A German elementary school is banning Muslim prayer sessions on school grounds. According to the school, non-Muslim students, faculty and staff were uncomfortable witnessing the daily ritual.
Headmistress Christiane Genschel and assistant headmaster Rainer Kokenbrinker of the Johannes Rau Gymnasium in Wuppertal, Germany wrote an order to faculty and staff stating that 'clearly visible praying' will no longer be tolerated. The school administrators are encouraging teachers to enforce the ban strictly but in a friendly way.
The letter was in response to teacher complaints about the disruption caused by the ritualistic prayer sessions.
"In recent weeks it has been seen that Muslim schoolchildren are visibly praying, signaled by ritual ablutions in the toilets, the rolling out of prayer rugs and the taking of appropriate body postures. This is not permitted," read the letter.
Germany is on high alert for terrorism, and weekly police raids busting up cells of radical Muslims have become commonplace. Because of this, the school feels that the non-Muslim children may be uncomfortable watching the process of prayers unfold before them.
Another issue is the fact that the Muslim students are using the school toilets for the ritual foot-washing part of the ritual, which is seen as unsanitary.
The German state does protect freedom of religion, but religious practices do not always win in court. In 2011, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig sided with a school that stopped a Muslim high school student from praying. The claim was that the prayers threatened to 'damage the peace of the school'.
Courts ruled that school peace for all students trumped an individual's rights to pray. "The prohibition of prayer in a provocative way in public schools is to promote peaceful coexistence and secure the peace of the school," said a government spokesperson.
Muslims are outraged because they see the ban as discrimination as it infringes upon their religious freedom.
“So much for the lie of religious freedom and its practice,” said a German Islamic News Facebook group.
Source: Mail Online
Photo: Mad World News