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German court denies Muslim right to pray at school
BERLIN (Reuters) - A Berlin court has rejected a legal bid by a 16-year-old Muslim student to be granted the right to conduct Islamic prayer rituals at his school.
Explaining its verdict Thursday, the regional appeal court said that upholding peace in the school took precedence over the student's right to religious observance.
The court said the school in the Wedding district of Berlin was attended by Muslims from several branches of Islam, including Sunni, Shi'ite and Alevi children, and that there had been conflicts between the various groups over religion.
The legal appeal followed a decision by the school to forbid the student from audibly praying in public at the school.
The youth had also hoped to secure a special prayer room, but the court said he had no right to this. However, the school was free to grant him one should it wish, the court said.
Germany is home to more than four million Muslims, with the greater part of Turkish origin.
(Reporting by Dave Graham, editing by Mark Trevelyan)
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