For Islamic Students, Questions on Prayer Space

March 29, 2007

Author: Abigail Lapin

Source: Washington Square News

The Islamic Center at NYU, currently located in the basement of the Catholic Center, has raised enough money to rent its own prayer and gathering space for the upcoming three years. Plans are being made to find a location in case the Thompson Center, which houses the Catholic Center, is sold to a developer.

The Archdiocese of New York owns the NYU Catholic Center building, which NYU leases. The archdiocese is in the process of selling the building, according to Islamic Center chaplain Khalid Latif. At last night's town hall meeting, NYU President John Sexton said the university is interested in purchasing it.

The Islamic Center currently rents the basement of the Thompson Center from NYU, and it serves as a prayer space and social center for Muslim students at NYU and in the local community.

Although NYU gives the center funds, the university says it cannot accommodate the club in one of its buildings. While other clubs meet regularly in the Kimmel Center, Kimmel doesn't have enough room for the club to have a permanent space where Muslims can pray five times a day, said Robert Butler, the director of the Office of Student Activities.