November 1st, 2014
03:26 PM ET

Harris on inter-spiritual struggle vs holy war

Fareed speaks with Sam Harris, a neuroscientist and author of The End of Faith, about his take on extremism in Islam. Watch the full interview on GPS this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.

But do you really think that the path to reforming Islam is to tell Muslims that their religion is the mother lode of bad ideas, that they should become atheists or symbolic followers, or nominal, I think was the word you used...


...nominal followers?

Well, I...

I mean, do you really think that 1.6 billion devout Muslims are going to go, damn, of course, Sam Harris is right, my religion is crap and I should just abandon it?

No. No. Well...and I slightly misspoke there. I didn't mean nominal followers in the sense that only Muslim atheists could reform the faith. What I meant is followers who don't take these specific dangerous beliefs very seriously and want to interpret jihad as an inter-spiritual struggle as opposed to holy war.

But do you think you're helping them or you're making it harder for them by, as I said...


...adopting the Osama bin Laden interpretation of Islam?

I'll tell you who's making it harder for them – liberals who deny the problem.

Post by:
Topics: GPS Show • Religion

soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Scott Evans

    So where's the video where we actually get to hear Sam Harris speak?

    November 1, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
  2. Manasvi Maria

    Where could I see the full interview ?

    November 1, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
    • RillyKewl

      Haha! Welcome to CNN. 10 minutes of advertising for every minute of soundbite. Never a full picture.
      That's only if it doesn't conflict with the Military Industrial Complex's nor the Fossil Fuel industry's agendas. When that happens, you can't see it at all.

      November 2, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
  3. chri§§y

    The way this Sam Harns dances around the questions and back pedals just shows me he has no freakin idea WHAT hes talking about. And as a matter of fact he reminds me alot of when Sarah Palin was interviewed!!!

    November 1, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
    • Ferhat Balkan

      Sam Harris is a well known fundamentalist atheist.

      November 1, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
      • Blue Saffron

        Well known to whom? McCarthy? Fundamentalist and atheist are mutually exclusive. Sam Harris is a closet moslem.

        November 1, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
      • banasy©

        You do understand what the word "atheist" means, yes?

        November 1, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
      • Ferhat Balkan

        When you have a man such as Sam Harris who thinks that the world is out to get him... That if you somehow don't fit into his model of a godless world, you are evil or have a hidden agenda... It doesn't matter whether that's religious fundamentalism or an atheist fundamentalism... It IS fundamentalism. Scott Harris is a perfect example of that.

        November 1, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
      • mehran

        I am an Iranian-American (my parents were moslems) and have seen how Islam can destroy a country. I totally agree with Sam Harris and suggest others to be vocal about their disgust with all religions, especially Islam. Islam is like a bad cancer and has destroyed every country it has touched. btw, in a lot of islamic countries such as iran if a moslem decides to change his or her religion, the government can kill them. i can't believe how any intellectually honest human being can believe in the garbage being fed to people by all religions.

        November 1, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
      • banasy©

        An atheist is a person that does not believe in a deity. Nothing more, nothing less.
        Sam Harris is no more a representative of an atheist than Osama bin Laden was of a Muslim.
        One will see a frothing at the mouth fanatic in all walks of life.

        November 2, 2014 at 11:29 am |
      • Ferhat Balkan

        @mehran: "Islam is like a bad cancer". You know, Hitler once spoke in a similar fashion when he was referring to the Jews. You further illustrate that whether one is religious or an atheist can be just as dangerous and fundamentalist in their views of other religions. In that respect, you're no different than those who you hate.

        November 2, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
    • olsonic


      November 2, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
    • olsonic

      honestly, I wish I could meet the type of idiot that can't see the difference between Sam Harris and Sarah Palin. Where do they grow people like you?

      November 2, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
  4. Blue Saffron

    Ahhhhh...... The infatuation with Islam. The moslems must be doing something right. LOL... Reforming Islam? What gives? It is a perfect way of life. Consider converting to Mohammedanism.

    November 1, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
  5. Blue Saffron

    CNN and Fareed should stop portraying America as a wounded animal bleeding to death and start behaving like a world power.
    The failed foreign policies of Americans is the problem not Islam. Grow up before it is too late.

    The Chinese have played their hands expertly so far.

    November 1, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
  6. Blue Saffron

    CNN and Fareed Zakaria should stop portraying America like a wounded animal bleeding to death.

    November 1, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
    • Blue Saffron

      They need to stop acting like thought police as there is no reasoning behind their ramblings. America needs to stand up and behave like a world power.

      November 1, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
  7. Blue Saffron

    Slaying and raype and beheadings are trademarks of hindu culture emanating out of Gita Bhagawad. As more of them migrate to our countries they bring along that disgraceful trait with them and pollute our societies.

    November 1, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
  8. Blue Saffron

    We all know that even the J apanese could not reach the mainland. The Germans almost did but not quite. The Chinese are trying. The only people who succeeded are moslems. Nothing personal just a response to American foreign policies.

    Now you can take that as glass half full or empty. Salut!

    November 1, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
    • banasy©

      There is a difference between a country attacking the US and a religion attacking the US. It is comparing apples and oranges.

      November 1, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
      • Chappel H

        Islam transcends political boundaries. It is a way of life.

        November 1, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
      • banasy©

        It does not make my point any less valid.

        November 2, 2014 at 11:34 am |
  9. Jonathan

    In 50 years there will be a civil war in Europe between Muslims and secularists build your bomb shelter now the war with Islam is coming

    November 1, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
    • Blue Saffron

      We had a war that ended on 9/11.
      Rest are just battles. Islamocracy is the new world order.

      November 1, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
      • banasy©

        Not in the United States. Never.

        November 1, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
      • Chappel H

        Yup too. Islamic Finance has arrived. You are too busy changing names to figure out.

        November 1, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
      • banasy©

        Chappel, I don't change my name, but your paranoia is telling.
        Sukuk is mainstream only to Muslim finance. It is not mainstream on a global scale.

        There will never be a theocracy in the US.

        November 2, 2014 at 11:37 am |
  10. Cos

    Come one Fareed, you just take "one line" from a talk show and assumes that's the way he talks and wants to change it. He has written and talked a lot about it.

    And even if he doesn't have a solution, he is still right. You talk endlessly about problems politics and economics, do you have a solution for all this? No. That doesn't mean that you can't talk about what is wrong and what is right.

    November 1, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
  11. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    It appears that Sam Harris wants to get the Muslims to chant " Capitalismhu Akbar" instead of "Allahu Akbar". Is this what we should fight for? Somehow I don't think so!

    November 1, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
    • Ferhat Balkan

      Joey, I think he's aiming for "Communismhu Akbar".

      November 1, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

        Pease be aware that the 9:29 PM post was written by My Troll, not by me.

        November 3, 2014 at 7:29 am |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

        Please, not pease.
        I am not all that into peace, and I certainly know how to spell it.

        November 3, 2014 at 7:33 am |
  12. Amir

    In Farsi we have a phrase for these speaks and that is "kos e sher" meaning a "poem that comes out of your ass" I think Sam Harris's words are good example of that phrase

    November 2, 2014 at 12:05 am |
  13. RillyKewl

    The definitive interview with @SamHarrisOrg was with @CenkUygur about 2 weeks ago: Buckle up! Its 3 hrs, but its incredible.

    November 2, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
  14. S.

    as I said before – (where did the post go?)
    Sam Harris was a refreshing guest, free of PC and pretense. Hope he's invited again, and often. Btw – I'm a liberal.

    November 2, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
  15. S.

    where did the post go from a faithful fareed fan complaining about how this time fareed did not do such a good job and kept interrupting Harris? I, a faithful fareed fan (fff) also regretted this.

    November 2, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
  16. Interfaith Dude

    Why tolerate the intolerant? If someone believes that only his opinion should be heard and anyone who disagrees must be put to death, should we accept that or should we expose that for what it is? This is what Islam is. When fully implemented, it is intolerant of other religions. Thank God for people like Sam Harris for exposing the truth about Islam.

    November 3, 2014 at 11:00 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Actually, the Arabs were very tolerant toward the people they conquered back in the seventh century as they left them free to follow their own religions. This hatred for Islam needs to end.

      November 3, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
      • unknown

        If they were so tolerant what happened to all the pagan religions of the arab world... i am genuinely curious how is it that millions of people with their own traditions and culture gave up all that to follow Mr.Mohammad's then newly minted faith.

        November 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

        The conquered peoples gradually decided to give up their former religions to follow Islam on their own accord, not by force.

        November 3, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
      • Philip

        No, they were coerced. Just as African peoples purchased by U.S. Christians were. Slaves found that if they pretended to convert from Vu Du to Christianity the beatings they endured were less severe. Such was the case with Africans purchased by Arab-African slave masters. Slaves found that if they converted to Islam they were less likely to be brutalized.

        November 4, 2014 at 10:05 am |
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