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Turbah Prayer Stones Stolen from Guy’s Campus

Turbah Prayer Stones

On December 8, before King’s broke up for the holidays, all Turbah/prayer stones were stolen from one of the Guy’s Campus prayer rooms. The hate crime was subsequently reported to the university, King’s College London Students’ Union (KCLSU), and the police.

A Turbah, which can also be referred to as a prayer stone or a clay circle, is essential for Shia Muslims in carrying out their five daily prayers. Shia Muslims across the College are therefore entitled and encouraged to pray with, as well as store them at all King’s campuses. Thus, when all Turbah were taken out of a Guy’s Campus prayer room, students and staff who entered the room intending to use them found themselves unable to pray for their remaining time on campus.

Roar reached out to the KCL Islamic Society for comment on the removal of the Turbah, who provided the following statement:

“Our prayer room has always been an embodiment of our shared belief in the oneness of Allah, and the values of unity and inclusivity that stem from our religion of Islam (Peace). We are extremely disappointed and appalled by what happened as it threatens the Islamic values and safety we’ve all worked hard to establish within our prayer room spaces. Whilst the intention behind such an act remains under investigation, we as KCL Islamic Society, strongly condemn this action, and are actively standing with Absoc and our Shi’a Muslim brothers and sisters through this difficult period.”

The stolen prayer stones have still not been returned. KCLSU has encouraged anyone who was on campus on December 8 to speak to the university and the police if they saw something to aid with this investigation.

In a statement on the removal of the Turbah, KCLSU reiterated their zero-tolerance policy toward hate crimes, and assured King’s staff and students that they are “taking this case very seriously to reassure our Shia Muslim community and ensure it does not it does not happen again within any King’s or KCLSU space.”

They further stated: “While this incident is being properly investigated by King’s and KCLSU procedures, as well as the police, as your Student Officer team we wanted to send a message of support and solidarity with our students who may have been affected by this hate crime. We strongly condemn the actions of those responsible for the removal of the Turbah from the prayer room, and we hope that they will be returned as soon as possible.”

KCLSU has also reminded any students affected by this event that if they need to speak to someone, they can always contact King’s Chaplaincy, King’s Complaints, KCLSU Complaints, and the KCLSU Advice Team. Students are also welcome to email KCLSU at [email protected] regarding this or any other act of discrimination for help.

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