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“Kindergartners pull me up on why I’m showing some leg”

Flemish teachers are concerned about the impact Koranic schools or Madrasas are having.  They say that the insights and radical ideas that are propagated there conflict with the lessons that they receive in regular schools.

Koranic schools are in the limelight following a probe in the Netherlands. Dutch journalists discovered Madrasas where extremely radical ideas were taught.  In some schools pupils learn that people of a different faith deserve the death penalty.

Similar schools exist in Belgium.  They stand outside the regular education network and are linked to mosques.

Teachers have noticed that such schools are attracting more and more pupils.  Pupils the age of six are now attending. Moreover the insights taught conflict more and more with regular school lessons.

“When we talk about children with two daddies, there are strong reactions” says one teacher.  “Allah doesn’t allow this!”

Another adds: “On the playground I’m told I’ll be punished by Allah.  We don’t live according to their norms.  Children ask me why I wear make-up, why I show some leg. They think it’s strange my husband allows me to go to school like that. Even kindergartners pull me up on that.  This is partly due to the Madrasas.”

Some schools like in Brussels try to start a dialogue with parents, but that is not always easy.

“We talk with parents, but they really live in their own world. Girls aren’t allowed to swim.  They get a note from their doctor.  They don’t participate in society.  When I started it wasn’t bad like this.  The last 2 or 3 years it’s got a lot worse” explains one teacher.