Thursday, March 22, 2012 | Latest audio lessons → VOA Learning English
At Catholic University, a Growing Number of Muslims
The Catholic University of America has welcomed a growing number of Muslim students in recent years. It is not just Catholics who feel at home there.
REEF AL SHABNAN: "Being in a religious environment where religion is practiced it makes it more understandable and easier to practice the religion itself." Reef Al Shabnan is a Muslim from Saudi Arabia. She likes Catholic University because of its conservative values.
REEF AL SHABNAN: "Family values, I guess the nuclear family, pro-life the position of the school on those issues go along with my position as well." Christine Mica heads the university's admissions office.
CHRISTINE MICA: "While they may not be Catholic, there is this sense of security and safety of practicing your faith on campus here." Wiaam Al Salmi came to Catholic University from a university with no religious ties. She says faith is a way of life here.
WIAAM AL SALMI: "The environment here is also religious and the teachings that they teach here is similar to the teachings that I grew up with and so you know, going to pray you know, that's that's nothing out of the ordinary for them. And so they understand." In a five-year period, the number of Muslim students more than doubled -- from 41 to 91. Most were from Saudi Arabia.
TANITH FOWLER CORSI: "We attribute that a lot to our connection with the Saudi Embassy here in Washington D.C., and there has been a conscious effort to develop a good relationship with the embassy." Tanith Fowler Corsi is Catholic University's assistant vice president for global education. Kenny White, a Catholic, says seeing his friend pray has strengthened his own beliefs.
KENNY WHITE: "It's inspired me. I mean he's a very faithful Muslim and very devout and that inspires me to be even more devout in my faith." I'm Christopher Cruise.