Muslim doctors here say they are trying to be more vocal in denouncing terrorism. They condemned the “crazies” who are “misguided” and did those acts.

“If we keep quiet, we become kind of a silent supporter of that, although we are not,” said Dr. Ghazala Hayat, a professor of neurology at St. Louis University. “This is actually sickening and shocking to doctors, that this would happen.”. . .

On Friday, about 20 Muslim doctors who practice medicine in the St. Louis area gathered for a news conference in the lecture hall at the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis, 517 Weidman Road. The turnout represented about 10 percent of the 200 or so local Muslim doctors.

“I just hope to appeal to the general public, not to develop into a mob tendency, having received these messages from abroad,” said Dr. Noor Ahmed, a plastic surgeon.

Ahmed is president of the St. Louis chapter of the Islamic Medical Association of North America. If the public is fearful or distrustful of all Muslim physicians, the terrorists will have won, Ahmed said. . .

The local chapter of a Muslim civil liberties group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, helped coordinate the news conference. Some other council chapters across the country have made similar denouncements, but Friday’s news conference here was not timed as part of a national effort to speak out, organizers say.

British Muslim communities have taken out newspaper ads condemning the bomb plots.

Dr. Khaled Hamid, an allergist who has offices in St. Charles and Des Peres, said Muslims have felt a backlash before – and now he hopes being a physician won’t be a “double whammy,” of sorts.

“As a community, we are in pain. As a physician, we are in twice the pain,” said Hamid, who is a board member for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

In an interview, Hamid added: “We are tired of being labeled because of a few idiots among us who do these things.”

What’s going on in Britain demonstrates that bad people can be found in health care, just like any other job, Hamid said.

“We have the crazies amongst us, like any other profession,” Hamid said.

Hamid cited examples of non-Muslim doctors doing harm, including those who helped Nazis conduct medical experiments on Jews, and, he said, a podiatrist who plotted to bomb a mosque in Florida in 2002 in revenge for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


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