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. Shahla Khan Salter

    Fareed Zakaria you have some nerve. You know there are some Muslims out there fighting for change inside and outside the mosque. You could have just one gender jihadist/lgbtq activist/universalist/sufi healer/Arab spring activist on your show every month and the world would find out there is another Islam out there and people would join us. But instead you complain like you are ignorant and powerless.

    October 12, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  2. William

    The over-simplification about Islam regularly made by almost everybody is that the vast majority of Muslims are "peaceful" and all the violence and atrocities are the work of a "small minority." That small minority is mainly the sons and brothers of so-called "peaceful" Muslims who do next to nothing to stop any violence. The extremists could not exist without the silent approval of the majority. Throughout history many wars have been carried out in the name of religion, and while other religions seem to have moved past that, Islam has not.

    October 12, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  3. Zane Abdulla

    I feel pity for Fareed. This guy is helpless in the clutches of CNN who guve him a racist script that he narrates. Money Money Money. Everyone has a price, I suppose.

    October 12, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • dike

      Yeah one of your kind seeing the truth as is and you pigs are so infuriated.

      October 13, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  4. Talston

    It is truly scary to hear anyone refer to Maher as an intellectual. Unless we are prepared to include donkeys and hippos in the intellectual category, I dont think Maher would make the cut. And saying that just so you can have political cover when disagreeing with one of his dumb pronouncements is giving him credibility where none should exist.

    October 12, 2014 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • srichey321

      Religion by its very nature is narrow and extreme and agree with Maher's views on religion, but his comments have the effect of espousing another type of extremism.

      October 12, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Reply
      • billbl

        Maybe Maher and Harris expressions were not found in typical conversation in today's tolerance world. But the intolerance shown by SOME Muslims certainly deserves pointing out. This may be a pathway for any moderate Muslim to speak out more openly.

        October 12, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
      • Starman

        Bill and Sam were spot on, no doubt about it. When they say "we should question religious ideals" and then attacked as "racists"... that shows the extremism. Liberal apologists are the worst like Ben. Understand that if I question something crazy in the Christina religion, would you also call me "racists". Last time I checked religions had people of all races, in fact in the USA, 70% of Muslims are white. Religion is the problem at heart here and once you leave that bubble of false reality, you see how terrible it really is, Islam leading the race right now... But all the others not far off. Many have simply modernized, Islam acts today much like Christianity 100+ years ago.

        October 12, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
    • Mopper

      Not to be called an intellectual is not necessarily a bad thing. Especially knowing that intellectual does not necessarily equate with being intelligent.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Reply
    • someone789

      You may call Maher etc all the names you want to, but that doesn't change the facts on the ground.

      What Sam Harris said is spot on. If people listen to what he is actually saying, instead of frothing at the mouth and losing their minds every time the word 'islam' is mentioned ... we could have worthwhile debates. Else it just leads to more politically correct excuse making, that people like the others on the show (afleck/kristoff) indulged in.

      It's good that Fareed is atleast acknowledging that there is a problem. But then he goes on to say that Harris is oversimplifying & exagerating. True that India & Indonesia with the largest & second largest Muslim populations in the World do not have the situations that you see in the Middle East ... but the 'bad ideas' that Harris keeps talking about are indeed subscribed by large numbers of people. They may not take the next step and do something stupid/violent ... but they have strong beliefs about minority rights / womens role in society etc etc.

      A big part of the problem was/is that there are 2 distinct ideologies at play here ... on the one hand we have liberal democracy and on the other hand we have conservative islam/sharia etc etc. Frankly, there are large numbers of people (and this doesn't make them bad people) who would prefer living under that kind of a system and are not too excited about liberal values/democratic principles etc. I have no idea what numbers fall into this group ... but it certainly isn't a dozen dudes who are misguided.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Reply
      • Odds

        I think he about summed it up. ISIS is all the evidence we need that Islam has a significant number of extremists, particularly in positions of power. As he says, that's a problem. And while the rest of the Muslim world isn't exactly silent on the subject, it's difficult to hear their voices over the violence. That's a fair criticism of Islam today, I think.

        On the other hand, while extremism appears to hold significant influence in the leadership of many Islamic countries and organizations, the vast majority of Muslims live peaceful lives. That is simply the truth. Just as our government here does not accurately represent ordinary citizens through its actions overseas. How many of you would like to take credit for civilian deaths in other countries? This is essentially what you ask of the millions of peaceful Muslims in the world.

        So, yes, I think the writer got it right. We should be talking about the Muslim world standing up in opposition of this cancer, just as they would expect us to stand up to our leadership when its actions are inconsistent with our agenda (if only we held up to our own standards!). It's neither necessary nor productive to lump all Muslims together.

        So-called "apologists" like Maher's guests that night have no love for ISIS. They simply recognize that Islamic leadership is less representative of ordinary Muslims than the American government is representative of its citizens. And that's the ONLY way this will ever be resolved. By recognizing that not all Muslims are our enemies and that we need their help to win this fight.

        You can see that, can't you? This is not America's problem to solve. You can't fight it with bombs – it will only come back stronger. The only way is for all of those peaceful Muslims to push for significant change. To stand up together and make it clear that this is not acceptable and not representative of their religion. And they're more likely to do that if we show support to them and condemnation to our enemies.

        If that's being an "apologist", I guess that's where I stand.

        October 12, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
    • NB

      Affleck is even less intellectual... just an uneducated entertainer. His opinion means nothing since he knows nothing.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  5. Rick McDaniel

    The truth is simple. people have been making EXCUSES for Islam for far too long. Trying to pretend that Muslims are peaceful people, is simply untrue. That is painfully obvious. It is time for the world to face the truth.......Islam is a violent, dictatorial religion, that is inhumane to people everywhere. They tolerate no other religion, and that makes them a threat to the entire planet.

    October 12, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • interlopert

      Islam is peaceful as long as you convert to it otherwise Islam's mission is to ultimately convert everyone by any means necessary.

      October 12, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Reply
    • rostok pistolis

      We have a president that is overly tolerant of it...

      October 12, 2014 at 1:15 pm | Reply
    • Calvin

      The problem is this colonial mind set. Bunch of non muslims starting a conversation about Islam. Including Mr. Zakaria none of them knows anything about Islam. The mentality is I know about Islam more than them.
      These people are not even familiar with the Newtons, mechanical law of cause and reaction (Dialectic is beyond comprehension in here).
      This is the consequence of 300 years of colonialism. This is the outcome of installing Saudi's family by British Colonial Empire This is the outcome of 67 years of brutal, humiliating occupation. This is the outcome of the war clash of civilization. This is the outcome of Iraq occupation. This is the outcome of making decision for them. This is the outcome of colonial mind set.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Reply
      • bernard

        there is logic in this....but...it is incomplete. There is a significant connection between radical super natural beliefs and radical violent actions. Claiming failure to not understand Islamic beliefs (or any other religion) is trite nonsense....no one can really understand or agree on these old confused and contradictory texts, (which explains all the different sects). The bombs of democracy maybe be often misguided....but democracy trumps theocracy by any standard of leading to human well being (in this.....our only....world)

        October 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
      • NB

        Muslims know about Islam even less. They just do what mullahs say and being mostly uneducated are easily maniplulated by them.

        October 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
      • drbobjr

        Right.....It's everybody else's fault. playing the eternal victim card is exactly how ISIS recruits young people (they are always young) to blow themselves up for no reason.

        October 12, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
      • bingo

        @Calvin.. Mr. Zakaria himself is a Muslim. He knows about Muslims much more than you and I do..

        October 12, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
      • Calvin

        Karl Marx was as much a Jew as Mr. Zakaria is a muslim. Mr. Zakaria is working for CNN a very well known Muslim media outlet!!

        October 12, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
      • Max Trek

        How is life treating you in the "western" world? While you enjoy all the rights and privileges of a free democratic society you pretend to be someone else and work from within to dismantle it. The new Islamic agenda is to attack and dismantle the "west" from within and without.

        October 12, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
      • Calvin

        Max do not get exited. This is another exciting Hollywood game, IS cannot run a school of size 250 for two weeks. In 2 years they are gone like dinasaurs and media is talking about a something else. You are new for 60 years we were talking about Soviets, for exploitation we need these animals, we will generate them if needed.
        No one can destroys a culture unless if you think of a culture like a cloths.

        October 12, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
    • abnroberts

      If only Joshua did what God told him to do when he entered Canaan.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Reply
    • rondonaghe

      I have to agree with you. The moderate Muslims will silently go along with the extremists because it more closely aligns with their beliefs than it does with liberal/democratic thinking. Sure, the moderates might not like the violence extant in the extremist camp, but they won't give up their beliefs to align themselves with Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. And I'm afraid that's why there has been no massive outcry by Muslims who are not violent.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Reply
      • bernard

        I agree....but I also think most muslims are just avoiding ostracizing, verbal & physical violence by staying quiet....the memes of islam are self reinforcing....if you criticize you are a blasphemer....you can be killed (or at least treated poorly) for trying to quit or change the religion. The moderate muslim world needs brave new leaders who are willing to be hunted and need bodyguards in order to preach are more 21st century version of the faith.

        October 12, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
      • Calvin

        Were this Liberal thinking exists in reality? Permanent membership of UN security council is one example. This beautiful words has been used to exploit other people. who did the slavery.? Who killed 1.5 Million communists in Indonesia and 3 millions in Vietnam.

        October 12, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
  6. Tom

    I applaud Mr. Fareed Zakaria for this video. I understand religious fear. I do NOT understand religious intolerance. I personally feel that there are many Muslims that do Not agree with strict Sharia law and are just afraid for their own families safety. Together, we can ALL make a stand against unjust, unfair treatment of others. I think that is the way the world should be. I value everyone's opinion in this but if you disagree with this, you need to re-evaluate who and what you are. We NEED world peace, if only to perpetuate the human species in the coming centuries. Just my thoughts, I hope to hear other valid, important opinions or facts.

    October 12, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Reply
    • Cap'n America

      The Muslim world would feel extremely proud if you were to be subjugated according to Sharia. Very proud.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Reply
    • Naveed Khan

      Islam does not have a problem. It’s a very small number of people who are misinterpreting the religion. The number is very minute as compare to the total population of the Muslims in this world. How many killings have we seen in the United States lately? Were those Muslim people? Was David Koresh or Hitler were Muslims. Was Oklahoma City bomber a Muslim? The guy who shot President or Kennedy was Muslim? Does this mean Christianity is a violent religion?

      October 12, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Reply
    • Cindy Varieur

      Sadly world peace is not possible. World peace requires agreement. ISIS plans to create "agreement" by killing all who disagree–that is not my hope for our world.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  7. Max Trek

    Islam is peaceful as long as you convert to it otherwise Islam's mission is to ultimately convert everyone by any means necessary.

    October 12, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Reply
    • reader

      That's actually not true; Islam does not say to convert people to Islam by coercion.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Reply
      • Max Trek

        That's actually a fact! I think you need to study your book more. Basically Islam validates itself by referencing the earlier revelations and then conveniently claims to be the last word of the creator and in effect makes Christianity and Judaism and all other forms of worship invalid. Look up the Sura "Al Baqara" (The Heifer) and it will be self evident.

        October 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
      • Mopper

        Maybe you should tell that to ISIS ...

        October 12, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
      • my10cents

        How naïve are you? ISIS is today doing just that and worse. Some of the luckier ones only had to leave everything they owned behind but at least they are still alive. This isn't just about Christians and Islam and is within Islam as well between Shiites and Sunnis. Islam is submission and submission allows for and often requires intolerance, suppression, and violence.

        October 12, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
      • NB

        Correct, there is no coercion.... they say directly – convert or die.

        October 12, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
  8. reader

    Islam does not have the problem; the problem is with people who say / think they follow Islam when they know nothing about it! They're the ones who make Islam look like it has a problem.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Reply
    • Max Trek

      Islam is the virus that is far deadlier than "Ebola" and any other viruses known to man today- it's mission is to consume the "West" from within and without.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Reply
      • Calvin

        This kind of journalistic conversations attracts bigots to insult other people. Look at how a sick person insulting other people as "virus". Either the person is ignorant or has a plan.

        October 12, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
  9. Yasser Haider

    Even though Fareed Zakaria's comments here have some truth in them but he fails to explain the reason behind the extremism. The cure to this problem has rarely been talked about. Its simple.. you kill their people and they try to strike back..

    Wars in afghanistan, iraq, libya and unrest caused in the middle east is just why theres more people joining these terrorist groups.

    I am totally against violence but the main root of the cause should be identified before raising fingers at the religion as a whole

    October 12, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Reply
    • billbl

      The problem there is intolerance and based on taking passages from the Quran and other Islamic texts literally. The Bible also has violent recommendations for "sinners" or those who don't obey. But Christians have evolved to ignore much of the worst. This is what the violent Islamists need to do. Any moderate Muslims need to speak up against violence.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Reply
  10. Zane Abdulla

    Fareed is a bigot. He has an inferiority complex of being an Indian. Therefore for a few bucks he has dold his soul to please his masters at CNN / CIA. Shame on you, Fareed.
    You have no soul.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Reply
    • billbl

      There is nothing inferior about Fareed.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Reply
      • Zane Abdulla

        Thus guy Fareed is a joke.
        His intellect. His plagiaristic tendencies. His bigotry. His hypocrisy. All are shameful. Shame on you and shame on him.

        October 12, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
    • Max Trek

      That's right! Let's label everyone we don't agree with and start the name calling. Fareed is well educated and has enough intellectual depth to comment about this topic.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Reply
      • Calvin

        His colonial creators are supporting him.

        October 12, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
  11. billbl

    Maybe Maher and Harris expressions were not found in typical conversation in today's tolerant world. But the intolerance shown by SOME Muslims certainly deserves pointing out. This may be a pathway for any moderate Muslim to speak out more openly.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Reply
    • Zane Abdulla

      His intellect. His plagiaristic tendencies. His bigotry. His hypocrisy. Shame on you and shame on him.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Reply
      • billbl

        You might try to be specific rather than just insult.

        October 12, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
      • Max Trek

        This is the typical way muslims respond when you don't agree with their views and then comes the violence.

        October 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
  12. Zane Abdulla

    This is irresponsible journalism. A witch hunt. America cannot function without an enemy. Vietnam, Soviets, India and now this.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  13. Richard

    Religion is a matter of "choice" and not of "force", the sooner everyone realizes this, the better off humanity is.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Reply
    • Travis

      Both Fareed and Harris believe that they are on the side of truth. Since they both can't be right, the truth must be somewhere in between the two.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Reply
    • magicpanties

      brainwashing children does not really leave them with much of a "choice"

      October 12, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  14. George Michael

    Fareed,
    You let your own biases shown this time. You mentioned that Islam was peaceful with the exception of the 70 years or so, WRONG, for those of us Arab Christian, we have different record of history that contradict yours, ISLAM was and is always violent against religious minorities.
    You said Islam was at the front edge of civilization, sure when they have their caliphate established and they were subjugating non Muslims treating them as Zemi, a derogatory term to describe Jews and Christians.
    You mentioned the Crusades but failed to mentioned why did the crusades started in the first place, and the massacres committed against Christians by Muslims in Jerusalem. In short Fareed, violence have solid support in Islamic teachings while if violence was committed in the Christian history it was the exception and in contradiction of the teachings of Jesus Christ, few things you failed to mentioned, I still a fan though.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Reply
    • billbl

      Another point that Harris brings out is that with the more powerful weapons in existence today that we can not wait for moderation in radical Islam. The world is too dangerous today. He and Mayer are bringing into public discussion the problems that you noted. This may set a trend to eventually remove violent teachings.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  15. Cap'n America

    I always like when Muslims state that there is a handful of extremists. According to another Pew Research Poll...7% of Muslims believe that attacks like 911 should be carried out fervently. 7% may not sound like a lot but it is 91 million Muslims. The same poll shows that 50% of Muslims believe that attacks like 911 can be justified. The fundamental ambiguity in Islam is that the prophet/founder of the religion...a man of god.....was a murderer. ISIS IS following the ways of the prophet, or at the very least they can justify their barbarity. Islam was set up by Mohammed in a way that would not allow criticism or deviation from the religion. In fact criticism or deviation can result in death. The religion cannot adapt. It has completely stagnated the society....a culture that is completely based on the religion. Humanity needs to move forward and there is no reason why we should tolerate these Islamolunatics whose obligation according to their prophet/murderer....is to subjugate the entire planet to Islam. Not gonna happen....they are now slaughtering each other as a direct result of their beliefs....their culture is dying as so many other horrible cultures have died before them. So be it.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • Cyrus

      Any religion by itself is not violent; it can only became dangerous when it is used as a powerful tool in hand of politicians, a tool by which you can control minds. Let not forget that millions of Jews were kills by Christians few decades ego, or Muslims that are killed by Jew even now, because they simply want their right to live. So why we see more volition is Muslim countries or more particularly in middle east countries. Here is why:

      -First, for many years they are kept under dictatorship by west. After WW2 Britain divided the middle east countries by artificial borders, and govern minorities to majorities so they can easily be controlled. A shia minority in Suni region of Syria and a Sunni minority shia region of Iraq, they kept under educated and any of their movements toward democracy and freedom has been ceased by coupes and wars supported by west. why middle east? because it is most strategic place in the world. It is cross section all major religions, it is located at the interface of west and east and 60% of world's oils resources are there. In such kind of environment violence is inevitable regardless of people religious.

      -Second, western media for many years tried to related any violation to Islam. If Nazi Germany or Serbia slaughter thousand of innocents, they just called criminals not christian criminals. If terrorists in Ethiopia and Uganda slaughter thousands, they just called terrorist not christian terrorists. If female genital mutilation happens in most of christian part of Africa, they just called barbarous not christian barbarous. But in reveres, media put the world ISLAMIC if front any terrorist group or barbarism who happen to be in a Muslim countries or has Muslim members, regardless of the fact that %99 of Muslims are against them. Alghaeda, ISIS, Buko-haram have killed more Muslim than any other religious. In fact Muslims mostly blame west for creation and funding of these groups and they are not that wrong.

      October 12, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  16. Zane Abdulla

    Feed Fareed some curry masala and put him on a boat to go fight ISIS. What the heck is he doing here.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  17. Zane Abdulla

    ISLAM STRONG !!!
    MUSLIM STRONGER !!!
    THE FINISH LINE IS OURS !!
    THE FUTURE BELONGS TO US !!

    October 12, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Reply
    • my10cents

      Hitler made the same claims. I eventually predict the same result for Islam unless it and you decide to enter the civilized world.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Reply
      • Cristobal

        Hitler and Hindu Gandhi were buddies and collaborated on the holocaust. India/Hitler nexus.

        October 12, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
  18. Cindy Varieur

    I just heard that last few minutes of Fareed's commentary. He clearly has a bias, like all of us. All people take information to one degree or another and spin it for their own agenda. However, comparing the Koran and the Bible, is where the rubber hits the road. When looking at the meta-narrative of the two books, the Koran definitely has a problem with the Jews, the Bible does not. The Koran takes great issue with the non-muslim especially the Jewish people. When it comes to "killing" the "infidel" (which is condoned in the Koran), Jesus said "if you live by the sword you will die by the sword". So yes, extremists are found in both faiths. However, overlooking the behavior of the "followers" of the two faiths, and simply looking at the book they follow-only the Koran speaks with "extreme" harshness against the Jews and infidels.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  19. Cristobal

    So let us talk about the muslims in India since Fareed segway(ed) this into his post. The muslims in India have been massacred, suppressed, maimed and rayped by the hindu majority in India. They have been living in oppression. Suffocated. Genocides committed against them.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Reply
    • my10cents

      Let's be fair on that topic as well. There would be no 'problems' in India if the Muslim leaders of that era had not demanded\forced the separation of the cultures into two States. That original separation was more about the power and control the Indian Muslims leaders wanted for themselves and over their 'people' than it was about personal freedoms and rights. Let's also not forget that the Muslims in India are also not without blood on their hands. Both cultures in India are living in 'glass' houses and we can see very clearly the stones they are holding in their hands.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Reply
      • Cristobal

        Hindus are the terrorists.

        October 12, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
  20. my10cents

    IMO there is no such thing as 'moderate' Islam because the orthodoxy doesn't consider these people to be 'true' followers of the Prophet and thus any words of protest are ignored and drowned out. In some of the more radicalized sects these 'moderates' are no safer from retribution than infidels. Islam today is as corrupted as the Roman Catholic Church was during the dark ages. Just as the pogroms used Christ and God to justify barbaric actions against populations of non-believers such is the corruption of Islam today. Bill Maher may have over simplified things but he was still correct. Until countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, stop using Islam as a weapon to control their own populations these other madmen like ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, Boko Haram, Taliban, Al-Qaida will have more than enough examples to justify their actions. Changes to Islam must happen from the top down or there will never be real peace with and within Islam.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  21. billbl

    Many Muslims believe that their life on Earth is just a test for life seeking a reward of eternity in heaven. Even some of these suicide bombers think that are earning such a prize. Those who lead them to think that are, at least, not telling them the truth.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Reply
    • auntiekale

      The "truth" being that in all likelihood there is no "after life" nor gods, and all religions are just entertaining the self-interested little fantasies of the Human mind?

      October 12, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  22. Mohammed Daud

    Fareed, Islam has no problem today, neither it had any problem in the past nor it will have any problem in the future, it is a complete way of life for only those who have understanding. Of course Muslims have problem today, due to their ignorance they respond to the deceptive slogans of those misguided extremists, and self-proclaimed religious leaders who are empty headed and completely devoid of foresight, they are the one who bring disgrace and dishonor to this beautiful religion. I hope you will change your opinion, thank you.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Reply
    • B. Murphy

      Islam has been corrupted by ignorance. Sadly, I believe it is true that "moderate" Muslims will not speak out against violence in the name of Allah because too many of them support it. Also, a recent poll showed that 70% of American Muslims are in favor of sharia law in some form. That is frightening; completely inconsistent with our American ideals and freedom.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  23. Steve

    Perhaps this article would have been legitimate had Zakaria actually read more into what Maher and Harris were trying to say before they were rudely cut off, besides having to placate the nonsensical PC side of this in order to appear fair and balanced, something everyone on CNN does to hilarious extremes, and end up looking anything but fair and balanced. What EXTREMISM is harris and maher going to trigger inside of someone?? All they did was criticize IDEAS, not individuals or people, so the first paragraph here is in fact, stupid. Even if some liberal, which is maher and harris' audiences, decided to commit a hate crime what would they do? Throw their sociology degree at them?? Come on, lets stop talking about this as if it's the extreme right wing right after 9/11 and get real.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  24. Syd Chaden

    Islam's principal problem is the Islamic doctrine that calls for "death to infidels". Western leaders lack the courage to confront it. But, the Muslim World takes it very seriously. The two major branches of Islam, the Sunnis and the Shia, each consider the other to be "infidels", and they have been killing each other for centuries, for that reason. They still are, and, of course, they are killing non-Muslim "infidels", as well. But, by far, the vast majority of the victims of the Islamic doctrine of "death to infidels" have been Muslims, killed by other Muslims in their practice of Islam. And so, it is the Musliim World that would benefit the most, if the doctrine was renounced, or, at least, redefined, so that it does not mandate the killing of non-believers in Islam.
    But, where will the leadership to accomplish such a change come from? Obama, President of a nation of "infidels", ignores the Islamic death sentence for the American people, and instead, fantasizes that "Islam is the religion of love", and, Islamic terrorism is the work of a tiny minority". But, any fool can see that the Sunnis and the Shia are not "a tiny minority", and any fool can see that "death to infidels" is not a message of love. And, any fool can deny that the doctrine of "death to infidels" is the problem.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  25. Caesar Romaine

    Ha!!!! Did you hear what he said?!?! "Bill Maher, intellectual"!!!! Ha hahahaha....

    October 12, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  26. buddmcclure

    bet you wont post this.

    IF YOU DEFEND ISLAM TODAY...TOMORROW YOU WILL BE BURNING HISTORY BOOKS. God, Jews, Christians & all their KNOWN HISTORY will be destroyed and replaced with an ISIS form of reality.

    Fareed WILL BE a book burner. This challenge is too BIG for you. AS ISIS HAS ANNOUNCED AND QURAN MANDATES..ISLAM or DIE..(or pay big cash DAILY to breathe). You MUST DESTROY ALL MENTION OF THE REAL GOD and establish a FALSE GOD in the TEMPLE of Jerusalem. You cant stop..EVEN if you tried. You will play a part in the FINAL STRUGGLE over God. You WILL fight 4 ISLAM in the end..ugly or not. Out of devoted faith? No, sweetie, YOU ARE BEING COMPELLED BY THE TRUE GOD to complete HIS..not Allah's..DEVINE EDICT: "It will be of NO USE as the END will come as GOD says. He didn't tell ALLAH..so you're ONLY HOPE will be to accept a ISLAM DEATH or DEFEND it.

    You cant handle this one..but EGO will rob you of LOGIC as well as your own soul. I do PITY you.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Reply
    • auntiekale

      Is your god better than his God, or his her god better than your God?

      October 12, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Reply
    • Johnboy

      As Malala said Education is the only hope and education would sure help the world of Islam

      October 12, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Reply
  27. Johnboy

    I wish one of our Muslim brothers could return from heaven and tell us how the 40 virgins were? That might solve a few problems.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  28. Carloada Nades

    Islam doesn't have a problem. Islam IS the problem, as most organized religions tend to be.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  29. auntiekale

    Sam Harris is right to ask the questions he does. Thankfully we are no longer killed for questioning the "Gods" in this country...glad this isn't the middle east. Another century of knowledge, maybe the light of truth and facts and science will help illuminate these dark recesses of the Human condition that we call religion.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  30. Diane Matthews

    I have respected the journalistic integrity and intelligence of Mr. Fareed since I began viewing his posts on CNN – Asian Desk while traveled in India for four years.
    I am a Buddhist, a convert to this religion in 1970. In the 1970's. while a student of South Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, I learned the history of ancient India, from professors who had once been Indian Nationals themselves. When we were taught about the history of Muslims in India, a Muslim Academic Specialist came in to teach us; the same for each region and special interest (poetry. family structure in South India versus North India), etc.
    I later received a Master Of Science Degree at Columbia University in NYC, but I have never encountered the depth and brilliance of scholarship that I experience in the South Asian Studies Department of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

    I say that to let you know that, prior to the emergence of the religious fanaticism of some Muslims during the latter part of the 20th century, I had studied with Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist professors in a program specializing in a region that has an extensive Muslim population, and whose history and character were profoundly altered by its encounter with kings and others following the Muslim faith in the 8th, through the 14th centuries.
    During that time, the kings who had converted to the Muslim faith drove their armies across Iran, and entered, one by one, geographic areas now designated as: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Nepal. In each of these countries their aim was to conquer and forcible convert the population of those countries to Islam. The primary faith of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Northern India and Nepal was Buddhism. There were vestiges of Zoroastrianism in Iran, and tribal and animist followers in all regions, as there are today. However, Buddhism had flourished for over one thousand years in these areas.

    Some scholars at the time, had speculated that Buddhism was wiped out entirely in these regions due to its developing more sophisticated learning centers and placing a too strong emphasis on the clergy. However, no one in living memory at that time, had witness the extreme, even psychotic appearing level of violence that has emerged from the Muslim world at the end of the 20th century.

    Even now, as witnessed by the blowing up of the sacred Buddha Statues at Bamiyan, and other destruction of Buddhist monuments elsewhere, we are witness to the continuing insane hatred, arrogance and violence of the followers of Muslim to other faiths.

    By the end of the 13th century, the Muslim Invasion of South Asia had been stopped, in all places, Nepal. When I went to the National Museums, I noted that there were no Buddhist scriptures, sculptures, or other artifacts prior to the latter part of the thirteenth century, exactly at the same time that the rulers were able to run out the Muslim invaders, who prevailed in Nepal for about fifty years. When AlQueda kidnapped and executed several Nepali citizens a decade or so earlier, the response of the Nepali Citizenry was to set afire nearly every Muslim business in the City of Katmandu. People of South Asia, especially India and Nepal, have long memories, and a living a vital oral history.They remember their treatment by the Muslim invaders of the 13th century, and know when they are being persecuted for their religious beliefs. They do not have the onus of needing to appear politically correct; instead, when they are harmed and threatened, they take appropriate action and fight fiercely an enemy who has show them extreme violence.

    It would be nice to think that all religions promote peace and equality, but the sad truth is that they do not. All three religions arising from the faith of Abraham, assert that theirs is the only true religion, the only true god, and dismissed summarily the worth and benefits of following another religious tradition. It is not surprising the followers of all these three religions have engaged in numerous religious wars, display arrogance and intolerance towards other religions and in the case of the Muslim and Christian faith, repeatedly invade other countries with the aim to convert the locals to their "superior" way of thought and life.

    Of course, there have been instances of Buddhist Kings that have waged war to extend their territories, and enforced religious adherence to their subjects, primarily during 300 BC to 800 AD. Corrupt and misguided persons exist in all religions; however there is a repeated trend in the faiths of the followers of Mohammed, Abraham/Yahweh and Christ, of committing righteous, religious wars against others not of their faith, and adhering to the belief that their god is the one god, and the only true god. One does not find this in all other religions.

    In Buddhism, we believe that a persons complex past history tendencies,and the abilities, culture and outlook they obtain during this life determines WHICH religion will allow them to best developed positive qualities in the life. Not only do we not believe in forced conversions, we do not engage in proselytizing to others unless they request us to do so. The continued arrogance I encounter from Christians, in particular, and what I hear from Muslims and Jews, is unique and pervasive in their faith. We on this planet can no longer afford to enable persons of faiths to persist in behavior that demonstrates violence and intolerance to other faiths. I can to all persons not of the Judeo Christian Muslim tradition to stand up to the intolerance, and violence and bigotry that are a repeated and pervasive problems present in these three systems of faith.

    October 12, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Reply
    • auntiekale

      Well said.
      Long.
      But well said.

      October 12, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Reply
    • my10cents

      I hope you are aware that none of the sects of Judaism today proselytize to anybody but other Jews and there are no forced conversions. In fact one must 'prove' that they have a 'valid' reason beyond something personally selfish to even convert to conservative Judaism and I'm not even sure you can convert some of the Orthodox sects. The ancient Hebrews may have had a violent history but the barbaric acts committed during that era were not the sole domain of the Hebrews.

      October 12, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • Cristobal

      Nonsense. Rubbish.

      October 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Reply
    • HD

      Very well said.

      October 12, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Reply
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