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Latino Muslims a small, growing group
Puerto Rican lawyer Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, right, is among the thousands of Latinos who have converted to Islam.
November 23rd, 2011
04:23 PM ET

Latino Muslims a small, growing group

Wilfredo Amr Ruíz, is a lawyer, commentator on international politics and former U.S. military chaplain from Miami. He's also a Muslim, one of a small and growing number of Latinos who have converted to Islam.

He spent most of Monday fielding interviews and requests from radio shows that wanted to talk about the Latino Muslim community. The flurry of interest was spurred by the weekend arrest of Jose Pimentel, a Dominican Republic-born convert to Islam, on terrorism charges. Pimentel is one of several Latino Muslims to face terrorism-related arrests since September 11, 2001, including Jose Padilla, Bryant Neal Vinas, Daniel Maldonado.

He wished Islam had been in the spotlight for a more positive reason, he said, one that's closer to the true day-to-day of most Latino Muslims.

“I just came from a TV interview where they asked me, ‘What about this trend of Islamist Latino Muslims?’” Ruíz said. “There is no trend. If it’s a trend, then [there would be] a lot of people following it. If something’s a trend, talk about the people who have left behind crime and are living a pious life after becoming Muslims.”

A 2011 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life estimated that there are 2.75 million Muslims in the United States, and a 2008 survey found that about 4% of America’s Muslims identify as Latinos. There are predominantly Latino Muslim congregations in several cities, including Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago and the Bronx.

There are few statistics about Latino Muslims, but anecdotally, many convert to Islam as adults. Some change religions after becoming engaged to or marrying a Muslim; some find a home in Islam after becoming dissatisfied with the faith they were born into; some are attracted to the faith while serving in prison; still others stumble upon it after reading a book or attending an interfaith event.

Ruíz converted with his wife and children about eight years ago. His twins were toddlers then, and he and his wife were discussing whether they – non-practicing Catholics – should start attending church again.

“Out of the blue, we were having this conversation, and we were driving next to an Islamic center in Puerto Rico,” Ruíz said. “So I said, ‘You know, we should start thinking about Islam.”

Ruíz looked into some pamphlets about Islam that his mother had brought home from a Palestinian storekeeper. That led to several visits to Islamic centers and in 2005, he decided to put his career as a lawyer on hold while he got a master’s degree in Islamic studies and Muslim-Christian relations from the Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. Shortly afterward, Ruíz, a former Navy Judge Advocates General's Corps member, become a Navy chaplain. He’s also co-founder of Puerto Rican Muslim Association.

Islam also changed the course of Nahela Alexandra Morales’ life as well. She converted to Islam five years ago and is now the national coordinator for the Islamic Circle of North America’s  Hispanic Outreach Program in New York. She said she's frustrated that coverage of Latino Muslims spikes when  an individual is accused of something bad. But when American Muslims donated millions of dollars to earthquake relief in Haiti, or her organization supported food pantries and school supply drives, the media failed to pay much attention, she said.

"One of the major problems out there is the misconception of when the news breaks, unfortunately, they always target the religious status when it is a Muslim. Add Latino to that and it makes bigger news," Morales said.

Morales said she began looking into Islam out of curiosity after September 11, 2001. The peaceful religion she encountered was at odds with the violent extremes portrayed in the headlines. She began taking weekly classes, and a few years after making the Shahada - the Islamic declaration of faith – she married a Moroccan man and is happily raising her children to be Muslims.

“My hunger for the faith that I was looking for in God was fulfilled,” Morales said. “It was what I was looking for.”

At first, her family had mixed feelings, which came to a head when she visited them in Mexico City – wearing a headscarf.

“It was a shock  I had cousins that said they feel betrayed. One told me I’d never be an Arab,” Morales said. Looking at her covered head, her grandmother somewhat jokingly asked, “Well, if you wanted to be a nun, why didn’t you tell me?”

But any feelings of uneasiness have been replaced by, at the least, acceptance. Morales’ mother converted last year, and two of her cousins are considering conversion.

“I’m not afraid to speak up for my religion or my race. I’m proud of being Mexican,” Morales said.

Ruíz has also put a lot of time and effort into explaining and defending his faith within and outside of the Spanish-speaking community, he said. He’s appeared on CNN en Español, Telemundo and Univision, and is a regular columnist for El Diario de NY and writer for Huffington Post.

Ruíz sees the fact that Pimentel was unable to gain any financial or direct logistical support for his plot as proof that the overwhelming majority of Muslims would not find his ideas attractive.

“Even if he started talking about this, he would be denounced to the authorities, because there’s a lot of work done by a lot of Muslim organizations, because we don’t want that kind of crap going on in our Islamic centers,” Ruíz said.

Morales said there is guidance available for "reverts" – those that have "reverted" to the original state of submission to God that Muslims believe all people are born with. In one of the Islamic Circle’s programs, new Muslims are paired with someone more experienced in the faith. It also offers a hotline and online classes for people with questions about Islam through WhyIslam.org.

“We try to educate them. We try to be accessible,” Morales said. “So any questions they do have, they have someone to go to. We try to educate our reverts and keep them on point for what the religion is about and not try to deviate or go to any extreme group.  We try to keep them under the one Islam.”

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Filed under: Ethnicity • Latino in America • Religion • Who we are
soundoff (143 Responses)
  1. Guest

    Mustinos?

    December 6, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jack

    What latinos who have no foreskins? I thought it was the foreskin that defiend the latinos

    November 29, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Marle

    Being a Jew anywhere on the planet is difficult. Just ask Jesus.

    Jews chose to accept the Word ... those who refused to believe started their own religion and killed the Jews for not converting to the new religion, in spite of the fact that God said 'no other gods before Me' they made Jesus into god.

    Those who didn't go along with either religion started their own – and it became Islam - which has been fighting its way into existence by any and all means - just like Protestants did - and Scientology, etc.

    Human beings were and are still not ready for Peace of any kind. War is the rule, not the exception.

    Where is God now - when the Earth needs a big bang like Sodom/Gomorrah!

    November 29, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. whocaresofreligion

    its funny how all these cults say there better than the other but in history all religions even MUSLIMS have killed and oppressed civilizations just for not belief to there magical fairy in the sky, this is true and a fact it cannot be denied. as for the ones who say (those violent people dont repersent us) "the blame game" you should look where you point your finger cause there are three pointing right back at you. besides the ones that are religious are going to reply back with some peacful response of tolerance but really we know what you hide behind the curtain of true emotions

    November 28, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Junius Gallio

      Atheism has also killed people for not ... well, refusing to be believe. This is not a "religion" problem, it is a _human_ problem.

      November 28, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Junius Gallio

        >first i am not athiest

        I did not say that _you_ were an atheist–I simply said that atheism has just as bloody a history as any religion. (And by the way, if assuming makes a a** out of one, does misreading also do the same?)

        >second of all yes its human nature but a big cause is RELIGION

        _A_ big cause? Certainly! But it is nether necessary nor unique, so to single it out as if it were somehow an exception to the rules is wrong on point of fact.

        > even if you dont agree its in history read a book sometime it will give you some shine to the mind.

        Oh, please. Insults and derision only demonstrates the thin reed your arguments rest on. If you wish to make a substantive objection, please feel free–I'll read and consider your points with respect. If you wish to engage in the feeble excuse for "internet debate" you've demonstrated here, please be assured that I will pay your post all the attention it so richly deserves.

        November 28, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Maya

        Name one time where atheists killed anyone for not being atheists. That's a load of crap and you know it. Don't you dare start talking about Stalin or Mao. They were totalitarian crazies who killed anyone they thought was antagonistic to their reign. Their atheism was very much ancillary to that.

        November 29, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Junius Gallio

        You cannot exclude Communism solely for convenience. Yes, they killed many for many reasons, or even for no reason at all, but atheism was most certainly one of the "official" reasons.

        My overarching point, however, was that religion (or lack of religion) is not the issue–indeed, these are but two among the many excuses for those in power to persecute those without power.

        November 29, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Adiani

    This whole debate can be condensed into one sentence. "My imaginary god is more powerful than your imaginary god".

    November 28, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. OregonTom

    I feel sorry for people who do not eat pork.

    November 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peace

      Don't because they're smart enough to stay away from unclean food.

      November 27, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Junius Gallio

        Pork has been declared as unclean by both Jews and Muslims (and by some branches of Christianity), but it has long been known that the only reason for this is ritual cleanliness. Any and all of the diseases that can be caught from pork can also be caught from many other animals that are considered clean by both–yes, pork carries trichinosis, but so does deer, elk, and other game species for which there is no prohibition; pork also can carry tapeworm, but so can cattle, and even chickens and fish. Calling pork unclean within your cultural reference is understandable, and if you were a guest in my house I would prepare and serve your food on utensils that had never touched pork. But it means little to those who, like myself, are outside of your culture.

        November 27, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Peace

        Good point but still unlike other animals, pigs mostly eat filthy food such as mud, poop, and garbage. Like eeww, just saying.

        November 28, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Junius Gallio

        You obviously have not lived on a farm. Chickens are actually some of the nastiest critters out there, with pigs and cows more-or-less tied for grotesque behavior. Chickens are also well-known for cannibalistic behavior, even when not under dietary stress.

        Ritual purity, on the other hand, is specific to both halal (Arabic word meaning "permitted") and kosher regulations. The only consistent reason for the dietary restrictions in the two cultures is ritual cleanliness, not health.

        One interesting note (which, no doubt, you know, but others here may not): kosher food is halal, because both Muslims and Jews use similar or identical slaughtering and meat preparation procedures, so meat prepared by a kosher slaughterhouse is suitable for an Islamic table. Halal food, on the other hand, is not kosher, because Islamic food law does not forbid the use of the sciatic tendon, nor does it forbid the use of dairy and meat in the same meal. (There are also several animals that, while technically halal in Islamic law, are still eschewed by most Muslims, such as carrion eaters and some shellfish–both of which are explicitly forbidden under kosher law.)

        November 28, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Peace

        By the way, Junius Gallio, after reading your other comments i want to applause you for your excellent comments! Thank you for being such a open-minded person, keep it up! :)

        November 28, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Junius Gallio

    >If I were ever in charge of our nation I would ban Islam religion. Freedom is what makes this such a great nation.

    If freedom is a good thing (something I quite agree with), then we must allow it not only to those who agree with us, but also to those with whom we disagree.

    November 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. amanda

    Would you be surprised to know that Islamic history didn't have what Christianity did in the early days? I am talking about oppression of other religions and also the witch burning. And in current days also to be saying about not shedding the barbarism only shows you ignorance.

    November 26, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Junius Gallio

      Excuse me, Amanda, but that is grossly incorrect. Islamic treatment of Buddhists in India, and the sporadic persecution of Hindus, establishes your statement as quite false, as does the modern treatment of Baha'i in Iran.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  9. myviewtoo2

    Mark since when did this become YOUR country I a mexican american who can trace her ancestors to when spain ruled texas to when my fathers cherokee great great grandmother and my mothers apache great grandmother had their land taken by force can say MY country but I wont because this happens to be OUR land whites b lacks a sian hispanics so stop making illusions in your head that this land belongs to you cause it dont

    November 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Anthrofreak

    The Native Americans are the only ones who can claim any real right to this country. Many of the "illegals" you are speaking of were here before we drew these lines and called it America. The southwest was Mexico in the not too distant past. Get a clue.

    November 25, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  11. Michael Weston

    It's a joke, folks! Okay, may not a side splitter. But at least an honest attempt to inject a little levity into the news. Obviously, I'm not a spy. Would a spy announce himself as such on CNN's web site? It was a reference to a Season One episode of the USA hit television series Burn Notice. The show mixes action, inside information about spycraft, wry observations, and yes...gasp...humour. And yes, I know, I spelled humour with a "u'. It's the Canadian spelling. Thanks. Now, I still have to find who burned me... Are you with me, Sam?

    November 25, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. mike

    you are right islam in name is to submit to gods will, god gave me a mind to think and choose my way to heaven or hell,
    to muslims in this country that came from muslim countrys you are welcome , american cultiure will change how you feel and think, freedom of speach and worship is yours , i ask of your religion to give the same rights to others ...to choose

    November 24, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Junius Gallio

    Greetings, mm,

    > Noone is claiming that Christianity is innocent of past wrong-doings.

    In making the accusations that e did, the OP most certainly was attempting to insinuate that Christianity's history was on a higher moral plane than Islam. No such insinuation can be supported with facts: yes, Islam's hands are guilty of innocent blood–so is Christianity.

    > However, Christianity has evolved and shed much of its barbaric past while Islam has not.

    Islam has not, yet–and may never do so. Part of the reason that Christianity overcame (most of) its violence and persecution of non-Christians and "heretical" Christians is Christianity lost political power, and was forced to deal civilly with those who disagreed (who, in turn, have often been guilty of similar behavior).

    Part of the problem with Christianity has to do with the fact that they learned from their predecessors. The "official" Pre-Christian Roman state religions persecuted Christians in absolutely abhorrent ways, and when Christianity became a state religion, it simply behaved in the manner of those who went before. To be sure, just as there were Pagans who objected to the ill treatment of Christians, there were also Christians who objected to the ill-treatment of dissenters, but the mindset of "We're in power now, let's persecute those who disagree with us" was already well engrained. It was only when Christianity was divested of much of its political power and was forced to engage those who disagreed in a civil and humane manner that persecution was transformed from "normal and accepted" to "aberrant and rejected" behavior. Christianity was no longer isolated, and was thus forced to engage with non-Christians and variant sects as equals, thus mending its ways.

    Islam _may_ also evolve to discard such behavior–it is impossible to predict if that will occur, but if we continue to isolate Islam and fail to engage with Muslims as equals–most especially if we persecute and/or slander them–then we will be guilty of assisting to perpetuate the cycle of "We are all alone, and all mens' hands are against us, therefore violence is acceptable."

    I refuse to accept that the behavior of non-Muslims was somehow "responsible" for such events as 9/11, or the attacks on Israel, but it must be acknowledge that as long as we treat Islam like the proverbial red-headed stepchild, we give them little choice but to be violent. So long as we spurn them, violence is the only way they can make any gains. If we treat them as equals on the world stage, and on the carious local stages, we will certainly offer them the opportunity to interact with us in a far more productive manner. They may not take it–failure to do so will be their responsibility–but if we do not provide them with that opportunity, engaging with the rest of the world in a peaceful manner becomes a situation where they can honestly say "We may as well be violent–we have nothing to lose."

    November 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • amanda

      Junius Gallio, No doubt that there are episodes of unfair towards non-muslims in India but that is not a routine approach as in Christianity when the Church was in power. Watch on youtube in which this British guy explained about whether Islam was spread w/ sword or not: watch?v=bQj5YYqO39E&feature=related. It could be another one of hi speech. I'll have to check.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
      • Junius Gallio

        Amanda, people may argue whatever they wish in whatever video they wish. Their arguments do not change the facts–nor do counter-arguments about early Islam address later behavior, as I did not mention early Islam. Your attempted rebuttal does not address my argument, making your counter-argument a red herring.

        Indeed, Christianity did not spread "by the sword" until after they gained political power (after the Edict of Toleration). Islam started with political power, and used the sword much more quickly than Christianity had the opportunity to do so.

        November 26, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • amanda

      Or may be in this youtube video by William Dalrymple : watch?v=5p6YSVWA_xM&feature=related

      November 26, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. BenManigoats

    Your country? You are one ignorant troll, I'm American Indian. This is my country, go back to where your ancestors came. You don't deserve to be here any more than anyone else. You give America a bad name.

    November 24, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Junius Gallio

      Thank you, Ben. Well said!

      November 24, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jonathan

    you sir are uneducated and ignorant. This is about "latino" Muslims not Illegal.

    November 24, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • mm

      It's not ignorant at all, although he could have stated his post more professionally. 35% of all Hispanics in America are illegal. If you brainwash them into thinking that Islam is supreme coupled with the so-called evil immigration laws of America, then yes, you do have a problem.

      November 24, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Deist 1#

    SUNNI OR SHIITE?

    November 24, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  17. chefdugan

    May I ask what your point is? A lot of ink and very little, if any, knowledge.

    November 24, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  18. pazyfe

    Men are men to the end, very few men think with the head on their shoulders as opposed to the head below. The Muslim man does not know how to control himself, just look at the various wives they need to have, just look at how easily they will divorce you, divorce divorce divorce, reminds me of Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice. Also look at how they make make their women wear coverings at man levels, even from head to toe, only because you as a man cannot control your desires, now you want your women to cover up, please, please please, you have got to be kidding. Muslim women wake up stop being manipulated. What makes the male so superior that they do not have to walk around all covered up?

    November 24, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Anthrofreak

      I used to work for 3 Muslim brothers from Syria. And I had a discussion with one of them about women covering up and did he REALLY TRULY lack self control and that women had to be covered and treated as they are in some Muslim countries. He laughingly answered yes as if I had uncovered some joke. I don't believe they lack self control at all. I think it is culture (not religion) that causes them to look at women in these ways and treat them this way. The Q'uran does not say a woman needs to wear a burka, but that she needs to be modest. Most of what is being viewed as Islam is simply tribalism and group politics.

      November 25, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
      • Leo

        that is very true...the Holy Qur'an does not command us to dress a certain way...it only commands us to be modest, both men and women...as is evident today, different cultures have interpreted modesty differently.

        November 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Muhammad

      you have no idea about Islam als Religion and about Arab and thier Culture,
      and it is better to know that your husband has another wife of knowing that he sleeps every weekend with an unknown woman (AIDS Patients by Muslims are so few like nothing).
      and before all that you have to know and to ask how many Muslims are marring more than one Wife!!!!!
      actully not more than 1% ...
      Allowing the Men to marry more than one wife its a way to save the Socitey....at least you know at the end whos your Father !

      that is just one Point to discuss abot the Islam,,,

      (t it dose not matter what you say about Islam, Fact is islam is the most accepted religion in the last 1432 years at this planet)

      November 27, 2011 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  19. labandme

    Cults don't care who joins up.

    November 24, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  20. pazyfe

    i was in a nyc cab yesterday and it turned out this cabbie was a muslim, he told me he came to NY to learn the language he was sent by his parents after high school, he did not think he would stay in NY, upon studying in long island he came across a beautiful woman that appeared to be Egyptian, turns out she was Puerto Rican, from Ponce.He married her, now after sometime he showed me photos of her, bummer she converted. I did not like that but hey what can you do she loved her man more than Jesus. I also met a Muslim gent who tried to convert me, no way my brother that was never going to happen no matter how beautiful you seemed to be. We were unevenly yoked, one day I asked him why he chooses to love outside of his beliefs and his answer was,he knows that women will convert in the name of love. he would tell me time and time again how beautiful I would look in a hijab. But not I my bother not I. I think a lot of Muslims love the latino look, when I was going through chemo and radiation I had to wear a head scarf, I cannot tell you how many Muslim cabbies loved my look, they would ask me the minute I entered the cab if I was Muslim and some would make several passes at me. Thank God I know I serve a Mighty God and nothing absolutely nothing will separate me from the love I have for Christ!

    November 24, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Leo

      you dont know what you are missing lady ;)..haha...actually if you read the Qur'an or talk to an educated Muslim you will find out how much the Muslims love Jesus (peace be upon him)...we love Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) so much that we actually try to follow his message in our daily lives to the best of our abilities...cant really say the same for most of our brothers n sisters who claim that they are Christian...just sayin :)....not here to pick fights just honest discussion.

      November 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  21. gino

    Does anyone, except those deluded. really GAS?

    November 24, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  22. RogerNYC

    Racist much?

    November 24, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  23. waycist

    The spread of Islam into the hispanic community is evident by last weeks arrest of Mohammad Yusuf (formerly known as Jose Pimental) for bomb making and planning to carry out violent Jihad warfare throughout NYC.
    How does a recent convert so thoroughly mis-understand the religion of peace?

    November 24, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • tensor

      Dominican-born means Pimentel is of mixed heritage, likely latino and black. Either way, the world – and certainly the U.S. – doesn't really need anymore muslim of either flavor.

      November 24, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
      • dawood Patel

        You should study Islam before making such statements. Ignore the bias media and so called leaders. They want you stay in dark so they can have power and money. Discover the truth.

        November 24, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
      • tensor

        da ... no thanks. The world is the mess it is now because of thousands of years of stupid fanatics, like you.

        November 24, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • dawood Patel

      You should study Islam before making such statements. Ignore the bias media and so called leaders. They want you stay in dark so they can have power and money. Discover the truth. Look at it this way, America has killed more innocent people then any other country in history of human being.

      November 24, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
      • chefdugan

        You forgot the Catholic Church and the Crusades as well as the Islamic wars. How convienient. You know what they say, if you hate America so much get the hell out!

        November 24, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
      • LOKCHON

        SUCH IGNORANT RHETORIC, IF YOU HATE THE FACT AMERICA KILLS GET OUT OF AMERICA. LOL. YOU WOULD THINK SOMEONE WITH THE BASIC KNOWLEDGE CAPABLE OF USING A COMPUTER CAN AVOID SUCH FLAWED LOGIC.

        November 27, 2011 at 4:58 am | Report abuse |
    • pazyfe

      i was in a nyc cab yesterday and it turned out this cabbie was a muslim, he told me he came to NY to learn the language he was sent by his parents after high school, he did not think he would stay in NY, upon studying in long island he came across a beautiful woman that appeared to be Egyptian, turns out she was Puerto Rican, from Ponce. I think a lot of Muslims love the latino look, when I was going through chemo and radiation I had to wear a head scarf, I cannot tell you how many Muslim cabbies loved my look, they would ask me the minute I entered the cab if I was Muslim and some would make several passes at me. Thank God I know I serve a Mighty God and nothing absolutely nothing will separate me from the love I have for Christ!

      November 24, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  24. dawood Patel

    She is right when she said:The peaceful religion she encountered was at odds with the violent extremes portrayed in the headlines. People look at bias media and people who want to keep them in dark about the truth. If everyone accepts Islam, these people will lose power and money but the people accepting Islam will discover the truth. So ignore the media and so called leaders and study Islam and you will discover the truth. you will be glad you did because you will be happy in the here after where there will be no helper except the true one God, Allah who is the most merciful.

    November 24, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  25. WeAreAllBornAtheists

    Why are there more and more people worshipping dead middle-easterners and following a culture that is not theirs?? Even if 'god' existed, I would not follow. I would rather Reign in Hell than Serve in Heaven. If you all religious folks paid any attention to these books written by man, you will notice that the god would never ever ever do what a real Father/Mother would do for their children and that is SACRIFICE YOURSELF before allowing your children to suffer. That right there sickens me because there are many parents that would die for their children, yet the gods of these books ask for you to sacrifice you or your children. Sick people we have on this planet. If Jesus existed today, he would be a bum on the street (no job, hanging out with his men followers and drinking wine) and talking about how he is the son of god (since he must have hated being the Joseph's step-son). Sickos.

    November 24, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Junius Gallio

      If a Christian were to offer an argument as factually incorrect as the one you offered, you would be quick (and quite correct) to accuse them of ethnocentrism.

      November 24, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      no one cares about your joining of an"athiest" group

      November 24, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  26. rs1201

    How can any real American convert to the religion that preaches and calls for the deaths of all non believers...muslims are busy slaughtering our soldiers and trying their very best to slaughter innocent American civilians in our own country. One would have to be treasonous to convert to such a religion.

    November 24, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • dawood Patel

      This what media tell you. Use your own brain. You should study Islam before making such statements. Ignore the bias media and so called leaders. They want you stay in dark so they can have power and money. Discover the truth. Look at it this way, America has slaughtered more innocent civilians then anybody else in the history of the man kind.

      November 24, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  27. Repressed

    GD muslims, such a vile and evil thing posing as religion of God. But any fool that converts is playing with fire. islam leads to deception, abuse and evil. Evil leads to Satan and he leads to Hell.

    November 24, 2011 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  28. Sagebrush Shorty

    A Muslim by any other name is still intolerant.

    November 24, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Junius Gallio

      I don't know what Muslims you've met, but your experience does not match mine at all. Most of the Muslims I have met have been extremely tolerant–provided they were treated with tolerance. As human beings, we tend to respond as we are treated.

      November 24, 2011 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Repressed

      I bet the guy just made the FBI list to watch.

      November 24, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • hoss

      the new face of a new wave of terrorist

      November 24, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  29. REMMY

    You ain't EVEN gonna get this Puerto Rican woman to wear a veil hunny!

    November 24, 2011 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Repressed

      This is why it will fail in Latin America. No PR woman will allow to be mistreated by any man let lone a God Damned Latin muslim. Latin women will never put up with that cr ap from the ME.

      November 24, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  30. Roland

    You for got to mention " As Jesus lay upon the cross hie eyes raised to the heavens he uttered "The more people I meet, the more I like my dog-Amen".

    November 24, 2011 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  31. Junius Gallio

    >Keep in mind that no one will force any Muslim to accept Jesus as his/her Savior under the threat of being beheaded

    This does not occur as much today, but it still does occur occasionally, and has occurred many times in the past. Please do not make the error of believing that Christianity's history is innocent of blood.

    November 24, 2011 at 6:00 am | Report abuse |
  32. Caiha

    It's kinda amusing when a culture with inherent misogyny starts to show an interest in a religion that reinforces they're pre-existing beliefs. Yeah, try to pretend there's another reason.

    November 24, 2011 at 5:03 am | Report abuse |
  33. JediBrat

    This is disgusting......

    November 24, 2011 at 4:43 am | Report abuse |
  34. El Duderino (if you're not into the whole brevity thing)

    A latino muslim may be rare, but not as rare as a Middle Eastern atheist or agnostic. Why is that?

    November 24, 2011 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Adiani

      Brain washing

      November 28, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  35. dipstick

    Only some i d i ot from cnn would try to bring this up and call it news...

    November 24, 2011 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
  36. Charly Brains

    Before saying anything let's just take a look to all the countries that are govern by Islam faith... It's just freaking scary :(

    November 24, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
    • American Patriot

      Indonesia? India? Turkey? United Arab Emirates? China?

      What's wrong with all of those? Absolutely nothing, and yet they contain 70%+ of the world's total Muslim population.

      November 24, 2011 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
      • mm

        India and China are not governed by Muslims. Moreso, you know what the post is implying. There is absolutely less opportunity and freedom in Muslim nations versus Christian/Deist nations.

        November 24, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • shauna

        WAH! WAH! WAH! YOU ARE RIGHT.

        November 25, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Atheist 1#

      "Indonesia India? Turkey United Arab Emirates? China". India Hates Islam. Communist China tries to suppress it as much as possible before the desert people try have everyone living under Sharia Law.And Turkey is slightly more liberal then Fundamentalist Islam.

      November 24, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • amanda

        That India hates Islam is what the media here portrays. Watch this on youtube: watch?v=bQj5YYqO39E&feature=related

        November 26, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  37. LenGrady

    You mean Latinos are converting to a religion that place s women second to men and allows them to have multiple wives? It was only time before this would happen. In 100 years half of Latino population in America will be Muslims. Latinos and Blacks in the USA are under educated and will thus fall into the trap of accepting truth claims of religions.

    November 23, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Junius Gallio

      Stereotype much? Would it surprise you to know that more Caucasian-Americans convert to Islam than Hispanic- or African-Americans?

      November 23, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  38. masturb

    ..the day I want to blow myself up I will convert to Islam the religion of peace and love,
    -maturb

    November 23, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Zz

    I'm a Muslim living in Idaho and most of my friends r Mormons.I'm going to Convert them to Islam so they can become mosmoos.lol

    November 23, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Tupac

    it doesnt matter where u from originally bro Muslim is Muslim it aint black/white.

    November 23, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  41. paul

    A great many of Latinos are becoming Jehovah's Witnesses more than any other religion. This religion is Christianity restored. No paganism in it. It is the only Christian faith that offers a true hope for the future- life everlasting on a paradise earth under the rule of God's Kingdom with Jesus as King of the Kingdom. True peace and security will prevail forever on earth with no more sickness or dying. No more corrupt governments, no crime, no inflation, no unemployment no polution of any kind. That is the real life. Study the Bible and see for yourself.

    November 23, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • tokencode

      Funny... whate "true" religion there is, it probably wouldn't need to recruit and advertise on message boards.....

      November 23, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Junius Gallio

      >This religion is Christianity restored. No paganism in it.

      Little _truth_ in it, either–though if that is where you find peace, I wish you well.

      November 23, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. B

      True paul!

      November 23, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Junius Gallio

      >all this hate

      Just remember, my friend–not all of us who are not Muslim hate.

      W'salaam akeiekum.

      November 23, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      well my friend when muslims came to south america in the 1950 and 60s. by 1980s 75% was not muslem.
      iand if islam is not afriad of christians opening a church in saudi arbria. p.s you guys hand and stone women to death for little things. and the virgin mary is held in very estem in the koran.....

      November 24, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Repressed

      islam is Paganism restored. They follow the pagan god allah.

      November 24, 2011 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
      • Junius Gallio

        No, Islam is not Paganism–if it were, I would probably agree with a lot more of it!

        November 24, 2011 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • RogerNYC

      Dude in Mosques there are no pictures only scripture. The words "Muhammad" (pbuh) and "Allah" (SAW) appear, but they are only words. NO drawings or pictures at all. How can you make a representation of the saints and prophets if we don't know exactly what they look like. For example, how do we know what Jesus looks like? We don't, nor do we know what Muhammad (pbuh) looked like. That's why we don't picture him at all.

      November 24, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • mm

      Very true Paul. I also read recently that millions of latinos are becomming Mormon as well. If the Catholic Church wants to keep Latinos, they better start to reach out to them better. But then, the Catholic church really does not evangelize the way the protestants do.

      November 24, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Horatio

    Hopefully someday most people on earth will realize that man has simply evolved according to natural selection and the "meaning of life" is simply to pass on your DNA to the next generation and we will not need these religions any more. Religion is a convenient excuse for ideologues to do anything including murder.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Junius Gallio

      Religion is far more than an excuse for ideologues. Indeed, if that is all you know of religion, I fear you are every bit as ignorant as the creationists who argue against science are. That's not a moral condemnation of you–ignorance is curable, though you must be willing to give up your preconceptions.

      November 23, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  43. ytuque

    I can't understand why a married woman would convert to islam since a husband is allowed to beat his wife.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • HK

      You are so ignorant!

      November 23, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Hockeyn109

    Simply idiotic isn't it.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Jesus Not White

    What an arrogant thing to say! You have no understanding of things outside your comfort bubble

    November 23, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Dr. B

    I enjoy reading CNN and so on, but why not have articles about muslims converting to Christianity. Or a Muslim converting to Buddhism. Why does CNN have an agenda with showing that it supports Islam over any other religion. I have absolutley nothing against Islam, but I do see the trend of CNN trying to shove anti-Christian or Anti any other religon other than Islam down our throats.

    November 23, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Surgeon E

      Isn't it time for you to start exploring Islam with open mind so that you can really know what are the core values of Islam

      November 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dr. B

        I know Islam, which is why I have no hatred/ negative aspect of Islam. But, I do know the truth regarding the Christian religion. I dont play the poltical game, I believe all religions have some truth. But for CNN to pick sides, I find to be hypcritical and unethical.

        November 23, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Hockeyn109

        Core values are one thing, living them out is another.

        November 23, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • ytuque

        I have read the koran several times and read historical accounts of the life of Mohammad. To sum up my feelings, I would never be part of a religion where the founder: murdered, raped, robbed, lied, had 14 wives, owned slaves, consumated a marriage with a 9 year old, and married his 1st cousin.

        November 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. B

      "In light of today's hatred and bigotry I feel these stories are necessary to break down perceived barriers and humanize people who follow Islam. "

      I agree, but by reading CNN, I would also make the case that Christianity should also share stories to fight against hatred and bigorty which would be necessary to break down barriers. Not by picking one side against another. We are all Abrahamic religions. Also having spending time in Lebanon (Just returning today), I would especially say that Christianity should be spread amongst those areas, such as where Christian Churches are burned, members are killed. But I agree with your point.

      November 23, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hockeyn109

      Get a clue, it's not allowed in the Muslim religion for Muslims to convert. In some countries, it's a death sentence. Get a clue.

      November 23, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dr. B

        Get a clue? So this is acceptable? Get a clue.

        November 23, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • cooldude12

      Oh please. Give me a break. At the end of the day, Islam is going to be followed by many, hated by some, and revered by others. CNN articles regarding the religion aren't going to re-shape anybody's opinion about it.

      November 23, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dr. B

        "Cool dude", who is talking about changing ones belief? We're talking about equal rights. Don't be a moron, although I did hear you're a cool dude. So please, keep being cool.

        November 23, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      I so agree!
      Tell us about the Muslims who dream about Jesus, who had never heard of Him, and became christians. as I have seen thru living bread ministries in Jerusalem.

      November 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dr. B

        Thank you Amy!

        November 23, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dr. B

        Amen Amy, thanks!

        November 23, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • dont_lie

        How can a muslim be a muslim without knowing Jesus??? you are lying. They believe that Jesus was a prophet and not a son of God!

        November 24, 2011 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
      • dont_lie

        @Amy
        How can a muslim be a muslim without knowing Jesus??? you are lying. They believe that Jesus was a prophet and not a son of God!

        November 24, 2011 at 5:25 am | Report abuse |
      • Junius Gallio

        Amy is not lying–she has taken reports made by others in good faith. Those reports are wrong, and she is in error, but it is an error made innocently on her part.

        November 24, 2011 at 5:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Junius Gallio

      CNN has recently done an article on a Muslim who converted to Christianity–said article concentrated on the consequences he is facing in Iran, where he is under the threat of a death sentence, putatively for "espionage," though his trial was for apostasy.

      November 23, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan I.

      This is an article about Latinos converting to Islam, not Christians converting to Islam. Latinos converting to Christianity is hardly news.

      November 23, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Oh Oh

    Dos Equis is worried.

    November 23, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Hi Jon

    you should read more then

    November 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  49. GOD BLESS CHRISTIANS

    Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven-paradise!

    November 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesus Not White

      Jesus Christ's teachings are the way to heaven – in Islam the life and teachings are Jesus are more clear and we also believe in the second coming where he will fight the anti-christ.

      Jesus spoke a language that is highly similar to Arabic and Hebrew and was from that part of the world. Eastern Orthodox Christianity is completely different than Western Catholicism and Protestantist.

      Do you even know who Jesus is? He is many things to many people – even within Christianity. I truly feel that you believe in One God and mixing Jesus into that story is where "faith and mystery" come in.

      November 23, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        Yes,I know Jesus well. He is my personal savior. Jesus brought a message, not a religion. IMO, Religion is man made. His message was very simple, the kingdom of heaven is near. I believe Jesus is the son of God, who died on the cross, rose three days later and sits at the right hand of God. His death on the cross allowed everyone to have a relationship with God the father. Romans 6:23 – For the "wages" of sin is Death (both physical and separation from God), but the Gift from God is eternal life in Jesus Christ". Why man makes stuff harder with religion is beyond me. Accepting Jesus and trying to be like him changes ones perspective.

        November 24, 2011 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
    • tokencode

      Ahh yes christian's must be right and the other 2/3s of the world's population will burn in hell forever... If your "god" would condemn other's that are well-intended simply because they don't claim Jesus as their savior, your "god" is worthless.

      November 23, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • Junius Gallio

        > muslim will takeover the world

        No, friend, it will not. The only way all the world will convert to Islam is if Muslims begin using the threat of death to gain converts, which directly disobeys Quran 2:256.

        November 23, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry L

      This was a myth created from legends about the Egyptian God Horus. Look it up and note the incredible similarities. Horus came first.

      Since the dawn of mankind people have created stories to explain the things they fear or fail to understand. Sadly, all of you religious folks tend to kill each other and create misery for everybody, even those of us with no need to accept one of the myths. Yeah, yeah I've got it – don't waste your time with the lecture or quotes from a book created by the Catholics after tremendous editing and political compromise. I know I'll miss out on a chance to worship this kind and loving diety who, although I did nothing but question his existence , will have my butt toasted by demons in the hot (or cold – depending on the sermon) depths of hell. I'm aware I could avoid this fate by developing a personal relationship with Jesus (with a guy who hasn't shown up for nearly 2000 years) and spend my life begging him for salvation. This same person appears to spend a good portion of his time guiding footballs toward the goalposts and helping players score – ostensibly against a team God likes less. This could be why so few prayers for rain and health go unanswered during football season.

      Do you see anything wrong with this picture? Of course you don't....

      November 23, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Junius Gallio

        > This was a myth created from legends about the Egyptian God Horus.

        No, Larry–it is not. The arguments regarding Jesus supposedly being a mythic re-hash of the tales of Horus has been refuted by mainstream historians and scholars: indeed, most of these arguments were refuted before the turn of the 20th century. Go read some Bart Ehrman for a more up-to-date analysis.

        November 23, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Maya

        Hmm... so you think it is sheer coincidence that the details of Buddha's birth and the details of Jesus's birth are almost the same?

        November 29, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Guest

    A mustino?

    November 23, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Deist #1

    Now it's time to make your biggest decision yet Now that you are A Convert Muslim. SUNNI OR SHIITE? But wait! before you answer think about this. If We knew The descendant of Jesus Christ would People follow them?

    November 23, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Ichabod Crane

    Why?

    November 23, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Junius Gallio

      When one finds a "spiritual home," such a question becomes irrelevant.

      I myself am not Muslim, and there are large elements of Islamic beliefs with which I could not agree, yet I have no issue with those who follow this understanding of the Divine. I hope for peace for those who follow this path–and for my part, I wish them well.

      November 23, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • mm

        Junius. Nice post. I am with you 100% on this one. Sees being it's Thanksgiving, I encourage you to read George Washington's First Proclomation of Thanksgiving Address given to the nation in 1789. In it, he talks about the Creator and our duty as nations to obey the will of good and to allow the greatness of sciecne, provided by the Creator, to improve our lives. He does not get into denominations or sects. Nor does he attempt to divide religion from science. Washington spoke of God in terms of the Almighty or Creator or the Divine. I think you would enjoy it. Happy Thanksgiving.

        November 24, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • well....

      It might have something to do with the fact that a lot of Muslim countries are friends with a lot of Central and South American countries. Iran for example has it's largest embassy in Mexico. Also, Hamas and Hezbollah have been recruiting in that part of the world.

      That's a cheerful thought huuh?

      November 23, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Plug1

    The truth,monotheism,not Zoroastrianism.

    November 23, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Plug1

    This person Abdul Ameer does not know what he's talking about.

    November 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Plug1

    This person Abdul Ameer, does not know what his talking about,period.

    November 23, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Peter Hudson

    Exactly Patrick...

    November 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  57. jules

    A Republican's worst nightmare – ha!

    November 23, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesus Not White

      You obviously read CNN because you benefit from it. Many people don't normally go to or make an effort to comment on sites they dont regularly check!

      November 23, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Ken Ramirez

    Uh. No Thanks. I will retain my non practicing Catholic Puerto Rican label. Enjoy your conversion.

    November 23, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truthseeker

      What is the point in being a non practicing Catholic?

      November 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • RogerNYC

        Agreed. Non-practicing is as good as atheism. Find God and worship Him to achieve eternal happiness.

        November 24, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
      • Peace

        amen.

        November 27, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. B

      You have to be kidding me. All religions and cultures have done the same thing. I suppose its easier for you to blame the Spanish then it is for any other ruling power, I dont blame you. But please, the same things happened in Mexico, from Mexicans, in Europe from Europeans, in Africa from Africans. Lets not play the blame game when everyone plays the same game.

      November 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Junius Gallio

      Muslims also make slaves–not just of non-Muslims, but of freeborn Muslims as well, though such is forbidden by the Qur'an and the Hadith. Taking of slaves, even making freeborn Muslims into slaves, takes place to this day in Muslim areas of Sudan, and in Mauritania.

      It is exceedingly difficult to criticize the stains on your neighbor's tunic when your own tunic is also soiled.

      November 23, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |