Update: Muslim Students Still Seek Place to Pray at McGill University

June 3, 2005

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation


On June 3, 2005 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported, "The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations says it will decide by next week whether to proceed with a human-rights complaint against McGill University for its refusal to find space for a Muslim prayer room on campus. Muslim students lost the space they'd been using this week when an agreement, made with the university in 1998, ran out. McGill says students are free to find a quiet place to pray on campus, but the university will no longer provide them with a prayer room. The controversy has been brewing for months. It came to a head on Tuesday, when McGill changed the locks to the prayer room it plans to convert to an archaeology lab. The Students' Society of McGill University offered Muslim students a space for the summer — providing the university would accommodate them again in the fall. But McGill refused. 'The proposal by the students' society would just bring us back to the status quo,' says McGill spokesperson Joe Zackon. '[That is] where we're being asked continually to provide space for a particular religious group when we're a secular institution that doesn't provide space for any other religious group — and shouldn't be.'"