Leading Muslim academic calls on Irish Catholic schools to allow wearing of hijab (IrishCentral)
By Patrick Counihan
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Trinity College professor Dr Ali Selim has called on all Catholic schools to allow their Muslim pupils to wear the hijab.
He also wants Catholic schools to tailor uniforms to suit the needs of Muslim students.
The Sunday Independent reports that David Quinn, a leading voice on Irish Catholicism, is as odds with Dr Selim’s request.
And even the Islamic Foundation of Ireland (IFI) and the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland have taken issue with Dr Selim’s remarks.
Speaking at the launch of his new book on Islam and education in Ireland, Dr Selim said: “The hijab for Muslims is an essential aspect of character. Depriving Muslims of the right to wear hijabs is very threatening to their identity.
“Although there is no legal ban on the hijab in Irish schools, wearing the headscarf is a divine obligation for Muslim girls. I urge schools to be more flexible about incorporating it as part of their uniform.
“In today’s society we need to apply a more pluralistic approach when it comes to the school uniform.”
A former Secretary General of the Irish Council of Imams and resident in Ireland since 1999, Dr Selim has also called for religious symbols to be removed from school crests.
He added: “It is not dangerous to wear a hijab in class, some may argue that they are dangerous in PE, but there is a special sports hijab that Muslim women wear in the Olympics.