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Should Muslim children be excused from school once a week for prayer?



The Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area has a request for public school teachers and administrators. They want children of Muslim parents to be dismissed from school early once a week so that they can attend a mandatory prayer service.

Oh, and by early, they mean 12:30p until the end of the school day.

Because that won’t disrupt student learning at all.



What do you think?

Answer Question

Asked by tnm786 at 3:41 PM on Sep. 6, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 43 (159,608 Credits)
Answers (33)
  • Well, in my opinion, yeah. Kids are out for Jewish holidays, kids are out for Christian holidays and in Minnesota many of the rural schools excuse EVERYONE early on Wednesdays for church stuff.

    So, as long as they're doing it for some they'll have to do it for everyone.

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 3:45 PM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • Under law they may have to - reasonable is open to interpretation, and they are under no obligation to automatically bump their grades up if they miss, any more than they are to bump up the grades of someone who misses 7 weeks straight due to mono.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 3:45 PM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • me personally- i dont have a problem with public schools being flexible with religious traditions, but i do think once a week is a tad frequent. im not really understanding why the prayer can't wait until after school.

    Comment by tnm786 (original poster) at 3:49 PM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • What I know about Islam would fill a thimble but I think timing plays an important role in prayer

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 3:51 PM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • The problem I have with it is what happens when these kids start falling behind because of what they miss? Are the kids and their parents going to take responsibility for it, acknowledge that their religious beliefs/behaviors are causing it and take steps to bring the grades back up? Or are they going to expect special treatment and exceptions? And I also have to wonder how truancy will be handled - I know many places only count actual absences, but some count tardies and leaving early too - so if they count those, are they going to be an exception to the rule, making non-Muslim kids feel that they're being treated differently and unfairly? Or will they change the rule?

    I'm all for respecting religious beliefs and practices, but I also see this creating some major issues. I guess it all depends on how everyone involved handles it.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 3:51 PM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • i do vaguely remember reading about muslims in the workforce that had to take frequent breaks to pray, because it had to be done at a certain time. i find it kind of sad that their god isn't flexible with education.

    Comment by tnm786 (original poster) at 3:53 PM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • The "church" shouldn't be requesting it. Only the parents. If the parent want to take their kid out of school like that. that is ok with me. But not the "church".

    Answer by louise2 at 3:54 PM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • I'm wondering how they will make up work for classes that you HAVE to be there for,like music and PE.

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 4:01 PM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • "They can do like Catholics do and send them to a private faith based school that holds those kinds of services during the school day or homeschool."

    But like I said, in Minnesota (especially in the rural areas) there are many districts that let the entire student population go home early on Wednesdays for Christian services. No one is telling them to send their kids to private school

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 4:18 PM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • Interesting how it hasn't been mandatory before this and there have been muslim children attending school for many many years.

    I also agree with Louise The church has no right to ask for the children to be dismissed. I think each parent should need to request it, week by week.

    Answer by Dardenella at 4:20 PM on Sep. 6, 2013

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