August 4th, 2013
09:49 AM ET

For some Muslims, Ramadan fasting poses risks

By Slma Shelbayah, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='SlmaShelbayah']

(CNN) This Ramadan, Amina Jabbar faced a difficult decision.

The University of Toronto medical student’s rotation at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre began around July 9, the start of the Muslim holy month.

That meant working unpredictable shifts for as long as 26 hours while fasting from eating and drinking during the day.

The fast-paced hospital environment was already challenging Jabbar’s ability to keep up with colleagues and patients. As a new physician, she felt more “error prone” and said fasting would increase her anxiety on the job.

Ramadan requires “slowing down,” Jabbar said, an impossible task for a first-year medical resident whose job requires fast decisions and clear thinking to save lives.

The 29-year-old Muslim was torn.

Should she fulfill her professional duties, eating regular meals so hunger would not distract her from patients’ critical needs? Or should she honor her religious obligations by observing the fast, a practice considered a “pillar” of Islam?

“I am spending 60-80 hours (at the hospital) and I don’t get to slow down for Ramadan,” Jabbar said. “It felt unfair to my colleagues and patients to tell them to slow down for me.”

At the same time, Jabbar said she feared that fellow Muslims would criticize her if she didn’t fast. “There’s a certain amount of shame when we talk about people not fasting,” she said.

The decision not to fast during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Muslim calendar, is somewhat taboo in the Muslim community.

READ MORE: The Belief Blog Guide to Ramadan 

In Islam, Ramadan commemorates the time when the angel Gabriel imparted the Quran to the Prophet Mohammed.

Many Muslims throughout the world commemorate the month by fasting, refraining from sex and smoking, and dedicating more time than usual to praying and reading the Quran.

Some exceptions are generally allowed during Ramadan, which ends August 8. Pregnant women, travelers and sick people are not expected to observe the fast, for example.

But for many other Muslims, especially first responders and others with stressful jobs, the choice of whether to fast can cause its own kind of anxiety.

When Jabbar blogged about her decision not to fast, she received a mix of reactions.

One Muslim accused her of looking for an “excuse” to shirk her religious duties. Some questioned her devotion to Islam, asking if she performs other required Islamic rituals such as daily prayers.

“Of course I pray," Jabbar said. "I am just choosing not to fast. We have a lot of pressure to demonstrate to our community that we’re Muslim.”

Imam Khalil Abdur-Rashid, head of the Iqra Mosque in Brooklyn and Muslim Chaplain of Columbia University,  said that observing the fast during Ramadan is a religious obligation for every Muslim who is considered mature, mentally sane, healthy and not traveling.

There are no fatwas – or religious rulings – that grant fasting exemptions for first responders, he added. But, Abdur-Rashid said, one is definitely needed. In fact, he generated one immediately after speaking with CNN.

"The purpose of the fast is not to place the fasting person in the face of harm, but to teach self-restraint,” Abdur-Rashid said.

“And the moment the fast becomes dangerous, or external conditions place the fasting person in harm's way," he said, "then the fasting person is not only permitted, but in many cases, religiously obliged to break their fast.”

Abdur-Rashid's new fatwa may be especially valuable to Muslims like New Yorker Ahmed Sabree, who battles fires while wearing heavy equipment during the searing summer heat.

Sabree, 42, said the arrival of Ramadan this July took him back to his training days with the New York Fire Department nearly eight years ago.

Sabree endured intense physical drills that included racing up six-story buildings, pulling up hoses and crawling on the floor.

Trainers told the budding firefighters to “hydrate, hydrate, hydrate,” Sabree recalls.

He contemplated breaking the fast, at least to drink some water, and researched Islamic texts for guidance.

Sabree concluded that his training, though grueling, was insufficient reason to drink water during the day.

Ramadan is not just about enduring physical hardships for hardships' sake, Sabree said. Instead, the holy month has a deeply spiritual dimension.

The firefighter said Ramadan's rituals offer an opportunity to “get back on track” and become more conscientious of his responsibilities to God and his fellow man.

That doesn’t mean fasting is easy for Sabree, so he takes precautions to lighten the load a bit.

For instance, he volunteered for the lunchtime watch shift at his firehouse in Harlem, New York, while others are eating in the kitchen, better to keep the alluring aromas of food at bay.

And if a fire breaks during the time of breaking the fast, Sabree responds immediately. To the fire that is, not his stomach.

“If it’s time to break the fast and there’s a fire, you gotta go,” Sabree said. “I’ll break my fast with some water and go.”

READ MORE: Muslims have mixed views on TSA Ramadan advisory

Deputy Chief Mike Jaafar of Wayne County in Michigan is also fasting this year.

Jaafar says Ramadan is “kind of a cool time,”  but he doesn’t mean temperature.

In fact, for the last several years, Ramadan has fallen during the hottest summer months. The holy month is calculated by a lunar, rather than fixed calendar, so it rotates from year to year.

“Unfortunately, I can’t adjust my schedule in the profession I am in. This year is going to be a tough one,” Jaafar said. He is expected to keep the same long hours and fulfill the same duties as his fellow officers.

But there are some perks to celebrating Ramadan in Michigan, home to the largest concentration of American Muslims in the United States. When the holy month comes around, fasting isn’t much of a foreign concept, even for those not Muslim.

This understanding translates into small workarounds for Jaafar. Sometimes, if he begins his workday early enough, he is able to finish in time to get home for dinner.

“My hours can be flexible, and usually I can break my fast with family,” Jaafar said. He uses this time to visit his mother every day and to attend the mosque with his children.

As for Jabbar, the medical resident is trying to make up for not fasting through other spiritually fulfilling options, such as praying and helping heal her patients.

“Spirituality has to become part of my clinical practice, because I spend so much time of my life there,” she said.

But Jabbar said she still misses the slowing down that Ramadan's daytime fasting requires.

"I am trying to make it up in terms of remembrance," of God, she said. "It doesn’t always feel sufficient."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Faith & Health • Holidays • Islam • Islamic law • Ramadan

soundoff (647 Responses)
  1. willy wonka

    where did all the atheists go?

    August 5, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Richard Cranium


      August 5, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Simeon Rice

      Hey willy, I got a better question fer ya, where the hell is my golden egg or ticket or whatever the fuck?

      August 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Reality


      Religion………………………… Adherents

      Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion

      Irreligious/agnostic/atheism…… 1.1 billion

      Sunni Muslims.............................1.0 billion

      Hinduism 900 million
      Chinese traditional religion 394 million
      Buddhism 376 million
      Animist religions 300 million
      Shiite Muslims 260 million
      African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
      Sikhism 23 million
      Juche 19 million
      Spiritism 15 million

      Judaism…………………………………….. 14 million

      Baha'i 7 million
      Jainism 4.2 million
      Shinto 4 million
      Cao Dai 4 million
      Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
      Tenrikyo 2 million
      Neo-Paganism 1 million
      Unitarian Universalism 800,000
      Rastafari Movement 600,000

      August 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Simeon Rice

      Reality post for blind eyes only.

      August 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  2. God


    August 5, 2013 at 10:29 am |
  3. Apple Bush

    For Ramadan, they make you cut off your beard. Then you must pee in your beard. It is brutal but loving.

    August 5, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • Sage Bruuz

      You are close but the truth is they pee on the beard first, ten shear it off.

      August 5, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Simeon Rice

      You people know nothing of Ramadan. Yes they shave their beards, but the reason is so that the pedophiles don't injure the children.

      August 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Leftovers

      No, this is where they snip the pee pee. I can't believe you don't know that.

      August 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Aztek Jungle

      Raman Noodles is the observance of the summer solstice when we kill babies.

      August 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  4. Anjil

    Any doctor or firefighter who works while fasting is putting the lives of others at risk. I have no issues with fasting in general and see how it can offer the benefit of focus that is here its aim, but if you are risking others for your own selfish end you deserve to lose your job. Suck it up and use you vacation time or buckle down and eat a healthy diet while working. And yes, in many of these jobs obesity also risks others lives and bears a similar moral charge.

    August 5, 2013 at 7:20 am |
  5. children of Israel

    Psalm 59:13 Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah *2nd Kings 14:7 He slew of Edom in the valley of salt ten thousand, and took Selah by war, and called the name of it Joktheel unto this day. *Psalm 77:15 Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. *Luke 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel.

    August 5, 2013 at 6:48 am |
  6. children of Israel

    Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? *Romans 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. *Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people. *Psalm 100:3 we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. *John 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep *Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. *Acts 7:43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon. *Leviticus 20:3 And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. *Jeremiah 32:34 But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it.

    August 5, 2013 at 6:16 am |
  7. Chuck

    The Haj' is 100% Idol Worshiping

    August 5, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • Gabriel

      Do u know what is Hajj? Learn about it first.

      August 5, 2013 at 3:16 am |
      • Talkingeth in ye Oldeth toungueth, forsooth.

        That practice existed in Arabia long before Islam took it over. Just like most of their customs. Including their god.

        August 6, 2013 at 1:40 am |
      • Talkingeth in ye Oldeth toungueth, forsooth.

        359 gods were originally worshiped in the Kabala. All Arabic towns had stones they walked around. Many were meteorites.

        August 6, 2013 at 1:59 am |
  8. GoldenGirl

    Is it safe to publish the name of a person who is considering not fasting for Ramadan?

    August 5, 2013 at 12:38 am |
  9. victor

    so what is the problem? if you desire to be a doctor then be a great one and help others heal. if not then get a job at a mini market so you can fast. no one told you to stay away from your country of religion. But if you desire to practice it and not medicine then change jobs. There are certain professions that require a sacrifice–becoming a doctor requires that. afterwards you can fast for three of four months unless you afraid of being beheaded..

    August 5, 2013 at 12:00 am |
    • Jimmy

      You don't understand Islam. Jabbar said “Of course I pray," Jabbar said. "I am just choosing not to fast. We have a lot of pressure to demonstrate to our community that we’re Muslim.”

      In Islam, if fasting causes great harm to you and effects your life earning income, if your elderly, sick, a child, a person traveling etc etc then you don't have to fast.

      The problem with our society is we make these harsh comments on other peoples ways of doing things when we know absolutely nothing about those things. We only get our information from biased propoganda sources. Then we have the nerve to call other people "stupid" for following these things.

      August 5, 2013 at 1:52 am |
  10. Tattoo the great

    Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

    August 4, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • Talkingeth in ye Oldeth toungueth, forsooth.

      Yeah, forsooth. Verily I declareth unto thee, if you say it with a "eth" , then it musteth be trueth,

      August 5, 2013 at 12:46 am |
  11. dfitzhugh

    I don't see what the problem is. Eat.

    August 4, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
  12. Rocket surgeon


    August 4, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • Nuuftuuctucghvgh

      Dude, are you kidding me? I can count Christianity as one big plagiarism if I wanted too. Noah? The Epic of Gilgamesh. Revelation? One crazed acid trip on the isle of Patmos. The idea of a single god? Egyptian myrthology. Get your facts right.

      August 4, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
      • Rocket surgeon

        Equal opportunity debunking. Of course it is.
        Jebus never existed. Neither did Muhammad.

        August 5, 2013 at 12:04 am |
      • Rocket surgeon

        Obviously you didn't even watch it, BTW. What "facts" ? Gilgamesh, and Noah were in Hebrew mythology, (stolen from the Sumerians).

        August 5, 2013 at 12:07 am |
      • Chuck

        The Epic of Gilgamesh was a small "Local Flood" its not the same story as Noah
        Gilgamesh was an ancestor of Noah.
        All of the Hebrews came from Mesepotamia/Assyria in the first place, similar stories because they are Related

        August 5, 2013 at 12:59 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          Since there has never been a world encompassing flood, isn't your point sort of moot, They took the story and embelished it. The stories were told by passing them orally. They changed with each telling anyway.

          August 5, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • Talkingeth in ye Oldeth toungueth, forsooth.

          Wrong. The Hebrew took it from Gilgamesh. Read the dimensions of the boat.
          There was no flood. All floods have silt layers. There is no evidence on the Earth, (or in the Near East) that there ever was a widespread flood. Archaeology had excavated FAR below the point where a silt layer would be found. None. Anywhere. In order for a craft to be deposited on the top of Mt Ararat, the amount of water required could not have "receded".
          Sorry. It's simply nonsense.

          August 6, 2013 at 1:44 am |
  13. JustSad

    You know, we are all conceived from a sperm & egg, we all have the same body organs needed for survival, we all have a brain and a heart. What in the world makes people on this blog think they can bash not only Muslims but people of all religions? I respect the rights of people to practice religions, and I respect people who think religion is just a bunch of bs. Because people are different, educate themselves on things (though there is a clear lack of understanding evident in these comments), and form their own decisions. Instead of being so ignorant, I wish people would learn to be accepting and try to interact with that which they don't understand. I do not think my Jewish/Christian/Muslim/Buddhist/etc etc friends are stupid, and I do not think my agnostic/atheist friends are stupid either. I see them as who they are as people; religion is personal.

    Calling out the acts of some people who call themselves "Muslims" and perform "acts of terror" as your "evidence" that all Muslims are evil neglects to consider the Crusades (Christians) or any of the mentally-ill people who shoot up schools, call in bomb scares, etc. in the name of no one – just because they need mental help. I do not justify the heinous acts some people claim to do in the name of their prophet or God, but have sense enough to know that these people are crazy, regardless of their religion.

    I think everyone should just cool it on that which they do not understand. I feel the same way about racism or people against gay marriage. It's just self-righteous ignorant people trying to claim that they matter more than other people of the same exact animal species. Please. I truly feel sorry for you.

    August 4, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • Reality

      http://www.muslimaccess.com/quraan/arabic/005.asp et al
      o "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)
      "Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons...he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home..." (Surah 8:12-)

      "Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)

      "...make war on the leaders of unbelief...Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them..." (Surah 9:12-)

      "Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:27-)

      "It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith [Islam] to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters [non-Muslims] may dislike it." (Surah 9:31-)

      "If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men." (Surah 9:37-)

      "Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)

      "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-)

      "Say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom..." (Surah 17:111)

      "'How shall I bear a child,' she [Mary] answered, 'when I am a virgin...?' 'Such is the will of the Lord,' he replied. 'That is no difficult thing for Him...God forbid that He [God[ Himself should beget a son!...Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood..." (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)

      "Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him...He has given you the name of Muslims..." (Surah 22:78-)

      "Blessed are the believers...who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)...These are the heirs of Paradise..." (Surah 23:1-5-)

      "Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Surah 48:29)

      "Shall the reward of goodness be anything but good?...Dark-eyed virgins sheltered in their tents...They shall recline on green cushions and fine carpets...Blessed be the name of your Lord..." (Surah 55:52-66-)

      August 4, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
      • Tigerflower

        Finding examples of hate in a centuries old religious text doesn't mean counterparts don't exist in the texts of other faiths. It just means you picked some examples from one religion and are using them to justify your own hate. Give it a freakin rest. The real problem isn't the faith per se but that cultures of hate seem to thrive where poverty and cultural isolation have been the norm. Religious zealots will take advantage of this fact to advance their own agenda. The world really doesn't need more individuals feeding the idiocy. If you were lucky enough to receive a good education, you should know better. Shame on you!

        August 4, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
        • R.M. Goodswell

          He shines the light on every religion, fear not....

          People have taken these books literally...do take these books literally.
          All this barbarity driven by religion is in addition to the regular human BS.

          we need less divisions, less reasons to kill....we need to dump all this crap asap.

          August 5, 2013 at 12:26 am |
      • Sarah

        I have no idea which book you read to get this. I have read different copies of the Quran in English and these are not familiar to me. Maybe you have the Extremist's Quran - ie one that the clearly twisted ones have conjured up to support their twisted cause.

        August 5, 2013 at 12:10 am |
      • Bugaloo Jones

        Quran chapter 5:51 – the actual verse is: "do they then seek the judgement of the days of ignorance? And who is better than God as a judge for a people who have firm faith?"
        Your errors began with your first line. Get your facts straight. Nazi stooge.

        August 5, 2013 at 1:07 am |
        • R.M. Goodswell

          to top

          I think Reality's is more accurate....

          Sahih International
          O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.

          August 5, 2013 at 2:01 am |
        • R.M. Goodswell

          several Quran translators have your verse that you quote as 5:50

          Ahmed Ali

          Do they seek a judgement of the days of pagan ignorance? But who could be a better judge than God for those who are firm in their faith?

          Muhammad Sarwar

          Do they want judgments that are issued out of ignorance? Who is a better judge for the people whose belief is based on certainty, than God?


          Seek they then the judgement of Paganism? And who is better than Allah in judgement unto a people who are convinced?

          Hamid S. Aziz

          O you who believe! Take not the Jews and Christians for your friends (or patrons): they are friends (or patrons) to each other. Whoever amongst you takes them for friend (or patron), verily, he is of them, and, verily, Allah guides not an unjust people.

          Faridul Haque

          So do they wish a judgement of ignorance? And whose judgement is better than that of Allah, for the people who are certain?


          Is it then the judgment of (the times of) ignorance that they desire? And who is better than Allah to judge for a people who are sure?

          Yusuf Ali

          Do they then seek after a judgment of (the days of) ignorance? But who, for a people whose faith is assured, can give better judgment than Allah?

          Ali Unal

          Or is it the law of the (pagan) Ignorance that they seek (to be judged and ruled by)? Who is better than God as law-giver and judge for a people seeking certainty (and authoritative knowledge)?

          Amatul Rahman Omar

          Do they seek to enforce the law of (the days of) ignorance? And who is better than Allâh in giving judgment for a people who are convinced (of their faith)?

          English Literal

          Is (it) the Pre-Islamic paganism`s/ignorance`s judgment/rule (that) they desire ? And who (is) better than God (in) judgment/ruling to a nation they be sure/certain?


          5:51 by the same people:

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          Ahmed Ali

          O believers, do not hold Jews and Christians as your allies. They are allies of one another; and anyone who makes them his friends is surely one of them; and God does not guide the unjust.

          Muhammad Sarwar

          Believers, do not consider the Jews and Christians as your intimate friends for they are only friends with each other. Whoever does so will be considered as one of them. God does not guide the unjust people.


          O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Nazarenes as friends: friends they are to each other: and whosoever of you befriendeth them, verily he is of them; verily Allah guideth not a wrong-doing people.

          Hamid S. Aziz

          You will see those in whose heart is a disease runs about among them, saying, "We fear lest a reversal befall us." It may be that Allah will give you victory, or a commandment from Himself, and they may awake repenting of their secret thoughts.

          Faridul Haque

          O People who Believe! Do not make the Jews and the Christians your friends; they are friends of one another; and whoever among you befriends them, is one of them; indeed Allah does not guide the unjust.


          O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.

          Yusuf Ali

          O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.

          Ali Unal

          O you who believe! Take not the Jews and Christians for guardians and confidants (in their Judaism and Christianity). Some among them are guardians and confidants to some others. Whoever among you takes them for guardians and confidants will eventually become one of them (and be counted among them in the Hereafter). Surely God does not guide such wrongdoers.

          Amatul Rahman Omar

          O you who believe! do not take these Jews and the Christians for allies. They are allies of one to another (when against you), and whoso from amongst you takes them for allies, is indeed one of them. Verily, Allâh does not guide the unjust people to attain their goal.

          English Literal

          You, you those who believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians (as) guardians/patrons , some of them (are) guardians/patrons (of) some, and who follows them from you, so that he truly is from them, that God does not guide the nation, the unjust/oppressive.

          August 5, 2013 at 2:30 am |
      • Reality

        o On the koranic passages and world domination:
        "Mohammed could not have known the size of the world, but several passages in the Koran show that he envisioned Islam dominating all of it, however large it might be: “He it is who sent his messenger . . . that he may cause it [Islam] to prevail over all religions´(Koran 9:33, M.M. Ali; see also 48:28 and 61:9). M.M. Ali designates these three passages as “the prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam in the whole world.”

        Mohammed’s successors, the caliphs, quoted passages like these to inspire Muslim armies as they advanced out of Arabia, imposing Islam by the sword upon a peacefully unsuspecting Middle East and North Africa, as I described in the previous chapter.

        Islamic armies, imbued with what Mohammed claimed was divine authorization, imposed Islam by force over vast areas, all the while extorting wealth from subjugated Jews and Christians to fund their ongoing conquests. As I noted, major defeats at Tours, France, in A.D. 732, and again at Vienna, Austria, in A.D. 1683, halted Islam’s attempt to take all of Europe by force. Gradually Islamic forces were forced to retreat from Europe, except for part of the Balkans. But Islam has again set its sights on a conquest of Europe and of European civilization, wherever the latter has spread to North and South America and other regions. Muslim strategists ask their followers, Why do we find in these modern times that Allah has entrusted most of the world’s oil wealth primarily to Muslim nations?

        Their answer: Allah foresaw Islam’s need for funds to finance a final politico-religious victory over what Islam perceives as its ultimate enemy: Christianized Euro-American civilization. So, Islam follows Nazism, fascism and communism as the world’s latest hostile takeover aspirant.

        Nazis, fascists and communists failed. Does Islam have a better chance at success? I believe it will flounder if we awaken to its threat in time; yet, if there is not adequate planned resistance, Islam does have a better chance of succeeding. Communism’s world takeover attempt was guaranteed to fail because its economic policy was naively contrary to human nature. Advocating the rubric What is mine is thine, and what is thine is mine, communism failed to see that human nature will not keep those two balanced propositions in equilibrium. Like

        a female black widow spider consuming her mate, the latter part of the formula makes a meal of the former, leading to the collapse of any system based upon that formula.

        In contrast, political systems do well if they can persuade people to adhere to What’s mine is mine and What’s thine is thine maxims.

        Only if a strong religious incentive is added does such an idealistic formula have any long-term chance. Even then success will be spotty. But communism (and Nazism, for that matter) excluded religion. And that mistake was the final nail eventually clamping a lid on communism’s coffin. Communism, on a historical scale, perished while still in its childhood.

        Islam is not repeating communism’s mistake. Mating political cunning and incredible wealth with religious zeal, Islam does have a chance to succeed and will succeed unless major parts of the Western world unite to take appropriate countermeasures. But many Western leaders, unable to believe that a mere religion could possible be a serious political threat, keep proclaiming themselves as Islam-friendly, reasoning that all religions are good-aren’t they?

        A Muslim strategist in Beverly Hills, California, declared several years ago, as quoted by a friend of mine: “Now that the struggle between Western democracies and international communism is winding down, it is time for the real and final struggle to begin, and we are going to win!”

        Don Richardson

        August 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Rodents for Romney

      Nope. It's 2013. Comparing the crusades to anything in 2013 is ridiculous. Humanity has moved on, and they have no excuse for being 1000 years behind civilization.

      August 5, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell


      You are aware that Muslims invaded Europe (Iberian peninsula) in the 8th century right? and they weren't driven out until very late in the 15th century. Many believe this is what launched the Crusades in the first place. Muslims have been fighting in every sphere they ve pushed into. Where Christianity has moderated, Islam is keeping up the same tempo.

      We can go back and forth...but in the end you ll ignore the fact that Religion – something that is complete BS still has humanity in its grip....wars and death for NOTHING....a fairy tale...superst ition.

      We very well could die out because of the track this crap has put us on....if not for this fact Id be more than happy to let you live in your fantasy.

      August 5, 2013 at 3:43 am |
  14. lamelionheart

    Dearest Commenters...

    Today's atheistic fanatics have tendencies to bring up religious atrocities from past histories even though today's many varied religions have long since been found marginally harmonious in today’s structures of socialized moralism and nationalized civilities.

    While worldly nationalistic pertinences are varied each according to their own citizenry’s demands, religious sovereignties around governing nationalisms are halfway censored within governing bodies here in the U.S.A. As this world's internationalisms become ever a globalization issue, many religious ambiguities are left stranded with hardly any altruistic steering currencies by which to navigate their own religious flocks toward their becoming governmentally wise.

    Therefore, is it really wise to establish rules of governmental laws being disrespectful of many religions' absorption ratios within their many varying religiously societal regimes that dare protrude righteously (but sometimes negatively) upon the social fabrics of moralistic and civilized disciplinary virtues?

    And yes, I know there are religious extremists nowadays that are fanatical on many fronts of their religious orientations. The internationally committed religions toward a unifying order of secularly religious globalization might well have to reign-in on such religious fanaticisms but at what costs to those rightly orientated religious regimes that are socially moral and civilly obedient..?

    August 4, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Your garbage comment wasn't worth reading.

      Blah blah blah blah


      August 4, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • Tigerflower

      If you're trying to say that global religions frequently find themselves at odds with local governance systems please just do us all a favor and spit it out. That really isn't the topic under discussion anyway.

      While this article focuses on the Muslim faith, theirs isn't the only belief system to find itself at odds with corporate American culture. Ask any friendly neighborhood retail worker how many paid holidays they receive for religious and cultural observances.

      August 4, 2013 at 11:18 pm |

    They are all going to the same place as atheists

    August 4, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • What is going on? FREEDOM

      We aren't going any where you little troll.

      August 4, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
  16. larry

    what a great place to drop some bombs

    August 4, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
  17. larry

    good time to drop a few bombs

    August 4, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
  18. Jim in Long Beach

    OMG. Just look at that photo if you want to know why this religion is the very worst one ever invented. WHERE ARE THE WOMEN?

    August 4, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
  19. Di

    I wonder if I will live long enough to hear people finally say "God is a myth for crowd control!!!!" People wake up we are in 21st century and still talking about god? You better talk about wars and sick and hungry kids!

    August 4, 2013 at 10:12 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.