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CAIR Applauds Maryland HBCU for Providing Prayer Space for Muslim Students on Campus

(BALTIMORE, MD, 12/11/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today applauded administrators at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md., for granting its request to provide a convenient, clean and comfortable space for Muslim students to pray on campus. Morgan State is one of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCU).

Students at the university contacted CAIR last month seeking the organization’s help to make a religious accommodation request of campus officials after they struggled to find an appropriate location to offer obligatory prayers between classes and study sessions. 

Muslims traditionally perform the prayers, or salat, five times each day – before sunrise, at midday, in the later part of the afternoon, at sunset, and in the later part of the evening. Each prayer can last approximately 5-10 minutes. 

“For many students, faith is a vital part of their lives that enhances academic and extracurricular success and future career endeavors,” said CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry. “We are pleased that the Morgan State University administration has not only committed to extending the interfaith chapel hours for student use but has also pledged to incorporate ‘serenity sanctuaries’ in future expansion projects on campus.” 

In a letter to the Vice-President of Student Affairs last month, CAIR wrote in part:

“Every student has the right to reasonable religious accommodation at their institutions of learning. Faith is a key part of their identity for many students and can be instrumental in navigating many challenges that they might encounter at this juncture in their lives.

“As Maryland’s largest and arguably most well-known historically Black college or university, Morgan State University is seen as a leader in embracing diversity and championing inclusivity. Working collaboratively, we have an opportunity to demonstrate your institution’s commitment to these students’ success, well-being and religious freedom.

“We request your assistance in designating a clean, quiet room for interfaith meditation and prayer.”

The Washington-based civil rights organization CAIR offers a free guide to explain relevant Muslim religious practices to educators.

SEE: Guides to Muslim Religious Practices

https://tinyurl.com/CAIREducatorsGuide  

It also offers a guide, titled “Bias and Bullying: Empowering Muslim Children in the Age of Islamophobia,” providing key recommendations for families and communities to help stop the spread of bigotry, hate and Islamophobia in schools. 

SEE: CAIR Anti-Bullying Guide

http://www.islamophobia.org/research/bullying-and-bias-in-schools.html 

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry, zchaudry@cair.com, 410-971-6062

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