SWEDEN: Outrage as Muslim girls are forced to sit in the back of the bus

Swedish Prime Minister slams policy of gender segregation in a Muslim school after a Swedish TV channel reveals girls are forced to board the school bus through the back door, while boys use the front.

RT  The video is part of the latest episode of TV4’s “Kalla Fakta,” or Cold Facts, show, which was to be aired on Tuesday evening. It features secret footage showing children between six and 10 years old being segregated by gender while boarding a school bus. The boys freely use the front door while the girls are directed to the rear door.

The Cold Facts’ reporter, Helena Gissen, also found out that the pupils are being divided by gender during school prayers as girls sit in one room, and boys in another one. Gissen asked the school headmaster, Hussein Ibrahim, to comment on the situation but he refused to do it and then demanded that the journalists leave the school, threatening to call the police if they do not.

“I think this is disgusting. This doesn’t belong in Sweden,” PM Stefan Lofven told reporters in Stockholm, adding that, in Sweden, “we take the bus together whether you are a girl or a boy, a woman or a man,”AP reports. He also said that the issue “indicates that we have more to tackle when it comes to segregation,” adding that he had already given a corresponding task to his government.

The prime minister’s words were echoed by Education Minister Gustav Fridolin, who said that rules preventing gender segregation in schools are apparently “too weak” and called for the tightening of the regulation concerning religious schools.

“This is completely unacceptable,” Fridolin said, referring to the situation in the publicly funded but privately managed Al-Azhar school located in Stockholm’s northwest neighborhood of Vaellingby, which was revealed by the Swedish TV4 Channel.

Al-Azhar school has some 120 employees and 660 students. Children are allowed to pray during school hours.  In February 2017, the Swedish government proposed a ban on single-sex classrooms across all subjects as part of a definitive measure to guarantee equality of education for all Swedish citizens.

Sweden’s socialized school system is state-funded but privately run, which allows religious organizations to operate educational institutions so long as they adhere to the secular curriculum produced by the state.

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