Fears about Saudi influence on Dutch schools

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 21:48:36 -0000

AMSTERDAM: Ten out of the 32 Islamic schools in the Netherlands have
direct ties with Saudi Arabia and are being funded by wealthy Saudis,
according to a recent investigation by the Dutch Internal Security
Service (BVD), reported on the front page of the influential daily De
Volkskrant on Tuesday. 

The Volkskrant report quotes Karen Adelmund, the State Secretary for
Education, who told Nova television that strict action would be taken
against these schools. "This has nothing to do with freedom of religion.
Most of these schools incite hatred against western society‚" Adelmund
said in an interview. 

Most of the Netherlands' Muslim immigrants belong to Moroccan and
Turkish families, whose men came to work here as unskilled labour in the
1960s. Their families joined them a decade or so later, and the children
were initially put into Catholic and Protestant schools that were having
trouble attracting students because of increasing secularization in
Holland. 

A decade later, Islamic schools began cropping up as the immigrant
communities became more organized. According to Dutch law, any school
that fulfills the basic requirements of curriculum, number of pupils and
teachers, is entitled to state funding. 

The BVD report has found that in addition to state funding, the Islamic
schools are getting money from wealthy Saudis, which is influencing the
teachings of these schools. The schools that receive state funding are
also allowed to get private funding, there is a concern that money
linked to ideologies can undermine the democratic, secular ideals of the
Netherlands. 
 
Source:  The News 

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