BRUSSELS (AA): A group of high school students here mocked Islam when they wore headscarves and suicide belts while imitating the movement of Islamic prayer.
Senior students traditionally celebrate graduation ceremonies 100 days before the end of school year, Mahinur Ozdemir, an independent member of parliament from Brussels Regional Parliament, told Anadolu Agency.
“However, it is scandalous that these students chose the theme as ‘Islam and Saudi Arabia’ and imitated prayer moves wearing headscarves and bombed belts, therefore relating Muslims with terrorism.”
Principal Jan de Gendt of the College Paters Jozefieten, the Catholic school in Ghent where the students attend, defended their actions and said it is an event for entertainment and does not aim to provoke or upset anyone.
Ozdemir said the principal’s remarks normalizes such events and that leads to Islamophobia.
“Is it free to wear headscarves for entertainment, while it is forbidden to wear it at schools?” Ozdemir asked.
It is intolerable that students wear traditional Arab clothes and relate Islam and Muslims with terrorism and violence, said Coskun Beyazgul, the head of religious affairs in Belgium.
“This behavior, which is incompatible with the culture of coexistence and causes the dissemination of negative Islamic perception in the public, is seen as a manifestation of anti-Islamic and hate speech,” he added.