Wednesday, February 08, 2006

School Campaigners Disrupt Catholic Mass

"Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in a speech at Mansion House in London last night called for Christians and Muslims to show each other mutual respect, vital to a healthy society."

What's all that about respect ?

From the Daily Record :

A priest yesterday launched a pulpit attack on Muslims who disrupted a Mass at a Catholic school.
Father John Gannon labelled parents who withdrew children from the service at staggered intervals as "extremists".
And MP Mohammad Sarwar also condemned the demo, rejecting claims that Muslim pupils were forced to attend Mass at St Albert's Primary in Pollokshields, Glasgow.
The Glasgow Central Labour MP said the actions did not represent the wider Muslim community.
He said: "It was totally unnecessary to disrupt a religious service, especially when the head teacher made it clear she doesn't force anyone to take part in this Mass."
The Campaign for Muslim Schools last month called for the school's faith to be changed to Islam.
Almost 80 per cent of the 350 pupils are Muslim, while 13 per cent are Sikh.
The walkout from Friday's Mass involved about a dozen children and was led by SNP councillor Bashir Ahmed.
Father Gannon, who was celebrating the Mass at the school, said parents who did not wish their children to be present could have given the school advance notice.
In his sermon yesterday at St Albert's Church, he accused them of "deliberate and sustained" disruption.
He added: "The vast majority of the parents, of all faiths, remain supportive and respectful of the school."
Father Gannon said the Campaign for Muslim Schools alleged pupils were forced to attend Mass and those who did not had to stand facing a wall.
He added: "It is a waste of breath to refute this rubbish."
Sarwar said he was satisfied no children were forced to attend Mass. He added: "Seventy-eight per cent of pupils are Muslim. If only 10 people have taken their child home, that shows this action was not representative of the wider community."

Brian Fitzpatrick, chairman of St Albert's parish council, said he was "appalled" by the protest.
He said: "It doesn't matter if you are Catholic, Jewish or Hindu, you do not go into a place of worship and disrupt it. You don't use children as a political stunt."
Councillor Ahmed was unavailable for comment.

A Catholic Church spokesman said Glasgow City Council were responsible for the running of St Albert's.
He added: "Where a majority of children at a Catholic school are now of a different faith, the decision on whether the school remains Catholic is entirely up to the local authority."

Daily Herald :

Father Gannon criticised the parents' actions during his Sunday sermon at St Albert's Church. He spoke of how a dozen protesters gathered just before Mass started.

He said: "Had this been about attendance at Mass, they would have followed the regulations and given the school advance notice, as indeed one person did.

"By their deliberate and sustained disruption it is clear that their intention was to show their contempt for the Christian faith.

"It was especially ironic that they chose to deliver this insult on the day Muslims throughout Europe were expressing outrage at the disrespect shown to their prophet."
Bashir Ahmed, the local SNP councillor, denied reports that he led the action, but refused to comment further.


dearieme said...

I'd be very happy to see religious state schools scrapped altogether, but while they exist this sort of thing is intolerable. I take it that there must be Muslims who are actively seeking to provoke European states to attempt mass expulsions of Muslims?

Anonymous said...

If Christians had done this in a Muslim school there would be riots.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, this seems to raise two points. Firstly, What does this say about the change in the nature of the UK population that within a short period of time 80% of the population of a Catholic school can be replaced with Muslims. Secondly, why are Muslim children attending a Catholic Mass, this situation was bound to be inflamatory at some time. However never let it be said that Islam is insensitive (otherwise you might be in trouble!)