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Inside American Islam

Top Islam expert Akbar Ahmed just visited one hundred mosques in America. We get his report.

A picture taken as part of Prof. Akbar Ahmed's project "Journey Into Islam" (Credit: flickr/journeyintoamerica)

It’s been a head-spinning couple of months for American Muslims. After quiet centuries in the country, and years of post-9.11 life that were sometimes tense but overall peaceful, suddenly Muslims in America are confronted with headlines and attitudes shouting “Islamophobia.” 

 That’s tough to take for citizens who have quietly weathered some tough years of war and strain. Very tough.  

We look at Americans, Muslim Americans, in the storm.  We hear from the leader of a team that’s visited a hundred mosques around the country and ask – what next?

-Tom Ashbrook


Akbar Ahmed, professor of Islamic Studies at American University’s School of International Service. He traveled with a team to some 100 mosques in America. The result is chronicled in his new book, “Journey Into America: The Challenge of Islam.” You can read an excerpt.

Resa Aslan, author of “No god But God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam” and a contributing editor for The Daily Beast. Read his latest piece there, “The Charlatans Have Taken Over 9/11.”

Post-program note:

If you are interested in finding out more about Prof. Ahmed’s notion that there are three basic identities that define American society — primordial, pluralist, and predator, or what he calls the three “p’s” — we recommend reading his piece at the Huffington Post on these ideas.

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  • legal eagle

    It seems that on point has gotten money from Islamic societies.

  • Al Dorman

    LOL @ morons who second-guess every editorial risk that On Point takes.

    Anyhoo, thanks for the subject, my question: What is Sharia law, and why should we be alarmed? Let’s say Muslims in America got to be more than 50% of the population. Would Muslims at that point be called upon by God to implement Sharia?


  • http://religionculturepower.blogspot.com/ Christopher W. Chase

    Can Prof. Ahmed speak to the history of relations between historical Sunni African-American Muslims and Muslims originally descended from the Middle East and South Asia? Also, thanks for doing a show with this topic at such an important moment in American religious history and culture.

  • Mohammad Pervaiz

    Thanks for doing a segment this great topic. I am looking forward to listening to it, as I always enjoy your topics. My two questions are as follows:

    1. What role are Koch brothers’ playing behind the scene as they are the “financier” of radical hate organization (such as Tea Party and covert attacks on Obama administration)in America? The “scurrilous attacks on Islam itself” as NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF calls it in his column of New york Times that highlights the passionate “hate” as the citizens of this great nation gathered to protest the mosque in NY in addition to the Quran Burning activity.

    2. Are Muslims in America a road block to “Defending the American Dream” as the longtime libertarian Prosperity Foundation’s founder David Koch called it?


  • Mike in PA

    I really like the questions posed above. As for the Koch brothers, Fresh Air’s report a couple of weeks ago was very “on point”.

    Although I am a conservative but absolutely 100% supportive of the G-0 mosque and dissapointed in my party…

    I would really appreciate this question being asked if it comes up:

    What will happen if a Jewish organization submits an application to host a conference, regarding the 6-day war and the plight of the Jewish people in the Middle East, at the G-0 mosque’s conference center?

    Will the church permit such a conference? I know! They do not have to, but I’m just wondering.

  • John

    Why should people who are not Muslims not be free to do things that Muslims consider blasphemous? (This ranges from idiot Christian Koran burners to Salman Rushdie.)

    How voluntary is wearing headscarves in countries with a significant Muslim population?

  • Valkyrie607

    Legal eagle is ridiculously paranoid and obviously not a lawyer. A lawyer would know that credible allegations of these sorts would need more specifics to be taken seriously. I.e. what is an “Islamic society”? Are we talking about non-profits here? Nation states? Religious organizations? If On Point has taken money from them, then what does that mean? How is that affecting editorial decisions?

    This is a perfect example of fear and suspicion run amok. “Legal eagle” is just tossing vague accusations around, hoping something will stick in someone’s mind. Religious bigotry in action, folks.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Legal Eagle, I would rather Muslim money goes to NPR than to Al Kaida. Wouldn’t you?

  • joshua

    How about stop worrying about the Muslim monster under the bed and the nonsense of sharia law–not an issue–ever–and grow up Teabaggers (with all its innuendo). And think about the tradition of christian atrocities.

    We were the ones attacking Muslim countries first of all–we have interfered in thier countries around the world for decades–infanticide, genocide, assassinations, coups, sanctions…look in the mirror–we are the monsters.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I understand that though Jesus was against usury and threw over the tables of the money changers in the temple, Islam goes beyond that and forbids charging interest, period.
    Therefore, for Muslims, there is a different way of engaging with capitalism, shall we say. One less corruptible, possibly.
    Anyway, I understand the Lower Manhattan Cultural Center is chiefly suspect because of Imam’s Rauf’s financing being non transparent.
    Perhaps we have a lot to learn from Islam about financing. Is there a book on it?

  • brandstad

    The Muslum faith is not compatable with western society since the faith is not tolerant of the freedom of religion, freedom of speach, and freedom of association. Look at any muslum country and you will clearly see this.

  • Carolyn

    On last Friday, we had prayer at a conference center because our numbers swell on Eid (like Christmas at churches). We were not the only group using the facility at the time, and while mostly people went about their business, I did see eye-rolling and heard some snarky comments.

    I think what I want to say is that as Americans, we are pretty proud of our “tolerance,” but in all honesty, how tolerant have we had to be?

  • brandstad

    The profit Mohamed became powerful by killing people and Jesus became powerful through peace. This is truly the difference between Christians and Muslims and shows to the core of each religion what core value is most admired, for Christians, peace and tolerance, and for Muslims killing & conquering.

  • Jennifer

    In the mid-1800′s, the U.S. saw terrible “Mormon-phobia,” to the point where it was legal in the state of Missouri to kill Mormons (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extermination_order for source).

    Even today, Mormons often face strong opposition in the building of their temples and chapels throughout the world.

    Their experience, however, is no unique to Mormonism. Those of MANY religious traditions have–at one time or another–found themselves on the fringes of society.

    I find is appalling that those of faith are not standing up for a Muslim’s right to worship freely. If the Islamic Center in New York is suppressed, that is a tremendous loss for members of ALL faiths and ALL religious traditions.

    When we impede one religion’s right to worship and to organize, everyone loses.

  • John

    Assuming he existed, and that the stories told of him writen years after his death are true, Jesus didn’t kill anyone. However his followers . . .

  • gary

    What is the 3rd “P”

  • Dave

    Yes this is a debate about what kind of America we want. And if we have any hope of a civilized, progressive future, it will be a debate about the value of organized religion in the 21st Century. If this were a show about the agenda, or vision, of Fundamentalist Christian, my stomach would be turning. Islam is certainly a fundamentalist religion, but we have become so oversensitive, or “Religiously Correct” lately, that I almost don’t have the same gut reaction to this discussion.

    Every day now we hear debates about the Islamic center, or Glen Beck’s rally…. What all forward looking and rational thinking people need to do is use these conversations to ask the basic question of whether we really need to accept as given in our culture, these supernatural religions in the 21st century. I don’t believe in the tooth fairy, the spaghetti monster, a personal god, or any such prehistoric baloney.

    Its not about rights, of course our great constitution gives all the right to believe and say what they want. But we don’t all need to keep perpetuating the knee-jerk acceptance and “respect” of supernatural ideas in our modern world. I can believe that trees wake up and fly while I sleep, (just as much evidence for that as any supernatural God) but why should the rest of you believe it, or let me shape public life based on such a silly notion?

  • Valkyrie607

    Brandstat, your naive belief that Christianity, the violent, misogynist, slavery-condoning belief system is somehow peaceable is almost as laughable as your bed-wetting paranoia regarding Islam.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Should American mosques have gone on a media campaign to dissociate themselves from wahabi Islam (or however they might see fit to distance themselves) right after 9/11?
    If they had a pope, a figurehead, someone could have (would have) declared bin Laden un-Islamic, what’s the word, thrown him out of the faith.
    That’s what we did not have.

  • Lyle Edwards

    How can we say in America that Muslim’s are our enemy, while at the same time we are helping Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq? What message are we sending to them? As an American I’m embarrassed.

  • Dave

    So yes, if you want to be technical, you could call be anti-muslim. anti-christian, anti-tooth fairy, anti-Santa Claus (I do like those for kids though…just fun), anti-spaghetti monster, anti-pigs flying, anti-Satanic worshippers, anti-yogic flyers. Yep, anti-all irrational, useless at best, dangerous as demonstrated throughout history at worst, ideas.

    Aren’t you?

  • Kevin

    Some perspective, please–can the guests please list any Muslim-majority nations where they would enjoy more tolerance and freedoms than they do here in the US?

    Also, could they please name the multitude of Muslim-majority nations that DO NOT extend in any way tolerance or freedom to Christians, Jews, and other religious minorities?

  • Ed

    Islam theological doesn’t accept other people – it’s not the American tolerance. We need Muslims to come out publicly to denounce Al-Queda.

  • jeffe

    The profit Mohamed became powerful by killing people and Jesus became powerful through peace. This is truly the difference between Christians and Muslims and shows to the core of each religion what core value is most admired, for Christians, peace and tolerance, and for Muslims killing & conquering.
    Posted by brandstad

    So I guess the centuries of Crusades were acts of peace.
    I suppose the Inquisitions of the Catholic church were acts of peace:

    1. the Medieval Inquisition (1184–1230s)
    2. the Spanish Inquisition (1478–1834)
    3. the Portuguese Inquisition (1536–1821)
    4. the Roman Inquisition (1542 – c. 1860)

    Europe had religious wars for over 500 years due to the Reformation.

    You need to read some history before you post what is nothing more than pure tripe.

  • R. Sokol

    This is not to reduce the value of any classification of Mayflower settlers and their attitude towards American Indians, but it needs to be put in the right context, and that is that a majority of native Americans died first and foremost from the diseases imported by the newcomers, not from acts of violence. To state it otherwise is scientifically incorrect and serves no good purpose.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Excommunication, heresy. There are tools for that in Christianity (consider the approach to Galileo, who postulated the earth not the center of the universe, or something like that). Islam seems not to have tools for standing up to Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

  • gary

    Please tell me about the 3rd “P” of American culture?

  • Dr. Mervyn Coke Enguidanos

    There seems to be no direct conversation of analysis of the Koran. Surely this is the nub of the thing.
    Why not discuss
    a) that according to Mohammed, followers may have from “one to 4 wives.”
    b) that if a wife is lewd, she should be put into a “confined place until she die.”
    c) that if a wife is unacceptable in behaviour,she must be “beaten, (lightly).
    Beaten for how long, one wonderss? With what instrument?
    and how does one interpret “lightly”?

    These are very off-putting surahs!

  • Terry

    Greetings Tom and Guests, I question that the Quoran-burners haven’t taken their show on the road to where it would have the most impact, such as Afghanastan, Iran, etc… Without U.S. millitary, whom they have put at great risk already, trusting their Christian God to protect them. The same type of Christians that support strip-bars, and such over a Community Center. Did those same Christians tear down ALL Christian churches near scenes of lynchings in the U.S.? How about the religious edifices of the world-renown Child-Molesting Church? Hypocracy? By the way, I’m a white male that has done far more , and dangerous service to my fellow man than most of those Christians.

  • Brandstad

    How many muslums have stood up and declaired to the world that Hummas is a terrorist organization and they don’t support it? Even though the US government calls it a terrorist orginization.

  • Ellen Dibble

    The three P’s Akbar Ahmed turned up were Pluralism and what? Prosperity (which is in some ways antipluralistic, Profit maybe?), Purity (maybe?)…

  • Pharlan

    Steve Earle’s song (Jerusalem) contains the phrase “…children of Abraham…”.

    Is anti-Islamic thought and action not also, by definition, anti-Semitic?

  • Sam E.

    Near the end of Reza’s wonderful book, he says that seperation of Church and State should not be a prequisite for a middle eastern democracy. Could you ask Mr. Aslan in what specific ways he thinks unity of church and state can coexsist with a democracy?

  • Zeno

    I agree with Dave. While all of the zealots and faithful are warring and designing their perfect societies the secular citizenry is caught in the crossfire. Want to discuss who is most oppressed by your faith…consider those who consider what you are forcing us to believe is total fantasy.

    Why not pray to Sun, or as many do to wealth and fame.
    George Carlin on religion (Caution language and topic may offend the irrational): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPOfurmrjxo

  • Allen Belsheim

    Compared to the historic Christian experience,what seems missing in the Islam picture is a strong anti-clerical movement. Anti-clericalism was a big part of the Enlightenment, which defined America’s founding.

  • gary

    There one that is not “pluralism or pedator”

  • Ellen Dibble

    “Anti-clerical,” good point. It’s sort of like those who have been “through the academy” become the arbiters of good behavior.
    I think religion began as BEING government, a nod to the fact of our helplessness. Certain people, bowing to the thunder-throwers, the rainmakers, declared their association with the Real Powers (sun etc). So once government becomes non-religious (thank you, founders), religion has to re-find its footing.
    I don’t think Christianity has redefined itself as a non-governmental entity. Islam has not either.

  • Mark

    The first presidential campaign I remember was 1960.

    Try to imagine a Democratic or Republican candidate for president saying this today, and winning:

    “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute…where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials”


    The circus of the last few weeks is a powerful demonstration of the founding fathers’ wisdom in erecting that wall of separation.

  • Laura tempesa

    When fringe Christian groups make outrageous threats, we usually hear outrage from mainstream, moderate Christians. Non-Muslim Americans need to hear from moderate Muslims, denouncing violence, terrorism and anti – American sentiments. Whether this is happening and is not covered, I don’t know. But lacking this voice of moderation from Muslims , non Muslims are assuming that all of islam is anti-American and therefore threatening.

  • Dave

    Fundamentalist Religions, based in different places and peoples, are inherently toxic and prone to conflict. When you put all your eggs in one God, the right one, and others have a different one, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?!

    Grow up humanity and dump organized supernatural religions and leave all this mess behind us. If we were fighting over scarce resources, sadly, at least it would be intellectually honest.

  • Evans Travis

    There is nothing unusual about seeing bigotry in the US or any other nation for that matter. The real power of our society is the opportunity we have to speak up against such notions.

    People should not despair when they hear or see racist or bigoted behaviour. This is America! The real patriots need to stand up, speak up, and hold up the open and tolerant principles this country is based on.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Declaration of Independence – United States of America

  • Michael Rafferty

    When Professor Ahmed made a point about Catholic immigration to this country, he might also have noted that in the late 19th century, the Pope issued an encyclical condemning “Americanism” as heresy. The First Amendment was particularly disturbing to the Pope.

    It took the election of a Catholic president to demonstrate the independence of American Catholics from Roman rule. With that in mind, I think it is possible to distinguish between American Muslims and the Ayotollahs.

    Finally, it is worth remembering that the Americans who were most vehement in anti-Catholic bigotry called themselves “the Know-Nothing Party.”

  • Kathy

    Hi, My problem with Islam is that I read that Mohammed actually killed and murdered a lot of people. Most founders of religions were against this type of violence. If his followers see him as an example I fear that they will think that they can behave in the same way!

  • Steve

    America is now secular.

    It is quite common to heap ridicule on any faith tradition.

    I suspect that the left would be outraged if they read the Islamic holy books or if any part of Islamic belief was adopted into American society.

    That being said, my muslim brothers are children of God,
    and should be loved as “btter than ourselves.”

  • John

    According to the bible, the old testament god killed more people than Mohammad did.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    This is a fantastic show Tom, I only wish the people who need to hear it are listening but alas, they don’t listen to NPR.

  • Valkyrie607

    Laura, as to your concern about whether Muslims are voicing disapproval of violence in the name of Islam, and are being ignored by the media, or are remaining silent…

    Honestly, what do YOU think? Use logic for a second. If the fault is not with the media, then logically we must deduce that no Muslims were dismayed or saddened by terrorist attacks on innocent people perpetrated in their name. This would then mean that Muslims are a monolithic group of people who ALL hate non-Muslims to the degree that they are willing to see them die.

    Do you REALLY think that this is a possibility? Doesn’t it seem more likely that of the millions of Muslims, there are many who expressed their condemnation of violence vocally and publicly, but never got their voices heard in the media?

    If you were a person living in the Middle East and all you ever heard in your media was news of American military aggression against Muslim countries, controversies about building mosques, and news of threatened Koran-burnings, would you have the presence of mind to realize that not all Americans endorse killing Muslims, burning Korans, and banning mosques?

  • gary

    All religion is full of death and hatred. That is why Jefferson employed seperation of church and state to let United States LAW be the rule of the land

  • jeffe

    Kevin your question is misleading and a bit loaded. All western European countries have parliamentary systems, so does Canada and each have various laws regarding rights and so on. Recently Sarkozy was put on notice by both the people of France and the EU for forcefully deporting the Romani back to Romania.

    Turkey, although they have a checkered history regarding minorities such as the Kurds and the Armenians.
    Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy. 62% of the Muslim population lives in Asia.

  • Valkyrie607

    Just to be clear, I personally know that plenty of Muslims expressed disapproval and condemnation of terrorist attacks after 9/11, but then I consume a much different media diet than most people.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Consider the Almighty who drowned the Egyptian army in the Red Sea, or killed all the Egyptian firstborn, etc., etc., etc.
    An eye for an eye. Part of our history looks pretty extreme, for SURE.

  • Peter

    America’s military-industrial-congressional complex NEEDS enemies to perpetuate its predatory and growing dominance. Cultural differences and acts of provocation (real or imagined) are magnified to stoke the fear
    that underpins our increasingly oppressive national security regime. Who profits from this corrosive tactic? Right-wing media and religious celebs, military careerists, and of course arms manufacturers and the politicians they finance.

  • Abdou

    The issue with some Islam followers is their aggressivity towards anything a non-muslim (so called non believers)does; and they are called the extremists.

  • jeffe

    Muslims died in the WTC on 9/11, can people get real here?

  • Brandstad

    All polls show American’s views of Muslums did not change after 911. The change in public views of the religion are a more recent trend over the last 2-3 years.

    Because of this 911 didn’t change the US view of Muslums, but rather something else… What caused the change?

  • John

    Religious myths are not history.

  • Janna Willoughby

    Unfortunately, I don’t think that any racial or religious differences will be fully accepted in this country until ethics and critical thinking are taught in our schools. I have noticed a massive decline in acceptance and understanding of different cultures and a huge increase in bigotry and intolerance, even since I was in school (I’m 28).

    I have lived a half a block from a mosque and a Lutheran church, and a Presbyterian church for my entire life and so I have never known life in a non-integrated area. I love walking in my neighborhood and seeing people of all faiths being called to prayer in all different ways. Seeing the star and crescent symbol against the blue sky fills my heart with the joy of being a real American.

    I can only hope that more children will be so lucky to have parents like mine, who reinforced acceptance and understanding of other cultures and religions.

  • chai walla

    I don’t think Muslim worshipers should be allowed to spill into NYC streets stopping traffic for two hours a week every Friday afternoon at 42nd and Madison Ave. and 93rd and 3rd Ave. Same for Paris streets, where these streets are barricaded for prayer use only.

    They are stopping other people from picking up their kids, getting home from work, going to the supermarket, etc.

    How can the NY police allow this? Don’t they need a permit?

  • http://WBUR Jeliphish

    Every ethnic group has had it’s own struggle to fit in and assimilate to American culture.

    But these people bomb us, very few repudiate the act and we’re expected to embrace them?

    I don’t think so…

  • Ellen Dibble

    The Muslims I have met in New England are most like Lutherans (at least as depicted in Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon). They are modest and deferential. The idea of them trying to outflame some of right-wing radio is just out of the question.

  • Kevin

    Lets be honest, no one will take the muslim religion seriously until the peaceful muslim continues to denounce fundamentalism loud, clear and often! Are peaceful muslims afraid the backlash. Look at the drop off in practicing Catholics because the Catholic Church has not dealt with the sex abuse issues sufficient enough.

    I have heard no global voice against muslim violence!

  • Chris

    I think Americans have gotten more nervous about Muslims because of Nidal Hasan, Anwar al-Awlaki, and other American Muslims who have become radicalized and either carried out attacks in this country or abroad, or who preach violent jihad. Maybe we could have recovered from 9/11, but it seems that every year or so there is another case of “the enemy within.” They don’t represent all Muslims in any way, but Americans are very easy to scare. I’ve met people who never went downtown in their own city after the riots of 1967.

  • John

    How many Muslim moderates came out against the death sentence for Salman Rushdie?

  • Brandstad

    Why does the White House not speak of Islamic Extremests that threaten americans around theworld every day?

  • H. Bishop Dansby

    I am about as liberal as any American, and yet I believe that the Muslim community has not done enough from the day of the 9/11 attack to present to distinguish themselves from the radicals and the violence of part of the Muslim community. Frankly, we non-Muslims assume that moderate Muslims themselves fear their radical, violent brothers.

    The reason that moderate Muslims should have done more and must do more to separate themselves is that the radicals so closely tie what they do to their religion, and because what they do is so uniquely violent. While history may be replete with horror, I know of nothing that compares with the suicide missions we have seen in the name of Islam.

    American non-Muslims will never be certain that most Muslims are not in sympathy with the radicals unless they come forward very publicly and vocally to distinguish themselves from the radicals. Only Muslims can solve this problem. Non-Muslims cannot solve it.

  • http://none UnderstandingNPeace

    It seems like Americans are psychologically contracted around the issue about what islam means.

    The only experience of Islam is the 9-11. If more Christian Americans interacted with their Islamic neighbor I bet we could break down these emotional blind spots??

  • Lorie

    On Sunday I joined a Jew and a Muslim to give a presentation on the Park 51 project and gained a new understanding of the ‘anti-Islam industry.’ There is wonderful interfaith work being done around the country, but how can one compete with people who are being bankrolled at a high rate, with publishers who think that people need to hear narrow-minded, titillating narratives more than solid, factual, constructive texts on Islam??? Etc….

  • Brandstad

    Why do you see Muslum leaders say one thing in english and the exact opposite in other languages when giving speaches? Could it be that they are following their religions teachings to much since it says Muslums should lie to infadels to help spread the faith.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Ahmed is saying in the 1980s and ’90s the CIA was part of reigniting jihad in order to defeat the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. I’ve got to buy that book of his.
    To say we “haven’t been listening” for the loudness of moderate Islam — it’s like out trying to outshout the Tea Party. They (political extremists?) are funded by deep pockets, and they have time. Apparently in Islam, the Noise factor is a problem.

  • Kevin

    If peaceful muslims are putting out a message then they need to be louder and if press isn’t covering the issue then they need to find a way to get the coverage. They have to find a way to change the minds of American people.

  • Yar

    This is indeed interesting. Remove the ideology of religion, and look at literalism and pluralism. Isn’t that the same division currently dividing our country? Even on the supreme court.
    Is there a connection between predator and literalism?
    Add religion and you get “god gave it to me” that plays out regardless of faith.

  • John V. Walsh

    This anti-Muslim sentimement does not just drop from the sky. One can follow the money as Politico did in a recent set of articles as summarized in a column by Justin Raimondo. Here is the URL and a quote:
    Raimondo writes:

    So where is the ferocity coming from?

    To find the answer to this question, we just have to follow the money, and thankfully Ken Vogel and Giovanni Russonello over at Politico have done just that. After detailing the money coming into the Cordoba House project from mainstream donors like the Rockefellers, they write:

    “There’s also big money behind the mosque opposition, as highlighted by the relationship between [David] Horowitz’s Los Angeles-based nonprofit, Jihad Watch – the website run by Spencer “dedicated to bringing public attention to the role that jihad theology and ideology play in the modern world” – and Joyce Chernick, the wife of a wealthy California tech company founder.

    “Though it was not listed on the public tax reports filed by Horowitz’s Freedom Center, Politico has confirmed that the lion’s share of the $920,000 it provided over the past three years to Jihad Watch came from Chernick, whose husband, Aubrey Chernick, has a net worth of $750 million, as a result of his 2004 sale to IBM of a software company he created, and a security consulting firm he now owns.

    “A onetime trustee of the …Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Aubrey Chernick led the effort to pull together $3.5 million in venture capital to start Pajamas Media, a conservative blog network …

    “The David Horowitz Freedom Center had a budget of $4.5 million last year, according to its tax filings, of which $290,000 came from the conservative Bradley Foundation, which also gave $75,000 to the Center for Security Policy last year. Horowitz has received an average of $461,000 a year in salary and benefits over the past three years, while Spencer has pulled in an average of $140,000, according to the center’s IRS filings.”

    Laura Rozen follows up on her Politico blog, detailing the trail of donations from 2008 990 filings for Chernick’s charitable foundation, the Fairbrook Foundation, listing all the familiar suspects – CAMERA, Horowitz, MEMRI, Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, the Israeli nationalist “Stand With Us” campus project – and a few less familiar, such as the American Friends of Ateret Cohanim, dedicated to thwarting our stated policy of no more settlements where it counts: in East Jerusalem.

    Millions pour into the coffers of these groups, all of which are dedicated to one overriding principle, one goal: advancing Israel’s national interests in the US. The serpentine convolutions of the Chernick connection, linking one front group to another, encircle the political and temperamental spectrum, ranging from the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles (over $900k) to the many hundreds of thousands given to hardline neoconservative outfits like the Hudson Institute, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, not to mention Pajamas Media ($7 million, in collusion with venture capitalist James “extensively experienced in multimillion-dollar technology transfer and license agreements ” Koshland) and a mass campaign to distribute DVDs of the virulently anti-Muslim film “Obsession.”

    The aim of all this giving is to create and sustain an obsessive hatred of Muslims, all Muslims, and garner support for Israel. The fulminations of Newt Gingrich and the flaxwn-haired harpies of Fox News, who rail against the “ground zero mosque” seem, on the surface, to make no sense. Are they really saying that they want the US to declare war on the billion-plus Muslims who inhabit the planet earth? This, after all, is precisely what Osama bin Laden has repeatedly said: that all the world’s Muslims must unite under al-Qaeda’s bloody banner because the West, in alliance with Israel, is out to destroy Islam, and it is therefore the duty of the faithful to wage jihad against the US.

    The Israelis, having long ago declared war on all the other nations of the region, want us in their camp, and that is precisely what occurred with stunning speed before the smoke cleared from the site where the World Trade Center once stood. “We’re all Israelis now!” exulted Martin “Palestinians are subhuman” Peretz,

    And your program has the theme of why the Islamic moderates have not stepped up? Is this not a not so subtle way of blaming the victim. And is tracing the financial network responsible for this a topic that is off the table?

  • john

    Comes down to courage from individuals on both sides to face the truth of facts provided, I am concerned about the co-dependence we have on others to fix such problems.Try not to be so scared of change, we have been accepting and regulating by our laws different cultures since the development of the constitution. I believe some of us came from a “fringe” sect when arriving in the U.S, some were taken by force.
    Quid pro quo the Muslim community must show courage in the belief through action of educating the future generations, that means showing respect for the laws of your surroundings that allow you to practice religion without a fear of persucution

  • Linda Darman

    How does Sharia law fit into this conversation?

  • Valkyrie607

    Why are all you people so reluctant to assume the responsibility to inform yourselves? If you are so eager to hear the voices of moderate Muslims then seek them out. They are there. If they are not in your local media outlets then challenge your media outlets. Write letters to the editor asking why there hasn’t been coverage. Stop being so lazy. Bigoted thinking is always lazy, and this is an illustration of how.

  • Dave

    America needs to kill 2 birds with one stone. Stand up against all Fundamentalist Religions, understand the Constitutional gift of Separation of Church and State, Embrace Reality.

    Dump our supernatural notions all together, and you dump your Islamic Center fears at the same time.


  • Valkyrie607

    Reza Aslan is extremely sexy. He’s cute AND smart. Call me Reza!

  • John

    The show didn’t mention the rights of women at all. A female Muslim guest would have brought an interesting perspective.

  • jeffe

    H. Bishop Dansby are you willing to say you are sorry for letting your government kill hundreds and thousands of Innocent Iraq’s during the invasion of their country? There are not many innocents in this world. Sometimes as a nation we are so self righteous and our air of superiority is astounding.

  • John

    If a message isn’t being heard, you can’t blame the intended audience.

  • Brijesh Chawla

    Typical duplicitous Pakistani propaganda machine. All the Pakistani examples Mr Resa gave are what the Govt of Pakistan has been using for milking money from the United States.

    - Benazir Bhutto did not die fighting for moderate islam, she died fighting for another chance to rule Pakistan.

    - There may be moderates dieing in Pakistan but that is nothing new as Mr Resa would like us to believe.

    - PPP and Muslim League came to power in Pakistan and they may be moderate but that is nothing new either. PPP and Nawaz Sharif ruled Pakistan for a better part of the 90s and that did not change anything.

    ISI is practically ruling that country and doing very well using fundamentalist Islam as an instrument of state policy. Then they send these so-called moderates to argue how sincere they are in their fight against terrorism and why we should keep giving them billions more because the moment we stop, terrorist will win and they might get nukes this time. What a joke!

  • Richard Levins

    I don’t think that a group targeted by bigotry has the primary responsability in fighting that bigotry. They can educate the rest of us, but what I lesarned from past struggles against anti-Semitism, women’s oppression and Jim Crow is that members of the dominant group have to challege those bigotries in their own groups.

  • gary

    Amen Dave
    Reading the debate, can see the European trend and why Jefferson separated church and state. Believe in the US Law and hope for things good.

  • Donna Angell

    The display of ignorance and prejudice reflected in this comment section is astonding. Sadly our educational system, while teaching our students to read and write at some minimal level, have not done a good job teaching these students the difference between fact and propaganda. And also very sadly there are political figures who have jumped at the opportunity to spew hate, no matter the cost to the country at large. These voices seem to be shouting the loudest at this time. Keep up the good work of presentation of facts and work on cloning this program – we need many more, in all forms of communication, of (shock) facts!

  • Dave

    “Reading the debate, can see the European trend and why Jefferson separated church and state. Believe in the US Law and hope for things good.

    Posted by gary, on September 14th, 2010 at 11:17 AM”

    Yep. Sigh.

  • chai walla

    John Walsh, this thread is not about how “The Jews” are taking over the world.

    Reality check: one quarter of the world population, 1.6 billion people are Muslims in 57 countries. The native peoples of these countries were non-Muslims and have been pressured to convert or leave. The ancient homeland of Jews and Christians, Palestine, is no exception but the Jews are resolved not to be driven out again.

    And yes, the Arabs were involved in the holocaust. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem designed the Final Solution with Hitler to take place in the Middle East. That is why there are no more Jews in Arab countries. Google it.

    The Palestinians are fighting to make Israel the 58th Muslim country.

  • john smith

    You let your guest off the hook. You asked him whether it is true that the likud charter prohibits a palistinean state and then you let him not answer. The likud charter claims israel has the right to continue to put settlements in the west bank and states that there shall not be a palistinean state. It is also very surprising that the m.c. of tthe show doesn’t know that since he is often describing what is or isn’t in the hamas and/or plo charters.

  • Jim in Omaha

    Having personally witnessed the Westboro Baptist Christian Church celebrating the deaths of our military personnel here in Nebraska, based on their belief that God hates the U.S. due to its tolerance of gays, and seeing the Florida Christian Pastor and his congregation call for the burning of Korans, I still don’t hear so-called moderate Christians condemning these acts. I can only conclude that most Christians therefore support these entities. Are there really moderate Christians out there and, if so, why aren’t they speaking out more forcefully in opposition to these extremists?

  • gary

    Did Jefferson grow hemp as example of enlighten prespective?

  • john smith

    Opps. my previous comment should have been in the comments for the nest sshow. Sorry.

  • michael

    Great show,

    thanks for not having on some right-wing hack and having people who can actually communicate to the public.

    Thanks :)

  • John

    Moderate Christians have condemned the idiot Koran Burner and the Phelps family. I’m an atheist so I have no agenda behind giving moderate Christians credit for this.

  • Valkyrie607

    Really John? Moderate Christians condemned the Koran burners? Where? When? I didn’t hear that, so obviously they must not exist.

    /logical fallacy

  • gary

    Amen michael;

    Great show,

    thanks for not having on some right-wing hack and having people who can actually communicate to the public.


    Posted by michael, on September 14th, 2010 at 11:54 AM

  • chai walla

    The spread of Political Islam that is choking any hope of democracy in Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Iraq has nothing whatsoever to do with Liberals vs. Conservatives or with Palin vs. Obama.

    This is an international phenomenon that requires looking at the forest and not the trees. The Imam behind the Cordoba Initiative has written articles in the Washington Post about Sharia being compatible with democracy. He does believe in Sharia. Sharia only means ONE thing.

  • John
  • Valkyrie607

    Oh well gee John. I missed that. But it can’t be my fault for not paying attention. No, blame Sarah Palin for not getting her message out. To me.

    Aside: Sarah Palin is a moderate Christian? Save me from the radicals, please!

  • millard_fillmore

    Perhaps On Point should have invited Ibn Warraq or Irshad Manji, who are the voices of reform, and are inexplicably side-lined by the liberals when the liberals should be supporting them. It seems to me that the progressives/liberals do want to maintain this “us vs. them” dichotomy and keep the Muslim world backward and regressive, by not supporting sane and reasonable voices in the Muslim world. If such voices were to hold sway, liberals would lose their raison d’être and their supposedly higher moral/sanctimonious ground, and there would be no opportunity to expiate their liberal guilt, and belly-ache at the acts of US towards the Muslim world (which suddenly becomes a monolith).

    What did Reza Aslan have to say about Ahmaddiyas in Pakistan and how they have been systematically persecuted and marked for death and massacred, with the state of Pakistan actively abetting such atrocities? Why is there no outcry in the Muslim world about this abhorrent act done today (and not in some centuries old past) by fellow-Muslims in the name of Islam?

    What did Reza Aslan have to say about death-threats that are issued to writers, intellectuals and artists? Or killing of Theo van Gogh and attack on Naguib Mahfouz? Where’s the outrage in the Muslim world over such incidents?

    The fact of the matter is – and this should be quite obvious to anyone who does some research and uses common sense – that the Islamic ideology is simply not compatible with the modern, secular, liberal, democratic world, and the concepts of equality for all are alien to the Islamic world, which still uses concepts like “kaffir/infidel” when making laws. This is proven both by their texts as well as behavior of the followers.

    So, it is indeed foolish as well as suicidal to blindly trust Muslims – just as I wouldn’t trust a fundamentalist Christian or any fundamentalist religious person – unless there’s some visible movement towards more enlightened views (gay rights, for example). And to lump all opposition to Islam as bigotry is pretty stupid and bigoted itself, when none of the Islamic countries have agreed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  • John

    That was what the word “even” was included in my sentence and I chose her as an extreme example. Almost every media story included coverage of moderate Christians opposing the burning.

  • millard_fillmore

    “This is an international phenomenon that requires looking at the forest and not the trees. The Imam behind the Cordoba Initiative has written articles in the Washington Post about Sharia being compatible with democracy. He does believe in Sharia. Sharia only means ONE thing.”

    chai walla, white liberal guilt does not see reason/logic, and can’t look beyond what bad things America has done.

  • Jim in Omaha

    John: Thanks for the reference, but I don’t think Palin is a spokesperson for organized Christianity, is she? And all she really says is that it wouldn’t be nice to burn the Koran, not that it’s wrong. Furthermore, she doesn’t condemn the Phelps-Roper clan. So she must therefore support them. Just where are the moderate Christians, or are they just a myth? Applying the logic of many of the above comments, that is the inescapable conclusion one must draw.

  • millard_fillmore

    If the Muslim god is indeed so powerful, let him take care of anyone who “disrespects” Islam or Mohammad. Why do Muslims need to get their panties in a bunch, and why do Islamic apologists have to defend such abominable behavior of Muslims going on a rampage and committing violence over religious fairy tales? If people want to live by their religious fairy tales, there are 50+ Islamic countries where they can find numerous like-minded people. Why live in the decadent, secular west and cause friction over basic rights like freedom of speech?

  • John

    A large number of moderate Christians regularly challenge the Phelps family. Hundreds of moderate Christians march in gay pride parades with signs condemning hate, which they do to demonstrate their opposition to Phelps. I’m usually the first person to complain about Christian bigotry but in these two instances I think a significant number of moderate Christians have made it clear that they are tolerant.

  • bc

    It is interesting they are asking for their right to place a house of worship where they please in our country, but we cannot do the same in theirs. We get killed just for saying what we believe.

  • millard_fillmore

    joshua wrote:
    “We were the ones attacking Muslim countries first of all–we have interfered in thier countries around the world for decades–infanticide, genocide, assassinations, coups, sanctions…look in the mirror–we are the monsters.”


    So, joshua, are you saying that before USA (I’m assuming that’s what you meant by “we”) attacked Muslim countries (by the way, out of 50+ Islamic countries, how many has USA attacked?), Islamic world was one of peace, harmony and tolerance? Perhaps you need to read some history and think of how the Parsis (the original inhabitants of Persia/Iran) were persecuted and driven out of their land, and how Islam spread by the sword.

    Here’s what Will Durant – a US historian – wrote:

    The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex of order and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within.” (Story of Civilization, vol.1, Our Oriental Heritage, New York 1972, p.459)

    Next, you’ll blame Will Durant for being an Islamophobe and a bigot.

    And if history really matters, as the guilt over what America has done to Native-Americans and slavery shows, then we should apply the same yardstick to all groups of people. Or, are Muslims to be treated as a group only when they are to be painted as victims, but not as aggressors? That seems pretty unfair to me.

  • manuel

    Please don’t try to equate the suspicion that previous enthnicities faced when they first came to America with that which Muslims now face. Italian, Irish, Japanese, Slav or Polish immigrants did not carry out attacks against their fellow Americans. Muslim Americans, or Muslims living in America, have. Fort Hood. Times Square. South Carolina Army recuitment center. Jewish Synagogue in NY city. 911/World Trade Center. Christmas Day underwear bomber. And the dozens of attacks that have been thwarted. Americans of all political stripes are right to be suspicious of Muslims, and the more people everywhere understand what the Koran actually says about what should be done to non-Muslims, the more Islam is going to be under scrutiny, and Muslims to feel the heat. The doctrine of violence so central to Islam speaks for itself. Read the book, if you don’t believe me.

  • michael

    “Italian, Irish, Japanese, Slav or Polish immigrants did not carry out attacks against their fellow Americans”

    yea, not like there was a Italian Mob or Irish one right? I don’t recall any american dying from Italian/Irish Mobsters.

    got nothing on the Pol’s/Slav or Jap’s

  • jeffe

    Here’s a little history. When Saint Patrick’s Cathedral was proposed in New York City there was a lot of the same rhetoric that is being made about the Islamic center.

    While it was being built in the mid 19th century a fence was put up and guards were posted.

    Nothing changes in this country. People who want change and fairness have to fight for ever inch.

  • Loretta

    “I would rather Muslim money goes to NPR than to Al Kaida. Wouldn’t you?”

    Muslime money is Saudi money which is al Kaida money. NPR should be called NMR National Muslim radio

  • marsha

    The one thing I would like to think that most Americans can’t tolerate — is intolerance itself. Which is why the suspicions over Islam present such a Catch 22 type quandary. Of all religions, TODAY’S Islam seems the most intolerant of people of other faiths — mainly because “today’s Islam” is identical to the Islam of the 7th century (whereas Christianity seems to have evolved past the Inqusitions.). Islamic intolerance is born out in the extreme overreaction to cartoons and the mere threat of Qu’ran burings. People flood to the streets vowing death to America, and meaning it. I do wish that the Qu’rans that the lunatic pastor in Florida wanted to burn, would instead be read. I’ve read several translations, and I find myself deeply disturbed by the hateful and intolerant teachings of Islam. What is amazing is that there are so many wonderful Muslims, despite their religion.

  • Quo Vadis

    Yea, jeffe. Catholics became suicide bomber and killed thousands of innocent people.

  • John

    The IRA did kill innocent people with bombs.

  • http://chbenneck@sbcglobal.net Conbert H Benneck

    The Koran proclaims that it is a Muslim’s duty to convert non-Muslims to the true faith. If the non-believers refuse, then the non-believers are to be enslaved, and if they still won’t submit, and become believers, they are to be killed.

    I used to have benign feelings towards Muslims, but since the Muslim terror attacks,in the USA, Great Britain, Yemen, India, Spain, and because I now have to be almost strip searched every time I fly on an airplane my feelings have changed mightily.

    Every time I want to fly somewhere, the evidence of Muslim friendship and benevolence greets me.

    At 89 year of age, gray haired, with blue eyes, and born in NYC, I seem to be a typical terrorist according to the TSA (normally their ages are 18 to 35 – and come from Middle Eastern Countries; have bought one-way tickets; and have no baggage) and so I get the full treatment. Political Correctness – no matter how stupid, must prevail.

    I have lost pocket knives because of the peaceful Muslims. My wife has lost a pair of her artwork scissors,as well as a small tube of hand lotion. I can’t take any water of my own on board an airplane because of the terrorist acts committed by peaceful Muslims.

    It’s high time that they revised their 10th Century thinking; and revised their Koran to reflect today’s World reality. Even the Catholic church was finally forced to admit that Galileo was right, and the Pope was wrong.

    Until I hear that Muslims are willing to accept other religions in their own countries, stop stoning women, stop genital mutilation in girls – only their men are allowed to have any sexual pleasure – and have given up their idea that everyone must be subjugated and become Muslims too, I’ll be extremely wary of anything they say and do.

  • millard_fillmore

    In 1988, The Last Temptation of Christ was released in the US amid much controversy and protests by religious folks, and was banned in some countries.

    Fast forward to 2010 and death-threats are issued to Comedy Central over depiction of Mohammad, something that is considered a blasphemy by Muslims (though Mohammad is depicted in a frieze in the US Supreme Court – link: http://www.wnd.com/images2/muhammadcourt.jpg).

    For those who are committed to free speech, nothing much changes and one has to fight for one’s rights and oppose censorship through death-fatwas.

    What’s unfortunate is that while the liberals were vocal and supporting of the movie (and it’s right to be screened) and were on the right side during the first incident, they are mostly silent during the second incident and haven’t had the courage to take a principled stance. Looks like we’ll have to sacrifice our rights and capitulate to what Islam deems appropriate or not. Or maybe only one religion is worthy of not having the sensitivities of its followers hurt (while it is fine and a hallowed tradition to hurt the sensitivities of Christians), in which case, we might as well kiss secularism goodbye.

    On top of that, in spite of numerous such incidents in different countries, we’re told that we must trust all Muslims, and any criticism of Islam and the actions of its followers is nothing but hatred and intolerance!! This is what passes for logic and analysis by modern-day liberals.

  • Cindy Corbitt

    Growing up in a small Texas town in the 80s, I had a friend with an Arabic name and it never occurred to me to ask about his background or religion. He was a popular varsity football player (e.g., all-American kid). It just wasn’t an issue. It was only after the first Gulf war that I thought of his heritage and wondered if he was suffering discrimination.

    Now I teach in an urban area of Kentucky and have had a Muslim student report to me that someone ripped off her hijab as she walked across campus. She is from Saudi Arabia and tells me that she feels safer there than she does here.

  • millard_fillmore

    “What’s unfortunate is that while the liberals were vocal and supporting of the movie (and the producer’s right to release the film)…

  • John

    Most liberals are not apologists for censors from any religion. Any time this topic comes up I mention Salman Rushdie and the insane riots over cartoons. (I’m not doing it with my full name though as I have no desire to be beheaded.)

  • http://lundfiction.blogspot.com Sertia

    WHy on earth did you only get male guests? i know plenty of super-articulate, super-successful Muslim women in their 20s and 30s here in the US; why don’t you when you’re doing the show?

    also, i don’t see a big mystery as to why American Muslims have integrated better than European Muslims. The US basically, through its immigration laws, only allows, smart, educated, wealthy people in, thus, most American Muslims are at least middle-class. of course they’re going to integrate pretty well!

    European Muslims are poorer in general, and it is not only due to colonialism. Sweden has tons of Muslims (5% of the population) and they have never had a history of colonialism. They took Muslim refugees in because of all the wars that the US caused. as usual, Sweden cleans up the mess the US made :)

  • http://lundfiction.blogspot.com Sertia

    also, I am Muslim myself and I also get surprised at some of the very anti-Muslim things i see on the news; but i can point out something that Muslims should have done. During the crisis and crimes against humanity in Darfur, there should have been a mass outcry by American Muslims against it, but there was not. there were of course individuals speaking out, but if we are going to speak out when people don’t like us, then we should speak out even more when Muslims are doing something very wrong.

  • david

    Islam is a Imperialistic Theocractic political system.
    They are a political trojan horse system that mask itself under the label of religion.
    Doubt it, research it.
    Beware America the trojan horses you allow in.
    Islam has a goal and history shows the direction that it is going.
    Research the history of Imperialistic systems, Theocractic systems and political systems and imagine what happens when the three are joined.

  • http://lundfiction.blogspot.com sertia

    To Marsha:

    actually, 7th century Islam was very tolerant. if you look at a fair, unbiased history, you will come to the same conclusion.

    also, i don’t believe you have ‘read the Quran’, as you say because if you had, then you would have found tons and tons of verses about peace, forgiveness, mercy, not being selfish, giving money to the poor, taking care of orphans, and minding your own business.

    All the verses about killing and violence were made in a very specific context, in which the Prophet was being persecuted without provocation, and they were having to defend themselves. well, i don’t know a lot of the history, but that is the basic gist.

    also, if any anti-muslim person tells you that all the peaceful verses in the Quran have been ‘abrogated’, or made irrelevant, and replaced by violent ones, that is not true. that is some big joke circulating amongst Muslim-haters, but apparently, it was first theorized by some Muslim scholar, but i don’t think he has any followers. no one’s heard of him (except for Muslim-haters who like to called him ‘revered’, haha!)

  • manuel

    Jeffe, please learn some REAL history and get the facts: The first Crusade was launched to evict Islamic conquerors from Jerusalem and Israel. Never forget that it was Muslims who, in effect, launched the very first crusade — against Christianity.

    When Muslims back then conquered Christendom’s holy places, they desecrated holy shrines and relics, and either burned churches down or turned them into mosques. Such as in Egypt, Constantinople/Istanbul and elsewhere in Turkey. And later in Cordoba, Spain. The dome of the rock mosque in Jerusalem was built on the ruins of Solomon’s Temple, Israel’s most holy spot. The GZ mosque in NY is meant by its “Cordoba initiative” backers to be another symbol of conquest in the tradition of the dome of the rock, Constantinople, and yes, Cordoba. The Crusades began as a defensive act against Islamic invaders, but unfortunately in time degenerated into mercenary acts of plunder.

    The medieval inquisitions were principally atrocities of the apostate Roman Catholic Church against REAL Christians who believed the Bible rather than bow to the authority of the pope. The Roman papacy also persecuted Jews during the inquisition. The Reformation became a violent struggle because the Roman Catholics did not want to lose their power and control over the people. Freedom is never free, then or now.

    As an aside, I’ve never understood why some African Americans are so eager to take on Ishmaelite names in place of their “slave” names. This is like cutting your nose to spite your face. The Ishmaelites were the inventors of slavery (see Genesis 37:26-28.) They bought and sold slaves in the Middle East and Africa for centuries before they began trading them across the Atlantic.

    You need to read some real source-history before you post what is nothing more than uninformed regurgitation.

  • Alexandra

    I watched a man near 19th and Broadway put his prayer rug on the sidewalk to pray after work tonight and I felt very moved…because never before has this felt like such an act of bravery in New York.

  • Joe

    Excellent Show Tom! Way to go for keeping the true form of journalism. Always loved your work.

  • joshua

    “The Muslum faith is not compatable with western society since the faith is not tolerant of the freedom of religion, freedom of speach, and freedom of association. Look at any muslum country and you will clearly see this.
    Posted by brandstad”

    it sounds like you are not tolerant of freedom of religion. Most Christians are not. freedom of speech and association–not compatible in most American corporations–the infrastructure of mainstream American society, not possible in the mainstream media, not tolerant in the Vatican, or most Christian churches, Mormons–females and minorities unacceptable abominations–Why do Christians think they are so special and unique? You are the same. You believe absurdities and commit atrocities. Religious people are the most intolerant predatory people on earth–the source of all its pain.

  • Ted

    Reza Aslan’s barely-contained rage is irritating. He shows contempt for those Americans questioning radical Muslims, yet fails to admit that it was 9/11 that aroused many Americans’ suspicions of Muslims (the attackers, let’s admit, were welcomed into the U.S., and then plotted, and carried out the most atrocious terrorist attack in our history). Rather than accept the natural suspicions of a religion that few Americans know about, while aiming to educate about the moderate Muslim majority, Aslan sneers at callers, repeatedly ignores questions so he can wax on about how “we” are not allowed to compare ourselves to Middle Eastern countries, and on and on.

    Mr. Ahmed was a fantastic guest. Have him on again. I must say that I have grown weary of Reza Aslan and his egotistic, immature, angry, pompous rants.

  • millard_fillmore

    Worth reading – an essay by Ibn Warraq: One Imam, Multiple Messages

  • Jehozephat

    The simple fact is that Allah does not actually exist. The success of the western world is proof positive of this. Our people live longer and are more prosperous and happier and so rather than realizing that their beliefs are crippling their civilization, Muslims choose to lash out at the evidence that their entire belief system is based upon a falsehood.

    This is why they are so inclined to overreact at absurdities like the suggestion that people might burn the Koran or that someone would make a cartoon defaming thier greatest prophet. If Allah actually exisited they could shrug at these absurdities and laugh them off but instead they are unable to do this.

    By the way no God of any sort actually exists. What makes Muslims such a difficult group to deal with is that we tolerate their absurd beliefs, just like we tolerate other equally absurd religions not because any of them are true but because all of them are silly and not worth fighting over. They seem intent upon proving that theres is the one true faith when really they have no grounds for claiming this. Either Allah hates them or else Allah does not care, or Allah does not exist. Ther only one of these options that could make any plausible sense is the last view.

  • millard_fillmore

    And of course, Rauf’s claim is complete nonsense. Sharia is totally incompatible with the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. Women are inferior under Islamic law — their testimony in a court of law is worth half that of a man; their movement is strictly restricted; they cannot marry non-Muslims. Non-Muslims living in Muslim countries also have inferior status under Islamic law; they may not testify against a Muslim. In Saudi Arabia, following a tradition of Muhammad, who said that “two religions cannot exist in the country of Arabia,” non-Muslims are forbidden to practice their religion, build houses of worship, possess religious texts, etc. Non-believers or atheists in Muslim countries do not have “the right to life”; all the major law schools, whether Sunni or Shia, agree that they are to be killed.

    From The Two Faces of Imam Rauf by Ibn Warraq.

  • Tad in AnnArbor

    Mr. Aslan made an superb point about Islam lacking any centralized organization, any central authority or any consensus on any objective criteria for what constitutes being a Muslim.
    Mr. Aslan’s point illustrated the confusion (or ignorance of history) of those who claim that ~’what Islam needs is a Reformation.’ (Islam could hardly be more decentralized.)

  • millard_fillmore

    Valkyrie607 wrote:
    “Brandstat, your naive belief that Christianity, the violent, misogynist, slavery-condoning belief system is somehow peaceable is almost as laughable as your bed-wetting paranoia regarding Islam.


    Agreed about Christianity, though there’s hardly any Christian theological state today, with the exception of the tiny Vatican City. Whereas there are 50+ Islamic states today, i.e. theological states using religious law – Sharia – for jurisprudence, to some extent or the other.

    Why do you think Islam is not violent, not misogynistic and does not condone slavery? You do know that slavery is still practiced in Saudi Arabia, right? [ http://asiapacific.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE230572000?open&of=ENG-2D4 ] And that Islam, just like its two big brothers, approves of slavery? Or is that also a Zionist, Christian conspiracy to spread lies about Islam? Are you unaware that Islam means “total submission”?

    I’m just wondering what exactly do you know about Islam and what happens in Islamic countries run by Sharia; and if you are aware of it, why do you think that Islam is not violent, not misogynistic and doesn’t approve of slavery – in spite of a mountain of evidence? Do facts not matter to you, while you sport a raging hard-on for Islam and indulge in a wet-dream to whitewash all evils of Islam? Are you allergic to truth?? Is this what passes for liberalism these days?

    If you do need some information and facts, please let me know – I’ll be happy to spoon-feed you with credible links about atrocities and human rights abuses in Islamic countries. As for your liberal guilt, I can’t help you there as I’m not a shrink.

  • david

    You folks might find this site interesting.

  • zpal

    Tom, you ask: “are Americans ready to embrace Muslims?” But you should also be asking: are Muslims ready to embrace the American Christian?

  • Robert

    The guest claims to have studied American History back to the “founding fathers”. There appears to be big gaps in his studies. There have always be segments in America that profited in one way or another by inciting racial or religious bigotry – be it outright land grabs, political office, or encouraging moves to “safe suburbs” so commissions can be made by reselling houses to the “those others” – the examples go on and on – this is as American as apple pie. Fear and bigotry are great sales tools. As late as the 70′s and 80′s black churches were burned on a regular basis, and those were King James bible reading Christians. In the 80′s, Asians, regardless of what country the came from, were physically attacked in some areas, because of imports from Japan – don’t forget Japanese-American WW2 internment camps. There was a time when whole Black towns were burned down because of the crimes of one person. To this day, when a terrible crime is broadcast on the network new, it’s common for Blacks to hope to them self the criminal isn’t reported as being black, because they have hundreds of years of experience in this country being painted with a broad brush in this country. Why does he think Muslims should be immune from this? A good portion of America is a nation of sheep who allow people like Glen Beck, Limbaugh, Pat Robinson and Fox “News”, do the thinking for them. We are dangerously close to people like them inciting “second amendment remedies” to cure their xenophobia. Remember, after the last presidential election, some people made a lot of money selling guns and bullets. This is a great country, but in some ways it is a very scary country. Some things have changed but some terrible things remain the same.

  • Joshua Hendrickson

    Millard Fillmore writes:

    “none of the Islamic countries have agreed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

    I was curious about this blanket statement, so I looked it up. Turns out that Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and Turkey all voted for the UDOHR in 1948. I can’t claim that they’ve done any better at upholding those rights than many another country (including the US), but there you are. I’m sure that was just a mistake on your part, and not a deliberate lie.

  • Nadeem

    I am a US Muslim, tax payer and serving my community and beyond for many years. It is indeed foolish for people to pass derogatory comments on a great religion, with a following of over 1.4 Billion people. When people insult our religion, they add a few more hate mongers to the likes of Al-Qaeda. Instead of condemning Islam and the Muslims, we must follow the rich American tradition of tolerance and acceptance, while expecting and even demanding the Muslims to play a more active role (social service) in the greater community. This is the best way to deflate the philosophy of hate out there and make America stronger and safer. If we kept being poo-pooed, then only the hate mongers should be blamed for turning around a fairly successful relationship between the Muslim leadership and homeland security, as well as leadership of other faiths.

  • http://tombstone001.blogspot.com MOHAMMED N. RAZAVI

    As with many other nations, the cause of “radicalism” in Islamic countries is corruption, over population, lack of opportunity, poverty, lack of education, and such. Just as there is a drug war in Mexico, there is radicalism in Islamic countries now, the basic reasons are the same. As our on economy declines the radicalism in this country is rearing it’s head. May be there is a lesson here for us all for our future reference.

    on the other hand, many researchers have also claimed that Mohammed, in his journeys attended churches and synagogues and ( http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/quran-jesus.html ) based Islam on the teachings of the Torah and the bible thus you can see where his ideas may have come from

    Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God

    Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.” (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

    Kill Women Who Are Not Virgins On Their Wedding Night

    But if this charge is true (that she wasn’t a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father’s house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)

    Kill Followers of Other Religions.

    1) If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)

  • james noble

    Yet another excellent show thank you. I would like to see your first guest on prime time corporate commentary news glitter and all. Something I haven’t heard in this debate is how all of these supposedly strong Christians are breaking the first commandment by using gods name in a vein attempt to banish Islam from our country. I of course Know very little of Islam but it seems to me that there’s a major tenant in that religion that say’s much the same thing. Look folks there’s a real global religious crisis going on and it started out of the same selfishness that Cain felt. Technology has proven spiritual beliefs wrong. Remember spiritual understanding is an imperfect science that we must undertake. it is not just difficult let go but those Mr. Ahmed refered to as predetory will create problems in order to divert the public attention away from their own misdeeds.

  • Lydia

    Read ” The Trouble with Islam Today” by Irshad Manji.
    She calls for a Reform of her Faith. Such a reform is necessary to free woman, practice tolerance towards other religions and hopefully dispel the fear that terrorists have created among us. Did not Islam and Judaism live in harmony in Spain’s great culture of the 10th century ?

  • jeffe

    Joshua Hendrickson you are aware that Iran hangs gay people. They recently wanted to stone a woman to death for the suspicion of adultery. Signing agreements means nothing if these theocratic nations oppress the population.

  • Kathleen Chaudhry

    Having lived in a joint family, speaking the local language Punjabi and living the life of a local for 25 years in Pakistan, I want to qualify the contribution of Akbar Ahmed. He is one of the elite class which forms perhaps only about 1 percent or less of the population in Pakistan. He cannot speak authoritatively AT ALL for all of Pakistan. He claims he was educated in a private school, Aitcheson College, run mainly by foreigners. Aitcheson College is THE school for the super rich and privileged in Pakistan. It has no relation to the real life and education of the far greater majority of Pakistanis. He talks about things of which he doesn’t know because of his socio-economic status. He is courted by the West because he says things they want to hear in good English. Make no mistake, the real Pakistan Muslim is not at all so liberal minded nor so tolerant. This does not preclude the ideals to which we, as Americans, should and must subscribe. We must be who we are. But to tell me (us) that Pakistanis are not prejudiced, not bigoted, not discriminatory, not intolerant, is false. They are all of the above.

  • http://www.onpointradio.org/about-on-point/john-wihbey John Wihbey

    We see there is more interest here on Prof. Ahmed’s notion that there are three basic identities that define American society: primordial, pluralist, and predator. He calls them the three “p’s.” We recommend reading his piece at Huffington Post for more on these ideas: http://huff.to/cwJF7w

    -On Point staff

  • RJ

    A much needed discussion. We, as Americans, were never given the chance after 911 to consider how the majority of Muslims were struggling to deal with the fringe element that hijacked their religion for nefarious goals. More discussion, and more importantly, more listening of this kind is needed, to counter the rhetoric that has recently surged into our mainstream media.

  • millard_fillmore

    Joshua Hendrickson wrote:

    “I was curious about this blanket statement, so I looked it up. Turns out that Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and Turkey all voted for the UDOHR in 1948. I can’t claim that they’ve done any better at upholding those rights than many another country (including the US), but there you are. I’m sure that was just a mistake on your part, and not a deliberate lie.”


    Joshua, I stand corrected – thanks for your comment. It is accurate to say that most of them have not agreed to UDHR. OIC (Organization of Islamic Countries) signed a counter-human-rights proposal called the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights, which focuses on “human rights” in the context of Islam and Sharia, and has rightly come in for criticism. The four countries you mention above are part of OIC, though I’m not 100% sure that they signed on to CDOHR as the wiki page mentions 45 foreign ministers (without listing from which countries) who agreed to it.

    Anyway, I apologize for that error, and I don’t think it takes anything away from the overall point.

  • millard_fillmore
  • millard_fillmore

    Wiki page for Irshad Manji: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irshad_Manji

  • millard_fillmore

    Ibn Warraq: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_Warraq

    Note to John Wihbey:
    Please get Irshad Manji and/or Ibn Warraq on On Point as a follow-up to this program. I’m sure listeners (myself included) will be interested in hearing their views. At least these two people are honest and courageous, and don’t walk on egg-shells or turn apologists when it comes to discussing Islam, unlike Reza Aslan.

  • millard_fillmore

    Joshua Hendrickson,

    You might be interested in reading about St. Petersburg Declarationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Petersburg_Declaration – vis-a-vis the stupid Sharia-based Cairo Declaration.


    Also, perhaps you may not be aware of this, but I have heard from numerous acquaintances and friends, who have lived in different middle-eastern Islamic countries, about the ubiquitous and pervasive discrimination in these Islamic countries against non-Muslims, which is an open secret – but perhaps, people are too fond of walking on eggs these days to say it out loud. :(

    The hierarchy goes something like this – Arabic Muslims are superior, then at the second rung are non-Arabic Muslims, next People of the Book, and finally rest all non-Muslims at the very bottom. So much for human rights.

  • millard_fillmore

    Mohammed N. Razavi,

    From what I’ve read, some scholars do opine that Koran is heavily derived from books of the previous two monotheistic religions, and there are indeed many similarities (right down to the claim to exclusive rights to One True God (TM)) between all three. Which makes me wonder why these three desert cults have such a violent history and fight among themselves.

    And both Deuteronomy and Leviticus contain passages that are incompatible with modern societies. The problem is that there are hardly any Jews or Christians today who follow Deuteronomy and Leviticus, but killing of infidels and apostates is very much practiced in Islamic countries today. Furthermore, the Islamic blasphemy laws are being applied in western secular democracies through death-threats to writers and artists (long list – ask me if you need the names).

    Additionally, not all of us come from the monotheistic religions, or are religious; and are proud infidels/non-believers/heathens, so pointing out the ills of Christianity or Judaism (which are valid) in response to pointing out the ills of Islam doesn’t really work, if the aim is to induce any guilt, or to give Islam a free pass today because of Christianity’s past.

  • http://tombstone001.blogspot.com MOHAMMED N. RAZAVI

    @ millard_fillmore

    I have been trying to fight religious prejudice for the past forty or so years of my life. I live a very secular life myself, even though I have been known to show up at a local mosque few times a year, and do have some Muslim friends still in spite of my ways. You are welcome to read my critique of the mono theistic religions,more specifically of Islam as being practiced today
    my references to the bible were to show that all monotheistic religions started out with blood on their hands, the new radicalism is a result of of poverty and illiteracy, you may have come across my comments here before.
    leave me a note on the blog let me know what you think, it is not all about religions at all

  • http://tombstone001.blogspot.com MOHAMMED N. RAZAVI

    Though many Americans don’t like to hear it, the US policy from Indonesia to Egypt has been to support the worst actors , so long as the only pretended to oppose Israel, no matter how corrupt and oppressive they were. Torture, murders of opposition, promoting the Sharia laws, bribery, theft of peoples monies were all acceptable in return for a positive trade policy for the benefit of the US. Sharia law came back because of the policies of our friends, now the Pandora’s box is open. We are trying to put the Humpty Dumpty back together again. NO. the US is not blameless in the return of the so called sharia. This not just blame the US rhetoric, it is the reality.

  • millard_fillmore

    Mohammed, thanks for the link to your blog – I’ll check it out.

    However, I’m not so sure that there’s a causal relationship between “America’s support to worst actors” and “promotion of Sharia,” as you claim.

    Take the example of Iran. The first Shah was actually not a religious person (unlike Khomeini), and he is remembered quite fondly by many Iranians who oppose theocracy. The first Shah – Reza Pehalvi – tried to modernize and secularize Iran, but the way he did it – by forbidding “traditional Islamic clothing, separation of the sexes and veiling of women (hijab)” – clearly resulted in a backlash, culminating in 1979 with the overthrow of a modernizing, secularizing monarchy with an Islamic Republic – which followed suit, and forced the veil on women to prove its religious credentials. Clearly, there are no winners here.

    While the atrocities done under Shah’s regime were indeed despicable, he cannot be blamed for promoting Sharia or being religious.

    Another case is Pakistan, which came into being in 1947 as an Islamic republic, without any support from the US. The persecution of Ahmaddiyas in Pakistan, with the state being an accessory, didn’t happen because USA supported Pakistan, it happened because according to Islam, the beliefs of Ahmaddiyas are considered blasphemous.

    From the wiki page:

    “Pakistan has 4 million Ahmadis[63] and is the only state to have officially declared the Ahmadis to be non-Muslims;[61] here their freedom of religion has been curtailed by a series of ordinances, acts and constitutional amendments. In 1974 Pakistan’s parliament adopted a law declaring Ahmadis to be non-Muslims;[64] the country’s constitution was amended to define a Muslim “as a person who believes in the finality of the Prophet Muhammad”.[42] In 1984 General Zia-ul-Haq, the then military ruler of Pakistan, issued Ordinance XX.[65] The ordinance, which was supposed to prevent “anti-Islamic activities”, forbids Ahmadis to call themselves Muslim or to “pose as Muslims”. This means that they are not allowed to profess the Islamic creed publicly or call their places of worship mosques.[66] Ahmadis in Pakistan are also barred by law from worshipping in non-Ahmadi mosques or public prayer rooms, performing the Muslim call to prayer, using the traditional Islamic greeting in public, publicly quoting from the Quran, preaching in public, seeking converts, or producing, publishing, and disseminating their religious materials. These acts are punishable by imprisonment of up to three years.[19] In applying for a passport or a national ID card, all Pakistanis are required to sign an oath declaring Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be an impostor prophet and all Ahmadis to be non-Muslims.[67] Because of being an Ahmadi, the word “Muslim” was erased from the gravestone of the Nobel prize winning theoretical physicist Abdus Salam.[67]

    As a result of the cultural implications of the laws and constitutional amendments regarding Ahmadis in Pakistan, persecution and hate-related incidents are constantly reported from different parts of the country. Ahmadis have been the target of many attacks led by various religious groups.[68] All religious seminaries and madrasahs in Pakistan, belonging to different sects of Islam, have prescribed essential reading materials specifically targeted at refuting Ahmadiyya beliefs.”

    Look, I’m not the last person to criticize US foreign policy, and think it needs to shift in a major way, but I don’t see that as the reason to ignore the problem with Islam, or blame everything on the US. For me, criticizing USA and its foreign policies, and criticizing Islam are not mutually exclusive, as it is for many people who comment on public forums. To blame the US for everything a dictator does is to take away the accountability from that person, as if he had no free will.

  • P. Michael Hutchins

    Listening to the show, I heard one of the guests assert that there has indeed been widespread condemnation of the Muslim extremists by moderates.

    I wanted to go back and see whether he provided any (links to) documentation of that, but I don’t have time to listen to the whole show all over again.

    Does On Point make transcripts available? Does anyone have/remember the part I’m looking for?


  • Jim in Omaha

    P. Michael Hutchins:

    Re: your inquiry about Muslim condemnation of Islamic terrorism, here’s what 10 seconds googling found:


    Would you please be so kind as to provide me with similar condemnations by moderate Christians of the Westboro Baptist Christian Church and Lord’s Resistance Army, and those Christian organizations supporting execution of homosexuals in Uganda. Thanks.

  • millard_fillmore

    Molly Norris goes into hiding: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/16/post_518_n_719682.html

    Serves her right, for indulging in pure hatred!!

  • Turkish American

    We killed close to a million Iraqis and crippled many more promising them freedom. And now we are going to tell them that muslims can not have a cultural center in New York City. So, did we kill them to really give them freedom or was there another more sinister reason?

  • http://nil Sardar Ahmed S. Jan

    For the information of all those ‘Islamophobics,’ who claim that the followers of Prophet Muhammed (Pbuh) believed in killing I wish to correct them: the very word ‘Islam’ stands for Peace. Secondly the Prophet of Islam never, I repeat, NEVER waged a war of aggression; he always fought in self-defence. His standing orders to his ‘Ansars,’ warriors was that: a)you will NOT attack your enemies places of worship b)you will not attack their priests c) their women folk d)their children e) the old and the infirm and f) non-combatants. If a prisoner is taken he is either exchanged for one of their own or otherwise set free.
    Therefore all those who attack & kill innocent people are enemies of God and His Prophet Muhammed (Pbuh); they are hypocrites and not true muslims.

  • P. Michael Hutchins

    Jim in Omaha,

    Thanks, but – two things:

    First, you misread my request; I meant what I said literally.

    Second, it appears that you think that I was coming from a Christian point of view; nothing could be further from the truth. My /understanding/ is rather that religion itself, qua epistemology that includes other than rational routes to knowledge, is incompatible with civilization. The very concept of “god” is invalid, and evil is precisely the irrational.

  • Michael M. Pixley

    When considering the range of commentaries on Islam, I find myself almost clinically depressed, all the more so since most NPR listeners are better informed than the average American. On the one hand,I read one comment noting that ‘we’ are the monsters: the first to attack Muslim countries, along with charges of genocide, infanticide, slavery etc, against the Muslim countries. That is simply not true. Following the death of the Prophet (not the ‘profit’) in 632 A.D., the Muslim communty embarked upon a stunning expansion that included the destruction of the Persian Sassanian Empire, gutting much of the Byzantine Empire and spread east and west for a thousand miles in each direction. Cyprus was captured, Constantinople attacked and, by the beginning of the 8th century, the Iberian peninsula was overwhelmed and even France was invaded. That was, however, a reflection of the morals of the time. That battle against the West continued until 1683 when the Ottomans attacked Vienna for the second time…My point is this…Muslims were not the innocent bystanders during this process: they were the victors. Things would eventurally change, both in the East and the West.(To be continued.)

  • Michael M. Pixley

    Part 2. As many writers have commented, Western (or, to some, “Christendom”) history is replete with atrocities committed in the name of Jesus: the Crusades, the various Inquisitions, the slaughter of the Albigensians, countless wars in the name of God…but these generally came to a halt by 1648 and the Treaty of Westphalia. Islam was hitherto on the flood…but now it was ebbing….until 1979. The Shah fell to the mullahs, American diplomsts were held hostage and the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, an attack that was eventually repulsed (with our help and Muslim blood). The lesson learned, however, was a dangerous one: bloodshed was the key to a return to Islamic values. It was a view held by very few but it was (and remains) fueled primarily by Saudi money. However much most Muslims detest the intolerance of Usama bin Ladin and his ilk, he has managed to capture a large audience and, alas, become the poster child for things Islamic. He is not. Islam is not a death cult but considering the slaughter of people (mostly Muslims) by radical Muslims anxious to emulate bin Ladin’s evil vision of Islam, it cannot be surprising that many people in the West have become deeply suspicious of Islam and what it means. (To be continued).

  • http://Nil Sardar Ahmed S. Jan

    Looking at things from a historical perspective Michael M. Pixley has rightly concluded that ‘people in the West have become deeply suspicious of Islam and what it means.’The answer is that the Muslim Book of faith, the Quran, although in Arabic has been translated in numerous languages and can be purchased from any book outlet round the world. This book needs to be read to understand ‘what Islam means.’ The Muslims round the world, I am sorry to say (I am myself a Muslim)are a very poor specimen of Muslims that the Quran wants us to be.Many of our Muslim brethrens round the world have read the Quran in Arabic but not understood a word of it, because its not in their mother tongue and most of them are unlettered and cannot read or write. They follow their religious leaders who follow a particular sect of Islam and twist the Islamic faith to suit their line of thought. (To be concluded)

  • http://www.youtube.com Brian

    nice picture, thanks for sharing

  • Michael M. Pixley

    Part 3: When speaking about Islamophobia in the US, I believe it is fair to suggest that it is less pronounced here than in Europe, but for very good reasons. The majority of Muslims who migrated to the US were, generally speaking, well-educated individuals who were clearly troubled by the streams of oppression that were a matter of course in their home countries. An Egyptian imam whom I know came to the US precisely because he found religious tolerance to be far greater here than in his native land. A Palestinian couple whom I know now refuse to teach their children anything about Islam (or even Arabic) since they view it as a yoke upon their necks. In Europe, the situation was quite different. Due to colonial policies in the past, or the need for labor (in the case of Germany), several million Muslims made Europe their home. For better or for worse, many of these people were poorly educated and made that journey precisely because they could not find work at home. They entered societies that, literally, could not understand them and who possessed traditions and customs that were utterly alien to them, particularly with regard to women. But here is the chicken or the egg conundrum: did the Europeans push the Muslims aside or did the Muslims simply refuse to integrate into those societies? Personally, I believe the ‘sins’ are on both sides. Europeans found themselves with millions of people with a starkly different Weltanschauung whom they could not understand. Muslims, for their parts, were suddenly encamped in societies whose ideas, values and traditions were at complete odds with their experiences. They feared for their own traditions and, I believe, did much to reject their new homes and , in so doing, did little to try to integrate into these new homes. Each side has, both rightly and wrongly, developed deeply seated suspicions towards each other. In so doing, they amplify their differences instead of noting what they have in common. It is not a formula for mutual understanding or optimism.

  • http://www.thenewunitedrepublic.com Bilal Sabir

    It is truly sad to see how the Qur’an and the religion that Allah gave to Prophet Muhammad is misrepresented by the Muslims with their man made religion Islam. I hope the government of Britain and indeed all governments of the world will examine what the Qur’an really say’s about the religion revealed to Prophet Muhammad, and reject from this moment on any and all recognition of Islam as a legitimate religion. First, Allah says over and over in the Qur’an that his religion is Al-Hanifiyyah (The Upright Way), and Allah invites all people to follow Millata Abraham Haniifaa (The Religion of Abraham, The One Upright Way). It is a historical fact that the Khalifah Uthman changed Al-Hanifiyyah in the Qur’an to Al-Islam. (A fact that Muslims wish to keep hidden) I challenge any Arabic scholar to dispprove my statements concerning the religion of the Qur’an, or any historian to disprove my statements concerning the history during that period. There is no support in the Qur’an for the concepts put forward by the Muslim community, such as Jihad (Holy War), the Shariah (which in fact is condemned in the Qur’an), the Hadiths (which are in fact condemned in the Qur’an), and lastly the Qur’an says over and over again that the tribe of Muhammad and the people Arabia rejected the revelation called the Qur’an and rejected Prophet Muhammad. Allah also says in the Qur’an that the tribe of Prophet Muhammad and the people of Arabia were placed under the La’nah (Curses) for rejecting Allah’s message and messenger. This Islam is nothing more than Vedic Hinduism, the practices of the Id Al-Fitra and Id Al-Ada celebrations are traced directly to the Hinduism of Arabia before the revelation to Prophet Muhammad. These pagan practices are not mentioned, nor are they found in the Qur’an. The positions of prayer for Muslims is taken from Old Mishnah prayer practices, the five (5) times for praying, and the five (5) spots for ablution (washing before prayer) which are taken from Vedic Hinduism. Allah has described in detail in the Qur’an how to clean before prayer, how to pray, and what to say during prayer to him. The Muslims will argue you down, and say that Allah did not reveal how to pray in the Qur’an. The Muslims say this while Allah says in the Qur’an, Surah 6, Ayat 114, “Allah has revealed to you this book fully detailed, and Surah 16, Ayat 89, “We have revealed to you this book to provide explanations for everything, and lastly because Muslims are under the Curses, Surah 6, Ayat 38, “We did not leave anything out of this book”, so now Mr. and Ms. Islamist. The practice of intercalculating or alternating the months is an old Babylonian pagan practice, which is used to determine the time for Ramadan amongst Muslims, Allah has forbidden this practice in the Qur’an. The lies about Prophet Muhammad must stop and the religion that Allah sent him with must now come out, and be heard. Allah has not ordered any woman who believes in the Qur’an to wear Hijaab (covered up like a Ninja), nor to walk behind men, nor to pray behind men, nor has he ordered women not to pray on their monthly periods, nor has Allah ordered any woman to accept being beaten lightly or otherwise. Allah has not ordered anyone to turn in the direction of the Kaabaa, nor to prostrate to the Black Stone in Mecca, nor to circumambulate the Kaabaa which by the way is a Vedic Hindu practice. The Kaabaa is the House of Shiva and the Black Stone is the Shiva Stone of the Vedic Hindu. It is a historical fact that Prophet Muhammad faced Jerusalem to offer prayers and he made pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It is a fact that the committee set up by Khalifah Uthman changed the Qur’an and added all these pagan traceable practices to the Qur’an. It is a fact that Prophet Muhammad was ordered in Surah 5, Ayat 43-45, to establish the Hukm Allah (Governemnt of Allah) with the Tawraah (Torah). The Shariah is made up Islamic foolishness and nonesense. It is a fact that Allah ordered Prophet Muhammad in Surah 7, Ayat 144-145, to hold fast to the Tawraah (Torah), and Allah ordered Prophet Muhammad to order his people to hold the Tawraah (Torah) Beautifully. It is a fact that Allah ordered Prophet Muhammad to follow both books (Tawraah and Qur’an), Surah 28, Ayats 48-49, these ayats specifically state that the people to whom Prophet Muhammad was sent rejected both books calling them, “to magics that back each other”. Our organization refutes all the lies against the Prophet Muhammad created by Muslims and their Islam. The Qur’an states over and over that Prophet Muhammad could read and write, and the Qur’an condemns all Hadiths, Surah Al-Jatheyah, Ayat 6, “These are Allah’s revelations that we recite to you truthfully. In which Hadith other than Allah and His revelations do they believe? Woe to every fabricator guilty”. The Surah Al-Zumar, Ayat 23, “Allah has revealed herein the Best Hadith, a book that is consistent, and points out both ways”.
    We in the New United Republic invite and challenge the Muslims to follow the Qur’an as ordered, to give up their disbelief (Islam), and to joyfully accept the religion Al-Haniffiyah, Haniifaa. We challenge the government of Saudi Arabia to allow a team of experts to examine the Kaabaa, outside and in and to report to the world on what they find. If you are interested in the religion of the Most High, please visit our web site, http://www.thenewunitedrepublic.com, we are willing to address any group about the religion of the Qur’an. Peacefulness be with you all!

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Jul 25, 2014
Pallbearers carry a coffin out of a military transport plane during a ceremony to mark the return of the first bodies, of passengers and crew killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, from Ukraine at Eindhoven military air base, Eindhoven, Netherlands, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP)

Secretary of State Kerry to Israel. Obamacare back in the courts. Mourning as remains of Malaysia Flight 17 victims come home. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Jul 25, 2014
Guest Renee McLeod of Somerville, MA's Petsi pies shows off her wares. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)

There is nothing more American than a piece of pie. We taste and talk pies.

Jul 25, 2014
Guest Renee McLeod of Somerville, MA's Petsi pies shows off her wares. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)

There is nothing more American than a piece of pie. We taste and talk pies.

Jul 25, 2014
Pallbearers carry a coffin out of a military transport plane during a ceremony to mark the return of the first bodies, of passengers and crew killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, from Ukraine at Eindhoven military air base, Eindhoven, Netherlands, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP)

Secretary of State Kerry to Israel. Obamacare back in the courts. Mourning as remains of Malaysia Flight 17 victims come home. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
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In the odd chance that our pie hour this week made you hungry — how could it not, right? — we asked our piemaking guests for some of their favorite pie recipes. Enjoy!

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