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Catholic colleges see more Muslim students

December 22, 2010

Interesting trend story in the WaPo about an increase in enrollment of Muslim students at Catholic colleges.

In the past few years, enrollment of Muslim students such as Shabnan has spiked at Catholic campuses across the country. Last year, Catholic colleges had an even higher percentage of Muslim students than the average four-year institution in the United States, according to the Higher Education Research Institute. The influx has astonished and sometimes befuddled administrators. Some Catholic campuses are creating prayer rooms for new Muslim students and hiring Islamic chaplains to minister to them. Others are unsure how to adapt.

One of the challenges the article mentions is the need for Muslim students to find space on campus to pray throughout the day. Those spaces are often adorned with crucifixes, statues and artwork of Jesus and saints. The writer hints that this is a problem for Muslims but, in my opinion, doesn’t provide enough explanation as to why. A bit more background on Muslim views on the artistic depiction of God and holy figures would have helped.


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