Muslim students asking for a prayer room in the Antonine University

After the request for a Muslim payer room in the Antonine University was declined, 37 Muslim students decided to perform their prayers in the inner courtyard in front of the management offices and the church of the university. The Antonine university replied back by saying that they are following the directives of the Maronite Antonine Order’s General Presidency and there were no negociations concerning this matter.

Long story made short The Antonine University is a private, Christian, Catholic, Maronite, open, which receives students from different religions, rites and social backgrounds as long as they do not compromise the fundamentals and history of its monastic identity.

What exactly are we supposed to think of this? Religious entities have built universities, schools, orphanages, cultural centers etc… but we also have secular  ones. I know that for students of a different religion from the institution they are attending are not obligated with its religious courses and activities.

Should the Islamic University in Lebanon be asked to host a chapel should they have a number of Christian students? Should every university have chapels for both religions?  But isn’t going to one university rather than the other a choice?

What do you think?


6 thoughts on “Muslim students asking for a prayer room in the Antonine University

  1. i think it would be interesting if universities did host a certain room for students that want to be able to practice their religious beliefs within university hours… it doesn’t have to be a chapel or a room for “muslim prayer” though.. but it’s not really necessary considering the number of churches or mosques we have in every area of the country.
    in Canada, there are “spiritual rooms” where students can pray, regardless of their religion. i heard they might apply this to colleges as well after noticing that students still use libraries as a place to pray.
    but this is Canada, where universities are nothing but an educational institution.
    i believe that what happened in the Antonine University was just a response from students who felt provoked by the administration, although i find it a bit illogical since they could have just left university to pray in a mosque. i don’t understand why they had to do it IN the inner courtyard.. it doesn’t make sense. in the end, nobody forces them to stay, anybody can just leave for an hour or whatever time they need, pray in a church or in mosque and just come back..
    again, it doesn’t make sense.

  2. What’s the problem if the university dedicates a small room for Muslim prayers?

    How would it affect the university? Not doing so, sends a statement that the university has zero tolerance for other beliefs.

  3. The Antonine is first and foremost a monastic. In my opinion, reacting this way when the administration refused the request for a Muslim prayer room inside the Antonine university is asking for trouble, rather than standing up for one’s religious believes… If you’re going to a private christian school who is accepting Lebanese students from all sects and religions, you ought to respect its believes. If this was happening in a public school, my opinion would be totally different…

  4. I agree with christelle. I was an Antonine University student and i was aware that it was a christian university. If i didn’t want to obei the rules and respect the identity of this educational institution i would’ve chosen another university to go to. There’s a handbook that states all the rules and regulations in the campus and every student should agree on these rules before applying. And according to these rules the university has the right to expel those students

  5. I don’t think a prayer room compromises the history and identity of any university. A prayer room is a facility that helps Muslim students do there prayers on time without having to leave the the university. In my humble opinion, facilities offered by a university to its student only reflect how far the university is ready to go in helping its stakeholders accommodate and fit. If Christian students in an Islamic university required a chapel, I don’t see a reason why the university should disagree. But at the end of the day everything is a matter of choice. If a Muslim visited you at home and you are Christian, you have the choice to allow or not allow him do his prayers in one of your rooms right on time if he has to. He also has to choice to visit or not visit you. The opposite is true as well. I personally would allow anyone who visits me at home to pray in any room no matter what religion he had and I would be pleased, as long as his religious vibes do not require ripping off my wallpaper or something. However, I am proud that in the center of our capital churches and mosques are built side to side, and I would be prouder if we stressed less on anything that makes us look or sound different. We are one, let’s help each others.

  6. This is the problem with this country. Christians commenting think its not a problem while Muslim ones think it is. Ppl are too opinionated and think of things in terms of a zero-sum game. “If they win we lose, and if win they lose.”

    You are all pathetic for separating your selves according to nonsense. No wonder this country is the scum of the earth. So what if they ask for a prayer room? Y not build them one? Do you disagree with Islam? Then do not admit Muslim students in the school! Maybe they applied coz the programs they are looking for are only taught by that school.

    You are a stark reminder how much Lebanon’s primitive sectarian divide comes before education, before reason and before sanity.

    Keep fighting 10th century style while the world embraces the 21st century.

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