Muslim Students Sue Over Loss of Prayer Space at McGill

December 3, 2005

Source: The Gazette

On December 3, 2005 The Gazette reported, "Muslim students who say they just want to pray filed a complaint of discrimination yesterday against McGill University. The Muslim students charge they are being forced by the university to 'scrounge around' for a quiet and clean place to say their daily prayers. While McGill's Christian and Jewish students have Hillel House, the Newman Centre and the Birks Chapel, all on campus, about 350 Muslim students are praying in corridors and stairwells, Sarah Elgazzar said. 'They are telling us we have to pay to pray, that we need to buy prime real estate in Montreal if we want to pray,' said Elgazzar, a recent McGill graduate. Until recently, Muslim students at the university had a designated prayer room where they gathered for daily prayers. In May, however, the university, which is grappling with a space shortage, took over that space as well as another space occupied by the McGill Sexual Assault Centre. Through negotiations with the university, the sexual assault centre found alternative space but the Muslim students and university officials have failed to find a solution."