Muslim students pray in rain as QMUL denies them access to facilities

LONDON: Muslim students of Queen Mary University London (QMUL) have braved the rain to offer Friday prayers outside the varsity, in protest against the denial of facility for Muslims on their Mile End campus.
It was the second ‘prayer protest’ in two weeks, with the student union counting 350 demonstrators.
The representative body of Muslim students, the Islamic Society revealed that Muslims account for 20 per cent of the student body, but they are not being given facility to offer their prayers.
Previously, the college’s 20-year-old Islamic Society had been able to book several large communal spaces for congregational Friday prayers. But from the start of this academic year, students have been told the rooms are unavailable.
Principal Professor Simon Gaskell suggested students attend local mosques for the mass prayer, and denied any change in policy. “We say we’re here to accommodate private acts of worship… like most universities we are very pressed for resources,” said the Principal, adding that the facilities are unavailable due to demand.
However, Islamic Society dismisses this claim, saying that they carried out spot checks on the Great Hall and Octagon, rooms they were told were unavailable for booking, only to find them empty. They also said that local mosques are oversubscribed.