Muslim Students Pray Outdoors In Protest Of Insufficient Prayer Spaces
Muslim students at Melbourne’s Monash University have been asking
for bigger prayer rooms for years, but their requests have been ignored.
As a protest, Muslim students at the Clayton campus of the university have
been praying outside. Even though about 260 students need to use it every week,
the current prayer room can only fit up to eight men and eight women.
The Vice President of the Monash University Islamic Society, Fatima Ramtoola,
told ABC News, “We’ve had a lot of meetings and talks with the university about this,
but nothing has changed.” “We feel like we’ve been treated unfairly,
so that’s why we’re speaking out,” Ramtoola said.
Students at Monash University are not the first people
in Canada to complain about the lack of places to pray.
Students at the University of Ottawa’s Muslim student organization began a campaign in 2019 to get
adequate prayer facilities. Students complained that the designated location was difficult to get
to because it was so far away. After a video of Muslim kids praying outside in the cold outraged the
community in December 2021, an Oldham academy issued a “wholehearted” apology and built
a new Muslim prayer space at the school, which is located in Oldham. At Monash,
Sharon Pickering, the university’s Senior Vice President and Deputy Vice Chancellor of Education,
emphasized that the school had not overlooked the needs of Muslim students.
She said, “I know how important it is for our Muslim students to have a place to pray.”
Five times a day, Muslims do their obligatory rituals of worship.
A “rak’ah” is a set of attitudes and movements that form the basis of each prayer.
The five prayers are spread out over the course of the day,
starting with the Fajr prayer at dawn. Muslim Students Pray Outdoors