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September 11th, 2013
09:24 AM ET

Since 9/11, U.S. policy enforces Islamophobia

Opinion by Nathan Lean, special to CNN

(CNN) - The attacks of September 11, 2001, were unthinkable, and are rightfully memorialized with the somber reflection that marks other tragedies of our nation’s past.

From the Oval Office that Tuesday evening 12 years ago, President George W. Bush addressed the stricken nation with a message of hope.

“Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America,” he said. “This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace.”

Sadly, though, out of that dark hour came more darkness.

Throughout the past 12 years, government agencies and local law enforcement have often turned inward, eroding the liberties of ordinary, law-abiding citizens.

In the name of defending national security, they’ve fractured relationships with American Muslim communities and undermined the foundations of freedom on which this land was built.

Anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States has not only manifested itself through mosque arsons, assaults, murders and invariably hostile rhetoric from society’s extreme fringes. It has also become a permanent fixture of the very institutions that should provide safeguards against those things.

A long view of the response to terrorism since 9/11 suggests that Islamophobia — an irrational fear or suspicion of all Muslims and Islam based on the actions of a few — is increasingly legislated and enforced.

The most recent example of this comes from the city that bore the brunt of the 9/11 attacks.

READ MORE: My son died as a first responder on 9/11

Revelations surrounding the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslim communities in Brooklyn and Manhattan show that, without specific evidence of criminal activity, police officers teamed up with the CIA to form a clandestine intelligence program that spied on ordinary Muslim Americans.

The program sent “rakers” into Muslim neighborhoods to observe restaurant owners and shop keepers, deployed “mosque crawlers” into Muslim houses of worship to monitor sermons, and planted undercover agents on a university rafting trip in Buffalo where they took notes on how many times Muslim students prayed each day.

It gets worse.

The NYPD parked a yellow taxicab, bugged with cameras and voice recorders, outside a popular mosque in Brooklyn, hoping to capture Friday prayer-goers mumbling something about terrorism.

They also designated all mosques in the city as terrorist organizations, meaning that anyone who attends worship services is a potential subject for investigation, and they attempted to infiltrate the board of the nonprofit Arab American Association of New York, labeling the group a “terrorism enterprise.”

The six years of surveilling American Muslims led to no arrests or leads, the head of the NYPD's Demographics Unit admitted in court testimony.

The NYPD says its surveillance programs are lawful and orchestrated to keep the city safe from "those who are intent on killing New Yorkers."

The FBI criticized the NYPD spying program, however, saying that it produces a “negative impact” and makes their job harder than ever.

But it was the FBI who, in 2010, paid informant Craig Monteilh more than $11,000 a month to disguise himself as a convert to Islam, infiltrate Southern California mosques, and have sex with Muslim women. The plan was to entrap young Muslims by initiating conversations about “jihad” and terrorism.

In the end, the very people he was spying on reported him to the FBI — the organization that sent him there. Last year, Monteilh expressed his regret for participating in the sting operation, saying, “There is no hunt. It’s fixed.”

The FBI said its program, called "Operation Flex," was "focused on fewer than 25 individuals and was directed at detecting and preventing possible terrorist attacks."

The FBI came under fire again in August of this year as we learned about a covert security program in conjunction with U.S. immigration authorities.

The American Civil Liberties Union reports that the FBI and immigration officials have the authority to blacklist law-abiding Muslim Americans who have applied for citizenship, flagging their applications on the basis of “national security concerns” and sidelining their path to nationality for years on end.

Those applications are primarily docked on the basis of the applicant’s name, their country of origin, or as a result of their travels to countries on a watch list.

The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services says its reviews comply with immigration laws.

READ MORE: It’s time for Islamophobic evangelicals to choose

Anti-Muslim prejudice is institutionalized at the state level, as well.

Over the past two years, lawmakers in 32 legislatures across the country have targeted Muslims by moving to ban Islamic law, or “Shariah.” Seven states (most recently North Carolina) have signed the proposed ban into law, despite the inability of legislators to name a single specific case in which a court ruling based on Shariah law was allowed to stand.

Additionally, mosque construction projects in states like Oklahoma, Tennessee, California and Minnesota have faced backlash from local lawmakers who, failing to thwart their construction by advancing arguments about Shariah or the supposed threat of radicals, resorted to pretenses like traffic patterns, zoning regulations, parking restrictions and noise ordinances to block the building permits.

This cannot be our response to tragedy.

We’ve lost our way, and the path that we are traveling down today is hardly representative of the sacred foundations that our founding fathers envisioned.

Surely we can, and we must, remain vigilant in our effort to combat those who threaten us, but we cannot be so overly zealous in our aim to root out potential perpetrators that we abandon our national values and strip our fellow citizens of their unalienable and constitutionally protected rights.

That doesn’t make us stronger; it makes us weaker, and more vulnerable.

Nathan Lean is the editor-in-chief of Aslan Media and the author of four books about the Middle East, including "The Islamophobia Industry." Follow him on Twitter at @nathanlean.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 9/11 • Discrimination • Islam • Muslim • Opinion • Sharia

soundoff (372 Responses)
  1. bostontola

    Funny, a direct quote from the article is blocked by the censor:

    "I s l a m o p h o b i a — a n i r r a t i o n a l f e a r o r s u s p i c i o n o f a l l M u s l i m s a n d I s l a m b a s e d o n t h e a c t i o n s o f a f e w "

    September 11, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • ME II

      sp.ic

      September 11, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Indeed so. Good catch. susp.icion is such a naughty word after all.

        September 11, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
        • doobzz

          And the mother of all naughties, The Constitution.

          September 11, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
  2. bostontola

    With the disproportionate representation of Muslims involved in terrorist acts, it is the responsibility of Muslim leadership to self police if they want to avoid the bias the minority Muslims created. They don't do that, they remain quiet. It may not be rational to blame all in a group for the actions of a minority, but it is human. If you want to manage a human situation you must take into account human reaction.

    September 11, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      perfect!

      September 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Jeremy

      There is that saying not all Muslins are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim.
      This is what the Islamic community has to fight against.

      Just saying.

      September 11, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  3. Thought Purification

    No reason to fear ALL muslims; look for Pakistani bad apples, don't know why but they are 100% terrorist sympathisers.

    September 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
  4. Reality # 2

    Why we have phobias about Islam: #1 (akin to Nazi and Communist phobias)

    "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

    September 11, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Towelie

      You're a towel!

      September 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  5. Just the Facts Ma'am...

    I believe a large part of the phobia is religous Americans think in terms of God vs Devil and can't help but believe they are placed firmly in God's corner, so their opponent must be from the Devil and therefore must be viewed with susp icion, resentment and violence if they look at you funny. Until we rid ourselves of this theocratic rhetoric we will never leave behind this poisonous irrational fear.

    September 11, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      R'amen!

      September 11, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Cup Noodle!

        September 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
  6. Towelie

    I've been wondering around on my own for the past few weeks. Ya know, helpin' people out with towel safety and proper towel use. It's important!

    September 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Now listen Towelie, we've just about had it with you!

      September 11, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  7. palintwit

    Historians now agree that the south lost the civil war because generations of inbreeding resulted in an abnormally high number of mentally challenged soldiers in the confederate army. Also, physical deformaties such as webbed feet prevented the confederates from running from the northern army, thus insuring their capture and defeat. One has only to take a casual drive south of the Mason-Dixon line to see the descendants of the confederate forces, easily recognizable by their lack of teeth and sloping foreheads.

    September 11, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Before you go any further with your sarcasm, need I remind you that it was yankees that brought us Punkin' Chunkin'.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        ...and Anthony Weiner...

        September 11, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • doobzz

          Sorry, LoA, Honey Boo Boo cancels out both of those.

          September 11, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
  8. Honey Badger Don't Care

    Every christian that believes in salvation is a terrorist too. Telling people that they will burn in heII for eternity because you don’t believe in their god? That's terrorism.

    September 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      No, because Christians won't try to kill you if you don't believe what they say.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Terrorism is the act of inflicting terror. To a simple mind (and even some very well developed minds), eternal torment is a terrifying possibility. Also, that can only be generally said of Christianity for the last 250 years andi still can't be said of many individual Christians.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Hmmm, punitive incarceration for unrepentant offenders... Yeah, I can't think of ANYWHERE in the secular court system where that idea is practiced...

          September 11, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          No court on the planet can inflict eternal incarceration. Also, no country (yet) has criminalized emotion. That can't be said of Christianity.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Criminalize emotion? What are you talking about??

          September 11, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Coveting, the bulk of the seven deadly sins. All emotional sins. Christianity criminalized emotion, something that's uncontrollable.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
        • 616

          Inflicting terror? Sounds more like they are trying to inflict a warning.

          "You're going to die of a heart attack if you keep eating all that greasy food."

          See, that isn't terror but a warning. Same with what christians are doing.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Well, don't go to the seven deadly sins... Some medievil monk put those together... To determine what sin is, go instead to the 10 Commandments. But even still, the Bible doesn't condemn "emotions." What the Bible condemns are intentions that equal the deed... Lusting is the same as adultery. Hate is the same as murder. Coveting is the same as stealing. They are not the same in the sense that both the thought and the deed have the same affect on its victim, but the same in the sense that God considers both are violations of His righteousness, and in that sense, both are sin, and both are punishable.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          'Lusting is the same as adultery. Hate is the same as murder. Coveting is the same as stealing.'

          No, no and no.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • Jeremy

          Lovely...God as the thought police. What a load of malarky.
          Thought and deed are two different things. If you are positing that God can read our thoughts and has a demerit book somewhere, you're quite silly, LofA.
          Hate isn't the same as murder. Hate is an emotion.
          Lust isn't the same as adultery. Lust is an emotion.
          Coveting isn't the same as stealing. Coveting is an emotion.
          For the most part, emotions are part of the human condition. What is germane here is acting upon the impulse. If you don't ACT on it, you're committing no sin. Thought isn't sinning. It's a part of the free will concept. What one does with the thoughts is what is important; not that one had the thought in the first place.
          Sheesh. Why do people make God more complicated than He actually is?

          September 11, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        I guess that they're not following the basic precepts of their own bible are they?

        September 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Not sure I agree Honey Badger Don't Care. One is real and the other is fictitious.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Responding to the Pride

      Honey's list of terrorists, therefore, includes: Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Barak Obama, C.S. Lewis, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Augustine, Brother Maynard, Paul, and billions of others.

      September 11, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
  9. Al Jazeera Comedy

    Ayman Al-Zawahri: We warned you not to show Mohammed – but "Family Guy" did it anyways. So now, here is our retaliation on America! [the terrorists show a cartoon after Family Guy aired the episode with Mohammed]
    American Male 1: [walks in] Hello, I am American.
    American Male 2: [walks in] I'm American too.
    American Male 1: We like to crap on each other. [the men crap on each other]
    President Bush: [walks in] Hello, I am the President Bush. I will crap on both of you. [craps on both of them]
    American Male 2: Ugh! We love to crap!
    American Female: [walks in] I'm American. I'm pregnant with a baby, but I'm not married.
    American Male 3: [walks in] Let's crap. [all five of them begin crapping on each other and Jesus enters the picture]
    Jesus: Look at me! I'm Jesus! Would you like me to crap on you, Mr. Bush? [craps on Bush. More Americans walk in and start crapping]
    All: Mmm, yummy yummy crap. [more people crap, and an American flag appears under them, being crapped on]
    Ayman Al-Zawahri: Ha, ha! Take that! We burned you! That was way funnier than "Family Guy".

    September 11, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Which is weird, because the Quran revears Jesus as a prophet.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
      •  

        Reveres

        September 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX5MTFWSuM8

      September 11, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
  10. Towelie

    Don't forget to bring a towel...

    September 11, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
  11. Apple Bush

    Go now and tell the fools the truth of their misplaced worship.
    Speak loudly that religion is the true great evil on this Earth.
    This Evil affects every plant and animal the Mother gave us.

    Tell them and care not if they are vulgar, for you are the light.
    The Atheists must rise now and prepare the planet for the future.
    In the future, religion won’t be tolerated.

    September 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Allegiance)

      I shall personally kill the time child, and eat his entrails on my tummy!

      September 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        You are in league with the squirrels. Stupid squirrels.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Allegiance)

          Science damn you, Unified Atheist Alliance!...

          September 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Listen Otter, I don't really want a bunch of varmints running around. You are ok but no Taz types, mmmkay?

        September 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Now what's scary is that you've inadvertently given the EXACT mindset of men during the Tribulation as spelled out in Revelation and Daniel.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
      • Jerry

        🙄

        September 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  12. Apple Bush

    The giant pink pigs head was detached from the body and lying on the tarmac, neck hole exposed. As it turns out, giant pink pigs aren’t empty.

    September 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      ... but just as tasty

      September 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        The helicopters were quick to "hook" the giant head and cards and quick off to secret places.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  13. Apple Bush

    The spotted owl fouled the playful puppy. Pass it on.

    September 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      The floppy towel flumped her playful puppies.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
      • Towelie

        Wanna get high?...

        September 11, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          No Towelie we do not wanna get high!!

          September 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • Towelie

          You sure? ...You wanna get high?

          September 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          You messed up. The correct response is "I'm so high right now, I have absolutely no idea what's goin' on".

          September 11, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • Towelie

          "I'm so high right now, I have absolutely no idea what's goin' on".

          September 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Close enough.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Towelie, you are so high you don't even know what's goin' on.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
      • Towelie

        (squinting red-eyed) what?...

        September 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
      • Towelie

        I just want to see Washcloth.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
  14. Censor Test - Please stand by.

    . . . . .

    September 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Censor Test - Please stand by.

      Thank you.

      September 11, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
      • palintwit

        *like*

        September 11, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  15. Portland tony

    After all the discrimination and rhetoric about Muslims being evil etc... Does anyone think a terrorist bent on harming Americans on our soil is going to appear in any way to resemble the stereotyped bearded, robed and Qur'an carrying wild eyed jihadist zealot carrying an AK-74? Well if you do think again!

    September 11, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      I don't know how Webster defines a "terrorist" but it seems to be anyone who wages war over ideas... The crusades are a good example, but these days it is Islam spreading their religion "by the sword."

      I could also talk about how Abraham Lincoln was a terrorist when he sanctioned war on US citizens with the Atlanta campaign through Sherman, but that's another story...

      September 11, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      This could be open to discussion but in my mind Yasar Arafat is the modern progenitor of terrorism. He's the gentleman that first used horrific attacks (terror) against non-military citizens, not as part of any military effort, but as a means of influencing the political dialogue. Personally, I don't consider collateral civilian casualties terrorism in a war setting (horrible as they are). Neither do I consider jihad or genocide terrorism since, in those cases, the purpose is not to acquire political stature or achieve a political goal. Rather, the goal in those cases is the elimination of one's political, racial or ideological opponents. I believe we are swiftly moving past a condition of terrorism as descriptive and into a condition I would call global guerrilla warfare

      September 11, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Then the bigger question becomes, how do you win a war of ideas? Of politics? Of race? I suppose Nazi Germany can be considered a war of race, and in that day there were masses of men facing one another on a battlefield, but today it isn't the same. Since some people are willing to kill over their ideas and over their politics, the enemy therefore isn't limited to masses of infantry per se, but rather the enemy is the idea itself. Because if the idea isn't replaced with one that is not violent, then the enemy is never truly defeated.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          The only person I knew that ever won a war of ideas was Jesus

          September 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Amen to that.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Really Bill, Yasser Arafat?

        We can go back earlier than that.

        look up Zionist groups like the following:
        – Lohamei Herut Yisrael (Lehi, aka the Stern group)
        – Haganah
        – Etzel

        They were responsible for things like:
        – the assassination of Lord Moyne, the British Minister for Middle East Affairs in Cairo in 1944.
        – the Bombing of the King David Hotel in 1946.
        – driving truck loads of explosives into the police stations (multiple) in the 1946/1947 time period
        – Letter bombs sent to Ernest Bevin, Anthony Eden, Prime Minister Attlee and Winston Churchill
        – bombing the Arab National Committee headquarters in Jaffa in 1948
        – bombs at Jerusalem's Jaffa gate in 1948
        – looting Barclay's Bank in Tel Aviv of $37,000 in 1948

        Kinda sounds like terrorist acts to me.

        September 11, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          You might find Etzel under Irgun.

          Irgun Zeva'i Le'umi aka “The National Military Organization” (Etzel, I.Z.L.)

          September 11, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          There's a fine line between terrorist and freedom figher. Usually the distinction is a matter of a predjudged mindset.

          I seem to recall the CIA providing stinger missiles to the mujhadideen. Of course back then they were 'freedom fighters' fighting the "evil" Soviet invasion of their Afghan homeland.

          September 11, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • doobzz

      They are just as likely to be wearing white robes and carrying a burning cross.

      September 11, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
  16. Lawrence of Arabia

    There's no such thing as race... Acts 17:26

    September 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Oops... That was supposed to be a reply. Oh, well.

      September 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Then what is the Kentucky Derby all about?

      September 11, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        BWAH HA HA HA HA
        OK, that's funny...

        September 11, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
      •  

        Godless Vagabond
        And the Indy 500? How about the tortoise and the hare? There are many races.

        September 11, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        My wife's grandfather was a moonshiner in western NC in the early 1940's before joining the war, so with respect to his memory and how his actions would later inspire NASCAR, I concede, you are right – RACING does exist. 😉

        September 11, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • Akira

          I always thought the origins of NASCAR was fascinating.
          What a country.

          September 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Oh, that's nothing... The town that I grew up in, in NC, since there is a house that Blackbeard the Pirate used to live in, the town has a yearly "Blackbeard Festival." Only in America can you have a festival in celebration of a known terrorist...

          September 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I think you might be using the term terrorists a little broadly Lawrence. Did Blackbeard have a political motivation or was he simply a pirate and privateer?

          September 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Bill, you're probably right, it was a comment made with a chuckle. I was just commenting on how funny we can be as a people from time to time.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          No harm, nor foul. I think we run a tendency to paint everything as terrorism though (see honey badger's lunacy above). I would think it's important to distinguish between terror as an emotion, terrorism as a non-state political act and terror as a military tactic. Otherwise relativism creeps in.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  17. ANDRE HIMES

    Why many White Americans including those whites who have a long history of embarcing white supremacy will alway view the few remnants Black Americans as far greater threat to America ,than ARAB jihaddist or brown skin hispainics or lationoes and therefore only BLACK Americans will be the target of racial profiling. Disrespecting the demonic hip hop nation .In a effort to do the bidding of the white feminists as well as those whites in the tea party movement who have a long history of embracing white supremacy ,BILL CLINTON (the beast of revelation chapter 13 and the son of luvcifer) and his fallen black antebellum and hip hop angels will make a strategic miscalculation ,since ANDRE HIMES miracualous survival in the future will be key in leading many to the LORD JESUS CHRIST incuding many to the LORD JESUS CHRIST and unto salvation Iincluding those SATAN and his false messiah claim belong to their global kingdom, Since many White Americans openly belive that they are superior to Black Americans or they belive blacks are inferior to them and therfore the demonic Black America which has ariren from both the Black antebellum and hip hop nation will continue to take up stereotypical images of low class ,poverty stricken and criminally prone blacks and have the black human population who were exterminated during the black holocaust during the years between 1968-1993-2001. It was the rise of the hip hop nation as well as the widespread use of racial profiling in which many Black Americans were arrested and who were martyred within the prison system is what has contributed to the black holocaost

    September 11, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Rhetorical question: Are you fucking retarded?

      September 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
      •  

        Godless Vagabond
        Not only does he appear to be retarded, he's having a hell of a time getting spaces and commas in the right order.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  18. Lawrence of Arabia

    Absolutely ridiculous... Just because someone doesn't approve of something, that doesn't mean they have a phobia. Are atheists Christaphobic? Are those within Christianity who recognize hom.ose.xuality as a sin ho.moph.obic? People need to get over labels and learn to reason with one another with respect.

    September 11, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I am an Atheist and I am Christaphobic.

      September 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      No, those withing xtianity who think that ho mo se xuality is a sin are delusional AND ho mo phobic.

      September 11, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      H0m0phobia would be either a fear of apes, or a fear of things that are the same.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      People who burn down mosques are Islamophobic. And in the US, the people who burn down mosques are Christians.

      Not all Christians are Islamophobic, but the article, accurately states that Islamophobia has increased (partly as a result of government actions) in the period since 9/11.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • saggyroy

        So are the Islamist's that burn down the other sects Mosques (in the ME) Islamophobic.

        September 11, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • lngtrmthnkr

      I absolutelyagree Lawrence,If someday we could drop all the labeling and see each other as people instead of types,we would be well on our way to the time of peace and brotherhood spoken of in the Bible as the thousand year period where the lion and the lamb lay down together without violence.Names incite fear and hatred.

      September 12, 2013 at 9:07 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.