September 12th, 2012
12:06 PM ET

Ambassador's killing shines light on Muslim sensitivities around Prophet Mohammed

By Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editors

(CNN) – Violence over depictions of the Prophet Mohammed may mystify many non-Muslims, but it speaks to a central tenet of Islam: that the Prophet was a man, not God, and that portraying him threatens to lead to worshiping a human instead of Allah.

“It's all rooted in the notion of idol worship,” says Akbar Ahmed, who chairs the Islamic Studies department at American University. “In Islam, the notion of God versus any depiction of God or any sacred figure is very strong."

“The Prophet himself was aware that if people saw his face portrayed by people, they would soon start worshiping him,” Ahmed says. “So he himself spoke against such images, saying ‘I’m just a man.’”

The prohibition against such portrayals was on stark display Tuesday, as mobs in Egypt and Libya attacked U.S. compounds in response to a film that vilifies the Prophet Mohammed, who founded Islam in the 7th century. The attack on the U.S. personnel in Benghazi, Libya, was orchestrated by extremists who used the protests as a diversion, U.S. sources told CNN Wednesday.

The attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi killed J. Christopher Stevens, Washington's ambassador to Libya, as well as three other Americans at the compound.

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The film that’s believed to have inspired the violence depicts the Prophet Mohammed as a child molester, womanizer and ruthless killer, going a big step beyond violating the basic Muslim prohibition against depicting the Prophet, even in a favorable light.

There are questions about who is behind the movie. Initial reports identified a supposedly Israeli-American real-estate developer named Sam Bacile, but it's unclear if that person even exists. A member of the film's production staff told CNN that the producer's name was listed as Abenob Nakoula Basseley.

In Sunni mosques, the largest branch of the faith, there are no images of people of any kind. The spaces are often decorated with verses from the Quran.

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Mohamed Magid, an imam who leads the Islamic Society of North America, says the Muslim prohibition on depicting prophets extends to Jesus and Moses, who Islam treats as prophets.

“Pictures and images are prohibited from being worshiped,” Magid says.

There have been historical instances of Muslims depicting the Prophet, says Omid Safi, a religious studies professor at the University of North Carolina who has studied the issue.

"We have had visual depictions of the Prophet in the form of miniatures and pictures in the Iranian context, the Turkish context, the central Asian Context,” says Safi, author of the book "Memories of Mohammed." “The one significant context where depictions of the Prophet have not been image-related has been in the Arab context.”

“As you go farther east, away from the Arabian Peninsula, you find depictions of the prophet in art,” said Johari Abdul-Malik, the imam for Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia. He noted that images of the teachings of the prophet were sometimes used to bridge gaps in illiteracy.

But even depictions of the Prophet by Muslim artists has been a sensitive issue.

Akbar, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United Kingdom, says that Muslim artists in the 15th and 16th centuries would depict the Prophet but took pains to avoid drawing his face.

“It would be as if he was wearing a veil on his face, so the really orthodox could not object – that was the solution they found," Akbar says.

In a  Muslim film called “The Messenger,” which circulated throughout the Muslim world in the 1970s and 1980s, the Prophet is depicted only as a shadow.

Adbul-Malik said that in the Quran, there is “no statement from the prophet requesting his image not be recorded.” The passages relating to a ban on creating images of the prophets come from the hadith, recordings of the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed and his closest companions. The hadith is not viewed on the same plane as the Quran but as important to understanding the Quran.

Scholars of religion say Muslim opposition to portraying Mohammed wasn’t generally violated in earlier centuries because of a gulf between much of the Muslim world and the West.

In the age of globalization, non-Muslims and critics of Islam have felt free to depict Mohammed, including in offensive ways.

In 2006, a Danish cartoonist’s depiction of the Prophet wearing a bomb as a turban with a lit fuse provoked demonstrations across the world.

Akbar says that until relatively recently, depictions of Jesus tended to be reverential, but Christianity has had a decades-long head start in dealing with negative portrayals of Jesus in film and art.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Violence

soundoff (4,725 Responses)
  1. rjp34652

    ISLAM IS THE ONLY religion on the planet with a doctrine to justify lying. Read Muslim words..
    --------quote follows-------
    "Believers when in a weakened stage in a non-Muslim country should forgive and be patient with People of the Book when they insult Allah and his prophet by any means. Believers should lie to People of the Book to protect their lives and their religion.

    Anyone who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters unbelief, except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in faith – but such as open their breast to unbelief, on them is wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful penalty.
    – Qur'an Surah 16:106

    "Know this that lying is not sin by itself, but if it brings harm to you it could be ugly. However, you can lie if that will keep you from evil or if it will result in prosperity."
    – Imam Al-Ghazali (Muslim theologian and philosopher)

    "The principle of sanctioning lying for the cause of Islam bears grave implications in matters relating to the spread of the religion of Islam in the West. Muslim activists employ deceptive tactics in their attempts to polish Islam's image and make it more attractive to prospective converts."
    – Abdullan Al-Araby (Muslim theologian, philosopher and leader)
    ---------–end quotes------------------
    When I first arrived in the middle east a Brit told me, "Muslims are honest, but you can't trust them."
    Truer words were never spoken. In two deployments there I learned the truth of it.

    it's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

    September 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • OhBoyNotAgain

      Islam IS a LIE!

      September 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  2. Lars

    Baha'is also have the policy that you should worship god, not the prophet. But they don't get all stupid and violent about it.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  3. Seth Hill

    We make films that ridicule Jesus all the time. "South Park," "Life Of Brian," "Dogma," "Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter," "Saved!..." Does anybody remember any others? My point is that people value human vs. religious values a lot differently here and over there.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Christian!

      that's only because of the first amendment son which prevents incidents like this ..
      The first amendment should be forced down the throats of every nation on the earth...

      September 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  4. Crude

    Only animals believe in islam

    September 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm |


      September 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  5. MyPictureOfMohammad


    September 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Scott

      Remember a few years ago when someone put up a "Draw A Picture Of Mohammad" facebook site? The wimps at facebook deleted the page. PANSIES!


      September 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • sally

      wow. i never thought just a few characters could make me feel so tingly.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  6. Bob K

    If this all sounds somewhat familiar, you may be a student of history. During the Reformation, Protestants rioted, looted and defamed Catholic churches, and murdered priests because of the depiction of Jesus, Mary, and the saints in statues and glass.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • GAW

      Catholics did their fair share of bloodshed as well although not over the issue of icons, images ect or lack thereof.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  7. Parsnip

    Those of you that insist on bringing up the pedophile issue need to go back to school or learn a liitle more. It was 500/600 AD most people only lived to 35. Middle age was 15, this is not condoning pedophilia but at that time things were very diffrent. All of our ancestors at one time or another would have done something like that.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Scott

      ... and you need to understand that the pedophile prophet rареd a NINE YEAR OLD GIRL. She had not even reached puberty before the pedophile prophet rареd her!


      September 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Parsnip

      Obviously you can't or did not understand my post, ignance is bliss eh?

      September 13, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  8. lcbouquet

    There is nothing wrong with islam. The popular islam world has grown up in theocracy. And that theocracy has been thrown into a world much bigger than it, and they are experiencing growing pains. The muslims of america are much likebthose of europe and christians here. They do not care about other depictions of there religion to the point of violence.they practice their religion and ask to be left alone. It is similar to how most christians act. The worst islam extremists in america are no worse than the christian extremists.at worst they expect others to follow their beliefs or they dont accept them. The middle east is simply an example of what happens when you introduce a large but closed off culture to an incredubly different one. It is made worse by the heavy theocracy, worldwide communications, and the different tribes of islam

    September 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  9. Aaron

    "Violence over depictions of the Prophet Mohammed may mystify many non-Muslims, but it speaks to a central tenet of Islam: that the Prophet was a man, not God, and that portraying him threatens to lead to worshiping a human instead of Allah"

    Oh, now I understand. NO, WAIT I DON'T!!! What really irks me about this article is that the author seems to think that by kindly explaining the tenet, we will better understand the reaction. Nope. The reaction is not understandable. It's not rational in any sense of the word. All this reaction tells me is that Muslims are intensely irrational people and that if people who AREN'T OF THEIR FAITH do something PROHIBITED BY THEIR FAITH, they freak out and go kill them or anyone even remotely like them, just to show their displeasure. Yes, I'm sure almighty Allah just loves when people who profess to love him SO much go out and kill his innocent children out of petty spite and revenge. Yes, I'm generalizing here, I know this. It's what people do when they are angry, but at least I'm not KILLING ANYONE.

    But here's the thing... if the central tenet of Islam is to not portray Mohammed in any way so he can't be worshipped, why is ANY portrayal, even a neutral one where he is shown to be simply a man, treated as the utmost disrespect to his holy memory? Why the violence inducing reverence for this man who was "just a man"? Am I the only one who sees this as worship? Why do many Muslims overwhelmingly name their male children Mohammed? Does that seem irrational to anyone else? Shouldn't they be cutting their own heads off for daring to name their children after this "just a man" who no one should be worshipping? The man, Mohammed, is so restricted from being revered or worshipped by his followers and yet when his name or image is besmirched his followers react as if he IS their object of worship!

    Listen, I understand there are going to be Muslim people upset by their religion being mocked in a video. I don't like it when my own beliefs are mocked. But why kill innocent people over it??? The people killed did not make or even condone the video. And if he was just a man, I'm sure he can take a little criticism. And his followers, or the followers of the God who had him as His prophet, should learn to control themselves. Seriously I'm sick of this crap. And yes I know it's "just a small radical branch of the religion" that reacts this way, especially when located in countries where Islam is a state religion. Funny that. The more of them you put together, the worse the radicalism is. But why do the peace loving Muslims we all get told about on sites like CNN refuse to stand up and fight against tyranny and irrationality in their own fold? If they are the massive majority of sensible people we are TOLD they are, why can't they squash this sort of extremism within their own ranks?

    And for full disclosure sake, I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A "Mormon". My people were driven and slaughtered for their beliefs. In this very America we love, where freedom of religion is revered. Where protestant pilgrims came to escape religious tyranny. We have dealt with religious bigotry and hatred. But have I threatened to kill Trey Parker and Matt Stone? No. Do I denigrate the country i live in? No. I love it. A fellow Mormon friend is serving in Afghanistan in the Air Force right now. For his country. It's called being civilized. It's called being a human being and not just a reactionary sack of spite and hate.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Theresa

      Very nicely said Aaron! Simple explanation, this is the difference between Christians and Islam’s.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  10. tarek

    These actions are not representative of the majority of Libyans and especially not Muslims. We have problems with extremists, but the VAST MAJORITY of us – in following the teachings of our prophet, would NEVER EVEN THINK of this senseless violence. Mast demonstrations against these actions are being held right now.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • GAW

      Good point but the atheist extremists who batter these forums think in all or nothing categories. Or what is true of the part is true of the whole.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  11. mike

    we never blame animals, so why these people?

    September 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Horus

      However we do cage animals....and often euthanize those that have been agressive towards humans.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  12. Adrien

    All religion is guilty of countless murders, murders upon murders upon murders throughout time, since the dawn of time. Right now, it happens to be Muslims in the spot light.

    All religion is intolerant, unforgiving, and in some form, merciless.

    Muslims: If you (or us) or Iran or North Korea don't blow up the world before all of this ends, don't worry! It'll blow over and there will be another evil religion that the world wants to hate. I can’t promise it’ll be in your lifetime.

    I wish I could live for 1,000's of years to see how each of these religions will evolve. Don't you see? It's all connected. History will repeat itself as it always does, and religion will evolve, just like us. Everything in this universe is governed by the same laws and realities, everything is connected. It is a pattern that we weave and we will continue weaving until the end of our species. Hopefully closer to that “end”, all religion will have been extinct and our brains will have evolved passed needing stories and father figures to ease the nothingness of death.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • GAW

      With any ideology humans will kill and seek to control others. I think the best course of action is to re-direct an asteroid into a direct path with planet earth and hope that evolution will take a turn for the better with the next dominant species. Roaches perhaps.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  13. ʇ Christianity source of Christianfilthyracism. ʇ

    Only by Christianity absurdity of a Christian, Christian and pagan. Filthy Christian Captain Crunch dog. Filthy pagan islam pig dog. Filthy Randy Jackson dog. Filthy hebrew national pig dog. no dogs! who let them be out? Quran means nothing else but path of triple abdullah absolute quantified. please visit ahmadinebinpaid.com/blog.html and click on word Choice to open file. But turn virus protection off before.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      goD bless ya!

      September 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  14. Parsnip

    Seek help please

    September 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  15. paul

    CNN said violence in the name of their God or prophet is an expression of love for them. Here is what true love is. Note too, the Koran says 'know the scritures' and to look to those who know the scritures. Here is what true love is (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) 4 Love is long-suffering and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, does not get puffed up, 5 does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. 6 It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. . .
    So no matter what there is no excuse for hate and violence no matter who is insulted, even if, especially if it is God, Jesus, Mohammed or the prophets. God is a big boy. He says if there is injustice HE will take care of it in his time.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • old ben

      We have no more reason to believe in the words of Paul, the self-proclaimed "apostle", than we do of Joe Smith.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      But perhaps OB you may find reason to believe the words of Paul over those of Mohammed eh?

      September 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  16. Parsnip

    Seek help

    September 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  17. Munkar and Nakir

    Jesus (May God's Peace and Blessings Be Apon Him) was Muslim.

    Sorry to disappoint most of you out here.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Parsnip

      How could Jesus be Muslim when Islam was founded 400 years after Christ

      September 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Munkar and Nakir:
      Jesus clearly claimed to be God. It's why people repeatedly tried to kill him (Jn.8:58f) & – for the Jewish leaders – why he was eventually killed (in all 3 Synoptic Gospels).

      If Jesus was Muslim, then Jesus is Allah.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Parsnip: it's actually 600 years after Christ.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Muslims think that *everyone* was/is born Muslim. They don't even say that new members "converted" - the say that they "reverted" to Islam!

      September 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • sally

      Oh – Al-Jesar.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Bizarre

      * sorry for the hash construction of that second sentence - but you get the picture.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Mohammad (PBUH) was a Scientologist.
      Sorry to disappoint all the Muslims out there but your prophet is an Operating Thetan VII

      September 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Avalon

      so by this logic, jews and christians are muslim as well...?

      September 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Bizarre


      Yes, *anything* can be true in a fantasy, you know!

      September 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • tuvia suks

      Huh. To think that I have been 'fooled' all these years. I thought muslims came from Kolob.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  18. Dinesh Sharma

    Hi Muslims, I dont give a damn whether you think the prophet can be depicted or not. That rule is only for muslims. I'm not a muslim. Do you get the logic??

    September 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Nika

      Its very clear and perfectly logical, but they're too busy foaming at the mouth shouting praises to satan (who they fondly call Allah) to get it.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Muslim

      if you will exercise your right to defame my religion, then expect that i will exercise my right to downright hate and disrespect yoy

      September 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  19. ZFairplay

    Live and let live. It works both ways. How about this simple thought: Muslims learn that the best form of retaliation is to ignore, and west learns to respect followers of all religions and refrains from defaming. Is that too much to ask? Freedom of speech is not meant to denigrate, defame, defile. It is meant to be used as a means of open dialog constructively.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Avalon

      defamation is false.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • wakeup333

      Hi ZFairplay – Glad to see you have a sense of humor. You cracked me up when you said you "didn't leave."

      Here's where we disagree: This may be a Western concept hard for Muslims to understand, but "freedom of speech" loses meaning if there are taboo subjects that must never be discussed. It's only offensive speech that "freedom of speech" protects. Who objects to bland speech? No one. Only "offensive" speech needs protection. And it's protected fiercely in the West.

      Freedom of speech is what makes the West the West. Without it, we'd be no different from the Muslim world. People here would be arrested (and killed) for blasphemy, as they are in Muslim countries.

      Muslims come here - to escape Muslim blasphemy laws! But once here, they try to muzzle us! Tell us: don't criticize Islam. Sorry! The West has a long, glorious history of disrespect for authority, specifically, religious authority. Ever hear of Monty Python? George Carlin? Bill Maher?

      You could say the West worships blasphemy! We'll fight for our right to blaspheme!

      September 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • ZFairplay

      Dear wakeup333 – I enjoy a civil debate, devoid of name calling and insults, so thanks. As an american I can appreciate the freedom to criticize. But there is a fine line in criticism and outright defamation. Remember there is an Anti-Defamation League in the US? What's the purpose of that? Muslims in the US are also incensed at the video and similar acts, but have learned to desist taking wrongful actions. All I am saying is that 90% of muslims in Islamic countries also look the other way, its those 10% (my rough guess but not scientific) that we have to bring along over the years. Christianity went through the same phase, what with the witch burning as so on. I have no doubt that muslims will eventually make the journey.

      September 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  20. wakeup333

    Muslim "sensitivity" over pictures of Muhammad is yet another example of Islamic hypocrisy. Does anyone on earth believe Muslims don't worship Muhammad?

    Muslim worship of Muhammad is more obsessive-compulsive than Ahab's need of Moby Dick or Captain Queeg's need of marbles (Caine Mutiny). Who hasn't heard a Muslim trip over his tongue saying, "Peace be upon him" like a machine gun each time he says the name? And speaking of names, if "Muhammad" disappeared, 96% of Muslim males would be nameless.

    So much for "merely a man, not a god."

    Who started this worship? As Sam Bacile's film correctly shows, Islam was not the first monotheistic religion. Judaism had it beat by millennia. There were even Egyptian monotheists. Only thing new about Islam? Muhammad INSISTED people call him messenger of god. Worshipping Allah wasn't enough. To be Muslim, you had to say Muhammad is Allah's messenger.

    Here's where it gets tricky. Religious peeps, please leave. Are we alone? Good. As rational peeps all know, there's no such thing as invisible beings, including Zeus, Poseidon, Thor, Osiris and, yup, Allah. So worshipping Allah is meaningless. The only tangible thing early Muslims could worship? Flesh and blood Muhammad.

    Just a man? Right. Like Elvis and the Beatles were just men. Except Elvis and Beatle fans don't kill if you mock their "gods."

    September 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Jim

      You are incorrect and obviously making things up as you go along. Muslims do not worship Mohammed. Mohammed did not start a new religion, its the same religion of Adam and Eve calling for monotheism.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Nika

      Oh Jim dear tht is a CROCK of crap. God is NOT the head of Islam and the mere idea is disgusting. DOnt taint my God please.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • ZFairplay

      wakeup333 – I am a muslim but not religious. I didn't leave but read through. I agree with you 99%, except for some exaggerations like 96% of muslims have Mohammed name – not true. The level of reverence of Muhammed is not unique to muslims. All religions thrive in creating this reverence, even smaller cults. Do you really believe Jesus is God? Elevating a man to the level of god, how is that different from muslims reverence of Muhammed. The only difference is that the Islamic world is historically 100 – 200 years behind in religious evolution. 80% of muslims are there now, but the rest 20% may take another 100 years.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • wakeup333

      Jim – Christians and Jews might argue with you that Islam is "the same religion," especially since the Quran calls Christians and Jews apes and swine (2: 63-66, 5: 59-60, 7: 166) and tells Muslims to never take them as friends (5: 51).

      I'm an atheist and even I know Islam is not the same religion as Christianity or Judaism. I prefer none, but only Islam threatens to kill me.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • ZFairplay

      Nikka – I hate to burst your bubble but it is widely known that the 3 monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are followers of the same God. It is not God who is directing their actions, though. Don't fool yourself in believing that the Christian God is peace loving and Mulsim God is not. Christian history is bloodier than Muslim history. Thus my point, God has nothing to do with it. It is the people and their religion in the point of evolution that is different.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • ZFairplay

      wakeup333 – You are associating all Islam and Muslims with the actions of the few. Would you associate the actions of this imbecile video producer, or David Koresh, or the Sikh temple killer with all Christians or Christianity? Islam does not direct anyone to kill you – you are either insecure or just misled. Yes, muslims need to learn to deal with provocation even when it attacks the very core of their beliefs. But tolerance goes two ways. If we believe ours to be a tolerant society then we have to learn to respect others beliefs as well. You can't be a bigot.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Avalon

      It's been widely talked about that the God of Judaism and Christianity are the same as Islam, but that doesn't mean it's true.
      Mohammed had monotheistic influences, but got it kinda distorted, like a game of broken telephone, where the message is wrong on the other end.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • wakeup333

      ZFairplay - Now now, you're not playing fair! I don't judge Islam by "the actions of the few." I judge it by the Quran, which, over and over, tells Muslims to kill nonbelievers (8:12, 2:191, 9:5, 33:60-61, etc.)

      Here's the problem: While most Muslims don't run off to kill nonbelievers, it only takes a few in each community willing to do that to silence critics and rule by fear. As recent history shows, there's no shortage of those willing to wage jihad. (Not "inner struggle!" In today's world, when Muslims say jihad, they mean killing infidels.)

      September 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Muslim

      If you were really judging it by the Quran,. then you will not be taking text out of context. I have read the Quran, and nowher does it say to kill all disbelievers. period. read the entire thing or dont waste your time. and again for your argument that the Quran demands that muslims dont take nonmuslims as friends. that is false. the word in the Quran is اولياء, which means almost like a best friend, the person that you whole heartedly trust and confide in. have you ever heard of the mere exposure effect?sticking a person that is not of your religion will taint your reverance to god. i have chritian and jewish friends. but i am careful with who i place 100% trust and friendship with

      so again, please read and understand the whole passage, not parts of it. as mark twain once said, "Its best to keep your mouth shut and be thought an idiot than open your mouth and remove all doubt."


      September 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • wakeup333

      Muslim – Every day the news shows Muslims around the world interpreting those verses the same way I do, not the way you do. Jihadis quote those verses. I'll take their word for it.

      Muslims quote the Doctrina Jacobi, written by a Christian in Palestine shortly after Muhammad's death, around 634-640, to prove Muhammad existed. An old cleric is asked, "What can you tell me about the prophet who has appeared with the Saracens?" He replied, groaning deeply: "He is false, for the prophets do not come armed with a sword."

      The writer says, "So I, Abraham, inquired and heard from those who had met him that there was no truth to be found in the so-called prophet, only the shedding of men's blood. He says also that he has the keys of paradise, which is incredible." [i.e., not credible].

      Proof - from non-Muslim sources - that Islam spread by the sword from its earliest days.

      September 13, 2012 at 5:13 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.