Muslim students at Queen Mary calling for a ‘right to pray’ Watch

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(Original post by shouldbestudying)
Actually some of my closest friends are Muslims at Queen Mary campaigning for this so I think I’m pretty well informed about this.
I’m not just a basher; I’ve seen the situation from the inside. The reason why everyone’s always bashing Muslims on TSR is because most of them are overly sensitive. My bashing is justified. I remember when I used to be a Muslim; I used to get offended so easily. Now I realise how PATHETIC it was.
Well firstly a music room is necessary for Music undergraduates. Secondly having a room dedicated to playing instruments enhances the students’ university experience as they’re developing their abilities and talents. I just don’t see how the same can be said about praying.
The uni doesn't do a music course. What's to say been religious doesn't improve enhance student experience? People find solace in all sort of places. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it can't be so. Only a narrow minded person would say that.

Also, I don't see how they're been 'sensitive' on this issue. If the room is free, why can't they use it? You can't just have a blanket view that you apply to all situation.


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(Original post by shouldbestudying)
I used to be a devote Muslim, so yeah I know exactly how many Muslims feel about praying. If you're saying that QM should provide a larger prayer facility because it’s like a break for Muslims and it helps them refresh their minds then surely the same reason can be provided by students asking for universities to provide them with non-educational like facilities like clubs, bars, etc on campus?
It’s not a necessity. Wheelchair access is a necessity for disabled students because they are physically unable to choose to walk to their lectures. A prayer room is not a necessity because Muslim students are physically able to skip the prayer and attend the lecture on time; it is completely down to choice.
Yes it may not be asking for a lot but if the university has said no then the Isoc is taking it too far by starting such a serious campaign. That’s great. Keep praying outside. Just don’t demand that a PUBLIC institution setup for the purpose of education cater for religious needs.
Stop bringing up the issue of ‘paying students’. Just because you’re paying £9000 does not mean you can demand that the university provides whatever unnecessary non educational facilities you desire. You’re paying £9000 primarily FOR YOUR COURSE.
Off course the campaign won’t stop until the university reverses its decision. I know how hard headed Muslim youths are nowadays. When Muslims want something they have to have it and they won’t stop until they get it. What will you guys be campaigning for next? For lectures to start late during Ramadan to make things easier for Muslim students who are fasting?
Are you for real?



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danny111
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I think they are idiots who are giving Muslims a bad name for nothing.
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(Original post by 419)
The uni doesn't do a music course. What's to say been religious doesn't improve enhance student experience? People find solace in all sort of places. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it can't be so. Only a narrow minded person would say that.

Also, I don't see how they're been 'sensitive' on this issue. If the room is free, why can't they use it? You can't just have a blanket view that you apply to all situation.


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Because that opens up the room (or any other room for that matter) for everybody else.
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(Original post by The Angry Stoic)
I require a 100m area to spread instant tagliatelle across in order to please His noodlieness. Will the university provide?
Cooked or uncooked?
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The Angry Stoic
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(Original post by Noble.)
Cooked or uncooked?
I shall place it uncooked and his Noddliness shall display his power by miraculously simmering it.
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PopaPork
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the usual crowd causing issue again

we want we want..........

I suspect the issue here is that he uni do not want the room to be used for the same thing every Friday night and need to keep their options open.

If they allow Muslim prayers to happen there then they lose the room for ever as we all know the Muslims will not simply say 'OK the room is busy we'll go elsewhere'

so even if the room is empty for all of the time and just used once a year that is better (as it is a place of education not worship) than allowing it to be used as prayer facilities.

But a simple question if Muslims want a prayer space why don't they all chip an and get one rather than expecting everyone else to 'provide' for them?
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Well I think QM will be fully aware of this thread and have by now seen that the majority of people are actually against the campaign anyway.

Good good.

And no I'm not against Islam. I just think it's kind of outrageous that the society has kicked up such a stink over the rejection of their demand for a major, and continual, freebie.

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(Original post by Pessimisterious)
WI just think it's kind of outrageous that the society has kicked up such a stink over the rejection of their demand for a major, and continual, freebie.

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This
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Origami Bullets
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Hang on, if 20% of QMUL's student population is Muslim, then that gives us 3600 students (I've revised it from 3300 because the last figure was from wikipedia, but this one comes from the university). However, even by the iSoc's own admission, only 500 people come to their Friday prayers. Even assuming that that figure is a true representation of attendance on a week-to-week basis, it would appear that the iSoc is only catering to less than one in seven of QMUL's Muslim student population, or 2.7%.

So, the iSoc itself would appear to be a rather vocal minority even within the Muslim population. If only 2.7% turn up, you can't claim to represent 20% of the student population. I know that at my own uni, the iSoc has developed something of a reputation amongst Muslim students for having a rather strict interpretation of Islam (to put it politely) and so many actively choose not to get involved. I don't think that they would be too impressed to think that the iSoc was claiming their support on such matters, and I suspect that there is a similar situation at QMUL.

Figures here http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013...n_4212184.html

Given that the multi faith centre looks (from the pictures) exactly like a mosque but without the insignia, I don't see why the iSoc can't just hold two or three 'shifts' for prayers in there until they can find an alternative venue for themselves.
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(Original post by danny111)
Because that opens up the room (or any other room for that matter) for everybody else.
Why would that be a problem? Pretty sure it's meant to be used.


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(Original post by 419)
Why would that be a problem? Pretty sure it's meant to be used.


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Because who decides who gets what? And if they allow this then any room that is free should also be used by any group of people that suddenly say they want it.
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(Original post by Origami Bullets)
If you're uncomfortable with charging for access to Friday prayers, then to be honest with you I think the simplest solution is to make paying membership dues compulsory for all activities that aren't Friday prayers. There are other hireable facilities nearby, and it would end this fight with the university. Then, once the dust has settled in a few years, the iSoc can go back and try to book rooms again. Chances are the university will recognise that there is a new committee, new membership etc. and allow it - but the longer goes on, the longer the whole thing is going to remain in the institutional memory and the less conciliatory they're going to be.

You know that no religious society would make such membership fees right? Religious are supposed to be open for everyone, all of them pretty much just encourage membership but not a requirement.
The issue of a prayer room has been going on for a long time, the campaign was only launched after some time of discussion with the university and when QM security started stopping people from coming friday prayer, trying to limit the space we could use within the Multi-faith rooms


Given that the SU is supporting you, don't they have any rooms that they can make available to accommodate at least part of the iSoc whilst others pray in the multi faith centre? I get that you need to pray en masse, but I can't see that having two rooms is any different to people praying in two different mosques.

SU doesn't exactly have any rooms exactly which can be used for prayer room..........we are using the 2 rooms beside one another at the multi-faith room with a speaker system. We tried to use the shoe area, etc and got forced to stop this by security.

Have their been any incidents regarding speakers with questionable records on hate speech / extremism i.e. the sort of person that might bring the university into disrepute? I know there was something of a hoo-ha last year at my own university when an outside speaker was brought in, and then proceeded to say that he thought gays should be killed. This, understandably, did not go down well.
There hasn't been any events any time recently, they are just about to start their first event of the academic year today............the last time there was a proper event with a speaker was probably in the beginning of the year though I'm not too sure. It's been awhile since they had someone, maybe at the end of 2012.

(Original post by HenryD)
Perhaps they know they'll need it far more often this year? Maybe there were problems with different societies wanting it at the same time? I don't know, my only point is that the University does not have any obligation to provide a space for you to practice your religion.
Very unlikely.....the only time the octagon was used was during one week where they had career days, and the freshers stalls during freshers week. Societies don't actually book those halls, never seen any society to do so, they would tend to book the lecture rooms for most things, the drapers bar for more active/party like things and any dinners would be quite formal and held off campus at a restaurant or boat usually.

They might not have an obligation.........but the isoc always had dealt with what they were given and tried to make the most of it when they could use the halls in the previous years. However whats unfair is that the usage of the halls has been completely blocked and yet aren't being used most of the time.

(Original post by shouldbestudying)
I used to be a devote Muslim, so yeah I know exactly how many Muslims feel about praying. If you're saying that QM should provide a larger prayer facility because it’s like a break for Muslims and it helps them refresh their minds then surely the same reason can be provided by students asking for universities to provide them with non-educational like facilities like clubs, bars, etc on campus?

:rofl: Did I say that............have you even looked at the campaign, its not asking for a larger prayer facility, its asking to be able to book the halls just like they used to be able to.

It’s not a necessity. Wheelchair access is a necessity for disabled students because they are physically unable to choose to walk to their lectures. A prayer room is not a necessity because Muslim students are physically able to skip the prayer and attend the lecture on time; it is completely down to choice.

Again, there are those who feel praying is a necessity from all religious groups.......and again read the campaign, we have prayer rooms, they are jsut asking to book a hall for an hour :facepalm:

Yes it may not be asking for a lot but if the university has said no then the Isoc is taking it too far by starting such a serious campaign. That’s great. Keep praying outside. Just don’t demand that a PUBLIC institution setup for the purpose of education cater for religious needs.

Every society, including the student union has a right to protest whatever the issue may be. That's not the point, the point is that the uni is refusing the booking of halls which aren't always being used.

Stop bringing up the issue of ‘paying students’. Just because you’re paying £9000 does not mean you can demand that the university provides whatever unnecessary non educational facilities you desire. You’re paying £9000 primarily FOR YOUR COURSE.

It's actually not..........why else do they have a bar, shops, a gym.......its there to encourage students to apply, that there needs are met.

Off course the campaign won’t stop until the university reverses its decision. I know how hard headed Muslim youths are nowadays. When Muslims want something they have to have it and they won’t stop until they get it. What will you guys be campaigning for next? For lectures to start late during Ramadan to make things easier for Muslim students who are fasting?
So suddenly campaigning to be able to book a hall an hour suddenly means all that right? :facepalm:
So what if the university reverses it decision, its their decision not yours.
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Iqbal007
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(Original post by danny111)
Because who decides who gets what? And if they allow this then any room that is free should also be used by any group of people that suddenly say they want it.
There's a room booking system in place...........I think its online or something.
But it's usually booked in advance, the only people who can do so is QMSU societies, QMSU, lecturers and I guess the QM and its departments. I believe the latter 3 are given priority and are able to book way before QMSU and its societies, also can over rule the bookings if its important. First come, first serve.
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(Original post by Iqbal007)
There's a room booking system in place...........I think its online or something.
But it's usually booked in advance, the only people who can do so is QMSU societies, QMSU, lecturers and I guess the QM and its departments. I believe the latter 3 are given priority and are able to book way before QMSU and its societies, also can over rule the bookings if its important. First come, first serve.
So being able to book the room would not sort the issue then if others are able to book it as well as it would not result in you getting a dedicated space.

I believe what you want is the room reserved for prayers which would result in 1 less resource for the whole UNI to access.

but what is wrong with going to a mosque? why are you trying to turn education facilities into religious facilities?
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(Original post by PopaPork)
So being able to book the room would not sort the issue then if others are able to book it as well as it would not result in you getting a dedicated space.

I believe what you want is the room reserved for prayers which would result in 1 less resource for the whole UNI to access.

but what is wrong with going to a mosque? why are you trying to turn education facilities into religious facilities?
No it would be fine.........because no other society books the halls apart from the ISOC. The only time the isoc never used it was because the university and its departments needed it so they get priority.

Again stop with the silly assumptions.........the issue is the denial of booking either halls for 1 hour thats it.

Again go through the thread and read.
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(Original post by Iqbal007)
No it would be fine.........because no other society books the halls apart from the ISOC. The only time the isoc never used it was because the university and its departments needed it so they get priority.

Again stop with the silly assumptions.........the issue is the denial of booking either halls for 1 hour thats it.

Again go through the thread and read.
But if they did want to....

as I said you want this facility removed from access to all and to limit the access to some.

simple question are you willing to share the space if a different group booked it? Or give up the space occasionally if other SOCS wanted to use it?

and again what is wrong with going to a mosque?
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Iqbal007
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(Original post by PopaPork)
But if they did want to....

as I said you want this facility removed from access to all and to limit the access to some.

simple question are you willing to share the space if a different group booked it? Or give up the space occasionally if other SOCS wanted to use it?

and again what is wrong with going to a mosque?
Then its first come, first serve............and again unlikely.

Which I haven't.......the campaign again is to open up the halls for booking as it was before.

The ISOC already does that with the new prayer room...as such they pray outside as a result.

And again read the thread,
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(Original post by shouldbestudying)
I personally think that everyone should have the opportunity to practicetheir faith. HOWEVER demanding that a public institution (established for the purpose of education) must cater for religion to such a great extent seems quite absurd. This is true especially in this case for several reasons. There is already an established prayer room and there are several mosques near the university that the students can attend if there is insufficient space in the prayer room. I think it is an inappropriate and unjustified campaign by the QM Islamic Society.

What’s your view on this call for a ‘right to pray’?
I don't think it's an inappropriate and unjustified campaign, considering Islam's history with education, particularly with regards to the sciences. It was Christianity that was always opposed to scientific education and said that scientific findings went against Christian beliefs whereas Islam always welcomed it. There are universities with inbuilt chapels when rightly they should be inbuilt mosques.
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(Original post by shouldbestudying)
The Queen Mary University of London has seen some recent protests by its Islamic Society because university officials have refused a recent demand it has made.

From what I have heard on their Facebook page, the society is calling for a ‘right to pray’ and they seem to be very emotional and passionate about their cause. The claim is that the prayer room is insufficient to cater for the large number of Muslim students wishing to use it on Friday evenings. The society has requested to hold prayers in a lecture theatre on Fridays but the university has refused this as the room is in use. The society is sceptical of this claim.

I personally think that everyone should have the opportunity to practicetheir faith. HOWEVER demanding that a public institution (established for the purpose of education) must cater for religion to such a great extent seems quite absurd. This is true especially in this case for several reasons. There is already an established prayer room and there are several mosques near the university that the students can attend if there is insufficient space in the prayer room. I think it is an inappropriate and unjustified campaign by the QM Islamic Society.

What’s your view on this call for a ‘right to pray’?
Ok I thought this would be something about them not being allowed to leave to pray or lectures messing it up and I was all prepared to argue for them. However I completely agree with you. They do not specifically need to clear a whole room for prayers even if it is just once a week. If they need to pray, that's fine. But they can do it anywhere. And they don't all have to pray together. If some use the one room there already is and others just pray somewhere else. With all due respect to them, Muslims are not a majority in Queen Mary's and I'm sick of us pandering whenever a group complains.
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