Should we fear Islam?

By Congressman Keith Ellison At a time when our nation is seeing a rise in intolerant behavior, crossing every cultural … Continued

By Congressman Keith Ellison

At a time when our nation is seeing a rise in intolerant behavior, crossing every cultural line, whether based on race, religion or sexual orientation, we seem simultaneously stuck with a national news media that is preoccupied with conflict and controversy when we desperately need one that weighs facts and reports fairly. A recent national news program reinforced these concerns. Let me explain what I mean.

Imagine a respected TV show or news magazine article with the title, “Should Americans Fear Black People?”

Imagine staccato hip-hop music for the teaser, with clips of black gang members toting guns, hanging around urban scenes, looking scary. Imagine the zoom-in close up of a shoulder tattoo, proclaiming “Thug for Life.”

As the host (some household name) opens the show, imagine that the white expert opining about the root causes of urban decay is a nationally recognized racist, like for instance, David Duke. With a straight face, and no sense of irony, the host solicits Duke’s views, who proceeds to declare, “when the American people saw the LA riots, they received a peek into their future.”

Imagine the television cameras going in search of voices of ‘real’ black people. Where do they go? The ‘hood of course! I mean, where else do black people live?

The intrepid host invites regular Americans to ask the experts to explain black pathology: “Why is their rap music so degrading to women?” Cynthia from Wyoming wonders. “Why are so many blacks at the bottom of the economic and educational ladder?” Chuck from New York State muses.

Is this starting to get a little uncomfortable? Of course, it is. Just ask Don Imus about the wisdom of indulging in racial stereotyping against blacks. Add Jews, Catholics, gays and others as well. Not a good idea.

Now replace black with Muslim, and that’s just about how ABC News treated Islam and Muslims this past weekend, on 20/20 and This Week with Christiane Amanpour.

There were the obligatory clips of terrorist training camps, the planes flying into the twin towers, the victims of so-called ‘honor killings.’ The Muslim experts – looking officially ‘Islamic’ in their long beards and hats – included one declaring that one day the flag of Islam would fly over the White House. The non-Muslim experts – Robert Spencer (leading anti-Muslim advocate in the Park51 Project controversy), Ayaan Hirsi Ali (prolific anti-Muslim writer), and Franklin Graham (said Islam “is a very evil and wicked religion”) – are well known, even famous, for spewing anti-Muslim hate. Of course, these characters emphatically agreed with the caricatures with long beards and white hats, repeating the propaganda that Islam requires its adherents to dominate people. Among the ‘normal’ Muslims interviewed were a woman in niqab (fewer than 1% of Muslim women in America wear the full face veil and accompanying robes), and Muslims in the Muslim ‘hood’, cities, like Dearborn, MI, and Patterson, NJ.

Do some Americans fear black people? For sure. But we don’t validate those fears by allowing them to be expressed with fake innocence on respected news shows. Why are fears of Muslims validated by television airings?

Are there criminals in America who are African-American? Yes, again. But they’re not presented as representative figures of the community by reputable news programs. Why do such shows go out of their way to find the scariest, most cartoonish Muslims possible and present them as spokespeople for Muslims?

No serious journalist would ask a random black guy with a briefcase on the street to explain the pathology of an African American criminal because of the coincidence of shared skin color. But serious journalists called on ordinary Muslim Americans to explain the behavior of homicidal maniacs and extremists, thereby making the link between the crazies and the mainstream community.

Are there people willing to offer all sorts of racist theories about black crime, from problems in black genes to deficiencies in black culture? Plenty. But the only time they show up on mainstream news shows are as examples of racism, not as experts on race.

We are having a national conversation about belonging. The threatened Qur’an burning in Florida and the controversy over the proposed Islamic Center in lower Manhattan are examples of this national conversation about whether America can stretch her arms wide enough to embrace Muslims too. Irresponsible and sensational depictions of Muslims in the popular media are not the cause of Islamophobia, but they certainly can make it worse. Recent news shows and media reports do nothing to shed light or understanding on this national conversation, which is too bad.

But the conversation must continue. And I hope it continues in our mosques, churches, synagogues and other holy places, with Americans of all faiths talking face to face about differences and about our shared humanity – free of the stereotypes that, lately, are so prominent in our TV shows and magazines.

  • abrahamhab1

    Allison pontificates thus:There is a link between the behavior of those you describes” homicidal maniacs and extremists” and the Muslim theology. If you are not aware of this link then either you are ignorant of the basic tenants of Islam or merely practicing taqqiya.Below are some of the jewels that adorn the pages of your holy book and which guides “the path of the “believers”.” Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme. (8:40)

  • Nabihah

    please check out

  • Arif2

    Keith, Islam is inherently a violent ideology, the koran is violent. We must fear islam and know whats in store for those who criticize this cult. Does anyone know where Molly Norris is? Sure she and her family genuinely fear islam.

  • abrahamhab1

    Nabihah quotes:Saying so would not make it so. We believe, and rightly so, that a tree can be judged by its fruits. We also know that the ten countries with the worst cases of corruption, ignorance and poverty are countries that describe themselves as Muslim countries.The cartoon linked by Zerin claims that Islam calls for freedom of religion, respects women and condemns the killing of “innocent” people. Again saying so does not make it so. The short reply to this allegation is 1. Apostasy 2. Polygamy and 3.Jihad.

  • AKafir

    Keith you went to perform Umra. Are Non-muslims allowed in Mecca? Did that remind you of the blacks being segregated in America? Why are there traffic signs saying that it is “obligatory” for non-muslims to get off the freeway going to mecca? Do you know the basis for non-muslims being refused entry to mecca? Could it have anything to do with Allah’s command of 9:28?

  • Marry1

    For Abrahamhab1 and everyone else: Please stop listing direct text from any religious book. There is a huge historical reason behind the chapters and verses and what exactly they mean and why they were revealed. Please investigate and research on that first rather then posting incomplete information and concluding on it. Should I conclude on the following text from King James Version of Bible:18-But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.No, I wont! I am not affiliated with any religion, but I do respect all religions and their texts. I respect my christian brothers and sisters as much as my muslim brothers and sisters. Wake up ppl, this is the 21st century…..

  • clearthinking1

    SORRY “REPRESENTATIVE” ELLIS, YOU’VE GOT IT BACKWARD.The link between violence and Muslims is the Koran. It’s not that complicated if you read the Koran, and simply compare it with the behavior of too many Muslims against nonbelievers.Congressman Ellison, the hate and supremacism comes from the Koran and is directed at the “nonbelievers”, not the other way around. Getting this backwards reveals a lot about the intellectual capacity and sincerity of those who get it backwards. A congressman in United States of America can’t get this right? “Blacks” in America don’t define themselves based on a book called “Blackoran” – the revealed word of God – the one and only correct way to God. And then if these same self-identifying supremacist followers of “Blackoran” then killed thousands of innocents in terrorists attacks, you better believe that questions would and should be asked.Sometimes a good offense is the best defense.

  • clearthinking1

    Marry1 wrote: “I respect my christian brothers and sisters as much as my muslim brothers and sisters. Wake up ppl, this is the 21st century…..”The person who needs to wake up is you. Muslims & Christians are much less than half of the world. The majority is Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, others and atheists. So what if you can find some crazy or scary quotes in the Bible. How does that justify the violent quotes in the Koran?READ CAREFULLY: There are only 2 supremacist religions that are the cause of religious conflict. Islam and Christianity are involved in all religious conflict, on one side or both. Think about this.So, welcome to the 21st century to you also.P.S. quoting from the Koran, which the Muslims say is the unquestionable word of Allah, seems reasonable. For example:THE HOLY KORAN CH.9 VERSE 5: “SO WHEN THE SACRED MONTHS HAVE PASSED AWAY, THEN KILL THE NONBELIEVERS WHEREVER YOU FIND THEM, AND TAKE THEM CAPTIVES AND BESIEGE THEM AND LIE IN WAIT FOR THEM IN EVERY AMBUSH.” [9.14] FIGHT THEM, ALLAH WILL PUNISH THEM BY YOUR HANDS AND BRING THEM TO DISGRACE.Who wrote this stuff? Check for yourself.

  • abrahamhab1

    Marry 1 pontificates to me thus:How many different explanations are there for the command “Kill the infidels wherever you find them”. Besides these are the verses that their so-called religious leaders use to incite their congregations to wage jihad on the non-Muslims. Visit your neighborhood mosque and enjoy.

  • SeeElleOh

    I think this article is well-meaning and commendable on that front, but there’s a huge flaw in its premise. To piggyback what WMARKW mentioned: One of the biggest misconceptions concerning Islam is that the whole of the Muslim world is Arab. Indonesia and India are the top two Muslim countries in the world and the Muslims living in those countries are not of the same ethnicity/race as Muslims living in Iraq, Albania or North Africa. The myth that Muslim=Arab makes things like racial profiling easier for people to swallow. A better analogy would be between almost any other religion and Islam. For example: Would a respectable journalist ask random Christians/Buddhists to explain how they understand extremists in their own faiths? Maybe.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    There is an aggressive, destructive nihilstic streak in modern Islam, which, for good or for bad, is associated with all Muslims and with being Muslim. That is a problem for Islam. I think that Muslims are in denial about this problem. Their motivations and actions will always be judged in this light. That is a fact of life that Muslims must accomodate to. Muslims must realize that any religion demanding preferential treatment in public life rubs many people the wrong way, and this is especially true for Islam.

  • Secular

    As usual these articles try their best to conflate two different issues, because there a few common words in the names of the issues. Mr. Ellison being associated with both issues personally, felt he had the license to unapologetically do so. The readership here was quick to point that sleight of hand. Then Mr. Ellison goes on to complain that the protagonists picked were the extremists and the critics were indeed critics. There was a moderate too, Mr. Aslan. I have not had a chance to see the documentary. I shall catch it on reruns or VoD soon.Has Mr. Aslan, contradicted the extremists vituperations and told him he was misinterpreting the skydaddy’s final revelation? I read lot of people on the thread mouthing eloquence about the proper contextual interpretation of the said texts. Here is the rub, they simultaneously claim that the book is an eternal guidance. What is that silly word, uncreated. Implying that it always existed, under no other place but under skaydaddys throne, the Sun’s resting place after dusk till dawn. This begs the question, how is it that an eternal book has passages that are only relevant to the times it was first propagated? How come an eternal book has to be interpreted imaginatively to the times, and not have any guidance on how to interpret it? If is up to the person, then do we need the damn books, if I have to call on other faculties and my own reason? But then again it is also claimed that reason misleads, so should not be relied on and that is why the revelation.The next is conflation with bible, it also has vile passages. True, but then all you can say is something else is also bad, that is not saying much for your book. Besides isn’t this the final word of skydaddy? If so it begs the question why did skydaddy need so many iterations? To top it off the final word is still flawed too. That begs the question, why did skydaddy make this the final word? Is the skydady really worthy of adulation when he does not get it right even after three times?People these books are written by or plagiarized by ignorant who did know their ass from their elbow, in terms of nature and ethics. They wrote these as political, unifying texts to unite their tribes and conquer other tribes. They hav no place in 21st century.

  • lax80684

    Congressman Ellison is not here asserting that race is the same is religion; he is asserting that treatment and perception of Muslims in the American media is analogous to obtuse, heavily-biased racism in significant respects, and that point is well-taken. A mutable, truth-apt set of beliefs, e.g. religion, is certainly more open to criticism and discussion than something like race, but surely that does not remove from us any moral obligation to frame and engage in the discussion fairly, accurately and objectively. From a journalism standpoint, as Ellison rightly points out, given the clips, panelists and questions chosen, this news special was a caricature of fair, objective news to the point of absurdity. As absurd, perhaps, as a special entitled “Should America Fear Black People?”

  • rentianxiang

    Comparing fear of Islam to a fear of black people is a false analogy since one is a belief system and one is a group of people. A more appropriate comparison would be, “Should Americans fear Mormonism?” or “Should Americans fear Atheism?” or “Should Americans fear socialism?” or “Should Americans fear Democracy?.” The real question about whether Islam is something to be feared should focus on a critical analysis of the specific tenets of the belief system and, also, how that belief system is generally understood and actually practiced by its followers. Obviously, the institutionalization of Islam as a political system in places such as Afghanistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia is sufficient to give Americans pause when thinking about an increase in the influence of Islam in American society, but, then again, Islam must be taken as a whole and should be analyzed as objectively as possible and one should not just look at Saudi Arabia as the inevitable result of Islamization. My reading of the Quran and reivew of the history of Islam has led me to the conclusion that Islam is, on the whole, an undesirable influence and not a belief system under whose tenets I would choose to live. But, that is me and others should be free to fear or not fear Islam as they see fit. (Of course, people living in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan and Iran do not necessarily have the freedom to choose to live as a Muslim or not and therin lies the problem.)

  • lax80684

    Regarding the finer points of controversy about Islam, some have already explained, the verse in the Qur’an containing the phrase “slay the pagans” was directed specifically at Muhammad and his followers after a period of 13 years of persecution during which they were prohibited by their religion from defending themselves, to exemplify the Muslim virtue of forbearance. The verse was then sent as permission to that specific group to defend themselves against their oppressors. And if you read the surrounding verses, you will see clear limitations on that permission, directing them to deal kindly with anyone who was not oppressing them. Would anyone here honestly argue in moral terms against the right to self-defense?The inference was made below that because the book is said to be eternal, every bit of it should apply to everyone who might ever live or have lived. This is a logically-flawed inference. Flesh out your assumptions. Nothing about having the intrinsic attribute of “eternalness” negates an entity’s ability to direct statements at specific groups under temporal limitations. That different parts of the Qur’an are directed at different people has always been clear to Qur’anic scholars and Muslims in general. Many of the arguments posted here are mere straw man attempts at furthering the perception of Islam as wicked. If you truly wish to confront, understand and criticize Islam, you will not make straw men. If you have an interest in being a fair, rational person, it’s important to constantly be aware of your own biases, and that means constantly reflecting on your intentions and always question the objectivity of your efforts.In the world of philosophy, politics aside, Islam is regarded among the most impressive, consistent, beautiful ethical systems, and the Qur’an is held as a work of astounding logical, scientific and linguistic merit, and perhaps the best evidence for the existence of God.

  • Robert2008

    Here are two reasons why Keith Ellison is all wrong (as usual):1) The intolerant behavior is not “crossing every cultural line”… it comes mainly from Muslims. 2) Black Americans are not persecuting gays, oppressing women, waging an ethnic war against the Jews, or attempting to take away our freedom of speech. Muslims are doing those things.Oh, and yes, we should fear Islam.

  • nonsensical2001

    People fear what they don’t understand.

  • TheoPrinse

    Well the congressman didn’t read the excellect 372 pages PDF/internet report; Shariah, the threat to America, written by fmr. CIA director James Woolsey & many others. Their report shows islam is a reactionary, politico-military doctrine and must be removed from the face of the world !

  • balasrini1242

    WE as a democratic PLURALISTIC,SECULAR nation shouldn’t be afraid of any RELIGION&FAITH including ISLAM.However IT is THE INTREPRETATION&PREACHING of ISLAMIC FAITH needs PERUSAL to make sure that the mullahs are fully aware of AMERICAN CONSTITUTION&ITS CIVIC POLICY OF SEPARATION OF CHURCH&STATE.IT is this lack of understanding&obeying the law of the land which today is causing all the problem.We are one NATION under GOD with LIBERTY&JUSTICE for ALL.

  • GuyThompto1

    The biggest mistake we can make is to proffer special privileges to those who practice Islam. No hyper sensitivities regarding abusive jokes, no official sanctioning of Sharia law, no laws restricting publications of pictures of Mohamed – in essence, treating those of the Islamic faith just as we treat those of any other faith. Any other course of action would segregate Islam and lead to much greater acrimony in the long-term.

  • luca_20009

    Maybe if you didn’t threaten to kill someone because they drew a cartoon, most Americans wouldn’t fear you. Just a thought.

  • kevina2

    Fear ! We know what they are about and it’s not good, it’s not peace and it’s not love – they want total control and they will force you to submit if they have their way. This will not happen without many lost lives. Muslims are not bad people, it’s the hate their religion teaches that is bad.

  • dozas

    First of all, one should not fear anyone or anything. Fear is a state of mind. Notwithstanding, people are very susceptible to fearmongering, whether by jihadists, politicians, or religious leaders. Since we are talking about religions, it is obvious that the business model of all religions involve fearmongering of some sort:, which is how they keep the people coming and keep the coffers growing. It is a business, but most people don’t see it this way, because most people need a Linus Blanket and religion provides said “blanket.” Knowledge is power. Stand on your own two feet. It is a good life if you don’t weaken. Live until you die.

  • Kmd1

    THE ANSWER TO Keith you went to perform Umra. Are Non-muslims allowed in Mecca? Did that remind you of the blacks being segregated in America? Why are there traffic signs saying that it is “obligatory” for non-muslims to get off the freeway going to mecca? Do you know the basis for non-muslims being refused entry to mecca? Could it have anything to do with Allah’s command of 9:28?=========================================SECOND, NON-MUSLIMS ARE WELCOME TO MECCA,MECCA IS A CITY NOW IF THEY WANT TO GO INSIDE THE ‘KAABA” THE BIG MOSUQ “AL MASJID AL HARAM” THEY HAVE TO ABIDE BY CERTAIN RULES FROM RESPECT PROSPECTIVE AS IF YOU ENTER A CHURCH OR A TEMPLE OF OTHER FAITHSISLAM DOES NOT CONSIDER NON-MUSLIMS “FILTHY” AS YOU SAID….SHOW ME WHERE IN THE KORAN OR THE TEACHING OF THE PROPHET THAT SAYS WHAT YOU CLAIM? PURE LIEBECAUSE IF ISLAM CONSIDER THEM SO, NON-MUSLIMS WOULD HAVE NOT LIVED ON MUSLIM LAND FOR CENTURIES AND STILL DOAND FINALLY WORK ON YOUR ENGLISH AND LIES TOGETHER , THEY NEED TO BE REFINED

  • soren2

    We should not fear Islam.

  • Kmd1

    TO ALL THE ZIONISTS CONTRIBUTING TO THE FEAR OF AMERICAN CITIZENS, YOUR TIME HAS EXPIRED AND YOUR LIES ARE EXPOSEDIF THERE IS A REGIME TO FEAR WILL BE THE ZIONIST REGIME EXPANDING ITS WINGS IN THIS COUNTRY AND TAKING OVER MAINSTREAM America..MEDIA, BUSINESS, LOBBYIST, POLITICIANS, HOLLYWOOD….

  • kenk3

    Most every muslim (or any religious person) is a absolute idiot.

  • johng1

    We the people should fear any religious movement, especially all Christians and Muslims, whom I hold with equal contempt. Watch these groups carefully, keep their grubby paws off our government.

  • khaledghanem

    Excellent points Congressman Ellison.

  • ravitchn

    The Timre Suare bomber was sentenced within a few months of his aftempted c rfime. Why is the Muslim offficer at Ft. hOOD WHO KILLED PEOPLE STILL NOT EVEN TRIED? OBAMA IS SOFT ON ISLAM.

  • ravitchn

    AS cATO MIGHT HAVE SAID: iSLAMA DELENDA EST!

  • ravitchn

    A convert to Islam who is not an Arab cannot be anything but a fool or a knave.

  • rjpal

    There seem to be too many people who think bad things about Muslims.And there are also too many people who think unjustified good things about Islam.I believe the right atttitude towards Islam and Muslims is “polite caution.” Don’t pretend that most Muslims are not nice – they are in fact quite good people. And don’t pretend that Islam is a religion of peace, or “no different from Christianity.”The Quran, of which I own a copy, DOES talk about killing infidels. And these are the words of Muhammad himself. Jesus never talked in these terms. And that is a big difference. “Father forive them for they know not what they do.” That is Jesus, not Muhammad who was a nice man but was also a general.Buddhism came to an end in India because in the 12th century, invading Muslim armies massacred Buddhist monks on a large scale. Two ancient statues of the Buddha were destroyed in 2002 by the Taliban. These are facts.But it is also a fact that these statues were ALLOWED to remain for centuries by the Muslim rulers of pre-Taliban Afghanistan. There are tensions between these two facts – but can we not deal with the tensions?Are our brains so small that we cannot entertain these apparently conflicting, but ultimately quite understandable truths about Islam?

  • Secular

    The fact that Molly is – at least pretending to be – in hiding proves that she is an anti-Muslim racist. Clearly these alleged “death threats” are pranks by other white racist teenagers attempting to defame the Religion of Peace. Only a racist would take the alleged death threats from alleged self-proclaimed jihadis seriously..Posted by: ZZim |I guess Theo Van Gogh was taking your advise. look what he got for your advise. I am glad Molly Norris was not looking for your approval. So anybody who wishes to protect oneself from the butchers of Islam is a racist fro not enabling them. Brilliant, just this insight, you must qualify you for the Nobel peace prize, instead of that Chinese troublemaker.

  • rjpal

    We the people should fear any religious movement, especially all Christians and Muslims, whom I hold with equal contempt. Watch these groups carefully, keep their grubby paws off our government. So do you fear the Dalai Lama? Do you fear Gandhi? Do you fear mother Teresa?Or is it rather that you think of some gun toting crackpot somewhere and think, in your confused mind, that HE represents religion?

  • AIPACiswar

    “So do you fear the Dalai Lama? Do you fear Gandhi? Do you fear mother Teresa?Actually Ripal, yes. The Dalai Lama commands his minions as though he is a god. Ghandi, thank goodness for India, died before his plans to take India back to rural starvation and ethnic back biting could be realized. Mother Theresa was a hyper ambitious Catholic Zealot who approved of forcing Irish women to stay married once married, even if to an incestuous wife beating drunk.So you need to do a little reading beyond the typical crap they serve up to grade school kids.

  • ThomasBaum

    Kmd1You wrote, “BECAUSE IF ISLAM CONSIDER THEM SO, NON-MUSLIMS WOULD HAVE NOT LIVED ON MUSLIM LAND FOR CENTURIES AND STILL DO”Why do you consider it “muslim land”?Why do you refer to it as “muslim land”?Is it not just land?Mighty nice of muslims to let non-muslims to live on their land, is that what you think?Seems as if nothing else, you consider islam to be about owning the land and being nice enough to let “others” live on it but isn’t there something about a tax that the non-muslim has to pay whereas a muslim does not have to pay this tax?And as far as “muslim land” goes, is it all of the earth that should be “muslim land”?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • areyousaying

    We should fear the radical extremist of any religion and the lemmings followers they have mesmerized with fear, guilt, hate and anger. It doesn’t matter if it’s Bin Ladin, Donohue, Dobson, Robertson or Boyd K. Packer.

  • shewholives

    Should we fear Islam? Absolutely! Why don’t you ask that question to the cartoonist Molly Norris who had to go into hiding because of a fatwa on her head.

  • sdr1

    Why is there Islamic Terrorism at all?Is it because Osama bin Laden and his SEE: What do you suppose will happen when Qur’an 8.1 “They ask you about the benefitsPlease explain to me and to everyone else inDocument (from al-Qaida training manuals “God Almighty has ordered us That is why we should fear Islam.S D Rodrian.

  • Garak

    Should we fear the child-molesting Catholics? Should we fear the Bernie Madoff Jews?

  • AdvocateMom

    With all due respect to Congressman Ellison, yes, we should fear Islam. Anyone with an open mind, from any religion, or no religion at all, should educate themselves, and then, fear Islam. There are those in the faith who say they are moderate; there is no such thing. If there were, we would see vocal members of a new congregation of Muslims, decrying all forms of terrorism in the name of Allah, embracing Christians and Jews, eschewing Palestinian violence against Israel, denouncing Palestinian nursery rhymes that glorify the hatred of Jews, etc. This new Congregation of Muslims would assimilate, being American first. Being American first, they wouldn’t even consider the Cordova Mosque in New York. When you educate yourself about Islam, it’s history, the Qu’ran, the hadiths, you then see that America’s religious tolerance could very well be its downfall….exactly what Islamists want. Islam is not just a religion, it is an entire way of life; Religion, politics, economics and law. As such, America and Islam go together like oil and water. Quote Keith Ellison, Sept. 24, 2008, at a “Rock the Muslim Vote” Townhall forum:

  • shewholives

    Hey Keith, How’s that mosque doing in your district? You know, the one that the FBI raids periodically because of homegrown terrorists coming from that mosque.Yeah, that one.

  • BritishbybirthAmericanbychoice

    The question is simple: Should we fear Islam?No, we should deride, mock and generally scorn islam for being the cult it is.Fear? Not worthy of the effort.

  • rpp1

    Im answer to:The quotation you make refers to a specific instruction at a specific time for a specific battle that was crucial during the early expansionist years of Islam when Mohammed and his followers were threatened by many neighboring tribes.It would be far more relevant if Mr. Ellison had compared the treatment of Muslims in the US today, to the treatment of other religious groups in American history. Lincoln was rumoured to be a Catholic by his political oppponents because at that time Catholics were the Muslims of the country. Jews? Need we remind you of how Jews have been discriminated against and reviled through much of American History?

  • johnnyboston

    Islam has been waging war against Christians, Hindus, Jews, and Buddhists now for 1400 years.It still is today.31 of 41 current Wars Involve Islam.

  • askgees

    Well considering all terrorists are Muslim they are labeled quite correctly. If that’s a problem then they’ll need to revamp their image. It’s not my problem it’s theirs.

  • PanhandleWilly

    Islam is only a religion of peace if you are a moslem. If you aren’t, then Islam is, at best, a justification for your enslavement and, at worst, a death sentence. Anybody who thinks Islam is going to not demand Sharia the day they overpopulate any nation is kidding himself.

  • askgees

    Should we fear the child-molesting Catholics?

  • MaK0

    Fear comes from misunderstanding or misinformation.I believe it’s misinformation. I came from a country where there is a billion people living side by side with 150 million muslims in peace and prosperity.Past 10 years after I came to USA(Yes I stole your Job-That’s another topic for another day), I have noticed a pattern of brain washing happening in America. It’s mostly media lead and some old fashioned mouth to mouth propagation. Most media is based on ratings and sponsorships. Before asking why ABC is airing such a pathetic show you have to ask who’s behind it? Which Mega company or political party paid for it, then you will really know the intentions.The opinions of few are embedded in to these shows. Even the editorials and articles are geared towards slow brainwash. You take a news paper it says the same, take TV show bunch of idiots conveying the same message, goto facebook same, listen to radio same. 80% of americans who goes through this everyday, they have no chance or a gateway to go outside of this propaganda to at least try to understand the facts. Housing bust wouldn’t have been so big if it is not the same message being propagated everywhere. We can count on no.of editorials that warned the would be buyers of potential dangers, because real estate articles/editorials were also sponsored ads by either banks or real estate agents or Goldman-Sachs(Just Kidding- Looks like this is another name being banged apart from Muslim/Islam).American youth wouldn’t have been educated without Science and Math if it is not for NFL and NBA propaganda. Were they told howmany real sport stars there can be in real math?Sorry forgot they didn’t teach them Math. TV stations air NFL and beer comercials because they get money, Youth needs to understand that when they yell ‘Wazz..UP’.I hope America wakes up in my life time to realize what’s the truth behind Islam and why Billion+ people cherish it. I hate to see my new home country go down the drain along with it take hard earned reputation of so many baby boomers for this country.

  • mohammadakhan

    We should fear our ignorance and close mindedness.Lest we end up like the fanatics in other religions.

  • shewholives

    Islam is not just a religion, it is political ideology, with goals of dominance and the spread of Sharia law. In order to achieve these goals Islam as a political ideology will seek to destablize governments and force people to submit. This should not come as surprise to you Keith, we see it happening all over plus it is a stated goal of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization from which you are aligned.

  • jimeglrd8

    The Koran, as I read it, clearly tells followers to kill or convert non believers. Regularly in countries with large populations of the followers of Islam we see and hear mops screaming “Death to America” and burning US flags. In addition many Islamic scholars have issued “Fatwas” calling for the death of non believers and in particular death to Americans. We hear of Jihad from the supporters of Islam. Those who murdered innocents on Sept 11, 2001 were clearly followers of Islam. I am an agnostic and dislike all organized religion. In particular it is clear that Islam is an intolerant and violent religion which is split amongst many factions some of which are clearly intent on ruling the world. Was it wise or right for many Americans in 1942 to fear German, Italian or Japanese Americans and treat them as enemies of the state? The expression “All’s Fair in Love and War” applies here. The American way of life is under attack by many followers of Islam. In this war Americans cannot tell who intends us harm and who doesn’t. Accordingly, we should be suspicious of all Muslims. Muslims in the US should be required to register as foreign agents. Gatherings of Muslims in Mosques or in other meetings should be monitored. Muslims from other countries wanting to come to the US should be closely controlled. We shouldn’t wait until our enemies attack us.

  • muhammadkutta

    Just in last 24 hours, Muslims have massacred civilians inside mosques in Afghanistan and Pakistan. There are daily Islamic terror attacks and plots. No other religion even comes close. So why should we not be afraid or Muslims and Islam?

  • inspectorudy

    The problem I have with many of the comments here today is that most of you are thinking in present times. By their on words from some of their most admired Imams the goal is to work from within as long as they are a minority of their populace. But they are urged to forget about today and think in long terms. If you stop and look at what has happened in places like France, Australia, Holland and many of the African continent nations, you will see that the local Muslim population begins its takeover in small ways. In Australia as well as France there are neighborhoods that are no longer patrolled by the city police force. Project that image on a city like Detroit in about twenty years and due to budget pressures the local police will let the Muslims takeover their areas and use sharia law in the process. This won’t spread rapidly in the U.S. but it will with some of our allies. Yes we should fear Islam.

  • AIPACiswar

    SHEWHOLIVES – You say, “Islam is not just a religion, it is political ideology, with goals of dominance and the spread of Sharia law.”What you don’t say is that this is also true of Catholicism, Judaism and most other systems of religions. That’s what religions are: methods of controlling people with myths. The use different terminologies but they all seek to dominate and expand, their following.The Pope played nice with Hitler, as did many Catholic countries (Ireland and Portugal and Argentina,) in exchange for concessions like Catholic control of the schools in Germany. Jews act tribally, not caring enough about other people’s ethics to enforce Judaism and instead accumulating power in their economies.Religion is a pox on society, period. It’s not one vs the other. It’s all of them against humanist people who know better.

  • hipshot

    Hipshot’s rule #5 for living:Don’t confuse fear with common sense.I don’t fear Muslims but I think we need to figure out what they are up to before inviting more into America. The problem is, in this PC/diversity environment, we can’t believe what we are told by academics, politicians, clergy or pundits. I then fall back on the safest view, which is the conservative one.

  • arancia12

    As a veteran with 30 years of service to the United States I am ashamed beyond measure of those who fear Islam, fear Muslims, or fear to die for their country. To Askgees who wished violence on another, I spit on you. All terrorists are not Muslims and all Muslims are not terrorist. The founders who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor would be disgusted by those who fear anyone. It has never be a safe world and it’s still not a safe world but Americans have more to fear from obesity and heart attacks than they have to fear from Muslims or Islam. You fear shows your lack of faith in God and in the rightness of your values. “My strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure.” Alfred Tennyson. Perhaps you Americans need to grow a pair and live your values instead of cowering like chickens and spreading hate. You’re worse than the terrorists.

  • AIPACiswar

    The Islam haters here are a joke. Yadda yadda yadda Sharia law by butt! Every people bring their own obnoxious religion to the place they live, every single one. When Catholics had their way in Maryland, back when it was a colony, you could be executed for disparaging the Holy Trinity. The original colonies were a hotbed of sicko religions and the incredible laws and punishments that go with them, every bit as bad as Sharia law. What tempers religion from fouling our country is SECULAR HUMANISM, not some other religion.The Islam haters need to wake the heck up and broaden their game to include hating Christianity and Judaism too. Monotheism is the evil, not just one flavor of it.

  • ThatCNDGirl

    Anyone who believes in a mythical god, who instructs you through ancient text that the god inspired a man to write, is nuts. How do you believe such fairy tale nonsense and expect a thinking human being to take you seriously??

  • arancia12

    By their on words from some of their most admired Imams the goal is to work from within as long as they are a minority of their populace…POSTED BY: INSPECTORUDYCite these ‘words.’ Cite your sources. Or did you hear this second hand from Michelle Malkin or Faux News?

  • arancia12

    By their on words from some of their most admired Imams the goal is to work from within as long as they are a minority of their populace…POSTED BY: INSPECTORUDYCite these ‘words.’ Cite your sources. Or did you hear this second hand from Michelle Malkin or Faux News?

  • amsood1

    Should we fear Islam? Absolutely

  • Chauncy450

    Congressman Ellison, I think you might not have viewed the ABC “This Week” program with an open mind. The moderator Christiane Amanpour was blatantly biased and went on the attack against anyone who made any statement that hinted that Islam and Muslims might not be completely peaceful and innocent in all instances. There have been over 16,000 Muslim terrorist attacks since 9.11.2001. And Muslim clerics and political leaders worldwide make speech after speech threatening Americans and the West with death. This ABC program really just was a whitewash of Islam and an attempt to sell Americans on the idea that Sharia Law and Islam are wonderful peaceful belief systems that should be promoted unimpeded in the US. And now you are complaining that it was too negative towards Islam because some of its thesis was questioned? Sir, you have completely discredited yourself, particularly when you drag up racism and civil rights in an attempt to demonize anyone who has misgivings about Islamism and Jihadism and Sharia Law etc. What is responsible for the rise of “Islamophobia” (a bad name, but I will use it for convenience)? It is simple. The more Americans know about Islam and Muslims, the less appealing they appear. That is all. Deal with it.

  • amsood1

    Should we fear Islam? Absolutely

  • charlie13

    The problem isn’t with Islam isn’t the Quran per se. You can find passages similar to those quoted in this discussion from the Quran in the Old Testament. In Mediaval times, those passages were used to justify the Crusades. The Reformation ended that practice.The problem lies with the “modern” interpretation the Quran by fundamentalists, who indoctrinate the young people with their warped views. They justify Jihad (the Muslim equivalent to the Crusades) by interpreting those passages out of context. The second problem with Islam is that those in the religion who don’t agree with the radicals are either too timid, or too afraid of the radicals to make their views known. Islam has never had it’s Reformation, and needs one.

  • Jade_406

    It’s important to look and learn from muslim immigration in Europe. It isn’t going well and once the muslim population gets big they begin to get pushy and aggressive, like in this video where mobs of muslims are chasing the London police down the street.

  • jparrott1908

    Wow. More virulent anti-Muslim bigotry in the comments section. No surprise here.

  • asizk

    RJPAL wrote:” The Quran..,DOES talk about killing infidels. And these are the words of Muhammad himself.Jesus never talked in these terms”U are totally misguided: the Quran is not Muhammad’s words-it is God’s words revealed to him over 23 yeras from 610-623 AD.Muhammad’s words and deeds are called Sunnah.I don’t know from which “Quran” did u quote: “Kill the inifdels.” Read an authorized translation with the accompanying commentary-for example Muhammad Asad’s brilliant transaltion :”The Message of the Quran;” he is the former Leopold Weiss a Jewish convert to Islam and both a scholar of the Bible, the Quran and Arabic.”Killing the infidels” is widely misquoted mostly intentionally by extremist right wing xtians to demonise and distort Islam and Muslims:the original verse referes to the heathen Arabs of Mecca who were persecuting the Prophet and his companions for declaring their belief in the One and only God, the God Abraham,Moses, Jesus and Muhammad-instead of their idols. Those heathen Arabs used military force and tried to murder the Prophet in his sleep-so the Quran after 13 years of persecution in Mecca ordered him and his companions to migrate to Medina to establish freedom of conscious.The Quran commanded those exiled Muslims in Medina to defend themselves as in Quran:-Al Baqarh, 2:190-191: “Fight in the cause of Allah (to establish freedom of conscious)those who fight you but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors. (190) And slay them wherever ye catch them (the transgressors), and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.” (191)-Al Anfal, 8: 61:”But if the enemy Incline towards peace, Do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is the One That heareth and knoweth All things.” Jews and Christians don’t fall under the category of infidels:They are held in high esteem by the Quran as “The People of the Book,” that is the followers of divine scripture-the Bible-and prophets Moses and Jesus who are treated on equal footing with the Prophet Muhammad.Jesus taught love and peace but his “followers”did not:the crusaders wars on the Muslim east,Inquisition,holocaust,war on iraq, genocide of Bosinan Muslims,forced mass conversion of south america etc.

  • arancia12

    Should we fear Islam? AbsolutelyPOSTED BY: AMSOOD1______________So your point is that some Muslims can be dangerous. There are more than a few thousand native Americans who might say the same about Christians. Being knowledgeable about the pitfalls is different than being afraid. I respect rattlesnakes. I don’t fear them. Fear gets you killed.

  • johnnyboston

    Jews and Christians don’t fall under the category of infidels:They are held in high esteem by the Quran as “The People of the Book,” that is the followers of divine scripture-the Bible-and prophets Moses and Jesus who are treated on equal footing with the Prophet Muhammad.Posted by: asizk ======================Then please explain the following verse:Sura (5: 51) – “O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whosoever among you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.”

  • RichmondGiant

    Why does it seem most posters fall into two camps. The first, that only sees the violence of Islam, the second which ignores or rationalizes away the rather extensive violence in Islam.There is plenty of evidence that a proportionately small number of Muslims are violent. But even if it’s only 10%, that’s still a lot of violent nutjobs.When’s the last time you saw Christians leaving a church service to go randomly kill Muslims or Jews? It happens almost every week in the Middle East with Muslims rampaging.There is an offensive art exhibit in Europe blasting Christians. Do we riot, murder, burn towns? No. Need we discuss certain Danish cartoons again?We could ask Jews and Christians in Iraq or Gaza what it’s like living as a minority in an Islamic country. If you could find one alive, I suspect they would have a very different story to tell than Muslims in America or Europe have to tell. Islam has to face it’s prodigal brothers.I know lots of Muslims and most are no different than anyone else. We cannot make policy based solely on the evil 10% Likewise, we are fools if we ignore that 10% in the name of “tolerance”.The answer isn’t to ostracize Islam. Nor is the answer to ignore that Islam is in crisis right now.

  • AIPACiswar

    Why don’t all of you ignorant anti Muslim bigots join the military and go fight Muslims? Maybe because the military is currently sacrificing to HELP Muslims? Or is it the natural chickenhawk in all you keeping you home? Buk buk bukbuk buuuuuuk!

  • johnnyboston

    arancia12,If your point is that moderate Muslims are about where the fringe fundamentalist Christians are, then we actually agree.

  • asizk

    johnnyboston,(Is this really your name?) When Islam reached India it offered the population peaecfully two choices:Accept Islam and worship the one and only God Or continue to worship snakes and cows.Some chose Islam and became Muslims;the rest chose to maintain their heathenism and continue to this day worship snakes and cows. Is this the civilization Muslims destroyed? U had no civilization and Islam transformed india from darkness to light. Just Look at Taj Mahal to see what the Muslim genius did in india.Hindus are extremly violent:they murdered Andiar Ghandi and her son Rajeev by sucide bombers.Like Palestine, Kashmir is occupied by india and like jews who occupy all of Arab histoirc Palestine, indians refuse to grant Kashmiris the right to self-determination since 1947.

  • johnnyboston

    When Islam reached India it offered the population peaecfully two choices:Accept Islam and worship the one and only God Or continue to worship snakes and cows.Some chose Islam and became Muslims;the rest chose to maintain their heathenism and continue to this day worship snakes and cows. Is this the civilization Muslims destroyed? U had no civilization and Islam transformed india from darkness to light. Posted by: asizk |”Through Hinduism, I feel a better person.

  • RichmondGiant

    @asizkyou realize that Europeans used that exact same argument, and some Westerners still do, to rationalize hostilities towards Islamic countries. You also surely realize that India as a culture is about 10,000 years older than Islam.How people chose to worship is up to them. Don’t rationalize conquest by claiming the conquerer brought a superior culture. The Moguls brought a lot of beauty to India and helped add to it’s rich cultural heritage. That is true. But India is an amazing culture of and by itself.

  • AIPACiswar

    Johnnyboston = foolish child.

  • arancia12

    arancia12,If your point is that moderate Muslims are about where the fringe fundamentalist Christians are, then we actually agree.POSTED BY: JOHNNYBOSTON No, that’s not my point. My point is there are radical Muslims and radical Christians. We don’t judge Christianity by Fred Phelps who would probably bomb a few people he hates if he thought he could get away with it too. We don’t judge Islam by the actions of the 9.11 terrorists. There is probably little agree on.

  • arancia12

    S D Rodrian, we are not debating the effects of Islam. The question is, should we as Americans fear Islam?The answer is No. As Americans we should not. We can absorb and assimilate Muslims just as we absorbed 9.11. We are a decent country and our laws prevent the kind of takeover you fearmongers bleat about. Fred Phelps and his ilk are not able to take over my country. We will not be under Sharia law either. We don’t have to fear Islam, we simply stick to being Americans. We vote responsibly. We take part in government. We get educated. Or you can sit on the couch and whine and beg the government to protect you.

  • abrahamhab1

    KMD says“A book with no chronology of events or a sustained theme other than a supremacist diatribe, exaltation of Islam’s founder and incitement against the other. It is riddled with inconsistencies and outright contradictions. It lists legends from Arab and Persian pagans as the literal words of the Creator along with embellished stories from the Old and New Testaments. It is full of scientific heresies, geographical myths, historical blunders, mathematical mistakes, grammatical errors and logical fallacies. The book talks of flying horses, speaking ants and arguing birds. It describes an afterlife gardens with rivers of wine and honey and brimming with young black eyed receptive beauties placed there simply to service the male followers of Mohammed in an everlasting celestial orgy.”

  • Montedoro

    Ellison is only a propagandist for Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood. His equation of prejudice against blacks to prejudice against Islam is a deliberate fraud. Blacks are a race. Moslems are adherents of a belief system. Since when is it wrong to fear or reject someone because of their values and beliefs? The standard doctrines of Islam require war against non-Moslems. They require subjugation of non-Moslems to Moslems and of women to men. ” The unbelievers among the people of the book and the pagans shall burn forever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures. (98.6).

  • AKafir

    Mr. Ellison,So far only a single muslim tried to refute that Islam hates the non-muslims with lies and those lies could be easily exposed. Muslims can say whatever they wish about Islam, and it does not matter for those are just words. It is the actions that count. And the actions of Muslims towards non-muslims over the last 1440 years are damning. The question still stands to you: Why do the Muslims hate the non-muslims so much that they have institutionalized that hate in their laws? And what are you doing about it? Anything?

  • KeithGold

    Thank you for your column. I too have decried to many of my friends the wholesale demonization of Muslims because of the extremists among them.However, it bears noting that your analogies are flawed. Skin color is an immutable characteristic that states nothing about the content of one’s character. Religions, however, are belief systems. As such, like any belief system, they are open to criticism, as are the people that believe in their tenets. Islam, like Judaism and Christianity, are not only utterly false creeds, but they contain many dangerous ideas, including in their so-called holy books. Therefore, it is not bigotry or racism to be concerned about anyone that would take seriously these religions, which, in truth, are nothing more than children’s stories. For example, if you are a Muslim, do you seriously believe that the supposed archangel Gabriel dictated the inerrant word of god to an illiterate Arab in the Arabian Peninsula, or that Mohammed flew to heaven from the Dome of the Rock on a winged horse? Or, if Christian, do you believe that Mary was the product of an immaculate conception and, therefore, went to heaven without dying because she was without sin (the Assumption); that Jesus was born of a virgin birth, that he was sent by the Father to die for your sins (and strangely attracted little attention during his time on earth); and that if you don’t believe in Jesus (even though there is no compelling evidence to do so) that you will burn in heaven forever? If Jewish, do you really believe that it warrants worshipping a god after what this ostensibly supreme being purportedly did to the Egyptians in the horribly cruel Passover haggadah, or after the genocides carried out at god’s instruction? If you take these fables seriously, don’t be surprised if your beliefs are criticized, disrespected, and often feared.

  • RolandMartel

    People have already commented on the flawed analogy. I think mr Allison’s analogies would work better if he exchanged “blacks” with Nazi’s.

  • KeithGold

    I don’t think comparing Islam to Nazism is productive or fair. Islam originated from Judaism and Christianity. Indeed, much of Islam is simply copied from those faiths, including the claim to be the last and true word. All three of these faiths were some of mankind’s first attempts to understand the world, although arguably they were also used by some very clever people to advance their political agendas. These attempts were all flawed, and were based on ignorance of many basic scientific facts that we take for granted. Of course, most Nazis were Christians, and the Catholic Church was one of the Nazi regimes’s supporters. Nazism, if anything, is a black mark on Christianity.

  • ShawnDavis1

    We should ban ALL religions and just be atheist. Religion is a relic from ancient history — now we have science.

  • KeithGold

    Dodgy,I am curious, how many Muslims do you know? Muslims are fine people, no different than any other human being. Of course the extremists should be feared, just like, for example, Franklin Graham or Avigdor Lieberman, the extremist foreign minister of Israel.

  • ThomasBaum

    Keith EllisonYou wrote, “we seem simultaneously stuck with a national news media that is preoccupied with conflict and controversy when we desperately need one that weighs facts and reports fairly.”Have you ever thought that the “conflict and controversy” may just come from the “facts”?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • KeithGold

    ShawnDavis1,I am an atheist, but would not dream of banning religions. We don’t want the state telling us what we can or cannot believe. Rather, we should build up the wall of separation between Church and State.

  • LilannB

    Islam is the only religion I’m aware of where some followers have rioted worldwide over cartoons.While other followers of the religion have issued death threats to cartoonists.Muslims have also rioted and killed over a rumored wet koran or a proposed koran burning.Several American doctors were murdered recently in Afghanistan because they were suspected of being Christian. In Nigeria Christians including children were slaughter by rioting muslims.A raid was conducted authorities in Saudia Arabia on a Christian prayer service, as the “suspects” were accused of trying to convert muslims. In China, UK, US, Russia,Nigeria, Spain,Israel, Pakistan, Bali, India and Iraq to name only a few examples there have been terror attacks by muslims on civilians. The problem appears to be with muslims and not with everyone else.

  • tauomega

    I wanted to toss a word of appreciation into the predictable mix of rhetoric this article is getting. I don’t often get to see political figures making calm, reasoned statements (such things generally get very little coverage) and it’s refreshing. I don’t know when it happened, exactly, but somehow the news media has come to model itself after the entertainment industry; now it gears its stories to the tastes of easily-sold target demographics, which generally means those who crave stimulation and avoid analysis. Good to see it’s not that way everywhere.Keep up the good work!

  • KeithGold

    LilannB,People of all religious backgrounds have been committing atrocities, Christian on Muslim, Muslim on Christian, Hindu on Muslim, Muslim on Hindu, et cet. In addition, the rioting about the cartoons was stirred up by politicians long after the cartoons were published, and after these political figures added two very offensive cartoons to the mix that the Dutch artist in question did not draw. Also, keep in mind that most Muslims didn’t care about the cartoons. I suggest that you read the book The Tenth Parallel by Eliza Griswold to gain a deeper understanding of the current struggle between Christianity and Islam.

  • LilannB

    KeithGold,Wherever there is religious violence you will almost always find muslims on one or both sides.Muslims also riot and commit terror attacks worldwide no matter what the political system. Be the government communist (China), democratic (US) or theocratic (Saudi Arabia).In contrast no one fears the Amish a religious group who have strange customs, dress in strange cloths and live in their own communities.That could be because the Amish are known for being peaceful, non-violent and hard working. The problem appears to be with islam and NOT with everyone else.

  • clearthinking1

    Keithgold,I’ve read Eliza Griswold’s “Tenth Parallel”.All conflicts in the world involve Muslims or Christians on one side or another. It’s a sad fact. “There’s no god but Allah” – really?Griswold’s book is a well written collection of anecdotes, but there is no coherent thesis. This is because Griswold is sincere but incapable of seeing or stating the obvious. It’s not the tenth paralell or climate that’s the issue. Hindu’s and Buddhists have lived in peace on the tenth parallel for 2,500 years. The 800 pound gorilla in the room is the inherent supremacist flaw in Islam and Christianity. Now you know. The rest is just talk by people in denial.Be objective. Be introspective. Be honest. (unlike Congressman Ellison)

  • KeithGold

    clearthinking1,Haven’t there been conflict between Hindus and Buddhists, and isn’t that the reason that Buddhists have fled to Sri Lanka? Not sure about this, but that is my memory. I think the theme of Eliza Griswold’s book was in its subtitle, where she coined her books as “Dispatches” from the fault line between Christianity and Islam. It is just dispatches. But I agree with you to a large extent.

  • KeithGold

    LilanB,If your point is that some belief systems lend themselves to violence more than others, including Islam, and that there is currently a problem with Islamic extremism, then I agree with you. I am no fan of Islam.

  • clearthinking1

    Keithgold,Specifically in Sri Lanka, this was an ethnic conflict between the Sinhalese and the Tamil. The leader of the Tamil Tigers Prabhakaran was a Christian as were many of the other leaders. India supported the government which was run by Sinhalese. The President of Sri Lanka Rajapakse is married to a Christian. So this was not at all a simple conflict between religions. Writers like Robert Kaplan of the Atlantic Monthly have incorrectly presented this as a simple religious conflict, but he is wrong on this one.

  • yolo40

    Islam calls for the conversion,subjagation or murder of christians and jews. It calls for the conversion or murder of all others.PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. This is the quran and is allyou need to know.

  • KeithGold

    Clearthinking1,Thanks, very nice of you to take the trouble to write that.

  • KeithGold

    Clearthinking1,Thanks, very nice of you to take the trouble to write all that.

  • WmarkW

    After digesting the contents of this column awhile, I’ve clarified (in my own mind) my opinion a little. Most homicides stem from a few recognizable factors:poverty and associated societal marginalizationAfrican-Americans have a high homicide rate, and suffer the above causes at high rates. There may be parts of the Muslim community that do, too.But it is primarily in Islam that we see violence that appears specifically motivated by belief in a philosophical system. Occasionally, the American white population has a Unabomber or Timothy McVeigh, or the black a John Allen Muhammed. But it’s primarily among Muslims that people like Faisal Shahzad, Nidal Hassan, and the five guys who tried to blow up JFK airport, that we see educated, seemingly normal middle-class individuals seeking out a philosophical justification to commit violence against the general public. Islam may be a religion of peace; but I don’t want them to make my home the House of War.

  • yasseryousufi

    Islamophobia in US is something for the American people to ponder over. What is the appropriate punishment that needs to be meted out 5 million american muslims for the crimes of a couple of dozen of their co-religionists. For now we’re are seeing Mosque being denied to be built on whimsical grounds all over the US. Muslims and their religous places being subjected to hate crimes. Kieth Ellison himself was the victim of a vicious campaign by bigoted Republicans because he chose to take the oath on his holy book, the Quran. If anyone thought that Newt Gingrich’s comparison of Muslims with Nazi’s was just a slip of tongue, the cats out of the bag. Candidate after candidate belonging to to Tea Part movement are comparing Islam to Nazism and 9/11 to Holocaust in their election speeches. Apparently the Republican Party, literally one half of America’s Political Spectrum considers whipping up a hate frenzy amongst disgruntled american populace, a legal winning strategy. One wonders how long would it take for a semi-literate, White Evangelical Texan, armed with plenty of ammunition to take the bait and take on the modern day “Nazi’s”, as his leaders and Fox News tell him, himself. Otherwise, what is the logical end of this hate frenzy? Is this what it will take for Americans to reconsider their bigoted stance? A terrorist plot against muslims? Where do America’s Leaders and Media believe the buck stops?

  • AKafir

    Yasseryousufi:You are trying to evoke guilt by playing the victim. The fact is that hate crimes against muslims are minuscule. CAIR has been asking people to send in all the reports of crimes against muslims they could. Muslims bandying about “Islamophobia” means little. Everyone recognizes that ploy for what it is. Since you cannot show actual crimes against muslims, you are not crying wolf that it will soon happen. Keep waiting. It will not happen. Americans are not going to do it. However, what we will do is expose Islam for what it is.Why don’t you tell the Americans how muslims in your country, Pakistan, behave towards non-muslims? Why don’t you tell the Americans how non-muslims are treated around the world in Islamic countries? Why don’t you tell the Americans about the laws against the non-muslims that are on the books of every muslim country in the world? Instead of waiting for crimes against muslims in USA, don’t you think you could do more good about stopping the crimes and hate against the non-muslims that is taking place around the world in muslim countries?

  • mono1

    should we fear islam?NO we should not,america still stuck in between the 2 deep cave of original sin and original ape of darwin ?one died on the cross for the sin of man kind and the other one died on the other side of the cross for the organic origin of mankind ,both proved no less delusional than the other.what theology and ideology america would carry to the 21 century?remember,islam positively can bail the stuck theology and ideology in america.1431 years and still bailing.

  • mhr614

    Ellison must be either very naive or very stupid; possible he is both. My family and I moved from our neighborhood when it became too dangerous to live there. The problem was black hoodlums- in time that area became South Central Los Angeles. Blacks put the torch to it in 1965 and again in 1992. Many New Yorkers were afrad of blacks in the decades before Giuliani put the broken windows theory into operation. Today every time I board an international flight I feel a concern that some muslim will attempt to blow the plane out of the air. What a foolish man this fellow is. Anyone who denies reality to this extent may need therapeutic help.

  • jm125

    Yes, we should fear islam very much Ellison. Not only have muslims killed thousands of the secular people who have taken them in but they also blow up other muslims on an almost daily rate in muslim countries. Muslims are responsible for more terrorist incidents than everyone else combined. The muslim version of free speech is to riot and kill over publications that offend them. Muslim animals are just not fit for secular societies. Since muslims blow up other muslims on an almost daily rate in the muslim world, they don’t seem fit for muslim societies either. As long as we keep these creatures out, their exploding muslims are muslim country problems, not ours. Islam is an evil cancer that must be removed from the west. We were much better off without them.

  • abrahamhab1

    Should we fear Islam?

  • arathur

    To “BRAHMAN:”"So, Mr. congressman, we should fear islam because it is evil disguised as good, an arab supremacist, antichrist ideology disguised as religion and a Lie.1) Just because the Bible implies that Muslims follow an antichrist ideology, that doesn’t make it true. How can you even trust a book that teaches something as absurd as the trinity?????2) Yes, the Qur’an and other Islamic teachings imply Arabic is the language of God since that’s the language the Qur’an was written in. All Muslims are encouraged to learn Arabic so that they can understand the Qur’an better, but it’s not a requirement.3) You obviously don’t know anything about Islam. If you did, you would know that Jesus is VERY highly revered, loved and respected; then how can Islam be an antichrist theology?

  • ZZim

    I guess Theo Van Gogh was taking your advise. look what he got for your advise. I am glad Molly Norris was not looking for your approval. So anybody who wishes to protect oneself from the butchers of Islam is a racist fro not enabling them. Brilliant, just this insight, you must qualify you for the Nobel peace prize, instead of that Chinese troublemaker. = = = = = = = = = = =Sarcasm, Secular, sarcasm.;-)

  • ZZim

    Ellison must be either very naive or very stupid; possible he is both. Posted by: mhr614 = = = = = = = = = Ellison is neither naive nor stupid. He is a Muslim and he’s fighting a holy war against you. So he can make whatever outrageous claims he wants and it’s “holy”.

  • abrahamhab1

    Arathur pontificates thus:Islam is a tool for the furthering of Arab imperialism. It started as a tool to dominate the Arab tribes and subjugate them to the Qureish tribe. The success in that endeavor encouraged the followers of Islam’s founder to colonize the neighboring countries. Those Arab tribes that have for a long time survived by raiding and pillaging each other have joined forces to raid and pillage their neighboring societies. Just like the Russians used the Communist ideology to dominate the so-called Soviet Republics, the Arabs used Islam to subjugate the so-called Muslim Ummah. And as usual the imperialist powers impose

  • Kingofkings1

    Dear Mr. Ellison,

  • AKafir

    Kok1 posts: “Dear Mr. Ellison,Mind boggling!! How many muslims have been burnt, killed, or beheaded in Europe or USA? It is muslims blowing up and killing muslims in Pakistan, Iran, Sudan, etc. I post and show christians being burnt and killed in Pakistan on a regular basis. None of that affects the American Muslim KoK1, but he is still wanting to play the victim …”We have a well-coordinated attack both in US/Europe and some other regions on muslims”.KoK1, your prophet’s sunnah instructs you to not greet the non-muslims or be friendly with them. If you do not want to answer why non-muslims in muslim countries are hated and discriminated against, can you at least tell us whether you agree with your prophet that muslims should show harshness towards the non-muslims and not greet them. If the kafir does greet, all he should get back in return is a “wa alekyum” (same to you). Do you agree with that example of your prophet?

  • abrahamhab1

    KOK1 laments:

  • AKafir

    I forgot to provide the link to the hadith for Safiyah being enslave and then “married” to Muhammad.Here it is:

  • abrahamhab1

    KOK1 asserts:To emulate Mohammad you must marry nine wives at the same time, one of which should be 8 years old. You must take part in over 80 wars and should be ready to kill all those who condemn any of your actions. You furthermore must convince those around you that you are Allah’s favorite human being and that the universe was created for your sake. Could you do any of this today anywhere in the USA?

  • AKafir

    “you must marry nine wives”Nine is for those who do not study Islam. The list is:And there were of course the women of the defeated kafirs who are permitted to a muslims and they can be treated as concubines before they are sold or traded. The muslim imams list those as “numerous”.

  • ZZim

    KOK1 asserts: – - – - – - – - – - – 9. Safiya; Muhammad had killed her father and then had her husband tortured and killed. He “married” her the same night he had literally destroyed her tribe at Khaybar. Muslims still taunt the jews by chanting “Khaybar, Khaybar, The army of Muhammad will return” as they did on the Flotilla trying to break the blockade. She was sixteen. Posted by: AKafir | October 12, 2010 1:52 AM = = = = = = = = This seems to be an inauspicious way to start a marriage. I don’t think that they had a very happy marriage at all. I think that if you kill a girl’s father, husband and brothers and all their male relatives past the age of puberty, she might not be able to develop any romantic feelings for you. Not only that, Muhammad concluded a peace treaty with them and promised them safe passage, then chopped all their heads off. I really don’t think Safiya would be able to trust him after that. And lack of trust would doom their marriage from the start.Additionally, what if you had kids? How will you explain why the in-laws never come to visit? Do you just say “Daddy had them all killed, now brush your teeth and go to bed?” I think that most kids would have to develop some sort of emotional problems growing up like that. Imagine the bullying at school, “My Daddy raped your grandmother to death!” is probably one of the lesser taunts, or “My Daddy keeps your aunt in the cellar as a s3x slave, I hear her scream every night.”I just don’t think that Muhammad’s tribal headquarters was a healthy environment for children. After much soul-searching, I personally have decided not to emulate his behavior.

  • garoth

    Congressman, thank you. I wish you were my congressman. I would vote for you anytime!

  • garoth

    AdvocateMom, you obviously don’t know any Muslims, and don’t read much. The folks who want to build a couple of blocks from the 9/11 site are just such Muslims, and have been working with Christians, Jews and other people of good will for years. I headed a Peace Task Group in Western PA during the Intifada and Gulf War, where we had Christians, Jews and Muslims who gathered to talk about our beliefs, and what each of them might bring to the table to make peace possible. God to the Holy Lands, and you will find most Muslims, especially native ones, very hospitable. In fact, a Muslim family has opened the doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for hundreds of years. But noone here seams to want to hear them. As the congressman notes, we instead give ear to every freak and nut case – like many of those who post here – instead of listening to ordinary Muslims talk about their faith. And, of course, we then deny the truth and twist it to fit our own biases.

  • ThomasBaum

    arathur You wrote, “How can you even trust a book that teaches something as absurd as the trinity?????”I have met the Trinity so I know that God Is a Trinity and we are not asked to trust in a book but to trust in God.You also wrote, “You obviously don’t know anything about Islam. If you did, you would know that Jesus is VERY highly revered, loved and respected; then how can Islam be an antichrist theology?”Easy, the god of islam says that Jesus, God-Incarnate, is merely human and his messenger.This is totally in opposition to what Jesus taught and why God became One of us.The question that Jesus asked many years ago is just as pertinent today, “Who do you say that I AM?”Also when Jesus was asked to teach His disciples how to pray, He responded, “Our Father…”, does not the god of islam get mighty perturbed if anyone calls themself a child of God and even more so when someone refers to Jesus as The Son of God?The god of islam says that what Jesus is reported to have said in the bible and what the bible says about Jesus is a lie and yet says that Jesus is his prophet, is this not true?The god of islam is satan and just what did Jesus say about satan but that satan is a liar and a thief or does the god of islam change this also in the koran?As I have said, the True, Living, Triune, Triumphant God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliations or lack thereof.Besides satan being a liar and a thief, he is also a loser, a sore loser and even tho it may appear that he wins, he will not and his loss will be total, as it is written: “God will declare VICTORY in favor of the Holy Ones” and this VICTORY will be TOTAL VICTORY.The GOOD NEWS that Jesus asked us to Proclaim is ultimately for ALL OF CREATION which includes ALL OF HUMANITY.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • AKafir

    Garoth writes: “God to the Holy Lands, and you will find most Muslims, especially native ones, very hospitable. In fact, a Muslim family has opened the doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for hundreds of years. But noone here seams to want to hear them. As the congressman notes, we instead give ear to every freak and nut case – like many of those who post here – instead of listening to ordinary Muslims talk about their faith.”Of course there are many many very good humans among the Muslims. Fortunately this is in spite of the evil of Islam. Talking about Holy lands: Christians are fleeing the town of Christ’s birth, and the much-reported hardship that Israel inflicts on residents of the West Bank town has little to do with it. It’s the same reality across the Arab world: rising Islamism pushes non-Muslims away.Islamists frown on real-estate ownership by non-Muslims — Christian, Jew or anything else. And though the secular Palestinian Authority still controls the West Bank, the clout of groups like Hamas is growing: Even in Bethlehem, where followers of history’s most famous baby once thrived, Christians are ceding the land.Back to the exodus: Fifty years ago, Christians made up 70 percent of Bethlehem’s population; today, about 15 percent.Indeed, the Christian population of the entire West Bank — mostly Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic, with Copts, Russian Orthodox, Armenians and others — is dwindling.But, again, the story’s the same in Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere in the Mideast. Practically the only place in the region where the Christian population is growing is in Israel.In Bethlehem, Christians now feel besieged. Growing numbers of rural southern West Bankers from the Hebron area have moved north to Bethlehem in recent years. Many see the land as Waqf — belonging to the Muslim nation. They increasingly buy or confiscate land — and talk of laws to ban Christian landownership.

  • te_vaca

    As to this…”For Abrahamhab1 and everyone else: Please stop listing direct text from any religious book. There is a huge historical reason behind the chapters and verses and what exactly they mean and why they were revealed.”The MANY examples people have used out of the Quran are NOT taken out of context. YES, that is something that is easy to do and happens a lot, but in this case, they are saying exactly what it sounds like they are saying.The one true goal of Islam is to be the one and only religion on earth. While most religions would like theirs to be the primary “world faith”, only one still openly sanctions torture and murder to achieve this goal. Only one has not evolved with the rest of the world. Only one actually encourages it’s followers to befriend their “enemies” until they are strong enough to defeat them.Are all Muslims evil? Of course not. Is Islam as a whole evil? Absolutely. Freedom of religion was never meant to protect any religion that calls for the murder of members of any other faith. It was meant to allow ALL people to practice their faith without persecution, and I am pretty sure that being killed by a Muslim because I am not a Muslim, would qualify as persecution. There is no “Radical Islam”. there is only Islam. The PC crowd wants you to believe there is a tiny group of extremists making the larger group look bad. That kind of ignorant PC thinking is going to get us ALL in a lot of trouble.

Read More Articles

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

noplaceonearth
An Untold Story of Bondage to Freedom: Passover 1943

How a foxhole that led to a 77-mile cave system saved the lives of 38 Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust.

shutterstock_148333673
Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

shutterstock_53190298
Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

shutterstock_185995553
How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

HIFR
Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

shutterstock_186364295
This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

SONY DSC
Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.