The Australian national anthem encourages citizens to “rejoice,” but school officials now accommodate Muslim students who would rather mourn. Parents of students at Cranbourne Carlisle Primary public school were furious when principal Cheryl Irving allowed Muslim students to temporarily exit a school assembly last week during the national anthem. Oct. 13 through Nov. 12 is considered a mourning period over the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Muhammad. “Muharram is a Shi’a cultural observation marking the death of Imam Hussein,” Irving said in a statement released Monday, the Herald Sun reported.
“Two children got up and said, ‘Welcome to our assembly.’ With that, a teacher came forward and said all those who feel it’s against their culture may leave the room. With that, about 30 or 40 children got up and left the room. We sang the national anthem and they all came back in,” Lorraine McCurdy, who has two grandchildren at the school, told local radio station 3AW on Monday. “I saw red. I’m Australian and I felt, ‘You don’t walk out on my national anthem, that’s showing respect to my country.’” Independent Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie concurred, telling the station, “I find these schools that are allowing this to happen disgusting. I don’t think religion needs to be brought into the national anthem. We should all be proud to be Australians and proud to sing the national anthem.” FULL REPORT