December 9, 2017
Muslim students who knew they were enrolling into a Catholic university are now expressing dismay that come Christmas time, the campus is decorated for the holiday season. They want Islamic holidays to receive the same attention even though they represent just a small fraction of the entire student population.
Loyola University Chicago is 60% Catholic and 40% a mixture of other religions, including other Christian denominations, Jewish, etc. The individual categories aren’t broken down. However, out of a total of 16,673 students for this academic year, only about 800 Muslims are enrolled. That’s less than 5%, yet, they want their traditions to be represented equally.
A piece in the Loyola Phoenix, written by Sajedah Al-khzaleh, makes the plea:
It’s that time of year again, and Loyola has decked out its buildings with decorations for the holiday season. But Christmas gets more attention on campus than other religious holidays.
Although Loyola fosters a space for non-Christian religions to practice their faith — such as in the Damen Student Center’s second floor of Ministry Offices for Muslim, Hindu and Jewish students — there is a lack of public festivity compared to Christmas, such as decorations and activities of other religions’ holidays the entire student body could be part of.
A 19-year-old Muslim student and a prayer coordinator for the terror-tied Muslim Student Association, Sajid Ahmed, said he likes the Christmas decorations around campus, but “wishes Muslim holidays were just as prominent.”
The entire campus is invited to a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, while Muslim students must celebrate in private without seeing the campus transformed into a Middle Eastern wonderland, the complaint continues.
“For someone who lives far away and doesn’t have the opportunity to meet up with family, I would say making Loyola’s Eid as…