If you’ve read this one already shoot to the bottom for the update, but for the first timers settle in and start from the top…
Hey, remember that time when religions stopped thinking theirs was the only way to salvation and decided to play nice with one another?
No, me neither.
A Gauteng school is coming under fire, after a letter written by the head of student affairs found its way onto Twitter. The letter was addressed to the parents of pupils attending King’s School in Linbro Park, and was ostensibly to recap a recent substance abuse campaign.
That’s until Bob Fuller goes off on a tangent, but maybe it’s best you just read it for yourself.
Pay attention to that bit about the difference between a Christian prayer and a Muslim prayer:
Here’s the Daily Vox in case your eyesight isn’t what it once was:
[Fuller says that] he prays for Muslim people because they, unlike Christians, have not been assured salvation and that Christian people have a special relationship with God, once more in opposition to Muslims. He ends the letter off by asking parents and the children to pray for the souls of Muslim people especially since the month of Ramadan is coming up. (He has his dates completely wrong on that front – Ramadan ends on the 6th or 7th July, yet he seems to think it runs from 11 July to 9 August.)
Religious superiority aside, there’s also an undercurrent of racism to this one:
It looks like Fuller is also lamenting the fact Linbro Park has been “taken over” by people who are not white, as evidenced by the way he brought the many developments of the Muslim businessman next door to the school. By complaining about the “mournful stains of his song” (the Islamic call to prayer, apparently), he displays religious intolerance and white supremacy similar to what we saw when residents of Valhalla objected to the building of a mosque in the Pretoria suburb earlier this year.
A tiny snapshot of the anger on Twitter:
Panyaza Lesufi, the Gauteng MEC for education, with his stance:
The school has been contacted for comment, with this their response thus far:
I think I’ll stick to believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster – no one writes demeaning letters about that.
The King’s School in Linbro Park have now issued an apology, with this below from News24:
Fuller on Friday apologised for any misrepresentation of Islam in his letter.
Fuller went on to say that he believed Christians have every right to pray for the salvation of those of other faiths.
He continued: “…But in the same way, I believe that people of other faiths have every right to pray for the conversion of Christians to their system of beliefs, should they feel that is necessary.
“However, I realise that the way in which I expressed these ideas may have been insensitive. As Christians, our faith requires us to treat all people of all faiths with respect and dignity. If my words did not reflect this, I apologise.”
Fuller added that the purpose of his letter was to encourage the community of The King’s School Linbro Park to “pray for salvation” when they heard a nearby Imam calling for Muslims to pray.
“The spirit behind the letter was one of compassion for individuals, and my prayer is that as Christians, we will continue to engage in a positive way with people of all faiths and in a way that will build bridges and not create divisions. Once again, if I was unsuccessful in expressing this understanding, I apologise.”
School principal Maarten Geerlings also expressed regret saying he “unreservedly apologised” to “our Muslim brothers and sisters”.
“It is my sincere wish that this unfortunate incident will be the starting point of a relationship of mutual benefit between the school and our Muslim neighbours.”
I dunno guys, that really doesn’t come across as a contrite apology to me.
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