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

User1310602
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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’?
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finnthehuman
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(Original post by shouldbestudying)
The Queenmary 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’. 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’?
As a muslim, they should just go out and do it on the grass or something. as allah created the whole earth as prayer area. Saves all the BS.

Edit: Yay, I got rep stormed! But anyway, I am not saying it's bad to pray(I pray my prayers) but you'd rather burden yourself than burden others. If they say no, it's no.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by shouldbestudying)
The Queenmary 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’. 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’?
Go to the local mosque of you're Muslim. Similar for Christians/Sikhs/ Hindu et al.
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Georgiina_Tee
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I once saw some guy doing it under the stairs at my uni library, you don't have to a prayer room. When he was done he just got up and carried on revising.
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Assassinn
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(Original post by finnthehuman)
As a muslim, they should just go out and do it on the grass or something. as allah created the whole earth as prayer area. Saves all the BS.
This. It honestly is inspirational when people do something outside the realm of comfort in the name of faith.

Posted from TSR Mobile
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by finnthehuman)
As a muslim, they should just go out and do it on the grass or something. as allah created the whole earth as prayer area. Saves all the BS.
Agreed. I think this story is more about rebellious students trying to be confrontational as part of a phase rather than a 'Muslim' thing.

Excuse my ignorance, but as Muslim student, wouldn't you engage with the local mosque? Or would you expect the university prayer facility to be the main focus of worship?
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atkbm
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Ok so I am applying there and if there's no space I'd be worried. The thing is some prayers (Zuhr and Asr, mid-afternoon and Late afternoon prayers) are quite close together especially during the winter. So, in my opinion room should be provided during the shorter days and the university has no excuse, because they have plenty of unused rooms and space. (All we need is ground to pray on, not a big deal). However during the summer days there's no need as the time is more flexible and longer. Also, if there are local mosques around, then they shouldn't be lazy and simple go there (esp. for Friday prayers) and leave space for those who are unable to go.
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atkbm
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(Original post by finnthehuman)
As a muslim, they should just go out and do it on the grass or something. as allah created the whole earth as prayer area. Saves all the BS.
I wouldn't agree if its raining or snowing..:rolleyes:.but yes it is true; there's plenty of green fields there.
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Democracy
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Just FYI it's Queen Mary - two separate words.

Anyway, QMUL's I-Soc has been whinging about prayer related matters for years, certainly back when I was a student there, if not before. I thought it was stupid and irritating back then and I think the same now.

(Original post by finnthehuman)
As a muslim, they should just go out and do it on the grass or something. as allah created the whole earth as prayer area. Saves all the BS.
They do do that as a method of "protest" - by camping out on the lawn outside the Queen's Building.

(Original post by atkbm)
Ok so I am applying there and if there's no space I'd be worried. The thing is some prayers (Zuhr and Asr, mid-afternoon and Late afternoon prayers) are quite close together especially during the winter. So, in my opinion room should be provided during the shorter days and the university has no excuse, because they have plenty of unused rooms and space. (All we need is ground to pray on, not a big deal). However during the summer days there's no need as the time is more flexible and longer. Also, if there are local mosques around, then they shouldn't be lazy and simple go there (esp. for Friday prayers) and leave space for those who are unable to go.
There are several dedicated interfaith prayer rooms, but no, there isn't a dedicated QMUL mosque which is what some of the I-soc seem to expect...
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The Angry Stoic
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I require a 100m area to spread instant tagliatelle across in order to please His noodlieness. Will the university provide?
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techno-thriller
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All the Muslims needs must be catered for whatever the situation.
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nic-nac
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There is no requirement for muslims to have a specific room to pray, so they shouldn't act all high and mighty. From what I've heard, they can even make it up to allah in previous/subsequent prayers if they have to miss one, so whats the big deal. It is not their right or the universities responsibility to have/provide such a space. I'm surprised so many supposedly educated people are so deeply religious anyway. And the argument about the lecture theatre being in use can easily be settled by visiting that room at that time to see if it's empty.
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Infinity_4652
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I find this quite interesting because my college is in leyton and the islamic society holds the friday prayers in the sports hall for men and women.
My f.maths teacher is often the imam.
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atkbm
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(Original post by Democracy)
Just FYI it's Queen Mary - two separate words.

Anyway, QMUL's I-Soc has been whinging about prayer related matters for years, certainly back when I was a student there, if not before. I thought it was stupid and irritating back then and I think the same now.



They do do that as a method of "protest" - by camping out on the lawn outside the Queen's Building.



There are several dedicated interfaith prayer rooms, but no, there isn't a dedicated QMUL mosque which is what some of the I-soc seem to expect...

Why can't they just use the interfaith prayer rooms? Anyway its in east London which is a hugely muslim populated area, so theres no need for a QMUL mosque...i'm sure theres plenty around!
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atkbm
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
Agreed. I think this story is more about rebellious students trying to be confrontational as part of a phase rather than a 'Muslim' thing.

Excuse my ignorance, but as Muslim student, wouldn't you engage with the local mosque? Or would you expect the university prayer facility to be the main focus of worship?
If I could rate you I definitely would. Argh, these are things that really give Islam a bad rep and embarrass me. Can't they just find some other place...ie. the local mosque or something! Compromise because the university did give them space.
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tania<3
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A bit OTT in my opinion. If there's no space there's no space - it's not a question of not having a "right" or anything. It just wouldn't make sense to dedicate an entire lecture theatre, or more, to just prayers, as the university doesn't really have any reason to do so
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by atkbm)
If I could rate you I definitely would. Argh, these are things that really give Islam a bad rep and embarrass me. Can't they just find some other place...ie. the local mosque or something! Compromise because the university did give them space.
This seems to be a problem. It's a problem with any form of identity politics. There are people who like to jump up and down and about look at me. I'm an oppressed Muslim/Jew/Hindu/gay/black/white/ yellow etc.

Their actions normally just end up p*ssing people off. I used to have A muslim guy who used to work for me. Every couple of hours he'd disappear to the store room to pray. No hassle. No drama. Just did what needed to do.

For some unknown reason, stick people into a university environment and they feel that the university somehow should give them everything their heart desires.

Like most things in life. The vast majority of any grouping of people merrily carry on with. Their lives and happily interact as normal people do. The minority cause friction.
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Iqbal007
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It's quite clear that the OP doesn't know the whole story.


All the ISOC is asking for is an hour of time on friday to use either of 2 large halls.......either the Octagon or the Great Hall. Thats it.

And just to clarify about the fact these rooms are booked............the uni claims that somehow every friday, during that hour its always booked, its very puzzling. Both the ISOC and Student Union at Queen mary have actually done spot checks on the halls, of which they have found the room being unused and empty.


At the current moment there are actually 2 areas to pray, the contemplation rooms in the library which can't hold friday prayers as you can barely get about 8 people in........
The other is the MFC, which too doesn't have enough space........in fact there were so many students at friday prayers, that QM got security involved and further limited the space students to pray in, and eventually have said we can only use one of the 2 MFC rooms.

Also university's provide far more than just education, they are there to develop students, look after their well being, etc not to forget that students actually pay university's to provide for their university experience.
If your saying that the university is solely for education sake.......then should they get rid of the SU, the gym, any shops on campus, cut out the uni bar, cut off societies, cut off sports facilities?

several mosques near the university
That exact bit has been mentioned quite a bit................its actually utter non-sense............the only nearby mosque within adequate walking distance and one which will do the least disruption to students inbetween their lecture is Stepheny Green Mosque which is also a school at the same time.

I have been to that mosque........that mosque can barely meet the demands of the local community who use it, its completely packed out, the few floors upstairs into the classrooms, all the way down to the basement, next to the washing facilities, right up to the entrance. If they can't even meet the demands of the local community, how can they meet the demands of the community and the students at Queen Mary. In fact its the same case with all the mosques in the area, they simply don't have space to accomodate their local communities.



The Queen Mary Islamic Society does like any other society have the right to launch a campaign, get support from QM student union, KCL student union, etc and engage with the university officials. Especially where room booking for the 2 halls have been blocked off, being told they are always in use, despite spot checks showing the halls aren't even being used.
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Vian
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As a Muslim student at Queen Mary (surprise, surprise :dry:), perhaps I could offer a different side to the story before expressing my own views.

As far as I'm aware, the Isoc only wish to borrow a hall for an hour on Fridays for our special Friday prayers (for which we need to gather in congregation, hence the ridiculously large numbers). As they only hold the actual sermon and prayer for 20-30 minutes, it's quite convienient for university students (although for most, not necessary as they could just pray in local mosques as others have said). But for some students (like us engineering lot), we only have that single hour off lectures to pray. Local mosques usually wouldn't work as their hours are usually not convenient for us, so we would end up missing parts of/entire lectures.
To protest, the Isoc hold that Friday prayer on the grass in front of the main building (which others have already suggested).

As for my own view, I'm honestly not sure. I'm not comfortable with the idea of using prayer as a form of protest (or protesting in general), but on the other hand I'd much rather not miss a lecture for part of/most of the year either. I don't care if I end up praying on the grass during rain and snow for a year, as long as I get to pray, but obviously not everyone is alright with that. :dontknow:


tl;dr: I have no idea where I stand on the issue.

EDIT: I see Iqbal has already answered before me. Oh well, my view's slightly different anyway so meh.
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Iqbal007
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(Original post by Lady Comstock)
It's quite a commitment for the university to allow the ISOC to use the hall every Friday. What if they have all-day events going on there: "sorry guys we have to interrupt and move you all out while the ISOC hold their Friday prayers".
Thats how the system worked in the years before..........they would let us use the halls, but if they had a event coming up they would tell us, etc and we would find an alternative or tell everyone beforehand that we have to use the prayer rooms, etc.

It's just this year, suddenly its always booked even though they are empty


(Original post by Vian)
EDIT: I see Iqbal has already answered before me. Oh well, my view's slightly different anyway so meh.
Do I know you hmmmmm
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