Yes, let them leave the assembly, but then force them to leave the country. A primary school in Melbourne is under fire for permitting Muslim students to walk out while the Australian national anthem was played, a decision that has sparked outrage from parents and politicians who said the move was ‘disgusting.’
About 40 Shi’a MUSLIM students walked out of a Cranbourne Carlisle Primary School assembly because it was a religious time of mourning when they should not be forced to take part in “joyous events”. Bemused parents have questioned principal Cheryl Irving’s decision, saying splitting up young children was only likely to cause more division. “Some do-gooder’s tried to make a point and they’ve ended up damaging the whole show. So look, they get the muppet of the year award from me for that.”
Rebecca Popic said her six-year-old daughter Isabella came home in tears after the Muslim students left the assembly. “My daughter was really upset about it, she didn’t understand why the other kids had left,” Ms Popic said. “If we go to their country we have to abide by their laws, but it is a school that tries to be everything to everyone.” “Didn’t they come out to Australia for a better life, well why are they trying to make it the same sort of life they fled from,” she said.
WHEN I was a little girl in Tehran, we would line up in neat rows in our dehumanizing Muslim garb and chant “death to America” over and over again before commencing our classes. It was a little tricky for me given I was American-born and even at the age of six loathed the hijab and all it represented — but it was what the school required and I stood there and mouthed the words.
Did I miss something? Is our anthem suddenly so offensive that children need to be protected from hearing it, let alone singing it? Had we ditched Advance Australia Fair and started chanting death threats? The call to exclude about 30 to 40 Muslim children was another harebrained example of progressive politics creeping into our state school system, not unlike the foolishness that has preschools cancel Christmas celebrations to supposedly spare the feelings of non-Christian families.
Somehow the school determined that singing the Australian anthem would constitute a joyous event that could interfere with the observance of Muharram. What utter tosh. Has the school drawn up a list of activities that it deems would hinder the correct observance of the month of mourning and would it care to share it with the rest of us?
It is also true that some Muslims’ observance of Muharram involves violence. I recall watching in horror as men and boys commemorated Muharram by beating themselves bloody with chains. Some even cut themselves with knives and swords but, thankfully, I was spared from witnessing that brutality. I wonder how Cranbourne Carlisle Primary school feels about the religious practice of self-flagellation (below).
The Victoria Education Department, which has backed the school’s stance, would not comment when asked why police had attended or whether any specific threats had been received. NSW’s Department of Education said its students would not be allowed to sit out the national anthem under any circumstances.
“It is not acceptable for any student in a NSW public school to walk out during the anthem and disciplinary action would be taken against the student,” a spokesman said.