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SU adds prayer room to campus

As special prayer room has been added to the Stellenbosch University to allow Muslim students and staff at the university doing their prayers. 

The prayer room addresses an important need among Muslims on the campus by providing a facility that allows them to pray five times a day.

Various stakeholders from the community, students and university management united to realise this request, first presented five years ago.

Muslim students and staff said they were grateful for the recognition of their religious needs as an important part of the university’s culture.

Rector and vice-chancellor, Russel Botman said that he wanted the Muslim community to feel they were fully part of the university.

“We want to grow at Stellenbosch University and understand that we’re all here for a purpose. I want the Muslim community to feel that they’re role players here.

“May everyone using this facility enjoy peace, secure in the knowledge that they are welcome. And may we all engage with each other in a spirit of tolerance,” Botman said.

The university has, in recent years, under Botman’s leadership, employed serious efforts to redress its legacy of racial and cultural exclusion.

Dean of students Llewellyn McMaster said that people needed to stop fearing “the other” and learn to share experiences.

Adli Peck, chairperson of the Islamic Society of Stellenbosch University, speaking on behalf of Muslim students, said that the prayer room fulfilled a long-standingneed.

“This occasion symbolises the important role that faith plays at Stellenbosch and the university’s aim to strengthen ties that can only be of benefit to us all.

“The Muslim students and staff of Stellenbosch will forever be grateful to all those that contributed to this facility and specifically to our rector, Prof Botman, who personally sponsored the construction of this prayer room,” Peck said.

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