Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hindu students denied access to to Multi-Faith Centre

Here's another example of Muslim arrogance, intolerance and aggression toward non-Muslims.


QMW Hindu students denied access to to Multi-Faith Centre

Hindu Voice UK, July 2009

As part of their “Sewa Week” (a week for which the National Hindu Students Forum holds various service based activities, the QMW Hindu Society organized to use the University’s Multi-Faith Centre every day from 6pm-8.30pm for one week, to recite the Hanuman Chalisa.

The Multi-Faith Centre is also booked by Islamic Students Society from 12pm to 6pm for the entire year. After 6pm the Islamic Students Society had another room allocated to them which they could use until late.

From the outset of the week, the Hindu students were prevented from being able to access the Multi-Faith Centre by the Islamic students who refused to vacate the centre. To justify not being willing to share the centre with other faith groups they said that there is no demand for the use of the Multi-Faith Centre by other faith communities and they cannot therefore allow Hindus to use the premises even though they have a valid booking for its use. An article written several months before the incident shows that the Islamic Students Society dissaproved of other faiths sharing the premises (click here).

The Hindu society committee sent letters to the Principal, Chancellor and the Students’ Union (SU) of the university. The Students’ Union sent letters to the Islamic students asking them to respect bookings made my other students.
On Thursday, after three days of being prevented from entering the Multi-Faith Centre, security guards accompanied the Hindu students to ensure that the rooms were vacated as scheduled. Far from gaining entry to the Centre, they were verbally threatened by a group of Muslim students who far outnumbered them.

Rather than tackle this unacceptable behaviour resolutely, the security guards and Students Union suggested that the Hindu students should use an alternative room to conduct their prayers and forget about the booking. The Hindu students society rightfully rejected this offer as a wholly unsatisfactory solution to a serious breach of their rights.

The QMW Hindu Society together with the NHSF contacted and got the support of various other students at QMW and other Hindu groups, who turned out together in larger numbers on Friday.

On Friday, once again, the QMW Islamic Students Society refused to vacate the Multi-Faith Centre at 6pm, and placed a group near the door to prevent anyone from entering. The QMW Hindu Society and other supporters, including non-Hindu students, decided to start their program outside the doors of the centre and sang the Hanuman Chalisa loud and proud. Gradually the Islamic Society members emptied out of the Centre over a long period, and the Hindu Students Society moved into the Centre for the first time in next week.