Every Friday afternoon during his lunch break, J. Saleh Williams grabs a box of white linen fabric from the Rayburn House Office Building where he works and rides the Capitol subway to the domed building's basement.
There, in a carpeted room, he lays the linen on the floor and, along with about 70 fellow Muslims who work in the area, he prays.
"You won't see this in France," Williams says. "It's an amazing testament to freedom in this country that we can hold a prayer service in the nation's Capitol."
The Capitol has hosted this Jummah, or Friday prayer, for 12 years. In a recent Jummah, Esam Omeish, a Northern Virginia surgeon who ran for the state Assembly's 35th district seat last year (and came in third), serves as Khateeb, the person who delivers the sermon. He exalts Allah and speaks of a post-integration Muslim community — "We are already integrated," he says.