Twenty-three Christian American university students arrived in South Africa at the beginning of January as part of their studies to experience a cross-cultural understanding.
The students had the opportunity of living with Muslim families in Durban last week.
The cross-cultural experience was the brainchild of the Islamic Propagation Centre International (IPCI), the organization founded by the late Ahmed Deedat.
The students said the experience has helped change the stereotypical view they previously had of Islam and its followers.
Pre-medical student Jack Dunbar, 21, from Washington, was welcomed to spend the night at the home of Ebrahim Jadwat and his wife Rasheeda from Musgrave.
"Post 9/11 Islam has been vilified in America. It's sad that the entire religion and its people are tainted because of the actions of a small fundamentalist group. After my stay with the Jadwat family I learnt that Muslims, like people of all other religions, are good and honest people who live according to their faith."
Political student Amanda Brodhag, 20, from California, said Americans were ignorant when understanding the Muslim community. "I found that I could relate to them, their aspirations and beliefs. I had the opportunity of living with the Shaik family in Parlock, Durban, and interacted with their three children."
Theology student Emily McBroom, 22, from Washington, described her experience with the Goolam Hoosain Suliman and his wife Faye from Westville family as "wonderful".
McBroom said lots of Americans had a prejudiced stereotypical view of Muslim people which needs to be broken.
Source: "US students research Durban Muslims" IOL News Janury 25, 2012
Reproduced with permission from Islam Today