New Muslim prayer room opens

New Muslim prayer room opens

20 Apr 2010

Refurbished prayer rooms for La Trobe University’s 1500 Muslim students will be formally opened at the Melbourne campus this Wednesday.

Muslims praying The $927,000 facility is expected to help Muslim students meet the challenges of combining the demands of tertiary study with the daily ritual of prayer.  

A new student lifestyle guide for Muslim students will also be released at the same time.  The handbook discusses information like where to get Halal food, Mosque locations and links with external Muslim student societies.

‘La Trobe has promised an educational experience where all students feel welcome.   We have a diverse student population and it makes sense that we have a wide range of facilities on campus to meet their needs, from sport and childcare to social and spiritual activity,’ said the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson.

He said the Muslim Prayer Room is an important addition to improving student experience.

The University already has a Chapel and Lounge for Christian prayer and Bible study, and provides facilities for chaplaincy services of the Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian and Orthodox Christian churches.

According to the La Trobe University Islamic Society  President, Mohamad Tabaa there are close to 600 students who are members of the Association.

Mr Tabaa  said Muslim students appreciate any efforts to help them juggle a full course load and finding time (and space) to pray 5 times each day.  

‘Having the wash room and prayer room facilities means we can spend more time studying, and we can pray discreetly.

‘Prayer is very private and unique to various religions, and it is great to have a space where we can wash before prayer,’ he said.

‘It may seem a bit anti-social if we were to wash our feet in the general students’ public bathroom and there is a lot of movement during prayer which may be interpreted differently by people who don’t understand our religion,’ he said.

Mr Tabaa said the La Trobe University Islamic Society appreciates La Trobe’s efforts.

‘It is very generous of the University to give our community this space to pray; it shows the mutual respect the University has for Muslims’

He also said that provision of the Prayer Rooms is one of the key factors why international students choose to study at La Trobe.

‘La Trobe surpasses other major universities in terms of its facilities available to Muslim students, there are many places on campus where we can hang out with our friends, there are many stores that supply Halal,’ he added.

The address for a link to the Muslim Student Guide is below:

Media enquiries:

Mikhaela Delahunty
Media Officer, La Trobe University
03.9479 5353
0411 268 946




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