School forces non-Muslim fifth graders to kneel on prayer mats and worship Allah

Published on 26th December 2019 by Lucas

Filed under News

Last modified 19th October 2020

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A Swedish school decided to recite Koranic verses to its fifth-graders and have them pray to Allah facing Mecca.

An outraged parent said pupils were told to face the Kaaba and kneel on prayer mats, while the whole class was divided by gender, with girls forced to the back of the room.

His daughters “did not even want to be there because they could not understand a word of what the teacher read from the Koran in Arabic,” the man, called Markus, revealed. After the “prayer,” the pupils “would dance to Arabic music and eat Arabic cake” in something used to replicate Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim festivities marking the end of compulsory fasting.

Local authorities confirmed the report, with an education official in Emmaboda – a serene southern county where the school is located – telling the news outlet that the class did take place.

When confronted by angry parents, the school management defended the activity, referring to it as “role play.” But the awkward explanation didn’t sit well with Markus who wants the school to apologise and its principal to be suspended.

“Calling this a role play is not OK as it hits me as a parent,” he told the paper. “It’s me, not the school, that raises my children … they go there to learn things that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”

The story sparked uproar on social media.

“Of course, the continuation of it will be Muslim students learning the Lord’s Prayer and attending a Catholic mass,” one person suggested.

“Forcing minors into submission is disastrous. One should choose a religion on their own,” another one wrote.

A similar scandal broke out in neighboring Denmark this summer, when a boy of African descent was filmed teaching his third-grade classmates a daily prayer ritual, with the exercise ending with the class kneeling and chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (Allah is great). The school, however, defended the teaching methods used to integrate children of different cultures.