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. Whirled Peas

    In an increasingly globalized and integrated world, the Middle East is sadly beginning to look and feel like a dilapidated trailer park surrounded by suburban sprawl. The neighbors are nervous about the trailer park residents and the trailer park residents despise the neighbors for being different.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  2. Shadwell

    Perhaps Islam itself is not a violent religion, rather the barbaric culture from whcih it stems from is?

    September 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • exlonghorn


      I would hesitate to call the culture "barbaric". Consider this...during the period from 800-1100AD, this region was a cultural and intellectual epicenter. Arabic numerals, Algebra, Algorithms (an Arabic word), Astronomy (note the number of stars with Arabic names), and more. Everything is going along well until this guy comes along...Imam Hamid al-Ghazali. An Islamic cleric, he declares mathematics and the work of Aristotle and Socrates to be the work of the devil. We all know what comes next...revelation replaces reason and investigation, and the culture of the middle east descends into the mental dark ages and has not yet recovered.

      September 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You are going have to do better than 900+ year ago. Hell even your grandmother could have been considered hot when she was 22.

      September 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      My point is that Arabs and individuals in that region are not inherently stupid or violent. They have shown the ability to be more enlightened and educated in their long history. Unfortunately, many of them chose very poorly 900 years ago by placing religious dogma ahead of progress, and sent the whole region down a very unfortunate path. We have to hope that a renaissance or enlightenment will follow eventually....probably a short time after Islam takes a back seat to real thinking.

      September 18, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  3. William Demuth

    I had a buddy back in the day!

    He was being sent to Lebanon on a peace keeping mission.

    He had bought himself a "Look Mom I stepped in some Shi-te" tee-shirt, thought it was a real hoot.

    A month later when I buried him, my guess was only a few pounds of flesh actually came back based on the weight of his coffin.

    Do NOT underestimate how dangerous religious men with kindergarten level educations can be.

    Simpletons take stupid stuff quite seriously.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  4. this guy

    Let me give you a little inside information, about god. God likes to watch, he's a prankster. Think about it. He gives man INSTINCTS! He gives you this extraordinary gift and then what does he do? I swear, for his own amusement; his own private, cosmis gag reel. He sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all time...LOOK but don't touch....Touch, but dont taste!...Taste, but don't swallow! And while you're jumping from one leg to the other, what is he doing? He's laughing his SICK F***ING A** OFF! Worship that? Never!

    September 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Kevin Nivek

      Congratulations, you proved that you can quote Al Pacino.

      September 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • this guy

      What can I say? I'M A FAAAAN OF MAN!

      September 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  5. allahlunacy

    What are you waiting ?? bomb these apes ! They deserved to get their a$$es nuked !

    September 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  6. Ah'sheet M'Drurz

    I have joke for infidels: Akbar is lost in desert with 2 camels and 1 wife. He turns to wife and says "which way to get out?" When she shrugs shoulders, he kills her and feeds her to the humped beasts. Later, Akbar's friend rescues him in Toyota pick-up truck.

    Now it is time to laugh.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  7. Burbank

    I watched the movie in question and if it wasn't for the fact that it was an uncalled for disgusting attack on the Islam religion and innocent people got killed over it; it was so poorly made it would have been hilarious!

    I almost burst out laughing a half dozen times at how bad it was; especially those really cheesy green screen scenes! Why didn't the guy just go out to the nearby Mohave desert to film the desert scenes? This movie has all the potential to become a cult classic like Plan 9 or Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, it's on that same level of off-the-scale bad. Too bad it's so insulting and derogatory about someone's religion, that part I don't agree with at all.

    I wish the Muslims would grow up, get a clue, and learn to laugh at it too. They are using it for an excuse to spew hateful venom and violence on innocent Americans again that had nothing to do with it. Protesting is one thing, but all this adolescent drama and getting violent about it is extremely immature and just plain crazy. Makes it hard to feel any sympathy for them at all.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Very true!

      Such a reaction to pure drek!

      Now if the Flying Circus had done one about him, the towel heads would have nuked Hollywood and eaten every Jew they could get onto the bonfire!

      September 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  8. Really

    Screw Islam, I can say and think what I want. Period

    September 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  9. ArthurP

    Tale a book, any book say your old college math text, put a paper cover on it and on that write the word 'Koran'. Now put that book in the fire and post the picture of it burning on this Twitter account. Wait a bit, now there is your #MuslumRage. As a bonus you may get a few days of rioting and maybe if you are lucky a couple of deaths out of it.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  10. Sivick

    They need to learn how to chill. How many worldwide riots spawns because of monty python's "life of brian."? oh, none? shocking. The whole reason behind not showing mohammed's image is to prevent him being idolized, but killing people for insulting him seems like idol worship to me.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Happy Jack

      You watched Jon Stewart last night.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Funny you mention

      "Life of Brian". In the 70's, it was banned in my home town by the local minister. I wasn't planning to see it, but the ban made me want to drive the 45 miles to the town that was showing it. Lighten up folks. Humor does come with the whole earthly experience.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Burbank

      And how many Wiccans get violent over children dressing up as "ugly old witches" every Halloween? Besides stealing their holiday in the first place, the Christians have disrespected it in this way for decades. No one gets violent over it or even says anything about it, but it's an insult when you stop to think about it. A BIG one! Time for Muslims to grow up.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Funny you mention

      That is the problem right there a minister with the power to decide what people can and cannot do regardless of whether they belong to his flock or not.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Funny you mention

      Oh I agree ArthurP. When "Footloose" came out, we just laughed because it was *exactly* like that in our little town. Not like that now, but there was a time when this guy decided what was allowed, and what was not.

      September 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  11. Sue

    Someone made a point about Islamics demeaning comments about our religion – perhaps it is time we retaliate in the same manner. Even the U.S. liberals, including myself, are getting sick and tired of this Islamic rhetoric. I really am just done with trying to understand them when their agenda is terrorism against anyone different from them. And, with this increasing violence and a potential for war with Iran, I've changed my mind about owning a gun. I've read that Hitler didn't invade Switzerland because nearly every Swiss household owns guns. Is it time to arm everyone in US? Perhaps it's time to just shoot it out...

    September 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • UD

      Sue, that is incorrect. I fail to see how that would help. Are you suggesting that I have to protect myself from other Americans based on their relgion? That is categorically un-American. Shame on you.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Tony

      You have the right to protect yourself, no matter the reason.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • William Demuth


      You are an interesting lady!

      As for Hitler, the man was designing special bombers to attack New York, and we got more guns than ANYBODY.

      Our so called Police Department is one of the largest standing armies in the world, yet it is us that get attacked while the Bible Belt is left alone.

      It is about MONEY not guns, and the Swiss play the money games with the best of them!

      September 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • UD


      Agreed, but I don't live in fear of my neighbor because they are Muslim any more than if they are Christians or anything else. That is paranoid nonsense.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Greg

      Idiocracy is happening..

      September 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Correct. Switzerland does not have a standing army; instead, all males are conscripted into a national militia of sorts. Females can join voluntarily. Training for these recruits continues intermittently through the years, and each conscript is given a firearm (often an assault rifle) that he or she may take home to keep. As a result, Switzerland could very well have the highest gun ownership rate in Europe.

      Switzerland also has a very low crime rate. 🙂

      September 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Huebert



      September 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • jamal

      muslims are socioecnomically well off in america and wont resort to violence . all they ask for is that they given justice , when jewish law can be implemented for jews within their courts why cant sharia law be implemented for them .America is a melting point of all cultures and religions and everyone should be free to practice it.

      Sue i would be more afraid of dying in a shoot out at a cinema or university rather than being attacked by a muslim .

      September 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • OOO

      You are a bit confusing.
      Are you asking that sharia law be allowed in the US, or in Muslim countries.

      September 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  12. Ayatollah ben Dover

    Aw, you Americans just don't get it. We finally saw the video for "Rock the Casbah" by the Clash, and we were mad about that.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  13. Mohammad_al_tahili

    haha, those are funny jokes. Please post the jokes with your real names because we muslims want to tell you in person how funny are those jokes.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Muhammed_al_tortilla

      I am thinks these are the funny jokes too. I was just flew in on my camel and boy are my...ur.....Muslim jokes not so goodness.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Ayatollah ben Dover

      Why did the Sunni cross the road? To get to the other Shi'ite. If you don't get it, then you don't know Shi'ite from Shinola.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Alicia Townes

      I don't these jokes are funny especially when you are talking about other people's faith

      September 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Lee s

      Here is a picture of mohammed ((.))

      September 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Muhammed_al_tortilla

      Alicia Townes. you is very funny!

      September 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • tim

      If I went into a homicidal, violent rage every time someone had hurt my feelings or insulted my beliefs during my lifetime, there would be a terrible trail of death and destruction in my wake. If world political leaders feel that these violent responses are acceptable because they are muslims, then I don't see any point of trying to live in peace and harmony. It ain't going to happen.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • allahlunacy

      Muslims are the lost link of neanderthals and apes.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  14. UD

    1. Where do they get all of these dead virgins? By my calculations that would be roughly 576 million virgins a year to cover the male population of yearly deaths in Islam.

    So around 1500 years multiplied by 576 millions virgins....conservative estimate, paradise has gone through about 864 billion virgins. That is a lot of virgins. How long can this go on?

    2. The Muslim world, like the Christian world, is manipulated by religious leaders in order to profit like any other business. It is easy if you have an audience that wants to hand you power, either because of promises or threats. In each case, the self-fulfilling prophecies of the "holy" books make the task simple.

    This is not dissimilar to the Republican cult...the worship of cash. Once one tastes the greed, they will hand power to those that would keep the money flowing in.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Truth

      So, 7.5 million muslim males die each year? That seems like a lot, are you sure about your numbers? I looked and I could only find reports of a few thousand annual islamic or muslim deaths unless you want to count all the natural deaths, but i'm pretty sure they don't believe a natural death ensures you any virgins at all. And even counting natural deaths it seems unlikely that 7.5M are dying annualy which is what it would take to get to the 576 million virgins at 72 per suicide bomber.

      I don't disagree with the republican depiction though, they are indeed worshipers of the almighty dollar. I think sometimes they like to see how far they can stretch their concept of faith to make it accomodate their wallets.

      September 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • UD


      My numbers are a very fast estimate based on a current muslim population of 23% and I just guessed at the male population. My point is, where do they find all of these virgin angels?

      September 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  15. mark blackburn

    yep tell the people of america the jokes to upset muslims clever journalism

    September 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  16. Mickey1313

    Islam is the mental and spiritual anus of humanity.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Kevin

      Perfectly said. Exactly WHO would ever want to be related to the unbelievable insane religion. This religion is NOTHING short of a cult....even the people here in the USA who believe in it could easily be enraged to violence. I can say that I am not aware of any other religion in the USA (aside from cults) that actually encourage violence whenever someone voices their view. Just think of the HOLY war that would take place Globally if everyone acted like the F N fools. (Brainwashed from birth is what they are).

      September 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • David

      ...until about ten minutes ago when you typed and assumed that mantle...

      September 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Very telling conversation with my 12-yr-old daughter yesterday. She's been raised without religion in her life. Both her mother and I are atheist, but we don't try to instill any particular point of view in our kids. So yesterday she comes up and says she might want to start going to church. Curious about her thinking process, I ask "why?"

      "because I'd like to hang out with my friends. They do a lot of stuff together and you get to spend time having fun"

      So it's not really about religion for her...it's about interacting and belonging...just as I always expected is the case for many other "believers". Interesting conversation indeed.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm |

    Danes had given us opportunity to eliminate the Jihadi mentality of Islam. We selfish people kept away. Everyone knows that Islam started and was propagated by violence – even today. Lessons from Palestinians' constant destructions and Iran’s nuclear efforts have not been learnt. The creation of Pakistan for temporary advantage did not teach any lesson to World population to UNITE against Islamic barbarism. Film correctly exposes the falsehood of (so called) Hazrat and the true nature of Islam. There is an opportunity for an united effort against Jihadis.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  18. Abdullahi

    Anyone who takes Ayan Hirsi serious needs to see a doctor; this woman has lied so much about her own life–from arrange marriage to God knows what– now has the audacity to write about others.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • OOO

      Point to your proof, liar.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Lee s

      lol, said by a muslim no doubt. You people arent fooling anyone/

      September 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • John C.

      Anyone that takes Islam seriously needs to see a meat grinder from a cow's point of view.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  19. AverageJoe76

    Honestly, it would take a major event to get all the religions to look at reality, look at each other, and realize the commonality of their imaginations. To realize how 'filling-in-the-details' on the concept of God has serious implications. Religion starts out good, but tends to divide each and everytime at its end. When your 'God' excludes people – it's not God. It's you, and your hiding behind words. How can these 'Gods Of Everything' be so exclusive?!? Giving knowledge to one or a few humans, an expecting them to spread the word. Lazy-A Gods.
    Religion does serve a few purposes; Great fundraiser, War-motivator, and a population controller. Smh.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Lee s

      More like population is out of control becasue of relgion. religion thrives in poor disenfranchised areas, this is where people have the most children they cant afford. Coincidence? No.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  20. thedoctor

    I remember when the Pope implied in an interview that Islam was a violent religion. The resulting riots in many capitals of the world burned buildings and left a number of people dead.

    Let's see. Nope, no irony there!

    September 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Haldan

      Ah yes, the don’t call me violent or I KILL YOU argument.

      September 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • jamal

      he was wrong ,read the quran and u will understand. dont read it out of context. its the same abrahamic faith that christians and jews were meant to practice. islam is the fasted growing religion in our own back yard , there is a reason for it .Just read the quran .
      American Muslim

      September 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
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.