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Five takeaways from Pew’s comprehensive study on Islam
April 30th, 2013
03:33 PM ET

Five takeaways from Pew’s comprehensive study on Islam

By Dan Merica, CNN
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Washington (CNN) – A Pew Research Center study released Tuesday takes an in-depth look at Islam, including how Muslims around the world view extremism, sharia law and the meeting of religion and politics.

The study is a four-year effort by Pew, which conducted 38,000 face-to-face interview in 80-plus languages for the survey. In total, 39 countries and territories were included, all of which had over 10 million Muslims living there.

Here are the report’s five major takeaways:

1.) Differences between U.S. and international Muslims are vast

While Muslims in the United States share a belief system with Muslims abroad, the Pew survey released Tuesday and a Pew survey on American Muslims from 2011 reveals wide differences between the two groups.

An overwhelming number of Muslims outside the United States told Pew that “Islam is the only religion that leads to eternal life in heaven.” Ninety-six percent of Egyptians and Jordanians, 95% of Iraqis and 94% of Moroccan Muslims responded that “Islam alone” leads to heaven.

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When all Muslims outside the United States were considered, only 18% said many religions can lead to heaven. In the United States, that number is 56%, according to the 2011 survey.

Additionally, U.S. Muslims were more likely to have friends who were not Muslim.

“About half of U.S. Muslims say that all (7%) or most (41%) of their close friends are followers of Islam, and half say that some (36%) or hardly any (14%) of their close friends are Muslim,” the survey reports.

By contrast, an average of 95% of Muslims outside the United States said “most or all of their friends are Muslims.”

2.) Sharia law favored, especially by more devout Muslims

A whopping 99% of Muslims in Afghanistan told Pew that they favor sharia law – a Muslim code that dictates everything from dietary laws to morals – as the official law of the land.

Though Afghanistan is by far the most supportive of sharia, majorities in countries like Iraq (91%), Palestinian territories (89%) and Malaysia (86%) favor applying sharia to everyone in their respective countries. Support for this viewpoint was particularly strong in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East-North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Analysis of the survey results by Pew found “most Muslims believe sharia is the revealed word of God rather than a body of law developed by men based on the word of God.”

Those who approve sharia becoming the law of the land generally pray more than their Muslim brethren.

Muslims who pray several times a day in Russia, for example, are over twice as likely to favor implementing Islamic law as the law of the land. The same split between those who pray several times a day and those who pray less often can be seen in Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Tunisia and Turkey.

3.) Most Muslims believe religion, politics should be intertwined

A majority of Muslims surveyed in Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Middle East-North Africa told Pew that religious leaders in their respective countries should have political influence.

Much like favoring sharia law, religious devotion played an important role in these beliefs.

"Devout Muslims tend to be more supportive of religious leaders playing a role in politics,” the survey reads. “In a number of countries, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa but also in Southern and Eastern Europe, Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely than those who pray less frequently to say religious leaders should have at least some influence on political matters."

4.) Around the world, Muslims heralded religious freedom

Despite views that Islam should influence politics and law, an overwhelming number of Muslims told Pew that religious freedom was a good thing.

Ninety-seven percent of Muslims in South Asia, 95% in Eastern Europe, 94% in sub-Saharan Africa and 85% in the Middle East and North Africa responded positively to religious freedom, according to the poll.

“Overall, Muslims broadly support the idea of religious freedom,” the study states. “Among Muslims who say people of different religions are very free to practice their faith, three-quarters or more in each country say this is a good thing.”

5.) Islamic extremism widely rejected, but still a concern

Carrying out violent acts in the name of Islam is strongly rejected by Muslims around the world, according to the survey.

While a majority of Muslims, according to Pew, in all countries surveyed said “suicide bombing in defense of Islam” was rarely or never justified, “there are some countries in which substantial minorities think violence against civilians is at least sometimes justified.”

For example, in the Palestinian territories, 40% of Muslims said suicide bombing was often or sometime justified. In Afghanistan that number was 39% and in Egypt that number was 29%.

Despite most country’s disapproval of violence in the name of Islam, religious extremism – and in particular Muslim extremism – is a concern for a majority of Muslims in the world, according to the survey.

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“At least half of Muslims in 22 of the 36 countries where the question was asked say they are at least somewhat concerned about religious extremist groups in their country,” the report reads. “In most countries, Muslims are much more worried about Islamic extremists than Christian extremists.”

Concern over Muslims extremism was at it highest in Indonesia, Iraq and Guinea Bissau, where over 45% of Muslims said they were either very or somewhat concerned about violence in the name of Islam.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Islamic law • Polls

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soundoff (1,682 Responses)
  1. Jason Patterson

    “About half of U.S. Muslims say that all (7%) or most (41%) of their close friends are followers of Islam, and half say that some (36%) or hardly any (14%) of their close friends are Muslim,” the survey reports. Is it %7 or 41%? 36% or 14%. Is anybody having problems making sense of these numbers? Also, I don't understand why this article is not Disqus? What is this Soundoff stuff?

    April 30, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Akira

      41 plus 7 = 48%, or almost half.

      36 plus 14 = 50, or half.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  2. EVN

    How can anyone support "religious freedom" and at the same time maintain that Sharia law should be the law of the land, or support religious involvement in the political arena? Islam, like all organized religion, is pure qwatch and the fact that it thrives (or really any organized religious belief thrives) is a testament to the unending stupidity of man.

    April 30, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Side view

      Religious freedom will come with separation of church and state.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF BULL SH!T

      IN PAKISTAN ALL WOMEN ARE TREATED EQUALLY

      WITH FORCED MARRIAGE AND RAPE...

      April 30, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  3. Geoffrey

    There must be a "payment" for past sins. All have sinned. Sin separates us from God. Jesus, the Son of God, made the payment fo us by His death on the cross. No more work required. Nothing more required, other than the repentance of sin. Go and sin no more. Love mercy, do justly, walk humbly with your God.

    I do not see the path in Islam that equals Christ in Christianity.

    April 30, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • yep

      I do,, it's a path of delusion. One you both share.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

      So God decided to send a little piece of himself to Earth in human form (Jesus) knowing in advance that this little bit of him would live, die, rise from the dead, then ascend to heaven to rejoin himself? Ummm – where exactly is the sacrifice in all of that?

      April 30, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • sam

      Eh...muslims say the same thing about their prophet, too.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Nick Rymond

      Islam is as simple as it gets. You are solely responsible for your OWN sins. Your repent for your OWN sins directly to God. Not to a priest, not to a bartender but only to God. Islam believes that ALL prophets including Jesus (peace be upon him)had the same message. With Muhammed (peace be upon him) able to get his message across. This does not mean all Muslims are good and it doesnt mean that only Muslims will go to heaven. What it does mean that if you follow Islam the best you can, you will go to heaven. There are 1.5 Billion Muslims in the with only 30,000 of them that are openly jihadists (this according to CIA) So if you want to learn the truth about Islam stop watching FOXNEWS.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • OdinVonTogan

      In reply to Nick Ryman, why I say why do we puny little humans need to wish (peace be upon him) when they are the greatest of all beings in the universe? Answer, because just like DaJews, DaCristians, and DeRest, you only got part of it right. I hope all of these religious types just stop the archaic nonsense and move forward with some intelligent thought. It doesn't take all that much to cipher far beyond what those people floundered around with 1000s of years ago, 1000s of years of wars, of hurricanes, of tsunamis wiping out 260,000 people in minutes. No, God has not blessed anyone, anywhere on this planet, so what is life on this planet? Kissing sand and mooning pigeons – the Creator and Ruler of the Universe, with billions and billions and billions of stars and planets out there, has nothing better to do than watch or listen to people pray, however they do it? Really? I suppose if it makes you feel good, then do it, just keep it to yourself, ciz its kinda silly, don't ya think?

      April 30, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
  4. yep

    hey freak christians and muslims.. show us your invisible god.

    Oh, you can't.

    April 30, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      You can realize HIM, but you can not visualize HIM, because no one is equipped to do it.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • yep

      you guys should sell special glasses or something.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • derp

      Instead of 3D glasses they could have 0D glasses.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      I see God everyday in His creation; just like you can see attributes of an artist in their works.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • yep

      yeah,, Geoffrey,, you're nuts.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • derp

      "I see God everyday in His creation; just like you can see attributes of an artist in their works"

      Name one thing you see that is specific to god.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      a hindu brain less secular, self centered has no way to realize truth absolute GOD, because he is dumb, deaf and blinded by his hindu atheism, self center ism like a hindu dog, ignorant secular by nature.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF BULL SH!T

      IN PAKISTAN ALL WOMEN ARE TREATED EQUALLY

      WITH FORCED MARRIAGE AND RAPE

      April 30, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • OdinVonTogan

      Jocularity. The Norse god Odin promised to kill all the Ice Giants. You don't see any Ice Giants, do you?

      April 30, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
  5. ME II

    "Only in two countries – Afghanistan and Iraq –do majorities condone extra-judicial executions of women who allegedly have shamed their families by engaging in premarital se[]x or adultery." – from the survey

    Scary. Is this the radical Islamist's abstinence-only program?

    April 30, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • yep

      catholics treat women as second class

      April 30, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF BULLSH.IT

      IN PAKISTAN ALL WOMEN ARE TREATED EQUALLY

      WITH FORCED MARRIAGE AND RAPE

      April 30, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
  6. Heaven is Real

    To all the people that are non believers, I realize how much easier it must be for you to just say, there is no after life. However, are you willing to die and face god, and say, well I choose to not believe in you, because I was a non-believer,

    If you seek out the lord, prey to him, allow him into your life, he will show himself. I am no holy rolling nut, I am someone who believes that things that can never logically be explained in my life have happened, because I asked God for it and he knew I was ready and placed into my life.

    I never wanted to get married, at 32 I was sick of the different girls, I was truly sick of it, I preyed to god to bring the woman into my life I was to marry, I told him I am ready, 18 hours later, I got a call from a girl I hadn’t spoken to in years, within 6 months we were engaged, and now expecting our first child.

    18 hours, later, but you will call it a coincidence? This is one example in my life. Ignorance is bliss, but God is real, are you willing to take that chance. PREY AND HE WILL REVEAL HIMSELF TO YOU, just give it a chance, according to you what do you have to loose, NOTHING, but if you find God, you have gained everything

    Jason Voci

    April 30, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

      Oh, Jason – google "Pascal's Wager". You are assuming only 2 possible outcomes: there is NO god, or there is YOUR god. What if there is a god, but not YOUR god? What if there is a god who hates people who live their lives by faith instead of reason?

      As for what happened to you romantically, I say (A) congratulations and (B) yes, it was a coincidence. They happen all the time. That is in no way proof of god.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • EVN

      Here's the deal: I choose not to believe because not a single one of the professed gods is worthy of belief.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • derp

      She probably has herpes.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • 1word

      Yes God, and Heaven is real. I have seen both the Father and the Son, Hell is real also; God allowed me to experience a little bit of Hell and it wasn't a fun place to be.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

      @ 1word: Time to get your prescription renewed. Clearly you are out. Could you tell us what exactly you saw?

      April 30, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • EdwardTr

      Why did you not just live life to be a decent person according to the common human values. You do not need religion for that. Do you really want to spend eternity with a god that says “I know you are a decent person and better than many of the ones I let in here. But … well … you picked the wrong god or no god at all, ups down you go”

      April 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • sam

      "but God is real, are you willing to take that chance. PREY AND HE WILL REVEAL HIMSELF TO YOU, just give it a chance,"

      Dude, preying on anyone is not a good idea. Also, if god tries to reveal himself he might get brought up on charges of indecency.

      PS: she was stalking you the whole time. Sorry man.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Rachel

      Ever heard of "pray" ?? "Prey" means to go after someone with the intent to maim or kill. Get a life.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
  7. Freddie Mercury

    I'm not sure I want to go to "Heaven". It seems Hell would have far more interesting people.

    April 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  8. Natas

    Satan doesn't have to write a "bible" to tell his side of the story. You mortals are living according to the Dark Prince's wishes and desires.

    April 30, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • yep

      wow.. more child fantasies.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • G to the T

      My Theory – Paul was actually the anti-christ who proffessed a false messiah as a way to lead jews/pagans away from God and his TRUE messiah that is yet to come... Makes as much sense as saying Gabriel was the devil for Mohammed...

      May 1, 2013 at 9:29 am |
  9. lathebiosas

    It never ceases to amaze me in this day and age that people still give any credence to the man made phenomena called religion. I just don't get it. I guess it's true, belief can only be understood by the believer, but as a non believer I take exception to the peril that the conflicts of these beliefs sometimes put me in (i.e. Boston).

    April 30, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • lathebiosas

      I every would just focus on tuth absolute to themselves all would be good.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
  10. big brother

    Religion is total BS

    April 30, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • mec

      Atheism takes more faith, but that requires a mind capable of thinking outside the box. Frankly, godless evolution is BS if you actually sit down and discuss the facts and the variable required for it to happen.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • .

      mec is today's representative of what brainwashing can do.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • yep

      variables are in favor of a godless world. A limited thinker quits thinking when he/she creates a god. No proof,, just end it there.

      Grow up.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

      @ . I thought mec is today's representative of what dropping someone one his head repeatedly can do.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • derp

      "Frankly, godless evolution is BS if you actually sit down and discuss the facts and the variable required for it to happen"

      I am married to a molecular biologist. I can assure you a conversation with her would not result in believing the bible.

      Just because you are not smart enough to understand something, does not mean god did it.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
  11. So the Muslim god is a pathetic loser like the Christian one

    More souls past & present aren't Muslim (or Christian) than ARE – so that means SATAN WINS and your pathetic god loses!

    HA HA!

    April 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • yep

      they are all a bunch of freaks, for sure. Fortunately, most their kids won't believe. It only takes some who doubt to plant a small seed in children and finally break the cycle of brainwashing.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF BULLSH.IT

      TRUTH ABSOLUTE IS YOU'RE ONLY MAD BECAUSE YOU CAN'T GET A HINDU TO DATE YOUR SMELLY ASS

      April 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Job of hindu Lucifer, criminal secular, by faith.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF BULLSH.IT

      YOU GO HOME EVERY DAY AND JACK OFF TO YOUR HINDU CALENDAR OF HINDU PIN UP BABES

      April 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  12. Roger

    They either believe/have faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and the only way to get through the gates of heaven or they ALL are going to the lake of fire. No exceptions!

    April 30, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • yep

      it's so sad there are silly people like you. You need to grow up

      April 30, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Akira

      And Muslims believe that Islam is the only way to get into heaven.

      Quite the conundrum.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF BULLSH.IT

      PAKISTAN IS THE ARMPIT OF THE PLANET

      RUN AWAY, HINDU TROLL

      April 30, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF BULLSH.IT

      MOHAMMAD A. DAR

      YOU ARE THE HERPES OF THIS COMMENT BOARD

      ONE DAY I HOPE WE FIND A CURE

      April 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • revbates

      Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you, no lo here or lo there" ... isn't this a contradiction of Christian and Muslim belief in a "heaven out there some where"?

      April 30, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • G to the T

      Even the babies? What about the mentally handicapped? What about all the basically "good" people who just happened to live in the wrong time/place to hear the "gospel" (almost as many people as there exists in the world today)?

      Try to answer without going extra-bibilical...

      May 1, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  13. Bob Lewis

    There is no such thing. It's just a fantasy, a story to make you feel better about dying as if there's anything wrong with that. Everything that ever was, or ever will be is in the present moment. There is nothing else and this moment is always perfect, whole and complete.

    April 30, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • mec

      Such a sad and meaningless existence. You're just a bunch of animated chemicals walking around to other animated chemicals.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • sam

      ?? A god is necessary to lead a meaningful existence? There's no point to being alive unless there's an afterlife? What kind of crazycakes thinking is this?

      April 30, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • yep

      well, mec.. you're a zombie. Life is spectacular, full of discoveries and you zombie away your life.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
  14. Kevin

    "Who goes to heaven???", what a profound question. My answer is simple: "nobody, nobody".

    April 30, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Salero21

      Amoralism.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • John

      Morals – i.e. "right and wrong" – exist without religion.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  15. LAST DAY

    "Shariah Law" should only be practiced in Saudi Arabia;
    because in this regard Quran was thus basically sent down to Saudi Arabs in Mecca
    and all those Cities around it in Arab Peninsula
    (see Quran, Surah/Chapter Al-Shura Verse no: 7)

    But "Universal Modern Islam" should be followed by all believing Peoples on earth now

    as it has thus clearly been prophesied and confirmed
    by prophet Moses, and Jesus, and David, and Muhammad (peace be upon them)
    by the command of YAHWEH ELOHIM = HUWA ALLAH

    here now:

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    April 30, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • sam

      No thanks.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • steve

      Jesus is not a muslim prophet.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • John

      Steve, Jesus IS a Muslim prophet. Become learned, my friend.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
  16. yep

    hey, if it weren't for secular society taming religions in the USA – it'd be like the middle east here, except with christians.

    April 30, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Ant

      Strange, I seem to remember that all of the founding fathers were devout Christians. So there goes your theory...

      April 30, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • yep

      some were and some weren't.. most importantly, they wanted religion out of the government.

      BTW; just because one or two founding fathers were religious, doesn't factor in religion as true. In fact they knew so little back then,, compared to today.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • sam

      Ant, were you homeschooled? They were deists. I know it's fun to think they were all christians, because it gives today's christians a self-satisfied chubby, but it's not true. The religious right doesn't get to retcon the history of this country.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • lathebiosas

      Totally incorrect Ant. Of the believers, most were deists, not Christians. Have you ever read Thomas Paine's Age of Reason? Or, you may want to take a look at the Treaty of Tripoli article 11 ratified unanimously by Congress in 1797. Nothing says it better.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Ant

      Actually it's an important point because you say that secular society prevented Christianity from destroying America, but if Christians created America then your point is clearly refuted. And no they were not deists, despite what atheists WANT to believe. They were clearly Christian, especially the more important figures like Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Adams, and others. Their beliefs are clearly stated in many of their biographical accounts. You can go on believing they were just "deists" if it makes you feel better though.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • .

      Actual facts are hard and inconvenient, right Ant?

      April 30, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • sam

      Written history – written BY the founding fathers – negates your idiot attempt at saying otherwise, Ant. You're bringing the IQ of the entire forum down a notch every time you post, and that's really saying something.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Ant

      I suggest you read Washington's Farewell Address, or Franklin's autobiography, or take a look at the Jefferson Bible. He actually created his own Bible. These are just a few examples of the faith of the major founding fathers of the United States. FACTS.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • derp

      "He actually created his own Bible. These are just a few examples of the faith of the major founding fathers of the United States. FACTS"

      In the Jeffersonian bible, all divinity is removed from Jesus. He does not perform miracles, he is not the savior and he is not the son of god.

      Jefferson was not christian. He did not believe in christian doctrine.

      That's why he wrote his own bible.

      Franklin could not have been further from a christian.

      "I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies."

      April 30, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • sam

      Ant, you're digging a hole you are not smart enough to dig back out of. Jefferson purposely made his own version of the bible with all the supernatural BS left out. Do you get that?

      The big kids are trying to talk; run along now before you hurt yourself.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • lathebiosas

      I'm sorry Any, but you list John Adams in your list of founding Christians. John Adams signed the treaty of tripoli into law. Since you probably only have Texas text books let me tell you what article 11 says:

      "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries".

      Now, seeing as to how this was passed UNANIMOUSLY, you seem to have some expalining to do about your so called "Christian Founders".

      April 30, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • derp

      "John Adams signed the treaty of tripoli into law"

      And Washington penned it.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
  17. Vittal Pyati.

    I'd like to go to hell because that is where you find good looking women with good assets. Heaven is full of nuns who have taken a vow of celibacy.

    April 30, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • yep

      ever notice how satan never wrote a bible with his side of the story, yet christians bash him? Just like christians, they love to judge others. It's only wrong, when others do it.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Dvaid Everett

      Hey Vittal, I'm with u. I'll bring the booze!

      April 30, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Bazoing

      Actually the devil's bible is called the Golden Compass and it is available in the juvenile section of most libraries.

      May 1, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • Bazoing

      The Muslims in heaven will be waited on by virgins. The Koran does not say that they ever stop being virgins! In all fairness it is not clear about that.

      May 1, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
  18. NYOMD

    Christian fundamentalists believe in the same childish fantasies, such as g8d, and heaven and hell. Is it any wonder that the very same people (Muslims and Christians alike) tend to believe ridiculous conspiracy theories and science fiction, but care so little about scientific theories and science facts?

    April 30, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Side view

      Why specifically Muslims and Christians NYOMD, why not the New Age, Pagans, Hindus, Jewish people. Is that because Christians and Muslims are the two groups it's politically okay to criticize or do you just not like those two groups in particular?

      April 30, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Christians and Muslims cause the most trouble.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • SurelyUjest

      @side I think it is because Muslims and Christians spend more time persecuting and prosletizing to the rest of us that they get singled out. Lets face it when did a new ager, a pagan, a buddhist or a Jew come knocking on your door to preach like Jehovahs witnesses or the LDS? When was the last time in a conversation in the lunch room did you hear a pagan, jew a new ager etc....interject with a quick "praise god" "praise allah" "praise Ellijah" "praise buddha" "praise the goddess" etc.....lets face it Christians have their god on our money, in our pledge of allegience in our court rooms before our football games etc......they force there beliefs on the rest of us everyday just like the Muslims do to their people in their countrys. Its oppressive and powerful and many people fight the power....so that is my reason.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Side view

      Those two groups comprise 4.2 billion people approximately. 4.2 billion. Even if they were only four people total it would be wrong to hate because of religion. End of sentence. Bigotry is an error in logic and it punishes the innocent with the guilty. If you are smart enough to realize there is no diety then you should be smart enough to realize your logical error.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • romany

      @SurelyUjest how is christianity forced on u, nobody makes u say the pledge of alliegance, u wont be punished for ignoring it, u can have a non religious swearing when u appear in court, and i know its hard to take but gosh miss 2 mins of the football if u dont want to hear the prayer u wont die, now if someone made u sit there and listen to it thats forcing it on u but no one is going to, so no its not forced on u, dont listen to it and dont say it if u dont want to its your choice

      April 30, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Paul

      I would prefer a prayer to satan before football games, if you don't like it you can ignore it right?

      May 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  19. Mr. Flibble

    Well, considering that common sense and logic state that 'Heaven' is a made up place for people who are extremely gullible and afraid to die, this whole article is just a mute point.

    April 30, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Side view

      Everybody is afraid to die. Death is the sadest thing I've ever contemplated.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Suicide bombers aren't afraid to die.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Side view

      So blind terror at our ultimate end may be a good thing? Hmm. Maybe.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Juanito

      A person's Common sense and logic are also emotionally induced. One makes choices to act, believe, etc based on the amount of emotion they out behind their decision. No matter how we try to be like Mr Spock in our reasoning, we still are emotional creatures with a soul and a conscience. We all know bad dietary habits are dangerous to our health, but obesity is outrageous in this country.

      No one immune from fear of death because no one reading this has been there and back. It's unknown.

      I choose to believe in Christ by faith. But His existance is not tied to me believing. On the contrary, He exists whether we believe in Him or not. There are many who had encounters with God and chose not to convert, even though it wouldve been logical to do so. My conversion happened years after my own encounter.

      For someone who lived His ministry for less than 4 years without a scribe to write it all down, His impact in human history is undeniable. He divided time, His Resurrection compelled those who denied Him to die(not kill) for their faith in Him. And His dialogue with us is not over.

      In His Love, Juanito.

      April 30, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Dandy

      >>Everybody is afraid to die. Death is the sadest thing I've ever contemplated.<<
      Better get used to the concept as you cannot escape it.. Why is it the saddest thing? I can think of many things much sadder. Like starvation.. That is much sadder!

      April 30, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
  20. DaTruth

    "Most Muslims believe religion, politics should be intertwined"

    Umm.... so does the GOP? I am struggling to find difference between the GOP and muslim extremists. They both want to kill everyone who doesn't believe the way they do, and they want to use out-dated science fiction stories to rule the ignorant massess.

    April 30, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • yep

      good point

      April 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Side view

      What? Where do you get the idea that the GOP wants to KILL people?

      April 30, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • yep

      yeah,, let's forget the Iraq war..

      April 30, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • sam

      @ISLAM – go find a therapist to help you get over your hindu obsession, you pervert.

      @Side view – I mean, the GOP would NEVER do crazy things like limit the rights of people who aren't just like their good god-fearing white christian selves. That would never happen. They'd also never happily go to war. Right?

      April 30, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • SurelyUjest

      Yes remember the GOP doesnt want to Kill anyone they just dont care about 47% of the people. If those people are going to vote against them they might as well be dead. Rather than actually be listened to for a differing view the GOP would rather insult you, shout you down, laugh at you, call names, ignore you and then make laws to say who you can marry, what religion to worship, what a woman can do with her body, who should get to vote and when. Really the Tea Party side of the GOP does want violent revolution the only problem is they are all too dang old to carry it out for themselves.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • CatSh

      They don't necessarily want everyone who disagrees with them dead.
      They just have this curious belief that if you make a law to promote morality, everyone will instantly become moral and rightious and everybody will be happy and the economy will improve and people will all have jobs and go to church on Sunday.
      Of course NOBODY breaks laws and everybody will certainly agree with them once they see how perfect their moral law is.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Morality hasn't helped the middle east. They pray 5x a day. How has it worked out for them? The middle east doesn't have

      Gay marriage
      Gay rights
      Abortions
      Stem cell research
      Divorce (in large numbers)
      birth control
      Total devotion of religion

      How has it worked out for Muslims?

      April 30, 2013 at 5:48 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.