Islamic Students at Catholic University Demand Prayer Rooms


catholic universityA group of Muslim students at the Catholic University of America has filed discrimination charges against the school for not providing adequate prayer rooms for them to perform their daily ritualistic prayers.

From the school's site The Tower:

The official allegations claim that CUA "does not provide space -- as other universities do -- for the many daily prayers Muslim students must make, forcing them instead to find temporarily empty classrooms where they are often surrounded by Catholic symbols which are incongruous to their religion."

Holy cow! How dare a Catholic school have Catholic symbols on display in the classrooms! The shock! The outrage! The inhumanity!

Or something.

Here’s a fun fact: No one forced people practicing Islam to attend a Catholic university. The school’s website declares that CUA is the national university of the Catholic Church in the United States. It is a private school that requires undergraduate students to take courses in theology and philosophy to meet graduation requirements.

The loveliest thing about America is our freedom to pretty much do or say whatever we want, so long as it doesn’t affect the freedoms of others. We can (peacefully) protest, we can buy our favorite brands, we can choose to follow a religion (or not), and we get to pick which college to attend.

It’s great that these students have used their freedom in America to follow the religion of their choice. No one is telling them that they can’t be Muslim. But they have chosen to attend a Catholic school, which means that they need to be respectful of Catholicism.

The Catholic University of America has every right to display symbols of their religion, and should not be required to provide Islamic prayer rooms. Islamic prayer rooms are not Catholic, and therefore incongruous with the mission statement of the school, which explicitly states its commitment to “being a comprehensive Catholic and American institution of higher learning, faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ as handed on by the Church.” 

If prayer rooms devoid of Christian symbols like icky crosses were that important to these students, they should have chosen a different school to attend.


Image via gore fiendus/Flickr

discrimination, education, islam, religion


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amomo... amomonous

are they serious?? since when do we have to accommodate every religious at every college? go to a college of your own faith! yea, let's make the Catholics (STRICT RELIGION) make way for Islam....uh, no thanks. Why are they so righteous? i swear, people need a rude awakening. why don't they go to the Mosque near Ground Zero...I'm sure that would accommodate them plenty.

aeama... aeamathis

I believe that it comes down to precedent.  This is a Catholic institution.  If they have set a precedent of welcoming various religions AND making concessions to said various religions, then they should offer prayer rooms.  I grew up in a Catholic school ran by nuns that welcomed various religions and made concessions to their needs.  It wasn't a big deal and it taught us about Catholic charity and the importance of learning about other faiths and cultures.

Bekki... BekkieBoodle

what?  Your at a CATHOLIC College and you want them to accomidate your religion?  I am all for everyone to be able to practice whatever religion that they want, but when they go to a Private College that is a Catholic School, I dont feel that the school should have to meet their requests. 


Absolutely agreed!

monke... monkeysmom09

This story made me so mad. I totally agree, if you don not want to see crosses do not go to a Catholic school!!!


nonmember avatar CMG

This is a historic day... this is the first time I have ever agreed with a single word Jenny Erikson has written!

hotic... hoticedcoffee

Unreal.  I wonder if I were a devout Catholic attending Islamic University, they would be happy to accomodate my prayer needs by building a chapel?  I'm thinking winged monkeys would fly out of my tush and sing Ave Maria before that would happen.

nonmember avatar Kristi

I agree with a previous poster, if the school has made similar concessions for other religions before then they should comply to this one. Otherwise I would say that it was those students choice to attend a religious college and therefore should be prepared to deal with the fact that they're going to have to deal with things not compliant to their religion.

sodiu... sodium_chloride

LOL. I love reading the comments. Clearly you are all so very clearly not aware of how these things work. Like when the Jewish group on my campus demanded that they serve kosher food during Eid Al-Fitr. Bitch all you damn well please but yeah, they should allow for there to be Islamic prayer rooms. I like how you all like to tout religious tolerance but you don't actually know what that means. 

hotic... hoticedcoffee

Oh, we know what YOU mean by religious tolerance.  It means Catholics tolerating other religions. 

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