Muslim student teacher alleges discrimination against Christian college

March 24th, 2009 - 6:53 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Mar. 24 (ANI): A Muslim student teacher has alleged discrimination against a Christian school in Wyndham, after it refused her a position due to her religion. Mother-of-two Rachida Dahlal, 35, said her one-year diploma course in secondary education at Victoria University required on-the-job training, and that the college was on a list of schools provided by the university offering trainee positions, reports. She chose Heathdale because it was the closest to her home and her sons childcare center, and also one of few schools in Wyndham offering both her specialty subjects of mathematics and French. I am Muslim, wear a head scarf, and respect all fellow humans regardless of their beliefs, race, or cultural background, she said. Dahlal has complained to the Equal Opportunity Commission on the grounds of discrimination, prejudice and unequal employment opportunities. However, the Heathdale Christian College is refusing to budge, by saying as a faith-based school it expects its teachers, including student ones, to support its Christian perspective. It was not in her interest to expect her to operate in a culture that was different to her own religious standards. To expect her to support the Christian ethos and practice of the college would have been unreasonable, just as it would be for me to operate as a teacher in a Muslim school, Heathdale principal Reynald Tibben said. Victoria University acting vice-chancellor Prof John McCallum said: In many instances Muslim students have been successfully placed in Christian schools. Dahlal alleged that she was not told of any policy, only that she would not be able to speak about religion while on placement. (ANI)

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