Islamic prayer sessions at public schools send participating girls the message they're second-class citizens, says a prominent voice from the Muslim community.

The controversial sessions — traditionally set up with boys in the front and girls behind them — are patriarchal and should not be conducted in publicly-funded schools, insisted Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress.

"My concern is the Toronto District School Board (is) using tax money to tell girls that they are second-class citizens," Fatah said Thursday.

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