Were the Mumbai Terrorists Muslim?

Last week’s terrorist acts in India’s financial capital left more than 180 people dead and 280 wounded. The Indian and European press is reporting that the violence has sparked widespread debate as to whether the terrorists should be considered and referred to as followers of Islam, but most of the American coverage of the attack is oblivious to what could potentially be a remarkable transformation in the Muslim world.

Immediately after the attacks, several Bollywood stars began to blog about the problem of associating Islam with terrorism. OneIndia’s web site reported that actor Aamir Khan wrote that terrorists are neither people of religion nor people of God.

“When will these politicians realise and admit that terrorists have no religion,” wrote Khan. “Terrorists are not Hindu or Muslim or Christian.”

Further, Khan attributes their actions to mental illness, not Islam.

“They are people who have gone totally sick in their head and have to be dealt with in that manner,” Khan wrote in his latest blog.

Another Indian news outlet, Rediff India, interviewed Idris Ali, the president of All-India Minority Forum, shortly after the attacks. Ali is well known in India’s Muslim community as an advocate for minority and Islamic issues as well as a harsh opponent of anti-terrorism laws. When asked about the relationship between the events in Mumbai and Islam, Ali said:

“What we must realize is Islam never propagates violence. The word Islam is derived from aslama, which means submission to the supreme power. And submission can never be achieved through bloodshed. Those 10 bloodthirsty men who slaughtered innocent Mumbaikars cannot be the followers of Islam. Had they read the Quran, they would have waved olive branches and not automatic guns.”

Echoing the thoughts of actor Khan, Ali also said, “Fanatics have no religion, terrorists have no creed. The only religion that radicals follow is carnage.”

Many Indians and Islamic believers not only refuse to call the terrorists Muslim but have also denied the dead gunman burial in their cemeteries because in their eyes the men who committed these acts are not Muslims.


Caramel Bella in the Big Easy

If you read my site regularly, you may have noticed that my posts have been pretty slow this week (read: hardly any). It is because yours truly is in New Orleans for a reporting project on race, religion and politics. I hope you have been following my twitters on the site because they should have kept you up-to-date on my Big Easy adventures. Although I’ve enjoyed my stay immensely in New Orleans, I must say it has been an emotional rollercoaster. For me, seeing the Hurricane Katrina devastation has been very sad and depressing but it’s been balanced by the beauty and warmth of the N.O. people. And the food and partying is beyond compare. Thank you New Orleans for giving a me a lifetime of wonderful memories and allowing me to experience your wonderful city. Stay tuned for more posts and tweets from N.O.L.A.

Smooches (especially to New Orleans),

The Caramel Bella

Pastors take politics into their own hands

I thought we had a separation of church and state in the United States. Apparently, some ministers overlooked that memo.

This past Sunday, Christian ministers across the country took the laws into their own hands by telling their congregations to vote for John McCain.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, at least 33 ministers knew they were breaking the federal tax law but chose to do so anyway in protest.

“As Christians it’s clear we should vote for John McCain,” said Rev. Fran Pulto of Calvary Chapel in Philadelphia in a Wall Street Journal. “He is the only candidate I believe a Christian can vote for.”

For these pastors, pushing conservative social values like anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage were worth the IRS investigation.

Caramel Bella is talking about religion

Well, you all know that I can’t sit still and talk about only one topic. Even though lately, politics has been filling up my brain and consequently this blog. So, I took a slight detour on the pure politics play and wrote a piece about religion and…. politics.

Check out my recent piece entitled “Obama’s New Message for a Faith Tour” posted on the USC Knight Chair Media and Religion site. I’m excited they actually put my little ‘ole thoughts up! So check out the site and keep checking it.

The Caramel Bella

Does Sarah Palin Have Her Own Reverend Wright?

From the looks of a YouTube video that surfaced online Wednesday, Republican veep candidate, Sarah Palin, may have her own Reverend Wright challenges.

The Associated Press reported that the 2005 video shows the pre-governor, Sarah Palin, being blessed in her hometown Wasilla Assembly of God church. Thomas Muthee, a Kenyan Pastor who AP said has been linked to her church, is shown praying for her protection against “witchcraft” before she starts her campaign for governor of Alaska.

In addition to warding off spells, Muthee also calls on God’s help for Palin’s campaign finances. He said, “Make her way my God. Bring finances her way even for the campaign in the name of Jesus. … Use her to turn this nation the other way around.”

A few months after this blessing, Palin filed campaign paperwork and was elected governor in October 2005.

According to AP, a person from the Wasilla church has confirmed the video but declined to comment. And the McCain team has also declined to comment at this time.

Pop and Politics’s own Tara Graham offers additional insights into Palin’s Pentecostal, evangelical roots, which may or may not help to understand her 2005 witchcraft protection blessing.

Spiritual Water or Scam?

Is this for real? Is this a good way to make money? Is this spirituality at its best or the newest scam?  The company, SpirtualWater, says its company mission is changing the world’s spirit one bottle at the time. They want to
help people think positive, lift up their spirit, give them a chance to believe in themselves and let them know that God is with them!

I’d like to hear what you all think. I saw this ad and couldn’t help posting about it.


The Caramel Bella



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my luvs

My Maltese puppy; lazy Sunday mornings; a day at the Beach; Yoga; breakfast anytime of the day; my gurls (and you know who you are); my family (I’m a daddy’s girl); making new friends; Los Angeles & Washington, DC; ocean views; Anguilla; healthy foods that don’t taste healthy; politics; "greenie" things; meditating; natural curls and movies.

Things that work my nerves

Bad drivers, cranky and moody people, lack of sleep, crime, filth

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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.



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