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Algeria bans masjids and prayers in schools

Algeria bans masjids and prayers in schools

The support of Algerian Education Minister Nouria Benghabrit to the decision by the principal of an Algerian school in France to ban a student from performing prayer sparked outrage.

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The support of Algerian Education Minister sparked outrage and anger in public while she decided to even ban masjids at schools after the removal of "Bismillah" in schoolbooks.

Algerian Minister of Education Nouria Benghabrit has signed another controversial decision by banning praying in schools, which she removed the word of "Bismillah" [In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most merciful] from schoolbooks before.

Last week, a young girl was suspended for a week by her principal Nadia Massassi on the grounds that she had prayed at the Algerian state school garden in the capital of France.

The principal threatened the family of the young girl in the form of "your daughter will be suspended from school for life" if the decision to banish is not signed.

Although the Algerian ambassador demanded the withdrawal of the decision in response to the incident, the suspension decision was put on the school board.

"The student went out to the open schoolyard on the neighborhood to pray in an ostensible act. The school principal did her job. When students go to schools, it is for education and learning. Prayers are performed at home, and the role of schools is to provide teaching and learning," said Benghabrit in a symposium with the head of educational institutions.

Comments of Algerian Education minister about banning prayers at schools sparked outrage and angry reactions. Algerians reacted in social media saying, "Prayer is not only at home but everywhere".

Social media users accused the minister of catering to the whims of parties obsessed with Islamophobia and stressed that prayers were a right guaranteed by the constitution.

The Ministry of education in Algeria recently issued a decree on the lack of new masjids within the educational institutions on the grounds that, "the Masjid does not cover educational institutions".

Benghabrit has been criticized for trying to separate the parties and organizations in Algeria from their Islamic identity since her appointment in 2014.

At the beginning of the 2016 academic year, the same ministry ordered a geography book for students in the first grade of the middle school place name of occupying zionists on the map of Palestine.

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