As you've probably seen elsewhere on the blogosphere, two boys in a public school in the UK were punished with detention for refusing to kneel down on prayer mats and pray to Allah as part of a "religious education" lesson.
But although you've no doubt seen it elsewhere, you haven't heard my two cents, so I might as well give you those two pennies, unasked, just because you were kind enough to drop by W4.
I think it's a big deal. And I don't think the teacher is going to get in trouble. I think the school officials are going to do precisely nothing to reprimand the teacher but are merely going to tell her that she has to make it clear to her students that this is "role-playing" and that therefore they are, you know, pretending when they kneel down on the prayer mats and pray to Allah. And that will make it all okay.
As you also probably know, there is already a similar curriculum in place in California, which our courts, always so very solicitous to avoid any appearance of an establishment of religion, have declared constitutional on the grounds of role-playing, a ludicrous defense that would never pass the laugh test were the religion in question Christianity. About the only thing that I can see that is missing in the California curriculum is the prayer mats, but I understand that the teachers have some leeway in how they teach it, so I'm sure some enterprising and creative teacher somewhere in the U.S. will stash some prayer mats in her cupboard and whip them out at the right moment to make the "role-playing" that much more real, just like the teacher in the UK. And woe betide the young Christian who refuses.
If you are a Christian parent, is this the sort of role-playing you would want your child to be doing?
Yet another reason to home school.