sugarcoat it as applying only to Muslims
    3 At majority Islamic population level enforce it on minority religions aka infidel
    4 When minorities are subjugated add suspect Islamic sects
    5 Spare not the sword on atheists who defame the Prophet.

    March 2, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Recently implemented in Nigeria. Next stop USA. Britain? Netherlands? Enjoy.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • JohnR

      6. Note that this is not unique to Islamic law. When Christian sects held temporal power, they have behaved in the same way.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  10. Nii Croffie

    Even though God started the Mosaic Law with the Ten Commndments, it is to be noted that in Christianity. Love your neighbor as yourself is second only to the Shema. Both are Mosaic Commandments too. The rest of the Law is subsevient to these two. Loving ur neighbor as urself is loving God totally.

    March 2, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  11. Four Jumps to Insanity

    They're playing the "victim card"....oh Sharia was/has been GIVEN a bad name....
    Bull Sh1t. They EARNED ever bit of their "bad" reputation, action by stupid action.

    March 2, 2012 at 7:47 am |
  12. Muneef

    human flesh

    March 2, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  13. Muneef

    Sharia is not all Muslim but rather it says all the Holy Books laws whether were of Judaism or Christianity or Islam...all those laws within are called Sharia...therefore each congregation has it own Sharia laws within their Holy Books.. Although mostly all laws within the Holy Books are based on the first 10 commandments received by Prophet Moses...

    Moderating and applying those laws might as well prove all good for good people but not at all good for the dark forces who trade on human flush,drugs,spirits,gambling and so on..

    March 2, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • Keith

      Muneef, I posted this on pg. 37 on the article about the sharia judge in PA.

      Muneef, You said, "Sorry we do not do mocking because mocking any religious person is mocking GOD when GOD is one..."
      All religions do not follow the same God. Jehovah of the Bible is not Allah of the Koran. And there is only ONE WAY to God: Jhn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
      Jesus Christ is the Son of God and created all things:
      Jhn 1:1 ¶ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

      Jhn 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.

      Jhn 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
      The Koran states: Sura 4.171 O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Marium is only an apostle of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His apostles, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one God; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector.
      Isa and Jesus are NOT the same. We do NOT worship the same God. Rick Warren would disagree with me, but tricky Ricky is wrong. I only tell you this because I care about your eternal destiny, Muneef. I apologize if I sound mean-spirited here.
      Jhn 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
      Bottom line is this Muneef, If you don't acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you will spend eternity in the lake of fire. I will pray that you see the Light, Muneef.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Muneef

      Dear Keith.
      I thank you for your concern and do understand with respect for your faith...
      But as a in Sincerity to my faith you would find my answer here at ; http://quran.com/112

      March 4, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  14. Keith

    Like putting perfume on a pig. You want to live under Sharia-fine. Just do it 7,000 miles from here. This is a Sharia-Free Zone. Someone needs to tell Mark Martin that.

    March 2, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • Keith

      Ask Asia Bibi what it is like to live under Sharia Law. Ask Youcef Nadarkhani about it. Unfortunately, because Obama and Hillary Clinton are helping to promote blashemy laws against islam in the UN it's probably soon coming to our shores. Evidently, it's already the law of the land in Mechanicsburg, PA.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • Hughes

      Makes no sense. Is the population overwhelmingly muslim here to talk about sharia?

      March 2, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Keith

      Hughes, less than 1/10 of 1%. Good question. Ask "judge" Mark Martin.

      March 3, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    March 2, 2012 at 7:10 am |
  16. Colin

    I have no respect for any religion whose holy book promotes the veiling of women, honor killings, suicide attacks and the killing of those who dare to leave the faith. I am, of course, speaking of Christianity and here are the Biblical references for any skeptics.

    Honor killings (Deuteronomy 22:15-21, Leviticus 21:9, Judges 11:36-40, Genesis 34:1-31).
    Suicide attacks (Judges 16:27-30).
    The Stoning to death of adherents of rival religions (Deuteronomy 17:2-5 and 32:23-25).
    Killing those who becomes an apostate or a heretic who dissents (Deuteronomy 13:8-9, 1 Timothy 1:20).
    Killing those who entice a friend or family member to worship other gods (Deuteronomy 13:6-10).
    Veiling for all women (1 Corinthians 11:5).
    Treating women unjustly (1 Corinthians 11:5 and 14:34, 1 Timothy 2:11, Ecclesiastics 25:18-19 & 33, Ecclesiastes 7:26, Genesis 3:16 & 19:8 & 21:10, Leviticus 27:6, Numbers 27:8-11 & 30, Deuteronomy 21:10-13 & 25:5-10 & 22:13-21, Judges 19:16-30 1 Timothy 2:11, 1 Corinthians14:34).

    By contrast, various atheists and secular huanists have put together 10 commandments for today. I am impressed by an economy of words and my favorite such list (for saying so much with so little) is that of Zambian born atheist and philosopher Anthony Grayling

    1.Love well
    2.Seek the good in all things
    3.Harm no others
    4.Think for yourself
    5.Take responsibility
    6.Respect nature
    7.Do your utmost
    8.Be informed
    9.Be kind
    10 Be courageous

    Yes we godless atheists and secular humanists are an immoral, dangerous bunch, aren't we?

    March 2, 2012 at 7:03 am |
    • just sayin

      Yes you are dangerous, tell your crap to the untold millions murdered by atheist leaders in the last 100 years alone.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:12 am |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      And just saying, YOU tell YOUR crap to the untold more millions murdered by your religious wars.
      BTW, just because a leader says they are religious, or an atheist, in no way proves, a philosophy is or is not responsible for their bad actions. Ever take a Logic class ? I think not.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Atheists tell of millions murdered in religious wars by Christians in the same breath as saying it is untold. So which is it? Body count is high for atheist regimes not secular or Xtian ones. There are no such credible records from 1500 yrs ago remember! Stop lying.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • WASP

      @colin: love the post.
      @ just saying: really? leaders through out history have said they were this and they were that, but regardless they are killing for control and power.....whether they hide behind religion or non-religious philosphy; it is always about power. the blunt truth of the matter of violence however from personal experience i have found agnostics/atheists less violent when discussing various topics.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      In most wars, politicians of dubious beliefs use religion as they use people to do their evil deeds. War is the atheists achievement. Very few "religious" wars have anything to do with religion. Most have to do with man's inhumanity to man, an ultimate atheistic goal.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Bo

      It is hard for us in this modern era to justify many of the seemingly harsh treatments and justices of the Old Testament, and even some in the New Testament, but we have to consider a few things. First: that was a different era, a different society, a different justice system. The Hebrews were not the only ones to practice these harsh treatments. These harsh treatments were meant to keep to keep law and order in the society, and it worked very well and it lasted a long time. But can you cite very many cases that such judgment was actually carried out? There are a few.

      Secondly: This was God’s people and He did not want them polluted with sin.

      If you remember in your history books (I think they may still record some of the things that actually happened in American history) there was a lot of harsh treatment in the early days of the American society: burnings at the stake, (not for heritics only) tar and feathering, which in many cases led to death, duels were allowed up until the early nineteenth century, what I’m try to say is: harsh treatment for law breakers in not so long outdated.

      I digress a little here, but if such harsh treatment were practiced today it would only be speculation on my part, but I believe there would be lot less crime, not all crime, because there will always be criminals who think they can get away with it, and there will always be crimes of passion.

      Perhaps you have heard of the the recent sheriff, I believe it was in Arizona, that put the prisoners on a hard work schedule, not so delicate a diet, housed in, not so nice buildings; I think they were housed in tents, no entertainment and humiliating ‘pink’prison garb. By testimony of some of the former inmates, they never wanted to go back there again, some of them actually moved out of the state, because they knew they were habitually criminals.

      so don’t judge the people in the old testament too harshly or by modern standards.

      A bit of trivia, Did you know that it is a relatively new idea, sometime in the last two or three hundred years, to imprison people just as a punishment. Formerly it was for the purpose to exile people from society, or to hold them until judged or sentence was pronounced, usually death. For punishment, fines were imposed, but a person could be imprisoned until the fine was paid, no matter who paid it.

      Sharia law is rejected because there are some so called "honor killings" just because a girl may refuse to marry someone, and that you will not find in the Bible, unless wilful fornication was envolved. and BTW, Jacob came down really hard on his sons for what happened with Dinia, their sister.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • W247

      You know, when you take things out of context and place a spin on it, anything can sound horrible.

      Colin, this is what you have done, you have taken bits of scripture out of context and without any understanding to it and have twisted it around to make a point. Be a bit more discerning in your life please. And for those people that are reading your drivel, I hope they are discerning as well.

      March 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  17. Colin

    Islam is the belief that an all knowing, all powerful being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, whispered the secrets of life, death and everything to an illiterate seventh Century Saudi pedophile in a cave.

    Atheism is the belief that the above belief is ludicrous.

    March 2, 2012 at 6:50 am |
    • JohnR

      Spot on!

      March 2, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  18. spud294o04

    I hate to tell you but if every single human being on the face of the planet was "living by modern human ethical codes, such as that of Humanism".....there would still be killing, robbing, rap iing, stealing, etc. We will never change as a species, sad as that is.

    March 2, 2012 at 6:49 am |
  19. Kebos

    Don't look for something that is not there. Sharia's reputation. From coast to coast, Sharia Law will never be welcomed in North America. There are far better ways attuned to society today to administer law and order including a higher regard for women and those who believe in no religion.

    March 2, 2012 at 6:43 am |
  20. Bootyfunk

    living by modern human ethical codes, such as that of Humanism, is a much better alternative. no killing, stoning, etc.

    March 2, 2012 at 5:50 am |
    • just sayin

      Tell it to Joe Stalin or chairman Mao.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • WASP

      @just saying: tell that same thing to each of the popes of the middle ages, the church of england and the spanish missionaries. see athiests can throw the boot as well. people kill because they want to reguardless of a faith system or not. i'm certain david coresh would be a great example of killing reguardless of faith.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • BRC

      @just sayin,
      Stalin and Mao weren't Humanists, they were psychotic despots. There is a SUBSTANTIAL difference. Communist does not equal atheist (though the frequently are), atheist does not equal humanist (though they frequently are).

      March 2, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • just sayin

      To be an atheist is to be a humanist and psychotic despot, you have confirmed my argument, we are agreed then.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • BRC

      @just sayin,
      I can't tell if you'r ebeing intentionally argumentative, or intentionally dense. So I'll run this by you again. Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, and a good number of other slaughter happy leaders are lauded as being eveidence fo what the atheist mindset causes. This is a false analysis, they killed anyoen who they felt stood in their way, because they were power hungry megalomaniacs (or psycotic despots, I like mixing it up). They did not do it because they were atheists. I am an atheist, not a psycotic despot- the two are not synonymous.

      To be a humanist is to believe that live should be lived in a way that focuses on humanity, on doing what is healthiest and best for all people, and recognizing that for success we must rely on one another, with no expectation of help from a supernatural source (hence why a good many humanists are atheists). There is absolutely nothing bad about Humanism. There is plenty bad about being a power hungry murderous tyrant (of course you CAN:T be that if you're actually a tyrant).

      One last clarifier. Not all fruits are apples, though some are. Not all apples are red, though some are. By your backwards logic, that statement would indicate that all red things are fruits. Do you understand why your statement doesn't make sense now?

      March 2, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • BRC

      sorry, that should have read you CAN't be a power hungry murderous tyrant if you're actually a humanist. The tow viepoints are mutually exclusive.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Ykcyc

      @just sayin
      Most leaders, like Stalin, Mao, and Hitler used "ideology" (communism, fascism) in the same way to replace "religion" with their own, requiring blind faith and obedience without question, or else. Call it what you like, it is the same ugly thing. Unconsciousness. Ignorance. Ideologies. Insanity.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:03 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.