In many ways Masjidullah in West Oak Lane is the bridge between the three Abrahamic faiths present in Philadelphia. The edifice at the corner of Washington Lane and Limekiln Pike was once a synagogue before it was home to the West Oak Lane Church of God —who sold it to the mosque. Hebrew writing and the Star of David is visible or covered over in a way that it has not been removed. Stained glass Christian windows are also preserved beneath the Muslim façade.
So, it is little wonder that when an interfaith group of clergy gathered on Good Friday it was at Masjidullah located at 7433 Limekiln Pike. There rabbis, ministers and imams joined together to denounce the negative portrayal of those who practice Islam on SEPTA buses. Yet the gathering also offered the opportunity for persons like Stephanie Jones of West Oak Lane to experience her first time inside a mosque.
“I saw all the people coming over while I was shopping on the avenue and decided to see what was going on,” Jones said. “I learned a lot about what the mosque is doing here. I didn’t even realize that there was an Islamic school here. Sometimes you drive by places and never really see. I think we should all unite whenever there is something negative going on.”
In her remarks Rabbi Nancy Kreimer of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, said that many in the Jewish community share the Muslims’ concern about the advertisement. She said she interrupted her Seder preparation to attend the public event denouncing the bus ads. She drew spontaneous applause during her remarks…