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#ASDailyScoop: Addis Abeba Islamic Affairs High Council says it has verbal assurance from education bureau on salat prayers outside school premises

A Muslim protester on 08 April carrying banner that reads “hands of our students” . Picture; Social media

Addis Abeba – Office of the Addis Ababa Islamic Affairs’ High Council said that after discussions with the deputy head of the Addis Abeba City Administration Education Bureau, the High Council was verbally assured by a phone call that the Education bureau has decided that Muslim students in schools in the city can pray during prayer hour outside the school compounds during prayers.

The Addis Ababa Islamic Affairs High Council further said that the discussions will continue and that it will work to ensure the decision from the education bureau was written on a formal letter and distributed to all schools in the city through the bureau.

The High council also urged all parties to remain calm until a lasting solution was found through dialogue.

On 08 April, protests erupted in various mosques in the city during salat prayers after many schools Muslim prevented students from holding prayers and other activities on school premises during the holy month of Ramadan. The ban was first implemented at Lemi Kora Chora high school. Muslim students wearing school uniforms and thousands of Muslims in the city participated at the protests carrying banners expressing the students; disapproval of the decision by school principals with messages including “hands off our students”, and “we do not negotiate on out salat”, among others.

The protests came after Addis Abeba City Education Bureau said that the city’s education bureau officials and school principals discussed about activities in some schools “under the guise of religion” and that the practice violates the governing laws of schools. The Bureau also said it raised during the discussion that some students tend to engage in religious activities on campus and political agendas were being brought to schools, a claim many prominent Muslim scholars rejected. AS

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