On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

Toronto school defends Muslim prayers in cafeteria

Religion News Service

TORONTO — A majority-Muslim public school in Toronto is defending its policy of allowing an imam to lead Friday prayers in the cafeteria, saying students who leave school for prayers at a mosque typically don’t return to school.

Christian and other prayers are disallowed in the public school system.

For the past three years, some 300 Muslim students at Valley Park Middle School have been allowed to use the school cafeteria for their Friday prayers. Before the policy change, school officials say students would leave classes early and not return.

“I think it’s important to note the prayer isn’t conducted under the auspices of the board,” Jim Spyropoulos, a superintendent for inclusive schools with the Toronto District School Board, told the Globe and Mail newspaper. “This was the best solution that avoided compromising instructional time.”


The issue is “about religious accommodation,” Shari Schwartz-Maltz, a school district spokeswoman, told The Canadian Press.

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.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment John

    when the West stops hating themselves for their violent history they will stop allowing the SWORN ENEMIES of the West to [expletive] all over our country, our culture, our freedoms and our rights. The day WILL come when we will break free of the chains of political correctness

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lewis

    Politically correct is always good for the bad people, and always bad for the good people.
    Let’s be sincere here. All of us. ..and clueless idiots in Ottawa sleep on.

  • Louis

    So then, because the Muslim families don’t have the discipline to send their kids back to school after the prayers at the mosque you bend the rules that discriminate against other religions.
    Why don’t they show that they give a damn about education and go back to class after the prayers?
    So going to their religious centers actually does nothing for them, instead of becoming more disciplined and educated they rebel and hit the streets not the books, wonderful influence the mosque is having.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Hoekom Jy My Haat

    Woe, Canada! This is how it starts, first little special demands, then they get increasinging demanding. We must not appease these people.

    Do we not remember what Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement towards Hitler led to?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment bill carr

    Violent history? Do you think the Arabic conquest of the middle east India, North Africa, Spain and parts of Eastern Europe was all sweetness and light and everybody was overjoyed to embrace Islam. Grow up!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jestrfyl

    So here is an example that shows why religion has no place in the public, secular schools. In a culture of winners/losers accommodating one group while ignoring another is perceived as one winning and the other losing. Instead, all groups need to find a way to meet their own needs without inconveniencing others. Islam has an allowance for students, that should be employed. Communities with a nearly equal balance of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian kids could wind up with three sabbath weekends every week (though a case can be made for allowing that but extending the school year so there are still 180 school days).

    Religion is important, but so is the integration of faith in the wider, non-religious world. No one gains by any favoritism. This will be a hard task for the school board to deal with, but worth their time.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Doug Kenwright

    John,absolutely..when the push back comes it will be violent and ugly and the whirlwind will sweep up all in its path including members of the appeasing left who have left western society so vulnerable.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Common Sense

    Just so that everyone is aware of what the Qur’an teaches, here are some of the verses:

    Surah 2:191, “Kill disbelievers wherever you find them… If they attack you, then kill them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.”

    Surah 2:216, “Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.”

    Surah 2:244, “Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah heareth and knoweth all things.”

    Surah 3:151, “We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve…”

    Surah 4:89, “Have no unbelieving friends. Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.”

    Surah 4:91, “If the unbelievers do not offer you peace, kill them wherever you find them. Against such you are given clear warrant.”

    Surah 5:51, “O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he among you that turns to them for friendship is of them.”

    Surah 8:15-16, “O ye who believe! when ye meet the Unbelievers preparing for battle do not turn your backs to them. [Anyone who does] shall incur the wrath of Allah, and Hell shall be his home,- an evil dwelling (indeed)!”

    Surah 9:123, “O you who have believed, fight those adjacent to you of the disbelievers and let them find in you harshness…”

    Surah 10:45, “On the last day Allah will kill all the disbelievers (and then he will torture them forever in hell).”

    I challenge anyone who defends this school to find anything in the New Testament that commands its followers to kill non-Christians, to terrorize them, to wage war against them simply because of the very fact that they are not Christians. This is but a small example, and its exhortations are not limited to any historical period during the life of Mohammed, nor are they taken out of any specific context that would change its intended meaning. They are commandments for all Muslims, even Muslims of the 21st century. “But,” some will say, “Muslims are peaceful, and Islam means ‘peace.'” But I say this — those who are peaceful are not peaceful because of Islam. They are, fortunately, peaceful in spite of it, and Islam does not mean ‘peace’. It means ‘submission’. This is precisely what this ‘public’ school is doing by allowing Muslim prayers in its cafeteria. They are submitting to a religion and an ideology that desires nothing more than to destroy the Judeo-Christian foundations upon which Western civilization was founded.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment John S.

    How is it that our immmigration sytem and its process is allowing people with view which are diametrically opposed to our values into this country? A more rigorous screening process is sorely needed, one which states clearly to the prospective immigrant that our values, judicial and political systems are to be embraced! If you can’t cast off the burdens from your s…hole countries, including your hallowee’n costumes, you are not welcome.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Yusuf Al-Kafir


    The students’ failure to return to school is simply the students obeying the Qur’an. Sura 62, Ayat/Verses 9 through 11.

    The following is word-for-word from Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s Qur’an translation. Words in parenthesis are Yusuf Ali’s, not mine.

    Sura 62, Ayat 9 (62:9)
    O you who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off business (and traffic): That is best for you if you but knew!

    And when the prayer is finished, then you may disperse through the land, and seek of the bounty of Allah: and celebrate the praises of Allah often (and without stint): that you may prosper.

    But when they see some bargain or some amusement, they disperse headlong to it, and leave you standing. Say: “The (blessing) from the Presence Of Allah is better than any amusement or bargain! And Allah is the best to provide (for all needs).”

    62:9 is why Muslims are required, under Sharia/Islamic law to attend the Friday group prayer.

    62:11 says that after Friday Mosque some followers will be tempted by bargains and amusement, but Allah’s blessing is better than any amusement or bargain. In other words, after Friday’s ‘assembly’ it is best to reflect on what was said at the Mosque than to go back to work or whatever else you were doing (bargains and amusement) before Mosque.

    Hopefully this post sheds some light. 😉

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