May 12 2012
SWEDISH Parents incensed over special ‘religious’ accommodations offered only to Muslim students in public schools
A Swedish school district has sparked outrage for striking a deal with local Muslim groups ensuring Muslim students can skip out on overnight class trips and Muslim girls don’t have to be naked when showering at school.
The Local H/T harryjo) “My first reaction after reading was total shock: how can schools so casually force children into more segregation and social exclusion?” women’s and equal rights activist Bahareh Andersson wrote on the Swedish opinion website Newsmill.
Her comments came in response to reading a document outlining an agreement between education officials in Jönköping municipality and local Muslim groups ensuring special treatment for Muslim children enrolled in area schools.
“It’s not only about exceptions for food, but it’s also about an exception from human rights. Children learning from an early age that gender segregation is something natural and that love without marriage is a sin and immoral,” wrote Andersson. “Why do people want immigrant children to be indoctrinated with values from the Middle Ages?”
The five page document outlining the agreement was first drawn up in 1994 and has been revised periodically over the years. The most recent revisions – carried out in June 2011 – involved how schools should deal with Ramadan and other details surrounding how religious holidays would be treated in local schools.
Among other things, the document includes guidance ensuring that schools will allow Muslim girls to shower in their underwear following physical education classes and that students would be allowed to skip out on study visits of class trips that involve overnight stays.
According to the agreement, students fasting for Ramadan are also exempt from attending physical education classes and representatives from local Muslim congregations are also granted access to the school’s kitchen to observe how the school’s food is prepared.
Sweden Democrats single out Islam as the religion that conflicts most with the Swedish culture.
Party leader Jimmie Åkesson reiterated the aim yesterday, to seriously challenge the Social Democrats and Moderates in the government. This will come with a broadening of the policy and a turn toward the center, where the new policy program and the designation social conservatism are important building blocks.
But while the SD is now taking the step to consolidate its profile against Islam, unlike in the previous principle, the program now identifies Islam as the most problematic religion. The Party therefore calls for a sharp drop in immigration from countries with “strong elements of fundamentalism.”