Muslim Student Takes St John’s College Authorities To Court After Being Ordered To Cut Beard

A St John’s College student who practises Islam has taken the school’s authorities to court after he was barred from attending lessons after refusing to shave his beard.

He argues the decision by the school’s officials’ is unconstitutional. The Upper Six pupil’s father, Mr Mohammed Ismail, filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court on behalf of the student. The application, prepared by Professor Lovemore Madhuku, is yet to be set down for hearing before a judge of the High Court. St John’s College, its headmaster Mr Cavaliere Corrado Trinci and the chairperson of the institution’s board of governors, Mr Cavaliere Steve Martin, were listed as respondents in the case. The school administrators, who have instructed security officers to block the pupil from the school premises, argue that his beard violated the school’s dress code.

In his founding affidavit, Mr Ismail argued that his son was studying to be an Imam, a position of immense responsibility in Islam, hence he is prohibited from shaving off his beard. Mr Ismail said there was no trouble when his son enrolled with St John’s in Form One with his beard. Trouble started at the end of last year when the beard had grown and the college authorities barred him from attending lessons. They threatened to bar him from entering the college premises this term, precipitating the filing of the urgent chamber application. Mr Ismail argues his son’s right to freedom of religion as enshrined under Section 60 of the supreme law was being violated. He argued that the boy was being discriminated against on religious grounds. St John’s College and its leadership are yet to respond to the application.

More: Herald

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