Glenn vs. CNN: Which questions should we be asking?

On his TV and radio programs this week, Glenn has brought up a list of seven questions about Islam CNN asked following the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris earlier this year. In the wake of most recent Paris terrorist attack, these questions seemed even more applicable than ever.

But are they really the right questions?

Glenn shared his reaction, offering some thoughts, answers and a slew of new questions to consider when thinking about Islam and its radical adherents.

1. DOES ISLAM ENCOURAGE VIOLENCE?

CNN's Answer: Scholars say there is rarely a direct link between religious beliefs and violent behavior. Instead, terrorism is generally caused by a complex web of factors.

Glenn's Answer: Other religions really don’t have this problem. I don’t see millions of Buddhists blowing themselves up. There are 2.2 billion Christians, and I haven’t heard of any Christian terrorist attacks lately. So, let’s deal with reality. Over 100 million Muslims do want to murder non-Muslims. Something is wrong, and it’s destabilizing the world. So, forget the hurt feelings, let’s get to the bottom of things now.

2. WHY HAVE THERE BEEN SO MANY RECENT ATTACKS BY EXTREMIST MUSLIMS?

CNN's Answer: There's no single answer. Instead, experts say there are a range of reasons, from personal motives to global movements, from ancient doctrines to modern technology... Alienated or impoverished youths... Fantasies of revenge for perceived slights... Easy access to lethal weapons.

Glenn's Answer: Well, CNN, I’d just like to point out there is poverty all around the globe, but only one really super large group has a suicidal worldview. I don’t really see Native Americans blowing things up, and they’ve been pretty “slighted” over the years. Weapons, by the way, are inanimate objects and do not convert people into extremists. Maybe it’s just me.

3. HOW DO MANY MUSLIMS FEEL RIGHT NOW?

CNN's Answer: In a word: frustrated.

Glenn's Answer: I think, CNN, that’s the wrong question. Here are some better questions. For instance, how do the people of Paris feel today? How do the people in New York City feel? How do the people in Iraq and Syria feel? How do the families of the Coptic Christians who were beheaded feel? How about the families of the passengers on the Russian airliner that was just blown up a couple of weeks ago, how do they feel? Or the families of the victims of the bombings in Beirut that happened last week, how do they feel? Or the families of 147 that were killed a couple of weeks ago in Kenya, how do they feel? Or the families of the 67 in the Nairobi mall, that massacre, how do they feel? I’m wondering, because I’m pretty sure many Muslims are frustrated, but I'm wondering if CNN could ask how those (other) people feel.

4. DOES ISLAM REALLY BAN ALL IMAGES OF THE PROPHET MOHAMMED?

CNN's Answer: In some ways, the prophet's prohibition was a reaction against the other religions circulating through Islam's Arabian birthplace. Mohammed had seen some of those faiths make idols and gods of their prophets and messengers, and wanted to ensure Muslims' attention would focus on God alone. Many modern Muslims follow that advice, and several told CNN this week that they consider any images of Mohammed to be blasphemous.

Glenn's Answer: Again, CNN, wrong question. The question should be every time there’s a cartoon of Mohammad, seems like somebody gets murdered. What the hell are you guys doing to clean up your own house on that one? That’s a good question.

5. WHY IS MOHAMMED SO IMPORTANT TO MUSLIMS?

CNN's Answer: All religions revere their founding prophets, but for many Muslims, Mohammed is not just the messenger. He's an embodiment of the perfect believer and a symbol of the faith... But Islamic tradition also emphasizes that Mohammed was just a man, as fallible as the next guy.

Glenn's Answer: [Ignored]

6. DOES ISLAM NEED A REFORMATION?

CNN's Answer: The idea of an Islamic Reformation has been building for more than a decade, with some saying that it's already ongoing and others arguing that no two religions follow the same historical path. (Christianity began its Reformation, splitting Catholics and Protestants, in the 16th century.)

Glenn's Answer: Only 100 million people want to behead or enslave or rape or behead or crucify or just blow them up. I mean, of course it needs a Reformation. Yes, the simple answer is yes. And it has to start with the truth, and the truth is there’s a problem. It’s a big problem, and it is not about poverty. It’s not about global warming. It’s not about guns. It’s not about American foreign policy. It’s not about offensive cartoons. It is about Islam.

7. HOW CAN THE EXTREMISTS BE STOPPED?

CNN's Answer: Farah Pandith, a former special representative to Muslim communities for the U.S. State Department, called extremism a "generational problem." ... "How are ISIS and Al-Qaeda building their armies? They're building their armies with recruits," Pandith said. "We have to stop the recruitment."

Glenn's Answer: Exterminate them. (Glenn made this suggestion on Facebook.)

Glenn wrapped up his monologue with the following remarks:

People will call me an Islamophobe, a bigot, a racist, all kinds of names. Because I’ve said it, some may, some day, call me dead, but that’s okay. The truth will set you free. It will make you miserable at first, but eventually it sets you free. If I have to be the adult in the room that makes sure that everybody gets their medicine, spoonful of sugar, so be it. It may be painful, but in the long run we’re all better off. Christians, Jews, gays, women --- and yes, even Muslims, will be better off with the truth.

Watch a clip from the TV show below:

More from Glenn's radio program:

On Wednesday's TV show, Glenn Beck sat down with radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic, Michael Medved.

Michael had an interesting prediction for the 2020 election outcome: a brokered convention by the DNC will usher in former First Lady Michelle Obama to run against President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below to hear why he's making this surprising forecast:

Use code BECK to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

On Thursday's "Glenn Beck Radio Program," BlazeTV's White House correspondent Jon Miller described the current situation in Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and banned people carrying guns at Capitol Square just days before a pro-Second-Amendment rally scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jon told Glenn that Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature are "trying to deprive the people of their Second Amendment rights" but the citizens of Virginia are "rising up" to defend their constitutional rights.

"I do think this is the flashpoint," Jon said. "They [Virginia lawmakers] are saying, 'You cannot exercise your rights ... and instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, we are putting pressure. We're trying to escalate it and we're trying to enrage the citizenry even more'."

Glenn noted how Gov. Northam initially blamed the threat of violence from Antifa for his decision to ban weapons but quickly changed his narrative to blame "white supremacists" to vilify the people who are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

"What he's doing is, he's making all all the law-abiding citizens of Virginia into white supremacists," Glenn said.

"Sadly, that's exactly right," Jon replied. "And I think he knows exactly what he's doing."

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

At the end of Trump rallies, I would throw on my Carhartt jacket, sneak out of the press area, then blend in with everyone as they left, filing out through swinging doors.

Often, someone held the door open for me. Just 30 minutes earlier, the same person had most likely had most likely hissed at me for being a journalist. And now they were Sunday smiles and "Oh, yes, thank you, sir" like some redneck concierge.

People flooded out of the arena with the stupidity of a fire drill mishap, desperate to survive.

The air smacked you as soon as you crossed the threshold, back into Louisiana. And the lawn was a wasteland of camping chairs and coolers and shopping bags and to-go containers and soda cans and articles of clothing and even a few tents.

In Monroe, in the dark, the Trump supporters bobbled over mounds of waste like elephants trying to tiptoe. And the trash was as neutral to them as concrete or grass. They plodded over it because it, an object, had somehow gotten in their way.

It did not matter that they were responsible for this wreckage.Out in the sharp-edged moonlight, rally-goers hooted and yapped and boogied and danced, and the bbq food truck was all smoke and paper plates.

They were even more pumped than they had been before the rally, like 6,000 eight year olds who'd been chugging Mountain Dew for hours. Which made Donald Trump the father, the trooper, God of the Underworld, Mr. Elite, Sheriff on high horse, the AR-15 sticker of the family.

Ritualistic mayhem, all at once. And, there in Louisiana, Trump's supporters had gotten a taste of it. They were all so happy. It bordered on rage.

Still, I could not imagine their view of America. Worse, after a day of strange hostilities, I did not care.

My highest priority, my job as a reporter, was to care. To understand them and the world that they inhabit. But I did not give a damn and I never wanted to come back.

Worst of all, I would be back. In less than a week.

Was this how dogs felt on the 4th of July? Hunched in a corner while everyone else gets drunk and launches wailing light into the sky? configurations of blue and red and white.

It was 10:00 p.m. and we'd been traveling since 11:00 a.m., and we still had 5 hours to go and all I wanted was a home, my home, any home, just not here, in the cold sweat of this nowhere. Grey-mangled sky. No evidence of planes or satellites or any proof of modern-day. Just century-old bridges that trains shuffled over one clack at a time.

And casinos, all spangles and neon like the 1960s in Las Vegas. Kitchy and dumb, too tacky for lighthearted gambling. And only in the nicer cities, like Shreveport, which is not nice at all.

And swamp. Black water that rarely shimmered. Inhabited by gadflies and leeches and not one single fish that was pretty.

Full of alligators, and other killing types. The storks gnawing on frogs, the vultures never hungry. The coyotes with nobody to stop them and so much land to themselves. The roaches in the wild, like tiny wildebeests.

Then, the occasional deer carcass on the side of the road, eyes splayed as if distracted, tongue out, relaxed but empty. The diseased willows like skeletons in hairnets. The owls that never quit staring. A million facets of wilderness that would outlive us all.

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

Because silence is impossible. Even in an anechoic chamber, perfectly soundproofed, you can hear your own heartbeat, steady as a drum. A never-ending war.

I put "Headache" by Grouper on repeat as we glided west. We were deadlocked to asphalt, rubber over tarface.

And I thought about lines from a Rita Dove poem titled "I have been a stranger in a strange land"

He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

Wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Looking for an impossible answer, examining every single accident, eager for meaning? telling myself, "If it happens and matters the next year, in America, I want to be there, or to know what it means. I owe it to whoever cares to listen."

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

Because maybe this wasn't even my home. These landmarks, what did they mean? Was I obvious here? When I smiled, did I trick them into believing that I felt some vague sense of approval? Or did my expressions betray me?

Out in all that garbage-streaked emptiness — despite the occasional burst of passing halogen — I couldn't tell if everything we encountered was haunted or just old, derelict, broken, useless. One never-ending landfill.

Around those parts, they'd made everything into junk. Homes. Roads. Glass. Nature. Life itself, they made into junk.

I cringed as we passed yet another deer carcass mounded on the side of the road.

As written in Job 35:11,

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?

Nobody. Look at nature and you feel something powerful. Look at an animal, in all of its untamable majesty, and you capture a deep love, all swept up in the power of creation. But, here, all I saw were poor creatures who people had slammed into and kept driving. Driving to where? For what reason? What exactly was so important that they left a trail of dead animals behind them?

So I crossed myself dolorously and said an "Our Father" and recited a stanza from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart"

you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Out here, nothing but darkness. Needing some light, by God. Give me something better than a Moon that hides like an underfed coward.

Jade told me about some of the more traumatic things she'd seen while working at the State Fair.

"Bro, they pull roaches out of the iced lemonade jugs and act like nothing happened."

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

"You do not want to know, little bro."

She looked around in the quiet. "Back in the day, the Louisiana Congress refused to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21," she said. "They didn't want to lose all that drunk gambler money. So the federal government cut off funding to highways."

We glided through moon-pale landscape for an hour before I realized what she had meant. That there weren't any light poles or billboards along the road. Nothing to guide us or distract us. Just us, alone. And it felt like outer space had collapsed, swallowed us like jellybeans.

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

In the cozy Subaru Crosstrek, in the old wild night, brimming with the uncertainty of life and the nonchalance of failure, we paraded ourselves back to Dallas. Alive in the river silence that follows us everywhere.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Next, the Iowa caucuses. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

The Iowa primary is just around the corner, and concerns of election interference from the last presidential election still loom. Back in 2016, The Associated Press found that a majority of U.S. elections systems still use Windows 7 as an operating system, making them highly susceptible to bugs and errors. And last year, a Mississippi voter tried multiple times to vote for the candidate of his choice, but the system continuously switched his vote to the other candidate. It's pretty clear: America's voting systems desperately need an update.

That's where blockchain voting comes in.

Blockchain voting is a record-keeping system that's 100% verifiable and nearly impossible to hack. Blockchain, the newest innovation in cybersecurity, is set to grow into a $20 billion industry by 2025. Its genius is in its decentralized nature, distributing information throughout a network of computers, requiring would-be hackers to infiltrate a much larger system. Infiltrating multiple access points spread across many computers requires a significant amount of computing power, which often costs more than hackers expect to get in return.

Blockchain voting wouldn't allow for many weak spots. For instance, Voatz, arguably the leading mobile voting platform, requires a person to take a picture of their government-issued ID and a picture of themselves before voting (a feature, of course, not present in vote-by-mail, where the only form of identity verification is a handwritten signature, which is easily forgeable). Voters select their choices and hit submit. They then receive an immediate receipt of their choices via email, another security feature not present in vote-by-mail, or even in-person voting. And because the system operates on blockchain technology, it's nearly impossible to tamper with.

Votes are then tabulated, and the election results are published, providing a paper trail, which is a top priority for elections security experts.

The benefits of blockchain voting can't be dismissed. Folks can cast their vote from the comfort of their homes, offices, etc., vastly increasing the number of people who can participate in the electoral process. Two to three-hour lines at polling places, which often deter voters, would become significantly diminished.

Even outside of the voting increase, the upsides are manifold. Thanks to the photo identification requirements, voter fraud—whether real or merely suspected—would be eliminated. The environment would win, too, since we'd no longer be wasting paper on mail-in ballots. Moreover, the financial burden on election offices would be alleviated, because there's decreased staff time spent on the election, saving the taxpayer money.

From Oregon to West Virginia, elections offices have already implemented blockchain voting, and the results have been highly positive. For example, the city of Denver utilized mobile voting for overseas voters in their 2019 municipal elections. The system was secure and free of technical errors, and participants reported that it was very user-friendly. Utah County used the same system for their 2019 primary and general elections. An independent audit revealed that every vote that was cast on the app was counted and counted correctly. These successful test cases are laying the groundwork for even larger expansions of the program in 2020.

With this vital switch, our elections become significantly more secure, accurate, and efficient. But right now, our election infrastructure is a sitting duck for manipulation. Our current lack of election integrity undermines the results of both local and national elections, fans the flames of partisanship, and zaps voter confidence in the democratic system. While there's never a silver bullet or quick fix to those kinds of things, blockchain voting would push us much closer to a solution than anything else.

Chris Harelson is the Executive Director at Prosperity Council and a Young Voices contributor.