Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:36AM
Muslim students at a London University have been struggling to keep their own prayer room. The City University has imposed restrictions on prayer times over the past months, AND banned students from holding Friday sermons in the prayer room.
No prayer room for Muslims. That's a prospect that could take place at a university in London. These are Muslim students signing a petition against the university's policies to restrict their access to prayer facilities on campus. Muslim students here feel discriminated against, and want a room to congregate for Friday prayers. Previously they had to find empty classrooms to pray together, but now they are making an open stand. 'It's snowing, it's cold and Muslim students at City University are saying their Friday prayers out in the open. They are sending a strong message of protest to the university authorities that they will do whatever it takes to pray freely regardless of the restrictions imposed upon them.' City University boasts of diversity and projects itself as a world respected institution, yet it can barely provide a basic and important need for thousands of its own students - a decent prayer room for Muslim students. The Student Union declined to be interviewed but they did send Press TV a reply to the allegations of discrimination against Muslims on campus: "We are continuing to work with both the University and the student body to take steps to resolve this issue. It is important that both the University and students recognise the importance of balancing rights and responsibilities." Giulio Folino, Student Union President, City University. Not a very reassuring response for these students, who believe the university and its Student Union have not met their demands. Fears that the University will shut the Muslim prayer room altogether have been looming for some time now. Students have told me that this is a violation of their freedoms and they hope to take further action to gain back their rights to pray freely and safely in a Muslim prayer room.