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September 14th, 2012
12:05 PM ET

Controversy over anti-Islamic film shines light on Coptic Christianity

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) -Violence in the Muslim world over an anti-Islamic film that appears to have been produced by a Coptic Christian is bringing uncomfortable focus on the religious tradition.

A staffer on the film, which has provoked anti-American protests and violence across the Muslim world, said he believed that the filmmaker is a Coptic Christian, information that has sent shock waves through the Coptic community.

The staffer said the filmmaker told him he'd been to Alexandria, Egypt, to raise money for the film, suggesting that Copts were helping finance it. Media in Egypt, where Copt-Muslim relations are tense, jumped on the news.

"Islamists' use of this idea that Copts were behind it was apparently effective in drumming up support for those attacks," said Eric Trager of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church released a statement Wednesday condemning the film, its funding and its production. The film's "release at this specific time is part of a malicious campaign targeting defamation of religions, aiming to divide the people, most notably the Egyptian people," the statement said.

"The defamation of religion, its symbols and teachings is incompatible with Christian values, the teaching of Jesus Christ and the apostles as is demonstrated in the Bible," the statement continued, "so those who participate in such a production, display or promotion of such a films should be held fully accountable for operating outside of Christian principles and church laws."

Coptic Christians are part of the Orthodox Christian tradition, one of three main traditions under the Christian umbrella, alongside Catholicism and Protestantism. Copts split from other Christians in the fifth century over the definition of the divinity of Jesus Christ.

Copts trace their history to the Apostle Mark, the New Testament figure who they say introduced Christianity to Egypt in A.D. 43. Egypt holds a special place for Coptic Christians because, according to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus' family fled there shortly after his birth to escape King Herod, who was calling for the execution of all Jewish boys under the age of 2.

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The largest group of Copts in the world is still in Egypt, where they make up between 8% and 11% of the nation's 80 million citizens, most of whom are Sunni Muslims.

In the United States, there are approximately 90,000 Copts organized under 170 parishes, according to Alexei Krindatch, research coordinator for the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the United States. Many Copts came to the U.S. from Egypt, Kridatch said.

"Most of them came here as highly professional people, so you've got a lot of medical doctors and electrical engineers," he said. "So basically, the Coptic community in the United States is very well-educated and, you could also say, a very prosperous community."

Coptic churches tend to be ornately decorated, and members often stay at the church all day on Sunday for worship services and communal meals, Kridatch said.

The American Coptic community is close-knit: The tradition's churches tend to be social hubs as well as religious centers.

In Egypt, Coptic Christians have been target of recent violence.

A Coptic church was bombed in Alexandria in January, killing 21 people. Last fall, during clashes with Egyptian security forces, two dozen Coptic Christians and their supporters were killed.

Sectarian violence in Egypt is nothing new. Maha Azzam, associate fellow of the Middle East and North African Program at the Chatham House think tank in London, says the sources of tension have focused on religious conversions, attacks on places of worship and Coptic resentment that they are not being given licenses to build new churches.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent bipartisan federal agency, added Egypt this year to a list of the worst violators of religious freedom.

- CNN's Dave Gilbert and Brian Todd contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Coptic Church

soundoff (350 Responses)
  1. 2357

    Freedom of speech is for the damned to incriminate themselves. Go right ahead, the tape is still rolling.

    September 14, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • niknak

      Then why are you here using yours?

      September 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • 2357

      I'm a speed bump on your highway to hell.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And just about as bright, 23skiddoo.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • niknak

      Well, if heaven is where you and your ilk will be, then I would rather be in hell.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  2. Atheism Is Healthy for Humans, But Not for Any Other Living Things Since No Other Living Things Give a $H|T Whether There Is a Magical Sky Fairy

    ...

    September 14, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • niknak

      Amen

      September 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • ensense

      but being a atheist does not make you a good person.

      September 14, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  3. Russ

    Praying is like riding a rocking chair...it will give you something to do but won't get you anywhere.

    September 14, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Showman

      That is your ignorant opinion. Thank you for sharing.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  4. asdf

    Fundamentalist Christians love freedom of speech as long as it is putting down other religions. Our American Christian Taliban can be as bad but luckily a lot fewer of us subscribe the far right born again ideology.

    September 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  5. asdf

    Religion makes all people act like fools. I'm right and other %90 of the people on Earth of a different religion are worth killing and are going to hell. The arrogance.

    September 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  6. Jack 3

    It doesn't matter who made it, you don't kill people for making a film that you fing offensive. these people are just blood thirsty killers wanting to kill for any reason.

    September 14, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • asdf

      Muslims account for over %20 of the world's population and less than %5 of the world's GDP.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • niknak

      No, they are uneducated males who live countries where they have zero opportunity to be anything other then mindless violent a holes.
      The people running those countries want it no other way. They feed them this bull since they were born, and use islam to keep them poor and dumb, to keep themselves in power.
      Will happen here too if the people who run the gop get absolute power. They will dissmante public education so the masses stay stupid and obedient.
      You want to keep a population down, you give them religion.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Showman

      Since they don't see freedom of anything like we do here in the US. They don't tolerate freedom of expression or speech. Especially when mocking the Muslim religion. Hollywood has made several films about Christianity that we don't really care about, but we are not that radical to kill someone for such acts. The Muslims think very different and that's why they hate our way of thinking.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  7. vwickert

    Way to go CNN -You have effectively put cross-hairs on every Coptic Christian living in Egypt and in any other predominately Islamic nation.
    Will you take responsibility for any deaths for inflaming and identifying the Coptic connection?!?!?
    Muslims in Egypt have already been actively attacking non-Muslims. So much for a religion of peace...

    September 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      How do you figure CNN announced this to the world?

      If the The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church released a statement Wednesday condemning the film, its funding and its production.

      I'd suggest the Egyptian Muslims figured it out without reading it here on CNN today!

      September 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • sam

      Are you serious? You think that wasn't happening already? Please.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • asdf

      So you would rather have had CNN parroted the WSJ and incorrectly blamed the Jews instead like this Coptic idiot was trying to do?

      September 14, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Dave MacDonald

      This is not reporting worthy of CNN, "A staffer on the film, which has provoked anti-American protests and violence across the Muslim world, said he believed that the filmmaker is a Coptic Christian." Given the tensions that exist in that part of the world journalist should be going on more than an unnamed staffer saying he believes it is a Coptic Christian who produced the movie. Either follow up the lead or bury the story. Not only is this bad journalism, it is downright irresponsible!

      September 14, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • s

      So would you prefer this: an unknown source says something in the media produced by someone apparently living on this planet may have caused some strong feelings among some yet to be identified crowds of unknown sizes to be engaged in possibly some distrubances which may have occured in some distant land ...

      September 14, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  8. CrimsonCrusader1776

    Christians, Jews, Hindus, Bhuddists UNITE!!

    It is time to rid the world of Islam and its followers. Wipe them all off the face of the earth and purge the earth of everything ever associated with them.

    O that the world could understand that this is a war. A war they wage against everyone who does not believe what they believe. Against everyone who does not convert to their way.

    It is now time to stop trying to coddle them along in hopes that they will "live in peace" with us. It is clear that they will not stop until the whole world has converted to Islam.

    If you don't believe me, listen and read the words of their own leaders, imams, and Quran. They want total and complete domination of the world.

    If it is a holy war they want, it is a holy war they will get, and a holy war they will lose.

    Death to Islam! Death to Allah!

    September 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • niknak

      I guess you must not have been paying attention in Sunday indocrination school when they were talking about all the jeebus unconditional love.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • ensense

      NikNak you rile against those believing in religion, but i see you have a lot of hate your self against religious people. Then how can you claim atheism has affected you in a good way.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • niknak

      Where have I spewed any hate?
      Show me one post where I have advocated killing anyone.
      I don't own a gun, have never commited a crime, and have never been in a fist fight.
      You and the other fundies can believe in anything you want. Just don't push it on me and everyone else who chooses not to go along with your fairy tale.
      But that is falling on deaf ears, as you fundies have only one goal. To make the rest of us howl at the moon with you.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • ensense

      having a gun does not signify hate, you could be in law enforcement and a good person. but the words you are using for people whom you don't even know.says that you have hate in you. but you ignore your own and point to others.

      September 14, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
  9. Loki

    Every week Bill Maher does the same thing to Mormons, Catholics, and Muslims. How come nobody on the left says he should stop with hate speech ?

    September 14, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Loki

      Being Jewish himself, Bill Maher doesn't see fit to make fun of his own religion. He says he's an atheist but he's a Israeli fanatic and seems to know a lot about being Jewish.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • niknak

      Well, how come nobody on the right says anything about all the hate speech Rust Flemball and the other right wing nut jobs on AM radio spout EVERYDAY.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Not to mention Bill Maher is a comedian.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Johnny

      Bill Maher is half-Jewish and half-Irish and was raised in the Catholic tradition, that of his Irish-American father.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Loki

      He masquerades as a comedian to escape being called a hate monger. All his "humor" seems to be directed at Republicans and religious people.... except Jews. His panel is always well stocked with them. And Rush Limbaugh is as guilty but does not have a HBO TV show like Maher.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • niknak

      He makes fun of jews all the time.
      Rush reaches far more people then Maher does.
      The difference is that Maher backs his up with facts, Rush does not.
      And Maher makes fun of Dems too. He makes fun, or more precisely, points out their hypocricy, using humor that is backed up with fact.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • bosshog

      so let all these people say whatever the heck they want. who cares? just dont go shooting rpg's at each other. words/films dont kill people, people do

      September 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Yea instead Rush gets to spew hate and misinformation as bill it as complete truth.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Loki

      Bill Maher does not make fun of the religion called Judaism. He might make fun of Jews on occasion but it is light hearted. He does not ridicule the history, "facts" and strange religious rights of Judaism. So now what ?

      September 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Showman

      Just like somebody mentioned, he's just a comedian. Aside from that, he's nothing.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  10. shakeel

    US should do something about people who r using american land to launch provoking movies which is causing harm to US interest in the outside world. The way people are punished for denying holocaust in the same way people should be banned from provoking anger among the masses, these things are leading unnecessary violence and bloodshet. US shoudl act responsbily and play into the hands of anyone.

    September 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • ME II

      "people who r using american land to launch provoking movies which is causing harm to US interest in the outside world. "

      So... pretty much all of Hollywood, right?

      September 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • sam

      Someone should do something about religious nuts who can't control themselves and feel they need to burn stuff/shoot people.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • bosshog

      free speech bro. stop being such a pansy. i gurantee you've made a joke about someones different beliefs before, should the government come straighten you out?

      September 14, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  11. ensense

    This will be used as another excuse for religious cleansing of the copts from egypt. Unlike the Bosnian whom we protected from the Serbs, I bet when this happens no body will intervene.

    September 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  12. Newtonslaw

    All religions are mythical. Do not expect rational behavior from people who live in a fantasy world.

    September 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  13. niknak

    It is unfathomable to me that an educated person who is a doctor or engineer or any kind of job with a science background would still believe in santa claus.
    They work with the framework of science where everything has to be proven using the scientific method, yet on Sunday they throw all of that out the window and pray to some form of imaginary being that has zero proof of it's existence.
    A mind is a terrible thing to lose, to religion.....

    September 14, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • ensense

      Not really the problem you are talking about i hate. and hate can be of different kinds, race hate, ethnic hate class hate etc etc they have nothing to do with religion. If you really follow the teachings of Christ then you will forgive even those who harm you. The teachings of Christ actually bring stability and calm in your life. The hate is carried on by people whose heart Christ has not touched.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • niknak

      THAT is full of bull.
      So when a fundie goes off the rails and kills, you can then just sit back and say, "oh, god did not touch his heart."
      Look at this one board. Fundies are on here all the time talking about killing other people. Just in the post above some fundie is trying to get other religions to have a holy war against islam. Some other fundies want to kill all the atheists in the world as it is their fault religious people kill.
      One does not need religion to be a good person. Or have god 'touch his heart."
      I have live my whole life a good person and stand up guy, all without having anything to do with god.
      Why? Because I CHOOSE to be a stand up guy. Not because I am trying to curry favor or out of fear, like you fundies.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • ensense

      Thats exactly my point, Tell me one teaching of Jesus which preaches hate.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • ensense

      You can be a person who does not believe in god. but even if you practice what Jesus preached then you are touched by Jesus as far as i am concerned. because it is not what you believe in but what you do which matters.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • niknak

      I never said jesus taught hate.
      But the people that claim they go by his teachings sure do. Most own guns, you most likely as well. And not a hunting gun, but a gun to designed specfically to kill another human being.
      The people that are uprising in the ME are no different then the religious people that are here. Believing in imaginary beings leads to killing, as evidenced by all the bloodshed we have seen in our collective history.
      My choosing to be a good person is all my choice, not the work of some being created in the stone age.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • rocketscientist

      "It is unfathomable to me that an educated person who is a doctor or engineer or any kind of job with a science background would still believe in santa claus."

      I'm an aerospace engineer with a PhD and I believe in Santa Clause aka Saint Nicholas. He was real. Look it up.

      They work with the framework of science where everything has to be proven using the scientific method, yet on Sunday they throw all of that out the window and pray to some form of imaginary being that has zero proof of it's existence.

      I wouldn't say I throw it all out the window when I attend Church (Catholic (mine) or LDS (my wife's)) every Sunday. It's definitely a balancing act, reconciling what I know about science (a lot of physics including a good helping of quantum mechanics) and my faith, but I don't think it's impossible. I don't believe literally in the book of Genesis (the Catholic Church even says its supposed to be taken metaphorically), but I do believe there is a guiding and benevolent intelligence or personality in our universe and the message of Jesus resonates with me. I believe He did speak the truth.
      "A mind is a terrible thing to lose, to religion....." I didn't lose my mind to religion. I've always had it in my life. And, in any case, I haven't been diagnosed with any mental illness (and my wife wouldn't have married me, seeing as she was a pschologist with a PhD). If I had been, I wouldn't have been cleared for doing the work I'm doing now.
      "One does not need religion to be a good person. Or have god 'touch his heart." I agree with you. I have several very good friends that are atheists. "I have live my whole life a good person and stand up guy, all without having anything to do with god." I consider myself a stand-up guy too. One of the things I'm standup about is not making bigoted remarks about others' beliefs (i.e. that the religious are brainless). That was something taught to me right from the beginning by my parents, my teachers, and the priests and nuns at the church I attended as a child. Oh, yeah, and I try to be a standup guy because I choose to be, not because I believe in God. Of course, I wouldn't call myself a fundamentalist Christian. I'm just an average American mainstream Catholic.

      Dr. H

      Why? Because I CHOOSE to be a stand up guy. Not because I am trying to curry favor or out of fear, like you fundies.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • niknak

      I don't make bigoted remarks rocket.
      I make remarks for people to prove what they are trying to preach.
      You are a scientist. If I came to you with a conclusion that had zero evidence to support it, you would dismiss it out of hand as being an unproven hypothesis.
      Why do the rules change for god?
      And why is your particular god, out of the countess thousands, the correct one?
      And how can you possibly still believe in ID when it has been so totally smashed, by the scientific community which you are a part of?
      I don't care what you believe, or teach your kids. Sky fairy? Go for it.
      But I have a huge issue when religion is foisted upon me, it is used to make public policy, and used to inflict injury and death to people who are deemed "unworthy" (like gays or blacks or people who won't go along for the ride).
      If science is so much a part of your life, then why don't you apply a bit of it to your god.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • ensense

      Nik Nak for all the words coming out of you, you definitely have some hate in you. but you choose to ignore your own all the while pointing to other peoples hate.

      September 14, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Typical

      Trying to brainwash people into believing your nonsense is true, how typical of the xtian. It's not working....try harder.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • xx4zu1

      Please tell me the last thing that you can point to that prayer has changed. What changes things is people believing in themselves and doing what is necessary for change.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • niknak

      It changes nothing.
      But keep wasting your time doing it, and posting your lame post every day.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      September 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  15. xx4zu1

    When will the world finally wake up and realize that religion is just a vessel for hatred and violence. From our own elections to the violence in the middle east it spreads disease across this world like nothing else. Imagine what the headlines would read today if religion didn't exist.

    September 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • niknak

      Try never.
      They just can't bring themselves to go against their family and friends.
      Does not matter how much science has done for them, they keep going back to their fairy tale.
      My wife's family is very religious, and her father got really sick. In fact, he was about dead due to a heart issue.
      They were able to save him, of course using state of the art tech, but of course the family all believe it was because god did not want him yet.
      It never amazes me what the mind of a fundie can dream up to keep believing in their imaginary friend.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  16. ninio

    OMG.. can we all just get over this garbage and move on? People are so F'n sensitive these days, who cares??? its just a dam film.. Stop paying attention to it, rioting over it (Arab idiots im talking to you) and it will just fade away... Stop making dumb movies like this that you know will offend and incite people into violence (western idiots im talking to you)... for the past 20 years we've seen that these kind of offending videos/pictures causes protests in the middle east and pakistan (what can I say, some people are just simple minded and ignorant) so why keep repeating them??? ITs all F'n pointless... and dont give me that Freedom of Speech garbage either.. you know its BS.

    September 14, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  17. Foghorn Leghorn

    Stupid post alert........

    Religion is a choice (even if you’re too stupid to realize it). No one happens to be a member of a religion.

    Religion is taught to you at an early age by your parents.
    You have no say in the matter.
    So you grow up believing that what you have been taught is the truth.

    Ignorance is not bliss.

    September 14, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Religion is taught to you at an early age by your parents.
      You have no say in the matter."

      You are incorrect in this statement. Or you are trying to simplify the situation way too much.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Lycidas,

      at an early age you really don't have any say in the matter.

      Once brainwashed, many people don't find it so easy to consider alternatives.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • xx4zu1

      @ Lycidas
      Really, the point that was made is that religion is the only thing that is given to you,in most cases, at birth that you can chose not to accept.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV- "at an early age you really don't have any say in the matter."

      The problem is making the assumption that those that have a belief must have gotten it while young.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Lycidas

      xx4zu1- "the point that was made is that religion is the only thing that is given to you,in most cases, at birth that you can chose not to accept."

      That's true of any tenet, belief or teaching. Even atheism or science can fit in there if there is no active self examination of them by an individual.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Lycidas,

      clearly those that chose to convert as an adult have a relevant say in their belief. I suspect that does not overly simplify the generality that was made.

      While adult conversions certainly happen, it would be interesting to see what percentage of believers are adult conversions (and not counting those who convert to the same faith as their fiance/e).

      September 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • niknak

      100% true.
      All the xtian fundies would be muslim fundies if they had been born there instead of here, and vice a versa.
      That is why a fundie from any religion would be friends with a fundie from another religion before being friends with an atheist.
      Even if someone worships a different corporate logo, it is still worship and therefore helps validate the myth.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The Pew Forum 2007 report has this to say:

      "Groups that have experienced a net loss from changes in affiliation include Baptists (net loss of 3.7 percentage points) and Methodists (2.1 percentage points). However, the group that has experienced the greatest net loss by far is the Catholic Church. Overall, 31.4% of U.S. adults say that they were raised Catholic. Today, however, only 23.9% of adults identify with the Catholic Church, a net loss of 7.5 percentage points."

      In America more adults leave Christian beliefs than convert into them.

      http://religions.pewforum.org/pdf/report-religious-landscape-study-full.pdf

      September 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  18. AT

    All in all a movie does not justify killing. We all take responsibility for our actions you cant say a movie made me kill someone. In the end this just shows what type of religion Islam is.
    When the broadway show jesus christ superstar came out did any christians try to kill the broadway producers. No, they had peaceful protest.
    In the end you kill someone its becasue of your hurtful and evil human nature not because a movie made u do it.
    So its futile dwelling on the fact that a man made a movie he was expressing his freedom of speech and there is no reason to attack the entire Coptic population for one man.

    September 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Dave Evans

      @AT. I believe in God but don't belong to any religion because I am tired of all the hatred, violence and murder. It has got to stop.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  19. taxedmore

    Let's see,
    We draw a cartoon, they kill people.
    We make a video, they kill people.
    We try to report the news, they behead people.
    Yup, that's some religion.

    September 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • RK

      If you know they kill people! Why to put our noses in their religion history?

      September 14, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • sansooman

      We? Speak for yourself!

      September 14, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Showman

      Liberals need to be careful with all this freedom they brag about here in the US. Not everyone agrees with it, especially Muslims.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  20. Vincent

    I support the right to free speech and freedom of expression.

    However, the people making use of those freedoms should be willing to stand up for what they believe if theyre going to use their right of free speech. Not say something inflammatory and then run away to hide like a bunch of cowards. And also hiding behind the nations police forces and military, leaving OTHERS to stand up for them because they were too cowardly. This is ridiculous! At least that crazy pastor is willing to reveal himself.

    Chances are that at some point, someone will probably attack them for their views. But thats part of the choice you make for airing some of your views using freedom of speech.
    Just because you CAN say something, doesnt mean you should. Common sense should prevail.

    Common sense obviously doesnt prevail in those places with rioting. The sheep are being made to stampede by the islamist extremists and the politicians who want to establish their own power. Its a pity we cant stand up to demonstrate how democracy and free speech should be a beacon, instead of being the same as those crazy people rioting over this.

    September 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • pam

      Unfortunately you can't have it both ways. With freedom of speech we have to take the bad with the good. Look at all this nasty hollywood stuff. It is no wonder a lot of people in other nations think we are a bunch of sicko heathens.

      September 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
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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.