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The Reflection

Gull Lake History of Human Thought class visits Kalamazoo Islamic Center

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On Friday, May 18, high school teacher Scott Minehart and his History Through Human Thought were welcomed to the Kalamazoo Islamic Center.

Minehart’s History Through Human Thought class is a religions course. This year, the trimester long class is focusing on western religions like Christianity, Judaism and Islam. They have also visited a Jewish Temple.

Scott Minehart’s History of Human Thought West class stands outside the Kalamazoo Islamic Center on May 18.

Kalamazoo Islamic Center (KIC) is located at 1520 West Michigan Ave. in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The KIC is one of the only mosques in southwest Michigan. A mosque is the place of worship for Muslims, people following the religion of Islam. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the word.

However, the center serves as much more than a mosque. It is a community gathering place for Muslims all over southwest Michigan, as well as a location for various classes and charity actions. Every year they have large canned food drives for the Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes chapter, and do various projects for the local community. Recently the KIC has been working with the local refugee population to help them integrate into life here in the United States.

Minehart scheduled the field trip because he said he believes “[field trips] are hands-on learning, adding exponentially to the learning experience.”

The class of 18 enjoyed a personalized tour of the mosque, a question and answer period with the religious leader Imam Hafiz Nauman, and a Friday service. A Friday service in Islam is comparable to a Sunday service in Christianity. A key difference, however, is that the men and women in an Islamic service or prayer are separated in order to maintain modesty.

The Friday service was especially unique last Friday because Ramadan, a holy lunar month in Islam, began the day prior. The service lasted close to an hour as the Imam spoke to crowds greater than 100 in three separate rooms over an intercom and video system.

There were men and women from 12 to 90 and people from 39 different countries world-wide. Imam Hafiz Nauman referred to it as a “mini United Nations.”

“I thought it was a very unique experience– and eye opening to see a different culture within Kalamazoo,” said Gull Lake High School senior, Anastasia Chubb.

The field trip also included a meal that was complementary to the religion and region of origin. Last Friday, before the service, the class was treated to a buffet of middle eastern food at Shawarma King. The buffet included many vegetarian options, as well as chicken and beef Shawarma.


[caption id="attachment_23989" align="alignleft" width="300"] Tova Carter poses for mug shot.[/caption] This year is my first year on newspaper, and my final one at Gull Lake high school. I’ve always wanted to do newspaper but never seemed to have the time. I enjoy writing and have a passion for news.  


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