Australia Is­lamic school ‘bans run­ning’ over fears that girls might ‘lose vir­gin­ity’

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

An Is­lamic col­lege in Australia is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter claims that its prin­ci­pal has banned girls from tak­ing part in run­ning com­pe­ti­tions be­cause they might “lose their vir­gin­ity.”

Vic­to­ria state Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter James Mer­lino said Thurs­day that if true, the claims made by a for­mer teacher at Mel­bourne’s Al-Taqwa Col­lege “would be very con­cern­ing.”

“I have asked the schools reg­u­la­tor, the Vic­to­rian Reg­is­tra­tion and Qual­i­fi­ca­tions Author­ity, to in­ves­ti­gate,” he said in a state­ment.

The for­mer teacher wrote to gov­ern­ment min­is­ters this week al­leg­ing “the prin­ci­pal ( Omar Hal­lak) holds be­liefs that if fe­males run ex­ces­sively, they may ‘lose their vir­gin­ity’,” The Age news­pa­per said.

“The prin­ci­pal be­lieves that there is sci­en­tific ev­i­dence to in­di­cate that if girls in­jure them­selves, such as break their leg while play­ing soc­cer, it could ren­der them in­fer­tile.”

Hal­lak de­nied the al­le­ga­tions late Thurs­day in a state­ment and said girls were “en­cour­aged to par­tic­i­pate in all ac­tiv­i­ties,” sub­ject to parental con­sent.

“We do not be­lieve that run­ning ex­ces­sively may cause fe­male stu­dents to lose their vir­gin­ity or that sport­ing in­juries could ren­der them in­fer­tile,” the state­ment added, ac­cord­ing to the news­pa­per.

The state­ment did not di­rectly ad­dress claims that girls from the col­lege’s pri­mary school had been blocked from tak­ing part in some dis­trict events.

The Age pub­lished a let­ter that ap­peared to be writ­ten by the col­lege’s cross-coun­try team to Hal­lak chal­leng­ing his de­ci­sion to re­port­edly stop the pri­mary school’s team from com­pet­ing in events in 2013 and 2014.

“Just be­cause we are girls doesn’t mean we can’t par­tic­i­pate in run­ning events,” the let­ter said, adding that the de­ci­sion was “re­ally of­fen­sive to all the girls that were go­ing to par­tic­i­pate.”

“It also doesn’t say that girls can’t run in the ha­dith (say­ings of the Prophet Mo­hammed). As long as us girls are wear­ing ap­pro­pri­ate clothes we can run.”

Al-Taqwa Col­lege is be­lieved to be Vic­to­ria state’s largest Is­lamic school and had 1,701 stu­dents en­rolled last year, ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment data.

The co- ed­u­ca­tional in­de­pen­dent school takes in stu­dents up to 18 years old, and re­ceived more than AU$15 mil­lion (US$11.6 mil­lion) in gov­ern­ment fund­ing in 2013.

It is not the first time Hal­lak has made head­lines.

The prin­ci­pal told The Age last month that he had in­structed stu­dents not to join Is­lamic State as the ji­hadist group was a plot by Is­rael and the United States to gain con­trol of Mid­dle Eastern oil.

“They are trained and equipped by them: (the) ev­i­dence is all the shiny new equip­ment,” Hal­lak was quoted as say­ing. “We don’t be­lieve Mus­lims are cre­at­ing IS.”

He added that killing in­no­cent peo­ple was not “the Is­lamic way.”

Fed­eral Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Christo­pher Pyne re­port­edly wrote to the school seek­ing an ex­pla­na­tion for Hal­lak’s IS com­ments.

Australia has be­come in­creas­ingly con­cerned about “home-grown” ISin­spired ex­trem­ists.

The coun­try raised its threat level to “high” last Septem­ber and has since car­ried out a se­ries of counter-ter­ror­ism raids.

AFP

AFP

(Above) An In­dian vis­i­tor looks at ob­jects printed us­ing 3D prin­ters dis­played dur­ing the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the 3D Print­ing Ex­pe­ri­ence Cen­ter in Ban­ga­lore on Thurs­day, April 23. (Left) Sup­port en­gi­neer Ganesh Babu looks at a 3D-printed ob­ject fol­low­ing the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the 3D Print­ing Ex­pe­ri­ence Cen­ter in Ban­ga­lore on Thurs­day. The 3D Print­ing Ex­pe­ri­ence Cen­ter fea­tures the lat­est in cut­ting-edge 3D print­ing tech­nolo­gies us­ing PolyJet and Fused De­po­si­tion Mod­el­ing us­ing PolyJet pho­topoly­mers and FDM ther­mo­plas­tics to cater to the fast grow­ing In­dian mar­ket.

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