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Artificial dispute on religious symbols

Several NGOs wrote an official letter for the Romanian education minister Mihail Hardau yesterday, demanding him to take religious symbols away from public schools, in keeping with the decision of the CNCD (National Council to Fight Discrimination). Here are some of the organizations signing the letter: The LECUPO League for Education, Culture and Sports in Iasi, the Noesis Cultural Society, Pro Democracy Association, he APADOR - the Helsinki Committee, the Independent Journalism Center, the Press Monitor Agency, the Pro Europe League and more. The authors suggest the minister's action is needed, just as they claim he can't avoid taking responsibility by asking the Parliament to decide on it instead. On the other hand, the CNCD decision is neither legal nor official and Justice will be appealed against it, the Civic Media informs.

100 organizations are for normality

The Coalition pleading for respect for religious feeling made some things clear yesterday. They told minister Hardau, Senate president Nicolae Vacaroiu and Deputy Chamber president Bogdan Olteanu that the display of religious symbols in schools was so far supported by the representatives of all religions in Romania, by the State Secretariat for Cults, by 100 NGOs and some thousands.

Civic Media Association asked minister Hardau on behalf of the Coalition to take into account "the will of the majority, in keeping with the universal democratic norms, and dismiss an extremist minority's attempts to impose the retreat of religious symbols from schools." There are many organizations and top Romanian intellectuals sharing this view. You can read the entire list at www.civicmedia.ro.

Civic Media told the education minister: "The legislation does not set that it is your obligation to impose such a recommendation. According to the law, the CNCD decision hasn't even become legal. Once the CNCD publishes this decision and the argument of the CNCD board, Civic Media Association will appeal against it officially." (G.D.)

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