The headmaster of an Italian school resigned this weekend after he received backlash for his decision to cancel the annual Christmas concert because it might offend Muslims.
“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,” Marco Parma, the former headmaster of the Istituto Garofani di Rozzano, said of his decision to change the event to a “winter concert” before he resigned.
“It is not nice watching a child not singing, or worse, being called down from the stage by their parents,” he added.
Pushback for his decision even came from Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, The Guardian reported.
“Christmas is much more important than a headmaster being provocative,” Renzi told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Sunday. “If he thinks he is promoting integration and co-existence in this way, he appears to me to have made a very big mistake.”
According to the Guardian one in five of the school’s students are non-Catholic with the majority of those practicing Islam.
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