Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Education

Program

Education

Supervisor

Dr. Goli Rezai-Rashti

Abstract

This qualitative case study considers the weekly congregational Muslim prayers held at an Ontario public middle school and the widespread media and public reaction to them. Drawing primarily from the work of Said (1997, 2003), this research questions how and why the prayers became the source of controversy nearly four years after they commenced, and what, if any, impact this media and public reaction has had on the school community. Eight interviews were conducted, along with a critical analysis of the news coverage of the prayers. The results reveal the persistence of post-colonial discourse and prejudice towards Muslims and Islam in media and public perspectives, as well as a startling disconnect between the school community’s positive views of religious accommodation, and the public’s negative perceptions of them, particularly when Muslim students are involved.


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