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.

Post by:
Topics: Fareed's Take • GPS Show

soundoff (1,656 Responses)
  1. Wade Stinson

    Historically, Zakaria is correct. Unfortunately, current events cannot wait for history to correct itself with Islam's direction. To say that the majority of peace loving Muslims are becoming nominalized by radical Islamists is an oxymoron. Actually, it is tacit acceptance of the jihaadis by inaction, fear, or by sectarian association and equal hatred of America and Israel.

    Greetings in Arabic is Assalaamu Al-Leekum (Peace be upon you) and the standard blessing is Bis Millah Ar-Raahmaan Al-Raheem (In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate). So where is this now obeyed?

    October 13, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  2. sri

    fareed is trying to be sly here. there is no such thing as islam having a problem "today".
    Islam had a problem since inception. Its a flawed world view... there is nothing "today" about its problems

    October 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  3. malakai

    Nobody ever...EVER...says the following:

    "Stop stereotyping! Not ALL neo-Nazis are violent! It's just a handful of extremists who are committing these terrible acts against the Jewish community! We need to accept that MOST Neo-Nazis are generally quiet, peaceful people who just want to live their lives and be positive members of our community!"

    Why does nobody ever say this? It seems pretty obvious, but take a closer look. Nobody ever says this because the ideology at its core openly promotes violence, hate, bigotry, and oppression of others. There is more than an abundance of neo-Nazis in the world and, occasionally, some of them will act out violently against racial and/or social minorities. Thankfully most of them don't, preferring instead to quietly stew in their own hate. But that isn't good enough. We don't like that either. But when a 4 year old is taught to give the Nazi salute by his or her racist parents, do we blame the child? No. The child is merely displaying symptoms. The problem is not the patient. It is cultural isolation and the phobia-laden ideology that create the sickness.

    Most people don't sift through 'Mein Kampf' looking for random scraps of positivity while ignoring the scheming bits about race hate and murder. We are absolutely intolerant of every aspect of this belief system, and openly–proudly–shun those who subscribe to ANY aspect of it, no matter how sincerely held their misguided beliefs may be. Why? Because racism is thoroughly garbage. And that is exactly the kind of response it deserves from us: no aid and no comfort of ANY kind. And this is exactly how it should be.

    Everybody is, of course, free to believe whatever they are convinced is true–even neo-Nazis. But everyone is also free to make neo-Nazis feel as unwelcome as possible within the confines of the law. My values demand that I do NOT respect thinly-veiled calls for racial holy wars. My values demand that I will NOT be tolerant of ignorance, blind hate, or fear-mongering. I suspect that my personal values are similar to those of most people in this regard. Nobody ever defends neo-Nazis because ignorance and hate are NOT deserving of defense. Because ANY ideology founded on fear-mongering, oppression, or the ignorant tunnel-vision of a binary 'be-one-of-us-or-die' world view does NOT contribute anything positive to the overall human experience.

    .....so why do religious ideologies get a pass?

    October 13, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Reply
    • HumbleE

      Agreed. Islam has moved beyond race and embraces everyone regardless of race, culture, or ethnicity.

      October 13, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Reply
      • Geebs

        HumbleE

        "Agreed. Islam has moved beyond race and embraces everyone regardless of race, culture, or ethnicity"

        Riiiggghhhtt!!!! they embrace you, right before you get stabbed in your "trusting" back, with the finale' being your head on a platter.

        October 13, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
    • Yakobi

      Unfortunately, the radical muslims around the world don't seem share your view of tolerance. And since they're the ones making trouble everywhere, you should direct your thoughts at them where it might have some affect.

      October 13, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  4. Eric

    Harris is not guilty of oversimplification. Islam does have some very bad ideas. It is quite possible to interpret the Qur'an in a manner that leads to the idea that infidels should die. Zakaria could benefit from actually learning what Harris is saying. His comments reflect the usual flawed way of not seeing the messed up aspects of Islam.

    October 13, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  5. Wes

    Wade, good question, certainly not in Islamic countries that allow and encourage persecution of others, based on one's religion or ethnicity

    October 13, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  6. Ken G

    Small minority? How come whenever something negative happens to no Muslim countries, Muslims celebrate? Recall 911?

    October 13, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  7. mlblogsurbanshawk

    Christians who promote the 'good parts of their religion' without taking the absude and immoral parts of their religion seriously are called fundlementalist. It is largely accepted that deciding to sacrifice your child just because an angel told you to is absurd and immoral.
    But christians still seem to beleive that a man in India who does good for his family and his community will go to hell when he dies because he prayed to the wrong god. At the same time they also beleive that a serial rapist/killer can confess his sins to god and can go to sleep the night before execution safe in the knowledge that he will be with jesus in paradise.
    There is no concept for accountability.
    And while Mr. Zakira called Sam Harris's argument a generalization. He should take into account what happened after the taping in the greenroom when he presented the point that if the participants on the show would have burned a Koran on live tv, there would be demontrations, every US Embassy in Muslim Countries would go on high alert and the participants on the show would have to get extra security because of the fatwas that would be called for.
    The very same studies that Mr. Zakira quoted showed how average people in muslim countries, NOT extremist, feel about honor killings and the treatment of apostates.
    I challenge Mr. Zakira to read those results that he conveniently left out of his piece and come back and say with a straight face that Islam is not the problem as opposed to having a problem..

    October 13, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Reply
    • Davis

      Islam is a selfish religion...period. Me and my God. It doesn't encourage Love Thy Neighbor like Christianity. How many Muslim charities are there in the US helping the poor? And a selfish religion like Islam brings about evil ideas because it doesn't think about about others and helping their neighbor. Sure, not all following Islam are evil but think why you never see Christian terrorists.

      October 13, 2014 at 7:21 pm | Reply
      • wally z

        Easily the stupidest comment I have ever read

        October 13, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
      • lemisteryeux

        well, I know one christian terrorist ! his name is adolf hitler !

        October 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
      • Ffc

        it is no accident that all of the worlds great democracies are Christian. Under Christianity every life is special, and everyone, including women, is equal in the eyes of God and the law. Christianity and democracy go hand in hand. I will dare say it, even South America has moved toward freedom, and look at the results as that continent moves away from poverty.

        October 13, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
      • Nina

        To lemisteryeux: Adolf Hitler was NOT a Christian. He was of Jewish heritage and became an atheist.

        October 13, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
      • John

        Lemisteyuex. I know one atheist also. His name is Josef Stalin.

        October 13, 2014 at 11:14 pm |
      • Fred Karmally

        The Christian terrorists go under the official name of the western armies that bomb countries into the stone age to steal their oil. Face the facts. This is how they love their neighbors. They have killed and injured several times as many as all muslim terrorists have combined.

        October 13, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
      • Inanna

        No Christian terrorist? What rock have you been living under. Here's a few for you to consider:
        James Kopp, Paul Jennings Hill, Scott Roeder, Michael F. Griffin, and Peter James Knight...
        And then there is The Army of God. So much for Love thy neighbor...

        October 14, 2014 at 12:17 am |
      • Naveed

        How many Muslims lynched Black people in the US? Should we assume that Christianity is cruel and murderous? Or that all Christians are like that? NEVER GENERALIZE. THERE ARE VIOLENT PEOPLE IN EVERY RELIGION. THAT DOES NOT MEAN YOU CAN DENIGRATE AN ENTIRE RELIGION.

        October 14, 2014 at 12:26 am |
      • Shane

        Comparing "Christian terrorists" to "Islamic terrorists" is like comparing a rain drop to the pacific ocean. On 9/11 Islamic terrorists killed more than the KKK did in their more than 120 yrs of existence. It is also a 1000 more murders than the IRA committed in it's 50 yr history. Christian terrorists in the US have attacked abortion clinics and murdered less than 10 people. In September, there were over 234 terrorist attacks with 2900+ killed and over 4500+ critically injured. With 79% of Afghanistan believing someone should die for leaving Islam, that equates to approximately the entire population of Canada. Moreover, this editorial comment is disingenuous. There are enormous injustices going on in Indonesia, church burnings, women's rights are being eroded, terrorist attacks are happening. If 20% of the worlds Muslim population directly or indirectly supports terrorism, that's approximately 320,000,000 people. That's an enormous problem!

        October 14, 2014 at 1:04 am |
    • MarkM

      There is hypocrisy amongst both Muslims and Christians but I think you are missing the main point. Your answer if deflective rather than reflective. Instead of pointing the finger outward at another group you should be looking closer at your own religion and how you may affect change within it.

      I have worked with many people from many different religious backgrounds. I've seen the good and also the stubbornness in all groups of people when it comes to their beliefs in God. However in my opinion the Muslim community has a huge issue with dismissing other religious beliefs. The separation of church and state does not exist in many Islamic countries. You may talk about right-wing Christians and their biases – yes they have many – yet they still share a country with many other ethnic groups and believe in the right to let others practice their beliefs. Many non-Muslims face outright persecution in Islamic nations.

      October 13, 2014 at 8:20 pm | Reply
      • RichardLB

        What I find interesting is that many responses are deflective "Hey, in , they did the same or what could be perceived as worse."

        Interestingly, many religions have evolved. Yes, I've said it. The Christianity of today is NOT the Christianity of a thousand years ago. Roman Catholics are different. The Jewish religion is different (although, from a percentage perspective, there are a larger grouping of extremists). Islam has evolved but in much smaller pockets. Hence, it's image is one that is antiquated and does not fit in the modern day.

        October 13, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
      • Davis

        The Koran and the Bible read VERY differently. Jesus espoused helping the poor and outcasts of society. The Koran, on the other hand, is totally introspective – it talks only about the reader and their God and does not talk about helping anybody but the person praying to their God. That is very dangerous because it gets Muslims thinking that their ideas are from their God and they don't care how it affects others.

        October 13, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
    • KRG

      Are you even listening to yourself??? Are you really convinced what SOME Christians believe happens in the afterlife matters and compare them to muslims who do honor killings? The difference is, one may or may not happen, but hass absolutely no bearings on this current universe. However, the honor killings do. Taking a life and believing someone will go to hell or be saved are not even in the same ball field. Grow up and stop being offended by someone's belief. Instead, be offended by someone's actions against lives.

      October 13, 2014 at 10:09 pm | Reply
    • Fred Karmally

      All the religions practiced today are the problem. They have nothing to do with the original teachings of monotheism. They were all commanded to worship the one true God. It is not praying to the wrong God – there is only one God, but it is praying to God and someone else – not taking God alone, and not following the laws of God alone, which are compassionate and just. All religions are guilty. Armies of christian nations have killed way more than anyone else – and we can argue on which is more brutal, beheading or blowing someone to bits by cruise missiles .. but that is irrelevant. Add to it the desire for more power and greed, only achievable by the rich nations, and it is a potent mix.

      October 13, 2014 at 11:33 pm | Reply
      • Davis

        Matthew 25 in the New Testament makes it real clear that we need to spend our lives helping the poor on this earth. I try to do that every day, and it has given me far more joy than living for myself only. The US is not set up that way because you can't force that kind of faith on people, they have to get it on their own.

        October 14, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
  8. Scott

    Zakaria sahab – dont visit your home country – ther ewill a fatwa against you for this article.

    October 13, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  9. Scott

    I suk paki dikks

    October 13, 2014 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  10. Scott

    The only good Islamist, is a DEAD Islamist..

    October 13, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  11. Adam

    Muslims are very evil. They kill each other and non-Muslims too. The U.S. should do to those b©astards what Hitler did to the Jews...round them up, cage them, starve them, then burn them alive.

    October 13, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Reply
    • suzie669

      Adam,
      No, Adam, it is wrong to say that. You shoot your own feet. You ARE NOT them. You ARE NOT Muslims. You ARE NOT ISIS. You ARE NOT Mohammad.

      No, Adam, NO. Be focus. Talk the truth about what Mohammad did to non-Muslims, to Christians, to Jews. THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD DO.

      You never be one of them, ADAM, NEVER.

      October 13, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Reply
      • Adam

        @suzie669..I wanna go to bed with you.
        How do you look in a pink teddy?

        October 13, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
      • chuckmartel

        Suzie,you will always be an idiot.

        October 13, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
      • Adam

        @chuckmartel. Hey dude. STFU. Maybe I'll get lucky with Suzie.
        Butt out!

        October 13, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
    • Crockett

      ISIS flags have started flying all over New Delhi as BBC is reporting. Perhaps US should start bombing away. Modi has ran away to Myanmar to be with his boyfriend.

      October 13, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Reply
    • Jeff

      I have worked with three Muslims, and have gotten to know a Muslim family from Kosovo. They are good people. However, when I read the Koran, I have to conclude that a great deal of Islam is awful. Does this sound like a contradiction? Much of the Bible is pretty awful too, but it doesn't make me hate Jews and Christians. The beliefs are to be found in the scriptures, but we know that many of the beliefs are essentially dead for a lot of religious people.

      October 13, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Reply
      • wrk

        I'm very curious what you found wrong or disagreeable in the Bible.

        October 13, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
      • Sneeks

        wrk, how about all of the OT? Pretty much on par with the Joran, so don't throw stones.

        October 13, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
      • tseringdolker

        It is a very simplistic read, while understandable, that shouldn't be how you view Islam. I have many friends who are Muslims and are good people, just like anybody else. Just when it comes to Islam, a transformation happens that is visceral to behold, and then any logic or facts doesn't budge them. They just cannot accept Mohammed being a murderer, a war monger, a rapist, a slave owner, and a pedophile. If they accept that, then the whole foundation of Islam breaks. That is why even seemingly intelligent people suddenly undergoes a magical transformation. Islam should be criticized just like any other religion without threats or real bodily harm.

        October 13, 2014 at 11:53 pm |
      • Fred Karmally

        If you read the Scofield bible-used by many evangelists it is very hateful. There are different Quran translations, and many take it out of context. The translators bias comes across very strongly. The authorized english version, containing the mathematical code, is the best, and talks about compassion and honesty and only self defence. It clearly goes against the vast vast majority of muslim beliefs.

        Most of the popular translations are very ignorant. e.g. in 22:15 Marmaduke Pickthall translates
        Whoso is wont to think (through envy) that Allah will not give him (Muhammad) victory in the world and the Hereafter (and is enraged at the thought of his victory), let him stretch a rope up to the roof (of his dwelling), and let him hang himself. Then let him see whether his strategy dispelleth that whereat he rageth!

        The above is ridiculous. God would not tell you to hang themselves to see if the strategy worked. Compare this to the authorized version by Dr. Rashad Khalifa:
        If anyone thinks God cannot support him in this life then let him turn completely to his creator and sever his dependence on anything else, He will see that this plan eliminates anything that bothers him.

        The unique thing about Quran is that unless you meet the criteria in Deuteronomy 6:4-6 of loving God with all your heart soul and mind, and do not add any name alongside God, like Muhammad or Jesus, then you will understand it correctly. Muslims insist on adding the name of Muhammad alongside God, and do not believe God when HE says HIS book is fully detailed. They take their man made sources of hadith and sunna which have corrupted Islam beyond recognition. Truth is they are actively prevented from understanding Quran.

        The ISIS flag says 'there is no god but God'. A corrupted muslim would never say this. As for a real muslim they are so far and few. That is why I believe ISIS is not arab or muslim in any way but a tool created by outsiders.

        Quran:God does not forbid you from befriending those who do not fight you, and evict you from your homes ..'. this is the overriding criteria when dealing with non-muslims.

        October 13, 2014 at 11:56 pm |
    • suzie669

      I feel sorry for you, Adam and @chuckmartel,

      Adam
      @suzie669..I wanna go to bed with you.
      How do you look in a pink teddy?

      chuckmartel
      Suzie,you will always be an idiot.

      Adam
      @chuckmartel. Hey dude. STFU. Maybe I'll get lucky with Suzie.
      Butt out!

      I wish you both are witnesses how shariah applied on your own daughters. I am not mad with you. Not at all. I am happy to read your posts and know your characters.

      Wish you have safe and long lives,

      October 13, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Reply
      • chuckmartel

        OK. Adam can have you and I can sell your daughters like they do in islamiland.
        Why are you living here instead of some muslim toilet?

        October 13, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
    • dike

      You dont have to go that far, just round up all the muslims and put then in one country, they will fight each other till there is only one left, then we can imprison that one. When they are busy fighting they will leave the rest of the world in peace.

      October 13, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Reply
      • Asim

        At last someone with the right solution to the Islam problem.

        October 13, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
      • chuckmartel

        And idiotland USA keeps trying to break up their fights, import them and remove despots like Saddam who keep the jihadis in line. Keep them out of the US and let them kill each other like they have been doing for 1500 years.

        October 13, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
    • Sylvia

      Than we would be like them or worst. What we have to do as a Nation is stop giving this countries our hard earn money. Yes, stop them military wise is they are a thread. We must learn that through diplomacy we can educate.

      October 13, 2014 at 8:43 pm | Reply
      • Fred Karmally

        Do you really think we are that good? Good people don't bomb other countries back to the stone age (Iraq/Afghanistan) just to grab their oil. It is all a pretense – see how good we are. Meant for the unintelligent.

        October 13, 2014 at 11:24 pm |
    • p

      Lets just drop a freaking nuke in Middle East!

      October 13, 2014 at 11:05 pm | Reply
    • Naveed

      All the mass murders in the history of mankind have been carried out by Christians. The Inquisition, the extermination of countless communities all over the world, the Holocaust, the Srebenica massacre are all Christian atrocities! The Muslims never had a Ku Klux Klan. Please remember that when you attack Muslims and Islam.

      October 14, 2014 at 12:32 am | Reply
  12. Al

    Its like when a pit bull goes berserk and tears at anybody not in his pack as ISIS does

    the dog's supporters blame it on the training of the dog, not the dog breed

    Is it the mad dog (ISIS or AQ)or is it the training (Islamic) ?

    October 13, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  13. Crockett

    I was not born into Islam but I read up on it while at Harvard U and converted to Islam at the Boston Islamic Center along with my girlfriend. I have been much more happier and at peace with myself since then. I am a Management Consultant at the top Consulting Firm in New York City.

    ALLAH IS GREAT !!
    GOD IS GREAT !!
    ALMIGHTY IS GREAT !!

    MOHAMMAD (PBUH) IS GREAT !!

    MOSLEM STRONG!!!

    THE FUTURE BELONGS TO YOU!

    THE FINISH LINE IS YOURS !!

    INSHALLAH !! GOD WILLING !!!

    October 13, 2014 at 6:02 pm | Reply
    • bevshe

      Are you in favor of ISIS and all the killing they are doing? What kind of "peaceful" religion justifies this murderous rampage?

      October 13, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Reply
      • Fred Karmally

        This question should be directed to the creators of ISIS, who use it as a tool to fight muslims. Look who benefits
        The ISIS flag could never be made by a muslim, it violates the very first principle of the (corrupted) islam.

        Muslims have their first pillar of Islam 'there is no god but God and Muhammad is His messenger'. Go to any mosque and say 'There is no god but God' and they will insist that you add 'and Muhammad is His messenger'. They cannot accept God alone, just like the Christians have to have Jesus.

        This is totally against the Quran. The Quran states 'There is no god but God'. It also states 'when God ALONE is mentioned the hearts of those who do not believe in the hereafter shrink with aversion, but when OTHERS are mentioned ALONGSIDE they rejoice'.(39:45)

        October 14, 2014 at 12:04 am |
    • Bill

      Your writing does not reflect a Harvard education.

      October 13, 2014 at 7:58 pm | Reply
    • chuckmartel

      Glorifying the Boston bombings, what class. You prove the points of the so called islamaphobes,'Harvard man'.
      Your disease must be kept out of the US and you vermin can be left to kill each other like muslims have been doing for 1500 years.

      October 13, 2014 at 8:12 pm | Reply
    • bdby

      And there is your mistake. You would still be an American if you didn't go to that school called Harvard. That liberal U hands out sheep skins like toilet paper whether or not you make the grade.

      October 13, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Reply
      • Sneeks

        Couldn't get in to Harvard, huh bdby?

        October 13, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
      • chuckmartel

        Hey sneeks, from reading his posts, the closest jihadi crockett ever got to a Harvard education was cleaning the johns.

        October 13, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
    • jn

      A bunch of crock. You don't sound harvard material. No harvard student with a brain could possibly read the quran or the life of mohammad and possibly convert. To convert to islam after reading the quran you have got to be stupid.

      October 13, 2014 at 9:08 pm | Reply
    • Kay Oss

      Any educated westerner who converts to Islam is obviously a psychopath.

      October 13, 2014 at 11:45 pm | Reply
  14. Wes

    HumbleE , with respect, please tell me the last mass protest held in any big city by Muslims and their leaders against the persecution of others and Christians by Muslim Islamist, rather than referring me to a web site. I would be shocked to see that I missed a newscast of such an event. Looking for the truth and not some apologist for Islam or any other religion. Not willing to be hijacked. Huge outcry at the burning/threat of the Koran by some goofball pastor in Texas, just where was the protest by Muslims of the many Christian Churches burned in Egypt by Muslim Islamists. Give me the city where Muslim Islamists protested in mass of the Killing of Christians in Iraq. By providing this information upfront in this blog people will know your not an apologist for this Islam. or any other religion.

    October 13, 2014 at 6:04 pm | Reply
    • Crockett

      You are too busy smoking weed to notice all this. Go back into your flop house in downtown Detroit.

      October 13, 2014 at 6:07 pm | Reply
      • p

        Chief of Hezbollah said that he preferred all Jews to move back to Israel so that he doesn't have to hunt them around the world and can kill them in one place.

        For it or against it?

        October 13, 2014 at 11:07 pm |
      • Charlestix

        wh0cd462845 flagyl

        August 30, 2017 at 5:22 am |
    • JessicaR

      In Egypt, when Islamic extremists threatened Christians, many Muslims stood outside Christian churches during the Christmas holidays to protect Christians. So, yes, some Muslims do protest the extremists among them.

      October 13, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Reply
    • HumbleE

      Dear Wes,

      I actually don't have a huge amount of time, and I am sure you could do searches for this yourself if you were really interested, but some cities where Muslims have demonstrated against ISIS are Berlin, Stuttgart, Hanover, Molln, Dearborn, Paris, Oklahoma, Istanbul, Hull, Kabul, to name just a few. But I wonder why Muslims are expected to demonstrate, when I don't recall Christians demonstrating against the Lord's Resistance Army, Jews against settlers, or Buddhists against Burma.

      Anyway, I think that all these criticisms of Muslims are straw men, and the fact is that all three Abrahamic religions share much in common. Muslims share the same God as Christians and Jews, mostly the same prophets, and almost identical beliefs. Even intermarriage is allowed. I ignore the bigots here for the most part, but I worry that other fair minded Americans (the vast majority) may be deceived if these cancerous, divisive ideas are not challenged at least occasionally. And behind these somewhat simple-minded bigots, I do think that there are far mor intelligent, but incredibly cynical, individuals who are engaging in demagoguery for political ends that are against American Interests.

      In any case, thank you for engaging in a discussion with me rather than simply throwing around insults. Have a great evening.

      October 13, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Reply
      • Yakobi

        "I worry that other fair minded Americans (the vast majority) may be deceived if these cancerous, divisive ideas are not challenged at least occasionally."
        It is the cancerous, divisive radical muslims who've hijacked your religion you should be worried about. They pose far more of a danger to moderate muslims than they do to the US, because the US will actually (eventually) fight and defeat them, while moderate muslims will merely fall before them.

        October 13, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
      • Fred Karmally

        The three religions have a lot in common. As the Quran says 'They have taken their scholars and reigious leaders as gods besides God'. God's laws are fair, never advocate vice, full of compassion.
        Quran says 'God does not forbid you from befriending those who do not fight you, and evict you from your homes'. Is this what muslims, christians and jews are following? Look at how many people have been evicted from their homes by the bombings and violence in Gaza and Iraq/Afghanistan.? MOney, power and greed are the god of the day

        October 13, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
  15. Crockett

    ISIS ISIS ISIS !! Friffin mania.
    ISIS is smaller than an NFL team and they have riled up the whole world !!! Give me a Break.
    For what?

    That is what America/Bush get for messing with Iraq.
    Now deal with it. Fight your frikkin wars yourself.
    Get some Mafia hit men to go there if your soldiers don't wanna fight.

    October 13, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Reply
    • Fred Karmally

      It's a chess game, full of deception. They created ISIS to fight for them. But they want to pretend it is the enemy.
      They could destroy it in a few hours if they really wanted to. Most of the camera footage of ISIS power is not real.

      October 13, 2014 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  16. Al

    Ship all the gang members in US prisons to Iraq and give them credit for time served for each trophy

    October 13, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  17. Berry White

    "But now the caveat, Islam today, is important."
    More correctly stated ...
    But now the caveat, Islam today, is doomed.

    October 13, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Reply
    • chuckmartel

      We are doomed if we don't keep them out of the US. Their own posts prove that point. We must stop overthrowing their despots and leave them to kill each other in islamiland..

      October 13, 2014 at 8:26 pm | Reply
    • jonathanlk

      The only way Islam is important to me right now is that it threatens the living community of decent people of all the other beliefs in which I live. If they had a sense of respect for our lives, our liberties, and our property, and our laws, I wouldn't care. They don't seem to have any sense of fairness, or that life is important, no moral sense whatsoever. I have even read that many Muslims are conflicted by the extent of their own brutality. They have to realize they can't enforce their legal concepts whether it be the Hadith or the Shariah, or be it some perversion of the above, or whatever, or to fulfill any of their so called fatwahs within our borders against any of our citizens or anyone on our soil if it contradicts or conflicts with one of our secular laws supporting real justice, the primary purpose of which is to protect the citizenry and others who are here legally.

      October 13, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Reply
      • HumbleE

        Tell me, exactly how have you been threatened by Muslims? You may very well have had a Muslim doctor or nurse. A Muslim engineer or technician may well have built your car, the proper functioning of which is crucial to your life. You have put your life in the hands of Muslims and actually survived! I'm hoping that most folks will recognize the ridiculousness of your assertion. I'm betting that you probably do not believe it yourself.

        October 13, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
  18. bdby

    As far as I am concerned all muslims belong to a hate religion and cannot be trusted. At/in their mosque all they preach is hate toward the infidels that must be killed. They shouldn't be allowed to come and stay in this country at all.

    October 13, 2014 at 8:20 pm | Reply
    • HumbleE

      I assume that most rational people will dismiss your statement out of hand, but just in case, have you ever been to a mosque? I have been t numerous mosques around the world, along with churches, synagogues, and Hindu temples. I have NEVER heard anything like what you claim in a mosque. The sermons usually encourage the attendees to better themselves, be better parents, children, neighbors, citizens, and so forth. Sometimes they encourage remembrance of and charity for all Muslims around the world who are being victimized by foreign powers, despots, terrorists, and so forth. Killing adherents of other faiths is actually forbidden in Islam, contrary to what some folks here are claiming. That is why Muslims do not consider crazy cults like ISIS as Muslim and don't think ISIS has anything to do with them, any more than the IRA would.

      October 13, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  19. idi

    people have problems, not islam

    October 13, 2014 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  20. druffmaul

    "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 Maher and Harris OPENLY ACKNOWLEDGED EXACTLY THAT. Your piece here today basically reiterates their point: Islam extremism is heinous and not enough moderates stand up to it. The response to that is usually "Well, that's because doing so puts their lives at risk." And THAT'S THE POINT.

    October 13, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  21. Ferhat Balkan

    Fear… Since the days of the early writings of Homer, stories which portray tragedies and horrors have captivated the minds of many people. When it comes to news, we have mass media fear mongering that has the same effect. Ebola, Enterovirus, California wildfires, Flight MH370, Ukraine crisis etc. Let’s face it, fear sells and it sells big. The headlines are 99% of the time stories driven by fear or some sort of “imminent threat”. This latest phobia of Islam is no exception. With nearly 2 billion Muslims around the world and only a tiny minute fraction of Muslims committing crime, the media actively pursues a systematic demonization of Islam. Islam is a religion and just like any other religion it promotes peace and worship. Ask yourselves, where was the media when Muslims around the world were protesting against ISIS? Where was the media when Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the largest Muslim umbrella organization in North America, condemned ISIS? Who covered it? When was the last time you saw a true Islamic scholar being interviewed on any of the major networks being asked the hard questions? Instead, you see the usual bigotry and demonization of Islam. It is all irrational fear driven by corporate politics to justify the wars in the Middle East. When Israel bombed and killed thousands of innocent Palestinians in Gaza, where was the outrage from the Western countries? Where are the sanctions against Israel? Did we see Israelis marching through the streets protesting the bombings? In fact, the Israeli war machine is still funded by the US. From 2009 to 2018, the United States is scheduled to give Israel $30 billion in military aid. How much did the media cover the recently attempted genocide against the Rohingya Muslims by Buddhist monks in Myanmar? In fact, most Westerners will likely have trouble finding Myanmar on a map, but ask them where Syria or Iraq is and most will find it without trouble. Bias and discrimination against Muslims grabs attention. Fear mongering sells and the media bathe themselves in it.

    October 13, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Reply
    • HumbleE

      As you point out, there is a political motive to demonization of Muslims. It is pretty obvious who benefits from it, to the detriment of our collective national interest.

      October 13, 2014 at 9:17 pm | Reply
      • chuckmartel

        If you stayed in your toilets and just killed each other, I would have no problem with you. Need directions to an airport?

        October 13, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
      • Fred Karmally

        Correct, most of the killing has been done by the bible pushers.
        Always look at who benefits, who has the motive
        The media ... one of the biggest culprits

        October 13, 2014 at 11:16 pm |
  22. barb'sbarb

    The desire for power and control is not only a fundamental flaw of religion but also ideology.

    When the desire for power and control overrides common sense and compassion, it matters not what religion or ideology you support: when extremism makes inroads, the roads lead to misery and destruction and tyranny.

    October 13, 2014 at 9:11 pm | Reply
    • Fred Karmally

      Well said. Also is the desire to steal other peoples resources like oil and control them financially. This has nothing to do with religion.

      October 13, 2014 at 11:14 pm | Reply
  23. Kat

    Let's be honest Fareed, you're brown with a funny accent like Apu's from the Simpsons and will say anything to fit in and be liked by your white audience

    October 13, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  24. Kat

    "Islam's" only problem is being centered in an area that is geographically targeted by the Bible believers for their biblical bloody prophecies of a Messiah, grand temple, Israel, Armgeddon, blah blah blah

    October 13, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  25. PJ

    The Islamic religion is as peaceful a religion as is the KKK a benevolent organization. I have the watched several propaganda vids put out by Islamic groups trying to convince me that Islam is a peaceful religion. Mainstream Islam claims to be non-violent, yet the many of the terrorist acts being committed today are in the name of Islam. ISIS/ISIL is a terrorist organization that exists in the name of Islam. If the Islamic religion was so peaceful, why do they not declare Jihad against ISIS/ISIL? Christianity is also a "peaceful" religion, but fought a war with a Godless (except for the Dictator) country that was actively exterminating various religious groups, primarily Jews. Islam's non action is tacit approval of these terrorist organizations. Go ahead, attack me on an emotional level, but look at the responses by the countries that are supposed to be helping in containing ISIS/ISIL. Token at best. My open mindedness has been replaced with a distinct distrust of anything Islamic. Just think of those that are less open minded. And look at the various countries that are supposed to be our allies. Members of their police and military who are suppose d to be our allies and friends routinely use the access they have been granted under the guise of being our ally to gain entry into secure facilities and then commit terrorist acts killing in the name of Islam. Refute that.

    October 13, 2014 at 11:03 pm | Reply
    • Fred Karmally

      All religions of the world have been severely distorted (from the original teachings) and will eventually die out. The montheistic religions are anything but monotheistic. The Islam practised today has nothing to do with the one preached by Muhammad, and the Quran. Unfortunately media and politics have prevented us from knowing the truth.

      An open mind is a prerequisite to salvation

      October 13, 2014 at 11:12 pm | Reply
  26. Jim

    Ignorance plus religion is a dangerous combination, no matter what the religion. Christianity was also bad back in the Middle ages. It took an age of discovery and artistic introspection to get past many of the barbaric ways. The only way to counter the evil religious zealots and their philosophy of destruction is to educate the ignorant, simple-minded people that they prey upon. I would bet that if we opened schools and paid the ignorant to come and get educated, as job, it would be a whole lot cheaper than all the money we spend on drones and high-tech weapons to try to pacify what is untameable by force.

    October 13, 2014 at 11:04 pm | Reply
  27. Fred Karmally

    The reason there is a problem with Islam is because they do not follow the Quran.They cannot accept God Alone. They have to have the name of Muhammad next to God, just like Christians need to have Jesus. Walk into any muslim mosque and say 'There is no God but God'. and they will immediately correct you by adding 'and Muhammad is His messenger'. The very foundation of their religion is 'There is no God but God and Muhammad is His messenger'(a statement nowhere to be found in Quran). If you disagree, depending on which country you are in, they will ask you to leave or kill you. It is because of this reason that ISIS could not possibly be a fundamentalist Islamic organization. Only those who know this realize this fact.

    The ISIS flag says 'There is no God but God'. This is against the very first principle of the corrupted Islam. Then below someone added 'God,messenger,Muhammad' (as if there are three). They would say 'God,Muhammad' or 'God,messenger'. Obviously this flag was designed by some ignorant western intelligence agency, for a western audience. They figured let us just put some arabic on there. No one who has anything to do with Islam would do this.

    FYI, Dr. Rashad Khalifa who discovered the Quran's superhuman mathematical composition, was killed for preaching that muslims are not following Quran especially by violating the very basis tenet 'There is no God but God', and have a man made religion based on innovations called hadith and sunnah, which have nothing to do with Quran.

    This also explains why the ISIS murderous rampage (which would turn off most of the muslims from giving their support), its sudden rise to power without detection, no knowledge of its infrastructure. A terror organization would show the actual beheading. There is not even a wisp of blood in any of the videos when the knife moves 6 times across the neck, the clear microphone voice despite the clothes waving in the breeze, the same background in every video.

    October 13, 2014 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  28. Draxta

    Religion is for those that cannot handle the reality of life.

    October 13, 2014 at 11:11 pm | Reply
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