By Shahina Bashir
It all started with a simple letter to the editor of the Washington Post, which among many was read by Tazeen Ahmad, of Potomac, Maryland. The letter was written by Bob Hirshon, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Silver Spring. Hirshon, through his letter, delivered an important message to his readers- need for religious tolerance in America. But he also shared with his readers a step that was already taken by a minority Muslim sect, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The day after September 11, 2001, Imam Shamshad reached out to Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay of the UUCSS and presented her with a copy of the Qur’an for their new scripture library. Rev. Maclay and Imam Shamshad became friends and colleagues and the congregations visited each others’ places of worship over the course of time.