RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — On Sunday, activists and Muslim community members called on Shaw University to re-open a Mosque on campus after it’s been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic started, but some say it’s still closed because of discrimination.
“They should open the Mosque, it’s very simple, reopen the Mosque, and everything is good,” Edward Ahmed Mitchell, with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said.
CAIR joined forces with the Islamic Center of Morrisville calling on the university to open the Mosque doors.
“Initially, what they were saying was COVID-19, but the emergency has been curtailed for months now,” Mitchell said.
Activists say the Mosque remains closed even though other religious buildings on campus have opened.
In a statement, a university spokesperson said the Mosque and the campus chapel are open to students and neither are open to the public, but activists CBS 17 heard from say the public has been allowed into the campus chapel on several occasions.
At the university, there’s a sign on the door of the International Studies building clearly stating the Mosque is closed until further notice.
“From what we can tell, [it’s] discrimination and nothing more,” Nigel Edwards said. He’s a board member with the Mosque and the acting in-house attorney.
There are other nearby Mosques that Muslim community members can worship in, but those in the religious community say it’s not the same.
“This is still home to a lot of people, it has a very big part of their hearts with them because it’s where they first started worshiping at,” Edwards said.
Edwards says they’re considering legal options to get their religious community back where they belong.
“It feels horrible,” he said. “We’ve been a fixture of this community within Shaw University and the surrounding areas for 40 years at this point.”
In a statement, the university said they also have a list of resources for people of all faiths both on campus and throughout the community.