Muslims At Iowa Colleges Demand “Safe Space” To Pray And Spread Information About Islam

Muslim students at Iowa colleges want their schools to designate an area solely for them to pray, as well as to provide information about Islam to non-Muslim students.

According to the Des Moines Register:

“Muslims at all three regents universities are working to find a permanent place  to perform their daily and weekly religious obligations. Having an assigned space on campus, they say, also would give non-Muslims a place to learn about a religion they may know only through news coverage of international terrorist attacks.

“If someone wants to know something about Islam, especially with all the controversy going around the world right now, it would be nice to have an address (on campus) where people could come to ask, ‘What do you guys think about this? What do you guys think about that?’ ” said Mohamed Othman, a UI sophomore.

The Salah is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, considered the framework for Muslim life. The Lucas/Dodge Room in the union works well for the student group’s Friday afternoon prayers because it fits everyone comfortably and the abstract art on the walls doesn’t detract from the prayers. But despite efforts to book the room early and often, the group sometimes has to meet in smaller or otherwise inadequate rooms on campus.

“Sometimes we barely make it to the prayers because the rooms change,” Othman said.

Motier Haskins, faculty adviser to the student group, said he has a meeting scheduled this week with Tom Rocklin, UI’s vice president for student life, to bring up the topic…”