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  1. Australia school criticised for letting Muslim students walk out during national anthem Scott Morrison, Australia’s treasurer, attacks school’s “pathetic” decision to allow Muslim students to skip singing of the national anthem during a religious mourning periodScott Morrison, a senior Australian government minister, has criticised a school which allowed Muslim students to leave an assembly for the singing of the national anthem during a religious period of mourning. The head of Cranbourne Carlisle primary school allowed about 30 to 40 Shia Muslim students aged eight to ten to leave the assembly, saying it was the Muharram period for the children, a sacred month when Shia Muslims observe a period of mourning, and they should not be required to take part in “joyous” events. “It wasn’t a pre-thought-out action,” Cheryl Irving, the school principal, told Channel 10. “When they came to the assembly, they were caught in a dilemma. They knew that they should not be taking part in music. They also knew that the national anthem had music, so they were caught in a dilemma and didn’t know what to do. Some stood to leave, so the teacher intervened and gave them the opportunity to move out quietly, so they weren’t confused and they weren’t upset.” The decision angered parents, while Muslim schools said it was standard for all Muslim students to sing Advance Australia Fair, the national anthem. Mr Morrison, the national treasurer, equivalent to Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, said he was offended by the school’s actions and believed it deserved the “muppet of the year award”. “I know people of Muslim faith [who] would be just as offended about this as you or I would,” he told Radio 3AW. “I just shook my head and went ‘that’s just doing nobody any favours’. Some do-gooder’s tried to make a point and they’ve ended up damaging the whole show. So look, they get the muppet of the year award from me for that.” The education department in the state of Victoria reportedly backed the school, saying it was important to respect religious observances of all students. Kuranda Seyit, from the Islamic Council of Victoria, said the situation was a “storm in a teacup”. "I think that it is important that we don't blow this out of proportion, and understand that the national anthem is something that Muslims take great pride in singing,” he told The Age. “In this particular incident it happened at a time when they were not allowed to sing and I think we should respect that choice." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/11959894/Australia-school-criticised-for-letting-Muslim-students-walk-out-during-national-anthem.html --------------- I don't know what to think of this. I mean I thought patriotic songs were allowed anyway. Also, the fact that they're saying it's the music the students may have had a problem with means they should have a problem with it the rest of the year too. I'd imagine if whoever is having trouble understanding this part of the children's religion, wouldn't be too pleased after learning that they'd have (or should have) a problem with it at other times too. I don't think anyone's annoyance over this is unjustified. National anthems are usually a matter of a country's respect. Most people are required to stand up for it as long as it's playing. What does everyone else think?
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