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02 February 2007

Australian university: separate restrooms for Muslims

medium_latrobe.jpg(newscom.au)  A ROW has erupted over Muslim-only washrooms at La Trobe University that can be accessed only with a secret push-button code.  Muslim students have exclusive...

A ROW has erupted over Muslim-only washrooms at La Trobe University that can be accessed only with a secret push-button code.

Muslim students have exclusive access to male and female washrooms on campus, sparking claims of bias and discrimination.

The university and Islamic leaders have defended the washrooms as vital to Muslim students' prayer rituals.

A university student, who did not want to be identified, raised the issue with the Sunday Herald Sun this week.

Australian Family Council spokesman Bill Muehlenberg said concerns over the exclusive facilities were valid.

"Do we have a Christian washroom or an atheist washroom?" he said. "The whole thing is madness."

Mr Muehlenberg said the separate facilities were divisive.

"If Muslims are saying 'we are good Australians and want to integrate', why are they insisting on separate washrooms?" he said.

Victorian Muslim community leader Yasser Soliman said the washrooms were necessary.

He said the separate facilities were also due to concerns from non-Muslim students.

"Muslims need to wash their feet before prayer and in the past there have been complaints about them washing their feet in sinks, so this is a happy medium," he said.

Mr Soliman said most universities provided Muslim-only prayer and washrooms for students.

A La Trobe University spokesman said the washrooms were established with the advice of senior Muslim religious leaders.

He said the university also had a Christian chapel with a meeting room and four chaplains from major denominations had offices.

La Trobe University Christian Union vice-president Richard Thamm backed the washrooms.

"It's part of their religion, they need to wash in a special way before they pray," he said.

Should Muslims be allowed their own washrooms? Post your comments below.

04:50 Posted in AUSTRALIA | Permalink | Comments (4) |  Facebook |


If it were my decision, I would not accommodate the Muslim requirement for a special washroom.

Why, because it is not the University's responsibly to meet the needs of its Muslims population. The University's responsibilities is to provide an education to its students and that alone.

No accommodations should be grated for any particular religion over any other religion.

But if a washroom must be provided, then it must be used by all religious students and not only the Muslims. It must not be exclusively a Muslim washroom. Any and all students with special needs should be allowed or I would state, that in this washroom the washing of feet will be allowed by anyone who would like to do so, and I would make every effort to remove any and all association to Muslims and the use of this washroom.

We must be very careful in what we allow, in the name of religion. If we allow this special treatment and accommodation where does it end? Can this same requirement be made at the airport, the hospital, the local restaurant, the Mall, where does it end? Therefore again I thinks the proper step would be to deny the request and remind the Muslims that it is not the responsibility of society to provide them with the requirements placed on them by their religion. Muslims for example don’t listen to music, should the school turn off the music from the lounge because the Muslim students cant listen to music and even more interesting should the school build a special room to accommodate the Muslims students that is music free? Obviously the answer is no they should not.

Posted by: Rod | 02 February 2007

Wait this is only the beginning.You will have to put up with much more with Muslims when their numbers increase i.e.population(they are breeding faster than rats) you ain't seen nothing yet.so wake up,before it is to late,Or you better buy prayer rugs to pray 5 times a day.You have a choice.

Posted by: surj | 04 February 2007

Once again I write, when you go to a foreign country and decided to live their you take on their ways, customs and laws not try to "fit" them into yours. You chose to come to the country, you must expect to accept how they do things. It is NOT up to the country to change their ways for you.

Posted by: Heather | 13 February 2007

one drop, than another,and another................ soon it's all their's. wake up people befor the bucket is full !!

Posted by: james collins | 15 February 2007

The comments are closed.