Denmark: Muslim prayers allowed in public schools

Denmark: Muslim prayers allowed in public schools

See more here about the school prayer dispute.


Prayers of faiths other than Christian can take place in public schools, says Danish Education Minister Bertel Haarder. The DPP (Danish People's Party) calls that submission.

Muslim, Jewish and Christian prayers are welcome in the Danish public school.  As long as students have the possibility to be exempted, all prayers are in principle allowed at the school's morning assembly.  Education Minister Bertel Haarder stated this in an answer to Social Democrats' education spokesperson, Christine Antorini.  Bertel Haarder stresses that Danish culture and Christian education have special weight in the public school education.

"But that doesn't excludes that recital of prayer of a religion other than Christianity can take place in connection with collective events, such as for example morning assembly.  As with the Lord's Prayer it is yet a requirements that prayer not be preached," answers Bertel Haarder.

Martin Henriksen, education spokesperson for the DPP, called the announcement another submission from the minister's side.

"It's going too far if a school begins to recite Muslim prayers on Friday.  The public school should integrate students of a non-Danish cultural background into Danish culture.  If schools begin with Friday prayer it has a flat out opposite effect.  We will not accept the many cultural special considerations in public school,"  says Martin Henriksen.

Source: Kristeligt Dagblad (Danish)

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