April 20th, 2013
07:39 PM ET

Muslim leaders condemn bombing suspects

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

Washington (CNN) - Muslim leaders in Boston and elsewhere have distanced themselves from the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, condemning the deadly terror attack and saying they feared reprisals against their communities.

"I don't care who or what these criminals claim to be, but I can never recognize these criminals as part of my city or my faith community," said Yusufi Vali, executive director for the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, the largest mosque in the Boston area.

"All of us Bostonians want these criminals to be brought to justice immediately. I am infuriated at the criminals of these bombings for trying to rip our city apart. We will remain united and not let them change who we are as Bostonians." FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Massachusetts • Muslim • Quran • Terrorism • Violence

April 20th, 2013
05:14 PM ET

My Take: Reconsidering a sermon amid SWAT teams

Editor's note: Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio is an ordained Episcopal Church priest and author of "God and Harry Potter at Yale: Teaching Faith and Fantasy Fiction in an Ivy League Classroom."

By Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio, Special to CNN

Boston (CNN) — The day after the Boston Marathon bombings, the Belief Blog published my thoughts on what it meant to be a Bostonian and person of faith in the aftermath of such horrific violence. I described what I planned to preach to my congregation Sunday, that even in the face of darkness and evil, light will prevail.

That was before the manhunt in Watertown, where my husband and I have lived for three years. In the dark of night, I woke up to banging noises and sirens followed by phone calls to stay inside.

From approximately 5 a.m. onward, we heard horns or helicopters every couple of minutes. We questioned our own safety, and when we peeked through the blinds outside, it looked like all our neighbors had deserted the town, though we knew they were holed up in their apartments, too. FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Opinion

April 20th, 2013
03:45 PM ET

Older brother in Boston bombings grew increasingly religious, analysis shows

By Tim Lister and Paul Cruickshank, CNN

(CNN)–Tamerlan Tsarnaev appears to have become increasingly religious in the last three or four years, according to an analysis of his social media posts and the accounts of family members. But there is so far no evidence of active association with international jihadist groups.

In August 2012, soon after returning from a long visit to Russia, he created a YouTube channel with links to a number of videos. Some include sermons or interviews with radical preachers. Two videos under a category labeled "Terrorists" were deleted. It's not clear when or by whom.

Tsarnaev's YouTube channel had the address "muazseyfullah," which happen to be the names of two prominent militant leaders among Islamist groups in Russia's north Caucasus, an area that includes Chechnya and Dagestan. Seyfullah also translates as "sword of Allah."

It is possible that the account he created has at some point been interfered with, but there is no such obvious sign.

One video talks about his beliefs, prayers and ablutions as a good Muslim. He speaks about leading a meaningful life; almost the very last word is "peace." Another video is in praise of Muslim women who pray and dress conservatively.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Islam

April 20th, 2013
10:57 AM ET

My Take: Don't lump evildoers with Muslims

Editor's Note: Imam Khalid Latif is a chaplain for New York University and executive director of NYU's Islamic Center.

By Khalid Latif, Special to CNN

(CNN) - April 19, 2013, marks the 18th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombings, a terrorist attack that took the lives of 168 people and injured another 680. In the wake of the tragic events that took place in Boston this week, we should remind ourselves that the actions of a few deranged individuals don’t represent or reflect the communities that they more broadly come from. Timothy McVeigh, the Tsarnaev brothers and the likes of Adam Lanza, Wade Michael Page and Nidal Hasan are a group unto themselves, and we should not let their utter disregard for humanity affect our embrace of it.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Islam

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.