I am a native of Iraq, an Arab and Islamic country where I lived until we were forced to leave and go to Israel. As a penniless refugee, I went to school and medical school, acquiring many Arab and Muslim friends — Shia, Kurd and Sunni.
I have to state categorically that it is almost impossible to categorize Muslims as moderate or extremist. (“‘Moderate’ Muslim Tag Ever-Murky for Community,” Aug. 27). Two of my friends were nationalists, and one was a leftist. I could trust one of the nationalists with my life, and in time of need he protected me from the police. The other came to this country, became a reputable urologist and changed his attitude towards Jews and the West, and we are still friends.
Muslims are motivated just like any Christian or Jew. Hatred is not a monopoly for Muslims, and fanaticism is not unique to them. As to how to determine who is what, that depends on a person’s acts and utterances.
Regarding the mosque and Islamic center proposed here, it would behoove the imam and the organizers to make it an ecumenical religious center, with a mosque, church and synagogue and make it a center of religious learning.