Court or­ders Dutch govt to fi­nance new Is­lamic school

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - World -

THE Dutch gov­ern­ment on Wed­nes­day was or­dered by the coun­try’s high­est court to ap­prove fund­ing for a new Is­lamic school in Am­s­ter­dam which it had sought to ban.

Fund­ing for the school was re­fused in 2014 by Deputy Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter San­der Dekker, af­ter a mem­ber of the school’s board voiced sup­port for the so-called Is­lamic State ji­hadist group.

But the Coun­cil of State on Wed­nes­day found there “is no valid rea­son for re­fus­ing the fund­ing” af­ter hear­ing the school had dis­tanced it­self from the man’s re­marks as well as any kind of ex­trem­ism.

The man in question had also been dis­missed from the board, the court said in its rul­ing.

Dekker was or­dered by the court to re­verse his de­ci­sion and find fi­nances by August 1, ahead of the start of the next school year.

The is­sue of Is­lam and its in­flu­ence on Dutch so­ci­ety has long fu­elled de­bate here, with out­spo­ken far-right MP Geert Wilders hav­ing made a ban on the Ko­ran and mosques a cen­tral plank of this year’s par­lia­men­tary elec­tions.

His Free­dom Party is now the sec­ond largest po­lit­i­cal group in par­lia­ment af­ter win­ning 20 seats in the March polls.

The school, which would be­come only be the sec­ond Is­lamic high school in the coun­try, is ex­pected to wel­come some 200 stu­dents this year. Dutch me­dia re­ported it would have to be housed ini­tially in tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion. – AFP

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