Education

University Of Maryland Students Demand Muslim Prayer Rooms

REUTERS/Sandy Huffaker

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

Students at the taxpayer-funded University for Maryland are pushing for Muslim prayer rooms “in each major building,” Campus Reform reports.

It’s just one of 64 demands that have surfaced through the collaborative efforts of 25 student organization and the university — all in the declared interest of making the campus friendlier to “marginalized student populations,” according to Campus Reform.

Muslim Student Association member Khaled Nurhssie, a participant in the “ProtectUMD” project, says it will be “ridiculously simple” to satisfy their wish list, which includes scholarships being made available to these marginalized students.

Muslims are also seeking a shuttle service from the university to local mosques in order for “students to have access to a place of worship.”

The criterion upon which a student population is considered “marginalized” is not identified, though no Jewish student organizations or pro-life groups are included in the list.

Jewish students reject at least one of the pro-Palestine demands: that the UMD condemn the “conflation of Pro-Palestinian activism with Anti-Semitism,” because “Pro-Palestinians do not reject the human rights of any group of people.”

Those groups, from Students for Justice in Palestine to Bisexuals at Maryland, offer a potpourri of programs and political statements. They insist that the university “employ more professors of color;” want to ban any recognition of Columbus Day because of it represents “the stain of colonialism” and replace it with an “Indigenous People’s Day”; demand “queer diversity training,” while accrediting LGBT studies into its own academic department; and are ordering an acknowledgement from that the university sits on “indigenous land.”

According to UMD’s student newspaper, The Diamondback, “University of Maryland President Wallace Loh has asked members of his senior team to review ProtectUMD’s list of about 70 demands, which call on the university to support vulnerable communities who feel they may not be protected under President-elect Donald Trump.”

Loh’s chief of staff Michelle Eastman said, “I would like to commend you for your passionate advocacy of these critical issues. Our university will always support the free expression of ideas.”

But Dr. Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, says these demands are not about free expression but about hate.  “These are hate groups,” he told The Daily Caller Friday.  “They hate Jews, they hate Christians, they hate Western Civilization.  Donohue suggests the UMD directors “shut down the university for a day and cancel all classes.  Then they should ask the students what is the purpose of higher education.  The answer to that question is the pursuit of truth.  If you want to politicize your education, then go somewhere else.”

Follow David on Twitter