Schoolboys punished for not praying to Allah
Two boys have been disciplined after refusing to kneel down and ‘pray to Allah’ during a school religious education lesson. The boys, from a year seven class of 11 and 12-year-olds, were given detention after refusing to take part in a practical demonstration of how Allah is worshipped, says a report in the Telegraph newspaper.
Parents at the school in Alsager, Cheshire, have expressed amazement. One said: ‘This isn’t right; it’s taking things too far. I understand that they have to learn about other religions. I can live with that but it is taking it a step too far to be punished because they wouldn’t join in Muslim prayer … what got me is that they were told they were being disrespectful’.
Another said: ‘I am absolutely furious my daughter was made to take part in it and I don’t find it acceptable. The teacher had gone into the class and made them watch a short film and then said “we are now going out to pray to Allah”. Then two boys got detention and all the other children missed their refreshments’ break.’
A spokesman for Cheshire County Council said they were investigating. He added: ‘The head teacher contacted the authority immediately complaints were received. Enquiries are being made into the circumstances as a matter of urgency and all parents will be informed accordingly.
‘Educating children in the beliefs of different faiths is part of Cheshire’s diversity curriculum on the basis that knowledge is, of course, essential to understanding. We accept that such teaching has to be conducted with common sense and sensitivity’.