The Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Old Harbour was recently honoured to host a group of approximately 60 students from Homestead Primary School at its Mahdi Mosque recently.
The visit provided well needed opportunity and insights for students and teachers to ask questions and remove misunderstandings many people have about the world’s second largest religion.
Organized by school teacher Kaydian Thomas-Gentles, the trip forms part of an initiative for students to visit religious organizations to learn firsthand about different religions.
Audrey Maragh, who is president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim women’s organization, says her group was very pleased to host the students and teachers.
“There are so many misconceptions about our Mosque and religion of Islam.
It is extremely important in this day and age for people to get correct knowledge about Islam and the best way to do that is to go and meet a Muslim yourself!” said Maragh, who credited the school She says she was pleased by Homestead Primary School for taking the lead in educating the young minds of students through the visit.
Gentles also got very positive feedback of the trip through her students, most of whom were visiting a Muslim Mosque for the first time.
She said: “We believe all students should receive the best education possible and so when we have to educate our students on world religions we believe that we should not just stick to the textbooks but rather have the students visit themselves and ask questions.”
Students of Homestead Primary were not shy to ask difficult and controversial questions related to Islam. After an introductory presentation by the Muslim women’s group, the students had an opportunity to ask questions. Some of those questions included gender equality, role of women in Islam, why a Muslim woman wears a headscarf (hijab), marriage in Islam, acts of worship and Muslim beliefs, and many more. Members of the Muslim community also demonstrated how Muslims worship five times a day.
Jamaican born and raised Maragh who is a recent convert to Islam, wishes that more schools will take the initiative to bring their students to visit the Mosque which would help bridge gaps and improve understandings about Islam.
“We as Jamaicans believe ‘Out of many one people.’ But how can we put that into practice unless we make the effort to understand each other and the best way to do that is to follow such examples of students and teachers of Homestead Primary making efforts to bring their students to visit the Mosque, asking us questions, and removing any misunderstandings one may have,” she posited.
or call 283-9533 directly to schedule trips.