Lawmakers fight after school suspends 37 Muslim students for skipping Catholic mass

Lawmakers in Kenya are divided on religious grounds over 37 Muslim students of Bura Girls High School in Taita-Taveta County, who were allegedly suspended because they failed to attend Sunday Mass.

Bura Girls High School

According to the Daily Nation of Kenya, The students were reportedly suspended for failing to attend last Sunday's Mass.

Muslim and Catholics members of Parliament (MPs) took sides from their religious viewpoints, with the Muslims defending the students and the Catholics defending the school management.

Eight Muslim MPs condemned the school for forcing the students to attend Catholic services, adding that the principal violated the constitution by forcing the students to adhere to a faith that do not want to belong top.

"It is shocking that Muslim and SDA students can be sent away from school for failing to attend a church service," Kwale Women Representative, Zainab Chidzuga, said

"This amounts to violation of human rights, and freedom of worship enshrined in our constitution.

"We want to know why the school took this action yet students are paid for by the government and should be treated equally.

"We will fight to the end to ensure all religions are respected in this country."

But the chairman of the Catholic MPs' Association, Thomas Mwadeghu, said the school had been wrongly accused and was only performing its administrative duty.

"I have discussed this issue with the principal of the school, the sponsors and the Catholic fathers and have been given a totally different picture of what happened," Mwadeghu said.

"They said the students were suspended because of indiscipline and not because of religious intolerance."

He said no student was asked to take the Holy Eucharist.

"The allegation that students are being focused to take the Holy Eucharist is a fabrication by the students and total lies because as Catholics the Holy Eucharist is sacred and non-Catholics are not allowed to take it."

Mwadeghu who is also the National Assembly Minority Chief Whip urged all the students in the school to obey the school regulations.

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