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What really enrages Muslims? Twitter knows
September 18th, 2012
06:26 AM ET

What really enrages Muslims? Twitter knows

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

What really enrages Muslims?

Having a really good hair day - but no one knows because you wear a hijab.

Not being able to say "Hi" to your friend Jack in a plane - or to call out for your nephew when he gets lost in an airport because his name is "Jihad."

The 72 virgins all turn out to be male.

The tongue-in-cheek answers are part of an explosion of sharply satirical responses on Twitter to a Newsweek magazine cover showing Muslim men in turbans and keffiyahs, apparently rioting, under the banner all caps headline "MUSLIM RAGE."

Thousands of Muslims have made fun of the magazine headline since Monday, when it published a long article by the Somali-born writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim who describes herself as a "combatant in the clash of civilizations."

She links this month's protests against an online film making fun of the Muslim prophet Mohammed - which have resulted in several deaths around the world, including that of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens - to the reaction in 1989 against Salman Rushdie's novel "The Satanic Verses."

"In 23 years not much has changed," Ali argues. "Islam's rage reared its ugly head again last week.

"The American ambassador to Libya and three of his staff members were murdered by a raging mob in Benghazi, Libya, possibly under the cover of protests against a film mocking the Muslim Prophet Muhammad," Ali writes.

Newsweek's cover puts Ali herself at the heart of the story about "Muslim rage," with the sub-heading: "How I survived it. How we can end it."

Ali, a sharp critic of Islamist violence and of what she sees as Europe's limp response to it, claims that the rioters represent mainstream Muslim views.

"The Muslim men and women (and yes, there are plenty of women) who support - whether actively or passively - the idea that blasphemers deserve to suffer punishment are not a fringe group. On the contrary, they represent the mainstream of contemporary Islam," she argues.

The "many Muslims and ex-Muslims" who "unambiguously condemn" the murders and riots "are marginalized and all too often indirectly held responsible for the very provocation."

But by Tuesday morning, on Twitter at least, far from being marginalized, those Muslims were relentlessly making fun of Newsweek and Ali.

One tweet showed the magazine cover doctored to make the rioting Muslim men look like glam rockers, replacing the headline with "Muslim Rave."

Remi Kanzai riffed on the same theme: "Just add nighttime & glow sticks. It goes from #MuslimRage to #MuslimRave."

Some of the more serious tweets dealt with the discrimination Muslims feel at airports: "When a 'female assist' is called before I even walk through the metal detector."

But many kept the mood light, complaining about work, family, Islamic restrictions on eating pork and drinking wine, or fasting during Ramadan.

"The Dark Knight Rises came out in Ramadan," one complained.

And some aimed their barbs directly at the writer of the provocative piece.

"Whaaaaat?!" Megh demanded. "Ayaan Hirsi Ali doesn't have an active Twitter account?!"

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Islam • Muslim • Religious violence

soundoff (869 Responses)
  1. SS

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is 100% right when it comes to her assessment of Islam, still glad to see some Muslims out there can point and laugh at themselves for once.

    September 23, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • md

      Muslims need to be flooded with insults to Mohammed from around the word until they lighten up.

      September 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  2. Atheism is Great for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and lets them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, were just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago. (Yes, charlatan folklore and spam started long before the Bible; what would make you think they hadn't??) And they need to be taught that other things, like God, we really don't know a damn thing about.

    Atheists have strong minds and don't need a religion. Many religious folk have the best intentions. But too often, religious folk run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, they disserve society). And too often, religious folk are easily offended when someone mocks their make-believe characters – and, as we can see they can get really CRAZY!

    Although there are many religious folk with good intentions – some selflessly helping others, religions and religious organizations are, as a whole, just big old clubs – each trying to out do each other and inspiring hate and division (often disguised as love) along the way. The problem is that people too easily buy into religion and don't realize how unfounded it all is. And when they buy into it, they buy into a lot of really old, really weird tenets that are nothing but harmful for the human species.

    Take Christianity, for instance. Just look at all the things that Christians argue about amongst themselves today – abortion, men's and women's roles in the church, celibacy, contraception, acceptance of gays, etc. Most of these issues have their roots in the conflicted, unfounded tenets of early Christianity. Non-Mormons harp on Joseph Smith these days. But we really don't have any more proof at all to believe that Paul, the self-proclaimed "apostle" was anything more than an ordinary man who needed to make up religious "sales literature" to survive and spread his own personal beliefs. And yet a good chunk of the NT is attributed to Paul and accepted by many Christians. And a lot of what he wrote about has to do with many of the issues I mentioned above that have Christians fighting amongst themselves hundreds of years later. It's way too unfounded to argue over.

    Get a good cup of tea, and sit down and collect your thoughts. If you find it helpful to pray to a god (something you know nothing about), fine. But it is really healthier for the mind to leave behind all the characters that people over the centuries have invented or given powers to, for which there is little or no foundation. Because with those invented characters and powers – that's where division and hate join the little party in your mind. That's where, in your mind, you are inheriting the division and hate from ordinary politicians, lobbyists and salesmen from long ago. My goodness.

    mama kindless

    September 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • What???

      Do us a favor, go to Iran and tell them you are an Atheist and you have a good idea for them to follow...

      September 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  3. JC

    @Truthbetold: That's ridiculous. Athiesm doesn't come close to the numbers killed historically and in the current day in the name of religion. And the reason is very simple. Athiests don't have a sick rule book that they use as a basis to allege superiority over other human beings. Oh by the way, if you're trying to blame athiesm for Hitler, remember that Hitler was a catholic.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • samstubbs

      Most deaths throughout history were political... religion was an after thought most of the time (or at best an excuse to engage in already rising political contention.)

      Neither religion nor the lack thereof is the main reason behind conflict, the root cause is much deeper than that... the cause of conflict is merely difference. "You're different than us, so we don't like you."

      You really think conflict would stop if religion was gone? Communism vs. Democracy. Whites vs. Blacks. Land disputes. Sports team disputes. Political party disputes. Poor vs. Rich. Foreigners vs. Natives. (Just to name a very few.) Come on people, don't be naive....

      September 22, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • El Flaco

      Atheist like Lenin and Stalin did arrange for the murders of millions of people. Most atheists are pretty peaceful, thoughtful people. Most of them, like me, have had some very bad experiences with religion.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  4. HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

    Who sits on your throne in your temple? For Christians:.......'1Cr 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?'

    September 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  5. Hypatia

    Knowing that they will always be ignorant puppets?

    September 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  6. HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

    'Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all [things] for himself : yea, even the wicked for the day of evil'

    September 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  7. 9/11/12

    The murder was pre-empted and well-planed. The film has nothing to do with it but used as an alibi.

    September 21, 2012 at 7:11 am |
  8. Altee11

    This humor was strange because the people who wrote are belittling the killings of 30 people worldwide.

    September 21, 2012 at 3:46 am |
    • Jeus is every thing

      by Enraged Muslims... enraged for WHAT!!!!!?????

      September 22, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  9. Crude

    Check out what Pat Condell has to say about the latest muslim riots. Just BRILLIANT!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCXHPKhRCVg

    September 21, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • omar

      u say our feelings? whose feelings are u referring to exactly?

      September 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Enjoue

      That was awesome, thank you!

      September 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  10. rjkrjky@yahoo.com

    Islam is not Democracy, it is Totalitarianism and a Cult because it worships a person . A warning to all freedom

    loving people. Millions of people have died for the "Freedom of speech". Islam is trying to take over the world.

    We have to fight back now!

    September 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • John

      HAHAHAHA, than you know nothing of Islam if you think Muslims pray to one person, its actually one God and muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad is his messenger and NOT god..there you go some facts for you to learn instead of violence and propoganda taught to you by your community and parents

      September 20, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Jeus is every thing

      exaggeration not millions .. but maybe hundreds of thousands in France and in US then everybody else just sort of changed after seeing what it gave us.. 🙂 🙂

      September 22, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  11. Be1iever

    Why aren't Americans protesting what is happening in the middle east? Why aren't we burning the flags of Lybia and Iran and Syria and other Axis of Evil Nations? President Obama needs to address this situation now! This must not continue any longer. Where they are protesting, those nations aren't democratic, they are Islamic! There is no "Power to the People!" Our influence should be swaying their governments to disband those Muslim criminals or we should post sanctions or get the hell out. To hell with their so-called religion. It's a farce.

    September 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • John

      Because you're killing them instead..you dont need to burn their falgs when you're burning them alive, congrats, you're officially a terrorist!

      September 20, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • joe

      Maybe because we're not as ignorant and primitive as them?

      I mean what, you want us to act like them? They're baboons. Why would we do that?

      September 21, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • Jeff

      Be1iever, I felt compelled to respond to your comment. I implore you to research topical issues in the middle east, but not through mainstream news media. Please, there are a lot of resources available online that clearly and accurately explain the history of these nations and the cultural differences.

      Someone replied to your comment referring to Muslims as "primitive". I have no hope for you

      September 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  12. aberdeenvet

    Send all Muslims back to the caves and tents in their homelands and never allow them to enter the free civilized world again. Their intolerance has existed since the inception of their "religion", and the vile inhumane expression of their wrath has been mostly directed against their own kind. They are anathema to civilized humanity and should be isolated from it entirely.

    September 20, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • John

      how about we send you to the cave along with all the other christian, jewish, and muslim extremist..Than we can all live happilly ever after

      September 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • M. Saeed

      Its Muslims themselves who got white race out of caves and barbaric past. If you don't honor your religion and God thats your problem, but don't try to mess with ours. You may try to stop Islam however way you can, but dishonoring the prophets won't help.

      September 21, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Troy

      I agree with John.

      September 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  13. http://www.crazymansshop.tk

    I like the helpful information you supply in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more right here regularly. I am rather certain I will learn plenty of new stuff proper here! Good luck for the following!

    September 20, 2012 at 5:47 am |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 20, 2012 at 5:40 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 20, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • joe

      Actually, it's been proven over and over that prayer changes nothing.

      Get over it.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • Troy

      Prayer only changes the amount of time you've spent doing nothing.

      September 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 20, 2012 at 5:39 am |
  16. Contracting Info

    Great website. A lot of helpful info here. I'm sending it to several pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks on your effort!

    September 20, 2012 at 5:02 am |
  17. Reality

    And what else enrages Muslims? THE TRUTH:

    From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi----–

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
    be upon him) alone."

    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

    Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

    September 20, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • Maria

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons."

      --–How wrong can you be on this alone? First off there is no allah, second only God Jehova is Lord, third there is no other gods but the one true God of Israel and Christianity, thirdly all who think there are other gods are wrongful and praying to demons alone, because aside from God the only other realm is the evil behind satan against God. God is not allah and allah is not a god but a name that an evil person gave to their religion. Anyone who deceives people into believing in a demon is not only morally wrong but evil in their heart as well. Humans are evil in nature but some choose the path to peace and forgivness which is the core of true evangelical Christianity. Christ alone is a peace maker. But anyone pretending to have Christ can forsake the truth and grotescally misrepresent God. No one with unforgivness and murdering in their heart has Christ in them. Nor life. Nor the true God YHWH. He is the Creator and only God. HaShem. Nissi. Rapha. Besides Him there is no other god.
      "

      September 23, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  18. Jihad Johnny

    What really enrages Muslims? Non-Muslims! Islam is the most intolerant religion that their is. Burning of churches and synagogues, beheadings, and this is happening NOW, not 400 years ago.

    September 19, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • comoncentz

      This is a clash of cultures, not civilizations as described by some writers. The West has a civilization where secularism is rising and some understanding between the religious and the secular is possible. The muslim world has a mess where the future looks ultimately grim for all since there is no real sense of personal freedom and no accomodation with secularists is possible. No wonder suicide and violence look
      inviting. Your religion(whatever) and your life are
      yours not mine. No thank you.

      September 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • John

      Actually HERE IN THE U.S more Mosques and synangogues have been burnt by christians, Christianity is the most intolerant religion, look up all the hate crimes in the United States 90% are committed by christians

      September 20, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  19. Tie mie Shu

    I wouldn't be surprised if the Sam the imbecile turns out to be an Atheist. I wish the Atheist had something in their lives that they love that Muslims could mock. Unfortunately, they don't even love their own children. How can these little frogs hiding behind computer screens face the real world going around offending other people? I'd like to see their satanic faces.

    September 19, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Get a job.

      September 19, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • hateyourlife

      Um yeah atheist do have love in there life its called are love for life in the here and now thinking otherwise living in the past and future as most one god religions preach to you only means you never really lived at all enjoy that life sister

      September 20, 2012 at 5:37 am |
  20. Newtonslaw

    My question is if someone believes in a fantasy, demands that you respect that fantasy or they will kill you, why would you show them respect? This applies to all religions. People who are uneducated, people who do not believe in human rights, people who have been sold a BIG CON as children want you to respect them as what? Fools? At a certain point people will have to read more than one book. Personnally, I have a tough time respecting anyone who actually believes in a religion.

    September 19, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • realityqueen

      Well Put!

      September 19, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Tie mie Shu

      You sound like a complete idiot, specially when you reply to your own post praising it.

      September 19, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And you sound like an 8th grade tw@t.

      September 19, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • hateyourlife

      Better than kindergartner scared by lies

      September 20, 2012 at 5:41 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.