- Jan 14, 2016
Ali Selim, of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin’s Clonskeagh
These dogs are getting more cheeky and brazen by the day. And, needless to say, the Leinster House Gombeens and the free state media are all ears to hear the demands of the Islamists.
Dr Ali Selim, of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin’s Clonskeagh and a lecturer in the Mater Dei Institute and Trinity College, has called for “a revolution of inclusivity” in Irish schools and “an upheaval in Irish educational perspectives”.
Estimating that of approximately 65,000 Muslims in Ireland today as many as 20,000 would be in the under-18 school-going age, he relates difficulties these young people face when it comes to admission to schools, as well as their problems with PE classes, relationship and sexuality education, music and drama classes, and practice of their faith during school hours.
“Gaining admission to Irish schools is a challenge for Muslims,” Dr Selim says, describing as “legal discrimination” section 15 of the 1998 Education Act which allows schools give preference to pupils on faith grounds. It was a “major problem for non-Catholic children who apply to them because of proximity or quality of education”, he says.
More generally Dr Selim says , “Muslim festivals are neither celebrated or marked in the calendar in Irish schools.”
He suggests they be days off for Muslim children. During Ramadan, the month of fasting, Muslims give to charity and schools could co-operate by “raising funds for the poor and the needy”. But, he points out, “any form of raffle is strictly forbidden in Islam”.
About the RSE programme in schools Dr Selim says there are “crucial differences” with Islam. It forbids pre- and extramarital sexual relations, whereas RSE perceives sexual relations outside wedlock as part of normal practices.”
He suggests there is “a clash of values” also between Islam and “traditional ways of teaching PE”. In some schools, “under the guise of health and safety, Muslim girls are obliged to take off their headscarves for PE classes, which is not acceptable to them”.
Call for State schools to accommodate Islamic beliefs