Take a look at this photograph. It appeared in The Toronto Star’s education section on Saturday:
It’s the scene every Friday at the cafeteria of Valley Park Middle School in Toronto. That’s not a private academy, it’s a public school funded by taxpayers. And yet, oddly enough, what’s going on is a prayer service – oh, relax, it’s not Anglican or anything improper like that; it’s Muslim Friday prayers, and the Toronto District School Board says don’t worry, it’s just for convenience: They put the cafeteria at the local imams’ disposal because otherwise the kids would have to troop off to the local mosque and then they’d be late for Lesbian History class or whatever subject is scheduled for Friday afternoon.
The picture is taken from the back of the cafeteria. In the distance are the boys. They’re male, so they get to sit up front at prayers. Behind them are the girls. They’re female, so they have to sit behind the boys because they’re second-class citizens – not in the whole of Canada, not formally, not yet, but in the cafeteria of a middle school run by the Toronto District School Board they most certainly are.
And the third row? The ones with their backs to us in the foreground of the picture? Well, let the Star’s caption writer explain:
At Valley Park Middle School, Muslim students participate in the Friday prayer service. Menstruating girls, at the very back, do not take part.
More at BCF.
- TDSB defends hosting Muslim prayer sessions (theglobeandmail.com)
- Muslim prayers at Toronto school provoke outcry (windsorstar.com)
- UPD: Toronto school: Muslim prayers yes, Christian and other prayers -hell no (creepingsharia.wordpress.com)