Rich Galen

I had the good fortune to have met with a man named Filaret Motco, a 43-year-old U.N. political officer, at that same compound in Mazar-e-Sharif when I was in Afghanistan as an official observer of the Presidential election in August, 2009.

Mr. Motco, a Romanian, took time out from his very busy work in the run-up to that election to brief me and the other team members from the International Republican Institute with whom I was travelling.

I'm pretty certain Mr. Motco didn't know there is a place called "Gainesville, Florida" much less that a church named the "Dove World Outreach Center" is located there.

He will never know. He was one of the three U.N. staffers killed on Friday.

Here's what I would recommend if I were asked what to do by a Muslim leader in the United States. I would seek out a local Christian Minister and a local Jewish Rabbi who are both well-known in their geographic community.

I would suggest they hold an interdenominational prayer service and then I would have them take a bible, have the Rabbi say a prayer over the Old Testament; have the Minister say a prayer over the New Testament; and then with great respect and solemnity, burn it.

This would certainly not be a pleasant ceremony, but it would demonstrate an appropriate level of symmetry between the two acts.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at