Hat tip to reader Rick who found this information dating back to 2004. Not surprisingly, CAIR-Canada has been actively involved in the Islamic school prayers, giving training to school prayer givers. via Muslim Youth of Ottawa – Friday Prayers.
Thursday, 19 August 2004
The high school Friday prayers (Jumuahs) are one of the main services the Muslim Youth of Ottawa help facilitate. Alhamdulillah (praise be to God), there are 14 schools across the city that hold Friday prayers. The Friday prayer is mandatory for all Muslim men of age to complete. Allah and his Messenger place great importance on fulfilling the Friday prayer. For example, it is reported that the Prophet said ‘He who misses three Jumu’ah prayers without any excuse, Allah will put a seal in his heart’ (Haakim and Ahmad). Many high school students, however, don’t have the luxury of being able to leave school to offer Friday prayers at the local Mosque. It is for this reason that for the past 10 years MYO has been facilitating this service.
Coordination with Schools and Community
The way the MYO helps with the Friday Prayers is by sending trained volunteers from the community to the schools to deliver the sermon. Every volunteer must complete a half-day workshop before they can go to the schools. This workshop includes understanding one’s role as a guest in a public school, exploring appropriate topics to discuss, as well as learning the religious legalities of delivering a Friday sermon.
Community organizations also take part in the workshop. A member from Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO) and from the Council of American-Islamic Relations Canada (CAIR-Canada) deliver modules in the workshop. OCISO is an active member in the school board, providing Multicultural Liaison Officers to many schools. CAIR-Canada is a strong advocate for Human and Civil Rights, specializing in the rights of Muslims in Canada.
As part of board policy, all volunteers must complete a police records check for the vulnerable sector.
Religious freedoms are protected within the Ontario Human Rights Code. The school administration is required to accomodate your right to hold Friday prayers (and even the regular salat) to the point of ‘undue hardship.’