Denmark: Headscarf on mosque school trip

Denmark: Headscarf on mosque school trip

Everybody is so focused on the headscarf issue that nobody seems to care that the class is going on a school trip to what is considered an extremist mosque. The mosque on Dortheavej is the Islamic Faith Society's mosque, made famous by Abu Laban. Abu Laban successor, Mostafa Chendid, made headlines when he said all women should wear a headscarf, since 10% of men are sex-crazed maniacs (see Denmark: Women should stop tempting men and Denmark: The new sheik of Dortheavej).

More on the mosque and Islamic Faith Society:
* Denmark: Islamic Society connected to Muslim Brotherhood
* Denmark: Turkish Muslims oppose Islamic Society
* Denmark: Islamic Society accused of being radicals/apostates
* Copenhagen: Imams cooperating with Hizb ut-Tahrir


Danish newspaper B.T. reported today about Amanda, a Danish 3rd grader from a Copenhagen suburb school, who had to stay in class while her class visited the Dortheavej mosque, all because she refused to wear a headscarf.

Her mother, Maia Thorup, though her daughter shouldn't be forced to wear a headscarf and two more parents later complained. Maia Thorup says that her daughter refused because they oppose oppression at home. She says it's fine for them to visit a mosque and see how others live and practice their religion and it's also fine for integration, but it's not fair that a nine year old should be forced to wear a headscarf.

She says people should respect each other, and Muslims are also not forced to eat pork in hospitals or elsewhere in public.

In response teacher Semail Wanscher told her that her daughter would have to stay in school during the trip. She added that most Muslim women don't feel oppressed, though Westerners thinks they are.

All the 3rd grade teachers decided the girls should wear the headscarf. Teacher Semail told B.T. that this was so they can learn and feel what it's like to be a Muslim. The mosque visit was in the framework of a school project on Islam.

B.T. removed the article about the other complaints, but Norwegian site has a piece of it. The parents of an Iranian girl wrote the teacher that they fled Iran due to oppression and will in no way accept that their daughter would wear a headscarf. It's OK to go to a mosque, as long as it's without a headscarf.

The two other parents backed down, but Maria Thorup didn't and so Amanda was left behind.

The school told B.T. that they reject the teachers' decision. Mogens Steenbuch, the school's prinicpal says that the school doesn't think that girls should be forced to wear a headscarf if they don't want to." When B.T. called him Wed. night he also said that it's a mistake to keep a child out of class because she does not wish to wear a headscarf. He also doesn't know of any requirement in Islam for minor girls to wear a headscarf.

The chairman of the Islamic Faith Society, Bilal Assaad, says that they'll never dream of such a request and that visitors are free to decide whether they want to put on a headscarf or not. He says it is probably the teachers who wanted the students to do so. Assaad says it's completely mistaken for non-Muslims to imitate Muslims.

He says he can understand Amanda's mother, since Amanda isn't a Muslim. "You must also remember that it's not Saudi Arabia where all women are covered the whole time. We live in Denmark, and it's also our land." Assaad added that in the summer Danes come for visits in light summer clothes.

The mosque has between 150-200 visits a year of groups of 20-70 people.

Assaad says that many different people come to visit to see how Muslims act in day-to-day life, or to experience a Friday prayer.

Source: BT 1, 2, 3 (Danish), h/t

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