My Take: It’s time for Islamophobic evangelicals to choose
September 15th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: It’s time for Islamophobic evangelicals to choose

Editor's Note: Brian D. McLaren  is author of "Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World" (Jericho Books/Hachette Book Group). 

By Brian McLaren, Special to CNN

I was raised as an evangelical Christian in America, and any discussion of Christian-Jewish-Muslim relations around the world must include the phenomenon of American Islamophobia, for which large sectors of evangelical Christianity in America serve as a greenhouse.

At a time when U.S. embassies are being attacked and when people are getting killed over an offensive, adolescent and puerile film targeting Islam - beyond pathetic in its tawdriness – we must begin to own up to the reality of evangelical Islamaphobia.

Many of my own relatives receive and forward pious-sounding and alarm-bell-ringing e-mails that trumpet (IN LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS WITH EXCLAMATION POINTS!) the evils of Islam, that call their fellow evangelicals and charismatics to prayer and “spiritual warfare” against those alleged evils, and that often - truth be told - contain lots of downright lies.

For example, one recent e-mail claimed “Egyptian Christians in Grave Danger as Muslim Brotherhood Crucifies Opponents."  Of course, that claim has been thoroughly debunked, but the sender’s website still (as of Friday) claims that the Muslim Brotherhood has “crucified those opposing" Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy "naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others.”

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

Many sincere and good-hearted evangelicals have never yet had a real Muslim friend, and now they probably never will because their minds have been so prejudiced by Islamophobic broadcasts on so-called Christian television and radio.

Janet Parshall, for example, a popular talk show host on the Moody Radio Network, frequently hosts Walid Shoebat, a Muslim-evangelical convert whose anti-Muslim claims, along with claims about his own biography, are frequently questioned.  John Hagee, a popular televangelist, also hosts Shoebat as an expert on Islam, as does the 700 Club.

Many Christian bookstores that (used to) sell my books, still sell books such as Paul Sperry’s "Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington" (Thomas Nelson, 2008). In so doing, they fuel conspiracy theories such as the ones U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, promoted earlier this year.

In recent days, we’ve seen how irresponsible Muslim media outlets used the tawdry 13-minute video created by a tiny handful of fringe Christian extremists to create a disgusting caricature of all Christians - and all Americans - in Muslim minds. But too few Americans realize how frequently American Christian media personalities in the U.S. similarly prejudice their hearers’ minds with mirror-image stereotypes of Muslims.

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

Meanwhile, many who are pastors and leaders in evangelicalism hide their heads in the current issue of Christianity Today or World Magazine, acting as if the kinds of people who host Islamophobic sentiments swim in a tiny sidestream, not in the mainstream, of our common heritage. I wish that were true.

The events of this past week, if we let them, could mark a turning point - a hitting bottom, if you will - in the complicity of evangelicalism in Islamophobia. If enough evangelicals watch or try to watch the film trailer that has sparked such outrage in the Middle East, they may move beyond the tipping point.

I tried to watch it, but I couldn’t make it halfway to the 13-minute mark. Everything about it was tawdry, pathetic, even pornographic. All but the most fundamentalist believers from my evangelical Christian tribe who watch that video will be appalled and ashamed to be associated with it.

It is hate speech. It is no different from the anti-Semitic garbage that has been all too common in Western Christian history. It is sub-Christian - beneath the dignity of anyone with a functioning moral compass.

Islamophobic evangelical Christians - and the neo-conservative Catholics and even some Jewish folks who are their unlikely political bedfellows of late - must choose.

Will they press on in their current path, letting Islamophobia spread even further amongst them? Or will they stop, rethink and seek to a more charitable approach to our Muslim neighbors? Will they realize that evangelical religious identity is under assault, not by Shariah law, not by the liberal media, not by secular humanism from the outside, but by forces within the evangelical community that infect that religious identity with hostility?

If I could get one message through to my evangelical friends, it would be this: The greatest threat to evangelicalism is evangelicals who tolerate hate and who promote hate camouflaged as piety.

No one can serve two masters. You can’t serve God and greed, nor can you serve God and fear, nor God and hate.

The broad highway of us-them thinking and the offense-outrage-revenge reaction cycle leads to self-destruction. There is a better way, the way of Christ who, when reviled, did not revile in return, who when insulted, did not insult in return, and who taught his followers to love even those who define themselves as enemies.

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Yes, “they” – the tiny minority of Muslims who turn piety into violence – have big problems of their own. But the way of Christ requires all who claim to be Christians to examine our own eyes for planks before trying to perform first aid on the eyes of others. We must admit that we have our own tiny minority whose message and methods we have not firmly, unitedly and publicly repudiated and rejected.

To choose the way of Christ is not appeasement. It is not being a “sympathizer.”

The way of Christ is a gentle strength that transcends the vicious cycles of offense-outrage-revenge.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Brian D. McLaren.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Islam • Opinion

soundoff (8,500 Responses)
  1. Francis

    Aaron Nail:
    Christians are not any more power hungry or evil than any other person on the planet. The truth is that we have more in common with each other than we do have differences. You spew just as much hate as those you claim do the same.

    September 16, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • goondor

      What part of anything I've said can be construed as hate?

      September 16, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  2. babooph

    The delusional "Christians",unlike the Nazis have not chosen a minority to vilify,there are more in Islam than in their nut case group,the Evangelicals are the minority& for good reason.

    September 16, 2012 at 8:05 am |
  3. Reality

    Some of the reasons for the Islamophobia:

    From the koran, the operating manual for Muslims:

    o "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)
    "Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons...he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home..." (Surah 8:12-)

    "Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)

    "...make war on the leaders of unbelief...Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them..." (Surah 9:12-)

    "Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:27-)

    "It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith [Islam] to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters [non-Muslims] may dislike it." (Surah 9:31-)

    "If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men." (Surah 9:37-)

    "Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)

    "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-)

    "Say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom..." (Surah 17:111)

    "'How shall I bear a child,' she [Mary] answered, 'when I am a virgin...?' 'Such is the will of the Lord,' he replied. 'That is no difficult thing for Him...God forbid that He [God[ Himself should beget a son!...Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood..." (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)

    "Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him...He has given you the name of Muslims..." (Surah 22:78-)

    "Blessed are the believers...who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)...These are the heirs of Paradise..." (Surah 23:1-5-)

    "Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Surah 48:29)

    "Shall the reward of goodness be anything but good?...Dark-eyed virgins sheltered in their tents...They shall recline on green cushions and fine carpets...Blessed be the name of your Lord..." (Surah 55:52-66-)

    September 16, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Reality

      Added reasons for the Islamophobia:

      Only for the newcomers:

      As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT

      BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.

      The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

      25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

      (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

      26 ) September 12, 2012

      Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

      September 16, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • mcp123

      From the bible:

      If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. - Deuteronomy 21:18-21
      The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. - Proverbs 30:17
      And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and ... offer him there for a burnt offering.... And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. - Genesis 22:2,10
      The LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon.... And there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. - Exodus 12:29-30
      Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. - Psalm 137:9

      Are you completely ignorant of the book, and the word that you venerate?

      September 16, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Reality

      The Jewish god-approved atrocities:

      To wit:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      September 16, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • mcp123


      Perhaps you don't remember this... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srebrenica_massacre

      "July 1995 killing, during the Bosnian War, of more than 8,000[1] Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims), mainly men and boys, in and around the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by units of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) under the command of General Ratko Mladić. The mass murder was described by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as the worst crime on European soil since the Second World War."

      "Christians" did that...

      September 16, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Sam A.


      Your translation of the Koran is erroneous and rather flawed. Do you mind mentioning which translation you are referring to? If you want to quote a book, be honest and academic.

      September 16, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Reality

      http://www.muslimaccess.com/quraan/arabic/005.asp et al

      September 16, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  4. dahlimama

    dear countrymom good for you ! You did not see that behavior in your last two church's but two churches is not a good statistical sampling of the thousands of churches in the country. and I too have gotten those e-mail fomenting hate of one group or another. So much so that I have abandoned organized religions as all mostly, if not hate driven at the very least arrogantly superior to their fellow humans on this earth. I don't need their prejudices dumped into my head nor my children's. I find very few religions really profess love of fellow man and respect of nature with the exception of perhaps Buddhism. In my mind more people have been murdered over religious beliefs than any other one thing but you are correct on one thing no child ever came into this world with knowledge of a particular religion in his head. That knowledge or urge to believe a certain set of tenants was put there by a leader be that a parent that was already inducted or a political group in control that demanded it. It is nothing less than a way to control masses of people and have them do your biding. Religion is always political and our choice is to join and do their bidding or not join and think for ourselves.

    September 16, 2012 at 8:05 am |
  5. CarolinaKate

    Although I swore I wouldn't, I finally gave in and watched the film. Without a doubt, it's trashy, crude, tacky, and deeply offensive. It would be equally offensive if it protrayed Jesus, the POTUS, or the guy that lives down the street. It's just a rude piece of drivel that does not warrant all of the attention it's receiving.

    September 16, 2012 at 8:04 am |
  6. cnn suffers from evangelicalphobia
    September 16, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • William

      That is a dreaded disease and very contagious. Most libs suffer from this disease.

      September 16, 2012 at 8:06 am |
  7. david

    wow... this article would bring a smile to the President's face! Apologize! Apologize! Apologize! It's all our fault and not their fault that they have vandalized OUR embassies!

    September 16, 2012 at 8:04 am |
  8. George

    Islamophobia? I dare say we are dealing with Jewishphobia and Christianphobias. This writer seems to either blame or hold culpable aspects of the Christian community. His comment " the tiny minority of Muslims who turn piety into violence " is an oxymoron. Tiny minority? Don't blame us for their barbaric, tribalisic behaviour.

    September 16, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • mcp123

      "His comment " the tiny minority of Muslims who turn piety into violence " is an oxymoron. Tiny minority? "

      So what percentage of the 1.5 billion muslims do you think were involved with the riots? All 1.5 billion of them?

      Give me proof that it's actually more than a tiny minority.

      September 16, 2012 at 8:11 am |
  9. Travis Snodgrass

    You don't see Christians storming buildings and murdering people over an offensive movie. Look at all the movies, TV shows, music, etc. coming out of the entertainment industry that mocks, slanders, and is totally blasphemous toward God the Father and Jesus Christ. Why is none of that considered "hate speach"? This all just seems so hypocritical to me. I am offended every single day by those who mock God, but I don't burn down buildings, beat people up, or run to the courts. Granted, it was not good at all to make a movie intentionally mocking Muhammed, but niether is it good to return evil for evil. Jesus has called those who follow Him (and it would be good for everyone to follow such instructions) to overcome evil with good. We overcome hate by loving our enemies. That does not mean we have to agree with or condone everything everyone does or says, but we can still treat them with love and respect, because after all, each one of us is made in God's holy image and every single human being is precious in God's sight.

    Jesus taught:
    You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? (Matthew 5:43-47)

    September 16, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • mcp123

      "Look at all the movies, TV shows, music, etc. coming out of the entertainment industry that mocks, slanders, and is totally blasphemous toward God the Father and Jesus Christ. Why is none of that considered "hate speach""

      Even various groups of christians have fought and killed each other over the centuries and found some way to justify it. Christianity is rife for mockery... did you forget the commandment Thou shalt not kill.... yet christians do that.

      You don't even follow the tenents of your own religion... I'm glad and happy to be one of the many that will mock you for it.

      September 16, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Scott

      Straw Man – the Ten Commandments don't say Do Not Kill. They say Do Not Murder.

      September 16, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Travis Snodgrass

      I agree with Scott, mcp123. But I do see where you are coming from. I fail to love God and to love my neighbor as myself every single day. And there are those who kill in the name of Christ. And those actions should be condemned whether they are done in the Name of Jesus, Allah, Bhudda, or even in the name of no God. Christians are not exempt, or free from sin, but true Christians strive to obey God and love others, regardless of creed or station in life.

      That is a convenient straw man, though, isn't it?

      September 16, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  10. Penny

    While they may not have "crucified" any Christians in Egypt, they certainly have been killing them and raping the women, then forcing them to marry muslims; it has been escalating for years.
    The recent events were planned, terrorist attacks on Americans to give as much insult and grief as possible, not because of any film. I have been offended many times by movies like the "Exorcist," by the things said and done in the movies; I have not killed anyone over it, or even called for mass protest. The fact is..their religion calls for the conversion or death of all non-muslims. Here in the US they are breeding like rats; that means in the near future they will be the voting majority in many areas, They already feel bold enough to request to be able to have sharia law in Mich. America better wake up and stop listening to people like Obama that are scared to do anything but appease evil in hopes it will leave him alone.

    September 16, 2012 at 8:03 am |
  11. Marky Mark

    Islamic countries are NOT tolerant of other religions, including Christianity. These same countries that are rioting, because they are "offended" do NOT allow the bible in their country!! Yet, here in America, we allow freedom of religion. Islam is allowed in our country, yet you claim we are islam phobic, ppppplllllleeeeeaaaaaaaassssseeeeeee!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • Sam A.

      Have you ever been to a Muslim country? how would you like to attend a Sunday service in Jordan, Syria, Egypt,... etc? are you aware of statistics regarding Christian schools in Muslim countries? what is your recollection of Christian and/or non-Muslim politicians that are either a member of Muslim parliament or are in the executive part of a Muslim government?

      September 16, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  12. Greg

    For some reason (no doubt to demon opponents) anyone who has a disagreement with someone or something is now 'phobic'. Can't one have a disagreement with a religion, lifestyle, practice, or political belief without being 'phobic'? Are Muslims 'Christophobic'? Are some gays 'heterophobic'? Are Democrats 'Republiphobic' or Republicans 'Demophobic'? Are guys who drive Chevys 'Fordophobic'? Give me a break. It is nothing more than labeling opponents to discredit their views and demonize them, a page right out of totalitarian propaganda manuals.

    September 16, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Sam A.

      Hate speech is not an expression of disagreement.

      September 16, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  13. lewtwo

    The film is truly awful and offensive however there are many things in the world that are offensive to any civilized human being. At the top of the list is a religion that worships a war mongering pedophile.

    September 16, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Sam A.

      So you claim that you think the film is awful but then you go ahead and reiterate some of the film content. So contradictory.

      September 16, 2012 at 9:12 am |
  14. Common

    I would like to know their (people currently revolting about the movie) responses against what was done to Buddha statues in
    Afganisthan. Here is a link


    September 16, 2012 at 8:01 am |
  15. Dick W

    What a crock! We freely let others kill Christians, deface Christian symbols, threaten the Jewish state, but quake at any negative reference about Mohammad. Suggest the writer actually learn something about Muslim history and beliefs before he pontificates. He must be an advisor to the Obama administration.

    September 16, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • Marky Mark

      Well put!!! Obama should be demanding our embassy's be protected or kick out those countries that have embassy's on our soil. Send in the marines mr. president!!! Stop apologizing and campaigning and get to work!!!

      September 16, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • mcp123

      "Send in the marines mr. president!!! Stop apologizing and campaigning and get to work!!!"

      He already sent troops... but perhaps you didn't read that part. He also never apologized...thats just the ring wing narrative. Educate yourself a bit before you spout.

      September 16, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  16. JennyTX

    Oh good grief. It would be so much easier if people admitted that religions are only THEORIES.

    September 16, 2012 at 8:01 am |
  17. Nadir Ahmed

    These types of Christians need to accept that they are worse than Al-Qaeda – not only do they spread Islamophobia, but they also support Israel – a country who has invaded and stolen land away from the Muslims, while subjecting the Muslims in that land to horrible persecution.

    September 16, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • Isabella

      No way. There is no islamophobia.

      September 16, 2012 at 8:23 am |
  18. Francis

    Your country uses cruise missiles, and where is your tolerance for "evangelicals"?

    September 16, 2012 at 8:00 am |
  19. Thor

    American Islamaphobia is an incitful to hate term. The author hesitates to understand that when one tacks on "phobia" to a name and then uses it in a pernicious method to denegrate a class of people, he becomes aligned with fools. He is foolish if he believes that fear of Islam, by westerners, is unfounded. Phobia is an undfounded fear. Perhaps the author is too senile to remember, or simply to psycophantic to admit that ALL of the terrorist acts by Middle Easterners against Westerners has been stated in the name of Islam WITHOUT A SINGLE ISLAMIC CLERIC OPPOSING! This in and of itself is very telling.

    September 16, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • rich of baltimore

      Try googling "islamic statements against terrorism" Look at the first result. There are over 50 statements against terrorism signed by Islamic leaders, most with links to original sources. Quick sampling "“The people who attacked the WTC and Pentagon and hijacked the forth plane that crashed in Pennsylvania are criminal who deserve the severest punishment as the Quran elaborates. They are murderers and terrorists..." Please take the time to do a little research before make statements that can be easily dis-proven.

      September 16, 2012 at 8:24 am |
  20. !%$!#@@#$

    CNN redefines tone deaf. That's why their ratings are in the toilet.

    September 16, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • historian

      We are all very tired of hearing of this "minority" of violent Muslims. Where is the indignant condemnation of the so-called "moderate" majority at the murder of the US ambassador to Libya? Where are the statistics detailing muslim extremism, or even rarer, muslim moderation or democracy? The truth is, Islam is historically violent. The "moderates" aren't moderate, but collude in violence with their silence. The true minority are the secular, rational muslims dedicated to democracy before the imperialist dictates of their religion.

      The facts are written not only on our computer screens for everyone to see, every bloody day, but throughout muslim history of brutal conquest starting with the Middle East and continuing through the Indian subcontinent which suffered what historian Ariel Durant called "probably the bloodiest in history." Every time Muslims demonstrate against portrayals of a violent, intolerant Muhammad, they prove the case of the accusers.

      September 16, 2012 at 8:44 am |
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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.