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Tue Nov 13, 2012, 12:11 PM

Universities Welcome Muslim Students Through Interfaith Efforts

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/news/2012/11/13/44600/universities-welcome-muslim-students-through-interfaith-efforts/


New York University students, faculty, and clergy gather at the Kimmel Center on the NYU campus to discuss the discovery of surveillance by the New York Police Department on Muslim communities.

By Aaron Shapiro | November 13, 2012

Many American universities—both religious and secular—have recently launched efforts to accommodate and encourage religious diversity on their campuses. Universities are fostering this diversity and strengthening interfaith respect and cooperation to better serve their students and to counter rising incidences of xenophobia and other prejudices. Colleges are taking particularly active steps to welcome Muslim students, who too often face discrimination and prejudice because of their faith.

The number of Muslim students enrolled at Catholic universities has reportedly doubled over the past decade. In fact, according to the Higher Education Research Institute, the percentage of Muslim students at Catholic universities is higher than at “the average four-year institution in the United States.” Many may assume this influx of the religious “other” might generate tension, and that has indeed been the case on some campuses. But while much attention has been paid to instances of conflict and discord, the firsthand experience of many students suggests that, theological differences aside, having a religious identity of any kind can serve as a point of commonality for many students.

Muslims thrive on interfaith campuses

Muslim students are in fact choosing to enroll at Catholic universities precisely because of the religious—albeit non-Muslim—student body. Maha Haroon, a Muslim student at Jesuit Creighton University, said, “I like the fact that there’s faith, even if it’s not my faith, and I feel my faith is respected.”

Similarly, many Muslim students express a sense of belonging at these institutions because they are surrounded by other people of faith. Beyond merely co-existing, Muslim students are finding their fellow classmates to be welcoming faith partners. Mai Alhamad, a Muslim student at the University of Dayton, told The New York Times that he finds comfort in these efforts, saying, “Here, people are more religious, even if they’re not Muslim, and I am comfortable with that.”

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Reply Universities Welcome Muslim Students Through Interfaith Efforts (Original post)
cbayer Nov 2012 OP
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #1
cbayer Nov 2012 #2
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #3
cbayer Nov 2012 #4
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #5
cbayer Nov 2012 #6

Response to cbayer (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:02 PM

1. None of them eeevil atheists at the Catholic universities, no sir

Real Americans hate atheists even more than they hate Muslims by a substantial percentage.

Good to see that the Muslims are joining in with the rest of the Real Americans.

Hating the right people will take you a long way in America.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:08 PM

2. That's not true. There are lots of atheists in catholic universities.

While there some surveys that support your assertion about general feelings towards atheists, those numbers are changing and I anticipate they will continue to improve.

What leads you to believe that muslims are adopting negative feelings towards atheists? I haven' seen anything to support that.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:13 PM

3. Adopting?

No need for adoption, they had those feelings all along.

The two comments in the part of the story you posted made that clear I thought.

And I was being a bit facetious about the Catholic universities having no atheists.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:19 PM

4. I read it quite differently.

What I read was that Muslim students felt more discriminated against in universities that were more secular and less so in universities where more students were more openly religious. There have been other articles that support that and it's not surprising.

I guess one could read that as something negative about atheists, but I don't think one could conclude that with any kind of certainty.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:27 PM

5. I read it as Muslims are uncomfortable around people who don't share their god delusion.

After all, where Muslims are in substantial majority they often make things very uncomfortable for apostates.

At least Christians and Jews are "people of the book".

Don't tell me you're a Muslim, let me figure it out.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:35 PM

6. Well, anyway, I think this is a positive thing.

Until and unless Muslims have their own universities, I am glad to see both religious and secular institutions making efforts to become more welcoming to them. I feel the same about institutions that make themselves more welcoming towards atheists.

What I support is the right for people to believe or not believe whatever they choose, as long as they do not use their beliefs or lack of them to infringe on the rights of others.

I object to name-calling based on belief of lack thereof, including calling people who see the world differently delusional and implying that they have a psychiatric disorder. It may be possibly that that is why Muslims feel uncomfortable around certain groups.

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