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N. Va. Muslims Use Turkey To Reach Out To Community

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Farida Vaid carves a turkey for the All-Dulles Area Muslim Society charity event in Herndon, Va.
David Schultz
Farida Vaid carves a turkey for the All-Dulles Area Muslim Society charity event in Herndon, Va.

By David Schultz

A group of Muslims are praying in a long hallway outside of the kitchen at Hutchinson Elementary School in Herndon. But instead of prayer mats, they're using plastic aprons.

After they're done, the Muslims - many of them immigrants - pick up the aprons and put them on. It's time to serve the turkey.

They chose turkey because it fits with the holiday season, and because eating turkey this time of year is an American tradition.

"When you are in America, you are American," says Khalid Iqbal, a director with the All-Dulles Area Muslim Society, one of the largest mosques in the D.C. area.

Iqbal says serving up free turkey is not only patriotic, it's religious: "Islam teaches us to serve the humanity at large. And that's exactly what we are trying to do."

The chef who prepared the turkeys recently moved to the D.C. area from Yemen. Iqbal says it was the first time he'd ever cooked a turkey American-style.

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