Loyola Muslims bemoan Catholic university’s Christmas bias, unequal ‘public festivity’
Muslim students at Loyola University in Chicago say the Catholic institution’s celebration of Christmas highlights an unfortunate indifference to holidays like Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
A recent column in the Loyola Phoenix by writer Sajedah Al-khzaleh, “Religious Holidays Aren’t Represented Equally on Campus,” bemoans her school’s focus on Catholic traditions while those of other faiths are downplayed, adding that the private Jesuit university founded in 1870 should do more to make international students feel comfortable.
“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,” the author wrote.
Read more at the Washington Times
But the Eid is celebrated only among Loyola Muslim students themselves, which includes a morning prayer service and a dinner, according to Ahmed. Decorations aren’t hung on campus buildings nor activities hosted by the university.
Last year, because the Eid fell during the school year, Ahmed said he had to continue his day with classes after the prayer.
“Eid [at Loyola] is a bit dampened just because you have to go about your normal routine along with Eid,” Ahmed said. “At home it’d be a big family thing, dress up and go to the mosque. We’d spend the day together and celebrate … compared to that, college Eid has been less.”
Read the original Muslim column at the Loyola Phoenix