Students late for school because of prayer?

Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said that in Mulhouse, numerous Muslim students arrive late to school because of daily prayer.
Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said that in Mulhouse, numerous Muslim students arrive late to school because of daily prayer.

Jean Rottner interviewed Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, who said that in Mulhouse, numerous Muslim students arrive late to school because of daily prayer. She claims that Mulhouse’s UMP mayor Jean Rottner first discussed the issue with her. Rottner originally stated that several teachers had complained that parents who attended morning prayers with their children brought them to school late.

An inspection by the department of education refutes NKM’s allegations and Rottner clarified his remarks following an internal meeting of UMP members, contending that it is not the students themselves who go to pray but rather their parents.

Municipal leaders released a statement asking that the mayor to “discuss these questions with the Municipal Council et Malhousiens” rather than “confiding in Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet.”

Thierry Sother, who represents the group Europe Ecology-The Greens deplores “elected representatives who stigmatize their town as well as portraying a false and negative image of Mulhouse.”

Muslim free school shut during Ofsted inspection expected to get lowest rating

A Muslim free school that closed its doors just hours after Ofsted began an inspection is expected to be judged inadequate, it has been reported. Al-Madinah school in Derby, which has faced accusations of introducing strict religious practices, is likely to be given the lowest rating in all areas. The school has announced it will reopen to pupils on Monday 7th October. The interim principal, Stuart Wilson, took the decision to close the school on Tuesday on health and safety grounds after inspectors shared their initial findings with him.


While Ofsted’s report has not been finalised, preliminary findings have given the school the lowest rating. Al-Madinah, which is one of the government’s flagship free schools, opened in September last year.


Ofsted declined to comment on the reports and a Department for Education spokesman said: “We were already investigating this school before allegations became public. We discussed the problems with Ofsted and it launched an immediate inspection. We are waiting for Ofsted’s final report and considering all legal options.”


Derby Muslim faith school closes on first day of Ofsted inspection

A controversial Islamic faith school in Derby – under fire for forcing female staff to wear headscarves – abruptly shut its doors on Wednesday hours after the arrival of inspectors from Ofsted, citing unspecified “health and safety” as the reason.


Parents who visited the Al-Madinah school, which opened last year as part of the government’s free school programme, said they were told by staff that the reason for the sudden closure was confidential. In a statement, Ofsted said: “We can confirm that Ofsted is currently undertaking a two-day inspection of the Al-Madinah school in Derby.


The inspection and the closure comes less than two weeks after a teacher quit the school which has about 200 pupils from reception class to age 13, saying all female staff were being required to follow Islamic dress codes and that pupils were being segregated in classrooms, with girls sitting at the back.


The inspection by Ofsted was triggered by complaints about the school after the Derby Telegraph revealed the allegations. The school is also being investigated by the Education Funding Agency, the schools’ financial watchdog, over alleged irregularities involving contracts with suppliers, while the Department for Education is said to have had the school under review before the public allegations were made. The Department for Education said: “We are waiting for Ofsted’s final report and considering all legal options.”


A note to parents on the school’s website from head teacher Stuart Wilson told parents: “Owing to a health and safety issue, I have taken the decision to close the school to primary and secondary pupils until I am confident that all children are safe on site.” The school is expected to reopen “in the very near future,” according to the message.


Muslim Prayer angers Mayor

Casalpusterlengo – Back again to the forefront is the question of an Islamic cultural center in a stable in Via Fugazza and, after months of silence, there could ignite a tug of war between Muslims and the administration. At issue is the use of a building on Via Fugazza, which was used as a place of worship until the center-right, who came to power in the spring of 2009, began a long struggle, which culminated in November 2010 with the pronouncement of Council of State who declared the space “unfit” as a center of prayer. To date, however, faithful Muslims still pray in the space.

“The activity of worship is not possible” reiterates the mayor of Casalpusterlengo, the Northern League’s Flavio Parmesani. “I believe that the eviction of more than two years ago is clear: at this point I will urge them to get out of the space.” The measure would be at risk of appeal which has already happened before, but the mayor intends to proceed anyway.

The story now has its roots in time: August 26, 2009, the head of the a Private Construction Service in the town of Casale, performed an inspection, after which the service ordered the demolition of illegal works and the restoration of a commercial use building.  Following this, the building was used for worship, of which the Administrative Court of Lombardy had decided to “freeze” the case after which the Council of State has decided to pursue again.

Dutch government investigates halal fraud

The Dutch government is investigating possible fraud with halal certificates in the country, Volkskrant reports. The General Inspection Service, a division of the Agricultural Ministry, last month revealed that a meat wholesaler from Breda had used forged documents to sell several thousand tons of meat to Muslims in France.

Ben Ali-Salah, director of Halal Correct, an organization granting halal certificates in Leiden, says that documents of his certifying bureau are forged en-masse for meat cargoes which don’t deserve the title of halal.

Although the term halal seems to have been naturalized in the Netherlands, it is not legally protected. Controversy surrounding the certification and authenticity of halal meats continues as demand for halal products has produced a boom in certifying agencies.

Increase in ethnic clashes in schools

According to data from the education inspection, immigrant and ethnic Dutch students are experiencing an increase in fighting and conflict in schools. In secondary schools, 40% experienced such conflict – a 10% compared to just tow years ago. Ethnic conflicts occurred between students in almost 250 Dutch secondary schools, and fighting, discrimination, and problems with far-right ‘Lonsdale youth’ occur more frequently in vocational and technical students.

Rotterdam school required to return government money

The Islamic secondary school in Ibn Ghaldoun in Rotterdam is refusing to pay back the 1.2 million euro that the State Secretary Van Bijsterveldt withdrew from the school. Nass, the furious school president said: We’re not going to pay that amount back. I’m giving nothing back because it’s not spent. We’ll fight this till the highest judiciary. Van Bijsterveldt is requesting that the money be returned, because it was spend on tangential issues including trips to holy sites in Saudi Arabia, and salary for two imams whose affiliation to the school is being question. The education inspection could not prove that fraud had been committed, but says that something appears amiss at the school. The school administration, however, believes that the school is being unfairly targeted, saying there’s clearly no place for Islamic education in this country.