Don’t laugh: the Interfaith Network of the City of Greater Dandenong, which co-ordinates school visits to religious places of worship, said it wasn’t compulsory for girls to cover their heads
‘There is nothing respectful about sexism’: Christian school sparks outrage by telling girls to wear a head scarf during visit to a mosque
- St Anglican’s Grammar School at Warragul in Victoria visited a Muslim mosque
- It told parents in a letter Year 9 girls would be required to wear head scarves
- Interfaith group which organised school visit said it was a ‘respectful practice’
A Christian school has sparked outrage by asking its female students to wear head scarves when visiting a Muslim mosque.
St Paul’s Anglican Grammar School at Warragul, in eastern Victoria, sent a letter out to parents explaining in bold font that girls in Year 9 would have to wear special clothing during a visit to the Emir Sultan Mosque, at Dandenong in Melbourne.
‘Girls and boys are asked to bring their school track pants and girls additionally require a head scarf so that they comply with respectful practices,’ it said.
‘I have no doubt this will be a valuable learning experience for your child.’
However the Interfaith Network of the City of Greater Dandenong, which co-ordinates school visits to religious places of worship, said it wasn’t compulsory for girls to cover their heads.
‘It’s not a requirement, it’s put as a respectful practice,’ the group’s development officer Helen Heath told Daily Mail Australia.
‘We do that because if we went to one another’s homes, and for example the people we were visiting don’t smoke and we do, we’d go outside.’
Former federal Labor leader Mark Latham said forcing girls to wear headscarves was an affront to women’s rights.
However the Interfaith Network of the City of Greater Dandenong, which co-ordinates school visits to religious places of worship, said it wasn’t compulsory for girls to cover their heads
‘This takes away the right of women to dress as they see fit, to be in control of their own fashion sense and appearance,’ he told his Facebook followers.
He added it was sexist to make women follow the Koran, which stipulates that women don’t flaunt their beauty to men who aren’t relatives.
‘There is nothing respectful about sexism, in forcing non-Islamic women “not to display their beauty” as they might choose to,’ he said.
Mr Latham also claimed ‘some parents boycotted the excursion’ and kept their daughters away from school on that day.
Emir Sultan Mosque president Abdul Latif, a Sunni, said visiting non-Muslim schoolgirls had been wearing head scarves for the past seven years.
‘We do every year maybe a thousand of students from the Christian schools, where they come in they cover their head,’ he said.
‘It’s out of respect because this is the religion.’
The mosque visit in March occurred on the same day as an excursion to a Hindu and a Buddhist temple.
Daily Mail Australia sought comment from the school and the Anglican Schools Commission.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5580735/Christian-school-tells-girls-wear-head-scarf-visit-Muslim-mosque-Melbourne.html#ixzz5C0fdtBMF
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