New York’s Columbia University is adding a full time position and hiring a “Coordinator of Muslim Life” to provide guidance and support for Muslims along with opening prayer space in Earl Hall and St. Paul’s Chapel over winter, spring, and summer breaks for Muslims within the community, according to Chaplain Jewelnel Davis from Columbia’s Office of the University Chaplain. An “anonymous gift” is funding the endeavor.
This comes on the heels of heated demands and a petition from the Muslim Student Association (MSA), stating an advisor and prayer room is a necessity for the Muslim community because “hateful Islamophobic rhetoric” and “anti-Muslim violence” is putting the “entire community under enormous risk, stress, and insecurity.”
According to the Columbia MSA, a pressing concern is the lack of adequate space on campus for weekly Friday prayers during the summer/winter breaks for students and community members due to university rules that student organizations cannot hold programs outside the school year. The MSA contends it’s not asking for the space as a student organization, but as Muslim community members. They feel the Chaplain’s office and the university should provide a place for all Muslims for Friday prayers.
Columbia’s Chaplain Jewelnel Davis stated the purpose of the Muslim life coordinator will be to provide guidance and support to Muslims within the community and enhance the understanding of the various religions on campus. Davis said her office would be “consulting with our student leaders and campus partners,” while searching for a candidate.
MSA President Faizan Kothari took it a step further, and said the MSA and “the broader Muslim community” requires a “leading role” in selecting and interviewing a potential candidate and the “final say” on whom is chosen. Kothari maintained it’s important for Muslim students to have “someone who can understand us on a religious, spiritual level…who personally knows what we’re going through.”
“There is a shared feeling across our University community that the times we live in require a vigorous reaffirmation of our principles,” Davis stated. “Today’s announcement, and the anonymous gift that made it possible, reflects the University’s commitment to that course.”
The MSA executive board placed the crux of their demand on President Trump and his executive order to temporarily ban immigrants from six Middle East countries, which it contends, “blatantly legalizes racism and Islamophobia. As a result, the Muslim community is in need, now more than ever, of institutional support to help cope with the emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical toll these recent political events have on us.” It demanded that Columbia “create a fully-funded, full-time position for a Muslim Religious Life Advisor in the Office of the University Chaplain,” noting that other Ivy League schools have done precisely that.
Even after the announcement from Chaplain Davis that their demands would be met, the Muslim students responded to the news with suspicion and complaints.
“Every year it’s been a battle getting things. It’s been like pulling teeth when we’re asking the chaplain for anything,” asserted MSA senior adviser and former president Fatima Koli. “The pattern that I’ve seen is that Chaplain Davis only does things for the Muslim community when it serves her—when there’s been a lot of attention and she knows she needs to do something to get that attention off of her.”
Yousr Shaltout, a senior at Columbia affiliate Barnard College who has been involved with advocating for Muslim students, complained, “We always have to put on so much public pressure for [Chaplain Davis] to do something, and it’s very tiring.”
Demands for Muslim prayer accommodations have become quite common at universities over the past decade and the universities are caving to extraordinary Muslim demands by the truckload.
Students at the University of Maryland demanded one room in each major building designated for prayer along with shuttle services to the local mosque for Muslim students to have access to a place of worship. They’ve also requested their names be kept from President Donald Trump if he creates a nationwide Muslim registry.
The University of Kansas created a women’s-only lunchroom for Muslim students who wear a hijab, or the more extreme face-covering garb such as the burqa and the nijab. MSA leaders maintain Muslim women needed a “safe space” on campus to eat their lunches.
Meanwhile, the University of Iowa has created two Muslim prayer rooms, one for women and one for men.
At Wichita State University, a minority group of Muslim students took over the Christian chapel with the help of administrators who decided to make the chapel “faith neutral.” The altar and pews were all removed to make room for Muslim prayer mats and portable chairs. The Muslims went on to dismiss the anger of the Christian students whose chapel they took over, calling them Islamophobes and prejudiced against Muslims.
In his 2011 book, “The Heart of Islam,” author Stephen Blanton asserts the United States has drifted away from its Judeo-Christian values and the rule of law and has become mired in political correctness and religious diversity. This in turn gives Muslims the freedom to spread their ideology throughout American institutions. Muslim organizations support attacks on Judeo-Christian values, especially in the education system.
Saudi Arabia, Blanton states, has donated millions of dollars to influence the selection of professors and administrators at universities as well as their curriculums. The country has donated $1.5 million to Columbia University, $11 million to Cornell, $22.5 million to Harvard, and $28.1 million to Georgetown, and $5 million each to UC Berkeley, MIT and Rutgers. Saudi Arabia has also made donations to UC Santa Barbara, Johns Hopkins, Rice, American University, Duke, Syracuse and Howard University.
According to the Columbia MSA, “Students who are visibly Muslim, such as women wearing hijab, are increasingly concerned for their safety as they publicly practice and express their faith.” The MSA has gone so far as to request subsidized summer housing, free legal advice and other “additional demands” that might arise.
|In 2014, Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colorado became the first high school to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic, replacing “One nation under God,” with “One nation under Allah.”|
Wake up, America.