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Concert: The school had planned to postpone the concert until January

Head teacher ‘cancels Christmas concert over fears it would upset non-Christian pupils’

WT24 Desk

A headmaster has come under fire after he was accused of trying to ditch a Christmas concert for fears it would insult children of other faiths, The Mirror reports.  Marco Parma is alleged to have postponed the concert until early January – in a decision that even angered Muslim parents and those of no faith. Mr Parma, 63, is the headteacher at Garofani School in Rozano near Milan, Italy.

According to reports he wanted the concert moved back to next years and stripped of religious songs after watching children of other and no faiths in previous concerts not get involved. After his decision was announced, the news spread across the heavily Catholic country leading to outrage. The nation’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi even waded in on the row, saying: “Debate and dialogue does not mean drowning identities in an instinct and insipid form of political correctness.

“All Italians, both non-religious and Christians, will never give up Christmas.” In an effort to counter the tide of anger, Mr Parma is reported to have said his intentions were good and aimed at increasing pupil’s enjoyment. He said: “In a multi-ethnic environment, it causes problems. Last year we had a Christmas concert and some parents insisted on having carols. The Muslim children didn’t sing, they just stood there, absolutely rigid.

“It’s not nice watching a child not singing, or worse, being called down from the stage by their parents.” But the decision was slammed by many non-Christian families who send their children to the school. Laila Magar, 45, a Muslim mother to two pupils told Corriere newspaper: “But who does the Christmas party bother?

“Perhaps the principal, certainly not the Muslim community. My children have always participated in the Christmas holidays at school, they sang traditional Catholic songs Catholics. “Why create a problem that does not exist?” Her husband, Mahmoud El Kheir, added: “Who are we Muslims to say what you can do in the Italian school?

“We are guests in this country. I hope that the public understands that the decision does not come from a request of Muslim parents.”

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