Grace left a comment under the story about the Toronto public school that I thought was worthy of being a post on it’s own. However I think I could add a few questions of my own and will in the comments. Please feel free to add your own:
From Vlad author, Grace:
No group should expect to have their religious needs met in any public secular institution, especially schools. There is no other religion in Canada that demands so much from our secular institutions. No pork products in school cafeterias, halal cafeteria menus for all school children, female-only swim times in public pools, demands for special clothing requirements in gym, calls for exemptions from music classes, calls for segregated phys-ed, niqabis insisting that their male classmates either be removed from class or they turn their backs in their presence and now, the demand for separate prayer rooms in public schools outfitted with mats and Qur’ans.
I have a few questions. First of all, where do these Muslim kids wash before and after praying in the cafeteria? Is time set aside for that requirement with basins and towels provided along the same lunch counter that burgers and fries are dished out? Are teachers mandated to help shift around tables and chairs to make room on the floor when they resist staying after school hours to assist in extra-curricular sports/drama activities? Are boys only allowed to attend and if so, where do Muslim girls go to pray- are they relegated to the bathroom? Who has paid for the mats and Qura’ns? Were they purchased from the school budget while other designated ‘special’ activities are paid through fundraising? And what of the sanitation issue of kids walking around the cafeteria floor with their socks on? Students eat in this common room. Any parent whose had children knows well that even the cleanest of feet can exit sneakers smelling like a garbage dump, not to mention the fact that numerous arses have been uplifted toward mecca.
And what of the fact that praying can be done and is often done, without having to go to any special room? Surely some kid can say a few silent swipes of the Qur’an as he’s walking from one class to another.
If a room is to be designated for religious purposes, then I suggest one multi-faith room be open to all students on Fridays. Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Baha’i, Hindu, Sikh, Scientologist, Rastafarian, atheists, etc. could share the space. Of course, the Muslims would hate this, and no doubt would be highly offended that the infidels would be using their special place to carry on their wicked, idol worship. But if we’re to accommodate one, we’ll have to accommodate all, and if that’s unsuitable to them, they are free to stop using taxpayer funded public schools as makeshift mosques and fund their own schools.