Don’t Let Schools Infringe on Muslim Students’ Religious Rights

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Islamic_prayers#/media/File:Takbir_of_prayer.jpg

Target: Hayden Tyers, Executive Principal of the Lion Academy Trust

Goal: Don’t prevent Muslim students from privately observing the holy month of Ramadan at school.

Muslim students who want to observe Ramadan by privately fasting during the school day will be prevented from doing so by school authorities at the Lion Academy Trust network of schools in England, according to reports. These students have the right to practice their religion. Demand that the academy leadership lift this ridiculous ban at once.

Every year, observant Muslims fulfill one of the Five Pillars of their faith by observing the holy month of Ramadan. During this month, many Muslims consider it mandatory to fast from dawn till dusk, only eating early in the morning and late at night. Obviously, for Muslim students who choose to observe Ramadan, this means that a significant part of the time they are supposed to spend fasting is spent at school.

Unfortunately for Muslim students who attend any of the four schools London’s Lion Academy Trust operates, they will no longer be able to do this. Citing concerns about students’ hypothetical inability to “fully access the school curriculum in their attempts to fast,” the academy has announced that Muslim children attending its schools will no longer be allowed to not eat during school hours. How the academy intends to enforce this, the announcement did not deign to specify.

While it is not incumbent on Muslim children to fast during Ramadan like it is for adults, every child’s decision about participation should be made by them and their family, not by their school. These schools have no right to bar their students from observing unobtrusive religious rites. Sign the petition below to demand that the Lion Academy Trust lift this discriminatory policy at once.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Executive Principal Tyers,

I am writing you today regarding your academy’s recent announcement that its Muslim students would no longer be allowed to observe the Ramadan fast while they are at your school. This is a ridiculous policy that infringes on the religious rights of your students.

It is not your responsibility, or the responsibility of any of your schools, to dictate how your students can engage in their religion. As long as their observances don’t bother anyone else or disrupt the learning environment, you have no grounds to curtail the private religious practices students choose to engage in while at school. This is especially true when such restrictions are specifically targeted at a religious minority.

With anti-Muslim hate and bigotry increasing in your country and across Europe at truly alarming rates, it is difficult not to view this new policy as anything but willful antagonism against Muslims. I demand that you immediately lift this ridiculous policy and let Muslim students who wish to do so fast for Ramadan while at school.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Sign the Petition

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