MELBOURNE CLASS, PRAYER TIMES CLASH

Muslim university students in Melbourne are calling for a reschedule of classes to accommodate prayer times and for female-only

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Muslim university students in Melbourne are calling for a reschedule of classes to accommodate prayer times and for female-only eating and recreational areas on campus. International Muslim students, predominantly from Saudi Arabia, have asked universities in Melbourne to change class times so they can attend congregational prayers. Muslim leaders supported the request, but said such a move would be essential only for congregational Friday prayers. Martin Van Run, director of La Trobe University International College, signalled opposition to the students’ request. He stressed that international students were fully aware of the university’s timetable before applying. In September, Muslim students asked Australian universities to offer prayer spaces and halal food cuisine to help meet their religious and educational obligations.