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June 27th, 2009
11:59 PM ET

"Punished mercilessly" – Is this Islam?

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Octavia Nasr
Middle East Affairs Editor

“Annihilate the rioters,” demanded one of Iran’s fundamentalist clerics during Friday prayer. He believes that the opposition “defied the orders” of Iran’s Supreme Leader, who “rules by God’s design.” Therefore, “they should be punished mercilessly." Either way, his words couldn’t be harsher or more extreme. Some would say those words couldn’t be more un-Islamic.

The word Islam means “surrender.” The entire religion is based on surrendering one’s self, speech, action and thoughts to god. When moderate Muslims hear what this Mullah has called for, they wonder which brand of Islam he is advocating.

The first pillar in Islamic faith is the declaration called “Shahda” that there is no god but Allah and that Mohammed is his prophet.

The first verse of every chapter in the holy Muslim book, the Quran, goes like this, “In the name of God, most merciful, most compassionate.” Devout Muslims start many of their activities or speech with these glorious words.

Where is the compassion in the Iranian mullah’s speech? Where is the Mercy?

He’s directing his wrath at his own people; their only crime was to ask for an honest vote and to insist that their votes counted in a timely presidential election. They are the ones who shouted from their rooftops every night since their demonstrations began, “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar” –God is Great. They are the ones who were denied their legal right to demonstrate so they had to defy the regime and take to the streets anyway.

They are the Iranian opposition movement, young people, mostly students, many women who were kicked and beaten in the streets; they were shot at, detained and even killed. They were called traitors and terrorists. Despite all that, they kept going out for more show offs with Iranian police and a brutal volunteer militia known as the Basij.

The Iranian regime imposed a crackdown on foreign media which made the story impossible to cover freely. The world ended up with two views of on what’s going on: The government perspective came through the state media, radio, TV, newspapers and websites. The opposition turned itself into a media outlet where everyone with a cell phone became a correspondent. They uploaded their images to video-sharing websites and interacted with the world through social media. They provided raw, unedited picture to the entire world.

Now one cleric vowing to “teach them a lesson” is a sign of more brutality and more bloodshed to come. The only difference is that when it happens, if it happens, it will be behind closed doors. We can’t count on Iranians who turned their cell phones into newsgathering machines and became the story and journalists telling it at the same time.

What tomorrow will bring them is a mystery that no one is there to witness or report on.


Filed under: Iran • Islam • Octavia Nasr
soundoff (256 Responses)
  1. eric

    let us not blame the religion
    rather it is those in full control
    in power over the population....
    look back at other History leaders
    under Hitler, Stalin, ED Amin
    it takes many generations
    for a reform
    So why did the Iranians fought for
    their so called freedom from their
    pro western Shah the 1979 revolution?
    figure that out

    June 28, 2009 at 12:29 am |
  2. cvk

    Putting the question of whether this is or isn't 'Islam' to one side, this does clearly show the wisdom of separating the church from the state. Hopefully the fundamentalist christians in the U.S. will take a lesson from this.

    June 27, 2009 at 11:54 pm |
  3. Simon

    I absolutely agree with the author when he said, "When moderate Muslims hear what this Mullah has called for, they wonder which brand of Islam he is advocating." I know a bit about this religion, there are tons of good muslims but at the same time lots bad ones. They are twisted in their minds. God is saving a spot for them in hell no doubt about it. John, I dont think this brand of Islam is Islam. Because that is not the message that you will find in the large number of muslims. You can not compare apple to oranges. In Islam there are divides and some prototyping the entire religion would be a grave mistake. You are right there are people who loves to die but there are also people who hate that kind of acts, who wants to live and prosper. Innocent kids are being sent to death, but there are good muslims who hates and denounces that kind of acts.

    This act by Iranian supreme leader totally against the teaching and morals of Islam.

    June 27, 2009 at 11:41 pm |
  4. Tara

    Hi Anderson,

    Today was a global day for protest and to support for the people of Iran who have been protesting the election results.

    I live in Vancouver, Canada. On my way home from a Vancouver Pride celebration I saw one of Vancouver's major streets (called West Georgia) lined with hundreds of Vancouver's Persian population on each side of the street for more than 5 city blocks. They are showing their support for their families & the people who voted for change back home (In Iran). They are against the violence and against their people's rights being stripped away from them.

    All of West Georgia had the people driving by in their cars honking their horns in support. People like myself joined in their chain of solidarity to show that freedom and elections belong to the people and not the regime.

    I hope the voices from around the world are heard.

    Regards,

    Tara

    (I have photos on my cell that I am hoping do down load with in the next 24 hours.)

    June 27, 2009 at 11:35 pm |
  5. Archera

    I agree with John Fullerton basically because i have heard so many interpretations of what true Islam is that I personally doubt anyone really knows. If a cleric can interpret it one way with quotes and the peaceful Islamics quote it in other terms then I can only ask, "who really knows?" I do seem to sense now that the "Purge" is coming .. the Purge of the opposition that is .. hmmm .. starts to sound to me like the ruling party in Iran are possibly going to try to mimic Sadam? That will be their downfall .. of course. Am I possibly right? I don't really know and I doubt anyone really does who is not privy to the Inner Workings of these things ... just some random thoughts of mine.

    June 27, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  6. Allison Jarvis

    I interact with many muslims on a daily basis and I have never been exposed to this attitude. I don't think the issue at hand is really Islam but rather control. In my counry we'd term it as 'suffering from a dose of inchargeness'. To think that any human being can even think of using the word "Anninilate". What .....people!!!!!! Other human beings? This is overwhelming and surreal. I am sorry, that's not a man, that's a COWARD.

    June 27, 2009 at 11:20 pm |
  7. Elaine Bergstrom

    John' s words are, unfortunately, believed far too often. But the young people of Iran are heroes who have proven that there is another kind of Islam, the sort that allows its practicioners to coexist with other religions and live a modern lifestyle. What is sad is that the most incisive reporting on this came from Jason Jones of The Daily Show, and sadder yet, that a dead pop star (and yes, I am a fan) trumps a revolution ... that is vacuousness of the American public.
    I cannot help but think that their supreme leader is not all that different from Pope Benedict. He lives in a vacuum with no idea of what goes on in the world, and once he makes a pronouncement, he will not back down no matter what the consequences for his country.
    But I do wonder, what does the Koran say about holy men who lie?
    If anyone from Iran is reading this, we are with you. God is great.

    June 27, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  8. Ramirez

    Of course this is Islam! This is Islam at its best.
    To say this is not the real Islam is like the people who heard about the Gulags, Mass Starvation and other atrocities of the communist regimes and said "Ah, but this is only 'real socialism', a degenerate form of socialism. Ideal socialism is about justice and compassion..." Turns out that oppression was all that socialism had to offer. Everywhere socialism has been implemented it has led to brutality, violence, vilification.
    The same now about Islam. I don't think even the "ideal" or "pure" Islam is about compassion and forgiveness, but never mind. In practice, Islam, "real Islam" wherever it is implemented, is about oppression, brutality and vilification of the human being.

    June 27, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  9. Sophie

    No one in power in Iran is representing anything except money; there is a battle between the two higher Ayatollahs over control of the government therefore the money. Let’s not kid each other this is not about Islam, Judaism, Christianity or any race or group it is all about money. Which if I am not mistaking was behind of our latest embarrassment in Iraq?

    June 27, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  10. jim in PHX

    CNN,

    Please get a grip and ease up on the MJ coverage! Not only is this more worthy of the E! network, but there are millions of Iranians who are fighting to keep a movement alive, and CNN plus BBC have played a critical role! Please report the REAL news, freedom depends upon it at this moment.

    jim in PHX

    June 27, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  11. Lisa Currie

    Please stop spending so much time on Michael Jackson. I'd like more information on what's going on in the world.

    June 27, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  12. Anne Hatzakis

    I have come to understand through conversations with Muslims that Islam is SUPPOSED TO BE a religion of peace, with jihad being an internal struggle within each believer. That absolutely does not jibe with what this 'cleric' is spewing. What the coverage of the late Michael Jackson has done is obscured that today WE SHOULD ALL BE NEDA. Only in this way will the sacrifices made by the protesters will not be in vain.

    June 27, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  13. Roya

    This could not have been explained better. Excellent!
    “In the name of God, most merciful, most compassionate.” That is what we were taught about Islam in our religious studies in elementary school until these Mullahs took over the country and showed the world how vague Quran (and maye all other holly books) are written and it all depends on who's reading.

    June 27, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  14. jesus

    i don't think that the koran say kill your own! for been against the belief of one person or a "god"! we are born to make our own decisions and to die for does beliefs! we bleed the color of freedom to die without a "great one" telling us what we should believe in or when we should submit! "we are humans" "we are the people" we have the power to die for our cause...freedom for all!

    June 27, 2009 at 9:48 pm |
  15. Mohammed.

    Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him warned us of these times. Always reminded Muslims to be on the straight path and never too extreme. Islam is made to be easy and implemented with wisdom always on the side of truth and against oppression.

    June 27, 2009 at 9:39 pm |
  16. Mohammed.

    Islam is not just a religion its a way of life. It has rules for the way you talk, eat, work, sleep marry, procreate,, fight, argue, etc. There are very strict rules pertaining to war -including no weapons of mass destruction, no suicide bombing, no killing of innocent women or children or even people not fighting you. If you read about Salahuddin and the Crusades ~ that is closer to the way Muslims are supposed to fight. Many people today take only parts of Islam that are convenient to their agenda and not the whole package.

    The problem in the Islamic world is the collapse of the Caliphate which was how Muslims ruled at the time of the Prophet and his companions. We have all these fake national boundaries made by britian and rich families-saudis. Much of the problems in the middle east would not exist if the Ottoman empire still existed today. Yes it wasn't perfect but it worked. So now there is a power vacuum and goverments and people experimenting.

    Ironically Iran is not very differnt from Israel. Both are theocracies with democratic parts. Muslims have to remember there are no priests or popes in Islam we are all human. But also we have to remember that in being Muslims we accept all of Islam and the Shariah- not just whats convenient.

    June 27, 2009 at 9:35 pm |
  17. Riyaz

    Sir,

    Thank you for a well written article.

    Fundamentally, this is an issue of politicians using religion to rule with an iron fist, while twisting all the elements of their faith to deceive people.

    Many evil regimes use these strategies.

    But Islam the religion is not as such. No religions as as such.

    I read a book by the late Rich DeVos the Amway founder many years ago, titled: 'Compassionate Capitalism' and from the teachings and feelings in the book, Rich DeVos was a true muslim, if there ever was one in modern times.

    Ditto with our late Michael Jackson, if there was ever another model muslim who first and foremost, believed and acted in humanity, then he was a muslim, christian, hindu, buddhist, etc.

    Religion is a state of mind and heart.

    Religion used for political gains is not religion in its true sense.

    Let's get clearer on this. The muslim clerics referred to in this article, are the ones who cling on to power using religion.

    Thank you, AC, really admire your work.

    Yes, a person as sincere as you to bring the truth to the surface, is also a true muslim or christian, or any religions, organized or self-developed for that matter, by the definition that religion is a state of mind and heart.

    June 27, 2009 at 9:18 pm |
  18. Rodolfo J Lertora

    Do you remember South Africa at the time of apartheid?
    The people in power at that time, by killing people they thought their struggle will die with them. How wrong, how wrong they were!!
    The spirit of people in their struggle for what they consider their right will never died.
    We people make mistake, some times we supports those that hurts us also.

    The Iranian people perhaps made a mistake, but at the same time their struggle to liberate themselves from their present system will continues.
    Muslim in its totality can not be pointed as the cause of these sad events in Iran.
    Iran last century was a model for many. We witness how an entire system was change in 24 hours. Was not spontaneous, was calculated and the clergy prepared themselves for years to the right moment. They did it, and when they did it, went backward also taking a twisted path. For many people was a sad moment, because the bird shows its feeders right away, all of us knows about the events took place after their revolution.
    Right now there are not possibility of any change in Iran, the proposal to change has to be very profound and also must be capable to reach the common people.
    The possibility of some change and not to soon, is within their clergy structures.
    Is possibly that within their structure some of this religious people can see the world as?
    not their enemy, differently, more connected to the world that is changing rapidly.
    Our message must not be belligerent, we what to talk to those hears in power and the common people of Iran.

    June 27, 2009 at 8:59 pm |
  19. Nina Woo

    Iran is just another Iraq. Who will rescue the innocent ? I admire Obama's restraint in view of the US' involvement in Iraq-we all want to see justice but we cant keep walking into other people's countries and making them change. Cultural evolution can be violent, and although no ordinary person wants this, many will have their eyes opened by what is currently happening. Some of the violence is no doubt due to Al Quaida/the Taliban taking advantage of a chaotic situation- of course they want western civilization to look bad.

    History shows that change will come anyways. Let us offer support in any way we can but mind our own fences. Iran could be the nuclear trigger that none of us want to see.

    There are many other areas of the world being neglected right now because they are 'old' news but people-women, kids, elderly-the innocent- are suffering there too (ie Darfur). Let the powerful focus on helping where they CAN. The momentum in Iran will either increase or be quashed-either way many will learn from it, and the evolution of Islam as a culture and a religion will continue. You can lead a horse to water...

    June 27, 2009 at 8:43 pm |
  20. Nahid

    Todd A. Ludwig,

    Beautiful comment.

    There is no doubt that Micheal Jackson was a talented guy but to occupy the whole news on his death, that is pathetic. Not because that I am an Iranian but what I mean is that we should concentrate on what is happening around the world more than entertainment. And media can play an important role here.

    I know that it is hardy going to be another Micheal Jackson, but poor guy is been dead for many years.

    June 27, 2009 at 8:36 pm |
  21. Fariba H.

    In the words of Florence Shinn who wrote in the early 1900's: "Only divine ideas endure. Evil destroys itself, for it is a crosscurrent against universal order." Time has proven her words to be correct repeatedly since she delivered them, and it shall prove her correct once more when the Iranians one day reclaim their inalienable rights as human beings.

    June 27, 2009 at 8:32 pm |
  22. Historical Reference

    I don't think it is fair to characterize Islam as the only violent religion. Islam is just the most recent religion to use violence as a means to an end. Although I am not a Muslim and don't particularly care for the religion based on what I know about it, let's not forget about the current Israeli-Palestinian fight, the not-too-long ago Irish Protestant-Catholic fighting, the Crusades and the Inquisition under the Catholics. This is what happens when humans decide to invoke the will of God in justifying their actions and convince others that their end will be eternal damnation if they do not follow. When will the world accept that no one speaks for God?

    June 27, 2009 at 8:28 pm |
  23. farah

    This always happens when religion mixes with politics, very bad mix.
    For as long as I remember, religion (in any kind or form) has been based on beliefe and faith. You are expected to believe without proof, which requires not thinking or challenging the idea, now imagin mixing that with politics, brutal combination, specailly Islam that has a long history of force.

    June 27, 2009 at 8:14 pm |
  24. John

    Look, these mullahs are the equivalent of the Pope for Islam. Thus, whatever they say is what the religion says. Period. They are the highest authority in this faith, the scholars that know the foundations of the faith and interpret its teachings. If they say that they will punish their own followers for asking for an unbiased recount, then this is what Islam says. Period. It is like the Pope saying that he is against birth control, then the Catholic Church is against birth control. Period. You cannot have different leaders of a faith saying different things or interpreting the teachings differently. Thus, Islam is saying:"Punish – kill, beat up, torture, etc. – the believers for asking for an unbiased count of the votes". This is the way of Islam. I am so sorry for its followers. I am truly sorry for them. This is not how Christians do things.

    June 27, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  25. Daniel

    This "punishment for protesters" is NOT Islam.
    It is against Islam, and is simply one more reason why religions of the world MUST be replaced with proper education.
    The world can be much smarter.

    June 27, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  26. Drake

    With the Internet the Iranian people understand they cannot take direction from 2 outdated sources any more – clerics and dictators. That's what this is all about. The old system doesn't work anymore. These words are true to today as they were 40+ years ago:

    There'll be shoutin' from the mountains on out to sea
    No two ways about it, people have to be free
    Ask me my opinion, my opinion will be
    It's a natural situation for a man to be free

    Young Rascals

    June 27, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  27. Alia

    We seem to forget European history and all the business of witch hunt and torture. That was not christian . It was power abuse. No religion preaches such things. It is easy to hold islam barbaric. Social evolutions are not programable or predictabel; moreover, they cannot be configured a priori.

    June 27, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  28. Robert Don Meek, Jr

    Is there any difference between this Iranian fundamentalist cleric demanding “Annihilate the rioters,” and Hannity bellowing and shrieking some time back, post-9/11, that we wanted to bloody them, kill them, and wanted retribution? I kid you not, he sounded as looney as Hitler, the only difference being he was speaking English, and I didn't have to rely on a translator!

    June 27, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  29. Morgan

    Frankly, I consider it utterly shameful that most of the coverage for the last three days has been about Michael Jackson instead of Iran's elections. I subscribe to CNN email updates. I've gotten over 10 about Michael Jackson, and two about Iran. What the heck? A second rate singer and accused child molester dying is more important than the suppression of civil rights in a totalitarian country? What's wrong with us? Let's get our priorities in order here, CNN. It's not about ratings, it's about news. Jackson should be page 2 at best, well behind real news.

    June 27, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
  30. Bakari

    To be honest I don't know who's side to take. I feel everysince I myself converted to Islam I've met some very kind hearted muslims. I learned how to give Allah (God) my undivided attention. But when I see so much war going on and Islam being on the other end of it, how can I say that I am a muslim with pride. I just want peace.

    June 27, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  31. Clark

    sense the beginning ... when a group of people in the next town over refused to accept Islam ... Mohammad conquered mercilessly by the sword. Just look back to the beginnings in Mecca and Medina. Islam is a religion based on serving the strong, earning paradise through working in this life and conquering through the sword. Have any of the world's Islamic leaders condemned the tactics of the basij, the iranian police ....?

    June 27, 2009 at 7:05 pm |
  32. Hussein Syed

    John, Thank you for your candor, while you are at it can you also reflect on the your religion's and the atrocitiees it's followers have committed and continue.
    My response by no means defends narrow minded self serving actions of Iranian regime.

    Thank you

    June 27, 2009 at 7:02 pm |
  33. Marcy Sperling

    It is so sad that a courageous group of people must suffer for their passion and their belief.. That the government in Iran blames them for their faliure to govern their own country fairly and blame the United States.. for caring about human rights and human life and the respect of the dignity of all peoples.. I liistened to the beautiful video of Joan Baez, "We Shall Overcome " in farci.. so moving in the 60's and so very moving and approriate now for the hope of Iran

    June 27, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  34. Michael C. McHugh

    This Supreme Fuehrer of Iran would not be the first dictator in history who confused himself with God, and the voices in his head with divine instructions. He won't be the last, but sooner or later all of them end up in the same place. Let's hope it's sooner in this case, for the sake of the Iranian people.

    June 27, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  35. Peter Nelson

    "This is not Islam at all. "

    Of course it is – actions speak louder than words.

    No prominent or serious historian would say that the the Crusades or the Inquisition were not carried out by Christians, or that the Catholic Church is not a Christian denomination. No historian would say that the conservative protestant denominations supporting slavery or Jim Crow in the American South were not part of the Christian religion.

    Both Islam and Christianity are open to a multitude of interpretations so just because you disagree, theologically, with one of them doesn't mean they are not a member of that religion. Both religions have a very long history of bloody violence supported and advocated by serious religious scholars of theirs at the time. Let's not be naive.

    June 27, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  36. Shelia

    Keep speaking truth to power. The mullahs best be careful. One day someone will be shouting for their blood. Iranians have long memories. I thing Muslims and Christians alike believe God is a loving God. We are all his messengers not just some who have designated themselves so.

    June 27, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  37. T. Baldwin

    Mr. Fullerton, there are radicals in every religion. Remember David Koresh? Jim Jones? Is Christianity to be judged by their actions? Islam is a religion of peace and acceptance. The current political and religious leaders in Iran are the exceptions. Thankfully, people who feel about Muslims the way you do are also the exceptions.

    June 27, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  38. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    The answer is unfortunately yes, this is Islam in 2009. Defenders will claim that the vast majority of Muslims are moderate peace-loving people. Yet time and again we see that this so called moderate majority is a silent majority. They either approve or don't care what the radicals do. Iran is just another example. Where is the outrage among moderate Muslims at the abuse of human rights by the Iranian regime? Answer: no where to be found. If Islam is a religion of peace, it's time for the world's 1 billion Muslims to walk the walk.

    June 27, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  39. Ken

    This is what you get when mixing religion with state.
    the so called leader things he is the law and above the law because
    he is dictating gods law!

    June 27, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  40. txkboy

    Hmmmm...sounds like another fanatic masking his shortcomings under the veil of religion.

    June 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  41. Jeff Morton

    Article 27 [Freedom of Assembly]
    "Public gatherings and marches may be freely held, provided arms are not carried and that they are not detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam." Directly from the Iranian constitution. There are many other contradictions in their "constitution" but this one seems to be the most glaring. I cannot for the life of me understand how holding onto the power to govern is more important thatn the lives of those one governs. Beating, shooting and killing innocent protesters is going to be the legacy of this Iranian regime. It is obscene and despicable that a government can actually get away with this behavior. The helpless feeling is overwhelming.

    June 27, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  42. andre

    please dont let tragic death of our dear michael jackson keep you so busy to stop covering the tragic killing of iranian people inside iran.
    im so sure even michael soul is so sad for them. he was kind and nice and even people in iran loved him so much. i know that for sure i was living in iran during 80 and 90.
    but please please dont forget about iranian and there fight with the evil islamic republic.
    CNN is there only hope. please dont let us down. i bage you guys.

    June 27, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  43. Katherine Felix

    Fanatics of all culures and religions cause misconceptions in others through these types of excesses in speech and action. Many people will see these words and judge whole groups of people based on them, and this is fundamentally more dangerous than anything else as it perpetuates the divisions between us all.
    Religions should be a unifying force, rather than a destructive one.
    Thanks for the Blog- it speaks of the situation well.

    June 27, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  44. adela palenzuela

    Best regards to all Iranians, beautiful people, gorgeous country!

    Oh and by the way >Welcome back Michel Ware<

    Adela Palenzuela
    Miami Fl

    June 27, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  45. hugh ~ california

    There will never be peace in this world as long as religious extremists rule the lives of people who just want to be free from the bondage of religion itself.

    June 27, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  46. Yusuf

    Answer to John Fullerton

    I am pretty much sure you are the kind of people who can`t see further than there noze & never tries to fact findings. with your ignoring comment you should keep it to yourself. When making comments in public forum , please in the futur measure your words wisely, in the futur for your vocabulary , allow me to let you know that Muslim & Islam are two differrent words.see the difference and meaning in the dictionnary.

    June 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  47. nkogh

    @ John Fullerton..... Dont generalize am pretty sure not all muslims suscribe to that interpretation of the koran or their religion...!

    June 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  48. John Brown

    Funny that a Cleric urges no mercy. Wow he is really some man of God!

    June 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  49. Umar Muhammad, Kano, Nigeria

    Islam is a religion of peace, as a religion that teaches every aspect of human life it depends on what side you understood it or wanted it to be.

    June 27, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  50. pat

    ObviouslyJohn Fullerton knows nothing about the Islamic religion or talked to any Muslims. Their religion is not based on hatred and killing any more than the Christian bible is. There are Christians killing others every day in the name of God – think the Skinheads and Neo-Nazis. Should we condemn the whole Christian religion because of a few nutcases? I think not. Islam is just the same – there are some nutcases out there killing not only Christians but their own Islamic brothers and sisters in the name of Allah. I am a Christian, but I have utmost respect for Islam. How many Christians would fast for a month for their religion as Islamics do? Not many. I know many Muslims, and they are all more committed to their religion than most Christians I know. Let's practice tolerence and respect to one another. Condemn the actions, not the religion.

    June 27, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
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