German court rules Muslim pupil cannot pray at school, cites tensions
A German court ruled on Wednesday that a Muslim student in Berlin cannot pray in the corridor of his high school even outside lesson time as it would disrupt the school. Germany’s Federal Administrative Court said in a statement its ruling applied only to this particular instance and took into account special circumstances at the school.
German media reported there were pupils belonging to five different faiths and different branches of Islam, which had caused tension in the past.
“The court has decided that…performing the prayer rite in the school corridor could exacerbate a threat which already exists to the peace of the school community,” the court said, adding the school was not able to organise a separate room for prayer. “By (peace of the school community) we mean an environment which is free of conflict and… which allows lessons to take place in an orderly manner.”
The court noted conflict had broken out among Muslim students themselves after accusations that the student’s prayer ritual was not in accordance with a particular teaching of the Koran.
The case dates back to 2007 when the student along with some of his peers organised a prayer session one break time in the school corridor. The students kneeled on their jackets and recited prayers.