South Africa: School refuses to allow Muslim pupil to grow beard

Gauteng: A school in Joburg refused to allow a Grade 8 Muslim student to grow his beard. The family of the boy is irate over the issue. It must be noted that growing beard is part of Islamic practices.

Believing that denying Muslim learners their religious rights at prestigious Gauteng schools was part of the “unconstitutional” and “racist” practices, the family has threatened to take the beard battle to court.

Founded by the Department of Basic Education (DBE), Ashton International College’s Benoni branch is acting unconstitutionally by refusing to allow the learner to grow his beard. The school allegedly told the parent that the learner should either shave his beard or leave the school. The boy’s father labelled Ashton College as “Islamophobic and racist”.

The father had also made written application to the school, to allow his son to grow his beard, however, the school declined the request and supposedly issued the ultimatum for the boy to shave or leave.