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TWU Students Visit Local Mosques
Trip a unique opportunity to see Muslim faith, people from different perspective
This month, Trinity Western students went on a field to explore Islam in Metro Vancouver. For students from the second-year anthropology course on Islamic Culture, it was a rare opportunity to get out of the classroom and view Islam in the real world.
The trip began Friday afternoon with visit to a Sunni mosque in Richmond, where students witnessed a Friday prayer service before heading to a Wahhabi centre in downtown Vancouver in the evening.
On Saturday, students visited the Ismaili Centre in Burnaby. In addition to viewing unique architecture and priceless artifacts, students were able to learn the history of this more liberal sect, from its humble beginnings as exiles from Uganda to an exemplary integration in contemporary Canadian society. This was followed up with an insightful visit to a Shia mosque, where students learned about the Hajj from a local Ayatollah who had visited Mecca. Saturday evening, students attended a church service in Richmond where they heard a moving testimony from an ex-Muslim and former Hezbollah member who had converted to Christianity.
The final destination was to an Ahmadiyya mosque in Delta on Sunday. A more modern sect of Islam, the Ahmadiyyas believe that the Messiah’s return has already occurred. There, students toured the facilities and were treated to traditional Middle Eastern cuisine.
For the students, the trip was a unique chance to ask questions and experience first hand a faith and a people group from a perspective outside of the depictions presented by media.
“Islam is made up of different sects who all interpret the Quran very differently,” observed Nathaniel Kara, a second-year communications major. “What this trip demonstrated to me is that it’s inaccurate and unfair to judge all Muslims by a small and extreme minority.”
Trinity Western University is a Christian University of the arts, sciences, and professions, legislated by British Columbia to serve the public. Recognized for quality, TWU is consistently ranked among the top universities in Canada for Educational Experience by the National Survey of Student Engagement; holds four Canada Research Chairs; wins National Championships in CIS sports; and emphasizes experiential learning to prepare graduates to make a global impact. TWU offers 42 bachelor’s degrees, 17 graduate degrees, and adult degree-completion programs. A vibrant community committed to educating the whole person, TWU has been developing leaders of character and competence for 52 years.