Friday, 31 May 2013

Oh no! I have got it wrong about Muslim Prayer Rooms!

I am sorry. So very sorry, so-oo sorry.

Hello - I'm your new parish counsellor

You see there are no Muslim Prayer Rooms in the Catholic Schools of England and Wales - I stand corrected.

I have been told this fact and I am sure my informant is correct.

He tells me that there are no Muslim Prayer Rooms in our schools....only rooms used by Muslim pupils for prayer.

Umm....just run that past me again mean there are only dedicated rooms for Muslims to pray Muslim Prayer Rooms?

Ooh, I'm feeling a bit funny, time for a couple of Mogadon and a lie down.

And, you may be surprised, dear friends (and others) to learn that I have been reading Twitter....yes, really.
 It's easy, just like reading haiku.
Anyway, some kindly old soul made a comment on this whole Muslim Prayer Room debate and tweeted the following:

"Maybe our own pupils would learn from the Muslims" (that's my paraphrase but accurate in essence).

Ah, well, that makes sense. Let's make Muslim Prayer Rooms mandatory in all Catholic Schools so that Catholic pupils can learn how to pray!

Stop the world, I want to get off!


  1. Will nobody rid us of this mouthy deacon?

  2. I don't understand why there would be a place for Muslims to pray in a Catholic School. Isn't that why they are CATHOLIC schools??? Would a Muslim school provide space for Catholics to pray?????????? I don't think so!!! ♥

  3. Would you object to prayer rooms being provided for Jews?

    1. Disingenuous to drag the Jews into this - unless you can show us an instance of a Jew in a Catholic school demanding a prayer room, or a trendy chaplain providing one.

      Jews don't demand to pray facing Mecca five times a day, so there is no need to provide a prayer space in the vestry adjoining a Catholic chapel for them to do so. Nor do Sikhs. Nor do Hindus. Nor do Buddhists. Nor do adherents of Shinto.

      And another thing - have you asked yourself why a vestry qualifies as a prayer space suitable for the iconoclastic religionists who blew a world heritage site to pieces to destroy Buddhist idols?

      Surely a vestry should have a crucifix in it - or was this moved?

    2. Agreed on all counts Dilly. A fatuous question from Res Miranda, sorry, Red Maria...

    3. If I understand correctly, Dilly's objection is to Muslim pupils being provided with a prayer room, not the provision of a prayer room to adherents of a different religion in itself. Have I got that right?

    4. You do not understand correctly - my point is that a chaplain came on to a previous thread and stated that the vestry of a Catholic School Chapel was being used for Muslim students to pray in. This is clearly unsuitable from both a Muslim and a Catholic viewpoint. If you want to do the usual left wing Alinsky tactic of accusing someone of racism when they make a point, then bring it on. I teach teenagers, so I'm used to knee-jerk political correctness.

    5. Sorry Dilly but the nature of your objection is still unclear. Do you object to the provision of prayer rooms for the adherents of other religions, specifically for Muslims or that it was a vestry which was being used?

      What do you teach out of interest?

    6. If the nature of my objection is still unclear I should probably be teaching English Comprehension to socialists.

    7. Not if you can't get your capitalisation right, old girl ;-)

      (Clue comprehension didn't need cap c, Socialists did).

      As any fule kno immigrants exist to correct semi-educated English people.


      Can you answer my questions please?

    8. I could use this reply to point out to Maria that grammar and comprehension are not synonymous - but I thought it would be more instructive to explain to readers what is going on here.

      Anyone wishing to analyse the technique Red Maria and Deacon Tony are using here and on other blogs should read about Alinsky here.

      The Rules are about halfway down the page.

      Alinsky - a great favourite of socialists - dedicated his work to Lucifer.

      You will note that having already answered Maria's question a while back, she persists here (and in a mutually supportive little twitter exchange with Deacon Flavin) to act as if I have not. This attempt to wrongfoot contributors (and the original poster, who has borne their whining with great grace) is simply Alinsky tactic 13 -

      "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

      All those wondering why "Catholic" education and catechesis is in its current state can now trace the effect of the Alinsky Method. Quite simply it has enabled those who owe their primary allegiance to socialism rather than to God to thieve the schools and institutions built with the pennies of the immigrant poor, and to turn them into bastions of syncretism and indifferentism.

    9. I'll make it even simpler, by reposting Richard's excellent letter as it contains the essence and extent of my position (and that of all the signatories) on the subject.

      "We have been made aware of a number of Catholic Schools in your Archdiocese, where, in conflict with Catholic teaching and in direct contradiction of their mission statements, resources have been allocated to providing prayer rooms for Muslim students.

      This is not an issue with Muslim pupils attending Catholic Schools, always provided that there is a shortfall in places. Such attendance is an opportunity for the Faith to be spread by example and by observation on the part of the pupils.

      It is concerned directly with the fact that this facility should not be provided on Catholic premises, especially, a school setting where young people could, quite understandably, interpret the provision as a signal that there is little or no difference between Catholicism and Islam.

      We hope that you will act to put an end to this practice and inform Headteachers, Chaplains and Deacons who may be involved in pastoral work in the Catholic School sector, to that effect."

      Now, please remember Alinsky Rule 8 (“Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” )

      must be read in the context of Alinsky Rule 7

      (“A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.)

    10. Red Maria's four point yes/no question to which the above relates has mysteriously disappeared. Never mind.

  4. 1. OK, it is not a Catholic school ... but I have of late had occasion to avoid entering my afternoon classroom during a part of the lunch break so that a student is able to use it for prayer. (Not a problem to me, as the prep room is just next door.) It is a physics laboratory; and a room where, on occasion, a Muslim student prays. Hmm, there is a difference between that and a room exclusively dedicated to Muslim prayer...
    2. A study of the theology of Christian de Cherge, the prior of the monastic community martyred at Tibhirine, considers the part played by prayer in the dialogue between religions, and in this particular case, the dialogue between Islam and Catholicism. The title of the relevant chapter is in my translation and commentary "Those who pray (ie the monks) among others who pray (ie their muslim neighbours)". So the possibility that there can be a dialogue between the prayer of Muslim pupils and that of Catholic pupils in a school is a real one.

    If it is just reduced to indifferentism between the two religions ... that isn't dialogue. But that depends on the quality of catechesis in the school and not on a knee jerk (traditionalist) reaction.

    3. I do think there is a work to be done to develop a practice in Catholic schools with regard to situations of inter-religious dialogue such as this that is consciously matched to the principles that the Church offers for such dialogue.

    4. There is a physics theory about mulitple universes. If you are going to get off this one, are you sure about the state of the others?

    1. Christian de Cherge....remind me - how did his dialogue with Islam end up?

  5. " ... only rooms used by Muslim pupils for prayer."

    This is known as the 'mosquing' of a school: it is becoming increasingly widespread here and in North America.

  6. 1. Should Catholic schools only accept Catholic pupils?

    My gut reaction is to say yes, but then we have to ask, "which ones should we close?". In areas outside the large cities where there isn't demand to fill an existing school, what do you do? Shut it when there is one non-Catholic pupil? Or 10% or 50% of the pupils aren't Catholic? Even inside cities, moving demographics mean that there may not be enough Catholic pupils to fill a school.

    2. Should Catholic schools accept Muslim pupils?

    As far as I know, you can not say, we'll only allow non-Catholics providing they're C of E or agnostic (etc.). I'm not convinced that this is a morally acceptable solution either. Some people seem to view Muslims as "worse" than atheists. That is an interesting judgement.

    3. Should you have a "prayer room" for Muslim pupils?

    So, if your school has Muslim students (either because of demographic shifts or an admittance policy with which I, personally, would not agree) should you offer them a prayer room? If you have just one Muslim student, it is only polite and right to offer them a room in which to pray. (The semantics of whether this is a dedicated prayer room, or a room which is suitable for Muslim students to pray do not really interest me.)

    Finally, to quote Pope Benedict XVI,

    "Religious freedom is the pinnacle of all other freedoms. It is a sacred and inalienable right. It includes ... freedom of worship. It includes the freedom to choose the religion which one judges to be true and to manifest one’s beliefs in public. ... Muslims share with Christians the conviction that no constraint in religious matters ... is permitted. Such constraint, which can take multiple and insidious forms on the personal and social, cultural, administrative and political levels, is contrary to God’s will."

    1. All fine and dandy: just not in Catholic schools.

      Or Catholic Churches either.

    2. No one is asking for the provision of separate prayer rooms in Catholic churches so that is a redundant point.

      Would you object to Catholics requesting a separate prayer room if they attended Muslim schools?

    3. Muslims in Córdoba have been demanding the use of Córdoba Cathedral for Muslim prayers.

      Your question is irrelevant.

    4. No offence anonymous but I think your comment is irrelevant. In case you hadn't noticed the subject under discussion is Catholic schools in the UK, not Cordoba Cathedral.

    5. You said no one was asking for Catholic churches to be used for Muslim prayers. And you were quite wrong. Do try to get your facts right.

  7. What does Allah think of unbelievers? Hmm, let's see:

    Qur’an 3:31-32—"Say [O Muhammad]: If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your faults, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Say: Obey Allah and the Apostle; but if they turn back, then surely Allah does not love the unbelievers."

    Qur’an 30:43-45—"Then turn thy face straight to the right religion before there come from Allah the day which cannot be averted; on that day they shall become separated. Whoever disbelieves, he shall be responsible for his disbelief, and whoever does good, they prepare (good) for their own souls, that He may reward those who believe and do good out of His grace; surely He does not love the unbelievers."

    Just the kinds of messages Catholic schools need to be comfortable with.

    You go Deacon!

  8. Why, so many still wonder about the 'evil of Islam' that has penetrated the 'cracks' in the Holy Church?

    Didn't Bl. John Paul II declare "My Saint John Baptist protect Islam and all the people of Jordan" Wadi Al-Kharrar, on March 21, 2000.
    .....this is 'just one' amongst many......

    "Domine Jesu Christe, Miserere Nobis!

    Viva Cristo Rey!!!

  9. only a little note: for muslims the place where they pray can be asked for them as a mosque, no way to let them places inside our churchs or catholic schools.
    And we dont have to forget that for muslims there is no reciprocity.
    and these two notes dont have anything to do with xenophoby.

  10. Richard - Red Maria is a troll. She has done some nasty things to various Catholics. Please block all further comments from her. She really is a nasty piece of work - a real red.

  11. CC - many thanks. I have already decided to do as you suggested.