May 16th, 2013
04:33 PM ET

My Take: What Tsarnaev gets wrong about Islam

Editor’s note: Hussein Rashid is a native New York Muslim. He teaches at Hofstra University in the Department of Religion. He is an associate editor at Religion Dispatches, a term member on the Council on Foreign Relations and fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

By Hussein Rashid, Special to CNN

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the Boston Marathon bomb suspects, reportedly wrote that “an attack against one Muslim is an attack against all” on the wall of the boat in which he was hiding from police last month. Variations of this refrain seem to be common among angry young Muslim men, especially those who are attracted to violence. However, such a view ignores history, religious thinking and contemporary reality. It should be seen as a crass advertising slogan rather than a declaration of belief.

Tsarnaev's quote seems to be based on the idea of a global Muslim community, called the ummah, that has always been aspirational. The Tsarnaev brothers clearly felt that they were being marginalized, and the fact that they did not belong to an American Muslim community further reinforced that belief. So the brothers turned to the idea of the ummah, a historical fiction that has not existed in practice in all of Muslim history. Muslims are too varied to connect to one way of being a community.

What we are witnessing in Syria, what we saw in Egypt or in Iran during the Green Revolution, is that Muslims kill other Muslims for political gain, and the idea of the ummah is broken. There is no sense from the brothers that they would have been able to understand or choose sides in these conflicts.

Suspect: Boston bombing was payback for hits on Muslims 

However, the slogan worked its magic, allowing them to see aspiration as reality and one that they could achieve. Unfortunately, their nemesis became America, including the millions of Muslims living in America.

There is no universal, binding legal command for all Muslims to support each other at all times. Even if there were, throughout Islamic history, it has been observed in its breach rather than in practice.

Prophet Mohammed’s son-in-law, Ali, was assassinated while praying, and Mohammed’s favorite grandson, Husayn, was murdered after being denied food and water for days. Both of these acts were committed by people who considered themselves Muslim.

Even in the modern period, we see al Qaeda slaughtering thousands upon thousands of Muslims. Tsarnaev may have felt aggrieved by attacks on Muslims, but he sided with a group that wantonly kills other Muslims. He believed the false assumption, shared by extremists and Islamophobes, that one cannot be American and Muslim.

Within Islamic thought, there is not a sense that everything a Muslim does is automatically good. In fact, the Quran calls on believers to compete with people in doing good in the world, and that competition is expressly not limited to Muslims but to all people.

There is also a sense that Muslims must work toward a more just society by encouraging good works and discouraging bad ones and help others to do the same. This last premise is one that seems to have been exercised by the community of the Islamic Society of Boston, which attempted to correct the elder Tsarnaev brother's misreading of Islamic tradition.

Protesting government policies that reduce justice and harm people is an obligation by virtue of being American and Muslim, and it is a right. However, to protest the death of civilians by killing civilians shows a lack of commitment to justice and only a desire for power.

The American Muslim community has a rich history of demanding and working toward justice, including Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Lupe Fiasco and Mos Def. Individuals like Manar Waheed of South Asian Americans Leading Together and Muneer Panjwani of Do Something are actively building a more equitable and just society in America, and they are competing with others to do good.

Tsarnaev may believe that an attack against one Muslim is an attack against all, but he must then question where he sees himself, because on that day in Boston, he attacked Muslims, too. He may have accepted a slogan as faith, but to do so, he had to willfully forget all the varieties of ways one can be Muslim.

For me, and many other American Muslims, faith is believing that you can affect positive change in the world and being willing to commit to do the hard work necessary to build with other people.

Timeline: Boston attack, aftermath

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Hussein Rashid.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam

soundoff (322 Responses)
  1. zkkhan

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the Boston Marathon bomb suspects, reportedly wrote that “an attack against one Muslim is an attack against all” on the wall of the boat in which he was hiding from police last month. The quote written by Tsarnaev itself indicates that either he was taught wrongly or was brought up in wrong Islam. Islamic teachings are very clear that murder of an innocent human being is like murdering the whole humanity or mankind. No where it is written the word Muslim. Question to be probed who are spreading such interpretations amongst innocent Muslims and taking them to astray ed path. Whole matter these days revolve around the interpretation of Quranic teachings. Quran itself says that only pa is and those having live contact with God can interpret the Quran correctly. In current era rather form last 125 years in whole of Muslim Ummah one can see only one claimant and that is Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. It claims interpretation of Quranic teachings under divine guidance may be from its founder or successors. Its 125 years record of love and peace for the human kind and service to Islamic cause round the Globe supports its claim. Then why not to ponder on this claim of Ahmadiyya community and whole Islamic Ummah to join hands with it to bring good name back to great religion Islam.

    May 17, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • jeremy

      Very, very encouraging to read your words. I have lived and worked across the Mid-east, in both foreign service and as a professional in the private sector. I wish I read more of your type of responses then what I generally encounter. To be honest I have very mixed feelings about the state of muslim nations around the world. I gave up a very lucrative contract in Saudi as my corporate sponsors required me to attend a public execution to renew my work visa. I then spent 2 years in Lebanon which was a very different experience, even with some local conflict still on the go. I think people like you being vocal is absolutely critical to helping not only the wider community, but people like me who want very much for the muslim world to play a bigger part in progress, and not the opposite. I applaud your input and hope to see more of it. Cheers, Jeremy

      May 17, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care!


      You are either a sucker or a troll. Both the bible and the quora'an advocate hate and violence. All religions need to go away.

      May 17, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Ted

      This gets mentioned often but it bears repeating because believers really need to get it: if your god is so powerful, why is it that he can't get the same message out across all the beings that he created? Many of the believers sincerely believe yet they differ wildly in what they believe. That really puts their god into question.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • HotAirAce

      If islam, christianity or X is the one true religion, or is even a legitimate religion of peace, why do so many cult members get it so wrong? Your gods need a competent communications team!

      May 17, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • meifumado

      complete rubbish.

      Islam is a sickness, it is a filthy violent chauvinistic set of rules.

      If you would like to play this game I would be glad to quote your illiterate pedophile warlord you call the prophet Muhammad.

      May 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Death to Islam

      dzokhan(whatever) was obviously trying to put himself forth as a holy leader who represents all of Islam.
      As to the "killing one is like killing all", this is just twisting it onto its head. He was saying and telling other Muslims that if one Muslim is killed, it is to be revenged by all of Islam.
      It is obvious what he was trying to do, so all these Muslim apologists are just looking even more ridiculous as they try to spin what he wrote into something else.
      Protesting that Islam is peaceful has been shown to be nothing but lies. Islam is hate and murder and madness.
      Death to Islam! It is the shlt religion of the world, as someone was saying. It deserves no recognition, no respect, no freedom, but only death.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
  2. Gregor

    The fact that the supposed words or intent of a "god" can be interpreted differently by various people puts the existence of the god as such into serious question. You would think an omnipotent creature would be able to do a better marcomm job.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • joy please

      ha ha – since when was religion logical.

      May 17, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  3. Honey Badger Don't Care!

    The Qura’an, just like the bible, advocates hate for, and the kiIIing of, people not in their respective religions. They are really no different. The only real difference is the societies that they are in.

    For this reason we need to get rid of all religions so that we can advance as a society.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  4. M.A.P.

    I'm sure those Boston bombers could've also spewed out such lies about the nature of Islam. Look how they suprised us all!

    May 17, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • joy please

      taqqiya and kitman it is.

      May 17, 2013 at 10:57 am |
  5. Saraswati

    What we all want answered is what percent of Muslims, in the US and world wide, support sharia of any sort supported by law. In many counties where they have taken this measure, including many western countires, that is a majority, and it is that position that sets Islam up in a war against the world. As long as you support sharia in any way anywhere, or tolerate that the pro-sharia position among your comrades, you are supporting the terrorists.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • Death to Islam

      It should not matter if they support sharia when you ask them or not. They will always lie about that.
      All Muslims need to be rounded up and removed. This religion must die. These enemies must be driven out of the country.
      American Muslim is an oxymoron. These Tsarnaevs were never citizens, never American, never respecting others.
      They may have got citizenship papers, but that was all a big lie. No Muslim will be a willing or peaceful member of any nation.
      Their nation is Islam. They already have a country. Enemy agents given citizenship papers is the height of irresponsibility.
      They will never integrate. They will never respect our laws. They will continue to murder children in so-called "honor killings".
      Anyone who thinks they deserve respect or freedoms that they already feel nothing but contempt for is stupid.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  6. barydem

    Vladmire, you need to read this article few more time.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:14 am |
  7. Bigger question

    We want hear what the Muslim community is doing to reach out to the misguided/radical amongst themselves? What is being done by the community to steer these folks to a path toward peace?

    May 17, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • Darwin

      They need a Islamic peace corps established with a mission to diffuse the hatred of their extremist fringe radical Islamic groups.

      May 17, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • Desert of Paran

      Unless or until such time Middle East opens its doors to foster an understanding of other cultures and faiths, peace would remain a mirage.

      May 17, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • Death to Islam

      Your mistake is in thinking there is any peaceful about Islam. They won't do anything to help. You are sounding pretty dumb.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  8. Food for Thought

    Tsarnaev may believe that an attack against one Muslim is an attack against all, but he must then question where he sees himself, because on that day in Boston, he attacked Muslims, too. He may have accepted a slogan as faith, but to do so, he had to willfully forget all the varieties of ways one can be Muslim.

    He didn't forget, he was the variety of muslims that kill other muslims

    May 17, 2013 at 9:12 am |
  9. Vladimir

    We sure know what Muslims truly are. Not what they say. Islam is an intolerant and militant religion, that wants to kill anyone of different opinion or faith. Islam has the most nut cases among themselves than any religion to me known. Let's start paying them back as they pay us in their homeland. Let's ban Islam or at least start collecting Muslim tax

    May 17, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • derp

      "Let's ban Islam or at least start collecting Muslim tax"

      And as soon as we are done with Islam, let's do the same thing to Christianity.

      May 17, 2013 at 9:30 am |
  10. saggyroy

    I don't know. I think Tsarnev has Islam down.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:09 am |
    • .

      and you would know about going down

      May 17, 2013 at 6:42 am |
  11. poppat killers

    Islam says we all kafirs are .... thats all quran is all about.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:09 am |
  12. Anthony

    Any notion that Muslims should not believe in Islamic unity is foolish and also displays non-Muslims and nations fear of Islam.
    The pro-Israeli faction has worked hard to disband pan-Arabism and now the goal is to disband pan-Islamism. The greivances of the bombers are shared by Muslims and non-Muslims worldwide who believe the war in Iraq was against international law. The bombers actions are to be deplored and I have no problem with this. But the wars are wrong, Gitmo is wrong, indisriminant killings using drones is wrong. Islam will flourish and its important for non Muslims to understand the difference between conservative Islam and radical Islam. Lastly where there is no justice, there will be no peace

    May 17, 2013 at 3:45 am |
    • Reality

      An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression)

      The terror and aggression via a Partial and Recent and Not So Recent Body Count

      As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
      BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.
      The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

      25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

      (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

      26 ) September 12, 2012
      Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

      27) Boston Marathon horror – April 2013, four dead, hundreds injured and maimed for life. A
      Continued below:
      Other elements of our War on Terror and Aggression:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed mostly due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.
      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      – Ditto for Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011
      – Ditto for Abu Yahya al-Libi on June 5, 2012

      – one Boston Marathon bomber dead, the other will either be executed for crimes against humanity or will spend the rest of his sordid life behind bars.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:25 am |
    • Death to Islam

      Islam will not flourish. It will die because it is nothing but a worthless lie. Islam is filthy madness like a rabid dog's vomit.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  13. Sunfire

    A simple litmus test like the question of Jerusalem and to whom it belongs will be of course to the Palestinians and death to all Jews and infidels. A second test will be the question of rewards of killing infidels which they are guaranteed in heaven

    May 17, 2013 at 3:02 am |
    • Ham

      Jerusalem should be evacuated and turned into a giant crater that glows in the dark for 50,000 years.
      Same goes for Mecca and any other problem areas. I'm an equal opportunity hater.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:21 am |
    • Anthony

      1.Sunfire: A test on Jerusalem which sides with the Israeli view is not a objective test for anything

      May 17, 2013 at 3:39 am |
  14. CaptAm

    "82% of Bangladeshi Muslims were also reportedly favour making Islamic law official". Herein lies one of the two biggest problems with this religion, the other being the treatment of women, that makes Islam incompatible with the modern world. Tough to enforce freedom of religion when that very religion has the overthrow of the government, that ensures its freedom, as an unwavering goal. Islam does not honor or respect freedom or self determination, therefore it does not deserve it. Time to stop being politically correct and naive and to call this religion out for what it is; a threat to mankind! Time to take all necessary steps to beat back this scourge. Take Care!

    May 17, 2013 at 1:41 am |
  15. R.M. Goodswell

    Hussein Rashid

    Is your Quran the same book as the Quran they have in Europe? in the ME? if the answer is yes, then how did 99.9% of the Muslim world take such a radically different message from the Quran?

    Look at the Muslim world... the ME is a human rights nightmare....Europe is having serious issues with Muslims not integrating...even supposedly moderate states like Indonesia and Turkey it is a REALLY bad idea voice even mild criticism of Islam.

    'American Muslims' will change as their numbers increase.....and they will probably switch to the International Edition.

    May 17, 2013 at 12:59 am |
    • saggyroy

      The same way any of the 1,000 Christian sects interpret their bible.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:11 am |
  16. Reality

    Ending the stupidity of it all quickly and peacefully:

    (only for the new members)

    From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi----–

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
    be upon him) alone."

    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

    Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

    May 16, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Dictator

      the most iniquitous episode in all church history is the sad tale of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, when the papacy caused the deaths of millions of innocent people whom it regarded as heretics. Canon Llorente, the Secretary of the Inquisition in Madrid, Spain, from 1790-92, estimated the total number of people condemned to death in Spain alone to have been greater than 3 million souls. Some 300,000 were burned alive at the stake.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:35 am |
    • nclaw441

      Dictator– the fact that there was an Inquisition doesn't change what is going on presently. It isn't, or should not be, about blame, but about getting the issues resolved now, or at least knowing what we are up against.

      May 17, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • Reality

      Now for some nitty-gritty:


      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things GOD'S CREATURES Have Done to Each Other:

      M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

      The Muslim Conquest of India

      "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Christians)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      *:" Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?

      A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

      Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

      A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

      In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."

      May 17, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • reality

      all posts are copy paste bull sh it

      May 17, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Reality

      Not making any excuses for the RCC during the Spanish Inquisition. One execution is one too many.

      A summary from http://necrometrics.com/pre1700a.htm#SpanInq . Considering the above table of the 20 Worst Things God's Creatures Have Done To Each Other, the Spanish Inquisition was not near the blood bath in comparison.

      "Spanish Inquisition (1478-1834)

      ◦Cited in Will Durant, The Reformation (1957): ◾Juan Antonio Llorente, General Secretary of the Inquisition from 1789 to 1801, estimated that 31,912 were executed, 1480-1808.

      ◾In contrast to the high estimate cited above, Durant tosses his support to the following low estimates: ◾Hernando de Pulgar, secretary to Queen Isabella, estimated 2,000 burned before 1490.

      ◾An unnamed "Catholic historian" estimated 2,000 burned, 1480-1504, and 2,000 burned, 1504-1758.

      ◦Flexner, Pessimist's Guide to History: 8,800 deaths by burning, 1478-1496

      ◦Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church (1910): 8,800 burnt in 18 years of Torquemada. (acc2 Buckle and Friedländer)

      ◦Motley, Rise of the Dutch Republic: 10,220 burnt in 18 years of Torquemada
      ◦Britannica: 2,000

      ◦Aletheia, The Rationalist's Manual: 35,534 burned.

      ◦Fox's Book of Martyrs, Ch.IV: 32,000 burned

      ◦Paul Johnson A History of the Jews (1987): 32,000 k. by burning; 20,226 k. before 1540

      ◦Wertham: 250,000

      ◦Rummel: 350,000 deaths overall.

      ◦MEDIAN: 8,800 under Torq.; 32,000 all told.

      ◦Punished by all means, not death. ◾Fox: 309,000

      ◾P. Johnson: 341,000

      ◾Motley: 114,401"

      May 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  17. Rod Munch

    I have an honest question – and I swear I'm asking it honestly. Why did Muhammad marry a 6-year old and 'consummate' the marriage at 9? I understand people married early, but even back then 9-years old was considered improper. I ask this in all honesty.

    May 16, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • Loc-Nar

      Rod, why don't you google it? You won't get a straight answer from any Muslim at all, so you shouldn't bother asking here.

      May 17, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • Ham

      Who cares what that thief did or said? He was a thug with tertiary syphilis. He was insane. His followers are insane.
      mohamid was a coward and a bully, a murderer, a liar, a thief, rapist, and many other things. Why worry about it now?
      We've got other problems that are more important. Don't be led down a path of lies. Check things out for yourself.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:28 am |
    • Rod Munch

      Loc-Nar – I have searched but generally it's either someone saying it's all lies or it's someone saying he's a child molester, I'd be interested to know what an actual scholar on the subject has to say.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:43 am |
  18. Raj

    That's a good bit of spin from a Moderate Muslim. It's not uncommon for religious groups to distance themselves from the wackos... If they happen to be Christian.. they are immediately distanced from 'mainstream' Christianity and so Prof Hussein is doing the same thing here.

    Within the faith there are denominations but they close ranks against Outsiders.

    The Quran verses quite clearly demonstrate an us against them mentality when they label non muslims as Kafirs and encourage bad behavior against them with impunity.

    The statements that it's not an us against them mentality is contradicted by the behaviour of muslim peoples in the UK, Netherlands, Germany , France , India and in each case the thrust is towards Arab Nationalism parading as a faith – Islam.

    In countries where the Muslims have a majority, minorities are badly treated , victimized and pressured to convert.

    So the Good Professor is the most moderate face of Islam but in a sad but small minority to date. His voice would be drowned out where there is a weak policy of appeasement against the bullying tactics where the Muslim Population is growing.

    I don't buy his argument that "t that they did not belong to an American Muslim community" or that " a crass advertising slogan rather than a declaration of belief." The behaviour of muslim world wide contradicts this.

    With respect to Muslims Killing Other Muslims.. it's not a stretch when the believers feel that the religion gives them cart blanche to kill and victimize other faiths to label other sects of Muslims as 'non believers' and treat them the same way.

    Once human beings categorize other human beings as apes and monkeys... it's not a big step to committing murder against them, particularly if God said so. Witness the genocide of the Native Americans, South Americans and other people through history.

    The fact that the moderate Muslim Community speaks up is that even while they are in the land of the Free, they know full well that the Government will stomp on any bullying and bad behavior and it won't be a long stretch to convince most of the Judeo Christian population that Americas Freedoms are being lost – witness the killing of Anwar Al Awlaki and his Son.. both US citizens. They fear the retribution – Iraq and Afghanistan being clear examples that force will be met with greater force and the Assasinations via Drone Strikes of Enemies of the USA – regardless of their being labelled "War Criminals"

    Thanks for showing the face of Modern Islam but it is a very small minority world wide

    May 16, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      If the prof. really believes what he says. he'd go to the middle east and explain it to them. He won't for one simple reason. they'll give him a haircut that starts and stops at his neck.

      May 16, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • joy please

      The good professor is probably following Islamic practices like taqqiya and kitman.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  19. olepi

    There are over a billion Muslims in the world, and a tiny fraction of them are violent. This is like saying a tiny fraction of (Christians, Blacks, Whites, Samoans, people with blue eyes) are violent. Although I don't "believe" in an organized religion, it is not just a particular religion that is at fault. Islam should not be singled out for having their share of bozos.

    Organized religion is a belief structure that is in conflict with the other belief structures of other religions. Religion creates divisions between people, by definition. A big source of problems in the world. It reminds me of molds on a piece of bread, each one trying to take over. Mindless.

    May 16, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • Rod Munch

      There is supposed to be 2-billion Muslims, so if 10% are radicalized that's 200,000,000 people. If only 1% are radicalized that's still 2-million people. I'm going to guess more than 1% of Muslims are radicalized.

      May 16, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • H.B.

      A tiny fraction of them are violent. That's what you said. You also seem to see no difference between what other religions do, and have done, that are equally atrocious, and the slaughterings that go on daily from Muslims.

      There's no denying the evils done by other faiths. The ones done by Muslims, for Islam, are far worse, and have been going on for centuries, nonstop. And actually increasing phenomenally, as we watch, too.

      There will always be people willing to do violence for their faith – any faith at all. Islam is NOT the same thing. Those other faiths do not MANDATE slaughtering people; Islam DOES.

      Bringing up what fanatics from other religions do is a smokescreen used to divert attention from what Muslims do.

      Those Muslims not actively violent are presumed to be "peaceful and tolerant." While it's possible a few really are, it's not very likely, because their own faith DEMANDS that they do violent jihad, at least once in their lives. Most of these Muslims are quiescent, but that does NOT equate to being peaceful and tolerant, no matter how civilized they seem to be. Have we forgotten Glasgow? A bunch of Muslim doctors in Scotland, lived there for decades, earning the friendship and respect of all who knew them. Until one day it was their time to jihad, and they went Section 8.

      A Muslim who is not jihading MUST be presumed to be one who WILL jihad later, because his god demands it of him.

      Go to "thereligionofpeace" dot com. I think they have day-by-day accounts of Muslim atrocities on a global basis. The database is so huge, they can only offer one or two months at a time. The rest are archived, but still accessible.

      Now compare that to the fanatic Christians who bomb abortion clinics and federal buildings, and tell me if they really ARE alike.

      Since its very inception, Islam has been on the warpath, conquering everything they possibly could, using the conquered peoples' amenities for themselves, but not building anything themselves. Nonstop, for 1400 years, and yet today we have people who can actually believe Islam is a faith of peace and tolerance?

      If somebody's god tells them I deserve to be slaughtered, I owe that god, and that religion, zero respect. If that's being Islamophobic, so be it. But my "distaste" for Islam is rooted in reality and truth, not in propaganda, lies and political correctness. It is based on what Islam has to say about ITSELF. Nothing can be more fair than that. I went to the source, the horse's mouth of Islam – its own holy texts. There, I hoped to find that it really IS a peaceful and tolerant faith. What I learned, instead, stood my hair on end.

      No matter what evils other religions have perpetrated (and there are many), not one can begin to compare to the evil that is deeply inherent in Islam, an evil which ALL Muslims must adhere to and ACT on.

      Islam is the only faith that makes lying and dishonesty a virtue. The ONLY one. It's why we can't ask Muslims about their faith unless we're expecting the sugar-coated lies we'll get.

      The evil of Islam stands entirely alone. Its only goal is to conquer the whole world. I find nothing in Islam worthy of any respect. Even after studying its texts for decades, LOOKING for a reason to respect it.

      There is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. Nor is there any such thing as an "extremist" or "radical" Muslim. Islam is an absolutist faith – you buy it all, or else. And Islam doesn't need radicals or extremists; it already IS that way. All this talk about "radicalizing" certain Muslims, thus making them into terrorists, is based on an assumption that most other Muslims are NOT "radicalized". Which is impossible, given what Islam demands of them. Of ALL of them.

      This article was written to provide more pablum to the Western people who are too terrified to wrap their minds around the concept of a religion that means to slaughter them all. Worst of all, because it is so successful at doing so.

      No ostrich was ever spared by a lion by burying its head in the sand. Which is what we are doing. Denial is comfort from fears we can't cope with. It is a purely-cowardly reflex. And it is also that same denial which will be our own undoing. Muslims mean to win. We don't mean to do anything except to believe it can't happen to US.

      So guess who will win?

      May 17, 2013 at 1:22 am |
    • Ham

      Very well said. Apathy can be deadly, as we have seen in so many ways throughout history.
      They have clearly forfeited the right to religious freedom. In fact, religion is mental illness, so giving mental illness freedom is insane, just batshi-t insane.
      Their religion is our enemy. They are our enemy. We should not let enemy agents within our borders.
      Enemy agents do not get our freedoms. We should never let them have the freedom to practice their religion of hate-filled lies and murder.
      Enemy agents should be rounded up. This is basic common sense. Bending over backward to let them move freely amongst us is the height of insanity.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:58 am |
    • B2


      Google the crusades, the Salem witch trials, or American slavery and ask yourself which religion is more heinous.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:40 am |
  20. MarkH

    I'm so sick of you Muslims lying.

    May 16, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
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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.