SHAFAQNA- “We’ve had students who have tried to find empty rooms, I’ve even heard of a student using a stairwell so we did think this was a very important and necessary thing to respond to,” Dean of Students Lyn Redington said, according to CBS2Iowa.
“The University of Iowa is a global, international institution, but we want all of our students to feel welcomed.”
“Normally when I’m on campus, I try to look for an empty room, which may be hard in the day with all these students or if I can’t find a room I’ll go to the top of a staircase and just pray there,” said Mohammed Ismail, a member of the Muslim Student Association (MSA).
The UI MSA posted an announcement to Facebook about the opening of the prayer space which read, “For the first time, Muslim students at the University of Iowa have a safe place to pray on campus.”
“The University of Iowa is a global, international institution, but we want all of our students to feel welcomed,” Redington said.
Another Muslim student, Arham Pasha, used to have prayer rooms at the other university he attended.
“I really learned the value of having that space,” Pasha said. “Kind of made a sense of home for me, at the same time a sense of community. I’m hoping that this room takes on, both of these rooms, take on that same viewpoint and goal.”
The rooms are open to everyone and since Islam is all-inclusive, students said they wanted the rooms to be the same.
“Islam is represented, not in its true form by many,” Pasha said. “We would want to kind of show the majority perspective and the only way that perspective comes is when questions are asked and answered without any boundaries.”
“It’s not just for Muslims, it’s for the students at the University of Iowa and people who are interested in Islam,” Ismail said.
The rooms are open every day, all day for students and faculty to utilize.