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Faith room closure sparks roadside prayer

Outside prayer

Controversy is brewing after London University closed it Muslim prayer room after local youths attacked Muslims in what police are calling a racist attack last November.

The University has now opened a multi faith prayer room but a large section of Muslim students refuse to use the facility citing religious sensitivities.

Saleh Patel, president of the particular Islamic society at the university told the BBC.

“Our needs have been taken away,” said “Our prayer room has been taken away. We’ve been forced to pray outside. Our sisters have nowhere comfortable to go to. The prayer room used to be a place where they were comfortable and able to take off their veils.”

Professor Julius Weinberg acting vice-chancellor at City University responded.

“We felt that the provision of a dedicated prayer facility to a sub-section of our Islamic students did not fit with our university’s values. We’re a secular organisation. Our university values statement says that we will not discriminate and having a dedicated prayer room actually went fundamentally against the core values of the organisation.”

As a result of the action taken prayers are now being held outside on the streets and in nearby halls and classroom. Muslim students having been the victims of a racist attack are now more vulnerable as a consequence of refusing to use the multi faith prayer room along with other Muslim students

Professor Weinberg has urged the Islamic Society to reconsider their current boycott. He said

There are many Muslim students belonging to another Islamic society who are very happy to use the shared faith facility we’ve provided and now feel more supported by the university,”

The issues will need to be resolved quickly if further attacks on Muslims are to be avoided.

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