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.

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

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. Madmax

    in May of 1948 a land mass became known as the Nation of ISREAL, that was Prophesied in the BIBLE way before your DNA was taking on its Conclusion, since 70 A.D.( A = anno D= domino= latin for IN THE YEAR OF OUR L O R D !!) not after death geeezz.....it was a sand box....now tell me ISREAL is just a new Nation with NO HISTORY untill 1948....? the KORAN Believers want it GEE O ENN EEE...like HITLER, and sAtan, What do you say about Jewish History? the Manuscripts ( The Word) is the TRUTH....or is it all just a story .... every tounge WILL confess and every knee WILL bow....oh i cant wait yeehaw !!! Cmon you BIBLE THUMPERS it is a SHARP SWORD.....Swing that Baby.....LOL

    September 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Amniculi

      There is no ISREAL. Could you mean Israel, maybe? Lay off the whacky tobacky, dude.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Ken

      They are really talking about the south and not the whole United States. The south is known to be un-educated and widely known for their racism and delusions that the U.S is being taken over.

      I know many Muslims and they are the opposite of what people in the south think of them( not like they think good of anyone) .

      If people in the south want to educate themself, I would say READ A BOOK OR TWO, and stop being controlled by the MObs of the south. THIS IS THE UNITED STATES NOT A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY


      September 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Amniculi

      Unfortunately it is not just the south. It is anywhere there are bigoted right-wing, Christian, religio-fascist, Tea Bagger nutjobs. There are many fine people from the south (including our fellow poster Huebert) who do not subscribe to this type of hateful fear-mongering.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Book of hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism has no credibility to justify hindism terrorism of hindu Jew's, racist self centered pretending to be god's themselves, Israelite were Hebrew Ellah, dedicated to truth absolute, unlike hindu Jew's, criminal secular s of hindu, pagan Egypt and Persia and blood brothers of hindu Nazi's. No need to make bible, it never has been, book of turth and reject of son of blessed May. Visit http://www.limitisthetruth.com/ to learn more.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Amniculi

      Thanks for the spam, hinduism. I don't think it could possibly have been more unintelligible. Maybe if it were written in Sanskrit...

      September 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  2. seaspirit

    I for one, will not accept "religion" that dominates women. end. no room for that here in the US – Let them go to Canada

    September 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Amniculi

      The treatment of women according to the Bible isn't much different...

      September 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Ken

      LOL, dominates women? how does it dominate women?

      and when you answer me, please dont give me the 4th hand account of what you hearddd, but somthign educated in your own words with facts, and im not talking about peoples actions used as facts I'm talking about somthing from their scriptures.

      another question is, if it does degarde women like you say, than why is that most converts to islam in the U.S. are made by mostly Women?

      or maybe you just need someone to Hate

      September 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  3. VideoGuy

    The Flag of Islam will one day fly:


    September 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • sherri

      OH MY and you wonder why we have a problem with muslims

      September 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  4. VideoGuy

    Sharia Law – She's buried chest high"


    September 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • bruceben9

      wow. the video and poem are quite powerful. thanks for showing the world the truth.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  5. jfhickey

    When George W. Bush used the word "crusade" at one point, the president's reference flashed through the Arab news media. It seemed to confirm Osama Bin Laden's frequent accusation that the West was "determined to continue with their Crusader campaigns... to occupy our countries... to enslave us."

    September 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  6. jfhickey

    The Muslim reaction to our use of "crusade" is a mirror image of our reaction to their use of 'jihad." In both cases, there is a deadly danger of misinterpretation which can fan the flames of a clash of civilizations between Christians and Muslims, sparking hatred and mistrust.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • VideoGuy

      Jfhickey – you are clueless.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • alpg49

      Yes, "crusade" and "jihad" have similar meanings to respectively, the Christians and Moslems. These meanings are not meant to inspire antagonism. However, they both appear in a limited way in the historical memories of the respective audiences, so as to remind the hearer of historical injustices. Be careful how you talk. Be careful how you listen, too.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  7. jfhickey

    It is interesting, by the way, that our use of "crusade" has had the same range of meaning as the the Islamic use of "jihad," ranging from any zealous devotion to a goal on up to physical warfare. Many Muslims believe that the Crusades, in the sense of warfare on Muslims in the name of Christ, is still going on.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  8. VideoGuy

    Judge orders use of Islamic law in Tampa lawsuit over mosque leadership


    September 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  9. VideoGuy


    September 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  10. jfhickey

    The validation by supposed "scholars," and opportunistic politicians, and former government officials, and federal prosecutors eager to make a case, of the ridiculous idea that Muslims are trying to undermine American law, is part of what makes this movement so insidious.

    There are always conspiracy theories floating around, and there are often people with academic or government credentials that will affirm even the most insane ideas.For instance, former FBI official Ted Gunderson apparently fell victim to mental illness and elaborated bizarre conspiracy theories, including allegations that a "slave auction" was held in Las Vegas in which children were sold to men in turbans, that four thousand ritual human sacrifices are performed in New York City every year, that the government has prepared 1,000 internment camps in the U.S.for its own citizens, that the government has stored 30,000 guillotines to murder its critics, and has stashed 500,000 caskets in Georgia and Montana for the remains. People inclined toward clinical paranoia actually buy into some of these claims partly because Gunderson had been a FBI official.

    But the depth of apparent (though false) authority is much deeper for the anti-Muslim bigotry. The layers of sources citing sources are more entrenched than, say, Senator Joseph McCarthy's references to "secret lists" of communists. So it is harder to combat this insanity. It's like trying to convince a paranoid schizophrenic that his beliefs are delusional. He has layers upon layers of mutually confirming perceptions anchoring his beliefs.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  11. jfhickey

    A worrisome aspect of this is that the witch-hunters can cite a number of official-seeming sources, like James Woolsey, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and former deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin. Yerushalmi, Gaffney, Woolsey, Boykin, and others have published a book supposedly doc-umenting the threat of Shariah, and Gaffney's "Center for Security Policy" publishes "research papers."

    These sources, in turn cite apparent "official" authorities" like Bush-era federal prosecutors in the "Holyland" case, who, in a ridiculous over-reach, listed practically every Muslim organization in the country as "Unindicted Co-conspirators and/or Joint Venturers" and "enti-ties who are and/or were members of the US Muslim Brotherhood," seeming to accuse people though actually making not even the implication of criminal behavior.

    A federal appeals court removed the label for all parties, ruling the designation "simply an untested allegation of the Government, made in anticipation of a possible evidentiary dispute that never came to pass." But of course the witch-hunters are not following up on the courts' invalidation of these charges. They simply continue to cite the discredited smear made by the federal prosecutors.

    The prosecutors, to follow this one step deeper, were depending heavily on a doc-ument called An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America, written by one overly enthusiastic evangelical member of the Muslim Brotherhood, who saw the possibility of converting all of America to Islam with, as he imagined, the participation of every Muslim organization in the country. Unfortunately, he used the concept of "jihad," which is used in Arabic the way we use the word "crusade" in English. The doc-ument was not a plan for war but for religious conversion, and in any case it was the imaginings of one zealot and not a plan of the Muslim Brotherhood. But the prosecutors saw an opportunity to hype this as a terrorist conspiracy involving every Muslim organization in the country, and thus put forward their list of "Unindicted Co-conspirators and/or Joint Venturers."

    "The Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America," despite it's very dubious provenance as a "terrorist plan," continues to be cited by those who consider themselves knowledgeable on these matters. It is being used against Muslims the same way that the trumped-up "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" was used against Jews (and is still used against Jews by people like Lewis Farrakan).

    Thus there is a vicious circle of apparent authority for the ridiculous idea that Muslims are trying to undermine American law. The witch-hunters can cite sources which cite official-seeming authorities, which in turn cite trumped up doc-uments. It is understandable that uneducated people would have a hard time seeing through this.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  12. jfhickey

    Thank you for this article. For a couple of years now I have had Google automatically do a search for "Shariah" every day, and the level of anti-Muslim religious bigotry has noticeably increased in intensity and in the number of sites that repeat the corrosive lies spewed by Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, David Yerushalmi, Frank Gaffney, David Horowitz, and others, including politicians like Michelle Bachmann and Newt Gingrich.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Amniculi

      You think they're bad? Read some of the comments on here!

      September 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  13. LOOK

    Here, then, is the problem:

    Sharia law contains hundreds, if not thousands, of rules that violate our federal, state, and local laws, ordinances, and regulations. Rules for "honor killings", retribution, revenge, perjury, murder, mutilation, torture, abuse, and so on, are WRONG in this country because our laws call most of those things FELONIES.

    It does not matter whether there are millions of Muslims here or just one.
    When they violate the law, they are not allowed to claim religious exemptions to our laws. Such a thing would violate the First Amendment. No religious law is allowed to be supreme over our federal, state, or local laws.

    This is rock-solid. The only Supreme Law in the United States of America is the Const!tution!

    It does not matter if you violate our laws in private. You are still violating the law. No religion has any authority in our courts, or at least that's the way it is supposed to be.
    If a Muslim, Christian, Jew, or other religious believer uses their religion to murder someone, it remains MURDER under our laws and no religious nonsense can be used as a defense against the charge of MURDER.

    It doesn't matter how many believers there are. It doesn't matter how hard they believe or how pious they pretend to be.
    If they violate our nation's laws in public or private they are criminals and should be put in prison.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • WOW

      1st amendment:
      Congres s shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free ex ercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to as semble, and to peti tion the Government for a redres s of grievances.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Amniculi

      Yep, that's the 1st Amendment.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, look. WOW somehow imagines that by posting the 1st amendment, he is making some point. Too bad the only point he has is the one on his tin-foil hat.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • WOW

      @Tom: Got a problem with the 1st Amendment as well do you? Go figure.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Amniculi

      WOW, I suggest you go back on your meds. You are clearly confused and delusional.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Unless there are meds that will give him a brain and an education, there's no hope there.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • todd

      Actually, peyote is a hallucinogenic drug that is illegal in the US and is a felony if one were to be caught possessing it. Yet, Native Americans, under their religious practices, consume peyote to converse with their gods. It is in fact legal for Native Americans practicing their religion to consume peyote on their resevations. I don't suppose we would make a reservation for Muslims, but if we did, their Sharia laws might actually be legal. Not that I am in favor with Sharia laws, I'm just pointing out that your statement is factually incorrect.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Amniculi

      Todd, your argument is irrelevant. Muslims are not native to this land mass. Therefore they were not displaced and have no need for a reservation.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Ken

      A bunch of people here sound like mindless mobs just wanting to KILL and MURDER someone, anyone , just because they feel as if they have to HATE someone, the people talking about HATE and VIOLENCE here must be republicans since thats all they talk about

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

      Todd, the feds regularly dig up and burn Peyote cactus' on the Navajo reservation here in Arizona. The Reservation is huge and Navajos are just so isolated they don't actually catch them in the act very often. Peyote is illegal in the US. At least the feds act like it is.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  14. Tap-me-I-tap you.

    Lets not practice islam and lets just practice intercourse.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Amniculi

      I assume you mean political intercourse. I agree. We should all sit down and have an honest discussion about the effects of Islam and and other religions in this country. Hopefully we will come to the conclusion that they should all be done away with and people should be free to live their lives without one religious group promoting fear, hatred and violence against another.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  15. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Odd that Christopher, Jeff, and WOW all "know" that Islam is a danger, but when asked to tell me where they found accurate, unbiased information that led them to that conclusion, all I get are crickets.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • tjp44

      you are clueless aren't you.....9-11-2001

      September 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That's what you are basing your entire case on?

      Not good enough. 9/11 had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with world politics.

      Now if that's all you have, blow.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • WOW

      @tjp: You are right he has no clue. He is just stiring the pot to get more internet traffic for CNN.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Worpiderp

      You mean you've never heard of "creepingsharia-com" or heard of this book "Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat, written by Dr. Peter Hammond, which is being plagiarized by some posters here today?

      I'm not saying that's where these j.ok.ers got this information, except one post that I checked on the previous page. I'm not checking these posts any more than I can help it.
      I see they are also quoting other people without mentioning the fact that those words were not written by them in other places, too.
      Some interesting stuff, though. I wish someone would fact-check it for all of us. I am too tired. Maybe you could do it, Tom.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • WASP

      @44: 9/11/01 was a horrible action commited by a person that had a beef with our government, not the population.

      bin laden was a taliban leader trained by the u.s. special forces to combat the invading soviet army for us. we provided him with weapons bought from a third party and cash to fund a long gorilla-war against the invading soviet troops. the turning point in the invasion was when we started providing the taliban fighters with stinger missles to bring down the soviet built gunships (aka armed helicopters).
      we made promises to build up afganistan/pakistan once the fighting was over, then we flipped on him and left them with nothing. we gave a lot of weapons to tribal people to fight for us so we wouldn't have to go to war with the soviet union then we backed out of our deal.
      i'm not saying we deserved what happen on that horrible day, but he had his reasons for plotting revenge after all these years....................which for your information had nothing to do with religion.
      only a duhhhhhhhh would think they could attack a country and make them convert to any faith at al much less the beliefs of the attacker......................and it takes an even larger DUHHHHHHHHHHH to believe that was the reason we were attacked, so don't cheapen the loss of life on that day by being ignorant. people many different faiths were lost when those buildings came down.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  16. American

    Scaring people from Sharia in UNITED STATES OF AMERICA !!!....in a country which does not even have a 2% muslim population....you got to be kidding me !!!
    Sharia or the islamic law is not even practiced in muslim majority countries like Pakistan or Indonesia. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world which practices Sharia, that too only to a certain extent.
    Only a really dumb person can be mislead with all this Anti- Sharia propaganda.
    Gaining political mileage or cheap publicity out of scaring people of Sharia is pathetic. It is as if trying to get popular by scaring people of a possible invasion from Mars....a threat which does not exist in the real world.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Look how scared they are of atheism!

      September 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • SImran

      Muslims live peacefully in India where at least 13.4% of the population (about 160 million) is Muslim. Trouble only arises when some politicians like Narinder Modi use the Hindu-Muslim hate weapon and create riots (Gujarat) for their own political gains.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Ken

      There are 1.7 BILLION Muslims in the world, and like most people they live a good respectful life. The middle east only comprises 20% of muslims and of which 4 of those countries have been in war in the past 10 years, so yes excuse them if they dont look too happy.

      only .00000000001% of a 1% of muslims from the 1.7 BILLION muslims are bad, and thats a fact no matter how much you want to hate and murder someone, thats the fact.

      How about we grow up and start talking about how we can create jobs, and strengthen the United States instead of talking about HATE and VIolence?

      How about we put money in better schools to educate our kids, I mean look at the un-educated people here and in our country who just want to murder and kill people because of their different beliefs?

      Lets talk about things that will advance our country and not take it back to the spanish inquisition era?

      September 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  17. WOW

    Rep: "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 12:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why is it you can't say who wrote those words, WOW?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • WOW

      I have no problem in stating whom wrote those words, its out 40th President of the U.S. that is whom said it.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "WHO wrote". Not "whom".

      You wonder why I laugh at your posts, WOW. It's because anyone with that poor a grasp of the language is simply not worth taking seriously.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  18. Mr Finch

    Hey Frank, how can anti-semitism be rampant in Islam when Arabs are by definition, SEMITES. You fraud. The only Muslims who are not free are the ones who have rulers that are puppets of the west. I also just googled Sufi Mohammed and there was nothing. You're a liar!

    September 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  19. Andy Braner

    I've worked with Muslims for the last 8 years, working to understand the differences, the similarities, and to help build bridges between Muslims and Christians. I'm sad there are people who continually use fear as a tactic to motivate people to do their political will, on both sides. We certainly have a wide array of differences, mostly cultural, but commonality is what brought America to be the "Shining City on a Hill." Religious freedom in America is one of the founding principles of our republic, and these kinds of protests don't help us at all. My Muslim friends wonder why there is such hatred running through the veins of America, and I tell them quite frankly, "Well, it's because we see Muslims as the chief cause of 9-11, And every September 11, the media runs the pictures of Muslims flying planes to murder innocent people. You have to reckon that." We don't need more conferences on who threatens who. We need conferences to learn how to understand each other. Most Muslims are just like us. They want to live a better life, find out how to be successful achieving their dreams, and figure out how to love their family well. These kinds of things make me sad. Hatred always brings out the worst in both sides. Understanding and Respect build walls of friendship. Are there bad Muslims? Yep. Are there bad Christians? Yep. Are there bad Middle Eastern people? Yep. Are there bad Americans? Yep. That's the world we live in. But we don't need to give ammunition to evil, on either side. I wonder what would happen if we reached out to welcome people instead of promote hatred in our communities? I wonder if Muslims continued to humble themselves and denounce the evil, just like I wonder if Christians recognized the hatred they spew with things like this? This conference is not the way to building a stronger country. In order to get to the end goal of living life together, we MUST begin understanding BOTH sides, instead of dividing. Yes we need to take a stand against evil, but I think we would all be surprised to find out, by in large; our neighbors are probably not THOSE people .

    September 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • WOW

      So when our troups in Afghanistan are standing by muslim policy, trained by us, that when given a gun they shoot our troups in the name of islam, then what do you say about that? This is not an isolated situation but has happend many times. Do you really think if they did not have the Sharia law inforced in the U.S. you would not be in jeopordy?

      September 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The contrast between the reasoned, thoughtful post Andy wrote and the hare-brained drivel of WOW is obvious.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • tjp44

      the pipers son without a brain....shut up you liberal idiot
      the contrast between your stupidity and your idiocy is not measurable....

      September 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I see you have no facts or evidence to counter with. Big surprise.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  20. jfhickey

    character limit?

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

      no character limit here. Some of the other CNN blogs have limits on size.
      Perhaps you ran afoul of the word filter.
      If you have a word with t-i-t in it, like atti-tude, you must put in a dash or other character or else the comment will not post.
      There is a list of more of these bad letter combinations, like c-u-m that is found in words like docu-ment, or se-x, etc.....

      Search for CNN filter tips and you'll probably find one of the lists.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:39 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.