London Metropolitan University may prohibit the sale of alcohol on campus, according to its vice chancellor, Malcolm Gillies. The reason? A large number of students are Muslims, and drinking is against their religion. According to Inside Higher Ed:
Noting that about 20 percent of London Met’s students are Muslim, he said that “because there’s no majority ethnic group, I think it [selling alcohol] is playing to particular parts of our society much more [than to others].”
“It’s a negative experience – in fact an immoral experience – for a high percentage of our students,” he told an audience at the Association of University Administrators’ annual conference in Manchester. Gillies said he would work with the student body to move toward having areas on campus where “one serves alcohol and others don’t.”
But wouldn’t banning alcohol also be playing to particular parts of society more than others? Except it’s worse than that, because bans prohibit everyone from doing something–drinking, in this case. Not having a ban, on the other hand, doesn’t mean everybody has to drink. They can choose. So, it’s hard to see why enacting a ban to appease Muslim students is better than letting everyone decide for themselves.