Maulana Salim Kareem says Curro school’s display insulting to Jesus must be condemned
Muslims must stand by Christians in the country who are outraged at an upmarket Curro school’s depiction of Nabi Isa alayi salaam as clown.
Respected scholar Maulana Salim Kareem made the call Wednesday morning after a parent at the school, Pastor Andrew Anderson posted an emotional video of the artwork.
Anderson says in the video he’d arrived at the school, Grantleigh in Richards Bay, for a pize giving and was shocked to see the artwork on display at the entrance.
Choking back his tears, Anderson says: “It felt like we were crucifying Jesus all over again.”
He felt doubly offended as the ostensibly Christian school whose motto is “To God be the glory” would host the art display at its entrance, just meters away from the motto.
He’s calling for a protest over the work and Maulana Kareem says Muslim must support the call as they are obliged to defend all of God’s true prophets.
Although Muslims deny Christian claims about the divinity of Christ (peace be unto him), they do recognise him as a prophet o Allah, they support his virgin birth, his ascension into heaven and that he will return in the end times to kill the Antichrist, known to Muslims as Al-Masih ad-Dajjal, the False Messiah.
Kareem says the rule in Islam is very clear that Muslims must respect other people’s beliefs and to must hold Isa (alayi salaam) in high esteem “so it is the duty of every Muslim to condemn this”.
The alim says it is also upsetting that the artwork was displayed at a school that is supposed to teach children respect and good manners. Given the high emphasis placed on learning in Islam, this amounted to a double affront, Maulana Kareem says.
“This is an educational institution and we are introducing to those innocent minds to such material at the entrance of the school. It’s demonic, it is Satanic.”
He says the school’s officials, teachers and principal need to be taken to task by government and wider society.
“A school is supposed to mould a child, but instead it is promoting such sadistic, horrible, devilish behaviour. It should be condemned at the highest levels.
“We all should condemn and put a stop to it so no other school will do such things,” Maulana Kareem says.
Muslims are instructed by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and salutations be on him) to ask God Most High for beneficial knowledge, but the school’s art display doesn’t come anywhere near this, he says.
“How can this art educate a child? It’s not educational at all.”
The school said it would not tolerate hate speech or anything that could damage the Curro brand.
Curro, the parent company, said it was “cognisant of the allegations made on social media and the matter is currently subject to an internal investigation”.
“Curro reiterates that comments made about the school, the artwork and the learner are not an accurate reflection of our school and the situation referred to, and we reserve the right to withhold comment until the internal investigation has concluded.”
But the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) is also weighing in on the matter.
ACDP leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe pointed out the work included torn up pages from a Bible. The project was “blasphemous and deeply offensive to many Christians,” he said.
“It cannot, in our view, be justified under freedom of artistic creativity, and may well border on hate speech and religious intolerance,” Meshoe said.