Shaw University reopened its campus mosque to worshippers after closing it during the COVID-19 pandemic, The News & Observer reported. Local Muslims have been calling on the university to allow the mosque to be used again by the public.
“The Muslim community and Shaw University have reached an agreement to allow worshipers into the King Khalid Mosque again while negotiations over the long-term status of the property continue,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Monday. “The fight is not over yet, but the community is back in the masjid.”
The mosque’s closing has been a point of contention amid Shaw University’s effort to rezone its downtown Raleigh campus. The Raleigh City Council voted in favor of the rezoning in June which would allow for taller buildings in the area and enable the university to lease out parts of campus to developers. Some local Muslims called on city officials not to approve the rezoning plans until questions about the mosque’s future had been resolved.
The campus mosque, built in 1983, was funded by a $1 million donation from King Khalid of Saudi Arabia with a stipulation that the mosque be open to the public, according to those who attend the mosque.