My Faith: After my mosque was torched
The Islamic Center of Columbia, Tennessee, after it was torched in 2008.
August 7th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

My Faith: After my mosque was torched

Editor's Note: This piece was originally published in 2011. Daoud Abudiab is president of the Islamic Center of Columbia, Tennessee, where he works as an administrator for a physicians' group.

By Daoud Abudiab, Special to CNN

Last year, my son and I attended the White House conference on bullying prevention. We heard stories of people being bullied for being black, gay, lesbian and Sikh. The stories were compelling and left me more critical of our culture, in which it is popular to act in ways that dishonor our traditions.

Some of my friends were interested in the details of my Washington trip. I commented on the diversity at the White House event. A friend made a joke about the composition of attendees reflecting a typical Democratic Party gathering.

I thought of it as a typical American gathering. But I have become aware that not all Americans honor my American citizenship.

Read: Missouri mosque destroyed in fire

In some circles, my Muslim faith is not even accepted as a religion.

And Muslims everywhere are feeling increasingly less welcome in America. We see our kids bullied in schools over their faith and our daughters, wives and mothers picked on and ridiculed for wearing hijab, the Muslim headscarf.

Mosques  across America have been vandalized in recent years. Mine was one of them.

In 2001, I was excited to be among the founders of the Islamic Center of Columbia in central Tennessee.

We are a small Muslim community in a small town. Our families felt welcome, and we were positively featured in the local newspaper on a couple of occasions.

But in February 2008, the Islamic Center of Columbia was destroyed in a fire. A year later, three young men from Columbia were sentenced to prison terms of 6 to 14 years for hate crimes against our house of worship.

According to the federal complaint against them, the fire they set was at least partially inspired by the Bible. “What goes on in that building is illegal according to the Bible,” one of them told authorities afterward, referring to our mosque.

The men belonged to the Christian Identity Movement, according to the federal complaint, and said the arson gained them honor among the group’s other members.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the right-wing movement is “nominally Christian” but has little in common with even the “most conservative of American Protestants.”

After the fire, many Christians supported us. The pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Columbia, Bill Williamson, invited my congregation to pray at his church until we found a new home.

In November 2008, at the opening ceremony for our new location, I handed Bill back the key to his house of worship. We remain friends and share our story of love and compassion for one another any time we get the chance.

There were other Christians who did not act very Jesus-like after the mosque fire.

When my son countered middle school tormenters who called him a terrorist by telling about the burning of mosque, one response was “that’s OK, because you are in our country and we can do that to you.”

One local Christian pastor, meanwhile, publicly criticized First Presbyterian Church for sharing its space with my congregation, arguing that Muslims worship a different God than Christians.

People like that often claim superiority to Muslims, but they don’t walk the walk.

Last year, I shared a stage at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tennessee with Robert Montgomery, a Pulaski pastor who I met through Bill Williamson.

We discussed the journey that led to our friendship. He claims to have become a better Christian as a result of the non-Christian friends he has known over the years. I know that’s true for me as a Muslim.

There is nothing to fear or compromise in such a friendship and everything to gain.

When I articulate my faith to someone who does not share it, I feel accountable. It is uncomfortable to be a hypocrite, or at least it should be.

Let me say to non-Muslim Americans: I do not want to convert you. I simply ask that you be true to who you say you are. Let us all honor the best of our traditions.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Daoud Abudiab.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Islam • Mosque • Tennessee

soundoff (597 Responses)
  1. Adam

    @ Michael Clemons,

    Thanks for your service but your views on other religions than your own mark you as a simpleton.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  2. Michael Clemons

    As a retired Combat Veteran of the gulf war I have only one thing to say. The only good Muslim is a dead one, Jesus Christ was not and is not a prophet he is the son of God. The prophet Mohammad was a pedophile.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Buddha

      Karma, Michael, Karma– start believing in it...cuz its gonna get u soon :p

      March 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Alverant

      Michael you do know the "virgin" Mary was 12 when your god knocked her up without her conscent.
      That would make your god a raping pedophile.

      March 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      You give the impression that it doesn't take any intelligence at all in order to be accepted into the armed forces...

      I wish it wasn't so...

      March 24, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • John

      LOL. Who gives a crap about your service. Go back to your hole. Why'd you even came back?

      March 25, 2011 at 7:41 am |
    • Rundvelt

      > As a retired Combat Veteran of the gulf war

      Front line infantry.

      August 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  3. Den

    I think our founding fathers expected freedom of religion to pertain to legitimate religion, not murder and terrorism under the cloak of religion.

    March 24, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Alverant

      "not murder and terrorism under the cloak of religion"
      You're refering to christianity right?

      March 24, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Ed

      They meant it for all relegions and if they didn't they should have and again blame the person not the relegion

      March 24, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Harlan D

      There is no such thing as a legitimate religion. They are ALL illegitimate.

      March 24, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  4. Reality

    The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:


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

    Rank<< Death Toll Cause <<Centuries <<<<<<<<Religions/Groups involved*

    1 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

    2 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

    40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

    4 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

    5 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

    6 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

    20 million Joseph Stalin 20C

    8 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

    9 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

    10 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

    11 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

    15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

    13 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

    14 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

    10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

    16 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

    17 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Pagans)

    8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians vs. Pagans)

    19 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)
    7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

    *:" Is religion responsible for more more violent deaths than any other cause?

    A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

    Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

    A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

    In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."

    March 24, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Reality

      And the koranic/mosque/imam 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, 3,483 and 925 in non combat roles. 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, 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 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. 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 3/2011

      March 24, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • jorgath

      Nitpick: The "fall of Rome," (which is a bit of a misnomer because it was more like a civil war between two groups of illegal immigrants) was actually between Catholics and Arian Christians (the latter of which are non-Trinitarian; they believe in Jesus being God's son but not being God or part of God).

      March 24, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Reality

      What caused the Fall of the Roman Empire?

      "The answer to this very complicated question can be found in "The Decline and Fall Of the Roman Empire" by Edward Gibbons.

      For the fall of Rome itself, if you need a brief rundown, it can be found to lie in three distinct issues;

      1.The division of the empire due to political infighting (divided Rome were less able to respond to threats as the unified Rome had been able to, and more power lay in the hands of essentially military strongarm dictators who were interested in their own power than safety of their nation);

      2.The overextending of the troops of the Roman Empire (leading to a lack of localised defense, allowing their then-allies, the goths, to rise up, followed by the Huns, etc), and not helped by the loss of nearly two-thirds the empire during the 3rd century;

      3.The anti-military spirit that followed the Roman Empire following a period of military dictators first killing the emperor, and then taking the throne for themselves. This period (around the third century AD) saw people having much less interest in military matters, and following that, less military strength in an empire already threatened with invasion on many fronts.

      It was the Germanic leader, Odoacer, who actually ended what most people see as "Roman" Rome, taking it for his own rule off the emperor "Romulus Augustus". Previously, Rome had been sacked by the Visigoths, another Germanic tribe. Eastern Rome eventually became what more people recognise as Byzantium, or Constantinople, and lasted much longer, though it was no longer anything akin to what would be commonly recognised as "Roman".

      Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_caused_the_fall_of_Rome#ixzz1HYMbigi7

      March 24, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Earnhead

      What about the crusades?

      March 25, 2011 at 1:10 am |
    • Iqbal Khan

      Check this if U have Guts!
      Enforcing American Hegemony – A TimelineA compiled timeline and comment on US foreign interventions, covert ops, and maintenance of Western economic and military dominance.
      http://www.flagrancy.net/timeline.html – Cached – Similar

      March 26, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  5. Sean

    The last time I heard about a Mosque burning down it was in Georgia.. After a week of blaming angry white Christians, it turns out the arsonist was Muslim and a member of the Mosque he burned down..

    March 24, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      I see two that have happened since that – one in Oregon and one elsewhere in TN.

      March 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  6. Thinkb4Upost

    I am Muslim, and sadly, I think we are the "flavor of the week". The world is full of ignorant people out there, and unfortunately, those "Archie Bunkers" of the world need to find something or some group to rag on. For now it is the Muslims.

    Having said that, I find that nearly all of the Americans I deal with are very accepting of me and my faith. I don't try and convert them, and they don't try and convert me. I respect their religious freedom, as the respect mine. I don't vanadalize their churches and temples, and they don't vandalize my mosques. I have seen very little anti-Muslim rhetoric directed specifically at me (although some of the CNN forums, news media outlets, and politicians can bring out the worst in people.) Most of my non-Muslim friends are very nice accepting people who judge people based on their individual merits. And most of my Muslim friends also accept non-Muslims and judge them based on their individual merits as well.

    Which brings me to my point. Yes, Islam has its nutjob wackos that are radical and violent. So does Christianity. So does Judism. So do other racial, religious, and cultural groups in this country. Sadly, since this country has a non-Muslim majority with very little Muslim contact, otherwise normal human being Muslims will bear the brunt of the intolerant members of that non-Muslim group (only because there numerically are a lot of them, albeit a very small percentage.)

    We as a minority group need to lead by example. We need to lead by showing the world that by-and-large, we are honest hardworking people who want to contribute to society and want to see our children live a better life than us.

    Then, we will stop being the "flavor of the week".

    March 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Zombie Jesus

      I am accepting of all religions. Just dont impose. We have our own Christian Taliban here in the US. Dont take it personal being the flavor of the week. In the ME they have their own flavors and justification for hate and killing. Sigh religion is a disease.

      March 24, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Thinkb4Upost

      The only time I talk to someone about converting to Islam is when the Jehovah's WItnesses come knocking on my door. Funny, they don't come around anymore....

      March 24, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Ed

      That is what I having been saying on several blogs are relegions and societys have their crazies they are the monority in each group judge them not the group by them. Thanks from a follow faithful of a different faith. Sorry some buffalochip burned down your mosque I hope the put the jerk in jail.

      March 24, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Thinkb4Upost

      Well, our world is 99% moderates who live their lives and don't complain too much about stuff, and 1% extremists who want to make sure that they are heard about their cause, be it anti-this or convert-you-to-that. They aren't happy with your being happy in your own state-of-mind.

      That 1%, unfortunately, has to screw it up for the normal 99%.

      March 24, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Rundvelt

      > Well, our world is 99% moderates who live their lives and don't complain too much about stuff, and 1% extremists who want to make sure that they are heard about their cause, be it anti-this or convert-you-to-that. They aren't happy with your being happy in your own state-of-mind. That 1%, unfortunately, has to screw it up for the normal 99%.

      99% are not practing their nutty religion, and selectively ignoring the more violent parts of their faith. 1% are following it.

      And this goes for Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc.

      August 7, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  7. Heretic Christian

    Unfortunately, this is the way all groups seem to gain acceptance when they come to America. It's almost like freshman college hazing. Irish Catholics, Mormons, and many other groups in addition to Muslims have had to bear the brunt of hatred when they have come to these shores. While we may seek a United Country with Freedom for ALL....we will never truly gain it because people are not perfect and there will always be haters among us.

    What gives me hope for the future is the responses we have had in the past. Black and White marched together in the Civil Rights Era. Men helped women gain the right to vote. During our history, we have had many periods of great hatred and intolerance. But eventually, people came together to support each other and support those different from themselves.

    In hindsight, we may complain about how slowly these changes came about. But the changes did come and divergent groups came together to bring it about. Just as Mr. Williamson and Mr. Abudiab in this story did.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • jorgath

      Just a nitpick. IIRC Mormons didn't come to the US, they were founded (according to their beliefs through a divine revelation) IN the US.

      March 24, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  8. Sam

    Muslims burn down chruches, blow up religious statuary and generally persecute other religion all the time. Why aren't you uspet about that?

    March 24, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      This story is about American Muslims in the United States. Give me some examples of times they have burned down churches, blown up religious statues and persecuted other religions in the US.

      March 24, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • James

      LinvinginVA: I can give you 3000 examples of them killing for their faith.

      March 24, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • John

      James: Give me one example of an American Muslim burning down any church, temple or synagogue. You said you have 3000. Give me one. Please read before answering.

      March 25, 2011 at 7:39 am |
    • Iqbal Khan

      Fact of the matter is true beliving muslims don't commit crimes, all those incedents where muslims have done wrong to others have taken those actions in reaction or out of frustration for the unjust actions by others who have control on their lives directly or indirectly, politicaly, financialy,culturaly or by occupying their lands.

      March 26, 2011 at 10:21 pm |

    ISLAM is a severe mental illness. Islam is responsible for all world terrorism.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Iqbal khan

      Ur So Wrong may God help U

      March 24, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Annie

      They aren't responsible for ALL terrorism. You are forgetting the bombings done by Basque separatists, Christians, Jews, sarin bombs in Ja-pan, small rebel / terrorist groups in Pacific Rim countries, dr-ug lords, and extremists like PETA and others also do their share of damage.

      But Muslims have done more than the others, I think. They just worship Allah soooooo much!

      March 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Ed

      Yeah we gotta watch out far those IRA moslim terrorists

      March 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Iqbal Khan

      Hello increase your knowledge before accusing others! .....
      Enforcing American Hegemony – A TimelineA compiled timeline and comment on US foreign interventions, covert ops, and maintenance of Western economic and military dominance.
      http://www.flagrancy.net/timeline.html – Cached – Similar

      March 26, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
  10. Iqbal khan

    Read the whole Quran .....


    March 24, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Reality

      Without Gabriel, there is no koran.

      March 24, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Tink Furst

      I read the Q'uran and found it to be a thousand times worse than any Muslim is willing to admit to. It has more vicious rules to oppress people and to do violence than the Old Testament.
      Don't ask people to read your sick book of lies, khan. It will only drive them away from Islam forever unless they have enough hate in their hearts to enjoy following your lying dog of a prophet (torment be upon him).

      March 24, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • James

      Khan, I've read your disgusting bigoted and violent koran.

      You know, the one dreamed up by the pedophile and murderer Mohammed.

      The one that commands its followers to convert at the point of a sword, and to kill those who will not submit.

      The one that "justifies" the theft of infidels children to be enslaved and used as soldiers and oppressors against their own kindred.

      You can keep your filthy book.

      March 24, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • Sharia Law?

      The Bible is FAR worse than the Qur'an. Moses personally leads the charge to completely level about 40 towns and cities where they commit violent murder against every last man woman and child (and livestock lul) in the name of "God" and acquiring worthless desert lands. The Qur'an is a freaking hippy peace doctrine compared the the Bible.

      Mohammed feels up some young chick...yeah that even begins to compare to Moses slicing out the bowels of infants. God forcing some guy to kill his own Kid? I mean come on what kind of sick barbaric ^#$% is that? Oh wait that's right Jesus decided to go slumming with a crap load of magical powers and pretend he was one of us. Then he pretends to die for us only to use his magical powers to say "PSYKE!" lol repawning!

      At least Mohammed was an actual real historical person, Jesus was COMPLETELY FICTIONAL! The Muslims are halfway there, they think Jesus was just a prophet, now if they could just come the other few feet and admit that there is absolutely no historical evidence that shows that Jesus was ever an actual person.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:15 am |
  11. Reality

    Solving many of these problems in less than 100 words:

    Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
    There never was and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam

    Saving 2 billion lost Christians:

    There was and never will be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity

    Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:

    Abraham and Moses never existed.

    Added details upon request.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Ryan

      Saving a couple million Atheists.
      You never were monkeys, and never will be.

      March 24, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Reality

      As per National Geographic's Genographic project:


      " DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who about 60,000 years ago began a remarkable journey. Follow the journey from them to you as written in your genes”.

      "Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. He lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago, which means that all humans lived in Africa at least at that time.

      Unlike his Biblical namesake, this Adam was not the only man alive in his era. Rather, he is unique because his descendents are the only ones to survive.

      It is important to note that Adam does not literally represent the first human. He is the coalescence point of all the genetic diversity."

      March 24, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Rabbi Greene

      You left half the world including over 1 billion Hindu & over 1.2 billion chinese who are atheist. Buddhist, & Taoist. plus another billion or so sikh, atheist, pagan, Zoroastrianism, Wicca, and many other believes. All of who have ZERO connect to monotheistic believe and some are older like Hindu, the oldest religion on the planet...

      March 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Harlan D

      Ryan, we aren't monkeys, no. Are you having issues with evolution or something?

      March 24, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "You never were monkeys, and never will be."
      You are absolutely correct. No human ever was a monkey nor ever will be, that's not the way evolution works.
      However, monkeys are our very distant cousins and we both have a common ancestor that lived millions of years ago.

      March 24, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  12. Mark from Middle River

    Luanne – The light of truth is as it has always been. People , humans, in general are not that open to things that are different or believe differently. It can be the color of your skin to the party you vote for. For folks like you its those of faith and those who are not. It is interesting that you wish for darkness to flow out of my heart but out of many here blogging, you are barking up the wrong tree. Funny that a person wishing for someone else to be nicer decides that her weapon of choice is to say that a part of another different than herself is a lie. Sounds like you and the middle school kids and the Taliban have much in common Joanne.

    Scotty – I disagree. I would say that the eye for an eye existed long before Christianity took hold. I want to say it was ancient Sumaria where if you killed you will be killed, but I am not sure. In all my years as a Christian the eye for an eye quote does not hold as high of a value as the belief in forgiveness. The vengeance is God's also weighs very heavy.

    I still find Douad's article to be another article where as societies are becoming more globally aware folks are now knowledgeable about what goes on in other countries. This is both good and bad. Some will see good actions and try to repeat them and some will see bad and also repeat them. One of the complaints that some have in society of Muslims is that some want to talk about how bad our society is while at the same time not wanting to say how bad their society is. Religion is just another group. It can be used for good and it can be used for evil.

    A black author named Baldwin was quoted about how much Nazi Germany was a very peaceful place when he visited. Ecch. The world is a very strange place.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Luanne

      The darkness in your heart is narrow-mindedness, not religious or political per se. Sorry I was not more clear, sweetie-pie.

      March 24, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • jorgath


      My response to the "eye for an eye" doctrine?

      "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." Matthew 7:3-5 (New American Standard Version)

      March 24, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  13. ScottK

    "After the fire, many Christians supported us. The pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Columbia, Bill Williamson, invited my congregation to pray at his church until we found a new home."

    I find it funny that whenever these extremists commit these acts of violence, it often back fires and makes the thing they hate most a martyr, as they did here with the Mosque. They are so dumb they don't even think about the public support they are creating FOR the mosque by attacking it. But then, I never have held much hope for the collective right-wing nutjob brain.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  14. Iqbal Khan

    Start is call for prayer in Arabic.... then have an open mind and heart..and if you are seeking the truth God will show you the truth...


    March 24, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • James

      Take your barbaric cult elsewhere.

      March 24, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Muhammad_1

      This is one of the most beautifully detailed explanation about this 'Deen,"that I have seen in awhile. Everyone here,in this talk-box,would be doing themselves a favor,help to alleviate the lack of knowledge about Islam, by watching the lecture. Thank you Brother Khan for the link.


      March 25, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  15. JohnR

    Church burnings are pretty common, but pretty much never committed by muslims (or atheists or pagans or any other scapegoat group).

    March 24, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Zombie Jesus

      Appears that way. My god is bigger and better than your god.

      March 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Zombie Jesus

      Iqbal Khan, ohhh how mysterious your god works

      March 24, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Buh

      Church burnings in Muslim countries are almost always done by Muslims. Or were you just talking about the USA?

      March 24, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • norcalmojo

      You might want to expand your news sources. Your comment is ignorance with a trumpet. CNN decided to dig this story from 2008, but most sources are reporting that 1000's of Ethiopian Christians have been displaced by a spree of Muslim church and home burners.

      March 25, 2011 at 9:35 am |
  16. Just Walking

    You don't see non-believers burning churches and mosques.

    March 24, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Usually not, although I'm sure there will be exceptions.

      Conversely, if atheists started to hold regular meetings and acquired buildings in which to congregate, you can bet that they'd be right up on the target list for some god-inspired simpleton.

      March 24, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Ryan

      No, they just go around shooting children in schools like Columbine and Virginia Tech and claim it's "natural selection."

      March 24, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Alverant

      Those school shootings weren't done by Atheists and definitely not done in the name of Atheism. There have, however, been school shootings done by christians.

      March 24, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  17. Just Walking

    Walking Tall,

    Regarding your "keep your religion to yourself" comment, are you singling out Muslims?

    March 24, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Walking Tall

      Nope. I'm talking to everyone equally. Equality means no religion.

      March 24, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  18. Mark from Middle River

    "When my son countered middle school tormenters who called him a terrorist by telling about the burning of mosque, one response was “that’s OK, because you are in our country and we can do that to you.”

    That sounds very familier, I think igorance happens on all sides. If these boys had parents who watched church burnings from prodomitaly Muslim countries and Muslims toppling Budda's in the Far East their talk, around the dinner table, would more than likely be the same as twisted families in those lands.

    So Daoud Abudiab, when we have media news such as CNN and Foxnews showing scenes of burning Christian churches how do you feel society should react to a mosque burning here. When you can not even build a church in some Muslim countries, you can see why such feelings of "eye for an eye"format can quickly gain ground. Also, I am pretty sure some of those Christian's that helped were right wing in their voting as well, so can we leave the opinionated writing to the side?

    March 24, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Luanne

      trying to take credit for the Christians by assuming they were right-wing conservative Christians?
      Let the darkness flow out of your heart and seek the light of truth. Your bible is full of lies and therefore no guide to intelligent actions.

      March 24, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Normon

      "eye for an eye" – The last refuge of biblical morality, hurt me and I'll hurt you back. Or in your case, 'hurt people I don't even know in another country with different laws and I'll break the laws in my country and take out my unfounded frustrations by burning down your Mosque and feel justified by the Bible while doing it'

      March 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • ScottK

      "you can see why such feelings of "eye for an eye"format can quickly gain ground."

      Its sad that so many of the bible thumpers like that scripture, but seldom reference the "turn the other cheek" quote. I guess they figure being a sometimes Christian is a lot easier than truely being "Christ-like" as the name infers.

      March 24, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Turkish

      There are as many different definitions of "Christ-like" as there are people. They can't even define their god in a way that makes sense, much less some guy who didn't write anything down on his own.

      March 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • jorgath

      My response to the "eye for an eye" doctrine?

      "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." Matthew 7:3-5 (New American Standard Version)

      March 24, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  19. Zombie Jesus

    While I find humor in people still believing in myths and gods, they are free to do so no matter how ignorant it might be. I have yet to be approached by a Muslim trying to convert me. I have been approached by roaches holding bibles, which does become tiring. If a person wants to worship Zues, Jesus, Allah, Santa, Toothfairy, Mother Earth they should be free to do so. Just respect the rational people of the world's space.

    March 24, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      and this would have what to do with the article, kid?

      March 24, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Zombie Jesus

      Mark, try reading again...you might see

      March 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Jessy

      Read the last bits of the article. Your answer is there.

      March 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Zombie Jesus

      Jesse, you are asking too much from Mark

      March 24, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  20. Walking Tall

    You may not want to convert us but plenty of other people do, not just Muslims either.
    If burning down a building were all it took to destroy a religion, I'd be running all over town with a big jug of gasoline, nekkid and wild. It would be very picturesque, let me assure you.

    I am being true to who I am, so don't worry about that. You are welcome here in America as far as I am concerned, but, yes, keep your religion to yourself as far as possible.
    Hopefully law enforcement will take care of any dirty little details, like child abuse and infringing on the rights of others.

    March 24, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • AshHole

      Good luck with the law enforcement thing. They won't even take fingerprints from a burglary scene anymore.

      March 24, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Useless

      They could use the money to accomplish something worthwhile but they build empty buildings instead and use them to mumble to someone who ...is...not...there...!

      March 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
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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.