air prayer in protest at loss of religious space The University of East Anglia (UEA) students learned a week before Ramadan, through an unofficial source, that they were to temporarily lose their prayer room due to a 2m refurbishment of its main lecture theatres.
Instead they were offered the Multi Faith Centre for their main Friday prayers, even though a university report in 2014 deemed it inadequate for that purpose. Students will also be able to use the university's Blackdale main hall in the evenings. They will also be able to use them for Friday prayers, but only when exam season is over. A UEA spokesman said: "As part of a 2m investment in new library study spaces and the complete refurbishment of the university's main lecture theatres the use of a prayer facility near Lecture Theatre 2 will be temporarily unavailable for safety reasons during the building works. UEA Muslim students gather at the UEA to pray. Picture : ANTONY KELLY "That facility will become available to Muslim students again from the beginning of the new academic year. A working group has been established to consider longer term solutions." The Muslim students sat together in the centre of the square for one of their daily prayers in demonstration at white oakley glasses the change. They were joined by non Muslim supporters, who joined hands and encircled them in a bid to show solidarity. Former president of the Islamic Society at the university, Meanha Begun, said: "I have been part of the Islamic Society here at UEA for a number of years. To me it means everything to have an adequate space where we feel respected. "We hope this demonstration will be enough for UEA to hear our voices. We want permanent cheap oakley sun glasses prayer facilities." UEA Muslim students gather at the UEA to pray. Picture : ANTONY KELLY Student Amina Abdul Aziz said: "I feel it's my duty to stand up for my faith. "I am proud to stand in solidarity with my fellow students. We cannot allow this. As Muslims our day is planned around five times of prayer. It means a lot to us. Prayer is the centre of our student life. It will affect our wellbeing. "The multi faith centre that has been offered is not adequate for 600 Muslim students it is a space oakley outlet for 60. It will compromise the other faith oakley black friday sale groups who use it too." There have been a number of interesting comments about this and, unfortunately a number of blatantly anti Muslim pieces of propaganda. Muslims are a minority in Norwich but that is not a reason to launch a diatribe against them when they speak out against something that makes it difficult to practice their religion. Some countries have totally oppressive policies and many attitudes to women in particular in Muslim countries is totally wrong. But we should fight to preserve the right to religious freedom in our country. That includes the right of people to practice whatever their religion is. So I stand with Muslims who want to have a place to practice and stand totally against their medieval religious beliefs. These are not incompatible positions to take If you want to talk about religions then, as an atheist, I find it all rather amusing. However, how about if all the Protestants had to leave the churches and cathedrals they 'stole' from the Catholics? After all, those buildings were taken with force by Henry the Eighth and his successors. The 'go back to where you came from' card is noisy and unnecessary.
It comes from the same root as 'no blacks and Irish'. Intolerant discrimination. We should be able to rise above that and also above the intolerances of Islam.
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