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.

This morning I woke up to messages from three different Jewish friends, a current undergrad at NYU, an NYU alum and a rabbi from the Bronx. Their respective messages, though short and simple, represented to me the kind of approach we all should be taking at this time.

"I will walk with anyone who feels unsafe, anywhere they need to go."

"(As) a past member of the NYU community, and as a Jew, I want to wish you, your loved ones and your community safety and health. May G-d bless us all that there is no backlash against the Muslim or any other community over the currently transpiring events. Hatzlacha and Bracha to all of you."

"If you find out any way we can be helpful please let me know."

This is what America is about. The courage of these words resonated deeply within me, especially in response to the cowardice of those who seek to divide us through their hateful acts of violence. Our coming together is our strongest asset in the face of this hate. We should not let terrorists divide us.

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My hope is that no one in Boston is left intimidated by this attack. We should do what we can to alleviate the fear that results from these acts of senseless violence.

It was beautiful to see the response from people - diverse in their race, ethnicity and religion - as they came together to help the people of Boston. My further hope is that we continue to stand together throughout this ordeal and not turn against one another. Our strength lies in embracing our diversity, and just as we are united in our anger and our grief, so, too, should we be united in our resolve.

Leaders of all backgrounds should step forward to condemn any act of bigotry and take full responsibility to ensure that no one further gets hurt due to a backlash from the attacks in Boston.

Racism, xenophobia and anti-religious hatred of any kind goes against the core values of equality and freedom that our country is founded upon, regardless of who is carrying it out or who it is being carried out against.

It is not OK to target innocent people just because they are Muslim. Since Monday, there have already been two hate crimes reported, one targeting an Arab, female doctor in Boston and a second targeting a Bengali man in the Bronx. How is it OK to inflict violence and hate toward individuals simply because of the way they look or their religious affiliation? And even if we are not perpetrating it, how is it OK for us to sit by and let it happen?

Simply put, it's not. We must be better than that.

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

My continued thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston, those who we lost, those who were injured, their loved ones, the courageous first responders and the law enforcement that has spent the last week finding those who carried out these heinous acts.

May people once again come from all over to run Boston's streets, and may we not let those who lack compassion triumph.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Khalid Latif

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Islam

soundoff (985 Responses)
  1. hanna

    Can muslims live peacefully with Americans after they come into our country? This has been my concern for a long time. Sadly I don't see how.The Koran teaches that non-muslims are enemies of Islam and the admonishment is to 'fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them;take them captive,haress them,lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.Muslims are aslo told not to be friends of unbelievers.Americans must understand that you, if you a Christian or follow another faith, you are an offense to the muslim community.All infidels are an offense to muslims to be subjected to harassment and to be degraded.

    April 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  2. The Lord's righteous judgments are well deserved

    Evil doers? You mean like those who promote sodomy and gay marriage? Or those who speak at Planned Parenthood and would bestow a medal to the likes of Kermit Gosnell? Oh wait, he IS a muslim pretending to be a "Christian".

    April 27, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • Science

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  3. Don't worry

    The next week the evildoors will be the Christians...the week after that the atheists..the week after that someone else. It's all in the name of hatred so it's okay.

    April 24, 2013 at 7:04 am |
  4. Sane Person

    Criticizing a religion is not the same as "attacking" or "persecuting" people who follow that religion. There is clearly a problem with violence and extremism within Islam and we should not just ignore it to save people's feelings from being hurt.

    April 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
  5. james

    "My Take: Don't lump evildoers with Muslims"– Yeah, right–

    April 23, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  6. lol??

    NASA will prove there is no such thing as evil. 'specially among their own that hold the meetings.

    April 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Pole dancing for Jesus

      right after the church provides some evidence for its claims

      April 23, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
  7. Douglas

    Seek the real truth at http://www.gaychristian101.com
    Then to find your life partner seek them here at gaychristianmingle.com


    April 23, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • Science

      Doodie is a troll..................... not the truth !

      For what...................... ? Make sure to read what the pope said !

      Where do morals come from?

      By Kelly Murray, CNN


      Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

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      April 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |

      Breaking News

      NASA: Three planets found are some of best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our solar system.


      April 23, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  8. Romeo

    You are displaying so much compassion for your community on the backlash against them. But as a resident, or a citizen (whichever you are), I didn't see any condemnation of the bomb attacks that was inflicted on your fellow citizens.
    Why I never see a prominent muslim speaking against a terror attack?!!. .
    That makes me think and feel that for muslims:
    1)All terror attacks are justified because the root scripture Koran says to kill all infidels on almost every page.
    2)No loyalty to nationality and citizenship.

    April 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • hanna

      This is the biggest problem with muslims living peacefully alongside their 'infidel' neighbor theory. The Koran teaches that the unbeliever is an 'offense to them and it is an injustice for anyone to not be a muslim and thus feel justified to declare Jihad against all muslims. This is why one does not hear condemnation for Islamic terrorist attacks from the muslim community. No one,especially a Muslim will dare challenge the word of Allah that teaches unbelievers are enemies to fight against and to destroy.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  9. biggles

    With a burned out brain he just not be able to make good music, so promise not to listen to him anymore.

    Funny how Nazis try to avoid the issue whenever they get flustered w/o being noticed. Where is the hatred, Dottie?

    April 22, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Akira

      Who said that? Who are you talking to?
      What Nazis? You know any Nazis? I've never met even one.
      Who is Dottie?
      Who is flustered?
      What issue?
      Could you be any more vague?

      April 22, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  10. kevobx

    Satanists want you to read their books, why? The Most High is the word of God his good book is truth from the beginning to the end. The word of the Lord his grace of scriptures called the Bible. (*Matthew 19:28*) *Exodus 2:25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them. *Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God. *James 2:9-10 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. *Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy trangressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. *Galatians 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. *John 4:25 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth. *Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. *Luke 15:14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. *Lamentations 5:10 Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine.

    April 22, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • sam stone

      very impressive, kev. i bet you are one of jeebus's favorites

      April 24, 2013 at 10:29 am |
  11. Kojack Maurer

    dont call a black kettle a black kettle. Duh

    April 22, 2013 at 9:30 am |
  12. kevobx

    *Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. *Isaiah 47:10 For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me. *Mark 14:62 And Jesus said, I am: *John 13:19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. *Revelation 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. *Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. *James 2:6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? *Isaiah 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. *Acts 8:32-33 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: *Isaiah 59:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. *Matthew 22:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. *(Isaiah 38:18-19)

    April 22, 2013 at 8:27 am |
  13. Austin

    Kevobx , have you read the book of Enoch from the Ethiopian cannon? What does it say about Noah?

    From a non-biased perspective, you are a type of KKK. KKK, even being a race you disapprove of, are not accepted by anyone but their own racist supporters.

    You are "in" to the authority of the scripture? All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. How is it that you think salvation is an ethnic birth right?

    Even Israel was only a vehicle for the messiah to come. God did not respect men. All of the pronounced men of the bible were deeply flawed individuals.

    There is one human race. And there are no ethnic advantages or qualifications to salvation. When it says , "For God so loved the world," this means that it is not Go'd's will that one should perish.

    2 Peter 3:9 ►

    The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

    We are not living in the old testament any more. You are. And your interpretation of the word thou and thee are nothing but racist hopes. The bible is not some subliminal code. The bible is a straight forward, forthright Word that speaks to the subject of individual sin, and atonement.

    Romans 5
    18Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.

    Kevobx, you know that you can not hinder the meaning of "all".

    April 22, 2013 at 8:26 am |
  14. Austin

    57) That ALL through him *might believe
    58) Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of THE WORLD
    59) That THE WORLD through him *might be saved. *might omitted in the Greek
    60) The bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of THE WORLD
    61) That we may present EVERY MAN perfect in Christ Jesus
    62) The Lord is...not willing that ANY should perish (rf. 1 & 2)
    63) And he is the propitiation...for the WHOLE WORLD
    57) John 1:7
    58) John 1:29
    59) John 3:17
    60) John 6:51
    61) Col 1:28
    62) 2 Peter 3:9
    63) 1 John 2:2

    April 22, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • Austin

      36) ALL wait upon God & He will give them meat in due season.
      37) Will satisfy the desire of ALL living
      38) The Lord is good to ALL
      39) ALL Thy works shall praise thee
      40) The Earth is the Lord's...and they who dwell therein
      41) The Lord will make unto ALL people a feast
      42) He will destroy the veil that's cast over ALL
      36) Psa 145:15
      37) Psa 145:16
      38) Psa 145:9
      39) Psa 145:10
      40) Psa 24:1
      41) Isa 25:6
      42) Isa 25:7

      April 22, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Science


      url's funny science.


      April 22, 2013 at 8:13 am |
  15. kevobx

    Over Edom will I cast out my shoe, what does that mean? *Ruth 4:7-9 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel. Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe. And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day,... *Joshua 24:22-23 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses. Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel. *Acts 10:39-41 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. *Matthew 26:65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. *Luke 22:30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. *Revelation 21:12 is the new Jerusalem the names on the stones are the twelve tribes the children of Israel* Elijah told us about the twelve stones *1st Kings 18:31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: (Matthew 17:12 )

    April 22, 2013 at 7:08 am |
    • Austin

      16) ALL nations will flow to the Lord's house
      17) God will cleanse blood not cleansed
      18) ALL families of the earth will be blessed
      19) ALL the earth commanded to look and be saved
      20) Unto God ALL will bow & every tongue swear
      21) Highway of God enables ALL flesh to see His glory
      22) ALL kings will praise God
      23) ALL nations will call Him blessed
      24) ALL nations will worship God & ALL men blessed
      25) ALL earth will see the salvation of God
      26) ALL flesh will come to God
      16) Isa 2:2
      17) Joel 3:21
      18) Gen 18:18
      19) Isa 45:22
      20) Isa 45:23
      21) Isa 40:3-5
      22) Psa 138:4
      23) Psa 72:17
      24) Psa 86:9
      25) Isa 52:10
      26) Psa 65:2-4

      April 22, 2013 at 8:05 am |
  16. kevobx

    The truth sets you free. *Psalm 108:8-10 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver; Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph. Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom? *Exodus 15:14-16 The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina. Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away. Fear and dread shall fall upon them; *Psalm 83:6-8 The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebel, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah. *Psalm 77:15 Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. *Exodus 15:13 Thou in thy mercy hast led forth thy people which thou hast redeemed: *Nehemiah 13:1 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever; *1st Samuel 7:13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the coast of Israel: and the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. *Psalm 109:17 As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. *Nehemiah 13:2 howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing. (Elijah told us about Baal, and the people answered him not a word *1st Kings 18:21*) Christ told us about David, and the people asked no questions about him *Matthew 22:46*

    April 22, 2013 at 6:01 am |
    • Science

      kevobox = BS

      Can you read kevobox ?..............or are you in denial ?

      April 22, 2013 at 6:11 am |
    • Paula Countryman

      It's not "The truth shall set you free" It's "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free" Just as it's not "Money is the root of all evil" It's "The love of money is the root of all evil."

      April 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  17. fineart

    Ml King was a religious, nonviolent person but was hated by J Edgar Hoover. He was murdered some say by the FBI. No one ever talks about JEH and his live in boyfriend.

    April 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  18. kevobx

    What happened to all the Sandy victims aid, are they not the living? Newtown over shadowed them with satanic rituals, and Boston over shadows the world now with more satanic rituals. A Texas plant blows up with no sprinkling system and where is the aid for them? Floods and earthquakes are everywhere, but it is all being ignored by thou the white man. Who came out of the Caucus mountains? Name them or shut up. The most high God is with thee. Find your tribe, you have been redeemed (Psalm 77:15) The Puerto Ricans (Ephraim) have sold their souls to be hispanics. The devil himself wants you proud! Dan is the serpent by the way. Reuben's birthrights belongs to Joseph. And Esau birthrights belong to Jacob. Remember, Esau swore against the Lord against his own life, and that vow must be paid (Genesis 25:33). *Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that thou hast vowed. Better is it thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. (Jacob, his children of Israel paid with their lives for deception and went into slaveships *Deuteronomy 28:68*) What about Esau, swearing against the Lord? They are the dukes and lords in Britain, who colonized Virginia as commonwealth. Just like Puerto Rico is commonwealth by America. And Cuba (Manasseh) is off limits, why? Joseph was sold for twenty pieces of silver (Genesis 37:28) and Christ was murdered for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 27:3) Name the witnesses? *Acts 10:39*

    April 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Science

      Bull Sh-it !

      April 21, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Science

      by the way kevobox it is sick to write that stuff if first paragraoph like that !

      April 21, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • Science

      Hey kevobox ............might learn something ?

      Unusual Anal Fin Offers New Insight Into Evolution.

      Apr. 10, 2013 — An unusual fossil fish that has fins behind its anus


      April 21, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
  19. faith

    "I want to make music that will help people. I want to use every dime of the money I make off the songs to build skate parks for kids," he said. "My life now is about helping kids." brian the head welch korn man

    the horror

    April 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • faith

      "I always loved that Korn's music helped kids let out aggression. But with my new music, I want kids to know that there's more out there. I want to show them there's a light at the end of the pain tunnel. That there's more out there than just aggression. I want to say to them, 'Hey kids, come over here. Let's bounce back and forth and have fun.'" brian head welch korn man

      word of caution bro. don't let the nazi atheists know you believe in fun or that you want to encourage kids to enjoy themselves.. of everything they hate, having good, clean fun is the most detestable of all the virtues. they don't even use the word if they can avoid it. you will never see one of them smile or giggle or laugh, not a "tee hee" not a "hah" not nothing.

      April 21, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • faith

      Welch said that "Die Religion Die" has multiple meanings to him The song "encourages people to get out of the whole 'Sunday Christian' mentality" and helps them understand that God "dwells in us", not "in buildings" He wrote in his autobiography, "All of the man-made religion crap in this world has to die. Whether it's Christian man-made religion crap or some other man-made religion crap, it all has to die."Welch continues to explain, "All that prideful, controlling religious crap is what drives young people away from churches, and it has to go."

      April 21, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • ..

      Feelin' like a freak on a leash (You wanna see the light)
      Feelin' like I have no release (So do I)
      How many times have I felt disease? (You wanna see the light)
      Nothing in my life is free... is free

      April 21, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Akira

      Faith, Brian "Head" Welch is a member of Korn. He is known as "Head". He is not the head Korn man, as your posts seem to continuously suggest.
      As he just reunited for some limited engagements with Korn, who never broke up, the way you are wording your posts are misleading, and I know you would not want your posts to look as if you are lying for any reason.

      That said, I'm glad he is clean and sober.

      April 21, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      I'm glad that Welch is off the drugs now too, and is less of a danger to himself and others, but unfortunately he also has a burned-out-brain-from-drugs, certainly not to be relied on for truth about any supernatural fantasies.

      You are free to ADORE Welch - all day long, @faith; I put no stock in his daydreams & delusions.

      April 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Akira

      Omg, I'am becoming a Muslim out of pure fear. I'm wetting my pants I'll be a Muslim.

      April 21, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Akira

      Yawn, ID thief.

      April 21, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
  20. kevobx

    When Christ is asking you a question, why is he being ignored answer him! *Matthew 22:45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? *1st Samuel 18:22 And Saul said commanded his servants, saying, Commune with David secretly, and say, Behold, the king hath delight in thee, and all his servants love thee: now therefore be the king's son in law. *Acts 22:17-18 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. *Numbers 24:16 He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: *Mark 8:24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. (The true believers walk with Christ. And the unbelievers are running to and fro with Satan *Revelation 21:8*.)

    April 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Science

      BS = kevobox

      April 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Dippy

      You could try spelling his name right.

      April 21, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Dippy's Aide

      Yep. "obx" might well stand for "Outer Banks" - off North Carolina (no surprise on his take on things!)

      April 21, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
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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.