A Reply – TDSB and Muslim Prayer Service- A Muslim Perspective

I was just on Twitter and it buzzing about the Toronto District School Board not only allowing a prayer service in the cafeteria after lunch on Friday’s but using a “halal” menu for snacks. As I read the comments on Jihad Watch and Blazing Cat Fur I couldn’t help but need to respond and in more then just a comment.

You see I am a Muslim Mom. I am also a Canadian Muslim Mom. I am a 10th generation Canadian, who’s family settled in Ontario when Canada was a dream. My grandfather was one of our POW’s in WW2. So I am not some immigrant choosing to bring and force something on somebody. My grandfather and most likely many of my readers grandfathers fought for one thing: For Freedom to choose.

Choice is one of the reason many come to Canada, because they have choices given here. WE ALL have the rights of worship, we all have the right to eat food that is good for us and I thank God whom I choose to address as Allah.The fact though is some do not think that these choices should be given in a public school setting.

So if Muslim children can not have jummah( the Friday Prayer service that lasts about 30 minutes) in the school are we then ready to take every Christan, Jewish and other religious clubs that now meet in schools at lunch time, before school, after school out as well? These organizations have existed and used the buildings to see that all children who want to fellowship and worship together can.

As for a “halal” menu. I would think you would thank the parents for asking for it. “Halal” simply means not harmful and there are very strict guidelines. Any parent who has volunteered at elementary level with the snack program knows it isn’t farmed out. Most snacks are prepared right there in the cafeteria by parent volunteers. Most snacks in the TDSB have to include at least 2 food groups. There are strict guidelines and safety standards that are met by parents who volunteer time for this job. Most snack programs at are managed by parents in the case of this school most of these parents ARE Muslim.

Some interesting facts:

  • The area is densely populated with Muslim families who attend the local mosque.
  • Before the prayer services were begun Muslim boys especially were pulled from school for the entire Friday afternoon, as in Islam if a Muslim man misses 3 Friday prayers he is considered to of lost his faith.
  • Girls, women are welcome at jummah as well, and yes we do sit either at the back of the room,or behind a barrier( I have even seen a table with a rug thrown over it made into a makeshift one), or in another room.
  • Girls in Islam are not mandated to attend jummah prayer for them it is optional.
  • At that specific school I would guess you are looking at a 50% Muslim student population at least.
  • Another fact many TDSB schools also meet “kosher” standards would we get rid of that option as well?

By letting the school community dictate what is best for there individual school we give freedom, something I am sure we all enjoy having here in Ontario.  Really some of the comments on Jihad Watch and the Blazing Cat Fur scared me as a Canadian.

Another quick two facts it does not cost anything to have that we bit of prayer time on a friday, nor is it hurting any other child in the school. Facts are in many schools in the TDSB we have students gathering to pray and worship. If one goes they ALL must go. I think prayer is a good thing. I think it should be in the schools any way we can get it in and if you don’t believe in God you simply don’t have to join a prayer group.

Fact two is that much of the money used to by food for the snack program does not come from the TDSB it comes from the Foundation for Student Success who gets its money not only from the province but many corporate givers and charitable foundations including Mazon Canada who are the Jewish charitable arm in Canada that fights hunger. So is it is okay to TAKE money from a religious organization? and not allow religious dietary concerns to be looked at? What do you think? Really this muslim mom who used to help organize snacks wants to know?

Does prayer have a place in the TDSB in any form?

Should dietary laws come into play in any form?

And if you are not a follower of God in any form why do you get to dictate for those of us who do believe?

33 comments

  1. sanwin says:

    Halal food is meat (specifically) that has been slaghtered in the name of Allah.

    Now I do not believe in Allah, so do you think that I must be forced to consume this meat, since no other option is being offered ?

    Islam is claimed to be a religion of ‘ease’. If so, how is it so critical that children MUST attend Friday prayers ?

    I’d like you to tell me which TDSB schools have Christian / Hindu / Jewish prayers.

    Thanks.

  2. Hollie says:

    Since we are getting “meat” specific, this entire year at my daughter’s school, meat was not part of the snack program even once. Protein servings yes, meat no.

    As for Christian prayer look at every high school, you will find Christian clubs, and prayer meetings, several churches have even rented TDSB sites as there places of worship. In Jewish neighborhoods especially during their religious holidays you will find not only prayer but art. As for Hindu prayers have you hung out in Scarborough? Sincerely look at any school with a dense faith population and you will find prayer in some form,

    You said you do not believe in Allah and that is ok, but can I ask why should your disbelief be forced on others? Under the Canadian Charter of rights and freedoms we have a long fought right to worship or not to.

    Children are not forced to eat “halal”, and I am sure having volunteered for snack programs for several years in the TDSB if there was a family objection to “halal” there is something else to serve. You see we snack makers often did substitute for things like vegan diet, allergies and the like. This would be easy enough to accomplish.

    It is not often in any TDSB snack program that you see meat served. Remember it is a healthy snack. The only way I see this really having an impact is in the choice of yogurt brand. A balkan style yogurt would be served, and well they are healthier in my opinion so would you have a problem with me giving your child something that was healthier?

    As for Islam being a religion of “ease”, it is. There are simply 5 pillars that the faith is built on and if you are getting those right well you are on your way. Prayer is the primary focus of a Muslim’s life. Prayer is how we connect to God. I personally like connecting those 5 times a day.

    Again why should your beliefs be forced on me? Why should I have to eat what you dictate? Why?

  3. Anne Green says:

    I would say that in general I do not have a problem with the schools allowing prayer time… with some small concerns.

    The separation of men and women disturbs me, I have always been uncomfortable with this. I am sure most Muslim men respect and honor their women but we do see women subjected to abuse and second class citizen status in many Muslim countries. I believe that this is wrong on many levels and I hope that like Christians and Jews the Muslim community eventually realizes this and evolves. Of course I’m still waiting for my childhood Catholic face to ordain woman priest and I think a female Pope would be awesome! (Did you know some people say we already had one? Google Pope Joan.)

    Also, from a former educators perspective… Is this 30 minutes going to cut into the teachers’ “teaching time”? Already teachers have to squeeze in a lot of mandated minutes teaching not only those classic “3 Rs” (Reading and Riting and Rithmetic) but also Health, Music, Art, Technology etc. A 30 minute prayer slot would take a lot longer than a “moment of silent reflection” or a quick “Hail Mary”.

    Great post! I find it interesting to contemplate these kinds of issues.

  4. Aurelia says:

    Many grocery store items are now automatically certified both kosher and halal, including meat, yet sold under major food labels simply because companies want a wider distribution for their products. Lots of food we eat is kosher and halal even tho we are boring old Catholics because it’s what’s on the shelf.

    Maybe the first commenter should check his own kitchen shelves and go attack Kraft and loblaws and lay off the TDSB

  5. [...] A Reply – TDSB and Muslim Prayer Service- A Muslim Perspective «. [...]

  6. Susan says:

    This is Islam.
    A religion of enslavement. This is the opposite of “Canadian”.
    How anyone can have such disrespect for themselves to allow themselves to be conditioned to believe such a backwards moving lifestyle is reprehensible. Futhermore, to teach your children not to think for themselves, but to adopt such hypocrisy as ones faith only is telling of you. No other faith is as aggressive and unrelenting as the Muslim faith.
    Choice is one of the reasons for coming to Canada and I agree, if one must leave the “publicly funded” school system, then yes, they all should.

    http://wn.com/Media4Truth

  7. Erin says:

    I really enjoy reading your blog. Your experiences, views and opinions are often different from my own so I find it gives me great perspective.

    The one thing that I would like to understand (similar to Anne) is the segregation of men and women within your faith. Also, as Anne mentioned the issues with abuse.

    I don’t have a problem with the prayer in schools as long as all studnets are allowed and encouraged to worship together (no segregation of male and female). If that is the way it has to be within the religous buildings, fine, but I could not accept such a thing happening with a school building, during classroom hours.

    Can you suggest any resources to help a non-Muslim understand the gender roles within your religon?

  8. I object says:

    No room should be off limits to any person due to a difference in religion in ANY public school. Have your prayers after school on Friday. If it doesn’t fit exactly with how you’re used to practicing your religion – too bad. This is Canada. Adjust. Your forefathers established themselves as non-muslims.

    I’ve been reading about Halal meat. First off, the slaughter is inhumane. Second, it pretty much ousts any kind of Canadian food distributor out of competition for contracts with Canadian schools unless they employ imams. As a proud Canadian who buys Canadian, I don’t want to have halal forced on my children.

  9. anonymous says:

    I do not support the worshipping in schools. I take schools to be educational institutions and would prefer if they remain that way. Anyone who wants to pray is more than welcome to do it in their place of worship. Also, I believe that the school should be fair to all religious groups and should allow students from other religions and faith to practice their beliefs as well by providing them with proper time and place.

  10. Hollie says:

    Dear I object,

    Our forefathers mine, came so they could have religous freedom. They simply wanted the right to worship in a FREE land. sound familiar?
    If you buy Canadian and especially if you want to buy locally raised meat you would buy halal, as ALL halal meat eaten in Canada is produced right here. Many CAnadian food distrubutors have had kosher and halal lines along side the stuff you buy really to say there would be no competion is hog wash, and your child wouldnt know if they were eating halal if it bit them. But to be real, halal isnt forced it was asked for. and dont eat the snack, ask for an alternative that is your right.

    All religous groups can have religous accomodations that is why we have a charter of rights.

  11. Kathleen Thomas says:

    Hi there,

    I have a question about your site, would you mind emailing me back @ kthomas@primroseschools.com?

    Thanks,
    Kathleen

  12. Hollie, why should any room in a school be off limits to the other students ? If they wanna incorporate Prayer into their childs school day then send them to a MUSLIM SCHOOL or have a relativ e take them out of school for 30 minutes to do a prayer. As for Halal meat in the TDSB, HINDUS are preohibited from eating it because it is not slaughtered ina specific way, according to THEIR faith. The school in question has a high population of Muslim, Greek orthadox, and Hindu populations. BTW congrats on the wedding, thanks for the invite

  13. mujerrebelde says:

    “And if you are not a follower of God in any form why do you get to dictate for those of us who do believe?”

    Really? Did you seriously just ask that? Well, since you haven’t noticed, those of us who CHOOSE rational thinking and free inquiry over superstition and dogma happen to think that our children should not be subjected to the indoctrination of others in their publicly-funded educational institutions.

    If it is that important for Muslims to mix education with religion, then go and create your own school board like the Catholics did.

    “If we are going to teach creation science as an alternative to evolution, then we should also teach the stork theory as an alternative to biological reproduction.” ~Judith Hayes

  14. It is necessary within a pluralistic society to have secular public facilities. Schools are public facilities. Allowing special privileges for one group leaves every other group crying out that they don’t have special privileges. Take for example the publicly funded Catholic schools in Ontario and Alberta. Why don’t we have publicly funded Muslim schools and public-funded hindu schools, and public funded buddhist schools, and public funded jewish schools? Why should we have separate schools for separate belief systems? Why cannot anyone attend Ontario’s public Catholic schools? Do you see the special favours bestowed upon Catholic students in Ontario? How is this acceptable? Catholic schools in Ontario fare better when it comes to doling out dollars for students and students who have come through the Catholic school system also fare better. Why is this acceptable? It is not. In a pluralistic society the government should make laws upholding the rights of the individual to worship his/her religion without persecution, but should not make laws and special allowances within the public sphere for individual religions to operate within government facilities — such as schools. When I attended school in Ohio, there were no kosher or halal alternatives to pork on the menu, so I packed. Not a big deal. Not a big deal here, either.

    Aside from that, a society that espouses equality between sexes, genders, and sexualities cannot also espouse favoritism for the same religions that consider a woman as half a human with half the rights of man or that considers homosexuals to be abominations deserving death.

    If my daughter were told to go to the back of the class like a second-class citizen, I would raise a riot in protest. Why any woman would accept this for her daughter is far beyond me.

  15. Mel Thompson says:

    Freedom of religion means that you wont be persecuted because of your religion, nor should you any discrimination follow from being of a particular belief.

    Because Canada is such a diverse country that welcomes immigrants and encourages them keep their belief systems, the public sphere must remain neutral. This means in a public school religion should neither be endorsed nor explicitly discouraged. It should remain out of the school in order to remain a non issue- neither encouraged or discouraged.

    Take for example the child who has been brought up to believe in Islam. For many muslims, choosing to express their disbelief in the religion is not an option. If this child truly does not believe in it, the secular school is the only place to remain neutral about this. If the public school decides to allow a religious service to be held during class time, that same student no longer has the choice or the freedom to remain secular. The obligation will fall back on him to attend the service by his peers. If not, it wont be long before his parents find out about it. Because the school chose to allow religious service to be conducted during class time, the student lost his freedom from religion.

    Out of all the monolithic religions it seems that Islam remains the last to truly make some accommodating compromises for modern times. If Friday prayers were encouraged to happen after school was dismissed a lot of these issues could have easily been addressed.

    Now what if you had two different religions both needing accommodation at the same time, or what if another religion required several services, at what point does the accommodation become absurd? Keep in mind that accommodation is quite different then allowing for extracurricular clubs ie Christian Fellowships, Yoga, etc. Would it not be easier, and more practical for the school board to have all religious activity occur outside of class time (During the student free time) especially since tax dollars pay for class time.

    Thanks

  16. Steve says:

    I am a convert to Islam, and as a lover of god, and my faith, I need to clear up this common (and understandable) misconception about gender equality. In particular when it comes to prayer, it is important to be free from any kind of distractions. If you’re at all familiar with the positions of prayer you would understand that having a woman bent over in front of a man could easily be distracting. Also everyone must be in constant contact throughout the prayer, so as you could imagine there’s lots of “rubbing” which is also inappropriate with the opposite sex in prayer.

    If you are really interested in the truth, there are many sources available for information on gender roles in Islam, and from people much more knowledgeable than me.

    On another note, I strongly urge everyone to try to judge the religion based on its scriptures, rather than every person that claims to practice it. Often cultural norms that have nothing to do with Islam seem to blend in, and become assumed as part of Islam (even many muslims do this without knowing!)

  17. mujerrebelde says:

    “If you’re at all familiar with the positions of prayer you would understand that having a woman bent over in front of a man could easily be distracting. Also everyone must be in constant contact throughout the prayer, so as you could imagine there’s lots of “rubbing” which is also inappropriate with the opposite sex in prayer.”

    Having a bee buzzing around in front of your face is also very distracting, what’s your point? Do you have such little self-control that you can’t even for a second of prayer stop having sexual thoughts? And what’s with all the rubbing? My basic of understanding of Islam includes homophobia, so how is it okay to be ‘rubbing’ with men? Your love of your god and faith have skewed your ability to make rational arguments.

  18. Hollie says:

    In our faith a man and woman simply do not touch unless married or an immediate family memeber.
    When we pray in cogregation, we pray shoulder to shouder in very close proximity. That is why the seperation.
    In Mekkah around the most holy spot in our faith, prayer is not done like this, when lines are formed men and women are beside each other, so you may be right there may be room to change this.
    My personal beleif in God does not skew my ability to make an arguement. Faith is very personal. The abilty to have the rights of worship is something that needs to be respected. If the school day fell on Sunday, I think you would see Christians asking for some sort of accomdation but oh wait we already accomodate based on the history of the nation. All students across Canada have Sunday, Christmas, and Easter off ( all important days for Christians) so we can accomodate the needs of the majority and not the minority. Does not seem correct to me. We need to learn to be more civil and tolerant. WE need to learn to respect our differences even when we think they are absurd. WE have to have mutaul understanding.

  19. mujerrebelde says:

    I absolutely agree with you Hollie, and as an atheist I appreciate Christians holidays for all that they are, a paid day off work.

  20. anonymous says:

    Great post!

  21. Sophie says:

    Again, to all those fighting for gender equality – you’re fighting the wrong battle. Understand the basics of the religion and the reasons for its practices, and then comment and take a stance. As a Muslim woman, I would NOT want to pray beside or in front of a man with my behind in their face as I bend down. That is NOT what I or my brothers in Islam want as we are prostrating before God. Let’s face it ladies and gentlemen, our biological desires are no secret (especially at our teenage years) – and this is recognized in Islam – which is why, in prayer, the two genders are automatically separated in order to allow both genders to more easily focus their mind and soul on the task at hand – spiritual connection to our creator – instead of our hormones. Any honest man/teenage boy will testify that if they have a woman/girl bending down in front of them, where the woman’s gluteus is in close proximity to their head, it would not be the ideal situation to focus on anything spiritual. The same goes for a woman, I would feel uncomfortable, and unable to focus on prayer if I was worried that a guy is staring at my ass. Why deny the very essence of our sexuality? It is natural, and beautiful and accepted, and it has its place. Also, as far as where menstruating girls are allowed to sit; where would you propose? in front of the congregation? Again, they sit in the back so that those in prayer are not distracted by movement or talking and so forth since they are not taking part in the prayers. They are neither looked down upon nor isolated because of their biological state. They choose to attend the prayers and are simply sitting in the most convenient location where they would cause the least amount of distraction for those in prayer; and if someone who is not menstruating where to not take part in the prayers, they would have to sit at the back too and respectfully wait until prayers are over!

  22. mujerrebelde says:

    By putting so much emphasis on separating males and females because of their uncontrollable urges – which you at least try to acknowledge to be natural – you’re only emphasizing the novelty and the taboo around our human sexuality. My daughter has gone to nude beaches with us and our bodies don’t phase her at all, because she has learned that it is natural and that there are more ways of looking at the human body than in just the sexual context.
    Hollie mentioned in a previous post that men and women of your faith simply ‘do not touch’ unless married or related… and you’re telling me that your faith believes that the body is a beautiful, natural thing? As far as menstruating females not sitting at the front because of distracting ‘movement or talking’, they must not be very faithful if they feel it is appropriate to gossip and giggle while praying. Are all of the men so well-behaved that they never cause any kind of distractions? If they are really so devoted and that is the case, how can you assume that they are incapable of keeping sexual thoughts out of their heads while they pray to your god?
    It’s ridiculous shit like this that ends up implying that rape should be expected – how can we possibly expect men to keep from assaulting women when they can’t even focus entirely on the one thing they believe is the reason for their existence?
    Are there no male gynecologists in your religion/society? If yes, then great, I don’t need to go there. If no, then why?

  23. rubyis says:

    LOL…all the haters out there get a life please..u all are goin crazy over things like why Muslim women are behind men during prayers LOL…u all notice this but no one gives a shit about all the media around us today motivating women to lose weight to be beautiful, look like a model and be a slut to get all the fame, have sex anytime (10 years old kids now days already knw wht SEX is, so how can we expect them to go far in school and life when their mind is washed with dirty things like sex drugs and violence), get pregnant when u r 16, get drunk and raped..soo many uni girls get raped and harassed on campus (but media doesnt show all this..the only thing they are good at showing is Osama’s plans and crimes where they emphasize tht its a black person, a muslim person) 13 years old kids in middle schools now days come drunk to class and miss school cause they wana party and have sex..end result, they fail, drop out and do stupid things..this is y we have so much crimes in our cities..i dont blame the kids and teens cause we adults promote adultery and violence and then expect schools to be educational LOLL…the media makes up soo much bullshit and ppl buy it without knwing things..why cant everyone look at the big picture and stop discriminating an entire community based on some idiotic groups..once upon a time media use to show tht all black skinned ppl are soo violent..today all muslim ppl are violent..but how funny..recently after the Norway incident..a white skinned man brutally killed so many youngsters but media doesnt promote the message tht WHITE skinned ppl are violent…Osama (a psycho) blew up the center and now everyone thinks all muslims are terrorists..Hitler once was a brutal man too so y dont u all hate Germans?? …end of story..stop judging everyone based on an individual..ppl who vote knws wht minority and majority is..so cant u ppl use tht same sense when judging religion ppl and culture..it harms u ppl tht we muslim women stand behind men (muslim women have no problem with it so y do u?? ) but no one is affected by how kids at school go through soo much bullshit with all the bullying drugs violence and adultery LOL..WOW..and who is stopping other religion ppl from praying at school…no one!!! first ask ur own kids if they wana pray before u all start complaining why are friday prayers allowed LOL..muslim kids are not forced to pray..its ur choice..and like any other parents of other religions..some parents like to force their kids..tht DOESNT MEAN THAT EVERY SINGLE MUSLIM PERSON IS FORCEFUL and DISCRIMINATING!!

  24. sara says:

    @ mujerrebelde
    Are you suggesting Muslims and their children have “urges”? What? You could be sued for that kind of verbal and emotional abuse. It’s dangerous to describe a whole peoples in ways you yourself may have internalised as what it is. And how to you even come up with such beliefs.
    If you don’t like separation, then never become Muslim, that’s fine, but speak for all children and actively fight school systems that force children to work in age defined classrooms, because that isn’t natural at all. Not everyone accepts hypocricy, so when making an argument, make an intelligent one, and not an emotional one. Please be respectful.

  25. Krystalle says:

    I teach in an Islamic school in Kuwait, and we don’t have this issue because the school week is Sunday-Thursday.
    Why are people so concerned about this? Does it take place during a designated teaching/class time? If not then let the children pray!

  26. Lisa says:

    Hollie,

    My Canada teaches little girls that they are equal to their male peers. They do not sit behind or in front of, they sit beside. BESIDE – together. It is not I who has to understand islam and it’s prayer rituals. It’s you who has to understand Canadian values of gender equity.

    While we’re on the topic, and only because you said “Does prayer have a place in the TDSB in any form?”

    I would ask you why the log standing dominant religion of Canada has been taken out of the public school system to accommodate your own religious beliefs, yet you feel that the rest of us should suffer through your version of prayer?

    Disgraceful!!!

  27. ali aslam. says:

    what i don’t understand is, whenever islam is brought up in any topic people all over the world jump on it. It doesnt matter if its for a good cause or bad, people just like to jump on the topic islam, why don’t we try to get in detalied with hinduism, japanesse, cathloic……..??? its like we live little box eh…the motment you hear the word islam or muslim…you brain automatically clicks to the term, terriosim, ……why?lol….canyways i went off topic pretty badly…students should be allowed to pray at their schools, they arent planning to attack someone or plan a terroism attack….they are just obyeing thier holy book”quran e paak” just how catholic ride the bible and hindus ride their biblie…………we all should use a little bit of our common sense and learn to live with love and peace.

  28. ali aslam. says:

    what i don’t understand is, whenever islam is brought up in any topic people all over the world jump on it. It doesnt matter if its for a good cause or bad, people just like to jump on the topic islam, why don’t we try to get in detalied with hinduism, japanesse, cathloic……..??? its like we live little box eh…the motment you hear the word islam or muslim…you brain automatically clicks to the term, terriosim, ……why?lol…. i went off topic pretty badly…students should be allowed to pray at their schools, they arent planning to attack someone or plan a terroism attack….they are just obyeing thier holy book”quran e paak” just how catholic ride the bible and hindus ride their biblie…………we all should use a little bit of our common sense and learn to live with love and peace. All i see now a day is people trying to hurt eachother and wishing the worse for eachother……its understable if that person has does some sorta harm to u! than u treat them the same way.

  29. Its me says:

    You look at me and call me oppressed,
    Simply because of the way I’m dressed,
    You know me not for what’s inside,
    You judge the clothing I wear with pride,

    My body is not for your eyes to hold,
    You must speak to my mind, not my feminine mould,

    I’m an individual, I’m no mans slave,
    It’s Allah’s pleasure that I only crave,

    I have a voice so I will be heard,
    For in my heart I carry His word,

    “O ye women, wrap close your cloak, so you won’t be bothered by ignorant folk”,

    Man doesn’t tell me to dress this way,
    It’s a law from God that I obey,

    Oppressed is something I’m truly NOT,
    For liberation is what I’ve got,

    It was given to me many years ago,
    With the right to prosper, the right to grow,

    I can climb mountains or cross the seas,
    Expand my mind in all degrees,

    For God Himself gave us LIB-ER-TY,
    When He sent Islãm,
    To You and Me!

  30. mujerrebelde says:

    Ali, I think that if you re-read a few of the posts you will see that some/most of us are not solely ‘attacking’ islam. I myself am advocating for freedom from ANY and ALL religion in school, since there is no proof that superstitious dogmatic belief systems help children develop their morals, values and ethics. We should most certainly teach peace and love. I am of the opinion that religion does nothing more than divide the human race and create a world of intolerance and prejudice, so I can only keep on singing John Lennon’s song and hope that one day all of the wars will end and people will stop thinking that their god is better than someone else’s.

  31. mujerrebelde says:

    As for calling me a hypocrite because I believe in an educational system that groups (or as you put it “forces”) children into age-defined classrooms, you’re joking right? If a 7-year old child has the intelligence and mental capacity of @sara
    Wow, you need to read threads before picking on one comment. My comment that you are referring to as being ‘verbally and emotionally abusive’ was in response to one made by Steve, who seems to be a muslim and alluded to it in his own response.

    Steve permalink
    July 19, 2011 1:52 pm
    I am a convert to Islam, and as a lover of god, and my faith, I need to clear up this common (and understandable) misconception about gender equality. In particular when it comes to prayer, it is important to be free from any kind of distractions. If you’re at all familiar with the positions of prayer you would understand that having a woman bent over in front of a man could easily be distracting. Also everyone must be in constant contact throughout the prayer, so as you could imagine there’s lots of “rubbing” which is also inappropriate with the opposite sex in prayer.

    As for the comment you made about me being a hypocrite because I agree with an educational system that groups (or as you put it, “forces”) children primarily by age, well now you just sound ignorant. If a 7-year old has the intelligence and mental capacity of a 10-year old and the parents and/or child wish to have this recognized, you can actually opt for an assessment to be done and move that child up to the appropriate grade. I worked with a doctor who graduated from highschool at age 15, so your point is moot. And besides, what’s wrong with my 6-year old being in a classroom with other 6 and 7-year olds?

  32. PuP says:

    the public school system must be secular. do you (and this question goes to the blogger, muslims, and non muslims who posted here) believe that all religions and their practices must be respected? that the charter of rights must not only recognize, but accept religions and their practices as "above the law"? most of us in canada believe that religions should be respected, and that each of us has a right to exercise our freedom of religion. now, let's get back to reality…cliterectomy, although just a custom, is performed under the veil of religion. so the answer is no. we should NOT respect all religions and it's practices. we should NOT accept and allow all customs out of "respect". and this is the issue! obviously, we must decide what is and isn't acceptable, pick and choose. while majority does not have issues with halal meals in schools, obviously that same majority has an issue with prayer and gender segregation. if prayer and gender segregation seems a harmless addition to public schools to muslims…and they claim that they should be allowed to practice their faith on school grounds…i wonder how they would feel about gay and lesbian alliance groups meeting in those same schools. see, no muslim will say that s/he is in favour of LGBTQ groups in schools. the catholic schools don't allow them, and if there were muslim schools, i'm sure they wouldn't allow them either. so where does that leave the LGBTQ kids? do they deserve their own school? how about vegans? the catholic system needs to go, and the afro-centric school, and the gender segragated scholls, and the private schools….our kids go to school to get an education not pray; to learn math, physics, languages, history…the only way religion should remain in schools is through courses about world religions. religious PRACTICES must remain at home. that is the only way we can have an inclusive, equal, just society.

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    jejaring sosial muslim recently posted..1My Profile

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