I would like to applaud All Saints Church, an Episcopal congregation in Pasadena, for hosting the Muslim Public Affairs Council's annual convention. However, I am very surprised at the criticism hurled at Maher Hathout, MPAC's senior advisor.
As the former ecumenical officer of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I co-chaired Catholic-Muslim Dialogue with Hathout for many years. Hathout, a devout Muslim, has always stood up for justice and peace and has condemned terrorism wherever it has arisen. His interpretation of Islam, which prioritizes the principles of church-state separation, is what dar al-Islam (the house of Islam) needs.
He has spoken at length about developing a unique Muslim American identity. He and all American Muslims must be encouraged.
The Rev. Vivian Ben Lima
The gesture by All Saints Church is a wonderful one of cooperation among all faiths. Beyond simply toleration of other faiths, it shows respect for another's faith. Right on!