Christians and Jews Discover Common Ground at Maryland Islamic Center

December 11, 2003

Source: The Washington Post

On December 11, 2003 The Washington Post reported that Christians, Muslims and Jews recently gathered at Jaferia Islamic Center in Burtonsville to learn about Islamic culture and discover common bonds in the midst of this period of international conflict. "The event, sponsored by the Maryland Muslim Council, was an effort to help dispel misconceptions about Muslims and foster friendships. It included a forum, an exhibition of Islamic art and a dinner of pizza, pasta, peas and rice, lamb and other ethnic dishes. Initially, the Jewish guests sat in clusters by themselves, the Muslim men sat together, and the Muslim women gathered in the back of the room. But as the night progressed people started rearranging their folding chairs and the chatter got louder. By the end of the forum, people were laughing over cake and roaming through the building. Harvey Reiter, a Potomac resident and member of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, said he was glad that Jewish and Muslim leaders had a chance to come together because 'there are so many reasons for us to find common ground...'" Three members of the Maryland House of Delegates, Adrienne A. Mandel (D-Montgomery), Anne R. Kaiser (D-Montgomery) and Herman L. Taylor (D-Montgomery) attended the event, as well as Michael Herman, chief of staff for Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson.