And their leader, Ron Banerjee, doesn't care whose prayers get interrupted:
“We’ll picket in front of the school when they begin praying. Let’s see how much praying they can do with our loudspeakers and hundreds of people there. We want to make it clear we don’t approve of prayer and gender apartheid inside the school. If our loudness disrupts their prayers, then so be it.”
Firstly, since Banerjee managed to scare up all of a single elderly hindi at the last protest, I question his noise making abilities (although not his ability to blow smoke). Secondly, you would think that, whatever your opinion of the school's attempts at religious accommodation, actually disrupting the prayers of 10 year old kids would be considered dirty pool. But Ron Banerjeee doesn't think that, because Ron Banerjee is a dick.
On a more civilized note:
The Toronto wing of the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) issued a statement supporting the accommodation of Muslim prayers. “School space for prayer on a voluntary, extra-curricular basis, is included in the principle of religious accommodation which Ontario school boards are required to honour under Ministry of Education guidelines,” CIJA stated. “Reasonable religious accommodation, which is enshrined in human rights legislation across the country, benefits all faith communities, including the Jewish community. The absence of reasonable religious accommodation would negatively affect Jewish students and those of other faiths. School boards should closely monitor religious accommodation activities taking place on their property and all such activities should be consistent with the values of the board.”
Expanding on that position, Howard English, vice-president of the Greater Toronto region of CIJA, said reasonable religious accommodation “benefits the Jewish community tremendously. It allows for absences on religious holidays and for voluntary extra-curricular Jewish heritage programs in schools as well.”
However, English added the TDSB “has the responsibility to monitor any kind of extra-curricular activities.” He suggested that it might require having an Arabic-speaker observe the prayers.
I am told the CIJA is what the now defunct CJC has become. Nice to see that the new org. has some of the same progressive tendencies as the old.