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Saudi School threatened with closure

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File photo: APA/Neubauer
10:42 CET+01:00
Vienna's School Board has threatened a controversial private Saudi School with closure by the end of the 2014/2015 school year, after it failed to provide the names of its director and teachers.

Mathias Meissner, press spokesman for the School Board, told The Local that the school failed to give names for its staff and management by a December 1st deadline, which it is legally obliged to do.

The school can appeal the board’s decision within four weeks.

The school has been under review since November after a report in News magazine alleged that conspiracy theories and anti-Semitism were being taught at the school. Meissner said that these allegations still have to be proved, and the board plans to carry out inspections in the near future. 

It has also been asked to provide certified German translations of all its teaching materials by the end of the year.

A reporter from News magazine got hold of a copy of a school history textbook which reportedly contained sentences like “the Freemasons were a secret, subversive Jewish organization, which aimed to secure Jewish control of the world".

Around 150 students attend the school. It is run by the Saudi government and is not a religious institution. All lessons are taught in Arabic and follow the Saudi curriculum. 

However, the school must still comply with statutes set by the Austrian Education Ministry, and anti-Semitism and incitement, as well as failing to provide names of teachers, are against Austrian law.

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