Hindu Group Criticizes Toronto School’s Muslim Prayer Sessions

Adrian Morrow, Globe and Mail, July 4, 2011

A Hindu group that regularly criticizes Islam is going after a Toronto school for holding prayer sessions for Muslim students on Friday afternoons, arguing that it violates principles of secularism in the public school system.

For about three years, Valley Park Middle School on Overlea Boulevard in Flemingdon Park has held the services in its cafeteria after non-Muslim students are finished lunch. An imam from a nearby mosque leads the sessions, which last 30 to 40 minutes.

According to meeting minutes on the school’s website, the voluntary sessions were started because Muslim students were leaving early on Fridays to attend services.

Canadian Hindu Advocacy says it has written a letter to the Toronto District School Board calling for the prayers to be stopped, and is prepared to hold protests when school starts up again.

“There should not be any sort of prayer sessions in school,” said director Ron Banerjee.

The school said the practice helps prevent students from missing instructional time by going to pray. Gerri Gershon, the trustee for the area, said she had received some letters from members of the community who were concerned Muslim students were getting special treatment, but expressed surprise that another religious group would take issue with it.

“This is so sad,” she said. “This is part of our religious accommodation policy.”

Canadian Hindu Advocacy often opposes Islam and Sikhism. During a speech at a 2010 rally for right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders, Mr. Banerjee said Islam is less a religion than an ideology, and that Islamic civilization had contributed “less to human advancement than a pack of donkeys.”

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  • Istvan

    To all you liberals and Sureesh:

    Wouldn’t life be easier if Muslims lived with Muslims and Jews with Jews and Chinese with Chinese and Poles with Poles and so on? We could visit each other and then at the end of the day go home to our own countries and live in relative peace under our own laws and our own customs among people like us. And not have to worry about whose culture is superior or whose religion will be catered to at the expense of another or whose language will be official and whose language will go extinct? We could all live in peace. Someday perhaps.

  • Wayne Engle

    With the exception of the “donkeys” remark, which was in bad taste when applied to any religious group, I think Mr. Banerjee and his organization have a valid point. Why, indeed, should Muslim students be given school time and school premises for religious services when the same is not done for other religious groups?

    As to whether Islam is “an ideology, not a religion,” I’d say it’s a religion which has been taken over by a blisteringly hateful, anti-Western ideology which aims to conquer the entire world by killing non-Muslims while it encourages Muslims to breed as many babies as possible.

  • Uniculturalist

    “Why, indeed, should Muslim students be given school time and school premises for religious services when the same is not done for other religious groups?”

    I think Han Solo kind of summed it up when he was explaining to C3P0 how to play Star Wars chess with wookies:

    “Droids don’t tear other people’s arms off when they lose, either.”

    One of the main reasons why Westerners go out of their way to avoid offending “other religions.”

  • SKIP

    “With the exception of the “donkeys” remark, which was in bad taste when applied to any religious group” AND ” I’d say it’s a religion which has been taken over by a blisteringly hateful, anti-Western ideology”

    Wayne Engle! With respect, I would say that you know NOTHING of islam. Arabs did contribute a number of advances to science and math BEFORE islam and NOTHING but fire and sword since. It IS NOT a religion, it is an entire life control system which WILL NOT TOLERATE another religion to exist and it’s sole goal is world domination along with either conversion of infidels, MURDER of infidels of ENSLAVEMENT of infidels there will be no other options for us non muslims. Remember this! THERE IS NO ROOM FOR A NON MUSLIM IN A MUSLIM WORLD, EXCEPT AS A SLAVE!

  • white advocate – Canada

    I still don’t know what gets said at these meetings. These are my fellow Canadian citizens saying things and believing things that I don’t understand. Are they saying bad things about guys like me? I must be violating many of their religious laws. Does that make me unclean or criminal? Should I quit my job if one of these guys becomes my boss?

  • A.Galland

    let everyone pray at home and not in school.Third world immigration creates third world conditions. Stupid Canada still imports third world material like its going out of style.

  • Allan

    In areas where there is a large Mormon population, the Mormon Church will often open a small education and social center near the public school. Would it be too much to ask that the Muslims do the same thing.

  • Mr.Stronge

    Canadians have witness for decades the ongoing race problems in the US and other parts of the world. So what does Canada do but allow immigrants who are not part of our culture to upset our once peaceful, workable homogeneous society. Special treatment for one religion is not acceptable.

  • SKIP

    ” Would it be too much to ask that the Muslims do the same thing.”

    GOOD GOSH people, learn more of islam. A non muslim doesn’t ASK anything of a muslim group, muslims will do exactly what they want just as soon as there are enough of them on the landing beaches. Islam will not tolerate non muslims, no matter what the non muslims do, say, build or believe, islam WILL NOT TOLERATE IT. The only good muslim is a muslim that is NOT IN YOUR COUNTRY.

  • Anonymous

    When I was in school in the 1960’s we began each day with the Lord’s Prayer and a Bible reading. We had Christmas concerts, and Easter Holidays.

    Then the immigrants started coming so all that had to stop. All references to anything Christian were removed from the schools so as not to offend the new immigrants.

    Ok. So now the schools are secular…I can live with that.

    Then, out of the blue, they are turning the school into a mosque every Friday afternoon!

    Imagine if Mormons or Baptists tried to do the same type of thing–the liberals would have 10 kinds of kittens. But they have no problems with this!

  • Anonymous

    While this illustrates a plethora of dangers inherent to the true reality of multicultural diversity (it diverges…) the two that stand out to me are:

    1. When an Indian racists aligns himself with a European Cultural Conserviationist, you either get a case of the snickering diffusion of purpose. Or a broadbrush tarring effect.

    2. When you allow people’s behaviors to be discriminated against as a means to force ‘inclusionism’ as a social standard rather than a racial one; you enable Big Government to legitimize accomodation as a means to justify depleting overall social resources.

    Which brings me to Istvan’s comments about geographic diversity and keeping our cultures ‘separate but equal’. Europe and America are characterized by fabulous climates sir. China, admittedly less so, is still a temperate wonderland compared to India, Centra/South America and Africa. Both of which are torturous to live in, as simple 110`/100% humidity environments, even before social restrictions deriving from _internal racial/caste` exclusivist policies_.

    As long as they can escape their homelands, they will never stop trying to come to ours.

  • Sureesh

    Religion has NO place whatsoever in the public schools. People can participate in religious events in the community through their church, mosque, temple, whatever.

    Even among so called WASPs, there is a wide range of religious beliefs from different denominations to the degree of religious beliefs from hardcore atheist to agnostic to mildly religious to moderately religious to hardcore fundamentalist.

    Let people practice their religious beliefs (or lack of beliefs) in their own home and communities.

  • diversity = adversity

    “There should not be any sort of prayer sessions in school,” said director Ron Banerjee.

    ———-

    that is right, it is all or none, and prayer should be at a religious place anyway, so what if Muslims are leaving, let them!

    __________________

    now where is Sureesh telling us how his people are sticking up for ours against the muslims? i would like to discuss something with Sureesh if he would kindly e-mail me.

    _____________________

    The school said the practice helps prevent students from missing instructional time by going to pray. Gerri Gershon, the trustee for the area, said she had received some letters from members of the community who were concerned Muslim students were getting special treatment, but expressed surprise that another religious group would take issue with it.

    “This is so sad,” she said. “This is part of our religious accommodation policy.”

    >>>liberal vomit.

    everyone here knows what would have happened if it had been a Christian group to speak out: all sorts of shrieks from the “inclusive” liberals. she is surprised that the Hindu group is not using this to get their own special prayer privileges.