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 Gerrit

    We know world wide to politicians have not got the will or guts to stand up to Islam and it’s destructive teaching’s.My question is where is the Christian’s and the Christian church?Have people forgotten the power of prayer.There is only one way to defeat the enemy:2 Chronicles 7:14
    New International Version.
    if My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

  • Pingback: Toronto allows muslim prayer in public schools, bans Christian, other prayer

  • Pingback: Toronto school: Muslim prayers yes, Christian and other prayers – hell no « Creeping Sharia

  •!/ScatteringStone ScatteringStones

    Thank God for “right-wing” bloggers…

  • Guy Macher

    Do not believe that the Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC) is against the spread of radical Islam, All Islam is radical. Read the Koran to learn this truth. Sixty percent of the Koran concerns the filthiness of non-Muslims and their punishment in this world and afterlife. Muslims are commanded not be befriend kafirs (a filthy word for non-Muslims) but to fight them until all are dead or submit to the rule of Muslims.
    If you call yourself a Muslim, that is what you believe.
    MCC can spout these lies because Allah said is kosher to lie to kafirs.

  • Quran Tutor

    This seems to be a conspiracy that they think like this. This is really true that children never return to class but they can make a schedule set like that so that no one could be troubled or have a lame excuse of wasting time. find the cure of every disease rather then killing a person.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment dae

    Better idea than all of them. Give “vacation days” to students so it wont count against things like attendance etc. Then strip ALL religiously induced “days off” from schools. This applies to the work place and government as well.

    This is not about islam. Its the teaching (dont claim its not) of a belief system in an inappropriate environment. I dont care what religious ceremony is involved.

    I think its important to note the school system is NOT based on judeo-christian values. Its based off the fact the majority of the society around consider those holidays hence its just become part of the system for the day to be off.

    Make the situation copable but at the same time neutral.

    Separation of the church and state is a requirement to keep a fair and equal system because so long as one belief in any way is favoured you are discriminating. You are also at risk of “your belief” being taken away from you to become someone else’s tyrannical laws and possibly “worse”. Some other religion, opposed to your own, becoming the de facto. Then what do you do? Easy, you live in fear and as a subclass.

    I guarantee few if any religious people will never support this because the vast majority want favouritism which is highly hypocritical. Most of them have no one to blame but that very person in the mirror.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment redneon

    Of course there was no complaints until now, they kept it hidden. Why must we as Canadians keep bending over backwards for people who come to our country, Who are “allowed” into our country. If they don’t like our rules, our beliefs(like honour killings are wrong) then go back where you come from and continue your barbaric beliefs there. We have had our Christian rights knocked out from under us by people sighting their rights are being taken away. Well ours have been, by trying to accommodate them. This is OUR country. We can no longer sing God save the Queen, we can’t say the Lords prayer, we can’t have Christmas concerts in schools any longer, or sing Christmas songs!!! This is getting out of control. Soon they will be taking over Canada and then God help us all!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you imagine us moving to their country and trying to change their religious beliefs? We would be stoned to death. Stop the insanity! Canada needs to grow some balls.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Michael

    Prayer isn’t “disallowed” or “forbidden” in public schools — it is not forced. As in, the ADMINISTRATION and STAFF can’t hold prayer/moment of silence. Students, on the other hand, can if they so choose.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment L Davies

    If Christian students wanted to pray (over the food or for any other purpose) in the cafeteria at lunchtime, are they not allowed to do so?

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