Pastor Dr. Maria Seaman has caused some ripples among the Muslim community with comments posted on social media, decrying as “satanic” a recent prayer day at the institution that featured practitioners of the Islamic faith.
The minister expressed grave concern that non-Christian teachings and values were being allowed to be shared at the school, whicn she claimed went against the Christian philosophy upon which it was founded.
“Shame. Shame. Shame. This is not the legacy of ‘respice finem’,” read one post by Dr Seaman, referencing the school’s Latin monicker, which is translated as, ‘keep the end in view’ — don’t make an impulsive decision that will hurt you later.
Additional posts furthered her stance that demonic spirits wer wilfully being encouraged into the hearts, minds and souls of students.
“Worrying about a prayer day at The Berkeley Institute,” was another post.
Further added was one that read: “We continue to go against the Bible and expect things to be okay. Remove light and darkness breeds!”
Local Muslim Imam, Saleem Talbot, was baffled as to Dr Seaman’s virulent response to the situation at Berkeley, noting how members of the sector had merely demonstrated how women of the faith wore scarfs in the form of the hijab, a mode of dress common among Muslims and various other religions.
He noted scarf wearing as common among females throughout the globe, whether related to religion or simply as a fashion statement.
“I wasn’t present at Berekeley when the chairman of house put on a scarf and showed them how to wear a scarf, which is refrerred to as a hijab day,” explained Talbot. “It all came up as an idea in US, when Muslim women would go to their work-places and show and teach about the wearing of hijabs, so we decided to do that here in going to the schools and sharing this idea, as a means of people getting to better know and understand each other.
“When it comes to wearing scarfs it is an individual choice that people make, whether they be of the Jewish faith, the Christian faith, the Hindu faith o the Muslim faith.
“Since time immemorial women have worn scarfs. I don’t know why a person has chosen this time to make this something of a big issue.”
Talbot firmly backed what had taken place at Berkeley and said that he favoured even greater interaction and communications between persons of differing backgrounds.
“I applaud the young women that went there to share the idea about why women wear the hijab and I believe we need more communication like that, especially with young persons going to share with other young persons,” said the Imam. “One would have to interpret Ms Seaman’s remarks at face value, as her believing that what was done was, somehow, anti-Christian.
“But, I find that hard to believe. In my coming up I remember my great aunt, in particular, and some other women always wearing scarfs.
“I don’t know if she would have a criticism of those women wearing scarfs.”
In reference to the assumed displeasure the founders of the school would have had with such intrusion by anyone promoting practices associated with non-Christian religion Talbot was very much unconvinced of the notion.
“Also coming up was the issue of the founding fathers and it being disrespectful to them, or something like that,” he said. “Even there, I would be surprised if their wives had not worn scarfs, so I don’t quite get Ms Seaman’s tone on this.”
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