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
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.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
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 violations 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 delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
BerlinGerman politician Peter Altmaier urged voters to not vote rather than vote for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. The Chief of Staff of the German Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Affairs since December 2013, is regarded as one of Angela Merkel's most trusted advisors.
With the German federal election approaching, attacks on Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and its supporters have risen sharply.
RomeItalian Northern League (LN) leader Matteo Salvini said on Friday that he would appeal against a decision by a Genoa court to freeze party funds.
In the German states that used to make up West Germany — particularly in the areas where many ethnic Russian Germans live — the AfD has recently received 20 or 30 or even 40 percent of the vote in state elections.
Polish foreign minister, and member of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, said Germany should consider paying Poland World War II reparations. Witold Waszczykowski believes Germany owed his country as much as $1 trillion in reparations.
BerlinOn Monday, the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, the German Muslim League (Deutsche Muslim Liga) and the Islamische Zeitung newspaper revealed the results of a survey sent to German political parties soon to be represented in the next parliament, except the AfD.
"The AFD feels unfairly treated by the state broadcaster ZDF", headlined the Basler Zeitung while reporting on the election campaign debate "How's Germany" in which the AfD candidate walked out during a live debate.
The HagueHigh level delegations of both Vlaams Belang [Flemish Interest] and the Dutch Freedom Party, the PVV are currently meeting in the Second Chamber building in The Hague. The meeting on Thursday will see the parties of Tom van Grieken and Geert Wilders sharing experiences and strategies to counter oppressive Islamization in Flanders and the Netherlands.
BrusselsBelgian newspaper De Standaard reported on 31 August that the Italian secret service was paying Libyan human traffickers to keep immigrants away from the Meditteranean Sea.
Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders gave an historic speech on national sovereignty at the Ambrosetti conference at Villa d’Este, in Italy, sharing the stage with Euro commissioner Frans Timmermans.