School in Germany bans Muslim children from public prayer: Report
BERLIN - Anadolu AgencyTurkish state-run Anadolu Agency has reported that a high school in the western German city of Wuppertal has banned Muslim students from publicly praying in the school building.
The Johannes Rau all-day high school asked teachers on Feb. 16 to issue a “friendly warning” to students performing prayers in the building, a leaked document circulated on social media has revealed.
The school management said ritual pre-prayer washing in the school’s toilets and publicly praying in the school building are not permitted. It also urged teachers to report the names of students who do not observe the rules.
The controversial ban has drawn widespread criticism on social media but was backed by the country’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
In a Facebook post on March 2, the AfD’s Wuppertal branch stated that the move once again demonstrated the failed migration policies of the mainstream German parties.
Germany has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe and a large majority of its four million Muslims are well-integrated.
While freedom of religion is guaranteed under Germany’s constitution, several court decisions in the past backed restrictive measures “if prayers undermine school peace.”
The report comes amid tension between Ankara and Berlin over the cancelation of a planned March 2 meeting by Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ with Turkish citizens in Gaggenau in southern Germany.