Back in 2012 the Islamic College of South Australia made headlines when it sacked a female staff member for failing to wear a headscarf.
A year later, the school attracted further controversy when it decreed head scarfs would be compulsory for all female staff regardless of what they did at the school, and regardless of their religion.
In hindsight it looks like these developments were a sign that some people at the college, which was once hailed as a multicultural success story with a commitment to assimilation, were determined to ensure that it maintained a separate identity from the Australian mainstream. Needless to say, in the current climate such an approach is unwelcome.
There were reports in the Sunday Mail last weekend that the school has now scrapped the singing of the national anthem from school assemblies.
The singing of the anthem is something that happens in every Australian school and is an important symbolic gesture of our togetherness as Australians. If the school has banned the anthem it suggests a hostility to that concept.
More disturbing is the report that the school has also banned the playing of the piano from its music program on the grounds that the piano is evil. If this is the case, such medieval nonsense is straight out of the joyless playbook of the Taliban, which regards television, cinema, and almost every form of art as the work of the devil…
According to Wikipedia, it is not a college as we would use the word in Canada, but takes students from Kindergarten to Year 12.