Christmas is that time of year where you are going to see a lot of Christmas decorations everywhere and people need to sort of realize that. It’s no different than when any other religion decorates over their holidays.
Almost every day, there is a church that I drive past that has this absolutely beautiful looking Christmas display. Now, that being said there are some folks that don’t read the fine print in things. Heck, they don’t even read the LARGE print.
If you get sick and sent to a hospital called Saint Mary’s for example, there might be one or two nuns walking around. Maybe even a cross in the hallway somewhere. If you go to a Christian university, it should not give you the vapors if you see a Christmas tree.
Muslim Students Want A Catholic University To Stop Celebrating Christmas! Muslim students who are attending a Christian University are quite upset that the school focuses too much on Christmas.
Loyola University in Chicago is a private, Catholic school that puts up religious decorations for Christmas including a manger scene and wreaths. This school has a Christian focus where over 60% of students that attend identify as Roman Catholic and the vast majority of the rest of these students are mostly some Christian denomination.
The Muslim students who attend Loyola knew that they were attending a Catholic University and yet so many of them are now complaining about the lack of decorations for Muslim holidays. Some who are even asking for parity.
In a recent article from the college paper, Sajedah Al-khzaleh reports on their reactions:
“It’s that time of year again, and Loyola has decked out its buildings with decorations for the holiday season. But Christmas gets more attention on campus than other religious holidays.”
Loyola does foster space for other non-Christian religions to practice their faiths, including the Damen Student Center’s second floor for Ministry office for Muslims, Hindu, and Jewish students. However, there is a little of a public festivity compared to Christmas when it comes to other religious holidays that the entire student body could be a part of.
I believe it is rather nice that a private Catholic Universtiy school even “fosters a space for non-Christian religions to practice their faith.” Is this what all religious schools do? Does the Muslim Al-Azhar University in Cairo “foster a space for non-Muslims?” Doubtful.
Sajid Ahmed, the “prayer coordinator” for the Muslim Student Association said he enjoys the Christmas decorations, but wishes that the “Muslim holidays were just as prominent.”
Sorry, Sajid. It doesn’t always work that way.
The article went on to complain that the campus has invited the student body to the tree lighting ceremony, while Muslims students are relegated to private ceremonies.
“For someone who lives far away and doesn’t have the opportunity to meet up with family, I would say making Loyola’s Eid as festive as possible would be great so that [Muslim students] can feel connected with their heritage and with their religion,” said Ahmed. “I think if the leadership is exposed to the Muslim voice, the voice who wants to make the campus more festive for other holidays, I think that’s definitely one step.”
It seems like Loyola is bending backward for the Muslim students. Bryan Goodwin, the Associate Director of the Student Complex said they would always recognize any religious holiday on request.
“We feel that we do a good job at the student center of allowing other faiths to [join the holiday season],” Goodwin told the Loyola Phoenix. “We pride ourselves on wanting to make sure we’re aware. We always lend ourselves the conversation.”
We are not sure why these Muslims are not happy or what would make them happier. But we are guessing that would be nothing more than complete equality of celebrations would do.
Which makes us ask ourselves, “Why did they enroll in a Catholic school in the first place?
Which brings us back to the original question: Why did they enroll in a Catholic school in the first place?