Columbia University has agreed to hire a full-time “Coordinator of Muslim Life” and open up prayer space for Muslims during academic breaks.
University Chaplain Jewelnel Davis announced the new initiatives earlier this week in response to demands from the Columbia Muslim Student Association (MSA), noting that both concessions were made possible by an anonymous donation.
The new coordinator will “provide guidance and support to members of Columbia’s Muslim community” and “enhance the understanding” of various religious traditions on campus, Davis said, adding that her office would be “consulting with our student leaders and campus partners” while seeking a qualified candidate for the role.
“There is a shared feeling across our University community that the times we live in require a vigorous reaffirmation of our principles,” she concluded. “Today’s announcement, and the anonymous gift that made it possible, reflects the University’s commitment to that course.”
Both initiatives were addressed in a petition circulated by the MSA last month, which called for Columbia to establish a “fully-funded, full-time position for a Muslim Religious Life Advisor” and also reiterated a long-standing request that a Muslim prayer space on campus be made accessible to students and non-students during academic breaks.
Interestingly, though, Muslim students greeted the announcement not with appreciation, but with suspicion, complaining to The Columbia Spectator of a lack of transparency from the Chaplain’s Office.
Chaplain Davis declined to clarify the impetus and motivations for the hiring move, instead referring Campus Reform to the university’s Media Office.
Robert Hornsby, Columbia’s assistant vice president of Media Relations, told Campus Reform that new position was created because of an anonymous donation, but did not respond to further inquiries on when exactly that gift was received and whether it had anything to do with the Muslim students demands.
More from the announcement:
I am also pleased to inform you that because of this new role, the Office of the University Chaplain will now be able to open prayer space in Earl Hall and St. Paul’s Chapel over winter, spring, and summer breaks.
So the university will fund a full-time Muslim leader for Muslim students and allow Muslim students as well as non-students to pray in a campus mini-mosque year round.
Will Muslims also be converting St. Paul’s Chapel into a mosque from Islamic prayers?
Oh, the MSA was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood and has there is a growing list of Muslim Student Association (MSA) terrorist alumni and at least one Columbia Univ Muslim student who joined ISIS.