A guy in Dublin wants state schools to be more accommodating to Islam, according to the Irish Times.
It goes wrong right in the first sentence.
A spokesman for the Muslim community in Ireland has called for radical change in the educational system to accommodate children with Islamic beliefs.
There is no “spokesman for the Muslim community in Ireland.” That’s not a thing. The guy wrote a book; that doesn’t make him a spokesman, and you couldn’t have “a spokesman for the Muslim community in Ireland” if you wanted to, because there’s no procedure for electing one.
Dr Ali Selim, of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin’s Clonskeagh and a lecturer in the Mater Dei Institute and Trinity College, has called for “a revolution of inclusivity” in Irish schools and “an upheaval in Irish educational perspectives”.
This was necessary to accommodate the needs of a society which is now “home to a variety of Christian denominations, as well as people of other faiths and of none”, he says in his book Islam and Education in Ireland, to be published next week.
So the schools should be secular, and thus inclusive to everyone, of every religion and none.
Estimating that of approximately 65,000 Muslims in Ireland today as many as 20,000 would be in the under-18 school-going age, he relates difficulties these young people face when it comes to admission to schools, as well as their problems with PE classes, relationship and sexuality education, music and drama classes, and practice of their faith during school hours.
Do they? Or does Dr Selim just think they ought to?
He then sensibly objects to the Catholic monopoly in many state schools.
This continued despite a prohibition of discrimination on religion grounds by all recent Equal Status Acts, he says and quotes the example of a Catholic boys’ secondary school in Dublin that says in its policy statement: “Non-Catholic enrolment will only be considered in the event of being undersubscribed.”
That’s revolting in a state school, no question.
He suggests there is “a clash of values” also between Islam and “traditional ways of teaching PE”. In some schools, “under the guise of health and safety, Muslim girls are obliged to take off their headscarves for PE classes, which is not acceptable to them”.
Where schools were “persistent”, they should “employ a female PE teacher and provide students with a sports hall not accessible to men during times when girls are at play. They should also not be visible to men while at play.”
Dr Selim sounds like someone who should get his mind out of the gutter.