This annoys me.....

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    Aug 13, 2011 2:37 PM GMT
    I work for a private for-profit university. Completely secular, non religious university. No religious affiliations at all. .

    Being that this is the month of Ramadan, we are providing our students with a "prayer room" in a specific class room at certain times of the day. like 9am, noon, 3pm, and I think like 5pm. . . I dont really think it's the school's job to provide a prayer room first of all.....to anyone. This isn't a mosque, temple, or church. . . it's a school.

    Second of all, we were also informed by our corporate lawyers that we are no longer allowed to display a christmas tree in the lobby of the building during the holiday season, nor are we allowed to have a christmas party anymore. .

    I'm not hating on muslims, but I also dont feel the need to bend over backwards to accomodate their mandate to pray 5 times a day. If u wanna be a muslim and pray 5 times a day, than do it, just dont expect that wherever u are through the day that a prayer is going to be available to u.

    OK, so they dont want us to have a christmas tree, ok that;s fine. This is a school for learning not celebrating certain holidays, but they should ban an xmas tree yet provide prayer rooms for ramadan?
    A prayer room is for a specific group of people, for religious purposes, an xmas tree is largely secular and is not adorned in religious symbols. its a tree with lights and shiny balls on it icon_smile.gif

    am I off base and intolerant for thinking this? after all isn't tolerance about accepting differences. If we give them prayer rooms, should we also not be able to have an xmas tree? i dunno. . .





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    Aug 13, 2011 2:45 PM GMT
    Not off base at all. I wouldn't mind providing a prayer room or some simple accommodation, but no Christmas tree is part of the PC attitude. Christmas is a national holiday, and the tree is not considered a religious symbol, compared to nativity scenes, etc. I thought banning the tree or not allowing Christmas parties was a trend that came and went, but guess not. Maybe you can have "Winter Holidays party for all persons of any religion or no religion, any gender or no gender, any sexual orientation or no orientation, any height, weight, hair color, race, country of national origin." There, the ACLU should be happy.
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    Aug 13, 2011 2:57 PM GMT
    socalfitness saidNot off base at all. I wouldn't mind providing a prayer room or some simple accommodation, but no Christmas tree is part of the PC attitude. Christmas is a national holiday, and the tree is not considered a religious symbol, compared to nativity scenes, etc. I thought banning the tree or not allowing Christmas parties was a trend that came and went, but guess not. Maybe you can have "Winter Holidays party for all persons of any religion or no religion, any gender or no gender, any sexual orientation or no orientation, any height, weight, hair color, race, country of national origin." There, the ACLU should be happy.


    I agree. "winter holiday party" is fine. I'm not one of those people who are all "keep Christ in christmas" but I also dont feel as if one religious group should be provided accomodation to pray, yet we're no longer allowed to display a christmas tree. The tree was a tall (albeit fake) 10 foot tree that also looked classy and nice during the holidays. It was usually decorated with blue and white lighs to reflect the gold christmas balls, looked very chic almost.

    now we have nothing, yet we're providing a fucking prayer room? fuck that, if I cant enjoy my chic xmas tree anymore then i dont wanna have to look at a bunch of people laying on the floor praying to their god. if u wanna do that, go to the masjid or mosque
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    Aug 13, 2011 3:07 PM GMT
    So would you rather have me say my prayers in the middle of hall way where I am impeding foot traffic or somewhere in the faces of anti Muslim sentiments.

    Yes they could very well go to someone residence and give their prayers but do you anyone who has opened their doors to do so.....


    Was the empty classroom vacated unfairly? Your University is simply being courteous and I'm sure the Muslim population is grateful for that courtesy.

    Its only during Ramadan that people have a set timing for giving their prayers.

    Otherwise you can give each of the five prayers within a certain time frame.


    Oh and while nobody does fornicate in a prayer room,I'm sure many like myself have called out God in the bedroom ;)

    FYI, I enjoy the Christmas festivities and all the jazz involved...

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    Aug 13, 2011 3:09 PM GMT
    the point is that the same year they're providing prayer rooms is the same year they're not allowing for xmas tress or winter holiday parties....

    had they let us keep the xmas tree and holiday party then I wouldn't care. .


    did u not read the original post?


    besides, this isnt a religious school. is they wanna pray, go find a space on ur own and pray, why should we provide u with religious prayer space?
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Aug 13, 2011 3:13 PM GMT
    Your for-profit university didn't have to set up a prayer room. I don't believe they can be forced to by law. So why did they do it? If these classrooms were not previously in use, then I'd hardly say your school bent over backwards. Perhaps they just informed those students of where the empty classrooms are and told them they can pray there at certain times.

    I have no explanation why the corporate lawyers said no christmas trees. I've seen them everywhere in private businesses. Maybe there's another set of rules for non-religious private schools -- I don't know.

    And a Christmas tree is not secular. People may not be as strongly religious as they once were, but it is very much a Christian symbol.
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    Aug 13, 2011 3:17 PM GMT
    I did but then again you should ask this to the Admins on the exact concrete reasons..In fact do a poll about Christmas decorations....

    And you said this a secular school so they are simply gracious because they have space available..I'm sure something else could have come up if your school couldn't provide the space.. It only at this time of the year where we as Muslim need quiet place just to give our prayers. Remember we are fasting and so if someone lives really far away, he/she won't be able to make it during the required time to give their prayers...Making our fasting void.
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    Aug 13, 2011 3:25 PM GMT
    If they had a "Mediation Room" that was open to all, all year around, might that help to span the boundaries between all persons?

    If during the month of December, the school staged a "Peace, Hope, and Goodwill to All" kind of display, might that also help to span the boundaries between all persons?

    Just some thoughts to consider, and maybe some suggestions to make to your school's administrative executives so that there might truly be "Peace, Hope, and Goodwill to All".

    Aloha and Be Well!
    Alan
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    Aug 13, 2011 3:27 PM GMT
    Fivealive saidI did but then again you should ask this to the Admins on the exact concrete reasons..In fact do a poll about Christmas decorations....

    And you said this a secular school so they are simply gracious because they have space available..I'm sure something else could have come up if your school couldn't provide the space.. It only at this time of the year where we as Muslim need quiet place just to give our prayers. Remember we are fasting and so if someone lives really far away, he/she won't be able to make it during the required time to give their prayers...Making our fasting void.


    to be honest.
    All religious everything should be banned. No xmas trees, no prayer rooms, no nothing. just good ol fashioned godless consumerism. after all, this is a for profit university, meaning they operate for money, not for the good of the community.

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    Aug 13, 2011 3:31 PM GMT
    Then give this option to the school board...See what their response is.
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    Aug 13, 2011 4:07 PM GMT
    Maybe come x-mas time the school could set up a Christmas-tree in one of the rooms currently used as prayer-rooms?
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    Aug 13, 2011 4:22 PM GMT
    TheGuyNextDoor said... I gave up judging what people do with a room long ago in my career.


    Oooo! I'll bet you've got some juicy stories to tell about what some folks have been doing in those room, eh? icon_lol.gif

    Share. Share! icon_lol.gif
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    Aug 13, 2011 4:40 PM GMT
    Providing a room for the religious to go and pray in is one thing. To set up decorations for a religious holiday somewhere like a lobby is different. One (providing a room to pray in) is the school saying they are tolerant / welcoming to the Muslim community to practice their own religion. The other is endorsing a religious holiday. Now, telling students they are allowed to exchange gifts in an empty room or allowing them to set up their own decorations in their dorm rooms would be on equal par with allowing students to pray in the privacy of an empty room. But did the school set up streamers / paper stars / lights around the school or in the lobby for Ramadan?

    I enjoy seeing different religions decorate for their holidays, so the Christmas tree wouldn't particularly bother me, nor would streamers and banners hung for Ramadan. However, I can see why a business wouldn't want to endorse certain religious holidays over another. Avoiding potential lawsuits would be worth it to skip out on the tree in a lobby.
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    Aug 13, 2011 5:39 PM GMT
    bhp91126 saidMaybe come x-mas time the school could set up a Christmas-tree in one of the rooms currently used as prayer-rooms?


    Yes, that VERY thought came to my mind after reading Tony's post.
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    Aug 13, 2011 6:06 PM GMT
    Pyrotech saidProviding a room for the religious to go and pray in is one thing. To set up decorations for a religious holiday somewhere like a lobby is different. One (providing a room to pray in) is the school saying they are tolerant / welcoming to the Muslim community to practice their own religion. The other is endorsing a religious holiday. Now, telling students they are allowed to exchange gifts in an empty room or allowing them to set up their own decorations in their dorm rooms would be on equal par with allowing students to pray in the privacy of an empty room. But did the school set up streamers / paper stars / lights around the school or in the lobby for Ramadan?

    I enjoy seeing different religions decorate for their holidays, so the Christmas tree wouldn't particularly bother me, nor would streamers and banners hung for Ramadan. However, I can see why a business wouldn't want to endorse certain religious holidays over another. Avoiding potential lawsuits would be worth it to skip out on the tree in a lobby.



    but Christmas is a national holiday. Ramadan isn't.
    They have been setting up an Xmas tree in the lobby every year for the past 30 years the school has existed and now, all of a sudden we're no longer allowed to.....for exactly what u said, fear of a law suit, thats the only reason.... it sucks. i rather enjoyed that xmas tree.

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    Aug 13, 2011 6:51 PM GMT
    Import saidbut Christmas is a national holiday. Ramadan isn't.


    While most people in this country celebrate Christmas, it is still a religious holiday, rather than a national one. A national holiday is one such as Independence Day. Christmas is a celebration of Christianity rather than America. I can definitely see your point that you guys have always celebrated it and decorated for it, but I think it's a good idea to not have a school endorse a religion somewhere like a lobby or in classrooms where class is in session. If the school had something in their handbook stating "While we allow people of all religions to attend our school, and will try to accommodate each student in celebration of their religion and religious holidays, we follow the Christian faith and will endorse this religion over others by decorating our campus based on religious icons of this faith," then at least students of non-Christian faith would not feel they have to fall under that label to visiting guests. I could see someone getting annoyed to be of another faith to walk into a lobby and see religious decor, feeling as though I didn't belong at that school for being of a different faith than the religion of choice for that school.