Mosque-run Salafist schools are teaching children sharia law: report


Children who go to mosque-run fundamentalist Muslim schools across the country are being taught people of different faiths deserve the death penalty and to turn their backs on the values of Dutch society, a joint investigation by current affairs programme Nieuwsuur and newspaper NRC has found

The news comes in the wake of a report by intelligence service AIVD about the growing influence of the stream of fundamental Islam known as Salafism at mosque-run schools.

The researchers looked at teaching materials for different age groups and some 70 hours of audio and video material retrieved from the internet. Much of the material was obtained by journalists posing as potential parents.

They found that punishments in sharia law, for instance for homosexuals and other ‘enemies’, were glorified. Children were asked to answer multiple choice questions about the appropriate punishment, including whipping, stoning and beheading by sword.

At some of the around 50 schools that were scrutinised, children were told they should leave the Netherlands and go to an Islamic country instead.

Politicians as well as members of the Islamic community have said they were shocked at the findings. ChristenUnie parliamentary party chairman Gert-Jan Segers and the VVD’s Klaas Dijkhoff said they want changes to the law so school inspectors can have access to the schools.

An imam and religious teacher called the findings ‘horrifying’, the NRC said. ‘It’s five to twelve,’ Said Bouharrou leader of the Council of Mosques told the paper. Bouharrou said he is worried about the growing influence of Salafism in Islamic teaching but that Muslims who object don’t speak out because they are afraid of repercussions.

Earlier investigations by NRC and Nieuwsuur showed that some schools were being financed by the Gulf states. MPs worried about the promotion of Salafism in the Netherlands have been calling for a probe into the origin and purpose of that money for years, the paper said.

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