I write to express my medical opinion that washing our feet five times a day if we can is a health-promoting habit irrespective of the faith of the person (“Sinks for Muslims at airport are up in air,” Sept. 22).

For last 35 years, I have treated more than 30,000 diabetic patients. Due to poor circulation combined with infection, foot ulcers and fungal infections are common in diabetics and can lead to amputations. I tell my patients to examine their feet and wash several times a day to prevent an infection. At the hospital, we ask health care providers as well as visitors to wash their hands.

The point is: What is good for Muslims in health promotion is good for everyone else. I thank The Star’s Robert King for educating readers about the Muslim ritual of ablution.

I am saddened by the loss of the Rev. Jerry Hillenburg’s son in the Iraq war and I offer my condolences. However, I am offended that he questions the loyalties of all American Muslims and calls them “open enemies bent on taking over America.” This is against the teaching of Jesus (peace be upon him) who taught us to “love thy enemy.”

Shahid Athar, M.D.



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