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Muslim space at University of Guelph allegedly desecrated during campus event

A University of Guelph student association is apologizing after basins used by Muslim students to clean themselves before prayers were allegedly urinated on during an event on campus.

The Guelph Engineering Society said the incident happened March 31 at its annual engineering banquet at Peter Clark Hall. A wudu room, reserved for Muslim students to wash for prayers, was nearby.

During the banquet, several male attendees reportedly entered the wudu room and urinated into sinks. Students en route from the wudu hall to the prayer hall could hear banquet guests “talking about their offensive intentions toward space,” Guelph Engineering Society president Grace Ly said in a statement released on Tuesday. April 13.

“When I was informed of what happened during the event, I was shocked, appalled and later ashamed to represent the students for this behavior,” Ly said.

Fauzia Mazhar of the KW Muslim Women’s Coalition calls the alleged incident “very, very disturbing”.

In Islam, urine is considered impure and those who go to the toilet during prayer must clean themselves again before returning, Mazhar said.

“When it comes to a Muslim prayer space, the problem is twofold,” Mazhar said. “First it’s desecrated, then it’s urine.”

Mazhar wants to know if the incident was targeted.

“Was it intentional in his nature to disrespect a place that is a Muslim prayer space?” she asked. “Because that’s what we call Islamophobia.”

The University of Guelph said it was aware of “disturbing reports” that a wudu facility was desecrated at an event on campus and an investigation is ongoing.

“As leaders of the U of G, we are angry, shocked and disappointed to learn of this disturbing situation … we remind all students, faculty and staff to treat each other with kindness and respect,” reads the statement. part of the university statement. .

The University of Guelph Muslim Student Association said it would not comment as the investigation is ongoing, but said in an email: “Muslims should not feel targeted or unsafe on the campus of the University of Guelph following this incident.