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. Lionly Lamb

    All one has to do is look at the issues now unfolding in many European nations as the young Muslims...

    The Horrific Muslim Infiltration Of Britain – Luton 2012


    September 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Sara

      I think people in the US only just started to wake up to the realities on September 11, but their heads are still largely stuck in the ground. If you don't think conservative Islam is a threat, you aren't paying attention. And if you don't know that most Islam in the west is conservative, you are ignoring the facts. In most western countries where it has been surveyed, the majority of Muslims want Sharia. That's the reality.

      September 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  2. bostontola

    Muslims, Jews, Christians. Then you can slice it finer into Sunni, Shiite, orthodox, conservative, reformed, Protestant, Evangelical, Fundamentalist...

    At the top level they are all the same. My god has a bigger schlong than your god. The difference is Jews and Christians have been mostly domesticated, too many Muslims have gone feral.

    I am still amused that they fight each other at every scale. One religion against another, one sect against another sect of the same religion. How does a sect break off? A leader decides he wants to have more power, he creates interpretations that show the old sect is wrong, he creates new rules, and the battle begins.

    It's all about power, power of men. The greatest power a man seems to have is the power to convince followers that he speaks for a non-existent god of infinite power. Religions thrive because followers want to believe they can tap into that power for their own safety. It works. It has endured for millennia.

    September 12, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  3. palintwit

    If it wasn't for me that oil well in the Gulf would still be leaking. I was the one who suggested to BP that they plug the well head with a week's worth of John McCain's soiled grampy diapers. And voila !! It worked !!

    September 12, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Most Likely True

      My guess is that, right now, your, ahem, satisfying yourself to a picture of Mrs. Palin.

      September 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
      • palintwit

        My guess is that "your" should be "you're" as in "you are".

        September 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  4. Thinker...

    Ugh stupid word filter.


    On topic:

    This is at least a step (a small one admittedly) in the right direction from our imprisoning all Ja panese-Americans in concentration camps in WW2. It really seems like Americans need to asign blame to entire populations for the acts of others. Really how different is it from how the Germans fell for Hit ler's propaganda about how Germanys' problems were the fault of the Je ws and communists (and ho mose xuals, and gy psies, and all the other 'different' people)? How about we react to a foriegn caused national tragedy without creating another for once?

    September 12, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Thinker...

      Oops used the wrong brackets. In the brackets was:

      CNN make your word filter stop searching for 'bad' words in the middle of other words. You can't say const itution or circu mstance because you have such a lazy filter program. People swear anyway by going around the filters using html or just using similar letters.

      September 12, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Vic

      Well, bad people ruin it for all, I guess!

      The "Japanes American Internment" was triggered by the "Attacks on Pearl Harbor" which were facilitated by the espionage of a Japanese spy (Takeo Yoshikawa) on the US Navy in Hawaii. The US then feared disloyalty of the Japanese population in it.

      September 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
  5. Thinker...

    OK. Fine. You win CNN word filter. For now.

    Does anyone have the list of evil words? There is one hiding in my post and I can't for the life of me figure out which one it is.

    September 12, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Allegiance)

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!

      September 12, 2013 at 10:46 am |
      • Thinker...

        Thanks. I forgot about Ja panese.

        September 12, 2013 at 11:13 am |
      • George

        You post shows how useless CNN's is, since it is so easily defeated. All it does is impede dialog.

        September 12, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • George

          I meant that to say "CNN's filter".

          September 12, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  6. Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Allegiance)

    Butters [singing to himself at the urinal]: Hey there Mr. Wiener, what do you know. Do you have to tinkle, tinkle? Yes, I do think so.

    September 12, 2013 at 10:12 am |
  7. Frank

    9/11 was an outside job!

    September 12, 2013 at 2:01 am |
  8. Reality # 2

    We should have phobias for all religions. And why is that?

    A summary for the new members of this blog:

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    September 11, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Added details upon written request.

      September 11, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
      • karie

        Here's my request. Find new material observer. All the silliness you post, every stupid word, has been proven to be ridiculous, sort of like you and Horus and Sam stone

        September 12, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • Reality # 2

          More proof as requested:

          1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

          “New Torah For Modern Minds

          Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

          Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

          The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “
          Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

          2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

          The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


          For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

          Current RCC problems:

          Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

          2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

          Current problems:
          Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

          3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

          This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, the Filipino “koranics”and the Boston Marthon bombers.

          And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

          Current crises:

          The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

          4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

          The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

          Current problems:

          The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

          5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

          "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

          Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

          Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

          Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

          September 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • Reality # 2


          Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

          "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

          Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

          Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

          Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As do BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

          The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

          Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

          Some added references to "tink-erbells".


          "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
          Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

          "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

          And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

          "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

          "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

          "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

          September 12, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • Reality # 2


          From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

          Even now Catholic/Christian professors (e.g.Notre Dame, Catholic U, Georgetown) of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

          To wit;

          From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

          "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
          Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

          Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

          Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

          The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

          Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

          The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

          "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."

          The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

          With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

          An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,


          "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

          p.168. by Ted Peters:

          Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

          So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

          September 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Wow... Ancient heresies that have been disproven again and again being brought up in modern times...Amazing actually how this stuff stays in the atheist crowd even after its been disproven.

          You would do well to take Biblical History and Lower Criticizm courses from a place like the Master's Seminary... http://www.tms.edu

          They would help you to straighten out all of the falshoods that you keep copy and pasting.

          September 12, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • Hector Nunez

          If Jesus didnt feel it worthy to write his own words, I do not see it worthy to read what another man heard from another man say Jesus said.

          September 12, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • Johnny

          Lawrence everything Lawrence said is as likely to be true than anything in the Bible.

          September 12, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
        • Johnny

          That was supposed to say that everything Reality said is as likely to be true as anything in the bible.

          September 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
        • Roger that

          Lawrence, atheists aren't the ones insisting leprechauns exist.

          Hector, God didn't think it was important enough to make himself(Jesus) literate. This is another reason to worship Joe Pesci instead of God.

          September 12, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          You got it slightly wrong – worship the sun, but pray to Joe Pesci. – 'cause Joe is the kinda guy that gets things done.

          September 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  9. sammy

    `i jumped from the 101 floor

    September 11, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
  10. tallulah13

    Islam is about 500 years younger than christianity. Five hundred years ago, christians were still burning heretics alive and excusing the slaughter of indigenous populations because they were "savages". Five hundred years ago, christians were still torturing and killing non-believers, and torturing and killing people accused of witchcraft.

    Just a little perspective for those christians who would condemn islam. You really aren't that much different. You just have a five-century head start.

    September 11, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • observer

      they made lampshades out of them. fed them heretics to wild hogs, alive. cut their faces clear off. pulled their teeth out. had rm wash in dog poo. pulled out there hair. ate em for dinner. killed hundreds of millions in 4 days. barbequed em on their holy day. stuck knives right thru their eyes. hundreds and hundreds of millions, perhaps billions of em.

      nasty weed patch xtians

      September 11, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
      • observer

        the dog poo was stoner's idea. (she had quite a few ideas we can't mention)

        September 11, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Yes, but then there is this:

      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."

      September 11, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Violence, whether it is committed by godless men for their own purposes, or done in the name of God under the New Covenant is evil. Plain and simple. The Word of God is neither spread nor enforced with the sword, and to do so is to do the work of Satan, not God.

      September 12, 2013 at 8:32 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        I am afraid that historically, Christianity has indeed spread by the sword.
        Convert or die is a very effective recruitment method.
        "He (Jesus) said to them, 'But now if you have a purse, take it and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."
        – Luke 22:36

        September 12, 2013 at 8:38 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          That was for DEFENSE... Wow, do you really quote without reading the context? If you keep that up, you'll be able to say "Judas went out and hanged himself..." "Go and do likewise..."

          September 12, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Luke 22:35-38

          /22:35/ He said to them, "When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?" They said, "No, not a thing." /22:36/ He said to them, "But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. /22:37/ For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, 'And he was counted among the lawless'; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled." /22:38/ They said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." He replied, "It is enough."

          As with all NT passages, Luke 22:35-38 has been thoroughly analyzed for historic authenticity by many contemporary NT scholars.

          See for example, see http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=478_Two_Swords_Enough i.e. conclusion, said passage is a single attestation found no where else in the scriptures and therefore historically nil.

          "Item: 478
          Stratum: III (80-120 CE)
          Attestation: Single
          Historicity: nil"

          See also Professor Gerd Ludemann's analysis in his book,
          Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 394-396.

          September 12, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Luke 22:35-38 – And He said to them, "When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?" They said, "No, nothing." And He said to them, "But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. "For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, 'AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH TRANSGRESSORS'; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment." They said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." And He said to them, "It is enough."

          Jesus is NOT advocating the spreading of the gospel by the use of the sword like is found in Islam, for that would be a false Christianity. Rather, the sword here is in reference to self-protection.

          When Jesus said “It is enough,” He was saying to them that it is enough talk of swords; they didn’t need to dwell on it, or they may be tempted to be too hasty in using it, as Peter does later…
          Matthew 26:51-52 – (Mark 14:43-52, Luke 22:47-53, John 18:1-11) – And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.

          This is a restatement of Genesis 9:6 – whoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed

          September 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Reality, if you're trying to make a case that the Bible teaches that Jesus said to spread the gospel by the sword, you're not going to find it.

          September 12, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
      • ME II

        @Lawrence of Arabia,
        Historically, many people have and would disagree with you.

        September 12, 2013 at 10:06 am |
      • Ted

        And Lawrence of Idiocy gets PWNED again by the facts. What a surprise, not.

        September 12, 2013 at 11:01 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Ted, I've got no clue what "PWNED" means...
          And the facts say this: yeah, many people have used violence as a means to "spread the word of God." I never said that poeple haven't.
          BUT, what the facts also say is that the Bible condemns such practice. Ergo, those who do use violence to spread the word of God are not men of God. They're like the person who is a member of Peta, but loves cheeseburgers.

          September 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
        • George

          Ah, the old "if they're doing something the Bible says not to do then they're not really Christians" argument. Lawrence, I don't suppose you would claim to follow the Bible perfectly, would you? And all sin is equally bad? So are you really a Christian?

          September 12, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          George, you can't be serious. Yeah, everyone has sin, it is our natures that are corrupt, but if you're living in a lifestyle of practicing unrepentant sin, then you're not a man of God. Those who claim to be men of God, it follows that they know what the Bible actually says, so they would know that it condemns violence in the name of spreading the gospel. So if they willingly choose to act in violation of the Word of God, and are totally unrepentant of it, and begin to specifically do what it commands NOT to do (like the crusades), then they are not men of God.

          There is a difference in a man who desires to please God, and when he falls into sin, he immediately sees it and repents of it, and vows never to do that again. Whoever practices sin, practices lawlessness, and noone who practices sin will ever inherit the Kingdom of God.

          September 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
        • George

          How would you know if someone is repentant or not?

          September 12, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • George

          And how many times can one get away with committing the same sin and repenting of it? Can one only lie once, repent of it, and then must never lie again? How about killing? How many times can one repent of that sin?

          September 12, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          True repentance (metanoia) is a change of mind, purpose, and will that results in a revulsion to sin because he recognizes that it offends the righteousness of God. That results in a submission to Christ.

          If someone continues in sin, such as lying, then it could be an indication that he has not repented. There is a process of sanctification that believers go through though so the idea is "I may not be perfect, but I am less sinful today than I was yesterday."

          September 12, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • George

          So... you've only committed any sins once and never again? If so you must be darn near reaching perfection. If not, it sounds like you must not really be repentant.

          September 12, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • George

          Are you seeing the conundrum raised by the system as you describe it?

          September 12, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • sam stone

          LoA.....if you wish to believe that you were born evil, that is your choice

          As it is mine to be amused by it

          September 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
        • Figaro

          George, you're wasting your time if you're waiting for LoA to respond now that you've got him boxed in using his own definitions. People like that try to portray themselves as some sort of expert (spouting Greek origins, etc) but all they're doing is parroting various things they've been told or read without ever looking at the bigger picture and seeing how the parts really don't work together.

          September 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        Only showing what many contemporary NT scholars have concluded about Luke 22: 35-38. Unlike the Koran, there does not appear to be any calls for forced conversion in the NT. One should note however that John 15:6

        " If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned."

        was part of the theological justification for the Inquisitions.

        However, a-nalyses of John 15: 6 by many contemporary NT scholars resulted in a conclusion of being historically inauthentic. See for example, Professor Gerd Ludemann' a-nalysis in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 535-541.

        Mosaic law served as the chief theological reasoning for the Inquisitions but now there is significant doubt that Moses even existed.

        September 12, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
      • Cristeros for Satan

        Sorry you do not have the authority to declare what is the work of satan verses god

        September 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • ME II

      "Five hundred years ago, christians were still burning heretics alive and excusing the slaughter of indigenous populations because they were "sava[]ges". "

      While true society as a whole is not 500 younger. What was acceptable back then is not acceptable in today's world, regardless of religion.

      September 12, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think your perspective is skewed in an effort to equate Christianity with Islam. 500 years ago a lot of social norms and political realities were different than they are now that have nothing to do with either religion. The fact that Christian religious and Christian people acted in those realities within the mores of the times doesn't give a pass to Islam to utilize yesterday's norms in today's world. The religion may be newer but that does not mean it should be regressive in it's behavior towards the rest of the world.

      September 12, 2013 at 10:05 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Any ancient religion is using yesterday's norms in today's world.
        One could argue that the only contemporary religions are Scientology and The Church of the Subgenius.

        "We need a fresh and new religion to run our lives
        Hand in hand
        The arid torpor of inaction will be our demise:
        – Dr. Greg Graffin

        September 12, 2013 at 10:15 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          We're not talking about arguments from antiquity or modernity her Doc. That's the same error Tallulah makes. The age of an idea has nothing to do with it's validity. What we're talking about is the interaction with an idea to the world at large in the context of the times. Violence used in the name of Christianity was prevalent during a period of empire and colonialism which is now passe. To equate the violence of today's radical Islam to that of centuries old Christianity is to ignore the progress of humanity over that period of time. And to excuse Islam from recognition of that progress just because their faith is younger than ours is, I would think, an insult to Muslims who do in fact reject jihad.

          September 12, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
      • Ted

        Christianity is regressive. An honest read of the bible shows that clearly. Anyone who puts faith in such a badly outdated, violent collection of fables by so many writers with so many contradictions is just stupid. That's all there is to it.

        September 12, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Easy there pal

      So we have to wait another 500 years before militant Islamists stop killing "non-believers" and people they deem apostates? That's a bummer. . .Now that I think about it, that just seems silly.

      September 12, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  11. Vic

    A basic rule of thumb:

    People can believe (or not) in God all they want, but when they start hurting others, that's where you draw the line!

    September 11, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Agreed and it is not a phobia.

      September 11, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
      • Vic

        You got it!

        September 11, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • sam stone

      LIke denial of equal rights, Vic?

      September 12, 2013 at 6:55 am |
      • karie

        No, like stanky weed patches 12 gauge

        September 12, 2013 at 7:33 am |
      • karie

        Yes. Stanky is a firm believer in equal rights. Where is that sidearm? U disgusting, lying reprobate. Your day is coming like a bolt of lightning

        September 12, 2013 at 7:36 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Oh cute, hharri is back under another alias...how many personalities is this now?

        September 12, 2013 at 7:50 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          You have MPD too?
          That makes 9 of us!

          September 12, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • sam stone

      Are you going to answer the question, Vic, or are you going to run like the typical christian coward?

      September 12, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  12. Meredith S.

    I lost my husband (a first responder) on 9/11, as well as my brother, who was in one of the Towers. Today is a painful day for me, (and America), and I would just like to say that I wish peace to this war-torn world, and nothing like this ever happens again. May it happen in my lifetime, and may my children know happiness without fear.

    That's all.

    September 11, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • Bob

      Best wishes and sincere sympathy, Meredith.

      September 11, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Wise words. Thank you.

      September 11, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
      • karie

        I'm dying. Thanks Taliban. Good one

        September 11, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • Vic

      God bless you Meredith.

      (No offense intended if you don't believe in God)

      September 11, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
      • karie

        Vicki, you naughty girl

        September 11, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
        • Vic

          "Vicki, you naughty girl" ==> editing ==> "Vicki, you naughty boy"

          September 11, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
        • Vic


          "Vicki, you naughty girl" ==> editing ==> "Vic, you naughty boy"

          September 11, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • karie

      It was religious fundamentalists of the xtard variety that's to blame. If they didn't believe in that nasty gawd a theirs, nobody would ever harm anybody!

      September 11, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • karie

      I lost 47 family members and you lie about this tragedy.

      Where was your husband stationed. Rank? Last name?

      Observer is a lying hog

      September 12, 2013 at 7:39 am |
      • truthprevails1

        How absolutely ignorant! It does not matter where her husband was stationed, it matters that he had it in him to stand strong and attempt to help. Everyone regardless of personal loss or not was affected by that day...you need to learn compassion for your fellow man and stop being a hateful loser.

        September 12, 2013 at 7:49 am |
        • sam stone

          we'll all pay for it when faith/harri/karie/bethany/blah, blah fvcking blah files that big big big lawsuit

          September 12, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          still waiting 🙂

          September 12, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • sam stone

          coming about the same pace as the return of jeebus

          September 12, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
      • Akira

        Give it a rest, faith!!

        Meredith was on the Weiner blog, and commented to faith about her lying post, and faith absolutely decimated Meredith by laughing at her pain, calling her a liar, etc etc.
        I can only imagine the pain of losing a husband, and this supposed "Christian" faith LAUGHED at her!

        Meredith, if you come back, I left you condolences on the Weiner blog. Please understand that faith (or her other names of kari, barry, eddie, and tex) is a mean-spirited, paranoid, troll whose makes fun of other people's pain because, well, s/he it can. S/he/it is as far from a Christian as its humanly possible to get without, well, without being a human anymore.

        September 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Meredith S.

      Hi, everyone,
      Thank you for your warm wishes. @Vic, yes, I'm Christian.

      To the troll:
      39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

      Your hated will not hurt me. I wish you peace and understanding.

      September 12, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
      • Vic

        God bless you.

        September 12, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
  13. List of unsuccessful terrorist plots

    ~Sears Tower and FBI offices. Seven men were arrested after allegedly plotting to bomb Sears Tower and FBI offices.

    ~Pakistani diplomat. Two men were arrested at an Albany mosque after attempting to gain possession of a shoulder-fired grenade launcher to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat.

    ~Times Square. A Pakistani American who attempted the May 1, 2010, Times Square car bombing. He was arrested after he had boarded Emirates Flight 202 to Dubai. On June 21, 2010, in Federal District Court in Manhattan he confessed to 10 counts arising from the bombing attempt.

    September 11, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • List of unsuccessful terrorist plots

      wrong location.

      September 11, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
  14. The NYPD has proven all most all American Muslims are good people.

    6 years of close surveillance of the entire community and not one arrest. How much more proof do you need?

    September 11, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • The Boston Marathon victims disagree

      September 11, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • List of unsuccessful terrorist plots in the United States post-9/11

      ~Sears Tower and FBI offices. Seven men were arrested after allegedly plotting to bomb Sears Tower and FBI offices.

      ~Pakistani diplomat. Two men were arrested at an Albany mosque after attempting to gain possession of a shoulder-fired grenade launcher to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat.

      ~Times Square. A Pakistani American who attempted the May 1, 2010, Times Square car bombing. He was arrested after he had boarded Emirates Flight 202 to Dubai. On June 21, 2010, in Federal District Court in Manhattan he confessed to 10 counts arising from the bombing attempt.

      September 11, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
  15. I feel like throwing up when I hear

    terror attack; is that Islamophobia?

    September 11, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
  16. John Sharp


    September 11, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
  17. saggyroy

    I thought Islamophobia was a policy of the Islamists themselves.

    September 11, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      keep rockin the ignorance train!!!

      September 11, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      That would be Shiitephobia or Sunniphobia.

      September 11, 2013 at 9:54 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.