To enhance student understanding of multiculturalism, the Office of International Affairs conducted a One Day Training in Islamic Culture where students visited the Kaohsiung Mosque. Mr. Ishag Shiao-Chi, imām of the International Muslim Tourism Industry Development Association was the keynote speaker for the training, and gave the students a very realistic curriculum and interaction.
The morning course was a detailed introduction to Muslim culture. At noon, which is close to worship time, the instructor personally demonstrated the Wuḍū, a ritual purification before worship, and led the students in observation of worshipping by believers. As the instructor explained, the Wuḍū is a partial cleansing of the body, which must be in a clean and pure state before entering the place of worship. Therefore, it is necessary to clean body parts that are dirty, dusty or contaminated. The Wuḍū includes rinsing the mouth, washing the face and wiping the neck. Once the ritual is completed, believers try to main this state of purity for as long as possible. For lunch, the students enjoyed authentic Halal lunch boxes with Malaysian curry specially prepared by the mosque, giving students not only knowledge, but actual experience.
The afternoon course introduced Muslim tourism industry and its experiences since the imām himself is also a tour guide and is well-experienced in hosting Muslim travel to Taiwan. He stressed that Muslim friendly certification is required for both food and accommodation where in addition to sound meal management, accommodations must pay special attention to the bathroom. Moreover, since Muslims must pray five times a day, the rooms must face the direction of Mecca , and worship time and prayer mats must be readied.
The imām also demonstrated the reading of the Qur'an for everyone experience its beauty. Last, a quiz competition was conducted to test the effectiveness of student learning. Everyone responded eagerly, demonstrating a positive attitude in their participation and learning of a different culture.