CRL Rights Commission responds to the allegations that Christian students were forced to read Quoran at coastal As-Salaam Camous in Braemar, Umzinto, KwaZulu-Natal Province.
7 Jun 2012
The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities is deeply disturbed and concerned about an act of alleged religious discrimination that occurred during the end of Africa Month, 31 May 2012 and towards the youth month against 70 students who were kicked out of dormitories in a South Coast college for refusing to follow Islamic customs and rules by reading the Quoran and wear Muslim clothes.
The CRL Rights Commission protects the cultural, religious and language rights of every learner at any learning institution within the framework of the Constitutional human rights law and the guaranteed basic human rights such as freedom of religion, belief and opinion including observances that are conducted equitably, freely and voluntarily.
The Department of Higher Education has an obligation to further protect the right to education which include the task to redress discrimination laws emanating from racially, religiously and linguistic aspects. The commission would like to encourage religious tolerance, diversity and respect for dress code of others, within and amongst the institutions of learning during this youth month and specifically to both management of As-Salaam further education and college, affected learners, student representative council and the National Department of Higher Education.
The CRL Rights Commission would like to further remind the stakeholders in the dispute to recall that in 1997 the Higher Education Act preamble stated that it respected the freedom of religion , belief and opinion of every learner and, in 2003 there was a South African National Policy on Religion and Education that attempted to adopt a cooperative model that accepted the possibility of creative inter-action between schools and professed faith whilst protecting young people from religious discrimination or coercion, and that it is neither negative nor hostile towards any religion or faith and does not discriminate against anyone.
The CRL Rights Commission is willing to assist on a joint investigation, mediation role and public advocacy programme on issues of religious, cultural and language tolerance and observance in all institutions of higher and basic learning.
For more information and media interviews contact:
Advocate Sipho Mantula
Tel: 011 537 7628
Cell: 084 781 5587
Issued by: Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities
7 Jun 2012
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