Muslim students who knowingly enrolled in Catholic universities are now turning around and complaining that Christmas is celebrated too openly at those schools. They are asking for an equal celebration among religious holidays despite the fact that the number of students who celebrate Christmas vastly outweighs other holidays, not to mention it is part of the culture and tradition of the Catholic schools themselves.
Loyola University Chicago is 60% Catholic and 40% a mixture of other religions, including other Christian denominations, Jewish, etc. The individual categories aren’t broken down. However, out of a total of 16,673 students for this academic year, only about 800 Muslims are enrolled. That’s less than 5%, yet, they want their traditions to be represented equally.
A piece in the Loyola Phoenix, written by Sajedah Al-khzaleh, makes the plea.
It’s that time of year again, and Loyola has decked out its buildings with decorations for the holiday season. But Christmas gets more attention on campus than other religious holidays.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 19-year-old Muslim student, Sajid Ahmed, a prayer coordinator for the terror-tied Muslim Student Association, said he doesn’t mind the Christmas decorations, but wished other religions were equally celebrated.
“For someone who lives far away and doesn’t have the opportunity to meet up with family, I would say making Loyola’s Eid as festive as possible would be great so that [Muslim students] can feel connected with their heritage and with their religion,” said Ahmed. “I think if the leadership is exposed to the Muslim voice, the voice who wants to make campus more festive for other holidays, I think that’s definitely one step.”
Shouldn’t these students expect to be surrounded by Catholic tradition and culture when they enroll in Catholic universities?