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A ministry statement said what Alazreg actually told media on Saturday was "that the defence team of the concerned citizen has appealed the verdict ... and if the appeals court rules in her favour, she will be released".
We're often asked our opinion on a particular church, writer, speaker and so forth. Most of the time we don't pass comment - instead, we encourage people to find out more about the church or Christian speaker.
There is also a 'Church search' tool to look for local churches (these are "self-selected through affirming both the 9Marks mission statement and the T4G Affirmations & Denials.)
- Choose 'Australia' as the country - for current Australian list, click here.
- Churches can be ADDED - click here.
Karen Booth recently analysed this presentation by Dr Diamond and provides a very helpful overview/summary with insightful commentary.
Karen is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church in the USA, and Director of Transforming Congregations, a ministry aimed at 'instructing United Methodists about the church’s teaching on human sexuality and to bring forgiveness, healing, and transformation to those who are experiencing sexual brokenness'.
When the two students came to the school, Mr Bensley politely arranged for the students to carry out their ‘teaching experience’ at a more suitable school. This is entirely appropriate, since a Christian school requires all staff to be Christian as they are all responsible for the spiritual nurturing of students... more on that below.
The school issued a statement to the media . . .
A statement issued to The Sunday Mail said,
"As a Christian school, Redlands College respects and loves all people, from all backgrounds and religions. However we don’t hide our Christian values and we provide an important educational option for families seeking Christian education. We are not aware that they (student teachers) had any concerns, and it is our understanding that all parties came to a mutual agreement for the benefit of all.”
But that didn’t stop people from unleashing a tirade of criticism!
In the initial report, some 'parents' were said to be unhappy...
But the paper went looking for comments...
The Principal of the Islamic College of Brisbane Mubarak Noor was said to be 'disappointed' and 'concerned'.
The paper found a Uniting Church minister to disagree with the school - "Uniting Church Minister Reverend Anneli Sinnko said Mr Bensley’s actions directly contradict the basic foundations of the Christian faith."
The newspaper reporter brought up the issue of 'tolerance'...
"Redlands College denied moving the students was at odds with Christian teachings of tolerance. “This has nothing to do with religious intolerance, which we condemn outright,” a school spokesman said.
Of course, this isn't a STORY if everyone just accepts the 'mutual agreement' and acknowledges the right of the Christian school to act in the way they did...
It's ONLY a story if the media can find people to DISAGREE!
Media report: Principal of Redlands College, Mark Bensley, transfers Muslim student teachers after they wear hijab to school, Courier Mail, 25/5/2014.
Follow up media reports added to the furore...
The following day, the Courier Mail reported that one parent, named as Jennie Duke, was reported as taking to social media to complain. The paper reported that a reader claiming to be one of the students had phoned in - and the Head of Islamic Studies at Griffith University, associate professor Dr Mohamad Abdalla was quoted at length!
Article: Public slams Redlands College for transferring Muslim student teachers, Courier Mail, 25/5/2014.
The point here is that a Christian School ensures that all teachers and personnel are Christians as they are responsible for nurturing the Christian spiritual growth of their students – not just teaching an ‘academic subject’!
You’d think that tertiary institutions would respect the ethos of Christian schools when placing student teachers!
Encourage Mr Bensley for the action he has taken . . .
It's happened before...
This isn’t the first time it has happened – in 2009, Heathdale Christian College in Victoria experienced a similar situation. The Muslim woman, who was also a student teacher, took a complaint to the Victorian Equal Opportunity Commission. The media only reported on the situation when the woman spoke to the media ABOUT making a complaint!
Click here for more information/media article.
Lots of news about current issues - politics, same-sex 'marriage', drugs, Nigeria and more.
Click here to read our latest News Update (23 May).