Source: The Baltimore Sun
On November 6, 2002 The Baltimore Sun reported that "for many Baltimoreans, Imam Mohamad Bashar Arafat is the public face of Islam. The bearded, thoughtful Syrian native was the first Muslim leader many local political, civic and religious leaders turned to as they scrambled to fathom the intricacies of Islam after the terrorist attacks in September last year. His message: Islam, Judaism and Christianity share ideals of peace, love, mercy and cooperation. And the three religions, so often at war, must learn to listen. Although such interfaith gatherings have become fashionable in the past year, Arafat has been reaching out to Christians and Jews for more than a decade at a time when few imams were willing to emerge from their mosques."