Children told to copy lines from Muslim Call To Prayer – to practise their handwriting

Junior schoolchildren were told to copy lines of a Muslim prayer – for handwriting practice.

The Call To Prayer copied by ten-year-olds at Newlands Primary School in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, included the lines “Allah is the greatest” and “there is no god but Allah”.

Angry parent Hayley Clayton told the Sun: “The explanation was that the children were learning about Islam in RE. [Religious Education – RNB]

“But this was like taking an oath. A Muslim child would never be asked to write a Bible passage.”

Her stepson Billy Darbyshire was one of the classmates told by his teacher, deputy head Helen Green, to copy the prayer. “Why didn’t she choose a passage from a normal story book to teach handwriting?”

When she pointed out that three of the 7/7 suicide bombers came from Leeds just 15 miles away, Mrs Green acknowleged that it was a “sensitive issue”.

“If it’s sensitive, why choose that prayer?” she asked.

Billy’s dad Martin said there were no Muslims in the class. “I’m not religious but it offended me.

“It must have been worse for children whose parents do have different beliefs.”

Wakefield Council officials said they believed the prayer had been written for a Religious Education lesson.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday August 7, 2007.
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