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A teacher has been detained by Mozambican police for forcing six Muslim students to break their fast during Ramadan, a police source said on Friday.
The chemistry teacher in Pebane District, central Zambezia province, forced the students to drink water in the classroom during the Ramadan fast in June to punish them for failing to do their homework, Zambézia Police spokesman Miguel Caetano said.
The students reported the incident to their caretakers who, along with the council of the Islamic community, filed a complaint with the district authorities, resulting in the detention of the teacher.
“The teacher was detained for a crime of discrimination,” the spokesman said, saying that in a secular state, the teacher violated freedom of choice by discriminating against students based on religion.
Reacting to the incident, the president of the Muslim community in Zambézia, Inusso Ismail, explained that, following the students’ the complaint, a team was formed to investigate the incident, which then filed a complaint with the police.
Abdul Satar, chairman of the council of Islamic Theologians of Zambézia and who led the team, told Lusa that the attitude of the teacher showed “disrespect” for religious sensitivity and lack of educational ethics and cultural knowledge.
“It was a major grievance for us, a disrespect of Islamic principles,” Satar said, adding that despite being an isolated case, the forced fast break “was an extreme violation of the freedoms of choice and practices embodied In the Constitution of the Republic of Mozambique”.
Satar said that this was the first significant case in Zambezia, although the Islamic community was still coming to terms with the ban on wearing the burkha in Mozambican schools.
Lusa – 07.07.2017Source: Lusa