Muslim prayers have no place in a public school.And exactly what happens during these prayer sessions?
That's the message the Canadian Hindu Advocacy and the Christian Heritage Party are sending the Toronto District School Board as they prepare to stage a picket outside the board's head office next week.
"Enough's enough, we draw the line here," said G.J. Rancourt of CHP London during a press conference on Monday at the Toronto Zionist Centre. "Our holiest celebration is Christmas and we can no longer celebrate it in public schools. We don't want to make people feel uncomfortable but we don't want you to forget who we are. Why would (Muslims) impose your values on the rest of us when we're accommodating?"
Local imams are brought in to lead a 40-minute service with about 400 students in which the boys sit in front of girls in the lunch room. Girls who are said to be menstruating are told to sit at the very back.Some reports say that menstruating girls cannot attend the services altogether.
Non-Muslims are banned from the room during prayers.
The 40 minute prayer session occurs every Friday.
The student population of the school is said to be 80-90% Muslim.
The school justifies the policy by saying that otherwise the students walk to a nearby mosque during school hours.
It looks pretty clear that this violates Canadian law. Yet this practice has been happening for about three years!