Reaction to Muslim Student's Request for Permanent Prayer Space - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Reaction to Muslim Student's Request for Permanent Prayer Space

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The Muslim Student Association at UNI asking for a permanent place of prayer on campus.
 Its a story that has sparked a lot of controversy on our Facebook page, like these:

Alex Dittrich: "I think they should build a prayer room to accommodate ALL faiths. Not just to cater for one specific religion, but to all."

 Lorrie Martin: "Baloney. We as Christians can pray anywhere. I will never support UNI as an alumni if they do this"

KWWL's Jessica Hartman looking deeper into this polarizing conversation. The campus seems to be divided.

 Speaking with students on campus, there are those who say its a religious freedom and those who believe it would be special treatment.

For the members of UNI's Muslim Student Association, they are finding it hard to balance praying 5 times a day and a full class schedule.   
"We struggle to find a place to pray. I usually resort to the library, trying to find a place, but that's not always easy," said Ghufran Owiishir, a member of the association and a UNI student.

Asking for a dedicated area for Muslim prayer on campus has students divided.
"I don't think we should spend money on an institution that reveres one religion based on separation of church and state," said Jesse Moeller, a UNI graduate student.

"Allowing people to worship who they want to, that's their freedom. That's why we live in America," said Jordan Miller, a UNI Senior.

Speaking with a university official, they have over 300 different student groups on campus and giving one student group a permanent place would require giving them all a permanent place. That just isn't feasible.

"They just use the proper channels to reserve rooms, just like all the other student organizations, for their prayer activities," said Moeller.

The group has requested space. 

 A small room is available for the Muslim student's to use for two hours a day.
 But they say it doesn't fit their need to pray through out the day.

 A UNI Christian student group follows the same requirements and has Lang Auditorium reserved for their meetings on Thursday nights.

 The Muslim student group at University of Iowa has also made a similar request.

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