‘Islamic’ kindergartens cause a stir in Austria

Vienna (AFP) – A debate is raging in Austria after a study suggested that Islamic kindergartens in Vienna were helping to create “parallel societies” or even produce the dangerous homegrown radicals of the future.

A study suggesting Islamic kindergartens in Vienna were helping create “parallel societies” has been jumped on by critics of immigration (AFP Photo/JOE KLAMAR)

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

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…

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