STAFF EDITORIAL: Respect all students’ religions

Staff Editorial

It is totally fine and acceptable to allow Muslim students, or any religious students for that matter, to pray voluntarily and independently on Eastern’s campus.

We at The Daily Eastern News understand that school-sponsored prayer at public schools is unconstitutional. That does not mean religious students can’t pray at school, though.

As long as students pray individually, voluntarily and independently from the public school at the school, it is constitutional.

A room at Booth Library is going to be established as a quiet, safe place for religious, or non-religious students, to meditate and/or pray, and we think that’s a great thing. It’s an especially great thing for the Muslim population at Eastern.

Muslim students face a higher degree of scrutiny and malice than other religious groups. This can be said for Muslims all across the world.

The Muslim population is growing rapidly in the U.S., though; in 2007, about 2.35 million Muslims were living in the U.S. compared to 2017’s 3.45 million, according to the Pew Research Center. 

That may sound like a lot, but it only adds up to about 1.1 percent of the U.S.’s population for 2017.

Muslims are without a doubt a minority group, and as is the case for all minority groups, they need to be represented adequately.

Animosity toward Muslim people has also grown around the world.

Just recently this same month, two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand were viciously targeted by people with “extremist views” in an organized “terrorist attack,” in prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s words, according to BBC.

We at The Daily Eastern News don’t care what religion or faith, if any, you place yourself in.

Everyone deserves to be treated the way they would like to be treated.

Let Muslims pray at Eastern if they want to.

Be respectful and remember that Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and all religious people should have a right to pray independently, constitutionally and without any animosity, even in public schools.

You don’t have to be the same as someone else to be respectful. Remember that.

You also don’t have to agree with someone to be respectful. Want to talk religious differences? Fine. Ask the person to have a civil debate or conversation with you. It’s as simple as that.

On that same note, civility isn’t a virtue; civility is an absolute necessity for society to function.

If you are unwilling to accept that all religions should be treated equally and have equal respect, you seriously need to consider the damage you’re doing and whether that aligns to your own religious beliefs.

Think about what religion you subscribe to. Think about how you would feel if you were afraid to pray independently in a public school. Some of you may already feel that way.

Remember what we said earlier: You don’t have to be the same as someone and you don’t have to agree with their religious views; you can and should just be respectful.

Just treat people with respect and let them pray in peace.

The Editorial Staff can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].