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Islamic school closed for 'endangering children'

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Photo: meinbezirk.at
10:55 CET+01:00
A private Islamic primary school in Vienna's Brigittenau district has been shut down as the city council believes its students’ welfare was endangered, the Kurier newspaper reports.

This comes after a young girl was knocked over by a classmate and seriously bruised her forehead. The headmistress did not call an ambulance and only reported the incident to the police the following day - when the girl still had significant swelling on her head.

When she was challenged about this she said that protecting her pupils’ parents is a priority for her - especially as many of them are originally from Chechnya and do not have health insurance.

She said that the girl’s mother had taken her daughter to the doctor herself.

The school board said that the headmistress had banned any of her teaching staff from cooperating with local authorities, even if a child was injured. She wanted everything to be handled internally, so as not to upset the children's parents.

The school, which is run by an organization called Zukunft für alle, rejected allegations that the children were in any danger and said it would challenge the school board’s ruling.

Chairwoman Silia Kandil told the Kurier that unless it is a medical emergency, parents have the right to decide whether to take their child to the doctor or not. She added that she had not instructed the headmistress not to call an ambulance, and that she seemed to be suffering from "burn out". 

Parents will now have to look for new schools for their children, and many have complained that the school board is discriminating against Muslims. The school had 33 pupils.

In 2013 the school was criticised for “a lack of moral reliability” by the school board after it failed to pay for textbooks it had ordered.

Story continues below…

Last year another Islamic school, the Saudi School Vienna, also made headlines after school history books were allegedly found to contain anti-Semitic texts.

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