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Islamic sect has appealing message for U.S. politicians but has global enemies
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, presides over a sermon to his followers in suburban Washington, D.C.
July 7th, 2012
01:00 AM ET

Islamic sect has appealing message for U.S. politicians but has global enemies

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – You’ve almost certainly never heard of him, but Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad drew some serious star power at a recent Capitol Hill reception in his honor.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Republican Sen. John Cornyn were among the many lawmakers who showed up to meet Ahmad, a Muslim leader who was in town last week on a rare U.S. visit from London.

At a time when the United States is struggling with its views about Islam – as Islamists gain power in the Middle East and with ongoing concerns about Quran-citing terrorists – it’s not hard to see Ahmad’s appeal to both parties. As he said in his Capitol Hill speech, he has “love for all, hatred for none.”

It’s a sentiment that Sen. Robert Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania, echoed in introducing Ahmad, praising the “leadership you have shown to tolerance and to peace.”

It’s not just Ahmad who espouses his can’t-we-all-get-along read on Islam. The 61-year-old is the spiritual leader of the global Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, whose friendliness toward the West and whose criticism of other Muslims has earned the sect allies at the highest level of the U.S government, even as it faces mortal enemies in other parts of the world.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Unlike most Muslims, Ahmadis believe that the 19th century founder of their sect was the metaphorical Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

It’s because of that belief that Sunni and Shiite Muslims do not regard Ahmadis as true Muslims. The rift has provoked Egypt to charge Ahmadis with blasphemy, Saudi Arabia to deport them and Pakistan to pass a law that designates Ahmadis as non-Muslims.

Persecuted abroad

On a sweltering recent Friday, a long line of people sat patiently in a mosque on the outskirts of Silver Spring, Maryland, just outside Washington. Despite the heat and humidity, they seemed happy to be there, waiting for a chance to meet the leader of their faith.

Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who leads an international Ahmadi community is the sect’s fifth Khalifa, or leader. The group claims tens of millions of followers around the world, but outside experts say the number is smaller, in the millions.

For Ahmad and his followers, their relatively small sect is the real face of Islam, which has more than a billion followers around the world.

“It is time that we, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, should give the real and true picture of Islam,” Ahmad said in an interview inside the Silver Spring mosque. “I will always be talking about peace. That peace is not from myself or some new teaching but it is the true, real teaching which I gather and get from the holy Quran.”

That emphasis, says Ahsanullah Zafar, the leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, is rooted in a belief that the only jihad worth practicing is against one’s own self – a jihad of self-improvement. The word jihad is often translated as struggle or war.

“Even more important than prayer, which we talk about a lot, is how you behave as a human being,” Zafar said. “It is not physical fighting that accomplishes anything. It is dialogue and the progressivism that leads somewhere.”

Founded in 1889, the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect is the only Islamic group that believes that a second prophet has come, in the form of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Ahmad lived at a time of great religious upheaval, said Akbar Ahmed, chair of Islamic Studies at American University.

“In India, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad said that he has the message of the renewal of Islam,” Ahmed said. “Slowly it began to build momentum - it is a kind of spirited, modern version of Islam.”

Ahmed characterized the makeup of the Ahmadis as “very scholarly, very prominent leaders in Pakistan.”

But when the Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamist political party in Pakistan, began to push the country to a more orthodox view of Islam in the 1970s, the Ahmadis were cast out.

Jamaat-e-Islami argued that the Ahmadis did not conform to a key tenet of Islam – the finality of the prophet Mohammed. “That is the elephant in the room for the Ahmadis,” said American University’s Ahmed. “The Ahmadis say that there are two kind of prophets. One is the lawgiver. Then there are messengers who come with a message and not necessarily a new book.”

In light of the crackdown, many Ahmadis began to leave Pakistan, some as religious refugees. Large numbers of Ahmadis now live in Germany, England, Ghana, Canada and the United States, where the Ahmadis claim tens of thousands of followers.

But persecution persists.

In 2010, almost 100 people were killed when two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore, Pakistan, were attacked by men armed with hand grenades and AK-47s.

In the U.S. government’s 2012 International Religious Freedom Report, the plight of Pakistan’s Ahmadis was front and center.

“Among Pakistan‘s religious minorities, Ahmadis are subject to the most severe legal restrictions and officially sanctioned discrimination,” reads the report. The same report outlined violence against Ahmadis in Indonesia, where it said that at least 50 Ahmadiyya mosques have been vandalized.

A unique view of Islam

Harsh treatment in various corners of the world has instilled a deep Ahmadi appreciation for life in the United States.

“In America, all these small Muslim communities are flourishing, they love being in America,” said Ahmed. “They are 100% Muslim and they are 100% American.”

Ahmad, the Ahmadis’ current leader, was in the United States for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s annual convention, which drew 10,000 to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, last week.

“Wherever I go I have one goal … to meet my people,” Ahmad said.

But he was also here to meet politicians and journalists. For the Ahmadis, the scrutiny of American Muslims in the decade since 9/11 has been treated as an opportunity to discuss beliefs and answer questions.

Many in the community came out in favor of Rep. Peter King’s, R-New York, insistence last year on holding congressional hearings on radicalization within American Islam, even as other Muslim groups blasted the hearings as anti-Muslim.

“If the government thinks that congressional hearings will improve homeland security and help expose those exploiting Islam, I assure full cooperation. I, too, aspire to have a more secure America,” wrote Kashif N. Chaudhry, the director of an Ahmadi youth program in the United States, in a New York Times letter to the editor.

Chaudhry was hardly the only Ahmadi Muslim to speak up.

“You need to be with other people, you need to talk about your ideas and in that conversation and discussion, new things arise,” said Zafar. “It is like throwing the seed and putting water on it, you need the seed and you need the water for it to sprout.”

“We need to come together with the people around us in the United States, we need to do that and see how it flowers,” he continued.

The split between the Ahmadis and other Islamic sects is also apparent in how Ahmad, the sect’s leader, talks about extremists.

“Nowadays, Islam is being targeted only because of so-called Muslim groups who claim themselves to be Muslims but are not following the true teachings of Islam,” Ahmad said, speaking of what he calls “fundamentalists Muslims.” “If it is that Islam that is being portrayed by those orthodox Muslims, then I don’t think there is any chance in spreading Islam.”

Using terms like “so-called Muslims,” to refer to some outsiders has not endeared Ahmadis to other Muslims. Leading Sunni and Shiite groups are reluctant to even talk about the Ahmadis.

CNN contacted the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America, two major Muslim groups, and neither responded to requests for comment.

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A future in America

Zafar, the leader of the Ahmadis in the United States, said his sect is looking to grow.

The group has an organized media operation and operates three 24/7 satellite-television channels under the name Muslim Television Ahmadiyya International.

The initial purpose of the channels was to broadcast the sermons of the Khalifa, but it also provides other programs in different languages. The Silver Spring mosque is surrounded by large satellite dishes that beam the shows around the world.

In addition to satellite television, the Ahmadis run Islam International Publications, a publishing outfit.

Many Ahmadis are concerned about the version of Islam being portrayed in the media, which they say is too focused on the radical elements of Islam and not focused enough on peaceful Muslims.

“Right now there is a caricature of Islam,” said Zafar. “The biggest challenge I believe in the United States is for Muslims to get out of that image of extremist behaviors which are so popular in the press.”

Ahmed of American University sees the future of the Ahmadis as a bridge between Islam and the West.

“On the American side, they [the Ahmadis] are acting as a positive bridge to Islam and the Americans need that right now,” he said. “And then for Muslims, if they do link up and join mainstream Muslims, they are able to give Islam a link to the world and also help them work out these polemics that are tearing the world apart.”

For now, Ahmadis are stuck in between those two worlds.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Ahmadi Muslims believe their founder was the Second Coming of the Prophet Mohammed. They believe he was the metaphorical Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Islam

soundoff (1,074 Responses)
  1. clarinet

    How ever it is spun, Islam is a religion of hatred and violence.

    July 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Chris

      For sure. But ALL religions are a delusion, this much is certain.

      July 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Rick

      Hey "clarinet".....so is "Christianity".....remember the crusades, the Salem Witch Trials, the Inquisition......need I go on? ALL religions are designed for one purpose.....to dominate and control by fear and punishment the blind, mindless followers they can convince of the sham.

      July 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Simon

      Ricky, no I don't remember them as I didn't live hundreds of years ago. See that is the difference between Islam and Christianity, one lives in the stone age while the other lives in the present. Also, learn to type.

      July 7, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • luqman255

      I don't understand why all these people are hating. Every religion (including Christianity, Hinduism included) has gone through an age of corruption. Islam went through a similar age until the founder of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Promised Messiah Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), came and brought the true teachings of Islam. Please learn about him and his teachings before posting such comments. Peace be upon you

      July 7, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      A Muslim blows up 50 people in the name of Allah.
      A Christian gasses to death 5,000 people in a gas chamber in the name of Nationalism, Communism, Capitalism.

      ultimately, Islam is more peaceful, it makes you kill less people. World War I, World War II, Holocaust, Communist Purges, the past 100 years most deadly conflicts are strikingly lacking in Muslim and Islamic presence.

      But the blind see not.

      July 7, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Coga Moga

      Love for all. Hatred for none. This is the motto of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Clearly Islam is a peaceful religion.

      July 9, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  2. Bill

    Ahmadiyya muslims want to be peaceful. So, all the other muslims expelled them.

    July 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      Now they are here in America, preaching that we should not make weapons of mass destruction and ship them overseas. idiots.

      July 7, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  3. Reality

    "They all err—Moslems, Jews,
    Christians, and Zoroastrians:
    Humanity follows two world-wide sects:
    One, man intelligent without religion,
    The second, religious without intellect"

    Al-Ma'arri
    AD 973 -AD 1058 /

    July 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Nii

      I think you quoted rightly but understood wrongly! Religious people like you accuse each other of being on the wrong side with yours being the most intelligent position and as such most intellectually viable. Spiritual people agree with scientists that man is intuitive rather than intelligent!

      July 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Reality

      The Apostles' Creed 2010: (updated based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

      I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created state of bliss called heaven.

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary.

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen

      (references used are available for the asking )

      July 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • sherman the bedouin

      it is when man distrust his intuition and chooses intellect that he makes the mistake. ..for how can we be magical? so it must be a spiritual being, when its instinct and our own earth.

      July 7, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • disgustedvet

      How liberal .

      July 7, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  4. tallulah13

    btw, that is my husband in thet grey suit. Isn't he lovely?

    July 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • James

      He certainly has an impressive beard.

      July 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Wes

      yeh and scaryyyy

      July 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • oodoodanoo

      He is the Great al-Ghatsby?

      July 7, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
  5. deano

    Trollin' trollin' trollin'
    Got to keep um trollin
    Keep dem bloggies rollin,
    All Lies!!!!

    July 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  6. Buzzk

    America seems to be pwned by zio nists.
    When will the Israeli manipulation end?
    They cry anti-semitism with one face, and spread hatred and intolerance for muslims with the other.
    An old story....

    July 7, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Nii

      BUZZK
      Israeli manipulation? I can't seem to understand this! If true why don't they get America to adopt Israel as a State!

      July 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Reality

      Some facts:

      Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite, global blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder

      July 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Coga Moga

      Hey Reality:

      Lamartine – Histoire de la Turquie, Paris 1854, Vol II, pp. 276-77:

      "Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?"

      "If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad?"

      July 9, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  7. Phyllis G Williams

    IIShMAeL = he-ISLAM ; /IShMaeL = SLIM/MUhammed = MUSLIM
    All religions must agree with Acts 4: 12 to be heaven bound or they are merely temporary earth promotions.

    July 7, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • What IF

      What is your verified evidence that Paul of Tarsus knew anything special or supernatural?

      July 7, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • question

      Paul of tarsus did not author Acts. What is your point?

      July 7, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • What IF

      Ooops! Ok, change that to: Luke, the companion of Paul of Tarsus then.

      July 7, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • question

      Luke was a physician, a scientist of his day interested in establishing an accurate account of what had happened,was happening and what he knew. His personal testimony remains as the books of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. You then must either accept his testimony in light of the other testimonies given or call him a liar. The overwhelming balance of evidence indicates accuracy and truthfulness, and in many ways archaeology confirms his telling. The shipwreck off the coast of Malta for example. No reason then that the spiritual aspects were any less accurate, other than they disagree with preconceived prejudice and hatred against Christianity.

      July 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Question
      "No reason then that the spiritual aspects were any less accurate"

      Wrong. If i tell you that I had a car crash you would believe me without serious inquiry, and you should a car crash is an ordinary event. If told you I had a car crash because I saw a ghost playing poker with a fairy in the middle of the road you would question the existence of the ghost in the fairy, and you should because ghost and faeries are extraordinary. Ship wrecks are ordinary and thus require minimal evidence for me to accept them, spiritual events are extraordinary and thus require extraordinary evidence. The best lies are built on a kernel of truth.

      July 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Greta Phil. Now all ya gotta do is tell us why we should listen to Paul instead of Jesus. Matthew 19 : "Keep the commandments". Nothing else. Be a good person. No go to church, not believe anything. Just be good.

      July 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • question

      @huebert
      Luke has a track record for truth and accuracy, you have a track record as a prejudiced liar. Thinking people will choose Luke.

      July 7, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • question

      @Bucky
      There is no disagreement between Jesus and Paul.

      July 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Wanna bet. Jeebus said nothing about salvation. Paul made it up. Jeebus was an Apocalyptic. When it did not happen, Paul had to figure out a way to keep it going. Why is salvation absent in Mark, (written first), and present in Paul ? (written next)

      July 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Nii

      MOBY/MOMOYA
      It seems you are realising how much Atheists cud be dumb. You do learn quickly that people are same inside or outside church! It is the emotional maturity(spirituality) which makes the difference! BUCK BALL u r suffering too much! Why? lol

      July 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Nii Nii,
      Go back to Atlanta. The housewives are looking for you.

      July 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      And don't drive over any bridges you designed. We all did notice your attempted deflection, instead of one actual argument.

      July 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Nii

      BUCK BALL
      You need a log for all the times u speak without any rational basis! I have no idea which part of Atlanta u r dreaming I am from! Nor do u know my specialty so how do you know I design bridges? Just like ur poor reading of theology! Yahweh had a wife? I can't laugh! Lol

      July 7, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Russ

      @ bucky ball:
      most scholars date Paul's writings prior to Mark. Tradition holds Paul died circa AD 64, writing mostly in the 50s. Many date Mark in the late 60s.
      also, tradition holds that the author of Mark is John Mark – a contemporary of Paul who was under Paul's tutelage (though caused a temporary rift w/ Barnabas).

      so, Mark is likely after Paul. and if the argument is proximity to the source, it's difficult to trump Paul's statements in 1 Cor.15:1-3 (written within 20 years of Jesus' death – at the latest).

      July 7, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • question

      @bucky
      Are you that bad off that you cannot render a proper spelling of the name? That being the case you show yourself to be one who it is not worth talking with.

      July 7, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the those interested in a religious update:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current problems:

      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      July 7, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Rick

      Silence.....I keeeel you.

      July 7, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Yes Yahweh had a wife. Archaeologists agree. Her name was Ashera, or Ashura. Sorry you don't know any history.

      Mark was a combo job of the Q source, and the Book of Sayings. There was no "author", it had editors. And Paul was written after, and whatever ... it contains no "salvation". Corinthians was written in the 50's, Mark in the 70's. Did you not go to Bible study ?

      July 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Nii Nii,
      it's a damn joke. You are so clueless.

      July 7, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  8. Russ

    Wow. These Ahmediys are actually peaceful and non-violent people. Why do the other Muslims hate them so much?

    July 7, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Buzzk

      Maybe because they are western puppets and wedges? Political tools?
      If muslims are so violent, how come we occupy their countries and kill 100x the innocent civilians they do?
      Drink some koolaid, pawn.

      July 7, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Reality

      Our War on Terror and Aggression:

      An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression)

      The terror and aggression via a Partial and Recent and Not So Recent Body Count

      As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) – Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      Continued below:

      Other elements of our War on Terror and Aggression:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed mostly due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we were in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.
      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      – Ditto for Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011

      July 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  9. rafiqtsch

    Thanks for a great article. All Muslims say 'Islam is Peace' and the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community live it as well.

    July 7, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Avirk

      So true, Ahmadi Muslim's have practiced tolerance and always had peaceful reactions to very violent acts committed against them. It is truly commendable in light of all the hatred directed towards this noble sect in Islam.

      July 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  10. zkkhan

    "Unlike most Muslims, Ahmadis believe that the 19th century founder of their sect was the Second Coming of the Prophet Mohammad, who founded Islam in the 7th century". An attempt has been made to depict aforementioned as the belief of Ahmadiyya community as perceived by other Muslim groups. To me it sounds incorrect. For three generations I am an Ahmadi and self 60 yeas old. It is second coming of Jesus Christ as perceived in Christianity and coming of Imam Mehdi in Islam, as prophesied by the prophet Muhammad (saw), what Ahmadiyya belief is for the person of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahamd of Qadian.

    July 7, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Reality

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them fortune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invalidated by the natural gifts of Free Will and Future

      July 7, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  11. Reality

    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy" aka Gay Gabriel. Some of Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations turned into horrible reality for unbelievers

    o "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)

    "Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons...he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home..." (Surah 8:12-)

    "Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)

    "...make war on the leaders of unbelief...Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them..." (Surah 9:12-)

    "Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:27-)

    "It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith [Islam] to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters [non-Muslims] may dislike it." (Surah 9:31-)

    "If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men." (Surah 9:37-)

    "Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)

    "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-)

    "Say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom..." (Surah 17:111)

    "'How shall I bear a child,' she [Mary] answered, 'when I am a virgin...?' 'Such is the will of the Lord,' he replied. 'That is no difficult thing for Him...God forbid that He [God[ Himself should beget a son!...Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood..." (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)

    "Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him...He has given you the name of Muslims..." (Surah 22:78-)

    "Blessed are the believers...who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)...These are the heirs of Paradise..." (Surah 23:1-5-)

    "Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Surah 48:29)

    "Shall the reward of goodness be anything but good?...Dark-eyed virgins sheltered in their tents...They shall recline on green cushions and fine carpets...Blessed be the name of your Lord..." (Surah 55:52-66-)

    July 7, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  12. Reality

    "The Prophets and the Priests

    The Prophets, too, among us come to teach,

    Are one with those who from the pulpit preach;

    They pray, and slay, and pass away, and yet

    Our ills are as the pebbles on the beach.

    Islam does not have a monopoly on truth:"

    Al-Ma'arri

    July 7, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  13. Salman Khan

    Ahmadi Muslims beleive that the Messiah and Mahdi has come as it was prophesized by Muhummad (pbuh). The do not beleive that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam ahmed was secong coming of Muhummad (PBUH). Get your facts right please. Come on

    July 7, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  14. Topher

    No. Tell me about it.

    July 7, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  15. Unknown

    Atheists won't care about a religion unless they start forcing their religious law into "secular law".But Islam has already manifested itself into many nations law...but its all lies.

    Islam already did force Islamic law into secular law worldwide BUT they still demand evidence of God,the God of the bible.

    July 7, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Muslims as'sert that Allah is a later evolution, and indeed the same divine being, (in pre Islamic times), as Yahweh, the god of the other guys, (the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles...the Jewish people, and the Christians). Thus the issue is one of continuity. If Allah really IS Yahweh, then "he" is just, if not more ridiculous, than the Yahweh god, (the "God of the Armies", better known to Christians as the "Lord of Hosts"). Even some Christians attempt to say Islam is one of the three "Abrahamics". Historically, this is false.

      Yahweh is easily refuted, historically. So the question is, "is Allah, (Ilah) a DIFFERENT deity, or a continuity?". While the claim in Islam is that the deity IS a continuity, in fact it isn't. Allah, upon historical examination, proves to be a pre-Islamic deity. The continuity claim is essential if the claim to a "continuous flow" of revelation is to remain intact. Allah, historically, has been proven to be a PRE-ISLAMIC moon-god. In fact Mecca was originally built as a shrine to the moon-god. The religious claims are shredded by the archaeology, just as happens with the Yahweh claims. Allah, just as Yahweh, had a wife. He was married to the sun goddess, and the stars were the daughters. Just as Yahweh, Allah was not the only god in the house. The popularity of the moon god, began to wane, as astronomers began to predi'ct the moon's cycle, so Arabs began to say that the moon-god was the greatest of the gods, just as Yahweh came to be seen as the one god, when in fact he was one of many. Besides the moon-god, they also worshiped 359 other known gods at the Kabah in Mecca.

      July 7, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      The temple of the moon god remained active as a worship site well into the Christian era, and the moon god was worshiped in both North Arabia, and South Arabia in Muh'am'ma'd's day, and was still the dominant cult. The name of the moon god was "Sin", but it's t'itle was al-ilah, which meant "the deity", (emphasis on "the"), ie meaning this deity was the chief among the gods. The god Il, or "Ilah", was a PHASE of the moon god. Allah was a popular name. Muhammad's father and uncle had "Allah", as part of their names. Allah is NEVER defined in the Qur'an. Why ? Because Muhammad was raised in the cult of the moon-god, and he assumed that everyone already knew who he was. Muhammad just went the extra step, (as the later Jews did), and said he was one of many, then was first of many, then the only.

      The claim that Allah IS Yahweh is nonsense. Islam is a moon-god cult, AND even if Allah were Yahweh, since Yahweh is nonsense, so is Allah.

      July 7, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • truth be told

      Muslims might assert it but they are wrong the god of Islam is not the God of Israel.

      July 7, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Unknown

      islam came way after Jesus so how again is Allah the same as God? People don't want to offend Muslims but the facts are very clear.

      July 7, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      None of the as'sertions can be verified by any measurable method. So it's just different opinions arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

      1. The god of the bible has no measurable method to verify its existence (much less its nature).
      2. The god of the qu'ran has no measurable method to verify its existence (much less its nature).
      3. If you're attempting to compare to immeasurable and unverifiable ideas, you're just farting in the wind; unicorns fly faster than faeries.

      July 7, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Unfortunately they can. Comparative Mythology and Comparative Mythology are verified by archaeology. No one is saying the "as'sertions are verifiable. The history of the making of the as'sertions IS verifiable. If we know exactly when and why in history they arose, they are self-refuting. "Farting in the wind" is just intellectual laziness.

      July 7, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      sorry should read Comparative Mythology and Comparative Religion.

      July 7, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      @bucky

      Yes, but you're talking about comparing artifacts produced by the human mind, not actual data on the actual principles.

      July 7, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iMmvu9eMrg&w=640&h=360]

      "data" on the principles is fundamentalism. There can be no "data" on myths. It's not what mythology is about. Myths are "explanation rituals", not causation rituals. Data is secondary to a modern world view. The inventors of ancient myths never claimed they were about "data". (There was no word for "historical" in ancient Hebrew.
      1. if we know when the myths arose, (ie when humans invented them, and why), it makes it impossible to impute any "ultimate significance" to them.
      2. We know exactly when and why both Genesis was written, and the Qu'ran was written.

      July 7, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Huebert

      Unknown

      Your insight amazes me. Yes Islam was founded about 600 years after Jesus. Muslims claim that Jesus was one of gods prophets, and Allah is the Arabic word for god, just like Dios is the Spanish word for god, and Dio is the Italian word for god.

      July 7, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Yes, bucky, there are more cogent and less cogent interpretations of myths and comparisons of their artifacts.

      July 7, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Unknown

      Explain how Muslims and Christians worship the same God?

      Give us insight oh great atheists!

      July 7, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Huebert

      Both Christians and Muslims claim to worship the god of Abraham. Is their something complicated about that?

      July 7, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • What IF

      Unknown,
      "Explain how Muslims and Christians worship the same God?
      Give us insight oh great atheists!"

      Go read the Quran. It's not all that long and won't take you half a year like the Bible. There are no magical ooooga-booogas hovering in the pages that will take over your mind. You might see how the story is as high-blown and fantasy-laden as is your Bible. It might be a better use of your time than your feeble posts here.

      July 7, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Unknown

      How do you know we worship the samr God?

      July 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Huebert

      Well you are all really worshiping nothing so it's definitely the same "god". But Christians, Muslims, and Jews all call the nothing that they worship the God of Abraham.

      July 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      I'm not talking about myth interpretations. I'm talking about myths and their ORIGINS. If one knows the date and place they originate, in human history, then no "divine", ("revelatory") claims can be made about them You are 100% correct, debating ABOUT them is a total waste of time. Discovering their origins invalidates any claims to "divine" origins, and ANY ""divine" meaning, no matter what they cook that up to be.

      July 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Unknown

      Christianity differs from Islam.So does Islam to Judaism.So why call all 3 the same?

      remember many people think Allah is a moon god...Don't know if that's true or not

      July 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  16. Quinn

    Great article. It is so refreshing to learn thar the peaceful form of Islam called Ahmedis actually exists. But it is disgusting to learn that the terrorist form of Islam called Sunnis is terrorizing the peace loving Ahmedis people.

    July 7, 2012 at 8:08 am |
  17. Reality

    For our sister and brother Muslims of any sect:

    -- from the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi-

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:
    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
    alone."
    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

    Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

    July 7, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • .....

      Bull sh it alert ...warning...avoid

      July 7, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  18. Reality

    "Humanity follows two world-wide sects:

    One, man intelligent without religion,

    The second, religious without intellect. "

    Al-Ma'arri

    (Al-Ma'arri (973-1057), whose full name was Abu 'L'Ala Ahmad ibn 'Abdallah al-Ma'arri, was born in Ma'arra, south of Aleppo. He achieved fame as one of greatest of Arab poets. Al-Ma'arri was stricken with smallpox when four and became blind. As he grew older, he was able to travel to Aleppo, Antioch and other Syrian cities, learning by heart the manuscripts preserved there. Al-Ma'arri spent 18 months at Baghdad, then the center of learning and poetry, leaving to return to his native town. There he created the Luzumiyyat, a large collection of verses that contrasts from traditional works by its irregular structure and in the opinions it contains. His presence in Ma'arra drew many people, who came to hear him lecture on poetry and rhetoric.")

    July 7, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • .....

      Bull sh it alert avoid all reality posts

      July 7, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • Reality

      "So, too, the creeds of man: the one prevails

      Until the other comes; and this one fails

      When that one triumphs; ay, the lonesome world

      Will always want the latest fairytales.

      And religious rites were a means of enslaving the masses:

      O fools, awake! The rites you sacred hold

      Are but a cheat contrived by men of old,

      Who lusted after wealth and gained their lust

      And died in baseness—and their law is dust."

      Al-Ma'arri

      July 7, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • HeavenSent

      When are you going to admit to following the Talmud Reality? If you do not abide in the Talmud, you've got to be the dumbest bunny in the bunch.

      July 7, 2012 at 8:36 am |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    July 7, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  20. tallulah13

    CNN, Thank you for this nicely written article, we Muslims have always struggled to find a balance between good and evil and with all parties in the foray we hope to find our peace.

    July 7, 2012 at 7:24 am |
    • Topher

      Hi, Tallulah13.

      Do you consider yourself to be a good person? Are you good enough to get to Heaven?

      July 7, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • more likely

      it is one bomb vest or a couple of dead cats away.

      July 7, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • tallulah13

      @Topher, There is no evidence of the hristian god. Prove to me your god exists. You are a bunch of liars. We on the other hand are good people we support the agenda that is actually is beneficial to us. One day this nation will be all Muslim go read the treaty of tripoli.

      July 7, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Topher

      So you have kept the 10 Commandments?

      July 7, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • tallulah13

      What 10 commandments? We have five pillars in our faith. This is not a christian nation, it never was and never will be.Read the const/tution.

      July 7, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Topher

      Are you telling me Muslims don't hold to the 10 Commandments?

      July 7, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • tallulah13

      Are you telling me you have never read the treaty of tripoli? shame on you.

      July 7, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Topher

      Topher

      No. Tell me about it.

      July 7, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • tallulah13

      Here is the important part you must know
      As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and

      July 7, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Topher

      What does that have to do with whether Muslims hold Moses as a prophet?

      July 7, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • truth be told

      Political treaties are well known to be "suggested" policy. In the case of Tripoli a Christian America felt to obscure the Truth of its founding rather than risk an extended costly foreign intervention at some distance. The "pirates " were appeased and from the Presidents point of view no one in Africa was the wiser. America could and would continue as a Christian nation and be assured of peace in the waters north of Africa. Do not read too much into the phrase used, it still fools the ragheads.

      July 7, 2012 at 9:41 am |
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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.