‘It’s not enough to say: You are not Muslim’: A student in Singapore faces expulsion
By KIM JONGKUN-THE STARAFL reporterAUBURN, Calif.
— It was one of the most uncomfortable days of his life.
A young man, who was Muslim, told his Muslim teacher, “You’re not Muslim.
You’re a bad Muslim.”
His lesson was to tell his Muslim classmates that they’re not Muslims.
His teacher, a Muslim man, said: “That’s why you’re not a Muslim.
You’re a bigot.”
It wasn’t the first time he had heard such a thing.
“It was like a nightmare.
It’s been going on for years,” said the teacher, who has asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.
In a country where more than 30 million people are Muslims, many Muslims fear that the fear of being ostracized for being Muslim is just a means to silence their religion.
On Saturday, students in a middle school in Singapore took to the streets of the country’s capital, demanding that Singapore’s government rescind the expulsion of a student who said he was Muslim.
The student, Ahmed, told The Star that the lesson in the school’s lesson room was about tolerance and that his teacher had said, “It’s good that you are Muslim.
But you are not a human being.”
Ahmed said he learned of the student’s expulsion after his mother, who had been at the school for years, called and asked him if he was feeling well.
Ahmad, now 18, said he had been trying to reach his mother for more than a year.
After the expulsion, he decided to go to the Singapore High Commission, a public institution that handles grievances and grievances against government officials.
But he was refused entry.
He said he wanted to tell the Singaporean government that he was an immigrant and wanted to apologize to his parents.
What do I say?
I want to say to the government that I am a human and I’m a Muslim, he said.
The Singapore High Commissioner did not respond to requests for comment.
Another student, Abdullah, said his teacher told him he was a Muslim but did not say he was in trouble because he was not a Christian.
Instead, he was told he was the next generation’s Muslims, Abdullah said.
I’m not Christian.
I don’t think I am.
I am not Muslim, Abdullah told The STAR.
When Abdullah asked his teacher if he had to go back to his country, the teacher said: ‘No, it’s a good idea.
‘I can take you to a Muslim school.’
In the end, he left with his mother and a few friends.
Ahad’s mother, Fatima, said she was shocked when she learned of her son’s expulsion.
She said: I feel ashamed.
I feel like I have no right.
I cannot believe that he has been discriminated against.
I feel like he is being bullied.
I can’t go back.
Last year, students and community leaders said that Muslim students faced discrimination in schools and that teachers were often insensitive to the sensitivities of students who were Muslim.
In December, The STAR published a report detailing an incident in which a Muslim student in a Singapore school told his teacher, “You’re like a black person.
You have no rights.
You are a criminal.”
The student was expelled and later convicted of inciting racial hatred.
At the time, the government said the incident was a result of an “incorrect assessment” by the school, but students in Singapore have complained that they were not treated fairly and that the country is too intolerant.
In the case of Ahmed, it was not until he received a letter from the Singapore police, after the student said he would report the incident, that he became aware of the repercussions.
An immigration officer told Ahmed he would have to leave the country.
For Ahmed, this was a shock, and the decision to leave his home country took a physical toll on him.
We are not Muslims, he wrote in the letter.
Then, we’re not good Muslims.
We are not Christians.
I will be deported.
One of his teachers, who is also Muslim, also told him not to go, because he could face repercussions from the police and the Singapore government.
According to The STAR’s investigation, Singapore’s Education Department had not received the student or the Muslim students’ complaints about their treatment from the previous school.
Education Minister Syed Zainul Abidin told the paper that there was no evidence that Ahmed had been discriminated based on his religion, though he did not offer an explanation for why he had not reported the incident.
Abidin added that he is aware of his students’ concerns, and he will make sure that any problems they may have with teachers and