A heated debate about freedom of religion is currently underway in Germany after a high school in a western German city banned Muslim pupils from publicly praying, saying that all the religious acts associated with it are “provocative” to other students.
The decision by the Wuppertal high school is drawing criticism after the banning of pupils from using prayer rugs and other traditional Muslim rituals in public.
A spokeswoman for the regional administration of Wuppertal revealed that most teachers and students felt pressured by the behaviour of the Muslim pupils especially during prayers.
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Reports say the school sent a note to staff in February asking them to “identify” and “report” any cases of Muslim pupils praying on the school premises to the administration.
“In the last few weeks, it has increasingly been observed that Muslim students are praying, quite visibly to others, indicated by ritual washing in the bathrooms, the rolling out of prayer rugs, and by the students putting their bodies in certain positions. That is not permitted,” the letter had reportedly said.
Germany has seen a rise in anti-Islam and anti-immigration sentiment after the country opened its borders to more than 1.1 million refugees and migrants from predominantly Muslim countries.
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