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Spain: Courses on Islam in Public Schools

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Guidelines for teaching Islam in public schools are aimed at stirring religious fervor and promoting Islamic identity among young Muslims in Spain.

Spain: Courses on Islam in Public Schools

Soeren Kern | Gatestone Institute | April 2, 2016

The Spanish government has published new guidelines for teaching Islam in public preschools and primary and secondary schools.

The guidelines are being touted as a way to prevent Muslim children and young people from being drawn into terrorism by exposing them to a “moderate” interpretation of Islam.

On closer inspection, however, the guidelines — drafted by the Islamic Commission of Spain and approved by the Ministry of Education — are aimed at stirring religious fervor and promoting Islamic identity among young Muslims in Spain.

The new plan, which is the most ambitious in all of Europe, amounts to a government-approved program to establish a full-fledged Islamic studies curriculum at public schools nationwide, at a time when Christian religious symbols are being systematically removed from Spanish public schools by official enforcers of secularism.

Although Spanish taxpayers are being expected to pay for the religious education of up to 300,000 Muslim students between the ages of 3 and 18, it remains unclear whether Spanish authorities will have any oversight of the teaching of Islam in public schools. The government has agreed to allow local Muslim organizations to draft the course syllabi, choose the textbooks, and even determine who will teach the classes.

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Posted in: Islam in Europe, Spain

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