Assalamu alaikum Brothers & Sisters
Re: Update on Prayer Room at UQ
Situation of Coronavirus
Alhamdulillah as you know from the news the situation of recovery from the Coronavirus Pandemic is very encouraging in Queensland. Many places and services have opened up and only much fewer restrictions remain.
Mishap at Prayer Room
After the University had stopped any gatherings at the university a couple of months ago, we had stopped our Friday Prayer. We discovered that a few brothers had started Friday Prayers at the larger Prayer Room despite this. Others innocently assumed things are returning to normal and joined in increasing numbers to about 20, although this was still not allowed by the University at the University. To ensure safety and compliance until the UQ is ready to safely re-open, the University Admin has closed and locked the Prayer Room altogether now. Dear Brothers and Sisters, we urge you to not start these Friday Prayer gatherings at Uni until we have proper permission from the University. If you see a few others messaging you to join without permission, please do not just join until we have proper permission.
Re-Opening of the Prayer Room
The Queensland Government now has Stage Three Restrictions only in place. These allow large gatherings of up to 100 indoors. However, the responsibility remains for the Administration of venues (such as University) to have a COVID Safe Plan in place that is tailored to that Venue before giving crowds permission to gather there. This is an important point for us to appreciate. Please take note of this point.
As such, the University is working presently with all users of Prayer Room (MFC) to have every groups’ Covid Safe Plan in place before re-opening the Prayer Room. Currently, all faiths that use the MFC are submitting their Covid Safe plans to Uni and working out what and how to safely conduct each group’s activities at MFC in a way that does ensures the safety of all faith users of MFC. As Muslim Chaplain and Assistant Chaplain, we are also negotiating on behalf of Muslims what we can and cannot do inside the Prayer Room that ensures the safety of all Faiths that use MFC. Once, all faith groups have a COVID Safe Plan, the University will re-open the MFC for use, inshaAllah. As you remember, the University had declared Semester One a virtual study Semester and delayed Semester Two to begin in August. It seems presently that all faith groups Covid Safe Plans will be approved and in place before students return to Uni for classes in Semester Two. Although we would like it to reopen MFC immediately, however, the University being such a large place with different areas for use of activities of very diverse and different nature, needs to ensure each area has a satisfactory Covid safety plan in place by all its users for their specific activities.
Please wait patiently till the Prayer Room is re-opened inshaAllah. In the meantime, please remember there are no formal classes yet at the Campus and Friday Prayers are held in many Mosques around Brisbane. So please plan ahead to pray Friday Prayer at a Mosque for the time being. For the few postgraduate students who may come in to the Campus, please plan your daily prayers in a way and place that is possible for you until a time soon when the Prayer Room is reopened by the Uni (with COVID Safe Plans in place for all faith users) prior to Semester Two commencement inshaAllah.
Please encourage other students to join this mailing list at www.mcatuq.com to ensure they receive updates about prayer room in future. For enquiry, you may email our Chaplain’s Volunteer Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Muslim Chaplain at UQ
Assistant Muslim Chaplain
& The Muslim Chaplain’s Team of Volunteers