Another visit to the mosque cancelled

Another Dutch school cancels a planned visit to a mosque after parents and students protested.

Pieter Zandt College, a middle school in Kampen, canceled a planned visit of several hundred students to a local mosque after parents protested.

Several students approached a local clergyman asking for advice. In response he described the tour as “getting down on your knees before Islam”, objecting especially to the place of the meeting. “I advised them against visiting the mosque. Before you may enter you must take off your shoes. This action has religious implications. You step onto ground that is holy according to a religion with which we disagree.” (note: taking off your shoes is a sign of respect and has no religious connotations as far as I know. As most mosques are covered with rugs, it also has practical ramifications.)

This would have been the first time that students would have visited a mosque, in the framework of religion lessons and as part of a series of lessons on Islam.

The management of the school was surprised by the protest and according to the principal, many students and parents are disappointed at the cancellation. The school does not see the matter as closed. “We will talk it over here calmly and consider if doing this really went too far. If we would have invited an imam to the school, it probably wouldn’t have been a problem.”

Source: Nederlands Dagblad (Dutch)

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