School of the prophet welcomes Lord's flock
POPE Benedict XVI may have raised the ire of the Muslim world almost two years ago when he invoked a harsh medieval description of Islam during a speech in Germany, but for almost 300 Catholic pilgrims, an Islamic school will be home during World Youth Day.
"Pope Benedict clarified his comments on Islam," said Pinad Elahmed, a teacher in charge of inter-religious activities at Malek Fahd school in Greenacre. "Anyway, no one here even thought of it when we decided to offer hospitality to the pilgrims.
"We are Muslims but we are also very committed Australians and that means living in a multicultural, multi-faith country. We want to be a role model of generosity for all Muslims.
"This is not unusual. After all, the prophet himself opened his house to Christians."
The 281 pilgrims will bunk down in the gymnasium and several classrooms. "They will basically have the run of the place," Ms Elahmed said.