The Swiss Canton of Zurich has decided against the opening of the first Islamic kindergarten in the country, stating that the proposed institution’s ideological component was too strong and contradicted local educational standards.
Islamic association Al Huda was behind the proposed kindergarten in the town of Volketswil in northern Switzerland.
The kindergarten was planning to admit 15-25 children. Despite not having a license, online registration began in the middle of last year, Itar-Tass reported.
The central educational components of the institutions were highlighted as learning Arabic and the teachings of the Koran, as well as bringing the Islamic community closer.
The association identified learning religious values as the “basis” for everything the children would encounter later in life.
Zurich authorities decided that approach did not correlate with the basic guidelines of Swiss compulsory education – including tolerance, openness, and a willingness to engage in dialogue.
In its decision, the regional education department reminded that schools should make sure that students are not subject to ideological influences that radically contradict the compulsory education program. It added that the kindergarten’s objectives did not represent the pluralistic values of Swiss education and exposed children to one-sided views.
Al Huda said it will challenge the decision of the Government Council of the Canton of Zurich.
Categories: Europe, Switzerland
As the Jewish Community is permitted to have their Kimdergartens and other schools this decision is clearly discriminatory.
Muslim children not only need halal meat or Eid Holidays but they need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their development period also. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. Legally, the state has an obligation to respect the rights of parents to ensure that ‘education and teaching(of their children) is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.’ The schools must satisfy the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural needs of Muslim pupils. State schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers are not in a position to satisfy their needs. A good school is not just a knowledge factory or a conveyor belt for churning out exam passes – it is a community, a family. A community is held together by common values and principles.
The demand for Muslim schools comes from parents who want their children a safe environment with an Islamic ethos. Parents see Muslim schools where children can develop their Islamic Identity where they won’t feel stigmatised for being Muslims and they can feel confident about their faith. Muslim schools are working to try to create a bridge between communities. There is a belief among ethnic minority parents that the British schooling does not adequately address their cultural needs. Failing to meet this need could result in feeling resentment among a group who already feel excluded. Setting up Muslim school is a defensive response. State schools with monolingual teachers are not capable to teach English to bilingual Muslim children. Bilingual teachers are needed to teach English to such children along with their mother tongue. According to a number of studies, a child will not learn a second language if his first language is ignored.
Swiss society must learn to respect and tolerate those who are different. God has created diverse human beings to live in this tiny global village of one family. Creation by its very nature is diverse with different species, different communities, different cultures and languages. These differences represent the beauty and wonder but diversity is sometimes not fully appreciated, resulting in all sorts of clashes. The British society and Establishment must learn to respect and accommodate others, as if in a family. A report by the Institute for Community Cohesion found that native parents were deserting some schools after finding their children outnumbered by pupils from ethnic minorities. Schools in parts of England are becoming increasingly segregated. The study focused on 13 local authorities. Many of the schools and colleges are segregated and this was generally worsening over recent years. This is RACISM because British society is the home of institutional racism. A study by Bristol University reveals that a high level of racial segregation in Oldham schools and tension between communities resulted in recent riots in 2001. The solution is that those schools where Muslim children are majority may be designated as Muslim community schools. The native parents do not want their children to be educated along with migrant children. As soon as they find that the number of other children is on the increase, they remove their children to those schools where native children are in majority.
You better teach your children in your own schools and let migrant communities teach their children according to their needs and demands. Swiss Establishment and society should concentrate on the evils of their own society and stop trying to change the way of life of Muslims. Muslim community does not want to integrate with the Swiss society, indulging in incivility, anti-social behaviour, drug and knife culture, binge drinking, teenage pregnancies and abortion. Prince Charles, while visiting the first grant maintained Muslim school in north London, said that the pupils would be the future ambassadors of Islam. But what about thousands of others, who attend state schools deemed to be “sink schools”? In education, there should be a choice and at present it is denied to the Muslim community. In the late 80s and early 90s, when I floated the idea of Muslim community schools, I was declared a “school hijacker” by an editorial in the Newham Recorder newspaper in east London. This clearly shows that the British media does not believe in choice and diversity in the field of education and has no respect for those who are different.
There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This mean the Muslim children will get a decent education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islam’s teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Children like discipline, structure and boundaries. Bilingual Muslim children need Bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods, who understand their needs and demands.
London School of Islamics Trust