A school in the Netherlands was forced to pay two Muslim girls 500 Euros each because their class photo day was held during Ramadan and the two weren’t able to attend.
The Maria Montessori School in the Hague was sued over the incident in 2015, with the school accused of discrimination. Their parents had initially demanded compensation of 10,000 Euros.
The court found the school guilty and ordered it to pay the students – who have not been identified – 500 Euros each, Dutch broadcaster RTL News reported.
The lawyer of the two girls, Laura Zuydgeest, said the situation was a clear case of school engaging in discrimination against its Muslim pupils because they were the only ones affected.
The school insisted it had tried to schedule the class photo day for a morning, when the girls would be able to attend, but the photographer was only available at a later time – when the girls and their mother were at the Mosque for prayers.
The girls’ mother reportedly said at the trial: “Do you know how it feels when your five-year-old daughter enters the classroom every day looks at the picture and asks, ‘Mommy, why I’m not here?’ and you can not explain it to the child?”
The decision to award the children compensation was met with criticism from prominent anti-immigration politicians, NL Times reported. Geert Wilders, leader of Party for Freedom, used his parliamentary privileges to question the case.
He asked whether the judge who made the decisions was “crazy” and whether he should be removed from his position.