1 Feb 2012
Education minister van Bijsterveldt has appealed to the country’s imams to speak out against homophobia. Recent comments from the Dutch Institute of Psychologists (NIP) and the country’s Moroccan-Dutch Alliance (SMN) organization have drawn attention to the difficulties that Moroccan homosexuals, particularly youth, face. The organizations commented that although there is “progress” with respect to homosexual acceptance, gay Moroccan youth are more likely to suffer from psychological problems.
Van Bijsterveldt declined to impose mandatory attention to homosexuality in elementary schools, saying that it is up to the school to determine curriculum in that respect. However he did call upon the country’s imam’s to support gay rights, as “It must really come from inside one’s own community.”
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.