October 11th, 2014
10:46 PM ET

Let's be honest: Islam has a problem today

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Fareed Zakaria

When television host Bill Maher declares on his weekly show that "the Muslim world...has too much in common with ISIS," and the author, Sam Harris (a guest on his show) concurs, arguing that "Islam is the mother lode of bad ideas," I understand why people get upset. Maher and Harris made crude simplifications and exaggerations.

And yet, they were also talking about something real. I know all the arguments against speaking of Islam as violent and reactionary. It is a vast world of 1.6 billion people. Places such as Indonesia and India have hundreds of millions of Muslims who don't fit these caricatures. That's why Maher and Harris are guilty of simplification and exaggeration.

But let's be honest: Islam has a problem today...There is a cancer of extremism within Islam today. A small minority of Muslims celebrate violence and intolerance, and harbor deeply reactionary attitudes towards women and minorities. And while some moderates confront these extremists, not enough do so and the protests are not loud enough. How many mass rallies have been held against ISIS in the Arab world today?

But now the caveat, Islam today, is important.

Watch the video for the full Take or read the WaPo column.

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Topics: Fareed's Take • GPS Show

soundoff (1,653 Responses)
  1. mohammed Eshark

    Islam does not have problem, muslims of nowadays are the problem to islam, by not following the textual meaning of the holy quran and the real sunnah of our prophet PBUH,

    October 21, 2014 at 1:46 am | Reply
  2. Jeff Barton

    Fareed, PLEASE have Sam Harris on your show as a guest, with at least one topic being his take on Islam and Muslims. I was dismayed to hear you say he is making crude simplifications and exaggerations, while taking one soundbite "motherlode of bad ideas" without its context. I value your nuanced intellect in many matters, but you completely missed Sam's vary nuanced and clearly stated views that precisely do NOT oversimplify or exaggerate. In doing so, you intentionally or unintentionally "piled on" to a political correctness-motivated movement to discredit and demonize him. In fairness to Sam and to your viewers, you owe him the opportunity to set the record straight. I suspect the two of you would generally agree on a great deal.

    October 24, 2014 at 5:22 am | Reply
  3. Michael66

    Islam has a huge problem alright, muslims are taking their advice from a fictional book written by a pedo.
    In every single debate that muslims are part of, they claim their are a religion of peace and then they try to dumb down all their acts of violence to be someone elses doing.
    Then they point fingers at things other people in hundreds of years ago.
    Their very laws allow one to stone their own daughter to death for such trivial reasons.
    What went on hundreds of years ago with other religions is irrelevant because today they grew up and got with the century they live in, unlike Islam, who has a barbaric nature that runs blood deep

    Look at this very discussion, a bunch of muslims keep saying the exact same things over and over, which amount to "either you are with us or you will die"
    Sounds like a peaceful notion, ehhh?

    When atheists and such criticize Christianity, what do they say back?
    God still loves you.
    What do 100% of muslims do when someone criticizes their pedo leader and their barbaric laws?
    Threaten them with death.

    When a muslim converts to Christianity, do they begin to blow themselves up?
    Nope.
    100% of all people who convert to Islam, take on a hateful worldview and a huge percent of them try to kill, kill, kill.
    Until Islam drops their fictional book and write an actual peaceful one, they will never have peace.
    Odd how the only religion today that cant even get along with their own people are Islamist's.
    Yet every single one of them tries to play the victim card and blame their hate on everyone else.

    News flash, to be a peaceful religion means to actually make peace with everyone else, it doesn't mean to make excuses to continue to murder everyone who disagrees with you.
    The only actual peaceful muslims are the ones who have to be, because they are a minority, such as the ones in the US, elsewhere, where their barbaric laws are in place, speaks for itself on how peaceful they actually are.
    One cant call themselves a peaceful religion if the very laws you support allows for the stoning of a child because she dishonored the family and was r@ped.
    And, if this is what their god demands, newsflash, he is about as forgiving and loving as a starving lion is towards it's prey.
    Non-existing.
    If ones "god" is not about forgiveness and is about punishments for everything, he is no god, he is a demon.
    mohammad was a child r@pist who took many wives, and murdered millions for the simple reason to loot their wealth and take their wives as slaves and to this day, it goes on because that sort of hate runs blood deep.

    Islam is poison and if not completely stopped, will be the final destruction of humanity.
    They are so twisted that they actually believe one promotes peace with violence.
    "let me show you how peaceful I am as I r@pe your wife and daughter in front of you and then bury them alive, as my god demands I do"

    November 1, 2014 at 3:41 am | Reply
  4. tombombadil2011

    If we continue to see terrorism in the name of Islam, like the hostage situation in Sydney or ISIS beheadings, there will eventually come a reckoning in terms of someone pressing the big RESET BUTTON on the human race. There is no doubt that Christians, Jews and Muslims have all, at one time or another in history, been Gold Medal Winners in the Oppression Olympics. That being said, in a world of 7 billion+ people, it is important to understand the ability of one or a small number of individuals to destroy an increasingly fragile world. If the followers of Islam do not utterly condemn all forms of terrorism and learn to reign in their ideology to allow others to exist peacefully, they may, by either their overt actions, omissions and/or apathy bring about not only their own end but also the end of the human race. Nuclear weapons do not discriminate. People who suffer repeated humiliation and oppression will eventually retaliate - even to the point of destroying themselves. When people have nothing left to lose, they "lose it." When you cut off enough heads, rest assured that someone will eventually see to it that yours (and all of your family) is next. (Google "The Religion of Peace" ) (Google "Howard Bloom The Mohammed Code" ) (Google "Evelin Lindner Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies")

    December 15, 2014 at 9:49 am | Reply
  5. Teresa

    Wait a minute, governments bomb millions of people, first, then when they kill 10 or less, you call them terrorist? Was killing millions of them and their family making friends with them?

    December 25, 2014 at 6:18 am | Reply
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