A few days later, Magdy Mahmoud, a member of the Paterson mosque, visited the Montclair church. He read a few verses in translation from the Koran. "Whoever kills one single innocent person commits a crime equivalent to the killing of all mankind," Mahmoud, 43, a manager of computer systems at a Fortune 50 company, told the group. He is also a Montclair resident, and his five children, who practice Islam, have been busy teaching their high school friends about the tenets of their faith since the attacks. Mahmoud then sat down with the Montclair activists, and they agreed to further meetings and an exchange of worship between members.

The Friday night visit to the mosque, where 1,000 Muslims usually gather for prayer services, the women covered head to toe in one room, men in another, was the first of those meetings.

Jerry Fried, a Montclair resident and film editor who attended the Friday services, where visitors were able to wear headsets for an English translation, said the exchange has allowed him a hopefulness following the monstrous attacks.

"They might ultimately be a catalyst for bringing people together," he said. "I think the shared values we have as a people are really much stronger than any terrorist attacks that would attempt to pull us apart."

The Montclair visitors were given a small American flag by members of the mosque. Don Trawin, an artist and commercial illustrator, stuck his in a hanging plant near the front of his Montclair home. "It's smaller than anyone else's in town," he said, "but it's kind of special because it came from there."