"If Moses and Jesus and Mohammed were all in the same room, they would not be fighting.
"If every religious leader was doing a good job, you would not have Christians blowing up abortion clinics or Jews trying to blow up mosques.
"Yes, you have bad Muslims, you have bad Christians, you have bad Jews. But we can all come together out of respect for God. We cannot have peace in the world until we have peace within ourselves and connect to God.
"It's a big challenge, especially after Sept. 11, to get this message across. But we are American citizens. We are living in this country. I want people to know us for the positive things we do. Most Muslims are rational people."
He pointed out that in his Islamic center, approximately 70 percent of his members are doctors.
"We are contributing to society. We want to continue to be good citizens."
Last September, Daoudi lived in California. He also worked as an interfaith chaplain in a hospital. Last Sept. 12, at his Islamic center in California, he said he is happy to report that of the 24 calls they received that day, 22 were encouraging.
One of his reasons for wanting to come to America, he said, is to break stereotypes. "I want to teach about the real spirit of Islam. In America, people can reach their full potential as human beings and enjoy freedom and the advantages of the good life."
In his family, Daoudi, who is 37, is the youngest of three brothers. When he first came to the United States, he went to where a brother lived in Texas. He has also been in Chicago a short time, so he has seen widely varied parts of the United States.
Daoudi and his wife have three children.
As a spiritual leader, an imam leads daily prayers, counsels people, performs weddings and funerals, and represents his community as a whole. He is participating in two interfaith services next week, one on Tuesday at the University of Charleston and one Wednesday at the state Capitol with Gov. Bob Wise.
When he is called before God in the final judgment, Daoudi said he knows God will ask him, "How did you do with this trust I gave you to lead this community?
"I still have a big hope that in my job I can educate people about the true meaning of Islam. I have a simple message to have a good relationship between the Creator and the created. If we base all of our relationships on respect and love, that is more important than any other obligation."
To contact staff writer Susan Williams, use e-mail or call 348-5112.