The umbrella organization of the multicultural student associations, KASEUR, issued a petition last week, complaining about the prayer room in the N-building at Woudestein. But what do the people who use the prayer room think about it?

In a recent petition, KASEUR issued complaints about the prayer room for Muslim students. The organization claims that the room is not able to fulfill the demand of its users. As a reason they state that the space is often too crowded, resulting in the queuing up of the ones praying. This results in the inside of the room being too noisy. It is also not hygienic to pray there, as there is no appropriate cleaning of the prayer space.

Too busy

Hamid Bashiri (26), who studies Economics and Business and uses the prayer room regularly, thinks that the size of the room is not appropriate. “The room is too small. It would be better if there would be a little bit more space.” This gets especially problematic when a lot people want to pray simultaneously. “Sometimes it’s too busy, so that it is not possible to use the room to pray. Especially if you have to be on time for your class.”

The amount of people using the room seems to be the main concern. Abdul Ahmed, who studies the Hogeschool Rotterdam is not satisfied with the amount of space per student. “If there are more than 5 people, there is simply not enough room for everyone.”

Men’s voices in the women’s praying room

Emina Ahmetovic, who is doing her Master in Urban Management and Development often hears the voices of the praying men in the next room. “The proximity to the men’s prayer area is very close. You can often hear their voices in the women’s space.” The two rooms are located next to each other and share a wall.

Dirty bathroom

The petition also criticizes the level of cleanliness in the room. For Ahmetovic the hygiene in the room itself is not the main issue. The nearby bathroom is more of a matter. “Before you conduct a prayer in Islam, you have to wash yourself. In bigger praying space, there normally is an area for the worshippers to clean themselves. This is missing here.”

Bashiri on the other hand does not see the lavatory as a big problem. “The bathroom is not that unhygienic. It could be better but, for now, I am happy with it.”

No serious problems

Bilal Mohammed (21), who is studying Accountancy understands the other students’ concerns, but also points out that there at least is some space available to pray. “I agree that is it is a pretty small room. And I would not be unhappy about a bigger one. But it’s not like there are any serious problems with it.” ET