Schools have faith

Schools have faith

The students from Methodist Ladies College observed the Australian Islamic College students pray in the mosque during Ramadan. Photograph - Juanita Shepherd.

With recent terror attacks and racially motivated crimes across the globe the Australian Islamic College in Thornlie has been working hard to foster understanding between their faith and the wider community.

Two teachers from Australian Islamic Idroz Shah and Sister Suriani, together with Methodist Ladies College’s Reverend Hollis Wilson set up the Interfaith Partnership and Students Exchange program a few months ago.

On June 1 Australian Islamic students played host to Methodist Ladies as part of the program.

Mr Shah said the visit was part of a series of planned trips between the schools.

“The visit to Australian Islamic College was a special one indeed for the students from Methodist Ladies College as it coincided with the first week of Ramadan,” he said.

“The students from Australian Islamic College are performing their annual fast and abstaining from both food and drink from sunrise until sunset and the Methodist Ladies College students were able to observe this when they visited us.”

Australian Islamic College principal Endah Hayes warmly received the students from Methodist Ladies College.

They were treated to presentations on Ramadan and the significance of fasting, were given a tour of the campus grounds and had a hand in doing Arabic Calligraphy and learing how to tie a hijab.

Mr Shah said Methodist Ladies College students enjoyed the activities very much.

“Students from Australian Islamic College also showcased a recitation of one of the surahs which is prayers to the tune of drums,” he said.

“The students from Methodist Ladies College also visited the mosque and witnessed the afternoon prayer session.

“The visit to the school ended with a friendly and spontaneous mixed game of netball between the students from both schools.”

One Australian Islamic College student said they were asked a number of questions from the Methodist Ladies College students.

“They asked us all sorts of questions,” she said.

“From asking us if we shower with our scarves on to the topic of arranged marriages.

“We told them we don’t shower with our scarves on and arranged marriages are more a cultural thing rather than our religion.”

The Australian Islamic College students said they had a great day teaching the Methodist Ladies College students about their religion and traditions.

They also said they were looking forward to visiting Methodist Ladies College in August.