LONDON – The manager of the Law Department at London School of Economics in the UK has apologized to a Muslim student who was physically and verbally harassed last week by an LSE security officer while she was praying.
“LSE is investigating ‘the serious allegations’ and the relevant member of staff has been removed from duties pending the investigation,” an LSE Spokesperson said.
According to Islam21c, a video of the incident was posted on Facebook footage which showed an LSE security staff harassing Banu Hammad, a 1st-year Law student, for praying.
Whilst LSE does provide prayer facilities for its students, if Hammad had walked to those facilities across campus, she would have missed some of her Property Law lecture, so she found a quiet corner and started to pray before the guard harassed and abused her.
Outrageously, video footage shows the security guard grab the LSE student’s phone off her when she asks for the staff member’s name.
In addition, he abused her orally although she wasn’t causing an obstruction, praying silently in a corner. The security member also allegedly assaulted the student by pushing her up against a wall.
Along with the manager’s apology, the Security Operations Manager Richard Mulcahy has said that a formal complaint has been made.
The Advice Team of LSE’s Student Union (SU) has also expressed their regret that a “student has been subjected to this.”
Furthermore, the LSESU Islamic Society released an official Facebook statement saying it “finds the clear act of Islamophobia that took place on the LSE campus on Thursday, 8th of February, 2018 to be deeply concerning.”
“At a time when acts of Islamophobia in society have spiked and government legislation such as ‘Prevent’ makes Muslim students on campus feel uneasy and under constant suspicion, the LSE should be at the forefront of building a truly inclusive environment for Muslim students”
They urged the school to “act swiftly in addressing the issue and to take the necessary steps to ensure that our campus is free from both Islamophobia and all other forms of discrimination.”
Muslims pray five times a day, with each prayer made up of a series of postures and movements, each set of which is called a rak‘ah.
The five prayer times are divided all through the day which starts with Fajr prayer at dawn.