A ‘Clash Of Values’



You may recall Dr Ali Selim?


About the RSE programme in schools Dr Selim says there are “crucial differences” with Islam. It forbids pre- and extramarital sexual relations, whereas RSE perceives sexual relations outside wedlock as part of normal practices.”
He suggests there is “a clash of values” also between Islam and “traditional ways of teaching PE”. In some schools, “under the guise of health and safety, Muslim girls are obliged to take off their headscarves for PE classes, which is not acceptable to them”.
Where schools were “persistent”, they should “employ a female PE teacher and provide students with a sports hall not accessible to men during times when girls are at play. They should also not be visible to men while at play.”

Call for State schools to accommodate Islamic beliefs (Irish Times)

Previously: Not Buying What You’re Selim


160 thoughts on “A ‘Clash Of Values’

  1. everybody

    Observe the rules of Irish society or leave simple.

    NO concessions can be made to religious nut cases, we have suffered religious stupidity in Ireland long enough.

    1. Sandy 99's

      Here Here to that.
      I don’t discriminate, I’d ban all religion. Fcuking dinosaur Sky fairy loving nutjobs. IT’S 2014 FFS.

      1. will-billy

        but half as silly as dressing them up in white communion dresses and parading them round like prize pigs?

    1. ZeligIsJaded

      Well if I don’t wear head scarves, men will look at their noggin and the devil will get in through their ears.

      So it’s fair enough if you ask me

    1. Caroline

      It was always going to be the last resort. Use the “bogeyman” of Islam to finally get those in de facto favour of state-backed religious education to have a sponsored rethink.

      1. will-billy

        will never happen. they will get your money to quietly set up their own silos aside the mainstream schools. oh wait the prod schools already do

    1. H

      I’m blue in the face saying that! Also, if we moved to their country would they change their customs and practice to accommodate us?

      1. Colm

        In fairness, it’s not in the slightest bit racist. It’s to do with religious values. I’m only highlighting that It’s rich to choose reside in an country with a pre-existing culture (religious or otherwise) and then be insulted that we don’t share or implement the same cultural values.

        1. will-billy

          it’s not being insulted, it’s advocacy for what he perceives as his rights. offensive carry-on alright, standing up for what you believe in. (note, i do not agree with him).

  2. Common Sense

    We see what is happening around the world where such laws are followed
    Ireland is supposed to be a free nation where individuals are free to choose
    No one should be restricted in the name of religion
    Children should be treated as children and should not be dragged into senseless restrictions designed to suppress or take away individuals freedom
    Let them choose the right way when they are old enough

    1. Sandy 99's

      In an ideal world then yes but that’s not what this is about. This is very far from freedom for all.

  3. Zynks

    Denmark went exactly through the same about 20 years ago. The Muslim community also wanted sex ed removed from schools. Hard to find a solution where Muslim girls do not lose out.

      1. Zynks

        At the time the debate was ongoing in the Danish parliament. The Muslim community had its first couple of elected representatives, but they were obviously in the minority side and didn’t succeed.

        Having said that, back in 2001, a couple of weeks before 9/11 there was a case here in Ireland where the Muslim community managed to force Diet Coke ads be removed from the streets because it was ‘offensive’ to them, which indicates that some changes may not be solely based on strength of representation.

        1. Zynks

          PS – I just mention 9/11 because the night before I was (in Turkey) having a discussion about the ad removal and the challenge that democracy might face when certain groups may want to enjoy the benefits of a democratic system, but may not be willing to accept the values of the democratic countries where they move to if it means that any level of compromise is required.

  4. Clampers Outside!

    Ah yes, Muslim Brotherhood’s representative in Ireland, a doctor of ecumenicism, purports to speak for all Muslims in Ireland. A bit like when a Bishop / Cardinal purports to speak for all Christians in Ireland.

    Both speak for their own preferred variety of Christianity / Islam, not people, as far as I can see. Both would prefer separate schools with their own firebrand of religion.

    The educate together schools need to be a priority and need to be the standard set by the government, plain and simple.

    1. bisted

      …sorry Clampers but educate together schools are multi-denominational rather than non-denominational. They do not provide the secular, non-denomination education which is a human right that the UN have had to remind Ireland about recently. They look more like part of the problem than part of the solution.

      1. 15 cents

        yea, but educate together schools dont prepare kids for things like .. everyday life .. and how to address people .. they call their teachers by their first names, and do what they want, like go to sleep if theyre tired, regardless of whats going on.

      2. j9

        Having attended an educate together school I would’nt call them part of the problem . Sadly, Religion is a reality. It’s not going to disappear anytime soon. Don’t you think that children of all denominations and none attending a school together and learning about one anothers beliefs will bring about acceptance and mutual respect? By the way, I was not raised in any faith and am an atheist.

      3. will-billy

        do their multi denominations not also include no denomination? what is your point, that people who think different from you ought not to exist?

    2. Twunt

      This is just the thin end of the wedge….

      Our bleeding heart liberal media will ensure that following of Islam are given all they desire, it is pathetic that this is even being considered. It is also pathetic that to challenge them is considered racist

      1. Mister Mister

        Who said it was being considered ? It’s just a statement from an interested party, not a government paper.

  5. Drogg

    How about we take religion out of all schools and teaching, so we teach kids about as much as we can from a neutral standpoint so kids can make educated choices when they grow up no matter what cockamamie religion their parents force them to believe in.

    1. rotide

      I think it’s really important that there is some sort of Theological module in schools, but in a completely different to the stuff I had to put up with.

      Religion is a fact of life, It’s not going away. I’d much rather kids learned about ALL religions and faith than have one stuffed down their throat.

      1. Zynks

        Religion should be removed or at least be an optional module until someone can prove that any of those mambo jambo deities actually exist.

          1. Zynks

            “Type of universe”? Is that some sort of classification that you have just created? We may be able to help you if you could be more specific on the details.

            Science may not have all the answers, but at least it knows a lot about what it doesn’t know yet. The weakest link of science unfortunately is the human being’s brain, but this same brain can easily convert doubt and the fear of the unknown into divine interpretations that are nothing more than a (poor) counterweight for our limitations.

          2. rotide

            As in infinitely expanding, expand-contract, etc.

            My point is that just because you feel something is mumbo jumbo doesn’t mean it should be wiped from the face of the planet.

          3. Sandy 99's

            Religion proves nothing. Infact science has being disproving most of the rubbish religion comes out with for a good long time now. Flat earth etc.

          4. Zynks

            Agreed, of course! I just don’t want that stuff for my kids. Whether you push it on you kids, that is your prerogative. I also don’t see why tax money should fund any religious indoctrination.

        1. Nigel

          Not to give this bucket-brain an inkling of ring-ding of and ido of a breath of support, but there is a difference between being taught a religion in school and being allowed to conform to the everyday practices of your religion while in school, inasmuch as they do not interfere with your or anyone else’s education. Optimising one’s freedom to do that while minimising any detrimental impact is a matter of firmness where it matters and flexibility where it doesn’t.

          1. Drogg

            By thinking like that you also must believe we should allow mormons to practice polygamy, or for people from some african tribes to Practice FGM.

          2. Nigel

            No. We’re grown-ups. We are capable of distinguishing between harmful and non-harmful religious practices. Headscarves represent the tip of the iceberg of some religious beliefs I find abhorrent, but they are still merely headscarves and there is nothing to be lost by accommodating them. FGM and polygamy (as practiced illegally by some Mormon splinter groups rather than the mainstream Mormon church) need not be accommodated because of the actual physical mutilation of a child with the former and the highly problematic legal entanglements of the latter (probate would be nightmarish at best). I realise that there are those who will say that all religion is fundamentally harmful, but I leave it to them to reconcile the idea of using that as a justification for blanket suppression of religion and living in a free society.

          3. Drogg

            I see the forcing women to cover themselves and brainwashing people to murder and maim others is just as bad.

          4. Nigel

            As bad as what? For covering women up, all we can do is create a society where those women are free to leave or reshape the religion that, to our eyes, oppresses them. Brainwashing people to maim and kill is bad by any standard and generally done by extremists (or state militaries), and I don’t think you’d have to struggle to find consensus there.

      2. Medium Sized C

        I learned about all sorts of religions in religion class.
        Second year was basically all about other religions.

        And funnily enough, I can’t remember anything apart from that.

      3. j9

        That is what they do in educate together schools – I went to one as a kid. I was not brought up in any religion and went to religious run schools until I managed to get a place in an educate together school at age 10. We were taught about different religions and their beliefs and there were kids of different religions and none in attendance. I think it’s the only way …

      4. Drogg

        Learning that there is many religions out there and that they are a part of society and culture is fine. But teaching children a religion and that its dogmatic rules are the way you should live your life are barbaric.

          1. Drogg

            I was actually agreeing with you. I think religion forms so much of our world it is important to learn about it and how it is a part of a lot of our culture especially art. But i think that teaching kids they have to live by the rules of a religion any religion is barbaric. Kids need to be given the information and allowed make their own choices.

      5. rotide

        ok, great to hear that. I was in school a fair long time ago and got the auld catholic dogma. Luckily, i was in a prod secondary school and they weren’t big into R.E. at all so got away with that.

        1. j9

          Yeah I ended up in a prod secondary school too – Very little emphasis on religion there … Educate together have just opened their first secondary school this year. Problem is there are still FAR too few educate together schools around the country.

  6. rotide

    Re: the headscarves. Like it or not, it’s a religious thing for them. No matter how silly girls doing the long jump looking like darth vadar are, should they be FORCED to remove them? Not so sure about that.

    The sex ed thing is a nonsense, if the parents feel that strongly about it, get an exemption. Couple of kids in school with me were let off Irish because they werent from ireland. Jammy gits.

    1. Medium Sized C

      I kind of agree, I can’t see what the harm in letting kids wear headscarves in PE is.
      But I guess its a bit shitty to say “You can do this because of your religion but not that.”

      I dunno.

      1. rotide

        Surely that’s a given when it comes to any religion though? Like, Little Mohammed can play football with Little Johnny and Little Hershel, but only little Johnny can have a Big Mac.

        1. Medium Sized C


          The problem I have with this sentiment is I’ll wear what the fupp I want and fupp you if you don’t like it.

          Banning niquab is as bad as legally enforcing it.

          1. Ahjayzis


            Outright ban is silly.

            Just in public places like shops, banks, anywhere you can’t wear a motorcycle helmet, you can’t wear a niqab or burqa.

          2. Medium Sized C

            That’s reductionist and silly.
            You are ignoring context.

            When we have a spate of people wearing a niquab or burqua conducting armed robberies in banks and shops, then it will be a point.

          3. Bejayziz

            Sorry didnt mean outright, they can wear it at home if they want….personally in favour of the French route of a ban on anything covering your face in public places, feel the same on people wearing balaclavas and those ridiculous v for vendetta masks at protests

          4. Nigel

            ‘personally in favour of the French route of a ban on anything covering your face in public places,’

            I cannot get behind that at all. It’s excessive regulation of personal attire in public spaces, and amongst other objections I feel we already make too many concessions to the surveillance state as it is.

      2. Atlas

        “I kind of agree, I can’t see what the harm in letting kids wear headscarves in PE is.”

        Is that not obvious? Health and safety reasons – it can get caught in things and cause injury. Not totally unlike the fact students aren’t allowed wear watches or other things that can get caught and harm themselves or others.

        Whatever about bending over backwards to pander to to the whims and demands of Muslims, you could view this as a pure legal ass-covering exercise and keep one’s liberal bleeding heart intact.

    2. Llareggub

      Would they not be sort of sweaty indoors? They don’t let Irish kids wear beanie hats at PE indoors so think it’s only fair that all head gear should be removed.

      1. John E. Bravo

        They SHOULD let Irish students wear beanie hats. Beanie hats for everyone.

        Religion and PE. The two most retarded classes in school.

    3. Sinabhfuil

      Jammy gits are probably now signing up for Duolingo’s much-in-demand Irish course…
      Headscarves should be worn by truly Christian woman as well, surely, since St Paul feared their devastatingly attractive hair might tempt the angels.
      About time Ireland got rid of all this religious codswallop and made religion purely a personal matter, not for spreading in schools. Schools are ‘not to inform, to indoctrinate, to conduct through a course of studies… but, first and last to “foster” the elements of character native to a soul, to help to bring these to their full perfection rather than to implant exotic excellences.’

  7. YourNan

    same numpty shared this pearl of wisdom in the IT:

    “When it came to music some Muslims would see it as prohibited but “if music is performed using non-tuneable percussion instruments such as drums, most Muslims will have no problem”.”

    Let’s just put these nut cases where they belong, in the desert, murdering people.

    1. scottser

      drums are tuneable to pitch. the toms on your standard kit are generally tuned to intervals of 5ths – ‘here comes the bride’.

      1. edalicious

        The first two note of Here Comes The Bride are a 4th apart… The first two notes of the second phrase are a 5th though.

  8. tim

    I agree about the difficulties of non-catholic kids gaining access to good education. The government is too content to let religious schools take up the slack in place of fully public schools. Regarding closed off halls for girls P.E. and so on though, this is clearly where values are just going to clash, and I think it makes no sense to go in Dr. Selim’s suggested direction. It’s logistically a nightmare to start making separate arrangements for various religions (most of which have various sub-sets; each with their own peculiarities) and ultimately would be the opposite of inclusive, since what is wanted for one is actively unwanted for the other. The wider population in Ireland is more secular now than at almost any time in the known past, and although there is some work to be done on specific issues, our laws and society largely reflect that. I would hope that any attempt to go back to catering more to religious considerations would be strongly rejected by any government.

    1. Ahjayzis

      Religious schools ARE fully funded by the government. That’s what makes it ridiculous that they exist at all.

  9. 15 cents

    the french did it correctly. you can live in france, but under their rules. you can go to school in france, but you cant wear a burqa, and if u dont want to take ur burqa off, then you dont go to school there.

  10. Ahjayzis

    It’s such a drag when you come to a place like Ireland for it’s freedom and open mindedness and discover to your horror it’s so oppressively free and open minded. Especially for vagina-havers, I feel for him. it’s hard enough to keep them under control.

    Piss off Selim. I don’t wear hotpants and a boa on the streets of Riyadh, kindly refrain from muzzling your womenfolk in the schools and streets of Ireland. I’m sure Muslims who grew up here are mortified at this idiot today.

    1. will-billy

      it’s just literally one man and his I suppose bitch as opposed to dog. no need to lose the rag, head

  11. Ahjayzis


    Having our education system soaked in Catholicism reduces our credibility in trying to keep Islam out of them.

  12. rotide

    As much as I agree with this, it is almost hypocritcal in the context of this thread.

    The majority of this country are christians. That is christian iconography which, presumbly the christians are happy to have. So on one hand you are saying to the muslims, “lads our country our rules” But on the other hand you are saying to the majority of the country “your country, my rules”

  13. scottser

    there is a huge problem with kids who don’t develop properly and at age 5 and 6 can’t catch a ball correctly, or run or jump properly. it comes down to not getting enough play and exercise. anything, any argument that places restrictions on children’s play denies a child a chance to develop properly and sets them on a path to poor muscle memory, bad posture, poor co-ordination and health problems later in life. placing religion over a child’s development is tantamount to child abuse, no matter which religion it is.

    also, schools shouldn’t be solely responsible for a child’s physical activity – if this dude wants his girls to run around in their hijabs in a facility away from men, let him and his mates fund that themselves.

  14. Owen O'F

    Oh, it didn’t take long for the piteous hand-wringing to start. “Oooh but we’re awful too, aren’t we. Maybe we shouldn’t be telling anybody else what to do.”

    No. The ideology of Western secularism IS superior to any recognition of religion at state level. It’s time to call out multiculturalism for the bollocks that it is, and acknowledge that while it is fantastic for society and enriching for everyone to have people from many different backgrounds here, it is a mistake to compromise the total equality that secularism brings.

    Yes, sure, we’ve a long way to go here in getting rid of religion out of schools, but we’re on the way, and the solution does not include adding more religion into the mix.

  15. Odis

    I assume Ali Selim wasn’t born here. So he must have come here of his own volition. To presumably seek a better lifestyle. So he seeks to make this country a bit more like the country he left.

    Which I suppose begs the question, if he misses all that sort of sky god jiggery pokery, why doesn’t he go to one of the countries that do that sort of thing, with an islamic flavour as opposed to a roman catholic flavour.

    And yes, I appreciate that sounds racist. But I sincerely believe secularism is the only way forward.

    1. Nigel

      Well, maybe he likes the fact that he CAN speak out fearlessly about these issues and air his repulsive opinions on the public airwaves. If you want to live in a country where religious people can’t actaully speak freely, maybe you should go to one of those countries who do that sort of thing.

  16. rotide

    You have a very long way to go alright.

    87% Catholic
    7% no religion

    As of last census.

    Even assuming there’s plenty of sensible catholics who might go along with that. Yes. A very very very long way to go.

    1. Owen O'F

      Who are you telling. I’ll have a daughter at school age in three years. Educate Together’s the only game in town.

    2. Sinabhfuil

      In France, where schools are utterly laicised:

      Catholic 83–88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%–10%, unaffiliated 4%, Protestants 3%, Jewish, Buddhist and Sikh 1% or fewer.

    3. Formerly known as @ireland.com

      How many actual turn up to Church?

      Most people just say Catholic out of habit, or as a tribal thing – to show that they are not Protestants.

      Education is too important to have some of the time wasted on fairy tales.

    4. huppenstop

      Census question wasn’t phrased in a non-leading way (in contrast to best practices in other human research fields, such as psychology). It asked “what is your religion”. Given the huge cultural influence of the RCC, it’s not surprising to me that many people identify as catholic. It would be interesting to ask instead “are you religious?” and compare the numbers

  17. Gorugeen

    Religious education is very different from religious instruction. That’s the difference between educate together schools and ALL religious schools.
    Head scarves while doing athletics is all very well until, for example, a pole vaulter goes askew and said scarf gets caught on the apparatus…… Broken neck. Then the fatwa follows for attacking a Muslim with athletics equipment…..athletics get banned in schools… soon we have kids long jumping in back alleys, parks become no go areas at night for the javelins…. It’s a slippery slope.

    1. John E. Bravo

      No one should be doing athletics on slippery slopes, regardless of religion. We need a level playing field.

      1. Starina

        if you can’t wear the headscarf in school, but you can’t take the scarf off, then you can’t go to school.

          1. Nigel

            There really is no reason not to be flexible and make concessions that do not interfere with anyone’s education, especially not that of the child involved. It is approximate;y one billion squillion kajillion times more important that these children get an education than that your (understandable, believe me) anti-religious animus be imposed with an iron fist. Educating Muslim girls will do more to secularise Islam than that kind of rigid, hostile opposition ever will.

          2. Clampers Outside!


            Hostile? …are ya serious. The current exclusionary practices are far more hostile than asking all kids go to school together and without the trappings of any particular religion.

            And when there, they can learn about all religions and the fact they are for the most part the same when brought down to their most basic of tenets.

          3. Nigel

            You could be right, but most religious trappings are not everyday wear, and I don’t see why anyone would have a problem with simple headscarves. Burqas, now, that would be different and exclusions from sex-ed should be a non-starter.

          4. will-billy

            plus we would have to ban crucifixes and rosary beads and miraculous medals as well and I can’t see that going down well with the plebs

        1. Gorugeen

          I’ll say it again. It is illegal not to educate children in this state. Headscarf or not, parents are compelled to have them educated and will be prosecuted for not so doing ( see recent news).

  18. wearnicehats

    If some kids get to wear facemasks how are we to be sure who wins the potato and spoon race on sportsday – answer me that – there will be anarchy.

  19. Clampers Outside!

    Does religious education also teach that religion is responsible for the vast majority of deaths through wars in the lifetime of humans on this planet?

    “religion is responsible for the vast majority of deaths through wars” should be the name of the RE class in fairness.

  20. Cenotaph

    If you want to live here then you do as the Irish do. If you don’t like it….well back to your own country then. Simple.

  21. Tomtom

    When westerners go to live or visit Islamic countries they either go to western run hotels where the authorities turn a blind eye to boozing and pork or live long term in compounds where they can dress and live as they wish. It’s their own small enclave where the authorities do not intervene and turn a blind eye again. Their kids learn western lesson in schools which they attend together. Ask any teacher/oil rigger/ developer/ project manager/ start up/ business/ etc person that has headed east in search ‘of a better life’ in the gulf. Not too many westerners follow Muslim teachings in Arabia. Know what I’m saying dog?

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