FLINT – A room for peaceful reflection and prayer at the University of Michigan-Flint has become anything but. Instead, Room 386 at the University Center – known as the Meditation Room – is at the heart of a months-long religious dispute between Muslim and non-Muslim students. The non-Muslims began complaining in November that Muslim students were monopolizing the room and filling the tiny space with religious paraphernalia and anti-Israel literature. The Muslim students countered that they were being unfairly targeted and appealed to the university for religious tolerance.
“I do think that the current political climate does contribute to Islamophobia,” said Bishr Aldabagh, a former UM-Flint Student Government Council president and student commencement speaker. “The room serves the needs of students from different religions, but I do think that the reaction would have been different if the room was used predominantly by Christians or Jews.” (MORE)