Talking Through Walls: How the Struggle to Build a Mosque Unites a Community
is a film telling the story of Zia Rahman, a retired engineer and devout Muslim American. When Rahman prepared to appear before the zoning board in his town of Voorhees, New Jersey, he was on a mission both practical and spiritual. “We planned to turn a derelict building into a mosque. We planned to beautify it and make it a place where God’s Word would be spoken.”
Not everyone in his Philadelphia suburb saw it that way, and Rahman hadn’t expected the hostility and fierce pushback he received from neighbors. With 9/11 a recent memory, fears were stoked and tensions ran high. Then one day, an anonymous flyer appeared in town, suggesting that those coming to pray at the mosque might have connections to terrorists.
But small-town America is more than it seems, and support came from an unlikely source. A group emerged, called the Coalition for a Multi-Faith Democracy, consisting of Buddhists, Christians, and Jews. Working together with the mosque project, they began meeting, looking for common ground, and seeking a greater understanding. When Rahman’s health began failing, his challenges passed beyond worldly concerns, but the Coalition continued to represent him. Talking Through Walls
tells the story of old faiths and new friendships. The film explores some of the difficulties faced by American Muslims since post-9/11, and shows how American patriotism is not only reflected in an outward projection of strength, but also by the defense of values, especially the bedrock value of “liberty and justice for all.”
In a world fraught with religious intolerance, this is an inspirational story of how interfaith leaders in South Jersey figured out a way to keep the peace through compromise and tolerance. There was power in these leaders’ union and they ultimately succeed in helping the mosque get built, revealing the best of American ideals at one of the most difficult times in American history. Now Rahman is a tireless advocate of inter-religious understanding and the mosque frequently hosts interfaith events.
Click here to watch this video sample
- Widescreen presentation (1.78:1 aspect ratio) - enhanced for widescreen TVs.
- Dolby Digital 2.0 English .
- Region 1.