This news item from the UK, Prayer refusal pupils ‘disciplined’, clicked with me.
Parents are up in arms because pupils who refused to participate in a Muslim prayer have been disciplined by the school. The pupils “were given detention for being ‘disrespectful’ to the prophet.”
One parent said: “Making them pray to Allah, who isn’t who they worship, is wrong.” Another: “I am absolutely furious my daughter was made to take part in it and I don’t find it acceptable.” And: “My child has been forced to pray to Allah in a school lesson.”
Shocking isn’t it. But just a minute. Doesn’t this go on in our society every day? Many children are obliged to participate in Christian prayers and ceremonies, or at least require parental permission to be excused from them.
And what about adults? Don’t we sometimes have Christian prayers and ceremonies imposed on us in public situations.
I find all these acts offensive. It doesn’t matter whose religious ceremony it is – Muslim, Christan or Jewish. People with different beliefs should never be subjected, unasked, to such ceremonies.
Not only does it show a lack of respect for those with other beliefs. The act of imposition surely degrades the religious significance of the ceremony. People who impose their beliefs in this way are surely demonstrating a lack of respect for their own beliefs.