A Toronto, mostly-Muslim, public Middle School made the news last week for “accommodating” Muslim prayer times. The school board said they have a responsibility to “accommodate faith needs,”…of Muslim children, but not Christian children. Parents are outraged. See a video below.
The other day the TorontoStar ran a picture showing a group of students at prayer. There were three groups, ranged according to status. In the front were the praying boys. Behind them were the praying girls. Way in the back were the girls who were menstruating, and thus forbidden from participating in prayer.
Now, this sort of thing should send a chill down the spine of anyone who understands what it means for a country to be free or for a school to be public. But nowadays all too many people — especially, it seems, people in positions of public authority — are quick to justify such outrages, as long as Islam is in the picture.
“Faith needs.” There’s a chilling disconnect here. People whose job is to take care of young people, and to help them grow into responsible adult citizens of a free country, are now capable of looking at something barbaric, ugly, and inequitable, and rushing in to justify it with terms like “faith needs” –simply because it has to do with Islam. This is, of course, the very definition of dhimmitude.
In the Toronto Star article, writer Heather Mallick makes the point that the girls are young, and not “toughened for ridicule,” – ridicule of having a period, and having it announced by your absence at public school prayer – absence by virtue of sitting in the back of the room, which is nothing new to Muslim girls/women – menstruating or not.
My response is that these girls are plenty toughened. Their religion beheads girls like them for being in the presence of a boy, alone, without a family male chaperone, or marrying a man her father doesn’t like – especially a Westerner. Some have lost their lives for simply becoming too Westernized. Monthly periods are likely the least of the worries of these young girls who face a culture of hate and abuse from the males in their own families.
Those explanations have not placated angry parents, who are lighting up radio call-in shows and blogging furiously — particularly since Christian and other prayers are disallowed in the public school system.
In an unlikely alliance, Canadian Hindu Advocacy, the Jewish Defense League and the Muslim Canadian Congress have voiced strong opposition to the arrangement.
Islamic groups are “imposing their view” to “spread their ideology,” Ron Banerjee, director of Canadian Hindu Advocacy, told the Globe and Mail.
The Muslim Canadian Congress has asked for the services to be halted or closely monitored to avert the spread of radicalism.
The board noted that there have been no complaints about the arrangement until it was highlighted recently by by a right-wing blogger.
I wonder if that right-wing blogger could be the stellar Bare Naked Islam? I’m not saying it is, just asking. On July 13th Bare Naked Islam was talking about the prayer at Valley Park Middle School, and about the obligation to accommodate “faith needs,” by asking: “ever hear of after school prayer?”
Toronto Public School “Accommodates Faith” Not Menstruating Girls (video)