Re Cal Thomas’ Sept. 23 Other Views column, Where are the moderate Muslims? : The simple answer is: They are everywhere.

Many of us are Americans, study in American institutions and go on to work and pay American dollars to our tax system. Like everyone else, we eventually find our better half, have chubby babies, go to zoos, get season tickets to the Miami Dolphins, go on our childrens’ field trips and fix the leaks in our roofs.

With all the growing pains in the life that we lead as normal Americans, every day we turn our face to Mecca to pray to what our Christian brothers call God, our Jewish sisters call Yahweh and whom we call Allah.

I am a small-business owner. I am not the only woman who works in my Muslim community. Many are engineers, pediatricians, teachers, research analysts and attorneys. Some are PTO volunteers.

America’s Muslims have time and again issued statements denouncing 9/11 and the gruesome killing of innocent Americans. We have denounced the London bombings, the arrests of Americans in Iraq and the Iranian holocaust-cartoon contest. The list goes on and on.

Muslims also ran a full-page ad in several newspapers distancing us from the fringe ideology of the few. In addition, we ran an Internet campaign, ”Not in the name of Islam,” in which we denounced all acts of terror on innocent civilians. To date it has been signed by more than 700,000 people — mostly Muslims.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations ( ) has called on Muslims to help repair Palestinian churches damaged following Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks, which were perceived as critical of Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.

Our actions rarely make it into print. When they do, the coverage is relegated to some corner of the paper or a brief spot on a local TV channel. On the other hand, when someone from some other country issues a controversial statement, it rates headlines and becomes a topic of discussion by all TV hosts.

After last year’s hurricanes, Muslims formed a task force and pledged $10 million. At the local level, we had truckloads of food, medicine and clothing sent to New Orleans from South Florida. Are we passionate about America? Of course.

Meher Sultana, Fort Lauderdale


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