Muslim World in Europe

Paul Johnson's article ("The Pressure Is on Europe Again," Commentary, Dec. 18) is yet another case of a commentary in The Times viewing the Muslim world from a non-Muslim point of view. In telling the world to fear Muslims, Johnson's message is one of ignorance, contributing to why Islam is probably the most misunderstood of all the world's great religions.

As an American-born Muslim, I tell many of my Christian and Jewish friends that Islam teaches peace and harmony with all faiths. The Koran tells us that Jews and Christians are "People of the Book," and will enter paradise if they follow what their own faith teaches them.

Johnson's implication that Muslims twice threatened European "civilization" insinuates not only that Muslims are contra-civilized but that Islam was forced upon them. This is far from the truth. Islam stresses no compulsion in religion. In addition, while Islam was practicing true democracy in the 7th Century, Europeans were busy deciding whether women had souls.

It would be refreshing to read a "Perspective on Islam" of equal space by someone who is actually a Muslim.

TARIK M. TRAD

South Pasadena

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