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. Social Capitalist

    That does not follow Jamie. If you cannot prove that something is true, and you cannot prove that something is not true, then you simply don't really know one way or the other. Anything which you have not verified with your own sensory manifold by direct observation is suspect, period. Of course this assumes that your sensory manifold is functioning nominally.

    If you and I went to the far side of the sun and had a look, and we honestly agreed that our observations matched, then and only then we would have the right to claim that we knew the truth of the matter for certain. When we returned to Earth anybody who believed us would do so because they had faith in our testimony about what we saw, and they considered it to be consistent their other beliefs (most of which are also based on the testimony of others).

    September 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  2. don lardo

    An anti Americanism is up in every Muslim country.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • kittencarpathia

      Anti Americanism is up in THIS country. Self hatred is taught in our universities to a suicidal extent. Do our young graduates haev any idea that Islam started the slave trade and that when America was in it's infancy our own people (white Europeans) were captured and sold in Africa? Oh heavens no, can't let white people or Americans be the victims now can we? White America is responsible for all of the world's suffering. R(GHT? True there have been bad and greedy mistakes made but the worst mistakes are being made now by collusion with the Muslim Brotherhood and helping to establish a caliphate. And all the youngsters who are filled with propaganda from their local MSA chapters are led to believe the opposite. Sad.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  3. Jorge

    Not that I agree with Muslim radicalism and violence, because I do not, but the U.S. is the country of anti-everybody. In their own eyes most Americans can do no wrong as far as others are concerned. When they can't find anybody overseas to hate, quietly exploit or belittle, Americans turn on each other, whites against blacks, blacks against whites, both against anybody who steps off the boat or wanders off the reservation (legal or not). Americans have even propagated an ingenious new use for the web that has caught on worldwide, cyberbullying and internet pederasty; how original, how sporting. There's also a great big list of injustices that the U.S. has perpetrated on countries that harbored no aggression towards it (especially in Latin America) that folks in the U.S. want to pretend or believe never existed, because the fact is that they don't really care. I don't mean to say that worse $h!t hasn't happened elsewhere in the world, that would be ludicrous, but from one of the most self-sanctifying, democracy-preaching, supposedly one-nation-under-God-with-liberty-and-justice yadayada countries on the planet???? I used to wonder why there was so much anti-American sentiment among otherwise peaceful, common folk overseas (no mad scientists, no hostile military dictators), but after learning what they have gone through when the U.S. meddles in their politics and economies, I know that they are simply FED UP.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  4. Heather

    Why WOULDN'T any rational person be anti-islam? islam is the enemy of the rest of humanity and civilization in general. It is a scourge that MUST be stopped. Unfortunately, there are far too many "useful idiots" in the West.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Muslim Guy

      Do you even know what Islam is about or what it teaches? We have only one book. Pick up any Quran from any country and it is exactly the same in Arabic. We believe in Jesus, Moses and all the prophets before them. In the Quran, God specifically says that if you want to disprove that this book is from God, come up with 1 verse like it and you have disproved it. In the Quran it says that “there is no compulsion in religion” (you cannot force anyone to believe). This is not a discussion of who’s right and whose wrong. I believe strongly that this is from God. If you choice not to believe it, that’s fine. It doesn’t affect me what so ever. So long as we treat each other with respect and dignity. You’re the one who has to explain to God why you choice your path, not me.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  5. Muslim Guy

    With regard to terrorism, I read the Quran cover to cover every year. I study Hadith, I go to lectures. There is nothing at all in Islam that allows terrorist acts of any kind. It is one of the gravest sins one can commit. Suicide is the one sin that can never be forgiven. In the Quran and hadith it clearly says suicide, no matter what the reason, is never forgiven. You can spend all day trying to figure out why people do this and kill innocent people. I’ll ask you this, why did that murder kill all those innocent people in the movie theater. Or the lunatic in Holland during a democratic convention open fire on all those kids. There are some seriously sick minds out there. Just because someone says they are Christian, Jewish or Muslim doesn’t mean they truly are or practice that religion properly.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • politico

      Maybe you should read your book a little closer. Where all da virgins coming from? Does it specify male or female virgins.

      I hope based on your proclamation, that you live in some other god-forsaken country, not the USA.

      Stop trying to push your crappola on us. We don't buy into it.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Muslim Guy

      I am not trying to push my belief on you. You don’t know what you’re talking about and yes I do live in the US and very successful by the way. Thank God. It’s hard to find anything worse than racists. People hating for the sake of hating. There is no place for racist in this country.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Social Capitalist

      Politico, if you don't like the American way, why don't you go back where you came from?

      September 7, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • William

      How are we racists? If we dislike the violent cult islam, that means we are bigoted. islam is not a race though, therefore we are not racists. Furthermore, after reading the quran, which was inspired by a pagan arabian god, I have thoroughly come to the conclusion that the islamic beliefs are fascist and oppressive. How does this make me a racist?

      September 9, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Hello

      a book that tells others to k1!! those who do not believe whats in the book is a terrorist book aka religion / myth.

      September 9, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Jim Bart

      I don't know if you Don't understand the Quran or are just trying to be deceiving, but, The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called 'hypocrites' and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter. Furthermore Muslim's cant even get along with each other, how do you expect them to get along with other's. I don't hate you or anyone, but, the Quran is a evil cult that denies Jesus is the son of God and if they don't repent they are all going to hell. It's a shame you can't see that my friend.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  6. Bill

    There is no difference between conservative Christians and conservative Muslims. Both groups want to run the world according to their beliefs. Both the Bible and Koran condone stoning. Progressives in both religions have moved past that. If you still believe in the literal translation of any book written by humans, you are a fool.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  7. ..

    Muslum =

    Bombay bombing
    London bombing
    Spain Bombing
    USS Cole

    over and out

    September 7, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • The Emperor

      Good, Good. Let the hate flow through you.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Muslim Guy

      So let me get this straight. Anything bad happen, if the guy’s name is Muhammad then he is a Muslim terrorist and the 1.4 Billion Muslims in the world are all terrorists, but if Joe goes and kills a lot of innocent people watching a movie, then he is a mentally ill person who was abused as a child?

      September 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • politico

      Muslim Guy – Dang, I didn't think you understood. You've got it.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Social Capitalist

      Muslim Guy, don't mind politico, he is just a simple creature lost and afraid in a world he never made.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Hello

      ever wonder what the muzzys would do if they did not have b0mbbs and explosives to exicut3 their religion of peace?

      September 9, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  8. Bill

    If disagreements are made over those in the Muslim community, they must be addressed in a contstructive way. Attacks on the community, violent or through words, will only create the type of fudamentalism that we fear. Opening up to them and having discussions is what eventually builds relationships and changes.

    September 7, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • politico

      Thank you Barack, er, Bill. Loser.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  9. TJ

    What the f&*#k ever, how and when is this supposed to take place? What about the Christian nut jobs that are already here trying to run everyone's life? Screw religion in all its forms, nothing but hate, bigotry and intolerance.

    September 7, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  10. Phil in Oregon

    Remember the 19,400 Muslim inspired terrorist attacks since 9/11? The Muslims are making their bed, and will have to sleep in it. Since when does blowing up your neighbor produce peace? Or poisoning a bunch of little girls? Or stoning a woman for showing too much skin?

    September 7, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • myweightinwords

      And so, because some Muslim in Iran or Pakistan or Egypt or wherever hurt/killed someone, you are justified in hurting/killing some unrelated Muslim man here in the United States?

      How is that even logical?

      September 7, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • ..


      Just becuase some poison ivy hurt this dude in Pennsylvania, other poison ivy in montana here will hurt me

      Very sound logic indeed

      lets all play in the poison ivy

      September 7, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  11. ..

    Did y'all hear President Hussein from Charlotte yesterday? Did y'all hear the socialist agenda? almost commie even.

    September 7, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Social Capitalist

      I heard a progressive Democratic agenda which was in no way socialist, let alone communist.

      September 7, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • tak

      I heard our president offering money from the treasury to demographic groups that will vote for him. I also heard him restate the American dream. Apparently, now it means grabbing a political office and giving away the wealth of the nation to the masses that consume and vote. Also, when the president referred to the American public as having passed healthcare, he failed to realize that shortly there after, the American public vaporized his super majority so he can't do more damage. IT started with a democratic state that voted in a Republican senator (Scott Brown) because he mentioned he would use his 41st vote to stop healthcare. What garbage came out of Obama's mouth. I voted for him in 2008, not voting for him again.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • politico

      I did not listen. Seeing Mrs. Hussein makes me want to puke. Listening to Mr. Hussein makes me want to puke.

      I'll take your money and give it to some unworthy person to help them out.
      Then I'll borrow 30 cents on every dollar to help them out more.
      Then I'll tax you in ways that aren't really taxes.
      I'll take your money and give it to my cronies.
      I'll take the job you have asked me to do, and give it to my czars with the full power of the presidency.
      I'll gut our military.
      I'll ruin our country.

      Sorry, I didn't listen to more lies last night. I've had enough.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Social Capitalist

      .., tak and politico, you are off topic. Post an article reference where this is on topic, and anyone who wants to discuss this can join you there.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • politico

      Nice Social Capitalist. You now think you can govern this blog? You respond, but tak and I can't because it offends you? You dolt.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • politico

      ... or, did I not get how your comment, "I heard a progressive Democratic agenda which was in no way socialist, let alone communist." is ON topic?

      September 7, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Social Capitalist

      The four of us all made a comment which was a diversion from the topic. If you want a lengthy discussion (and I KNOW you do) then we need to find an article where that would be appropriate. If you want that then give me the reference and I will be there with bells on. The only thing I enjoy more than making Isloamaphobes look silly, is making conservatives look silly.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  12. tuvia


    September 7, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Social Capitalist

      G*D gave it to you then HE decided to let the Romans take it away 70 years after you rejected your Messiah and talked the Roman authorities into killing him for you. You have it back today only because G*D decided to convince the west that you deserved compensation for the holocaust. Israel agreed not to build any more settlements. Are G*D's people no longer required to keep their agreements? The Temple Mound should be open to Christians, Jews and Muslims, and Muslims who prevent that are also in the wrong. Two wrongs don't make a right. To achieve peace both sides must compromise and honor their agreements. Both sides are guilty of not doing this.

      The Romans and their victims are long since dead and gone. The NAZI war criminals have been hanged. The abuses of the present on both sides must now be addressed. If Iran does not let UN nuclear inspectors in and give them free rain to investigate their claims, then they will suffer the same fate as Iraq. Blessed are the peacemakers. Cursed are the warmongers. What part of that don't you understand? Neither side is entirely in the right or entirely in the wrong.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  13. Social Capitalist

    Blessed are the peace makers, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Lying warmongers have a very different future to look forward too. Do not believe that Christians who sin are exempt from divine punishment. You are covered in the next life, but G*D can still teach you the error of your ways in this life.

    Atheists, please be prepared to give PROOF if you claim there is no G*D. I won't let you get away with the usual convenient excuse that you are not required to give proof. A universal negative has been proven by modern science. There exists no object inside space-time which can exceed the speed of light in a vacuum. A universal negative has been proven. No such object can exist. Now prove your universal negative or pause and reflect on the fact that you can't prove it.

    September 7, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Joaquin

      The burden of proof lies with the one making the claim.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Social Capitalist

      You claim there is no G*D. I claim there IS. I think I have proof by a preponderance of the evidence. Do you believe you do. If you don't have to prove your claim then I don't have to prove mine.

      September 7, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • politico

      GOD is all around. I turn around and - NOTHING. Proof there is no GOD.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Phil in Oregon

      GOD is all around. You turn around and – He is still there, right behind you, waiting for your HEART to turn around.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Jamie

      I believe that there is an invisible giant teapot orbiting the sun opposite the Earth. Prove to me that there ISN'T! Since you can't PROVE that there is no celestial teapot out there, it MUST be true!

      September 7, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • politico

      I know that Social Capitalist is pulling his pud at this very moment. Since he can't prove he is not, it must be true.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Social Capitalist

      That does not follow Jamie. If you cannot prove that something is true, and you cannot prove that something is not true, then you simply don't really know one way or the other. Anything which you have not verified with your own sensory manifold by direct observation is suspect, period. Of course this assumes that your sensory manifold is functioning nominally.
      If you and I went to the far side of the sun and had a look, and we honestly agreed that our observations matched, then and only then we would have the right to claim that we knew the truth of the matter for certain. When we returned to Earth anybody who believed us would do so because they had faith in our testimony about what we saw, and they considered it to be consistent their other beliefs (most of which are also based on the testimony of others).

      As Einstein said,"The universe is not only stranger than you know. It is stranger than you CAN know".

      September 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  14. Mbele Simba Mambasi

    I say we show the same tolerance to Muslims, as they show to us. Not only here. Everywhere. When we can build a Church down town Mecca, we let them build a Mosque here. Why should we treat fairly someone who does not treat us fairly?

    September 7, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • Bill

      Yes! Well said.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Philip

      Its called "freedom of religion" here. Dont be surprised but not every nation in the world has that right. That is probably why so many people of different faiths come to the U.S. Freedom of religion. Learn what that means.

      September 7, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Copenshaw

      Mr "Philip", (aka Mohammed Ismail Al-Emadi Bin Tuglak), if these Western values so revered by Moslems, how come they want it replaced with Sharia?

      September 7, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Why should what is legal and binding in another country affect how we govern our own?

      Mecca is not a US city. It is governed by a Muslim government.

      The US is a secular country. It is governed by a secular government that has guaranteed freedom of religion to ALL of it's citizens.

      That is why.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Just a country boy

      When we can build a church in mecca then we might allow them to build a mosque in this country. Why should we bend over backward to accommodate others just to show that we are tolerant ? It will only bring this country down in the long run...Sharia law is NOT from GOD !!!

      September 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  15. Aristocles

    "Six states – Louisiana, South Dakota, Kansas, Arizona, Louisiana and Tennessee – adopted such laws prior to 2012." CNN, learn to write better.

    September 7, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • Mbele Simba Mambasi

      Just curious, how would you have written it?

      September 7, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • Moiphy

      Where is the second Louisiana?

      September 7, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • politico

      Gotta give an LOL for that one.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  16. Semantics101

    The vast majority of American's have ancestery that comes from protestants and catholics. So many will feel alienated by Islam, including myself. I'm sure many foriegn Muslims would feel the same about western policies. A Muslim in the new world has to be willing to reform in a way that's compatable to our existance.

    September 7, 2012 at 5:36 am |
    • Philip

      Since Judaism is rather old, should every Jew convert as well?

      September 7, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • myweightinwords

      What about a Muslim born and raised in the US? Or those who convert to Islam here in the US? Should they change to suit you too?

      September 7, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Hello

      remember at first they will seem kind and sharing... when they become the majority.. they will change... in a BAD way.
      It is permissible to lie to promote islam......
      don't let their mined game fool you.... they know they are right and only they are right.. give them an inch they will take all.

      we should never consider Sharia chitz as any form of law here in the US like they do in the UK...
      it should never be considered law here... if they want that krap.. let them go back to the pig pen they came from and DO It there...

      NOT HERE.

      September 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  17. nobama is goodbama

    CNN, a "news source" zlam can trust !

    September 7, 2012 at 4:17 am |
    • Bill


      September 7, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  18. Jesus

    Muslims are loyal good citizens with lower than average crime and unemployment rates...even the elected president is an undercover muslim for god's sake...hahaha. His compassion for the weak and 99% comes from his muslim faith (this must upset the bigots lol)

    September 7, 2012 at 3:45 am |
    • Ashok

      Anything my mulato, I accept my black side and not my white side, wants to do is ok with me.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Copenshaw

      Yeah, Islam is known for its compassion for the weak.. Like women and children. For example, look at the compassion shown towards other religions in Islamic countlries. As a specific case, the 14-year old Christian girl in Pakistan was given bail.

      September 7, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • politico

      "Muslims are loyal good citizens with lower than average crime" Where'd the world trade centers go? Who did it?

      Everything I need to know about Islam and Muslims I learned on 9/11.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  19. Jesus

    Ironic because we are told that it is Muslims who preach hate against others and want to shut others' churches and temples. In reality Muslims are being the victim of a well-organized, well-financed hate campaign based on lies and fabrications of non-existent threats.

    September 7, 2012 at 3:44 am |
    • Gunowner1259

      Interesting that Muslims in the US are doing so well. Whereas the levels of blatant corruption by Muslims in Islamic countries goes against the very grain of "loyal good citizens with lower than average crime and unemployment rates" that you expound. Also, when you say loyal good citizens, loyal to whom? Islam first, then America? And be careful how you answer because Quran 5:51 tells you that as a Muslim, you cannot be friends of Christians or Jews.....I just love the constant lies of tolerance. Can't build a Church in most Islamic countries I've visited and in many, I had to keep my Bible hidden from view or risk arrest.

      September 7, 2012 at 4:49 am |
    • Social Capitalist

      You own a Bible!?!?!? Try reading it.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • Social Capitalist

      A moderate Muslim troubled by this verse asked his Moderate Imam to explain it. Notice that the interpretation is dependent on historical context and the wording of the translation of the Koran being used. Also he points out that one piece of scripture does not stand alone and must be interpreted in the light of related scriptures. Quote

      Of course Islamaphobes will answer that this Iman doesn't really believe what he wrote. It's just a lie to fool us. It is very convenient when any piece of information which seems to disprove your thesis can be quickly dismissed with a simple,"It's a lie"! The NAZI's did the same thing to the Jews. The NAZI's also claimed to be the good guys, just telling the "real truth" about the Jewish religion. If you are not a Muslim you have no business claiming to understand the Koran better than Islamic theologians. Moderate Muslims believe this verse only applies to Christians and Jews who mock and degrade Islam.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Hello

      after you read your bible then read Caesar's Messiah.. by Joseph Atwill....

      get the back ground story on the Jewish rooted myth and why it is so rooted.
      Why the christian my is rooted also in Roman military rituals.
      Who wrote the bible and why... HINT.. it is a joke book...

      September 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  20. Social Capitalist

    Listen everybody is missing a very important fact of reality. Half of all humans range from a little stupid to morons. That is not an opinion but an unfortunate fact of reality. Half of all humans have an IQ of 100 or less. Being stupid they are simply not capable of understanding complex disciplines such as semantics, scriptural interpretation or theology. Simple minds see a simple world where eggs are humans, cavemen rode dinosaurs, evolution has not been proven, and “see there, it says what it says” is supposed to be some kind of valid argument. It is not Islam or religion as such that causes all the killing and hate in the world. It is stupid people with stupid ideas who can’t comprehend the reasons they are wrong. Ignorance is a close second, but ignorance can be cured. Stupid is forever.

    September 7, 2012 at 2:47 am |
    • miscreantsall

      Wow…………..well said and indisputably the truth!

      Thank you!

      September 7, 2012 at 3:36 am |
    • Social Capitalist

      You're welcome. Now spread the word.

      September 7, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Splendid diagnosis Dr. What is the cure?

      September 7, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • politico

      IQ is a bell curve. 100 is AVERAGE intelligence, not "a little stupid", not morons, but average. You take that misstatement and continue along based on that false logic. Your entire diatribe is therefore stupid, based on a stupid, misleading statement.

      I watch what Muslims do, and listen to what they want to do. THAT is why Muslims are not welcome here – they are bad people with bad intentions. Anyone that wants to force their principals on others are not to be tolerated.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Social Capitalist

      If you speak out against the madness wherever you encounter it, then you are part of the cure. If you expose lies wherever you find them, and try to educate stupid people in so far as that is possible, then you are part of the cure. Most especially if you are a peacemaker, and set an example by treating others as you wish to be treated, then you are part of the cure.

      In a struggle between stupid people and smart people the smart people will always win in the fullness of time. Compare ancient times to modern times and you will see that the smart people ARE winning slowly but surely. Stupid people can also gain wisdom, they just take longer that smart people. Admittedly, there are some foolish smart people out there inciting the stupid one's into a frenzy to further their own agenda, but if enough lies are exposed the stupid will gain wisdom and reject them. The best ideas always win out in the end.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Social Capitalist

      Politico, I apologize for calling people with an IQ of 100 a little stupid. You are obviously quite the intellectual giant.

      Where do you watch what Muslims do, and listen to what they want to do? In Afghanistan, because it isn't in America.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:42 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.