Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi criticized a headmaster who canceled a Christmas concert at his school in order to be more culturally inclusive.
The 63-year-old headmaster, Marco Parma, postponed the annual Christmas concert for primary school students until January, rebranding it as a “winter concert” without any religious songs.
“Christmas is much more important than a headmaster being provocative,” Prime Minister Renzi told Sunday’s edition of Corriere della Sera. “If he thinks he is promoting integration and co-existence in this way, he appears to me to have made a very big mistake.”
The schoolmaster, Parma, said that religious songs create problems in a “multi-ethnic environment,” the Guardian reports.
“Last year we had a Christmas concert and some parents insisted on having carols. The Muslim children didn’t sing, they just stood there, absolutely rigid,” said Parma. “It is not nice watching a child not singing, or worse, being called down from the stage by their parents.”