LETTER: Symbols not needed for effective worship or at secular institution

Before I say my opinion about the issue of the cross in the Memorial Union chapel, I have to introduce myself in order to show the background that affected my opinion.

First, I am from the sad part of the world, the Middle East, specifically Egypt, a country where religion is not an option that can even be stated in people’s national IDs.

Second, I am a Christian who was raised in a country where Christians, who make up 10 percent of the population, suffer oppression, and where conversion from Islam to Christianity leads to prison, if not death.

When I started studying in the United States, I was fascinated by the secular system it follows – everyone is free in his or her religion.

Having had to hear a guy shouting every three hours from a window on campus praising Allah for the four-and-a-half years of my undergraduate study in the American University in Cairo, I was overwhelmed by the fact that the universities in the U.S. are purely secular institutions with no bias to any religion and no signs of religion.

This brings me to my opinion that the cross and all religious signs should be removed from the Memorial Union chapel. Keeping them will show favoritism of some religions over others. Besides, I find no reason for keeping signs in the chapel.

Signs will not affect worshipping or make prayers less effective. If you want to make the chapel universal, then simply make it universal and not favor one religion over another.

Youssef Hanna

Graduate student

Computer science