A Danish school has drawn nationwide outage after it moved to cancel its traditional Christmas service out of respect for children of other faiths (aka Muslims). Students at Gribskolen in Graested traditionally gather for a service at the local church before Christmas. The school board has informed parents that the tradition will be scrapped since not all students are Christians. (NEVER was a problem before there were Muslims in the school)
SputnikNews This decision came under a storm of criticism from Danish netizens and politicians alike, Danish Radio reported.
The two main points of criticism are that canceling Christmas service undermines a long-standing Danish tradition and constitutes “taking a knee” to Islam, as the very same school last year held a “Syrian week” (below) during which pupils learned about the Muslim faith and the holy month of Ramadan, tried Syrian food and danced Syrian dances, the Den Korte Avis outlet reported.
The decision to cancel Christmas service was taken in the spring, yet only reached the public now when the parents were first informed about the decision. “This is completely askew. You must not cancel your traditions as misunderstood attention to some students,” Education Minister Merete Riisager said.
Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, who comes from Græsted, put forth his views regarding the issue on Facebook. “This needs a do-over,” Løkke Rasmussen wrote.
Gribskolen board leader Charlotte Orland Pedersen, however, was disappointed by the public’s reaction. She pointed out that at least eight different faiths are represented among the pupils, stressing that the Christmas service was not dropped specifically for the sake of Muslim students. (YES, it was)
By her own admission, she has not heard of any parents who complained about the decision. School Director Association chairman Claus Hjortdal argued that there was nothing wrong with dropping the traditional service for the sake of Muslim students.
However, local parish priest Ole Backer Mogensen called it “overdramatizing” to use the word preaching in connection with the Christmas service.
“If Christmas is reduced to Søren the Banjo Mouse [a popular Danish Christmas song for kids], there won’t be any room left toaddress some of the deeper themes around Christmas, such as promoting peace and goodness between people (In Islam, that means ONLY between Muslims), finding a homes in the midst of rootlessness and so forth,” Ole Backer Mogensen wrote in an opinion piece in the local Netavisen newspaper.