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Rita Panahi says it’s ‘unfair’ to make Muslim students choose between religion and national anthem

Tom Elliott
Article image for Rita Panahi says it’s ‘unfair’ to make Muslim students choose between religion and national anthem

It’s unfair on Muslim kids to make them choose between their religion and singing the Australian national anthem, says Rita Panahi.

The Herald Sun columnist was responding to a report unearthed on 3AW Mornings where Islamic children at Cranbourne Carlisle Primary were able to opt of the anthem for religious reasons.

Panahi said it was unnecessarily divisive.

‘Why force those children to make that choice and single them out?’ she said on 3AW Drive.

‘I think it’s really divisive, really counter-productive.

‘I don’t think it’s fair on the children.’

Panahi, who went to primary school in Iran, also revealed a disturbing practice at those assemblies.

‘We were chanting ‘death to America’ during our assembly before class began,’ she told Tom Elliott.

‘So when I heard about this walkout during our anthem? I was absolutely gobsmacked.

‘How could our anthem possibly interfere with the beliefs or religious practices of Shi’a Muslims.’

Click PLAY below to hear Tom Elliott and Rita Panahi debate the issue.

Tom Elliott
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