Italy's Prime minister Matteo Renzi at the EU headquarters in Brussels on Nov. 29, 2015.
Thierry Charlier—AFP/Getty Images
November 30, 2015 9:04 AM EST

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.”

[The Guardian]

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