Non-Muslim students asked not to eat in Oregon State library during Ramadan

Unless, that is, they have enough to share with the rest of the class.

But seriously, folks, The College Fix informs us that “a whiteboard message at Oregon State University’s library asks students to try to avoid eating foods, especially smelly foods, in shared spaces to be considerate of those who are observing Ramadan.”

The Muslim holy month this year runs from about May 15 to June 14. During this period, Muslims are obligated to fast from dawn until sunset. Presumably, the sign was made to encourage non-observers to not eat foods with strong smells because it would make Muslim students’ hunger worse, or that it might be disrespectful.

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“Ramadan Mubarak! Try to avoid eating in shared spaces especially if your food has a strong smell,” the message said. “Thanks for being considerate!”

Fair enough. I fast every year on Yom Kippur for 24 hours — from sundown to sundown — in accordance with the dictates of my own religion, and I can tell you that food aromas can be a distraction at a time when your thoughts are supposed to be on atoning for your sins of the previous year.

I similarly abstain during the eight days of Passover from eating bread and cereal products that contain leavening agents. The ritual is meant to commemorate the Jews’ hasty retreat from Egypt to escape persecution, which left no time for their bread to rise. Once again, watching someone enjoy a sandwich or a donut during this period can bit of an unwanted temptation.

So my question for Oregon State is what restrictions they plan on imposing on non-Jewish students during these holidays. I grant you that Jews aren’t a protected class like Muslims — quite the opposite, in fact — but will the school offer them the same consideration?

(h/t Weasel Zippers)


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