Give the Islamic supremacists an inch, and they will demand a mile and eventually take it all.
Muslim students at Columbia University are so irked at the conditions of on-campus prayer rooms that they’ve started a video campaign calling for improvements.
Muslim Student Association complaints include cleanliness and access issues, and “a lack of space in which female Muslim students feel comfortable praying.”
The Columbia Spectator reports the campus currently has four prayers spaces available, but Muslim students claim these “do not adequately meet the current needs” of the community. In addition, “aspects of the prayer spaces have discouraged them from being used for prayer,” and some students have felt humiliated “due to the lack of respect shown to holy spaces.”
The story notes Milbank Hall’s prayer space is a “poorly maintained” small room in the building’s basement.
“’It’s not a place I’d want any student to be in,” said Yeliz Sezgin, the Student Government Association representative for food and dining services at Barnard. “It’s a health hazard. It’s filthy, the floor looks like it’s never been vacuumed, the Quran was just thrown in the closet, and there was a shoebox with broken glass in the closet.”
More via the Columbia Spectator
Currently, there are four prayer spaces available to Muslim students: a room in the basement of Earl Hall; a room in the 600 West 113th Street residence hall, also known as Nussbaum; a room in Milbank Hall at Barnard; and an open hallway that doubles as a yoga meditation space on the fourth floor of the Milstein Center.
Despite the existence of these spaces, Muslim students have argued that they do not adequately meet the current needs of the Muslim community. Some aspects of the prayer spaces have discouraged them from being used for prayer and have made students feel humiliated due to the lack of respect shown to holy spaces.
Earl Hall’s prayer space is particularly hard to navigate for female Muslim students. Though Muslim prayer is traditionally conducted with a separation of the genders, the space allocated to women in Earl Hall is extremely small.
“The women’s prayer space in Earl is so small and so confined,” Mikyle Hassanali, the vice president of MSA, said. “There needs to be an equal prayer space.”
The Nussbaum prayer space is partially inaccessible to students, because the hours are limited and access requires being given a key. Similarly, a number of Muslim students have expressed confusion over the location of the space, often saying they had never used it.
Aside from its maintenance concerns, the prayer space in Milbank is shared with another room, which can only be accessed by passing through the space through a door at the back wall of the prayer room. This side room is the office and storage space for Barnard Bartending and contains two shopping carts filled with alcoholic beverages, along with bartending paraphernalia.
In Islam, consumption of alcohol is forbidden. According to Zawareen Zakaria, BC ’21 and author of the op-ed, the location of the bartending offices and stockroom within the Muslim prayer space was extremely offensive to many students. Many expressed that if they had been made aware that the prayer space was so close to such a large quantity of alcohol, they wouldn’t have felt comfortable praying there at all.
“I just thought it was a Facilities room,” she said. “Just walking in, I felt like crying, because everybody knows there’s a general rule. I just didn’t think they could ever do something like that.”
Concerns regarding the housing the Barnard Bartending offices within a Muslim prayer space have been communicated on two occasions: at the Student Government Association meeting on Oct. 8 featuring Barnard President Sian Beilock, and at the SGA town hall last week focusing specifically on issues regarding space. Beilock deferred the issue to Chief Operating Officer Rob Goldberg, and Student Life’s statement to Spectator did not acknowledge the issue with the location of the bartending office or any plans to move the office.
[So now the Muslims believe the space is theirs and theirs only. It is conquered territory.]
The most recently added prayer space is located on the fourth floor of the Milstein Center, which was opened in September. The space, located behind the staircase, has two new prayer rugs as well as new yoga mats.
According to Zakaria, the fact that the Milstein space is also set aside as a space to practice yoga speaks to a lack of support for Muslim students on campus.
“Yoga isn’t praying, and praying isn’t yoga,” Sezgin said. “Yoga is an exercise; you sweat. There are very different uses for both of these mats. To put them in the same space ties back into how you can’t have a Muslim prayer space connected to a bartending office with wine bottles. When creating the space, you need to think about what you’re equating. Bartending and prayer, yoga and prayer. Although the intention was not to equate them, you’re making a statement.”
While space is an issue at both Columbia and Barnard, the location of both primary Muslim prayer spaces in small rooms has sent the message to students that they are not supported by their institutions, according to Zakaria.
“You can put us in the basement,” Zakaria said. “But in taking us in, you become responsible when we take root and no longer be accommodated by the space you have given us. You can try to uproot us altogether, but in doing so maybe you’ll finally see the immense growth of the population you claim there is not a significant number of on this campus.”
According to Fatoumata Diallo, CC ’19, president of the Muslim Students Association, the ideal prayer space for students would be housed in Butler Library. The library already has 24/7 surveillance and security, which is one of the top priorities for the MSA in its search for an improved space.
That actually sounds like veiled threats and Islamic supremacists who want university-funded, Muslim-only mini-mosques on campus.
The Muslim Student Association was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood:
Established (by members of the Muslim Brotherhood) in January 1963 at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada, or MSA (also known as MSA National) currently has chapters on nearly 600 college campuses (including more than 150 chapters affiliated with the national organization) across North America.
In its earliest days, MSA was financed largely by Saudi Arabia. In return, says a February 2008 New York Times piece, the organization’s leaders “pushed the kingdom’s puritan, Wahhabi strain of Islam.” In the 1960s and 70s, adds the Times piece, MSA chapters “advocated theological and political positions derived from radical Islamist organizations and would brook no criticism of Saudi Arabia.” From its inception, MSA had close links with the extremist Muslim World League, whose chapters’ websites have featured not only Osama bin Laden’s propaganda, but also publicity-recruiting campaigns for Wahhabi subversion of the Chechen struggle in Russia. According to author and Islam expert Stephen Schwartz, MSA is a key lobbying organization for the Wahhabi sect of Islam.
MSA was named in a May 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document — titled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” – as one of the Brotherhood’s 29 likeminded “organizations of our friends” that shared the common goal of destroying America and turning it into a Muslim nation. These “friends” were identified by the Brotherhood as groups that could help teach Muslims “that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands … so that … God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions.”
The MSA grooms jihadists: The growing list of Muslim Student Association (MSA) terrorists.
MSA members pledge to die for Islam. Muslim Student Association Pledge of Allegiance: “Jihad is my spirit, I will die to establish Islam” (video).