Overflowing Mosques Lead Muslims to Synagogue

By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2009 6:36 AM CDT
Muslims fill up the driveway and pray after the mosque was full, during a service to mark the Eid al-Fitr, October 23, 2006 at Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – With the Muslim population in the US booming, the start of Ramadan this weekend will
see many worshippers overflowing into borrowed space, from ballrooms to synagogues, the Washington Post reports. The DC area's mosques are bursting at the seams; with the Koran's injunction against borrowing money at interest slowing new construction, sharing space is more and more common.

One suburban rabbi leasing synagogue space to a Muslim congregation cited scripture: "The prophet Isaiah said our houses would be houses of prayer for all people." The unconventional space-sharing has led to interfaith visits and pulpit swaps; the rabbi and imam have preached to each other's flocks. Growth in the US Muslim population—estimated to have doubled since 1990—is attributed to immigration, conversions, and the Muslim propensity for large families.