Category: Schools and Religion

Shariah danger in Netherlands

Retired Dutch politician Frits Bolkestein says the poor quality of Muslim-operated Islamic schools in the Netherlands distance Muslims further from Dutch society.

He fears this may result in ethnic segregation, creating areas in the Netherlands where Shariah is the rule of law.

Bolkestein warns against Islamic schools “where boys and girls are segregated, where Holocaust history is not taught, where anti-Semitism is not combated, and where the curriculum militates against the emancipation of women.”

NC teen: Nose ring more than fashion, it’s faith

A 14-year-old’s nose piercing has landed her a suspension from school and forced her into the middle of a fight over her First Amendment right to exercise her religion. Ariana Iacono has been suspended since last week because her nose ring violates the Johnston County school system’s dress code.

Iacono and her mother, Nikki, belong to the Church of Body Modification, a small group unfamiliar to rural North Carolina, but one with a clergy, a statement of beliefs and a formal process for accepting new members.

It’s enough to draw the interest of the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has contacted school officials with concerns that the rights of the Iaconos are being violated by the suspension.

The Iaconos say the school system is ignoring its own dress code policy, which allows exemptions on religious grounds.

Italy fights for crucifixes in classrooms

Italy will fight Wednesday against a European court ruling that crucifixes in classrooms violate students’ right to freedom of religion.

The European Court of Human Rights found unanimously last November that the display of a particular religious symbol – such as the Christian cross – in a classroom “restricted the right of parents to educate their children in conformity with their convictions, and the right of children to believe or not to believe.”

But the court agreed in January to hear Italy’s appeal. Ten other European governments, dozens of European lawmakers and half a dozen non-governmental organizations have also gotten involved in the appeal.