18 April 2017

Muslim kindergartens are producing homegrown Islamists of the future and creating 'parallel societies' where children do not integrate, study warns

A row has broken out in Austria after a study suggested Islamic kindergartens in Vienna were helping to create 'parallel societies' or even produce dangerous homegrown radicals of the future.

Some 10,000 children aged two to six attend around 150 Muslim preschools, teaching the Koran much like Christian ones do with Bible studies, according to the study's author, Ednan Aslan, a Turkish-born Austrian professor at Vienna University.

At least a quarter are backed by groups propagating arch conservative strains of Islam like Salafism, or organisations that see religion not just as a private matter but integral to politics and society, Aslan believes.

'Parents are sending their kids to establishments that ensure they are in a Muslim setting and learn a few suras (chapters from the Koran),' Aslan, a respected researcher into Islamic education, told AFP.

'But they are unaware that they are shutting them off from a multicultural society,' he said.

The study, published last year, has been jumped on by critics of immigration - not least the far-right Freedom Party - in the wake of attacks such as Paris and Brussels perpetrated by Muslims who grew up in Europe. But many reject Aslan's findings, questioning its methodology. [Daily Mail] Read more