Melbourne, Mar.23 (ANI): The Melbourne-based RMIT University has said that it will not allow Muslim prayer rooms on its campus, leading dozens of Islamic students to announce a plan to protest today.
The students want a dedicated Muslim prayer room to replace an existing multi-faith centre at Melbourne's RMIT, but according to The Australian, acting pro vice-chancellor Maddy McMaster said it was not for universities to provide consecrated religious spaces.
"A university's responsibility to its students is to provide them with a quality education. Recognising that the educational experience is not confined to the classroom, RMIT offers other services, including prayer rooms. It falls to religious communities to provide the consecrated spaces," she was quoted, as saying.
The dispute over prayer rooms at RMIT's Swanston Street campus began when a Muslim prayer room was demolished in late 2007 as part of renovations.
The university's Islamic student association claims it was promised new rooms but that the institution reneged on its promise by making them multi-faith. They are now campaigning to have the multi-faith rooms declared Muslim-only.
Organisers of the protest - which has the backing of the National Union of Students and the RMIT Student Union - say they have been left with no choice but to take action. (ANI)