• Austria's news in English
Muslim preschools 'linked to Islamist groups'
Sebastian Kurz (centre). Photo: Ministry for Integration, Europe and Foreign Affairs

Muslim preschools 'linked to Islamist groups'

The Local · 29 Feb 2016, 13:05

Published: 29 Feb 2016 13:05 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Austria’s Integration Minister Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) wants to introduce tighter controls on Islamic kindergartens to prevent radicalization and said he believed the study was necessary because there is a danger of “parallel societies emerging”.

The author of the study, Ednan Aslan, is a professor at the Institute of Islamic Studies at Vienna University. He found that the religious education preached by several of the capital's 150 Muslim establishments led to "theologically-motivated isolation" and robbed children of their autonomy through "intimidation".

"Intellectual Salafists and political Islamists are the dominant groups in the Islamic kindergarten scene in Vienna," the study concluded.

“In many of their publications the Muslim Brotherhood and Milli Gorus reject the Western way of life as an inferior worldview,” Aslan writes in the 178 page study.

He told the Standard newspaper that it was not acceptable that a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood, who runs a kindergarten in Vienna, should openly support the war in Syria or appear in a video in which he states that "we want to evangelize in Europe".

Many of the private Islamic preschools are subsidized by the City of Vienna - to the tune of €30 million - according to a report in the Krone newspaper.

Aslan said that the majority of the Islamic kindergartens were unwilling to participate in his study and that some took down their websites to make some data inaccessible. Only 71 out of 150 Islamic kindergartens agreed to be part of the study.

The Krone quotes one integration expert who contributed to Aslan’s report as saying that it is as easy to open an Islamic kindergarten in Vienna as it is “to open a kebab shop”.

The study feeds into a wider debate about Muslim integration in Austria where the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) is leading the polls following the migrant crisis.

Story continues below…

The FPÖ deputy mayor of Vienna, Johann Gudenus, has said that he wants to hold a special parliamentary session on the subject of Islamic kindergartens and a motion of no confidence against the head of the education board, Sonja Wehsely (SPÖ).

Gudenus added all kindergartens in the capital should be run by the City of Vienna, and not by private individuals or groups. The FPÖ also wants a financial audit of all monetary transfers to kindergarten operators and wants an investigation into whether any funds could have gone to finance terrorist groups.

The president of Vienna's Muslim community, Fuat Sanat, has said that allegations of "Salafist" education in preschools are "ridiculous".

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Freedom Party leader may face hate speech charges
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The leader of Austria’s Freedom Party may face charges of “hate speech” for posts made by other users on his Facebook page.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available