Ohio State University’s (OSU) student government seems to be turning the “Interfaith Prayer and Reflection Room” into a Muslim prayer area, according to The College Fix.
The student council just ordered some “prayer mats” and “comfortable flooring” to go with the Korans in the room.
A College Fix reporter found no Bibles in the “interfaith” room.
Calling, the prayer mats a “serious need,” the student government passed the resolution unanimously.
The room is technically accessible to students of any faith but is equipped to serve the Muslim community, with an ablution room for the ceremonial washing that occurs before Muslims pray.
The prayer rugs and comfortable flooring resolution was supported by everyone in the Ohio State interfaith community: the Native American and Indigenous Peoples Cohort, Buddhist Study and Practice Group, Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association, Muslim Students Association, Sikh Students Association and the Christian Bible study and Fellowship group.
“The purpose of this resolution is to show the administration that having religious accommodations, like prayer mats, are supported by multiple faith groups and by the student body,” said Anthony Buss, the student government’s director of diversity and inclusion.
There is no exhaustive list of the students groups at OSU using the “interfaith” room and Buss says that’s probably because few people know it exists. He says he hopes to “work with the Union to advertise the room better in the future, because as of now the room isn’t advertised very well for that purpose.”
OSU’s accommodation of Muslim students has been judged as lacking in the past. Only last August, student Abdul Artan spoke to the the university’s newspaper, “The Lantern,” and complained about the inadequate prayer facilities and the cavernous feel of the university. Artan declared, “This place is is huge, I don’t even know where to pray.”
Just a few months later, Artan, an Islamic extremist, drove a vehicle into his fellow students and began stabbing them before being shot dead.
Buss was coy about for whom the prayer mats are being purchased, noting that it’s “better to phrase it that students of multiple faith groups would require/use prayer mats.”
“We have had several meetings [with administrators] and all have gone really well,” Buss said. “The administration wants us to get more specifics on student need regarding this matter and we will continue from there.”