What would you call someone who believes Jesus was born of a virgin, ascended into heaven and will return on Judgement Day?
A Christian? Yes, but you could also call him or her a Muslim.
These similarities are part of the reason Abderazak Benyahia was so dismayed at the graffiti that defaced the outside walls of the Islamic Association of Arabi Tuesday. A little, white house on Youree Drive, the mosque is usually quiet except at prayer times, when the members -- among them doctors, business owners and engineers -- gather to share in worship of God.
To Benyahia, a former Algerian diplomat, the incident is a way to teach people about Islam. He has seen war, chose to leave his homeland in part to find peace. "I prefer to explain my cause."
He is also adamant that Islam does not endorse violence of any kind, and that according to the Quran, killing one man is like killing all of humanity.
He reminded me that Christians and Muslims look to the same set of holy men for inspiration: Abraham, Moses, Jesus. They add Muhammad, who they see as just a man who was particularly blessed to be the messenger of God.
Thankfully, he said he has never experienced any direct threats or intimidation because of his faith. I believe folks here are mostly good people, who have a great deal of respect for anyone's faith. I hope more of them step forward after this incident.