Friday, August 22, 2008

Christian Theology Students Forced off Campus by Mob of Islamic Hard-liners - International News | News of the World | Middle East News

FOXNews.com - Christian Theology Students Forced off Campus by Mob of Islamic Hard-liners - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News: "Since being driven from campus, nearly 600 female students have been sleeping under suspended tarps at a nearby scout camp, where they had to dig trenches to keep water out during downpours. Classes are held with megaphones in the sweltering summer heat, under trees or the tarps. A similar number of male students live in a guesthouse. The remainder have returned to their families.

Food, water and school supplies are donated by church groups and community charities.

"We feel like refugees in our own country," said Dessy Nope, 19, a second-year student majoring in education. "How can you study here? I only followed 20 percent of my last lesson. It's difficult to concentrate."

Christians have not been the only targets for Muslim hard-liners, who this year set fire to mosques of a Muslim sect, Ahmadiyah, that they consider heretical.

In June, the government ordered members of the sect to return to mainstream Islam, sparking concern among activists who fear the state is interfering in matters of faith and caving in to the demands of radicals.

"We're living in a country where there are many religions, but the government cannot prevent the actions of fundamentalist groups," said Manave, the school spokesman. "The government cannot protect minorities." "

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