SOPU in Hillerød – an educational institution that offers social and health education, adult vocational training courses and 10th grade classes – is defending its decision to prohibit Muslim women and students of other faiths to pray and practise their religion while on school grounds.
“Some have seen a young woman lie down and pray in a communal area,” SOPU head Inger Margrethe Nielsen told Berlingske.
“We have had her training manager have a chat with her. We have a number of rules at the school, and one of them is that you keep private matters such as faith and politics to yourself.”
Nielsen said the rules prohibiting prayer are similar to those banning smoking and has called for proper conduct while on school property.
The school also said its rules reflect what students will encounter when they leave school to take a job, as practising religion is not allowed in most workplaces.
A Facebook debate has arisen in the wake of the school’s decision, with some saying the school is taking the right course of action, while others question its position.
“Can’t we use our breaks however we want? This is petty,” wrote one student.
The case follows one in which six Muslim women were last month refused an education at VUC Lyngby because they wore niqabs that left only their eyes visible.
They were offered an online education in lieu of class time.