Northern Virginia Muslims, Jews Set Example for Middle East

October 23, 2009

Author: Jim Handly

Source: NBC

An unlikely relationship between different faiths is setting an example innorthern Virginia.

The region's fast-growing Muslim population is running out of room to pray, so one Reston synagogue opens its doors to them.

"It's unusual, but it reflects well on both of our faiths," said Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk, of Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation. "Both Islam and Judaism adhere to the teachings of Abraham, who was known in the Bible and in the Koran for hospitality."

"There's more in common than the differences," said Imam Khalid Iqbal, of All Dulles Area Muslim Society. "There's so much in common coming from the same root -- Abrahamic faith, from prophet Abraham and then down to his descendants."

Because there is no mosque nearby -- in part because building a mosque can take a long time -- the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation has welcomed Reston-area Muslims on Fridays for about a year and a half.