Skip to Content

Austria to probe Islamic pre-schools

In Austria a debate has errupted after a study suggested that undocumented Islamic kindergartens in Vienna were helping not only to create “parallel societies” but also dangerous homegrown future jihadists.

Published: April 20, 2017, 11:57 am

    Vienna

    The Austrian authorities believe enhancing multiculturalism would reduce the risk of jihadism.

    But the study, published last year, has bolstered critics of immigration – not least the Freedom Party – in the wake of terror attacks in Berlin, Paris and Brussels perpetrated by Muslims who grew up in Europe.

    The Freedom Party is doing well in the polls, as surveys suggest that public attitudes to Muslims have hardened. The ruling coalition has moved to ban full-face Islamic veils in public and to oblige migrants to sign an “integration contract”.

    According to its author, Ednan Aslan, a Turkish-born Austrian professor at Vienna University, some 10 000 children aged two to six attend some 150 Muslim preschools, teaching the Quran.

    But the first hurdle is that no one knows exactly how many Islamic kindergartens there are. Vienna has 842 registered kindergartens, 100 of them Catholic-run and 13 Protestant, but the number of Muslim ones are not known, as most are privately run.

    At least a quarter are funded by Salafist Islamic groups, according to Aslan and they have a clear political objective.

    “Parents are sending their kids to establishments that ensure they are in a Muslim setting and learn a few suras (chapters from the Quran),” Aslan told AFP. “But they are unaware that they are shutting them off from a multicultural society,” he said.

    The magazine Biber, a minority publication, sent a veiled Muslim reporter undercover posing as a concerned mother looking for a place for her son at 14 Muslim kindergartens.

    Even the pro-Islamic magazine found some pre-schools “problematic”, because they were “cutting off or isolating children” from mainstream society. It also voiced concerns about the “openness” of some staff and the level of German spoken.

    Vienna City Hall has since sought to calm the debate by commissioning an in-depth study involving a six-strong research team which will be published later this year.

    Not only the establishment is worried, but Muslims have also come out against Aslan’s findings. “This study feeds populism and forces Muslims to justify themselves constantly,” said Murat Gurol from newly created pressure group the Muslim Civil Society Network.

    Gurol’s own son is in a Muslim kindergarten in order to learn “the values of solidarity, humanity and responsibility”. He told AFP: “I don’t see why that should be allowed for one religion and not for another.”

    As the centre of a former vast empire, Austria’s capital is home to 1.8 million people, half of whom have a parent born abroad or who were born abroad themselves.

    karin.bredenkamp@freewestmedia.com

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Terror attack on Champs Elysees, Paris could increase Le Pen’s chances

    A police officer was killed and two were seriously injured during a shooting incident in the center of Paris, the French Ministry of Internal Affairs said. The terror attack could increase Marine Le Pen's chances of winning

    Sweden’s anti-immigration party soars in polls

    The anti-EU, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats have soared in the first polls released since the Stockholm terror attack in which four people were killed by a jihadist who had hijacked a beer truck.

    As no-go zones riot, the next Dutch government could be more leftist

    The HagueThe Netherlands is a country where the Muslim community shows few signs of integration. There are now forty no-go zones, in which constant rioting take place, most recently in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Nijmegen and Veldhoven.

    Le Pen’s HQ hit by an arson attempt but LCP journalists deny attack

    ParisThe campaign headquarters of the National Front party was hit by an arson attempt, local media reported Thursday.

    Trump welcomes Montenegro into NATO

    WashingtonPresident Trump has just approved the accession of Montenegro into NATO, before he is scheduled to attend the NATO summit in Brussels next month.

    Questions in Dutch parliament after citizen is killed in farm attack

    The HagueDuring yet another gruesome farm attack in South Africa, a Dutch national was killed on Moseley Farm on the R40 road to the small town of Barberton in the north eastern part of the country. The news has caused a stir in the Netherlands.

    New study in Sweden links immigrants to violence

    StockholmA new study by the Sweden Democrats compiles data from 32 different research papers related to sex crimes going back to 1990 and extending through 2016. It found that in 13 of the reports, immigrants were over-represented in the reported rapes cases.

    BREAKING: Truck plows into crowd in central Stockholm

    STOCKHOLMMultiple injuries are reported as a truck drove through the main shopping street in central Stockholm. Swedish public radio reports at least three deaths.

    Islam is the future of Britain

    LondonDemographically, Britain has been acquiring an Islamic face, especially in cities such as Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Sheffield, Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets.

    Brexit heads for the rock of Gibraltar

    LondonA European Council document on Friday suggested that Spain now has the power of an effective veto on whether the Brexit deal applies to a part of strategic British territory south of Spain.

    Go to archive