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Germany: Two teachers ban non-Muslim fifth graders from drinking water due to 3 Muslim classmates fasting during Ramadan in Frankfurt

According to reports, the class consists of 27 students, with 3 of them being from the Muslim faith. The fifth-grade students, aged around 10-11 years, informed their parents that two teachers had forbidden them from drinking water in class because three of their Muslim classmates were fasting during Ramadan.

Two teachers at an unnamed comprehensive school in the Frankfurt area of Germany have reportedly imposed a ban on non-Muslim students in the fifth class from drinking water in the classroom. According to reports, they did so in “consideration” of a few Muslim students observing fasting during Ramadan.

The development was first reported by the German outlet NIUS on 13th March. The article’s English-translated title read, “Comprehensive school near Frankfurt: Because it is Ramadan, fifth graders should no longer drink in class.”

According to reports, the class consists of 27 students, with 3 of them being from the Muslim faith. The fifth-grade students, aged around 10-11 years, informed their parents that two teachers had forbidden them from drinking water in class because three of their Muslim classmates were fasting during Ramadan.

As part of their fasting practice, Muslims observing Ramadan refrain from consuming any food or drink, including water, during daylight hours and break their fast at sunset with iftar. 

A father of one of the school students told NIUS, “At dinner, we always talk about how the day was. I asked my daughter what was new at school. She then told us that two teachers had forbidden the students from drinking in class because three of the 27 children were fasting.”

The father explained the strange development pointing out that usually students were allowed to drink from their water bottles and refill them from water dispensers. He added that the children have their water bottles on the table and are allowed to drink in class if they are thirsty. He noted, “You can always fill up your bottles in the hallway outside, there’s a water dispenser.”

Bewildered by the recent development, he said, “We found this announcement strange. On the one hand, the children in fifth grade are between 10 and 11 years old. Even for religious Muslims, the fasting requirement only applies from the age of 14. And: The fact that 24 children have to take three children into consideration when it comes to basic physical needs – that’s a strange intervention.”

Speaking with the German portal, he noted that he and his wife told their daughter that she should drink if she was thirsty.

However, the NIUS report added that the decision to ban students from drinking water was seemingly a personal ruling by two teachers. Notably, according to the girl, the announcement made by the two teachers does not appear to be a school requirement. Evidently, another teacher at the same school allowed the children to drink as usual if they wished.

Despite repeated attempts to get a response, the school has not responded to any query in this matter. 

According to reports, the incident occurred in the same German city, Frankfurt which recently made headlines for becoming the only city where Ramadan lights were installed in its city centre, last month.

In an application to the city council last year, the governing German Green Party wrote, “By decorating during Ramadan, the city of Frankfurt is sending an important signal to Muslims and appreciates the people of Muslim faith in this city.” 

Hailing from the same party, Frankfurt Mayor Nargess Eskandari-Grünberg said, “They are lights of togetherness, against reservations, against discrimination, against anti-Muslim racism, and also against anti-Semitism.”

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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