US State Reps Oppose Muslim Religious Schools

Louisiana State Rep. Valarie Hodges used to be a big fan of school vouchers. “I liked the idea,” she explained, “of giving parents the option of sending their children to a public school or a Christian school.” Hodges got a First Amendment reality check when she discovered that Christian schools wouldn’t be the only religious schools getting tax dollars.
“Unfortunately, it (vouchers) will not be limited to the Founders’ religion,” she said in June. “We need to ensure that it does not open the door to fund radical Islam schools. There are a thousand Muslim schools that have sprung up recently. I do not support using public funds for teaching Islam anywhere here in Louisiana.”
She is not alone. State Sen. Kevin Grantham of Colorado has worried out loud about the proliferation of mosques in America. Fresh from hearing an anti-mosque speech by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders (outspoken opponent of all things Islamic), Grantham said recently that “mosques are not churches like we would think of churches.”
In an apparent attempt to remove mosques from the First Amendment protection afforded Christian churches, Grantham claimed that Muslims “think of mosques as a foothold into a society, as a foothold into a community, more in the cultural and in the nationalistic sense. Our churches — we don’t feel that way, they’re places of worship, and mosques are simply not that.”

Improving Islamic education in the Netherlands

This week De Telegraaf publishes an interview with Yusuf Altuntas, principal of the ISBO, the Netherlands’ umbrella organization for Islamic education, in advance of its annual address. Venues for Islamic education in the country include 42 elementary and 2 secondary schools serving approximately 10,000 pupils. Altuntas addressed plans to improve ratings for school inspections through online monitoring and incentive programs involving ‘friendly competition’. The goal is providing quality education for all students. Altantas states, “We want with our schools to have immigrant children excelling, and offer education in a safe environment. We are convinced that students who learn by us do not become dropouts. No, we don’t celebrate Christmas, but we do educate to good citizens.”