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May 6th, 2014
10:50 AM ET

Hey Boko Haram, pick up a Quran and bring back our girls

Opinion by Arsalan Iftikhar, special to CNN 

(CNN) - Hey Boko Haram, have you read the Quran lately?

Most of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world have, and we're utterly certain that it condemns kidnapping young girls and selling them into slavery - no matter what you say "Allah" tells you.

According to Amnesty International, several hundred schoolgirls - both Christian and Muslim - between the ages of 16 and 18 were abducted at gunpoint on April 14 from their rooms at the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria, where they had been sleeping.

The armed extremist group Boko Haram, which roughly translates to “Western Education is Sin,” claimed responsibility for these mass kidnappings and threatened to sell these young girls for as little as $12 into sex slavery or forced “marriages” to members of their group.

"I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah," a man claiming to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video first obtained by Agence France-Presse.

"There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women," he continued, according to a CNN translation from the local Hausa language.

'I will sell them,' Boko Haram leader says of kidnapped Nigerian girl

As a Muslim human rights lawyer, it is obscene and absolutely un-Islamic for these lunatic human traffickers to invoke the name of God while kidnapping young girls and threatening to sell them into sexual slavery.

The leaders of Boko Haram have clearly never read the Holy Quran, which states quite clearly that “oppression is worse than murder” (2:191) and that nobody “shall force girls to commit prostitution” (24:33).

They must have also missed the numerous times that the Prophet Muhammad categorically stated during his life that women or children were never to be harmed under any situation.

“These abducted schoolgirls are my sisters,” said 2013 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai recently in a New York Times interview on the Boko Haram kidnappings.

“The international community and the government of Nigeria (must) take action and save my sisters. … It should be our duty to speak up for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria who are in a very difficult situation.”

Nigeria abductions: 6 reasons why the world should demand action

The real heroes are young Muslim women like Malala Yousafzai and these latest Nigerian schoolgirls who continue to assert their basic human rights to education in the face of danger every day.

These amazing young women will help to empower and motivate our young Muslim girls to become their countries’ next generations of scientists, technologists, engineers and doctors.

In the meantime, the rest of the world’s Muslim population will continue to denounce extremists like Boko Haram.

And we will  proudly stand in solidarity with these missing young schoolgirls in Nigeria, and every other woman around the world who continues to fight for her basic human rights.

Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, founder of TheMuslimGuy.com and adjunct professor of religious studies at DePaul University in Chicago. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Foreign policy • Human trafficking • Islam • Muslim • Nigeria • Opinion • Quran • Religious violence

soundoff (346 Responses)
  1. optikradio

    You probably 'don't' want to invoke the Quran as a guide to morality. It's filled with some of the most atrocious acts known to mankind. The promotion of subjugation of women alone is enough to burn every copy of it. Just say no to Religion.

    May 7, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
    • kenmargo

      Don't forget the bible.

      May 7, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
  2. kenmargo

    The honorable thing to do would be to get involved. This being the middle east, that isn't so simple. We helped the afghans chase russia out of afghanistan. What thanks did we get? 9/11. These people have very short memories and too many tyrants that will use our "help" as a way to recruit suicide bombers because our "help" is a slap at allah.

    The best way to help these people is to keep the guns out. These people don't have a pot to pi-ss in or window to throw it out of yet everybody has a gun. The one with the biggest gun gets control. Boko Haram will turn into Yoko Ono if you take away the guns, trust me.

    May 7, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
  3. telabama

    Wow, I'm so impressed that you are so impressed with the eggheads of the world.

    May 7, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
  4. igaftr

    Doris
    You may not have seen it, But Daniel Burke, CNN editor, said if you don't stop with this post, he will ban you .I don't know the exact post.

    May 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
    • Doris

      Thanks – I did not see that.

      May 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      what a shame. It's one of the best posts in any of the blogs, ever. It says more than all the rest of our babble put together.

      Thanks for trying Doris.

      May 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
  5. thatinthebible

    Yes, the entire world should demand immediate action!

    Thanks for speaking up on this issue Arsalan Iftikhar.

    I'm blogging as http://isthatinthebible.com

    May 7, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
    • kenmargo

      Why don't the arab world take the lead? You know why they don't? Because they're scared of the suicide bombers knocking on their door. The main reason is they don't care, just like republicans don't care about the poor and middle class.

      May 7, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
  6. Concert in an Egg

    Obama is on a mission now. Those guys are dead. Don't underestimate the US military or the anger of a man with two young daughters.

    May 7, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
    • rshultz210

      You have to be joking. Obama hasn't got the cajones to order the military to even give Muslim extremists a dirty look.

      May 7, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        I disagree. He will be aggressive on this.

        May 7, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
      • strngr12

        You must have missed all those dead Muslims in Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

        May 7, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
      • kenmargo

        Ok Mr. Republican. Why don't you take a swim and ask Bin Laden if Obama got a pair. What about the criticism Obama gets for using (too many) drones to kill taliban and al-queda leaders. Obama gave the order that saved Capt. Philips when somali pirates hijacked his ship. (They made a movie about it with Tom Hanks) Don't forget obama led the way for the fighters to kill khadafy! Just another jealous republican upset that your white daddy bush couldn't get the job done!

        May 7, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
      • wjshelton

        Let me refresh your memory: Obama is the one who got Bin Laden, not Bush.

        May 7, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
  7. mabhanqo

    Reblogged this on writing to be free and commented:
    No fundamentalist version of a religion is ever a true religion. #BringBackOurGirls

    May 7, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
  8. Salero21

    This is being going on for Centuries in that Continent. It was mostly Africans who capture and sold other Africans into Slavery during the discovery and colonization period of the Americas both North and South. And they were NOT Christians but animists, pantheists, idolaters, etc. etc. But atheists are all so up in a hype all the time about the OT Laws in Israel SEVERELY & STRICTLY regulating such condition/situation. Which BTW WAS NOT A SIN in neither case.

    Now atheists after DENYING, REFUSING and REJECTING God for so long, all of a sudden they want the God they previously claimed don't "exist" to answer to them and their whims. Really people! This is why I MUST keep reminding them atheists that atheism is Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE [stupidity].

    May 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
    • Salero21

      Meant to say at the beginning that: This has been going on for centuries. Sorry for the mistype. OMG the GRAMMAR GESTAPO OF THE INTERNET is going to get me this time.

      May 7, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        no-one will get you, as no-one really reads your posts.

        May 7, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • Salero21

          So you did not.. oh so disappointing!!

          May 7, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
  9. behaviorquest

    Who is this nitwit saying they should pick up the Koran? They did and in its pages they find justification for everything they do. Get rid of supernatural books and find a way to your own spirituality. Islam is the least likely to provide any solace or growth for anyone anywhere.

    May 7, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
  10. moderatedx

    Denounce all you want, but where is the action, muslims? Words are meaningless to animals like Boko Haram.

    May 7, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
  11. Salero21

    The Extreme Hypocrisy of atheists is shinning thru and thru in this one Blog. After spending their miserable live accusing Christians, the Bible and God of Promoting, supporting and sponsoring "Slavery" a subject matter which BTW they know nothing about it. Now they can't even see in front of their noses that it is ALWAYS ten times worse in the rest of the world and outside of the Christian faith. Add to their Extreme hypocrisy their Compulsive and Pathological Lying and there you have!! The Perfect Formula for Miserable lives.

    May 7, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      LOLOL. I love your sense of humor Sal. You're so funny!

      May 7, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
  12. nupuram

    It sounds odd to start a dialogue with Boko Haram on whether they read scripture.But there is a context. Even with serious offense, animists didn't behave this way in Africa.I would bet Boko Haram are good muslims as for their understanding. and they read whatever necessary to sustain their understanding. CNN is welcome to do a dialog with Boko Haram if they read scriptures, but that sounds bit odd.

    May 7, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
    • jhonnyausemkock

      What in the WORLD are you talking about. Are you over-medicated or something? I can't glean a coherent thought from anywhere in your post.

      May 7, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
    • kanneroo

      Animists DID do this... African slaves taken by European colonists to the New World were gathered and sold by other Africans. Not for religion but for profit.

      May 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
      • flightfromfrostmtn

        It has been religion that kept people from putting the bullies on their azzes when this group was small and weak...many of their initial members were probably religious police and as their confidence grew so did their violence. Today its current leadership have a god complex...watch videos of this group... Abubakar Shekau is laughing through much of them – he realizes invoking Islam does much of his work for him.

        May 7, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
  13. transframer

    @Admin (the Muslim – there is another poster here with the same username which doesn't seem to be Muslim)
    Your explanations for Islam as a religion of peace have as source this passage from Quran (5:32) attributed to Allah:
    <> (quoted from the web-page in your link)
    While at first glance it may appear that Allah is making a strong case for not kil ling, the mention of "unless" suddenly makes all hell break loose. This condition makes possible, just and desirable any action (kil ling, r ape, enslavement ...) in the name of "spreading mischief". These actions are actually described and demanded in many places in Quran, with literal and goring details sometimes.
    Here and now it ends up the fairy tale of Islam as religion of piece, just from the mouth of Allah himself.
    And this is all these terrorists do: obey the Quran.

    May 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
    • transframer

      The Quran passage was somehow removed from my post. Here it is:
      "We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person- unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief
      in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people ... "

      May 7, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
  14. ifhorseshadgods

    Put down all "holy books" and stop using religion as an excuse to be inhumane to your fellow human beings.

    May 7, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
    • jhonnyausemkock

      Please stop over generalizing. There are plenty of religious believers who live perfectly respectable lives, treating other people with respect. Grow up, please.

      May 7, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
      • ifhorseshadgods

        I see you were so interested in insulting that you lack understanding. You seem to have missed the part where I stated .. "stop using religion as an excuse to be inhumane to your fellow human beings". But if you think that religion is an excuse for inhuman behavior, knock yourself out.
        Religion is fine as long as it isn't used against others, pretty simple really.

        May 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
  15. Salero21

    WHAAAT!! The Extreme Hypocrisy and Compulsive Pathological Lying of atheists is "shinning" thru and thru in this Blog. Should any body be surprised? Nah!

    May 7, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
    • ifhorseshadgods

      Are you OK out there?! You seem to be extremely upset by something YOU consider to be "Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE". You should be comfortable in your choice of beliefs to withstand a few of us fools having a different opinion .. but I understand, that IS what scares you .. your own realization that WE may be right. Atheism is true freedom.

      May 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
      • Salero21

        JAJAJA... oops... pardon me... I meant to say HAHAHA. You're just one big fat chickenhawks who like political careerists, as long as the Military is made up of SEOSEC's they want to send them to all wars here, there and everywhere. You for sure is all so Enamored and all so Fascinated with the Military that is Freaky.

        May 7, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • ifhorseshadgods

          I guess that answers my question ... you are not OK. That's too bad.

          May 7, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
  16. Concert in an Egg

    It is important that the U.S. and the locals team up to kill these terrorists right now. Today.

    May 7, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
    • Salero21

      Why does the US have to be involve in that situation? That's Stupid! Or are you one of those people, and like some political careerists, that as long as the Military is made up of SEOSEC's, they want to send them to wars here, there and everywhere? Are you one of those? Are you one of those who's all so Enamored and all so Fascinated by the Military that never think of Join in? See... this why I keep saying that atheism is Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE. And that atheists are indeed Extreme Hypocrites and Compulsive Pathological Liars.

      May 7, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        We have a responsibility to save the children creepo.

        May 7, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • Salero21

          I see you could, would not answer my question. So then I must conclude that you're in Fact one of those who is all so Enamored and all so Fascinated by the Military that would never Join in. You're also one of those who like political careerists, as long as the Military is made up entirely of SEOSEC's, they want to send them all the time to wars here, there and everywhere. Don't you are? You made me sick you chicken hawk! No wonder atheists are Extreme Hypocrites!

          May 7, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          1. I did answer your question.
          2. Troll.

          May 7, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • Salero21

          CHICKENHAWK!

          May 7, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
      • ifhorseshadgods

        Of all the reasons for the US to get involved .. this would at least be a good one. Beats the heck out of fighting for oil! You are the hypocrite if you think we shouldn't involve ourselves in this one helping these fellow human beings.

        May 7, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • Salero21

          Really! Another chicken hawk who is so Enamored and Fascinated with the Military that would not Join in even if his/her life was at stake. Another one who like political careerists, as long as the Military is made up entirely of SEOSEC's they want to send them to all wars here, there and everywhere. You hypocrite of the worst kind, chicken hawks like you made me sick!

          May 7, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
      • igaftr

        OK...I'll bite....what is a seosec?

        May 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • Salero21

          SEOSEC = Someone Else Or Someone Else's Child.

          A CHICKENHAWK is someone who when they had the chance to serve in the Military didn't. Because they were "pacifists", refuse, did not Volunteer, avoid the Draft, left the countre, etc. etc. And now like political careerists want to send all SEOSEC's to wars here, there and everywhere. Kind of like Dick Chenney, Rush Limbaugh and many others here in the Blog like concert, rabiddog and ifhorseshadgods etc.

          May 7, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • Salero21

          There are also those everywhere, including Political careerists who are all soo Enamored and all soo Fascinated with all things Military that they don't care to Join and back in their best days were chickens but now are all soo Hawks!! Political careerists, chicken-hawks and those who are all so Enamored and Fascinated with all things Military are basically the same or have the same Mindset.

          May 7, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        and you'd certainly know "stupid".

        May 7, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • Salero21

          The stupidity of atheism/evolutionism/cultism/paganism/communism and idolatry is Absolute, Complete and Total. And you're a PRIME EXAMPLE of it.

          May 7, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
    • flightfromfrostmtn

      While it probably will be the US having to drive this action, it is long past time for the rest of the world to get off their collective as.ses. When there is a crisis anywhere these days, the world waits for the US to act...which usually foots the bill, takes the blame sometimes from all sides. Maybe if the Europeans actually did something besides critique US actions from the sidelines -and usually after the fact- Maybe if the UN where actually given some teeth, it would be more of an "oh sheet" moment for groups like this. We may be the big dog on the block – but we also are but a single target with a fickle,twitchy and what the world views as a soft,spoiled public.....not as formidable as a multinational front baring down on you.

      I ve always found it funny that the world hones in on our response instead of the initial aggressors.

      May 7, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        I completely agree, however right now, today, those little girls need the USA.

        May 7, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • jhonnyausemkock

          In the long run, that's the LAST thing they need. Look at everywhere else on the globe we've "helped" people. Bad idea.

          May 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • Salero21

          So CHICKENHAWK aren't you? If you really believe that the US ought to, should to, then; why don't you buy a ticket on the first plane leaving to Nigeria? Nah, you would not do that as long as there are enough of SEOSEC's to do it for you and your Political careerists buddies in DC.

          May 7, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          You are scary in a creepy sort of bad way dude.

          May 7, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
        • Salero21

          concert in a rotten egg,

          You've been egged. So chicken-hawk!

          May 10, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
      • igaftr

        flight
        If we ask for UN support, we get delayed, delayed and finally they MIGHT send support, but never close to enough.
        If we do not act, we get criticized.
        If we act with no ones support, we get criticized.
        If we use too much force, criticized, not enough force, criticized.

        If there is a natural disastor, the US is ALWAYS the first to respond, but NO OTHER NATION responds to OUR natural disastors.

        Though what is happening is horrific, that does not give us authority to do anything about it. It would be criminal for us to just go in there and hunt down these people. If the government asks us, then we could go, but our military is NOT the police, and should not be used for that purpose.

        May 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          I agree with you. Concert is right about the speed...damn frustrating situation.

          ...and beneath it all religion will once again get free of this "because it is being misused" ...how many more times, how many more centuries will it take before religion will finally be seen as the instigator it has always been?

          How much longer before enough people step back look at our spiritual history and realize that there has never been a divine anything? Without Islam this group might never have formed- its members would not have been bullied into this lazy, cowardly state.

          May 7, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          We are already cooperating with the government and planning our next move. The USA will not sick back and let this happen. I know we drop the ball sometimes, but I don't think this can go on without the big boys coming in and killing these bastards.

          May 7, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
  17. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    Mr. Iftikhar withholds a very important fact. The Koran distinguishes between two kinds of people: Believers and infidels. Sura 2: 191 and 24: 33 are certainly valid merely for Muslim believers. Muhammad himself had never applied those suras for infidels.

    What is an infidel? Muhammad implied that all divine teachers had actually been Muslims (Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, the apostles, etc.) Muhammad implied that they had teached the genuine Islam, but their listeners were disobedient, forged the genuine doctrine of their teachers, and became Jews and Christians. Muhammad considered it as his special task to restore the genuine faith of Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc. which was Islam in his eyes. Therefore an infidel is somebody who doesn't accept Muhammad as a new prophet whom God has sent to restore the genuine faith of Allah.

    Sad, but true: Boko Haram acts according to Muhammad's will and the Koran: They humiliate the infidels.

    Sura 9: 29 of the unholy Koran

    Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.

    May 7, 2014 at 11:21 am |
    • Alias

      The more I learn about Islam the more I see it is like christianity.

      May 7, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
    • trhyne72

      So when a child is born, they're by definition an infidel, and thus all basic rights are denied?

      May 7, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
    • ezzie1972

      Have you read the Bible? It's polluted with the same rhetoric. Obviously the billions of Muslims and Christians don't interpret it word for word. The only people who do are extremists like the subjects of this story, and bigots like yourself.

      May 7, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        No! When you interprete the Bible rightly, the result is that God is a very patient and loving God.

        The harsh commands of condemnation in the Old Testament shall only be applied to the extrem and stubborn sinners.

        May 9, 2014 at 4:56 am |
    • trhyne72

      Enslaving naive children is NOT spreading the truth of Muhammad's word and glory of Allah. If they were truly devout, they'd at worst be offering these children a chance to experience this truth. This is convenience, not faith.

      May 7, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Some of the abducted girls were Muslims. Certainly Boko Haram regards them as apostates because they underwent Western education together with Christian girls. Certainly an abomination in Muhammad's eyes.

        May 9, 2014 at 4:59 am |
  18. Concert in an Egg

    Please bow your heads:

    Dear Lord, thank you for all the sorrow you have brought to us on this day and all the many dark days of the past when you ignored our suffering and did nothing to prevent horrifying atrocities from taking place. Your worthlessness is the key to salvation. Amen

    May 7, 2014 at 11:20 am |
    • smartlawyerloquitor

      Oh, so you want God to intervene here, do you? And do you also want this same God from stopping you when you're about to commit an evil act, like lying, stealing or hurting someone? Maybe, just maybe, God has intervened in the hearts of others, and that's the real reason why this world doesn't have more people like Boko.

      May 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
      • igaftr

        Probably not. We are social animals, and have evolved our humanity from our animal ancestors. Since we are a social animal, killing goes against most peoples nature. Some people willingly disregard natural instincts, but the number of "bad apples" is extremely low. When given power, corruption is not far behind. Since there is no sign of any gods, attributing anything to any "gods" is illogical.

        May 7, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
      • trhyne72

        Way to miss the dripping, overt irony...

        May 7, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          lol

          May 7, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      I don't believe in gods genius.

      May 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
      • jhonnyausemkock

        Yeah, you don't seem to believe is manners or mutual respect either. It's immature ignorant little punk jerks like you who give us adult educated Atheists a bad name. You're not helping... genius.

        May 7, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          What is your problem kock? I am just joking around. Kind of sensitive aren't you, or perhaps you have no sense of humor. Maybe you just don't think I am funny. Is that a reason to insult me? Look in the mirror when you decide to criticize others.

          May 7, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
  19. Concert in an Egg

    If they can catch Abubakar Shekau they ought to break his arms and legs, circumcise him with a rusty machete and throw him in a ditch. Then all of the towns-women should menstruate on him and they should cover him in circumcised clitorises. Then after everyone in town pisses on him they should bury him alive with just a straw to breath through for a few days.

    Then they should dig him up and punish him....

    May 7, 2014 at 11:18 am |
  20. zacerwin

    It's no wonder we have so many problems in this world.. Peaceful Muslims come here to say hey this is not what 99% of us do and they get bombarded with hate.. degrading someones life is not far of from things much worse, it is oppressing them and not moving our society forward.. catholics have had their issues...KKK members are virtually all christains as well.. We all can say and feel as we want.. but any hate at all is still hate.. no matter how you try to justify it..

    May 7, 2014 at 8:38 am |
    • igaftr

      yes, the religions of "love" and "peace" have long caused strife, violence, conflict , destruction. Religions ( also known as unsubstantiated beliefs) have long been at the core of most of the conflicts in the world. Convert or die, death to infidels, on and on. All religions do is create hypocrits.

      May 7, 2014 at 8:45 am |
      • zacerwin

        Religion just reinforces and justifies who you really are.. if you are filled with hate and detest you will find ways to justify it.. if you are kind and caring, you will find ways to show and explain it.. The human brain is capable of anything as long as you can rationlize and humans use "God" as just another thing to justify their behavior

        May 7, 2014 at 9:06 am |
        • bostontola

          Then what good is religion.

          May 7, 2014 at 10:45 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Ooooh, religion, huh
          Good God y'all
          What is it good for?
          Absolutely nothing
          Say it again!

          May 7, 2014 at 11:18 am |
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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.