CAFE Club visits mosque; gains insight, banishes stereotypes through experience

This exemplifies one of Cathedral’s core values: inclusiveness and diversity.

Rylan Harvey, Reporter

Although students and faculty go to mass once a month as a whole, some of them practice a different religion and others might not practice anything at all. This exemplifies one of Cathedral’s core values: inclusiveness and diversity.

CAFE Club’s mission is focused on promoting diversity and awareness through activities and meetings.

Experiencing other culture

Twelve students and two administrators from CAFE Club had the opportunity to visit a mosque and experience the Muslim culture. Freshman A’Nya Wiley said, “It felt weird at first but at the end, it was fun!”

All students that attended had very different views of the trip.

Junior Cherdalle Johnson said, “The trip definitely left a huge impact on me. A lot of my questions that I always wanted to know were answered by someone that had experience or actually went through it and not a book or TV documentary,” she said.

“I found it very informational for not just  me, but for the other CAFE Club members as well.”

Not only for students

This visit wasn’t only a joy for the members but it was also for the administrators as well. Vice President for Community Relations & Diversity Mr. Kenneth Barlow said, “The trip was very prodigious.”

“It felt encouraging because I thought the messages from the (mullah) were very effective.” Mr. Barlow said. Even though the majority of the group was Baptist, they thought that it felt good to learn about the differences and similarities between the two religions.

Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Advancement Mrs. Jean Smith said, “I enjoyed learning about the religion and meeting different people, it made me want to explore different religions.”

Breaking stereotypes

Johnson was able to compare a few things from her church service to theirs and saw the good in the Muslim community.

“It definitely opened my eyes to different religions.” She said. “It showed me the stuff that is on TV is not true and I shouldn’t feed in or agree to all different stereotypes.”

Wiley couldn’t agree more. “It gave me a totally different view of Muslims and how they do certain things in their culture, versus what is done in my and other religions.”

Although the group received the informational view of the Muslim culture, they also got to connect with Islamic students their age.

“After the services had ended I exchanged a few words with a girl named Tamkeen.” Johnson said. “We gave each other our numbers and she texted me later that night that CAFE club brought a very unique group of kids.”

The teens were very friendly to the CAFE club members. They thought that the CAFE students were the most humble kids that they have ever met.

Join the family

The teens were so pleased with the CAFE students and how they did a wonderful job representing Cathedral with just a handful of kids, they would love to attend one of Cathedral’s masses and spend a few hours as part of the Fighting Irish.