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AUSTRALIAN universities are responsible for providing quality education, not consecrated religious spaces, according to a university involved in a bitter dispute over Muslim prayer rooms.

Dozens of Islamic students plan to protest today to demand that a dedicated Moslem prayer room replace an existing multi-faith centre at Melbourne's RMIT.

But acting pro vice-chancellor Maddy McMaster said it was not for universities to provide consecrated religious spaces.

"A university's responsibility to its students is to provide them with a quality education," she said. "Recognising that the educational experience is not confined to the classroom, RMIT offers other services, including prayer rooms. It falls to religious communities to provide the consecrated spaces."

But Dr McMaster said the university already provided a number of prayer rooms for Moslem students across all its campuses. "It is difficult to see how we can improve on eight Moslem prayer rooms, with one more opening, as well as providing Moslem students with preferential access to two prayer rooms in the multi-faith Spiritual Centre," she said.

"(Universities) should provide quality resources for those who choose a spiritual path. But as a secular institution, such resources do not include consecrated spaces such as churches, synagogues or mosques."

NUS president David Barrow said the demand for Moslem prayer rooms was increasing and space was a problem. "With the influx of international students from Moslem countries, the Moslem prayer rooms haven't been able to cope with the load," he said.

CFPA: Moslems don't acquire power in their host countries by themselves but through the capitulation of the spineless politicians of those countries.

Death To Islam!
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