Loyola University in Chicago is a private Catholic University run by Jesuits. Naturally, at a Catholic university, most of the students are Catholic. 60% are Catholic and 40% are other religions. And quite reasonably, at a Catholic university, there is a lot of celebration and recognition of the Christmas season.
But some of the 800 Muslim students registered at the school aren’t happy about that. That’s about 5% of the school population. They believe that their religions should be represented on the campus equally.
Sajedah Al-khzaleh wrote a letter in the school paper, in the school paper, saying that this needed to be rectified.
From Truth Revolt:
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.
Although Loyola fosters a space for non-Christian religions to practice their faith — such as in the Damen Student Center’s second floor of Ministry Offices for Muslim, Hindu and Jewish students — there is a lack of public festivity compared to Christmas, such as decorations and activities of other religions’ holidays the entire student body could be part of.
A 19-year-old Muslim student and a prayer coordinator for the terror-tied Muslim Student Association, Sajid Ahmed, said he likes the Christmas decorations around campus, but “wishes Muslim holidays were just as prominent.”
Ahmed says that the Muslim holiday of Eid should be celebrated just as much.
“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 campus more festive for other holidays, I think that’s definitely one step.”
The school’s associate director of the student complex, Bryan Goodwin, said that the school already tries to accommodate students.
Loyola’s associate director of the student complex, Bryan Goodwin, said that the school already tries to be more inclusive of other religions by decorating with secular icons like Santa Claus and ice rinks and by avoiding the phrase “Merry Christmas.” Goodwin said if any religious group requests a celebration, they could be accommodated.
So the school has already ‘de-Christianized’ Christmas, despite being a Catholic university to be compliant. They’ve even asked people not to say Merry Christmas. And they would in fact, they indicated, not be averse to a request to celebrate Eid.
What will happen, however, if they remove all the functional Muslim aspects of the holiday and just make it about something secular? Will they be allowed to say Eid Mubarak, the traditional Eid greeting?
[Note: This post was written by Nick Arama]