Opinion: Don't scapegoat a faith for bombings
A Muslim woman attends an interfaith vigil for September 11 victims in Boston last fall.
April 21st, 2013
08:36 PM ET

Opinion: Don't scapegoat a faith for bombings

Editor's note: Farhana Khera is the president and executive director of Muslim Advocates, a national legal advocacy organization dedicated to promoting freedom, justice and equality for all, regardless of faith.

By Farhana Khera, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Like so many Americans across the country, I was shocked when I heard of the attacks at the Boston Marathon. A part of me immediately traveled back to when I was cheering runners myself as a student at Wellesley College, the midpoint for the marathon, a time when such dangers as bombings never crossed our minds.

Boston is an indelible part in the personal history and identity of those who have lived or attended school in the city. That someone had detonated bombs at an event that symbolized unity in a place known for its rich diversity and as a birthplace of our nation's freedom was heartbreaking.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Massachusetts • Opinion • Violence

soundoff (564 Responses)
  1. JackName*

    If we send the Boston Bomber back to his homeland in Russia for burial, there is a chance that he will become a martyr. He needs to be buried here in the US, quietly in an out of the way place, or perhaps a private rural area.

    May 6, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
  2. Science

    Free speech helps educate the masses

    Gravity is not up for debate !

    BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !

    Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet

    Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before


    Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

    The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

    The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

    Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.


    April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

    May 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |

    Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young


    And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


    the wrong path is Adam and Eve !

    Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

    Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.


    No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

    Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.

    No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

    Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

    Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.


    Ca-nabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – National Cancer Insti-tute


    Mar 21, 2013 – [1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. ... have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. ... In lung cancer cell lines, CBD upregulated ICAM-1, leading to ...

    Good stuff !

    The fact...............the earth is to old for this nonsemse ! Time to EVOLVE !

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.


    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.

    Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

    Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
    bears his name as the “God particle.”


    Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
    Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \



    Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
    By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...


    April 7th, 2012

    08:32 PM ET

    The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth


    Make sure to read comments

    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.


    NASA: Mars could have supported life

    Star Dust we are.



    May 3, 2013 at 10:42 am |
  3. ThoseCrazyLiberals

    My response: just more liberal hypocrisy

    April 28, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  4. lol??

    "Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,"

    April 28, 2013 at 6:45 am |
    • Science

      Education does work for some humans.............lol??..................does it for you ?

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


      The origin story above..................NOT Adam and Eve !

      April 28, 2013 at 6:50 am |
    • jboom

      Oops, its really not such a sealed conclusion. In fact, many leading intellectuals would say that findings in bio-molecular chemistry now puts the evolutionists in the camp that relyies on faith to continue with their belief system.

      "Intelligent Design Uncensored: An Easy-to-Understand Guide to the Controversy"
      William A. Dembski

      "The book we've all been waiting for–a down-to-earth and clear explanation of the stunning scientific discoveries which underpin intelligent design theory and its implications, as well as a comprehensive rebuttal of the common objections. This book will excite the layman and provide a valuable starting point for the serious student of the science of origins." (Alastair Noble, Ph.D., chemistry, former BBC Education Officer and Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools for Science, Scotland )

      April 29, 2013 at 12:37 am |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    April 26, 2013 at 6:53 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Did you pray to become an azzhole, or do you come by it naturally?

      April 26, 2013 at 6:57 am |
    • Salero21

      Atheism is stupidity in Full bloom period!

      April 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Science

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


      April 27, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      April 29, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Really?

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"

      That's why the data, has shown that atheists have happier and healthier lives than conservative Christians. Your post is built on a lie!

      April 29, 2013 at 9:24 am |
  6. Bob1god

    Shut the fock up!

    April 25, 2013 at 4:06 am |
    • Nice post

      As a connoisseur of human gutteral ranting I enjoy your post. It is pointless, it is ill timed contains no large words but has just the right amount of annoying hostility.

      May 15, 2013 at 7:03 am |
  7. Reality

    Tis all about the Three B Syndrome (Bred, Born and Brainwashed) is some form of religion and in this case Islam:

    Added details:

    “John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident (the randomness) of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

    The Situation Today
    Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed. “ J. Somerville

    It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to randomness of birth. Maybe, just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

    April 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
  8. Trance


    April 24, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  9. lol??

    Why does Allah want to take over the world? Is he a poor god?

    April 24, 2013 at 6:42 am |
    • sam stone

      For the same reason the christian god does. Because man created both

      April 24, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Science

      And laws of association makes it part of the devil cults too ...........does it not ?

      April 25, 2013 at 6:27 am |
  10. Seyedibar

    It's a bit weird that my comments will not go through with the word "Mu hammed" spelled out. Who the heck's coding your language filters, CNN?

    April 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Their filter is pretty pathetic. I think we could ask a middleschooler to write a better one as a class project.

      April 23, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • Middleschooler

      My filter won't let just any old shit through.

      April 23, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      What is sad is that other CNN forums/blogs use DISCUSS and you can login and edit. It's as if the Belief Blog is being run off of some editor's commodore VIC20 from his or her middle school years.

      April 24, 2013 at 3:31 am |
    • .

      muhammed Muhammed

      April 24, 2013 at 4:10 am |
    • .

      hmmm, seems to work for me - and I don't know any html tricks, either...

      April 24, 2013 at 4:12 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Maybe this will help...www.w3schools.com/html/html_formatting.asp

      inserting the tags in the middle of the word helps with the filter...

      (put all of that together in the word...had to post like that or the filter would not allow it)

      April 24, 2013 at 6:52 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      sorry...it would be left arrow, letter b, right arrow, left arrow, then /, then b, then right arrow

      April 24, 2013 at 6:54 am |
  11. Bob

    Lies, lies, lies. You can count on Muslims to consistently lie about what they believe, and what they practice. Do you really expect them to tell the truth? They are taught to advance their Muslim cause in any way. That is their moral, the advancement of Islam. They seek to bring on Armegeddon. This is their desire, that is their goal. If they are serious about change, then let them start by dumping the Koran, which states: "Kill the infidel where you find him". And who is the infidel? Any non-Muslim. Do not buy into their constant lies, do NOT trust them my friends. You can only trust them to continue to do what they have been doing.

    April 23, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • Answer

      They are a foundation of fear. They want the world to fear them, thus to make everyone submit.

      Use fear on them and you will turn the table against Islam. Use force and retaliate with a 'death for a death' and then you'll see them crawl back down their hole.

      April 23, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • sam stone

      "You can count on Muslims to consistently lie about what they believe, and what they practice"

      And this makes them different than christians how?

      April 24, 2013 at 8:25 am |
  12. lol??

    Before I announce this year's winner of the Extreme Bonnet Competi*tion I thought it necessary to remind the reader of the lyrics.

    In your Easter bonnet
    with all the frills upon it,
    you'll be the grandest lady
    in the Easter Parade!

    I'll be all in clover,
    and when they look you over
    I'll be the proudest fella
    in the Easter Parade!

    On the Avenue, Fifth Avenue,
    the photographers will snap us
    and you'll find that you're
    in the rotogravure.

    Oh, I could write a sonnet
    about your Easter bonnet
    and of the girl I'm taking
    to the Easter Parade!

    Full Song Lyrics: http://www.lyrster.com//www.lyrster.com/lyrics/easter-parade-lyrics-perry-como.html#ixzz2RK7ZuvLb
    Read more at //www.lyrster.com/lyrics/easter-parade-lyrics-perry-como.html#47PYkIOuiTQXKkhj.99

    April 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • science

      hey lol?? to easy............. later.............. forever !





      April 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • Science

      No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

      Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

      Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.



      April 23, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
  13. Tony

    If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, well, ...

    Chances are, it's a Republican.

    April 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
  14. Free Man

    Stop scapegoating Muslims for terror attacks? Sure. Absolutely. After all, there are all kinds of Baptist, Hindu, Mormon, Buddhist, Taoist, and Catholic terrorists out there........oh, wait a minute.......no, there aren't. Not all Muslims are terrorists but the vast majority of terrorists are Muslim. You so-called "moderate" Muslims need to rein in your buddies before they get you all b-slapped.

    April 23, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Reality

      Muslims should also scapegoat all Christians for what they have been doing in middle eastern countries for past century.

      April 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • sam stone

      really, free man? forget about eric rudolph?

      April 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      There are actually a lot of catholic terrorists. Don't forget about the IRA.

      April 23, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Reality

      Not from the original Reality.

      April 23, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Optimus

      "Muslims should also scapegoat all Christians for what they have been doing in middle eastern countries for past century." What acts of violence or wars can be attributed to Christians belief in the past century? That argument is essentially invalid.
      The IRA is a military organization and is not driven by religious beliefs. To put it bluntly, they aren't committing acts of violence and then calling it (their equivalent of) a jihad.

      April 23, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @ Optimus,

      Sorry, but that's not accurate. You cannot separate the IRA from their Catholic heritage and the conflict against Protestants. You could make a similar argument that Islamic terrorist strategists are also more politically motivated over land or invasion than religion. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1726385,00.html

      However, my original point remains factually unassailable. There are many catholic terrorists. Regardless of their motivation, this is a fact. If you need more information, Hitler was also a catholic and used religion to inspire his forces which were mostly catholic as well. Maybe you wouldn't classify the Nazis as terrorists though.

      April 24, 2013 at 2:50 am |
    • Optimus

      They are Catholics, but that does not mean they are fighting because of their religious beliefs. You're confusing the issue there. Simply put, the IRA was a military group formed to resist the British. They could have been Buddhist and there would have still been the IRA. Futhermore, the IRA was NOT endorsed by the Catholic church.

      April 24, 2013 at 9:35 am |
  15. EX catholic

    If they are like the Idolaters/Catholics then NOBODY has to "Scapegoat" them, they are scapegoating themselves.

    The world is watching, the world already knows enough about it and about them. They don't fool me neither they fool everyone, they don't intimidate me NEITHER they Intimidate everyone. Their day of Reckoning is due soon! They'll answer to God and Jesus Christ the Son of God.

    April 23, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Science

      Wow there you are again ?


      April 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Reality

      Every body is going to answer to God for land and resource stealing, oh wait a minute Christian God forgives Christians for all the Sins they do.

      April 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • EX catholic


      I have followers!

      April 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Reality

      Not from the original Reality.

      April 23, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  16. keith

    There is a problem within Islam.
    Islam calls for an Islamization of the world, they are right, and everyone else is wrong. Sharia law should take precedence over the laws of the land, says the Koran.
    Muslims feel a special right to be offended. "Don't talk about our prophet, don't draw a cartoon, don't portray him in an unflattering way or we will kill you." Their insecurity regarding their own faith is laughable. Something that is not funny is that all so called moderates within Islam have bowed to the extremists.
    The morning of 9-11 i was working in a charter school for muslim children in my city. When news of the attacks came out, they were high fiving, and cheering, which was being not only condoned, but led by their muslim teachers. These were "moderates". They were cheering the destruction. They were cheering the prophet.
    They were cheering then, and they are cheering now. Only, they have to celebrate behind closed doors now. The world is watching.

    April 23, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • ME II

      "The morning of 9-11 i was working in a charter school for muslim children in my city. When news of the attacks came out, they were high fiving, and cheering, which was being not only condoned, but led by their muslim teachers. These were "moderates". They were cheering the destruction. They were cheering the prophet."

      In the US? It is very hard for me to believe that this actually happened.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care!

      And xtians want to "spread the word to all corners of the Earth". How is that different? Just because they arent using bloodshed to do it these days doesnt absolve them for what they did in the past or could do in the future.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Free Man

      Nothing wrong with Muslims that a mass grave can't fix.

      April 23, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Free Man

      Any genocidal dictator would be proud of your statement.

      April 23, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Reality

      What is Armagaddon ? who is waiting for it ?

      April 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • sam stone

      "they are right, and everyone else is wrong"

      as opposed to christians, who do not feel they are right?

      April 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  17. lol??

    Asian carp have quite the survivalist religion. When science gets done studyin' the social structures of Scarabs maybe they'll have time to take a looksie

    April 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • meifumado


      April 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • ME II

      Do the Carp have a stick figure man stuck to their back fin?

      April 23, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Akira

      Asian carp are taking over Lake Michigan...are you afraid the socie Scarabs are trying to take over something?
      Meifumado, lol?? Is scared of gay people. Nothing more.

      April 23, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6
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.