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VA Muslim Group Prays in Synagogue

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The All Dulles Muslim Society of Virginia has been praying at a synagogue, which doubles as a mosque. The group began renting space from the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston last year after maxing out their 900 person main facility in Sterling. Muhammad Kareem says Muslims praying in temple is not as odd a coupling as some might think. "Jewish and Muslim is almost the same religious combination. The only difference is that we call to Mohammad and they call to Moses...It's the same thing."

In fact, both religions share common ground in other areas including dietary laws and faith based rules which govern everyday life. Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk heads the Hebrew congregation. He says, the idea was suggested by his congregation. "Our member approached our temple leadership, who readily accepted the opportunity to show hospitality to our muslim neighbors for their prayers."

The Rabbi and Muhammad say there has been some objection to the relationship, but those voices are in the minority. For now, with the recent end of Ramadan and the start of Rosh Hashana, both groups prefer to enjoy their similarities, and forget the differences.

Elliott Francis reports...

WAMU 88.5

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