Hundreds of Muslim students have been holding prayers outside City University London for a month in protest at the closure of a prayer room used exclusively by them.
The students declare that “multi-faith” alternatives are unacceptable because “a vast number of Muslim scholars throughout history believe it is impermissible for Muslims to offer prayers in a place where [a god] other than our Lord, Allah, is worshipped”.Or else.
In an open letter, the protesters also point out that the multi-faith room can accommodate only 40 people, which is too small for the number of Muslims who need to pray at least three times per day.
All-male groups have been praying on the pavement outside City since 15 February, with more than 200 reportedly turning up for Friday prayers in Northampton Square.
The protest follows a fight between members of the City Islamic Society and a gang of youths last November outside the Gloucester building in Whiskin Street which previously housed the Muslim prayer room.
Police described the attack, in which two students were stabbed, as racially aggravated. Earlier the same week, students reported being pelted with stones as they left the room.
As a result of the incidents, the university closed the room and set up temporary multi-faith facilities in a different building. The students want the previous room reopened...