Ohio Muslim Students Request Time to Pray

November 17, 2001

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On November 17, 2001, The Columbus Dispatch reported that "with the start of Ramadan, Islam's holy month of fasting, Muslim students at Centennial High School are pleading for time to pray. Mohammad Kandil, a 17-year-old junior, said he is among about 25 Muslim students who want to be excused briefly from class about 12:15 p.m. each day...Students are willing to make up classwork missed because of prayer, Kandil said...[Usually] students leave the school for the group prayer on Fridays and receive unexcused absences, he said. Leaving school means they miss an entire 88-minute block of class time instead of the 15 minutes to 20 minutes they would lose by praying on the premises, he said. Additionally, students sometimes are penalized when they miss tests while at mosque...Programs that allow students to leave school to pray have been considered but aren't being implemented at this time...Although Kandil and his fellow Muslim students want year-round permission to pray, they want it even more during Ramadan, he said....The Muslim students have asked the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations to intervene on their behalf."