The girls in the back of the room? They’re set apart and excluded because they’re menstruating, in accordance with Islamic ritual practices. (And you thought your teen years at school were awkward.) This is happening in a public, taxpayer-funded school outside of Toronto.
Columnists in the Canadian media have been rightly indignant about this story, but have often stopped short of addressing the religious reason for this arrangement. One Muslim commenter on this editorial argues that there are separate restrooms for men and women, and yet no one cries foul. There are many reasons that is a false analogy, but in particular, that red herring does not take into account what the scene pictured above says about women’s place and status in an Islamic society:
Once Allah’s Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o ‘Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Apostle ?” He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.” – Sahih Bukhari 1.6.301
And once again, this is all playing out in a public school.
How Unclean Was My ValleyÂ (Mark Steyn)
- Islam is taking Canada back a few centuries.