France´s Oldest and Most Successful Muslim School on the Verge of Bankruptcy

La Réussite (Ibn Rushd) school in Aubervilliers, France is collapsing under the weight of its debts, its headteacher recently reported. Many critics have pointed to the French government for denying it the same grants given to other faith schools. According to the Guardian newspaper, with a 1959 law, over 8000 Jewish and Christian schools receive state grants; none of France´s four French Muslim schools have qualified. With the school´s debts reaching approximately €300,000, the school has turned to charitable donations. La Réussite was approved in July 2003 and became the country´s first Muslim school. It follows the same curriculum as state schools, and became one of the most successful schools nationwide, with a 100% Baccalaureate rate. Administrators of the school cite its importance since the banning of the hijab in state schools four years ago.

Mosque in Kortrijk will not be officially recognized, due to alleged extremist teachers

The Belgian Security Service advised against officially recognizing the Attakwa mosque in Kortrijk, saying that there are certain teachers in the mosque who take extreme points of view when teaching Quran classes on Saturday mornings. The interior minister and justice minister Stefaan De Clerck agreed, saying that it is possible that the mosque may be up for re-examination in the future, but it must first guarantee that extremist teachers will not be offered opportunities in the Attakwa mosque. Local mayor Lieven Lybeer plans to discuss the concerns with the mosque in its next meeting, and will discuss proposed solutions that mosque administration should take, in order to move forward with official recognition and steps towards “positive integration.”

Islamic school ‘unfair admission’

An Islamic state secondary school has been found to be giving preference to children from a private school in its admissions process. The schools adjudicator upheld a complaint against Madani High School in Leicester. The adjudicator found the admissions process was “socially and economically discriminatory”, reducing the places for Muslims from other local schools. Madani High School became part of the state system last year. Following the ruling by England’s schools adjudicator, Peter Matthews, the school will have to change its policy in deciding who should be awarded places when there are too many applicants. The complaint, brought by the city council, was that the school’s over-subscription criteria included giving priority to pupils from the independent Leicester Islamic Academy Primary School. The Madani High School had been part of the Leicester Islamic Academy until it transferred to the state system in 2007 – with the new school replacing the secondary section of the Leicester Islamic Academy. Secondary schools are allowed to designate feeder primary schools under the admissions code, but with the requirement that this must “not disadvantage children from more deprived areas”.

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La Reussite Islamic School Outside of Paris Threatened To Close

This video piece by Katrin Bennhold of the International Herald Tribune reports on the possible closing of La Reussite Islamic School in Aubervilliers because of its difficulty in self-financing. Yvonne Fazilleau, the school’s principal, claims that without any state subsidies the school may close in February 2009. The school’s yearly tuition is approximately €5000; the school is no longer able to pay its teachers due to declining enrollment. Fazilleau explains that La Reussite teaches the required national curriculum and that all religious-related events and classes are optional (both requirements for state subsidies to private religious schools), but that the school’s physical education classes are sex-segregated. All other classes are mixed.

Video available here.(5:10)

Judge rules regarding Islamic school in Rotterdam

A judge in Rotterdam ruled that the city’s education councilor, Leonard Geluk, had no right in advising parents to remove their children from the Ibn Ghaldoun Islamic school. Geluk has been ordered to write a letter to all parents correcting his advice. However, the education councilor may continue to state that the quality of education of the school is debatable. The Ibn Ghaldoun school has recently had its school subsidies suspended by the Rotterdam city council, and places lowest in education levels by school inspectors.

Teachers in Islamic school accused of child abuse

Two teachers and one supervisor at a Quran school in Borgerhout (Antwerp) have been sent to court on charges of child abuse, accused of having given a number of student corporeal punishment. The accused taught in a Quran school associated with the Bilal mosque. The investigation began in June 2006 after a complaint from the Sint-Norbetus Institute, where several of the involved kids were studying. They had complained to their teachers about the corporeal punishment they had received at the Quran school whenever they didn’t know their lessons or talked in class. The accused were arrested and held in detention for two weeks before being conditionally released. Their lawyer denies that their clients’ actions constitute child abuse.

Going mainstream – Islamic school becomes first to gain accreditation

It’s located on 2.8 leafy acres in Shrewsbury, complete with a basketball court, small playground, and the traditional classes that can be found in any public school. But Al-Hamra Academy in Shrewsbury, a private school housed in a simple two-story brick building under an American flag, also teaches Arabic, Islamic studies, and the Koran. There are prayers during the school day. Now, the academy has become the first Islamic school in New England to win accreditation, a milestone for the region’s Muslim community. “Accreditation is really a sign of maturity of the school,” said Bill Bennett, director of the commission on independent schools at the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the accrediting body…

Islamic school plans meet with public opposition

Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic missionary group plans to open a madrasa for 500 boys near London’s 2012 Olympic village. The school will be part of an 18 acre complex that includes a visitor and conference centre and a new entrance to West Ham tube station. A submission to planning authorities is some months away but the scheme has attracted much criticism, with more than 270,000 people signing a Downing Street petition opposing it.

First Islamic school opens in Belgium

Brussels -In Molenbeek, students can enroll at the Avicenna Islamic school. The private school is not recognized and receives no subsidies. In order to obtain a certificate, the students have to take an examination before the examining board. Respect and discipline. Those are two values which the Avicenna school imparts. The posters of the French-speaking school hang at windows of the building beside the Al-Khalil mosque in Molenbeek. If all goes well, it will begin as early as September with the first and second years of secondary education. The news that there would be an Islamic school had been circulating for a while. Yesterday, the school’s organizers could not be reached. Avicenna is to be -in theory at least -a school for girls and boys, for Muslims and non-Muslims. […]