By Melanie Newman for Times Higher Education:
Hundreds of Muslim students have been holding prayers outside City University London for a month in protest at the closure of a prayer room used exclusively by them.
The students declare that “multi-faith” alternatives are unacceptable because “a vast number of Muslim scholars throughout history believe it is impermissible for Muslims to offer prayers in a place where [a god] other than our Lord, Allah, is worshipped”.
What was that about the "three Abrahamic faiths," and "we all pray to the same God"? Now we learn that Muslim scholars throughout history believe that the Islamic Allah is NOT the same god as the Christian God or the Jewish YHVH? Goodness me.
In an open letter, the protesters also point out that the multi-faith room can accommodate only 40 people, which is too small for the number of Muslims who need to pray at least three times per day.
All-male groups have been praying on the pavement outside City since 15 February, with more than 200 reportedly turning up for Friday prayers in Northampton Square.
The protest follows a fight between members of the City Islamic Society and a gang of youths last November outside the Gloucester building in Whiskin Street which previously housed the Muslim prayer room.
Police described the attack, in which two students were stabbed, as racially aggravated. Earlier the same week, students reported being pelted with stones as they left the room.
Relations between the City University Islamic Society members and other student groups have been strained since last year, when the society invited cleric Abu Usamah to a fundraising event.
The preacher featured in a Channel 4 documentary, Undercover Mosque, in 2007, in which he said homosexuals should be “thrown off a mountain” and labelled women intellectually deficient.
The Inquirer ran an article and editorial criticising the society for inviting Mr Usamah.
In its response, also published by the paper, the society warns The Inquirer and City staff to “submit to Allah” or face “severe and painful punishment” in the “next life”.
A second response, from anonymous Muslim students at City, points out that “male chauvinists are everywhere” and asks non-Muslims to “take a critical look at the myriad media reports of angry Muslims shouting ‘death to the infidels’. There are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, and if Islam advocated violence and sexism, the whole world would be up in flames by now,” they write.
Uhh, do the anonymous Muslim students have access to newspapers, televisions, or the internet? Because Muslims are committing violent attacks on almost every continent in the world (I admit to not seeing reports of jihad attacks in the Antarctic).