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 (1,666 Responses)
  1. Naveed

    Islam did not create the Crusades, the Inquisition and the Holocaust and these are the three worst atrocities in human history.

    October 14, 2014 at 12:13 am | Reply
    • J Appleby

      Narendra Modi is nothing more than a Hindoou rat who is responsible for the genocide of minorities in India in the millions. I wonder where he was when India was invaded and conquered by a handful of playful kids. Wonder which trench he was hiding in? Wonder which hole he was in.

      October 14, 2014 at 5:13 am | Reply
      • Steve Posey

        Modi has a boyfriend in Myanmar

        October 14, 2014 at 5:36 am |
  2. Raju Charles

    Islam is a religion of Peace! Islam did not produce ISIS! It is due to the biased polices of West based on short term benefit shedding innocent blood! Caste Hindus in Hubli,Karnataka State known as the Silicon valley of India! American outsourcing center,bared Native Dalits from hair cut! I am afraid the low caste Hindus may join with ISIS for vengeance! Unfortunately most of the Dalits are Hindus! How can we blame Hinduism for evils of caste Hindus! Caste India sucks!
    Do justice for peace!

    October 14, 2014 at 12:30 am | Reply
  3. Raju Charles

    Islam is not the problem! Who is the father of ISIS? Fight the devil within us not the innocent people! No religion teach bad including Hinduism! All human being are created in the image of God! You want peace then we need to work for Justice!

    October 14, 2014 at 12:38 am | Reply
  4. Blue Saffron

    ISIS is the wayward child of America. OBL strikes again.

    October 14, 2014 at 12:40 am | Reply
  5. Thomas

    And to think we spent TRILLIONS to corrupt Iraqis to pocket the money . Who's big idea was it to go into Iraq ?

    They don't deserve a country if they won't stand up to ISIS . I don't want to see one more cowered Iraqi asking for asylum in America .

    Where is Ahmed Chalabi and how do we get our money back ?

    October 14, 2014 at 12:48 am | Reply
  6. Blue Saffron

    There are tons of American troops in Kuwait, off Dubai coast and the Gulf. Put them to use. They are busy shopping.

    October 14, 2014 at 12:49 am | Reply
    • Tony Sciavone

      They are scared to fight with boots on ground.

      October 14, 2014 at 5:04 am | Reply
  7. Mohammad


    If you are referring to the Gulf States are the Arab World, then they are pathetic. They do not allow any form protest, either pro or against ISIS. Protests in other parts like Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, and NA Arab countries should happened, but they have other bigger problems than what the ISIS is doing.

    October 14, 2014 at 12:52 am | Reply
  8. Blue Saffron

    Even from his grave Saddam continues to haunt America.

    October 14, 2014 at 12:53 am | Reply
  9. Blue Saffron

    Afghan/ Iraq wars were to further Bush family business interests not American security interests. Ever heard of Carlyle Group?

    October 14, 2014 at 12:58 am | Reply
    • mk2aw

      150 million to 200 million extremist is not a small minority.

      October 14, 2014 at 2:03 am | Reply
  10. tidalslug

    Sounds like more excuses for the actions of a minority of muslims by a muslim. The rest of muslim world fall in short order blaming America for their animalistic thirst for blood and subjgation... Muslims are the enemy as such so is the writer of this article.

    October 14, 2014 at 1:06 am | Reply
  11. J G

    All of these Muslims (including the moderates) would be thrilled if ISIS was fully successful.

    October 14, 2014 at 1:26 am | Reply
    • tahitiandancer

      You've got that wrong. You obviously don't know any Muslims which means you don"t know what you are talking about.

      October 14, 2014 at 2:05 am | Reply
    • Tony Sciavone

      They are freedom fighters

      October 14, 2014 at 5:05 am | Reply
  12. tahitiandancer

    Why should ISIS be referred to as Muslim extremists. They should be called what they are – terrorists. They have nothing to do with Islam.

    October 14, 2014 at 2:08 am | Reply
  13. Strand

    I am sorry but Harris makes no apologies of his position on religion and does not need to bow down to those principles.

    October 14, 2014 at 2:38 am | Reply
  14. rON

    Islam today is the most evil religion there is, No matter what is said about the extremist points of view, If there is so many believers in Islam, why are they not protesting to the few that are supposed to be the extremist few! I have never heard of another religion where they say, " Believe our way or we'll cut your head off " ! that is pure evil and the Islamic people should confront these terrorists!

    October 14, 2014 at 2:52 am | Reply
    • Repanimus

      I guess no one has ever heard of the Reformations that occurred in Europe in the 16th century that had wars between Roman Catholics and various sects of Protestants. Tens of thousands of people were killed as a result and proves that few religions are without their violence. Listening to some of our Protestant preachers, I am not sure that, barring restraints by law, there would be inquisitions in this country. Just in the political spectrum, the viciousness expressed in postings reveal the extreme nature of political polarization. Can you imagine if religion were added to the mix.
      No, I am not condoning what ISIS is doing, but I believe that religious fanaticism is being used as a guise for other motives (look to Iran for clues and I am puzzled by our NATO partner Turkey's reluctance to engage ISIS forces).

      October 14, 2014 at 4:25 am | Reply
    • Karl

      The Aghori or Aghouri is a Hindu cult that is considered to have split off from the Kapalika order in the fourteenth century AD. They have cannibalistic rituals. The streets of northern Indian cities are littered with followers of this cult carrying a kapala, which is a cup made from a skull! These bizarre people will eat anything from rotten food to animal faeces. In order to achieve the highest citadel of enlightenment, the Aghori will perform horrendously crude rituals. The finality of their rituals is attained from eating the decaying flesh of a human.

      October 14, 2014 at 4:57 am | Reply
      • Sachin

        Go and get your facts right. Read and then start delivering your self inflicted wisdom –> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aghori

        October 14, 2014 at 7:43 am |
      • Steve Posey

        Fact is that hindus are cannibals.

        October 14, 2014 at 8:39 am |
  15. SoullessTechnocrat

    This is why I argue for omnicide. There isn't any fix for any of this, least of all Monotheism and it's caveats. The only permanent solution is the death of all life. Then there won't be any more beheadings or anything. Silence is Golden.

    October 14, 2014 at 3:38 am | Reply
  16. Karl

    (Hinduism) is the most oppressive cult on record in its suppression of women. it was Charles Manson's inspiration. From conception to death, woman had to suffer in numerous ways:::.

    Child Marriage – Girls are to be married when 5 years old !

    Dowry – Vedas (Hindu holy script) prescribes this practice

    Bride-Burning – if the dowry is insufficient burn her alive.

    No Property, burn her alive.

    Mass Wife-Burning (Jauhar) – Often 100s are burnt at a time.

    Widow-Burning (Sati) – Sanctioned by the Vedas, Puranas, practiced by Hindu Lord Krishna's wives, it still continues in India to this day.

    October 14, 2014 at 4:55 am | Reply
    • Sachin

      You seem to be a half baked cookie. How many Vedas did you read before you reach such conclusions... Hinduism has the capability and freedom to reform itself...however islam does not have that freedom. In short, the evils with the Islam religion are there to stay forever.

      October 14, 2014 at 7:21 am | Reply
      • Steve Posey

        So why don't you reform and stop raiping? You have been raiping and beating up women for thousands of years.

        October 14, 2014 at 8:38 am |
      • Steve Posey

        Hindus are women bashers. That we all know. They sell their daughters for a few bucks in India. Some are sent to temples as s ex slaves.

        October 14, 2014 at 8:41 am |
  17. lotjet1

    All religion is going to be the destruction of mankind. Look throughout the course of history. There is not one religion which does have a lot of blood on their hands. Logically, since we have the scientific method, we have explanations for the unknown now. Religion is no longer needed for explanations. Also, we will all die someday anyway, so why don't we make the best of our few short years? I suppose that idea is not "radical" or "extreme"enough in today's world to be taken anywhere near serious. Is it the will of "god"–all this misery and chaos? I DONT THINK SO.

    October 14, 2014 at 4:56 am | Reply
  18. Karl

    If the Hindu man's wife dies, he is free to go and find another beautiful woman when he wants. But if the Hindu woman's husband dies, not only is she prohibited to remarry but she should be cremated along with her dead husband ("Sati").
    When His "Holiness" Puri Shankaracharya was asked about the fate of the widow's children, he replied – "it is fate! Let the children suffer or die without a mother. But SATI has to be performed according to Hinduism".

    October 14, 2014 at 4:59 am | Reply
    • J Appleby

      In India they sell their daughters for a few dollars as slave to religious priests they call pundits and tantriks in temples. These underage girls are used for s ex in the temples.

      October 14, 2014 at 5:10 am | Reply
      • Sachin

        Hi Mr ISIS,
        I am just laughing at the way you are spitting out that venom. Do you even know who a pundit is, do they teach all that crap in a madarsa or what ?

        October 14, 2014 at 7:22 am |
      • Steve Posey

        You should be ashamed of yourself being from India and a terrorist. Of course being a hindu you people live in medieval ages and are women bashers. You raipe 'em and burn them alive.

        October 14, 2014 at 8:56 am |
  19. Tony Sciavone

    We have invested a lot of resources in India over the past two decades and given a lot of aid to prop it up. There has been no investment on this return. Instead India has squandered all the resources in building nuclear weapons while poverty remains rampant in the country.

    Terrorism is rampant in the region in part financed by Indians. We need to revisit our relationship with India. American taxpayers will not tolerate this anymore. We need to take care of our own populace going forward. We cannot be exporting jobs to India or giving it financial or technical handouts.

    India has become too big to govern or create any value for western countries or even for its own population. India needs to be carved up into smaller independent states to be a viable economically and geo politically.

    October 14, 2014 at 5:03 am | Reply
    • Steve Posey

      Agreed. Sum of parts of India are greater than the whole. Fork the pig.

      October 14, 2014 at 5:34 am | Reply
    • jn

      US government has invested nothing in India. US businesses have invested in India and derived huge benefits from the arrangement -made millions in return.
      US on the other hand has given billions to Pakistan. The end result is terrorism and osama bin laden as a backyard pet. Go figure.

      October 14, 2014 at 6:01 am | Reply
    • Sachin

      Oh really Mr Tony So-Much-Concerned-About-India .. why dont you try Pakistan. They need more help than us

      October 14, 2014 at 7:56 am | Reply
      • Shankar

        Pakistan is a proud self sufficient country. Not beggars like you hindus. India is a basket case.

        October 14, 2014 at 9:30 am |
  20. J Appleby

    Singapore has deported thousands of hindu terrorist people from India and issued warnings to remainder hindus for their involvement in the city-state's worst terrorism in more than 40 years this month, which shocked a nation that prides itself on its safety and orderliness.

    It is disgusting to see that Indians are bashing up women by the millions....millions; spreading terror unabated; engaging in genocidal operations against minorities; using raipe as an instrument of national policy; indulging in racism that the world has never known before;

    October 14, 2014 at 5:08 am | Reply
    • jn

      You have described pakistan perfectly.Obviously, you are a pakistani masquerading in the anonymity of a christian name.

      October 14, 2014 at 6:03 am | Reply
      • Steve Posey

        India has always lived in the shadow of Pakistan. They are much better people that stinking Indians. Hinduism is a curse. We all know that. How can you worship rats, monkeys and reptiles. Not to forget the dikk of a clay god Shiva.

        Just look at your Kaali Maa. She has blood opzing from her mouth and swird in her hand as she cuts off heads of little babies. Terrorist.

        October 14, 2014 at 9:00 am |
  21. J Appleby

    Beginning of Gandhi's letter to Hitler.

    "Namaste, My Fuhrer. I implore you to propagate the Aryan race and remove all semitic impediments in this endeavor. We look forward towards your wisdom and guidance with respect to dealing with British and exterminating Jews. I continue to expound on my hobby of banging my goat and niece Manu. Of course not to mention other tender aged boys and girls and my cow ... Lakshmi. Your Obedient Servant , Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi."

    October 14, 2014 at 5:18 am | Reply
    • Steve Posey

      We all know India and Gandhi collaborated with Hitler to kill jews.

      October 14, 2014 at 5:33 am | Reply
  22. Steve Posey

    How do you get 100 hindoos into a car?
    Throw a quarter in it.
    How do you get
    them out again?
    Tell them Hafizz Saeeed is driving.

    October 14, 2014 at 5:32 am | Reply
    • jn

      Yup, a pakistani, unable to come to terms with the fact that pakistan is a failed state good for nothing but exporting terrorism. Only a pakistani would support hafez saed who sponsored the mumbai attacks. There is , by the way, a bounty on hafez saed's head put by the US.

      October 14, 2014 at 6:07 am | Reply
      • Steve Posey

        Quit begging for aid from US and other countries to feed your poor starving people in India. Stand on your feet and provide for your people. Start with toilets.

        October 14, 2014 at 9:06 am |
    • Sachin

      Changing your name to Steve does not mean that it changes the fact that you are another Crappy Muslim
      trying to justify what you do is right by the means of trying to malign other religions. Excuses don't change results my friend.

      October 14, 2014 at 7:25 am | Reply
      • Steve Posey

        You are a two bit raipist from India who worship reptiles and are cannibals. Ahhhhh the curse of hinduism. Terrorists. Your leader Modi is a murderer. Genocides are ongoing in India.

        October 14, 2014 at 9:14 am |
  23. Sachin

    Fareed is trying to duck and trying to excuse and bail out Islam by saying that the religion does not have any issues by itself. His statement that there was no violence in Islamic way of life since 14th century, is in itself is incorrect. Go and read the history of Islam and you will find it full of violence. Its very own inception is based on violence... and it continues to inherit the legacy. And his reference to Indian and Indonesian muslims to be innocent (not fiitting into the caricature) is in itself is grossly misleading.

    October 14, 2014 at 7:31 am | Reply
    • Steve Posey

      Gandhi made Hitler read hindu Gita Bhagavad before both of them colloborated on exterminating jews in Auschwitz. Hindus are uber terrorists.

      October 14, 2014 at 9:12 am | Reply
  24. Steve Posey


    :::60% or 420 million men in India think that raiping and burning wife alive for dowry by spraying kerosene and lighting her up is acceptable

    :::20% or 140 million women have been gang raiped in India

    :::There is a raipe every 2 seconds in India

    :::95% of hindus don't have toilets in India

    There is a deep rooted decadence of cultural malaise in India that is providing a source of inspiration for all terrorists in the region.

    October 14, 2014 at 9:16 am | Reply
  25. Shankar

    My name is Shankar and I am ashamed to be an Indian. My mama sent me a tiffin box . When I opened it there was a note from her. She asked me to go rhape some girls in India tonight. I told her NO. I will now follow Islam's teaching and respect girls. My name is Shanku and I am considering converting to Islam.

    October 14, 2014 at 9:27 am | Reply
  26. Sammy H

    As soon as the door of the plane shuts, these Indian passengers take their shoes off. Now, coupled with upper and lower body odor the air becomes unbearable but there is nowhere to escape . Soon the curry in the tiffin box will be opened and the smell will permeate the air also. It is enough to jump out of the airborne plane. But it is too late. They will chew betel nut and start spitting. The hindus will start defecating in the aisles. Gang raipe is next. And the journey has just begun.

    October 14, 2014 at 9:33 am | Reply
  27. billbl

    These suicide bombers are willing to give up their lives on Earth for a promise eternity in heaven. Of course, there is no real evidence that there really is a heaven to go to.

    October 14, 2014 at 9:39 am | Reply
  28. James Offenthal

    Fareed, you are a disgrace to journalism. You seem to have an inferority complex about your Indian upbringing. You are a racist. Please don't spread misinformation.

    October 14, 2014 at 9:45 am | Reply
  29. billbl

    Fareed presents the best in depth news analysis on all of the media. Thanks.

    October 14, 2014 at 9:52 am | Reply
  30. James Offenthal

    October 14, 2014. 0954 hrs

    GLOBAL MUSLIMS: Worldometer
    2,735,977,901 Billion and growing !!!!!


    October 14, 2014 at 9:55 am | Reply
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