Once again, hard core Islam butts up against western culture, and one Islamist is protesting grade school academic requirements, and getting scores more families to join him. Today’s example comes from Toronto, Ontario. Our neighbors to the north require students in public elementary school to be instructed in music. As per the rules of Islam, one Islamist man will not allow his children to be subjected to singing and instrument playing.
When music class begins this week at Toronto’s Donwood Park elementary school, Mohammad Nouman Dasu will send a family member to collect his three young children. They will go home for an hour rather than sing and play instruments – a mandatory part of the Ontario curriculum he believes violates his Muslim faith….
According to documents ob-tained by The Globe and Mail, some parents insist they cannot allow their children to be in the same room where musical instruments are being played. Mr. Dasu, a Koran teacher who sometimes leads prayers at Scarborough’s Jame Abu Bakr Siddique mosque, says he has led the fight on behalf of parents. He has consulted with national Islamic bodies, and requested a letter from the leader of his mosque.
“We here believe that music is haram [forbidden]. We can neither listen to it, nor can we play a role in it,” said the mosque’s imam, Kasim Ingar.
To that end, Dasu organized over 130 parents in the last two years to protest the music requirement in the primary grades in the Toronto school system. They used the Canadian version of Freedom of Religion, the religious clauses of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to request religious exemptions. Initial communications with the group indicate that the school board tried to make accommodations, but nothing would do for Dasu and his group than wholesale non-participation in music.
Conceding that Muslims have to adjust when they send their kids to public school, he suggested that some matters, such as teaching music, are beyond debate.
“We do not compromise with anyone on the clear-cut orders and principles conveyed by the Prophet,” said Mr. Ingar, who also leads the Scarborough Muslim Association.
Not all Islamic societies maintain the same level of strictness when it comes to the “extras” in life, but those who are hard-core followers of the prophet will have nothing to do with music. The matter is still being litigated in Ontario.
And here, we western Christians, Jews, and even agnostics and atheists are trying to find ways to salvage what is left of music education. As a classical musician who has been a member of civic choruses and church choirs consistently for at least 27 years, this is very painful.