Even before alleged sniper John Allen Muhammad and his accomplice were arrested, Beliefnet members wondered on the message boards what the implications would be if the sniper was a Muslim. News reports about Muhammad now indicate that he converted to Islam. Beliefnet members discuss what relevance, if any, his faith had to his alleged crimes. Read the posts below or share your thoughts on the message boards.

Is the Sniper's Religion Relevant?
". . .Anyone can commit a crime regardless of religion. If he is a Muslim and committed these acts in the name of Islam, or a Christian and did this in the name of Christianity (such as what we see in abortion clinic bombers or murderers of doctors who perform abortions), etc., then the sniper's religion may be of interest. Otherwise, the sniper could have been anybody killing for any reason."

"I don't think religion matters at all. I'm tired of people incriminating a people's entire religious belief. Start incrimination the people who do these things instead."

"So the guy thought to be the D.C. Sniper, John Williams, is a Muslim. Could this be terrorism on American soil? I think it is. There is a war being waged by radical Muslims around the world, even here in America. The enemy is radical Islam. It's a cancer that's spreading mercilessly and the only antidote is the moderate Muslim. The moderates must take a stand and fight to take back their hijacked religion for the good of themselves and the good of the world. This is a war that will take place in mosques and will, sadly, spill over to innocents on both sides."

"Doesn't this man bring a twinge of embarassment to Islam? Albeit, he is a radical."

"What myself and most Muslims are asking for, is, if it's ok to and meaningful of the public to know the religious affiliation of these people (namely Muslims), why does it not apply to Christians and Jews and other religious parties for that matter?

"To me, if a Muslim commits a crime, he or she should be punished for that crime, period."

What Can American Muslims Do?
"If this man (and the teen 'Malvo,' co-suspected) is found guilty, I keep wondering if non-Muslim America will ever see true Islam. Will ever know that Islam means peace.

"I guess all I can do is conduct myself and raise my children to behave like real Muslims."

"I just received this email from my Islamic center:

Assalaamu Alaikum,

Due to the current developments in the sniper case and the fact that ICM has recieved a threat note tonight's classes and Potluck Iftar at the Masjid have been cancelled.

We are will be discussing with the police any possibility of their presence in or around the Masjid for the next few days, insha Allah. We will also look into the feasibility of hiring security guards...'"

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