Rising anti-Islamic sentiment in America troubles Muslims
The ruins of a mosque in Joplin, Missouri, after a fire last month that Muslims leaders suspect was an arson.
September 5th, 2012
01:19 PM ET

Rising anti-Islamic sentiment in America troubles Muslims

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) -
When the nation pauses to remember 9/11 next week, a group of Tennesseans will gather at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Franklin for a commemoration. But it will be more than that.

On the program, called "The Threat in Our Backyard," is a lecture on Islam in public schools and a short film on Sharia finance.

It's a program organized by people who feel the American way of life is threatened by Islam - in particular, Sharia, or Islamic law.

Sharia would bring ruin to America, says Greg Johnson, vice president of the 9/12 Project Tennessee, a sponsor of the event that advocates for shifting government back to the intent of the Constitution's authors.

He says he has nothing against Muslims, but he takes issue with the tenets of Islam.

Sharia, he believes, would mean that practicing homosexuals would be put to death, women would not be educated and would be married off to men chosen by their fathers, and non-Muslims would become kafirs - nonbelievers - relegated to second-class citizenship.

My Faith: After my mosque was torched

"And I don't want that coming to America," Johnson says.

He's not alone in his fears.

A tide of anti-Islam sentiment has been swelling across America in recent months, strong enough to prompt one imam to wish for the days immediately after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks when President George W. Bush declared that Muslims were not our enemies; that the war on terror was against a select few who acted upon their hate for America.

"In the 11 years since, we have retreated," says Abdullah Antepli, the Muslim chaplain at Duke University who likes to call himself the Blue Devil Imam.

Muslims make up less than 1% of the U.S. population. Yet, say Muslim advocates, they are a community besieged.

Hate crimes against Muslims spiked 50% in 2010, the last year for which FBI statistics are available. That was in a year marked by Muslim-bashing speech over the Islamic center near ground zero in Manhattan and Florida Pastor Terry Jones' threats to burn Qurans.

Why some American Muslims wear the hijab

Antepli likens the current climate to McCarthyism. Left unchecked, he says, anti-Muslim fervor, like racism and anti-Semitism, has the potential to evolve into something dangerous.

This year's holy month of Ramadan, which ended August 19, was marred by a spate of violence at U.S. Islamic centers that included a fire, a homemade bomb and pig parts. The incidents were unprecedented in scale and scope, says the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

At least seven mosques and one cemetery were attacked in the United States during Ramadan, according to the council and other groups that track such incidents.

Particularly visible on the anti-Muslim radar has been the state of Tennessee, where a mosque opened during Ramadan after two years of controversy. The new Islamic center in Murfreesboro opened a few weeks ago after delays caused by legal wrangling, community protests and vandalism.

Also in Tennessee, incumbent congresswoman Diane Black found herself publicly opposing Sharia after her opponent Lou Ann Zelenik made it a campaign issue.

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State senatorial candidate Woody Degan's website also mentions Sharia:

"VOTE CONSERVATIVE! VOTE Anti-Sharia, VOTE Against Internet Taxes, Vote FOR Gun Carry Rights! VOTE for your PERSONAL RIGHTS!"

And Gov. Bill Haslam recently came under fire for hiring lawyer Samar Ali, a Muslim woman from Tennessee, to work in the international division of the state's economic development department.

Ali's critics called her Sharia-compliant and a website called Bill H(Islam) attacked the governor for pursuing "a policy that promotes the interest of Islamist (sic) and their radical ideology."

The website links to another that discusses, among other things, Islamic infiltration of public schools.

"I cannot stress enough the seriousness of their push to spread their religion to all non-Muslims throughout our country," says website author Cathy Hinners, another speaker at next Tuesday's 9/11 event in Franklin.

Why do Muslims pray five times daily?

"Why? Why are Muslims so adamant that we accept their religion? The answer is simple. The answer is in black and white. The answer is in the Muslim brotherhoods "Strategic Goal for North America." It's called a global caliphate. One religion, one government, one law... called Sharia."

In November 2010, more than 70% of voters in Oklahoma approved a ballot initiative to amend the state's constitution that banned courts from looking at "legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia law."

The amendment died after a federal court ruled it discriminatory.

"That was very explicitly anti-Islamic," says Glenn Hendrix, an Atlanta lawyer who specializes in international law. "It specifically referenced Sharia."

This year, 33 anti-Sharia or international law bills were introduced in 20 states, making it a key issue. Six states - Louisiana, South Dakota, Kansas, Arizona, Louisiana and Tennessee - adopted such laws prior to 2012.

CNN Explains: What’s Ramadan?

Two Tennessee lawmakers attempted to pass a bill this year that would have made it a felony to practice Sharia, but it failed.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations says the anti-Sharia bills are based on draft legislation promoted by David Yerushalmi, an anti-Islamic lawyer from New York.

Yerushalmi founded the Society of Americans for National Existence, an organization devoted to promoting his theory that Islam is inherently seditious and Sharia is a "criminal conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups.

"Ideally," says the center, "he would outlaw Islam and deport its adherents altogether."

Hendrix says anti-Sharia legislation is not necessary since U.S. courts ultimately are beholden to U.S. law.

But it sends a strong message to the Muslim community.

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The American Bar Association, which opposes federal or state laws that impose blanket prohibitions on foreign laws, says such legislative initiatives stigmatize an entire religious community and "are inconsistent with some of the core principles and ideals of American jurisprudence."

Valarie Kaur, a legal advocate and hate crimes specialist, says proponents of anti-Sharia bills are battling an imaginary threat.

"There is no push to install Sharia law in the U.S.," she says. "Anti-Sharia bills target the religious principles of Muslim Americans and fuel anti-Muslim rhetoric and bias. As a Sikh American whose community has too often become the target of hate, I believe it's time to stand against all forms of racism and religious bigotry."

An attack at a Wisconsin Sikh temple last month killed six people. Many believe the shooter mistook Sikhs for Muslims. A Sikh gas station attendant in Arizona was the first victim of reprisal after the 9/11 attacks.

Kaur blames tough economic times and an amplification of hateful speech for incidents like the temple shooting and the momentum behind the anti-Sharia campaign.

For Muslims, Sharia - which means "path to the watering hole" in Arabic - is the divine law revealed centuries ago in the Quran that governs all aspects of life. More often than not, it's the most sensational parts of Sharia - like cutting off a thief's hand - that garner the most publicity.

U.S. courts bump up against it in cases of divorces, inheritance, child custody, enforcement of money judgments and commercial disputes or tort actions.

A trial court in New Jersey, for instance, ruled that a husband, who was Muslim, lacked the criminal intent to commit sexual assault on his wife because Sharia permits a man to have sex with his wife whenever he wants.

That's the kind of ruling that fuels anti-Sharia activists.

Nashville health-care investor Andrew Miller says there's no room for democracy within Islamic ideology. All you have to do is look to any Islamic state, he says.

"If you wanted to pray to a large rock and that was your God, I could care less," he says. "But the minute you want to put a gun to my head and say you will pray to this large rock and your family will or you will pay the price, that's when I see a bully. I see an overbearing ideology that wants to force and coerce people.

Miller describes himself as a tolerant person but not when it comes to people dictating how others will live.

"That's antithetical to the freedoms that we value, the liberty we value," he says.

The message that Islam is evil has been repeated so many times - sometimes directly, sometimes in a more subtle fashion - that it has sunk in as reality in the hearts and minds of many Americans, says Antepli, the Duke chaplain.

Part of it is fear of the unknown, he says.

"I, too, would have a monstrous image of Islam if I did not know any better."

But another part of it is orchestrated, he says, referring to "well-organized and polished" anti-Islam websites that have sprouted in recent years. Marry that with ignorance and the end result is lethal, Antepli says.

The Center for American Progress, a liberal research and advocacy organization, published a report last year that attributed the rise of Islamophobia to a "small, tightly-networked group of misinformation experts."

The report called "Fear, Inc." lists seven foundations that gave $42.6 million to think tanks to promote anti-Islamic thought.

It describes "deeply intertwined individuals and organizations" that "manufacture and exaggerate threats of 'creeping Sharia,' Islamic domination of the West, and purported obligatory calls to violence against all non-Muslims by the Quran."

The issue of Sharia, say some Muslims, has become a political hot potato in an election year.

GOP candidates Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann mentioned Sharia in their campaign speeches. This year's Republican Party platform makes mention of foreign laws:

"Subjecting American citizens to foreign laws is inimical to the spirit of the Constitution. It is one reason we oppose U.S. participation in the International Criminal Court. There must be no use of foreign law by U.S. courts in interpreting our Constitution and laws. Nor should foreign sources of law be used in State courts' adjudication of criminal or civil matters."

That's the message Miller hopes people will take away from next week's 9/11 meeting; that the tenets of Islam go against the constitution of the United States.

It's diametrically opposed to what people like Antepli and Kaur will be saying as America remembers the horror of terrorism. Hateful sentiment, they say, is not the answer.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Politics • Tennessee

soundoff (2,383 Responses)
  1. bam

    fear mongering going strong for the gop

    September 6, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      They'd never stoop to that level.
      What colour is the terror alert status today?

      September 6, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Amniculi

      Well played, Doc. Well played.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Social Capitalist

      I like the way you didn't capitalize gop.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  2. WOW

    There some times comes a point to where you no longer can ride the fence trying to say every thing is okay and all should be okay (just get along with each other) and that point is when you are told, under Sharia law, that if you do not convert to Islam you will be put to death such as having your head cut off. What do you do then when you have let it get to that point?

    September 6, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You ding-a-ling, we aren't in any danger of that happening here, and your cowardice is disgusting.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I'm sure that any time now, all the Muslims in the United States will use their secret decoder rings to let each other know its time to march on Washington and put a big VOID stamp on the consti/tution while beheading every senator and congressman.
      Obama will then show his true Muslim roots and will implement Sharia law.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Christopher

      Tom, that's what people said in several other countries until Islam gained a foothold there.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • WOW

      @Tom: Lol.. you may call me a ding-a-ling but what if Tom? What if it did come to that... say not today, tomorrow, a year from now but done the road in your life time and when that time comes, if it does, will you have wished you viewed things differently in the past? It is too late when they put you to death and you go to your grave to be eaten by worms (you and I have had this talk in the past so you know we have covered this before). Ding-a-ling or up coming situations?

      September 6, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Christopher, you are just as much a wackaloon as the OP if you think that Muslims are about to overrun our country and impose Sharia law.

      Get a friggin' clue.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • WOW

      @ Chris: Tom is on the CNN payroll to keep the topics rolling along to generate more internet traffic LOL and I seem to be helping him do it LOL.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      WOW, let me know when you have any actual facts about anything to back up your inane rants. You have already proved you know nothing about American history. Why would anyone credit you with the ability to predict our future?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • WOW

      "Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom, and then lost it, have never known it again."

      September 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yes, sure. CNN is paying me to be here.

      And I get to post from Aruba every day.

      And I'm paid 2 million a year for my posts.

      If anyone has any doubt you're a complete idiot, you've just dispelled it.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Care to attribute that quote? Or are you going to continue to pretend you have something of substance to say?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • WOW

      @Tom: again you did not answer the question. What would you do in that situation? You again have shown you have no credibility in your statements and clearly you wish to twist truths any way you can to suit your stance on topics.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why would I bother to predict what I would do in "that situation" when you've yet to show that "that situation" is going to occur, you idiot? You can't cite any facts, you have no understanding of US law or history, and you might as well insist that I predict what I would do if your Jeebus came crashing through my ceiling next Tuesday.

      Get a clue, you bozo. Your silly fear-mongering achieves nothing.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I love it when WOW tells me that I "have no facts."

      Hilarious, coming from an imbecile that insists this country was founded on Christianity.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • WOW

      @ Tom: LOL... I see I have hit a nerve with you LOL... when you get upset that I have cornered you and you wish not to answer me you start calling me names...LOL!!!! You are like a little child bully on the play ground that needs a time out or maybe a NAP???

      September 6, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      WOW, when you finish babbling, post your sources of information on Islam. Or don't, and reinforce your reputation as a troll.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • prowd amurcin

      Well I sure hope when the Sharia uprising occurs they aren't brutal, unlike the Christians were when they invaded any of the numerous countries they did. You know... The ones where Crusaders massacred everyone in sight... In the name of Christianity... Or in Salem when they burned people alive without evidence of any wrong doing... In the name of Christianity... Oh wait, maybe Christians aren't as nice as they think they are.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Amniculi

      I wish I was on the CNN payroll like WOW claims Tom is...

      September 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm |


    September 6, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  4. prowd amurcin

    These comments are amazing, they can be summed up with "America, the land of religious freedom as long as you're Christian, and freedom of speech, as long as you're speaking about our lord."

    You guys have to take a history lesson because Christianity is the most sadistic religion around, and is responsible for more deaths and massacres than all other religions combined.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • WOW

      @ Prowd: Not true.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • prowd amurcin

      What isn't true? The first part or the second part? Because the first part is spot on. The second part is an exaggeration of course, but that doesn't change the fact that Christianity is insane and has been the direct cause for countless deaths and to say it is better than Islam in any capacity is foolish.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  5. mansour

    As a muslim who was born and rained in the USA , i have to admit that even though there is definitely a lot of hate toward Muslims and Islam but i have a very islamic name and anyone can identify me as muslim from my name and I work in a very public place and as much as it bothers me to hear about racist and hateful people out there, but i myself dont see it that much..for the most part Americans are not hateful racist people and for the most part, its these conservative haters and talk shows that incite the hate and build it up....Maybe i been lucky, that is not to say i have not heard comments or treated differently but i never associate that with americans but with individuals that do not represent america.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • DEBBIE


      September 6, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Social Capitalist

      Mansour, thank you for joining the discussion. Please encourage your fellow Muslims to join it. Liberal Christians are much too busy defending themselves and the Union from radical fundamentalist Christians to spend much time defending others. If you don't speak out loud and clear against the jihadists there will soon be an escalation of the violence against Muslims. Don't pay any attention to the nut-jobs that call you a liar. You will be speaking to those who they might recruit if you don't speak up.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  6. myweightinwords

    I have never understood the argument that seems to imply that we should not allow religious freedom to Muslims here in the US because Saudia Arabia (or wherever else) doesn't allow religious freedom to Christians, or that violence against Muslims is acceptable because some unrelated Muslim somewhere in the world committed an act of violence against an unrelated Christian.

    Following that notion would see us slowly sink to the lowest common denominator. The world would be lost in senseless violence and law would cease to exist.

    Is that what people really want to see? How can we possibly posture ourselves as "better" than those "other" countries if we behave no better than they do?

    September 6, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  7. Mark

    Hi Aethist Hunter!
    ARe you sad because your kind is going extinct?
    Try to be a man about it, ok?

    September 6, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Amniculi


      September 6, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Nope...I'm happy because Bible Prophecy is fulfilled. You'll be the sad one 🙁

      September 6, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Mark

      There is no bible prophecy..try living in reality. You amuse us but you hold the evolution of mankind back. Do it for mankind, not your priest (did he touch you?)

      September 6, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Amniculi

      Did we miss the rapture? What are you referring to?

      September 6, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Yes my high priest Jesus Christ touched me and now I am not longer blind like the two of you.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      AH, what happened in the case you cited? I noticed you never answered.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Huebert

      Biblical prophecy is nothing more than 2000 years of "any day now".

      September 6, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Huebert..........yep, any day now. What you got to lose.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Amniculi

      It's ok, Atheist Hunter, this is a safe place. Now show us on the doll. Where did the bad man touch you?

      September 6, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Huebert


      What have i got to lose? How about my time. Christians have been predicting the end of the world for over 2000 years and haven't been right once. Why in the world should i think that they are going to be right this time?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Social Capitalist

      AH, that wasn't Jesus that touched, it was Satan. He is very good at deceiving even G*D's elect, as you can see from his many posts in this blog. The taliban want you to know they appreciate your efforts very much and thank you for the new recruits.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  8. Kelcy

    Don't see how the muslims are any different than any of the other religious sects really. They all proselytize their faith, claiming their faith and only their version of their faith is the right path to god (their god). They all want to impose their version of their faith on the rest of the world populations...beginning with the particular country they are in. They all say their religion demands that they convert the rest of humanity to their view. They all have ultra conservative aspects of their particular "ism" that will use violence to do so.

    You see this here in the United States as an ongoing fight between Christians (with some minor nod to judaism) almost every day. The christians want their ten commandments on every wall of every building. The christians want their prayers said before all occasions where people gather be it at work or at school. The christians want US laws to follow the bible or at least their interpretation of it since so many sects pick and choose which parts they follow (wait....doesn't that sound like the muslims and their sharia.....oops....sure does). Of course, were they (the christian's) to suddenly win that fight then just as you see between the sunni's and shia's the fight would begin between the various christian sects for Whose version had control....would it be the southern baptists, the luthrens, the catholics, the mormons, the evangelical christians, etc?

    Religion is the bane of humanity. Religion is used as an excuse to control other humans. What is funny in a sad way is that as more people move away from organize religion all the religions (be they christian, judaism, muslim, etc) become more strident in their calls for control. And those not religious don`t see what all the hubbub is about and don't realize that sooner than later the religious will become violent in their efforts to impose their view of their god on everyone else.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  9. Mark

    awwww, do the po lil christians feel abused?


    Go send your kid to a priest...they will have a GOOD time!

    September 6, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  10. Mark

    Why do christians spread hate and lies?
    It goes against what the bible says.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Social Capitalist

      Please use the term "radical Christians". Liberal Christians don't spread hate and lies. We take Christ's words seriously. When you just say 'Christians' you make they same mistake as the Islamaphobes and lump us all together.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  11. Reality

    Back to the nitty-gritty:

    What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon?

    And what drives today's 24/7 mosque/imam-planned acts of terror and horror?

    The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means.

    Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed.

    Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein.

    Until then, no Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere..................................

    September 6, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Joe

      There's actually a real answer to your questions, it's called American foriegn policy!

      September 6, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Joe

      oh, and fyi – the christian bible is just as violent – if not moreso.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Jay

      Hahhaa, there goes another conspiracy theorist. Do you really think the attack on the world trade centers actually had anything to do with the destruction of the buildings??? Come on, pull your head out of your ass and understand that it was a way to hurt us where it matters...our pocket books! Look at all we have lost since entering the war on terrorism. Economy sucks, jobs suck, inflation, increased poverty, lower education and graduation rates, recession etc. You want to classify this as a religious agenda. GTFO, open your eyes. Its all about the benjamins!

      September 6, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Reality

      Actually, it is the Old Testament that lists the god-approved atrocities:

      To wit:

      •Exodus 32: 3,000 Israelites killed by Moses for worshipping the golden calf.

      •Numbers 31: After killing all men, boys and married women among the Midianites, 32,000 virgins remain as booty for the Israelites. (If unmarried girls are a quarter of the population, then 96,000 people were killed.)

      •Joshua: ◦Joshua 8: 12,000 men and women, all the people of Ai, killed.
      ◦Joshua 10: Joshua completely destroys Gibeon ("larger than Ai"), Makeddah, Libnah, Lachish, Eglon, Hebron, Debir. "He left no survivors."
      ◦Joshua 11: Hazor destroyed. [Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews (1987), estimates the population of Hazor at ?> 50,000]
      ◦TOTAL: if Ai is average, 12,000 x 9 = 108,000 killed.

      •Judges 1: 10,000 Canaanites k. at Battle of Bezek. Jerusalem and Zephath destroyed.
      •Judges 3: ca. 10,000 Moabites k. at Jordan River.
      •Judges 8: 120,000 Midianite soldiers k. by Gideon
      •Judges 20: Benjamin attacked by other tribes. 25,000 killed.

      •1 Samuel 4: 4,000 Isrealites killed at 1st Battle of Ebenezer/Aphek. 30,000 Isr. k. at 2nd battle.
      •David: ◦2 Samuel 8: 22,000 Arameans of Damascus and 18,000 Edomites killed in 2 battles.

      ◦2 Samuel 10: 40,000 Aramean footsoldiers and 7,000 charioteers killed at Helam.
      ◦2 Samuel 18: 20,000 Israelites under Absalom killed at Ephraim.

      •1 Kings 20: 100,000 Arameans killed by Israelites at Battle of Aphek. Another 27,000 killed by collapsing wall.
      •2 Chron 13: Judah beat Israel and inflicted 500,000 casualties.
      •2 Chron 25: Amaziah, king of Judah, k. 10,000 from Seir in battle and executed 10,000 POWs. Discharged Judean soldiers pillaged and killed 3,000.
      •2 Chron 28: Pekah, king of Israel, slew 120,000 Judeans

      •TOTAL: That comes to about 1,283,000 mass killings specifically enumerated in the Old Testament/Torah.

      The New Testament has only one major atrocity, that of god committing filicide assuming you believe in this Christian mumbo jumbo. Said atrocity should be enough to vitiate all of Christianity.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  12. Social Capitalist

    Even if you Islamaphobes were 100% correct you would still be harming the US war effort against the jihadists. Understand what I am saying, you're giving aid and comfort to the enemy during wartime, get it? Taliban recruiters love you. Such sabotage of the war effort will not be tolerated for long. Many of you ARE jihadists trying to convince moderate Muslims to join them, and the rest of you foolishly play into their hands. Stop helping our enemies you stupid cowards.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      I WILL CAST TERROR INTO THE HEARTS OF THOSE WHO DISBELIEVE. THEREFORE STRIKE OFF THEIR HEADS AND STRIKE OFF EVERY FINGERTIP OF THEM. THIS IS BECAUSE THEY ACTED ADVERSELY TO ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER; AND WHOEVER ACTS ADVERSELY TO ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER – THEN SURELY ALLAH IS SEVERE IN REQUITING (EVIL). THIS – TASTE IT, AND (KNOW) THAT FOR THE UNBELIEVERS IS THE PUNISHMENT OF FIRE. O you who believe! When you meet those who disbelieve marching for war, then turn not your backs to them. And whoever shall turn his back to them on that day – unless he turn aside for the sake of fighting or withdraws to a company – then he, indeed, becomes deserving of Allah's wrath, and his abode is hell; and an evil destination shall it be. So you did not slay them, but it was Allah Who slew them and you did not smite when you smote (the enemy) but it was Allah Who smote, and that He might confer upon the believers a good gift from Himself; (8:12-17)

      September 6, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Social Capitalist

      I see you missed the part where I said that even if you are right you are harming your country, or could it be you just don't care?

      September 6, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Turning a blind eye and keeping hush hush while they take over is what is harming the country. Or do you just not care. Just let em have it and sit back quietly and don't say a word. Evil should be unveiled, not hidden and protected. Do you think patting them on the back will change their minds? REALLY?

      September 6, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Your turning a blind eye and staying out of the fight is they kind of thinking that got us a jihadist leader in the US. You go hide in your cave, they'll eventually find you too. I chose to go out kicking and screaming!

      September 6, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Social Capitalist

      You are terrified of 1% of the population. Such cowardice does not become an American.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Social Capitalist

      If you stupid Islamaphobes succeed in turning all Muslims against the US we will be at war with 1.2 billion people and half the world will be the battlefield. Are you going up to help fight the war you are trying to start? Will you join up? I think not, coward.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Christopher

      Wrong. The Taliban would want to kill us regardless of what we thought or said. They would want us dead or invisible simply because we are not Muslims.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm asking again, Christopher: Where are you getting your 'facts'? What sites did you use to do your research on Islam?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Social Capitalist

      You are absolutely correct Christopher. What you are missing is the fact that of the 1.2 billion Muslims (23% of the Earth's population) only a tiny fraction of that are taliban or al quida actually waging war against us. If we manage to convince all Muslims that we want to destroy them, our battlefield enlarges from Afghanistan to half the world, and the number of people we must face on the battlefield is multiplied litterally by thousands. The homeland is not in danger so why start a world war?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Venture Captialist

      They don't care what we think. Most can't even read – they rely and act upon what their Imams and Clerics tell them and no one goes against it. How does the saying go? In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Social Capitalist

      Do you have any more ignorant stero-types to share with us VC. Oh my, I just noticed how very appropriate your initials are!!!

      September 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Venture Capitalist

      It's no stereotype – learn to spell, ignoramus.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  13. Christopher

    Islam and western democracy are completely incompatible. Violence is never the answer to the spread of a cancer such as Islam. However, it is necessary to remain vigilant and to not give an inch to the demands of Islamists.
    Islam is not a religion. Rather, it is a totalitarian political system whose members seek to destroy democracy and to replace democratic governments with sharia law.

    September 6, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Mark


      What else did Fox News tell you to say?

      September 6, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Joe

      I am anti-religion, but you need to be educated on the topic before you speak.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Jeff

      Mark .. Do some research. Islam is incompatible with western culture..simple as that.. Islam really is an all encompassing political/Social and military structure... one only needs to look at the history of Islam and look at the nations of Islam to get that. Im not advocating violence and I'm not advocating hate..It is what it is.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jeff, what research did you do? What websites did you use for your information?

      September 6, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Christopher

      I don't watch Fox News. In fact, I voted for Obama. I am pro gay marriage and pro choice. However, I sharply differ from the left when it comes to the totalitarian political system called Islam.
      I find it disturbing and ironic that liberal thinking people would continue to give in to the demands of Islamsists. Wherever Islam takes command of a society, liberal thinking people are the first to be killed off.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Christopher

      I am very educated on the topic. So are the Danes. So are the Dutch. So are people in other societies where Islam has gained a foothold. If you were truly "anti religion" and not actually a blind follower of the Democratic party as I suspect, then you would agree with me.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'll ask you the same question I asked Jeff: where did you find your information? What websites did you find to be neutral and unbiased on the subject?

      September 6, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Social Capitalist

      Turkey, which is 95% Muslim, is a secular state with separation of mosque and state. It is a modern western democracy. And don't even try to claim that is changing. I have an atheist friend in Istanbul which debates Muslims at street cafes without fear. I have many Christian Turks I correspond with that laugh at the thought that Turkey is becoming radicalized.

      The wife of the prime minister can't even wear a head scarf in her home because it is owned by the government and religious symbols are not allowed in public buildings. If a political candidate mentions religion in a political speech he is disqualified from running for office.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  14. Godoflunaticscreation

    Funny how these groups that use Sharia Law to instill fear are the ones pushing their theocracy on every American. Say hello to your brothers.

    September 6, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Joe

      Well said!

      September 6, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  15. QUIP

    It's not Islam, it's RELIGION.
    It is truly the root of all evil.

    September 6, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Mark

      Yeah, I heard that on Fox News too

      September 6, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Amniculi

      Mark, what Fox News do you watch? I want to watch that one.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • $hhh

      No, that would be money.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  16. JonfromLI

    I'm not anti-Islam and condone violence against Muslim citizens, but I am tired of this political agenda ever since 9/11 where we're supposed to bend over in support of condoning Anti-Islamic sentiments while those same liberals getting behind them are turning their backs on the Jews and our real ally, Israel.

    September 6, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • JonfromLI

      *condemn, not condone (CNN doesn't have the technology to edit your posts yet).

      September 6, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      If israel was our ally they wouldn't have built nukes behind our backs.

      September 6, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • David

      Israel is an enemy.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Amniculi

      That's ironic coming from someone called David.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  17. Atheist Hunter

    BRENTWOOD, CA (ANS) - As children return to school this week, following the Christmas break, 7th graders in a growing number of public schools, who are not permitted to wear a cross or speak the name of Jesus, will be required to attend an intensive three week course on Islam; a course in which students are mandated to learn the tenets of Islam, study the important figures of the faith, wear a robe, adopt a Muslim name and stage their own Jihad.

    Imagine That! No Christianity in school but Islam is welcome!

    September 6, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      WAKE UP PEOPLE! They are taking over! Do you know what they do to hom-os for all you liberals out there!

      September 6, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Mark

      Sounds like a blatant lie to me. God knows when you lie.
      Enjoy hell!

      September 6, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • mansour

      REally? what school do they allow this, in California ? school system in california mandates that kids dress in islmic robes and take a three week class on islam ?and for kids to have islamic names ? wow...and its mandatory ? being a news junkie i would think i would have heard enough parents yelling about this by now...can you please educate us and tell us which schools do this ? i will be the first protest...

      September 6, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Atheist Hunter
      You're sensationalizing things.

      Nancie Castro, the principle at the middle school, denies the children were taught to pray or that any of the children was required to participate in the cultural activities of wearing Middle-Eastern clothing or choosing a Moslem name. She told the Contra Costa Times that wearing the clothing was something offered for extra credit.
      Castro says that when the flyers about the course were sent to parents, three families asked that their children be exempted from that particular portion of the studies and they were given alternate assignments.
      Peggy Green, the Superintendent of the Byron Union School district says that the school is merely reflecting the California guidelines for seventh grade and that the students are learning about Islam in the same way that they learn about Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and other major religions.
      Forrest Turpen is the Executive Director of the Christian Educator's Association International (www.ceai.org). It is a Christian group committed to educators and educational issues in public schools. Turpin says the teaching about Islam has not been "slipped" into the curriculum. Islam has been an important part of history, and therefore an important part of studying history for a long time and is a part of the state guidelines for seventh graders just as teaching about Christianity is a part of the educational guidelines for 6th graders. That is the reason, according to Turpin, why the textbook "Across the Centuries" deals with Islam more than Christianity. It's a seventh grade text and that is the grade when Islam is studied. "In fact," says Turpin, "the state of California has been a leader in requiring a balance of teaching about who we are and what has empowered us as a civilization."

      Tom Adams, the administrator for curriculum framework at the state education department, told the Contra Costa Times that state guidelines (for seventh grade) do include a unit on Islamic civilization in the medieval world, however, it should be an academic approach on the historical significance of the religion. It should not be construed as an endorsement of it.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Primewonk

      But Doc, this means that atheist hunter is either lgnorant, or lying.


      September 6, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Can't it be both?

      September 6, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Or c) both of the above.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Social Capitalist

      Wise up people. AH is a Christian jihadist just trying to drum up same support for his Christian militia. He and his friends want to turn the US into a Christian theocracy.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  18. Taco Man

    As long as the Muslim population remains around or under 2% in any given country, they will be for the most part being regarded as a peace-loving minority, and not as a threat to other citizens. This is the case in:

    United States - Muslim 0.6%
    Australia - Muslim 1.5%
    Canada - Muslim 1.9%
    China - Muslim 1.8%
    Italy - Muslim 1.5%
    Norway - Muslim 1.8%

    At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs. This is happening in:

    Denmark - Muslim 2%
    Germany - Muslim 3.7%
    United Kingdom - Muslim 2.7%
    Spain - Muslim 4%
    Thailand - Muslim 4.6%

    From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature halal on their shelves - along with threats for failure to comply. This is occurring in:

    France - Muslim 8%
    Philippines - 5%
    Sweden - Muslim 5%
    Switzerland - Muslim 4.3%
    The Netherlands - Muslim 5.5%
    Trinidad & Tobago - Muslim 5.8%

    At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islamists is to establish Sharia law over the entire world. When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris , we are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam, and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam , with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam. Such tensions are seen daily, particularly in Muslim sections, in:

    Guyana - Muslim 10%
    India - Muslim 13.4%
    Israel - Muslim 16%
    Kenya - Muslim 10%
    Russia - Muslim 15%

    After reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues, such as in:

    Ethiopia - Muslim 32.8%

    At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare, such as in:

    Bosnia - Muslim 40%
    Chad - Muslim 53.1%
    Lebanon - Muslim 59.7%

    From 60%, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of all other religions (including non-conforming Muslims), sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and ***ya, the tax placed on infidels, such as in:

    Albania - Muslim 70%
    Malaysia - Muslim 60.4%
    Qatar - Muslim 77.5%
    Sudan - Muslim 70%

    After 80%, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some State-run ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward 100% Muslim, such as has been experienced and in some ways is on-going in:

    Bangladesh - Muslim 83%
    Egypt - Muslim 90%
    Gaza - Muslim 98.7%
    Indonesia - Muslim 86.1%
    Iran - Muslim 98%
    Iraq - Muslim 97%
    Jordan - Muslim 92%
    Morocco - Muslim 98.7%
    Pakistan - Muslim 97%
    Palestine - Muslim 99%
    Syria - Muslim 90%
    Tajikistan - Muslim 90%
    Turkey - Muslim 99.8%
    United Arab Emirates - Muslim 96%

    100% will usher in the peace of 'Dar-es-Salaam' - the Islamic House of Peace. Here there's supposed to be peace, because everybody is a Muslim, the Madrasses are the only schools, and the Koran is the only word, such as in:

    Afghanistan - Muslim 100%
    Saudi Arabia - Muslim 100%
    Somalia - Muslim 100%
    Yemen - Muslim 100%

    Unfortunately, peace is never achieved, as in these 100% states the most radical Muslims intimidate and spew hatred, and satisfy their blood lust by killing less radical Muslims, for a variety of reasons.

    September 6, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Phllyphan

      Well stated.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • mansour

      for your into , there is not country called Gaza and a different country called Palestine..good try though, did you sit and make up this all alone ? pretty impressive..

      September 6, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Joe

      Replace Muslim with Christian and your chart still works – that's the problem, it's not about one it's all of them!

      September 6, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Muche

      You mentioned Bosnia on your list. Do you actually know what happened in Bosnia? Obviously not. Did you know that Muslims are the ones who were massacred there? Have you heard about Srebrenica massacre? Those people were Muslims. You have no clue what you are talking about. How can you be so ignorant and spread lies around!?

      September 6, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • WOW

      @ Taco: Very nice illustration. Great work.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Hold it right there!

      I went looking for the real author of these words and found a reference here:


      From the article:

      "In the book, Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat, written by Dr. Peter Hammond, he explores the topic of the impact that an increasing Muslim population has on that society. The lists below illustrate the Muslim population status of countries around the world, and exactly what changes to the societies can be expected according to Hammond."

      And then we see this well-written list that "Taco Man" pretends are his own words.
      You're welcome.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Shakira

      Are you sure you don't go by another name, Jakerman, the posts are so very similar.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  19. joep222

    I do not advocate violence or vandalism against Islam or Muslims. However, Islam is evil. It is based in hatred, oppression, violence, anger, control, suppression of the truth and fear. It suppresses the truth of God in it's doctrines and rules. Islam's mission is to conquer unbelievers and destroy those who stand against Islam and the lies of the Quran. Islam is not a religion of peace when many of it's adherents attack, beat-up and kill Christians and Jews. This is what the Quran teaches: to lie to and kill the unbeliever. The Quran allows no room for unbelievers in it's worldview it. Any Muslim that does not advocate violence against unbelievers are actually apostate to the Muslim belief.

    If we do nothing to stand up for the truth, then the evil of Islam will continue to spread and grow.

    All that evil needs to succeed is for no one to stand against it. [Edmund Burke]

    September 6, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Jay

      Joep22, where did you get that information? Can you site facts that lead you to believe the entire Islamic faith is what you say it is? Or is it just ingorance and lack of knowledge that lead you to this opinion?

      September 6, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Muche

      You gotta be kidding me!? I suggest you start reading today. It is embarrassing to post such things.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  20. W.

    There is no greater enterprise in the United States than hatred and discrimination, and all is hidden in the usual guise of god; religion notwithstanding. All humans have a deep desire to destroy in order to posture themselves or remain in positions of power. I am very thankful that my life is rapidly coming to an end and I can be dismissed from the prejudices of social conformity.

    September 6, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Jay

      Don't lose hope W. May the one who created humanity bring peace to your life.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:02 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.