After 9/11, Muslims living in this country were taunted and scorned as Americans seemed to blame an entire religion for the actions of a few extremists.

After 9/11, Muslims living in this country were taunted and scorned as Americans seemed to blame an entire religion for the actions of a few extremists.

"As a Muslim-American, I have lived in the shadow of that day ever since," said Asma Mobin-Uddin, M.D., who spoke at the Mayor's Interfaith Prayer Breakfast at the Holiday Inn last Thursday.

A pediatrician, author of award-winning children's books about growing up Muslim and the president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Ohio, Mobin-Uddin said she is encouraged by the election of an African-American president, but believes this country still faces challenges in including all races and religions.

Examples of anti-Islamic sentiment were evident and largely unquestioned during the presidential campaign, she pointed out.

Time and again, people accused Barack Obama of being a Muslim. Usually, that accusation was denied by politicians or the mainstream media, but rarely did anyone point out that there would be nothing wrong if he were a Muslim.

During one campaign speech, a woman in the audience told John McCain that she was afraid of Obama because he was an Arab.

McCain answered that Obama was not an Arab, he was a "decent family man."

"Are the two mutually exclusive?" asked Mobin-Uddin.

Neither candidate was blameless, she added. Both visited churches and synagogues, but neither visited a mosque.

She said she wept in pride on Nov. 4, but sees the country as having a long way to go.

"All of our kids should be able to aspire to be president," she said.

She pointed to the similarities between the Bible and the Qur'an, illustrating with the stories of Noah and of Moses. In both books, those men were called to action by God. Neither simply waited for God to act, and neither should their modern day followers, she said.

"God does not change the condition of a people until they change themselves," she said.

Mobin-Uddin was the keynote speaker at the breakfast, which features speakers representing various religions as a way to encourage understanding and peace in the community and the world, said Worthington Mayor Harvey Minton.

More than 100 community members attended the breakfast this year.

Others who spoke or prayed with the group include David Bressman, vice president of the Worthington Board of Education; Abramo Ottolenghi; Louis Goorey, president of Worthington City Council; T. Page Brightman; Minton; the Rev. Jeffrey DeYoe, senior pastor of the Worthington Presbyterian Church; and Johanna Wintrich.