The following article summarizes an official report on the condition of Vienna’s Islamic kindergartens. The report’s conclusions — that the kindergartens are influenced or controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Salafist groups, that children are indoctrinated with “extremist” views, that parallel societies are created and sustained by these schools, that children are taught to disdain and reject the kuffar — will not be a surprise to most Gates of Vienna readers. They seem to have caused consternation within the city’s Socialist governing class, however, so much so that the authorities have made sure to kick the can down the road at least as far as 2017.
The most telling fact is that most Islamic kindergartens refused entry to investigators working on the study.
Our Austrian correspondent AMT, who suggested the article for translation, sends this introduction:
If ever proof for the failure of Multiculturalism and Socialism were needed, the following story should have silenced the Left. But no, of course there are no problems, only challenges, with Islamic kindergartens in Vienna, Austria’s capital — which has been ruled with an iron socialist fist for the past 100-plus years.
Ednan Aslan, a professor of Islamic pedagogy at the University of Vienna, was tasked by the Austrian ministry of foreign affairs to take a closer look at Vienna’s Islamic kindergartens. What followed was a study which proved disastrous: only a handful of kindergartens permitted Aslan to enter the premises and conduct his interviews. The few institutions that did open their doors provided a worrisome glimpse into the netherworld of Islamic jihad and segregation.
Leave it to the Viennese government to attack the bearers of bad news, Professor Aslan and Foreign Minister Kurz, instead of immediately shutting down these kindergartens. Leave it to the Socialists to blame everyone and everything, including Islamophobia, for the situation. And leave it to the local minister in charge to call for another study, not to be completed until 2017. Problem solved, right?
In the meantime, there are countless young jihadists indoctrinated by their likewise indoctrinated kindergarten teachers, all clothed in proper Islamic attire. Of course, everyone in the socialist world will be surprised and shocked how many jihadists travel to Syria and elsewhere to fulfill Allah’s wish — as taught to them by their kindergarten teachers in the open and tolerant city of Vienna.
Weep if you can.
Many thanks to JLH for translating this article from Der Kurier:
Islam Kindergartens: Ministry Releases Aslan Report
Ednan Aslan’s report causes a sensation. The 178-page final version now becomes the basis for a large study. Plus: Summary of the most serious complaints.
by Bernhard Ichner
February 26, 2016
It has been a long time coming (originally scheduled for the end of January), but today, Friday, the Ministry for Integration published the final report of educational theorist Ednan Aslan on Islamically influenced kindergartens and/or groups in Vienna. The report illuminates particularly the role of the supporting associations of the kindergartens. The most serious complaints are summarized at the end of the article.
Aslan’s 33-page “preliminary study”, published by the ministry at the beginning of December, had caused a sensation. In it, he claimed there were an estimated 150 Islamic kindergartens in Vienna, in which, to an extent, parallel societies were being cultivated.
Joint Study With the City of Vienna
Building on Aslan’s final report, the Ministry for Integration and the City of Vienna, jointly, are beginning a comprehensive investigation of Islamic childcare institutions in Vienna.
It was announced on Friday, that the City of Vienna will provide necessary data, such as access to childcare institutions, associations’ registration forms, etc. An appropriate provider will be designated for the implementation. The study will be supervised by a six-member investigative team.
An important consideration will be whether the pedagogical concepts of these private child education and childcare institutions (kindergartens and children’s groups) in Vienna comport with the basic values of the Austrian constitution, children’s rights and human rights as well as with the Viennese educational plan.
Also investigated will be what values and norms are experienced in practice, as well as languages used, the religious background and immigration background of the children and employees, and also the adoption of linguistic support. The expectations in education and care on the part of parents and/or responsible adults will also be researched. Part of the study will also be defining criteria for the purpose of discussing religious and sectarian influence on institutional child education and childcare. Further, a list with a comprehensive analysis will be made of all Islamic kindergartens, children’s groups and their operators/supporting associations, and there will be information on what religions are feeding into the pedagogical work.
Sonja Wehsely, SPÖ city counselor for health, social affairs and generations says, “There is no place in Vienna for radicalism and extremism. If there are problems, they must be confronted and solved. The City of Vienna is watching closely and has already taken action. With the increase of supervisors in the MAG ELF (family services), we are taking care that the safety net is even stronger. The quality is further enhanced with the improvement of training for caretakers in children’s groups. The study will examine closely the experiencing of values and norms in the everyday pedagogy of childcare. With its professional team of investigators, this study will give a well-founded and comprehensive insight.”
The Most Serious Complaints in the Aslan Report
- A frequently occurring sentence: “This content was taken out of the net.” After the presentation if the interim report at the beginning of December 2015, numerous problematic materials/interviews/pictures were taken out of the net.
- p. 8: 71 kindergartens and 56 children’s groups could be identified. Since of course not all of them could be determined, the number of Muslim institutions for childcare in Vienna is estimated at about 150. In that case, the number of children in Muslim institutions for childcare in Vienna would be about 10,000.
- pp. 25f: Amir Zaidan — “It is absolutely essential to allow polygamy, because Islam considers sexuality a human need and because it is only willing to allow the equitable satisfying of this need for all people on the permitted path of marriage.”
- p. 29: The Islamological Institute is the most active organization in Austria (also in all German-speaking territory) in the area of elementary and adult pedagogy. The proximate relationship between ISMA, BAKIP 12 and the Islamological Institute (Amir Zaidan) and associations for kindergartens and children’s groups — all of which are active at Reschgasse 22-24, 1120 Vienna — indicates the close relationship in these areas of education. On the basis of the situation, the cited educational institutions were of special relevance for the study, because it is here that the clear reference points form the basis of intellectual Salafism are given.
- p. 30: “Europe, as we know it, will cease to exist in some years, Insh’allah, because the birth rated is at 1.38 per family.”
- p. 31: “Unfortunately — because of a lack of Islamic alternatives — many children then attend public schools with no Islamic environment and education. The dearth is especially great and dangerous for the 10-15-year-olds, since there is no available, rigorous Islamic secondary or middle school.” From the flyer of the Muhammad-Asad School which is run by the IQRA Group (Mr. Suk).
- p.31: “Kufr is a collective term for every lifestyle that does not conform to Islam…Only the atheists, the polytheists and the munafiq [“hypocrites” — author’s note] among the Kafirs are destined for an eternity in Hell.” Amir Zaidan
- p. 37: In Vienna, the Muslim Brotherhood manages several kindergartens and children’s groups.
- 39: As workshops of political Islam, kindergartens have become showplaces of internal struggle.
- p.42: It is also clear that sympathizers of political Islam, who — although they refrain from the use of violence in Austria — essentially regard violence as a means to achieve the Islamic State, [and] ascribe great value to the educational institutions — as their “backyard”.
- p.42; Syrian Muslim Brother Aiman Murad is the financial director (formerly E.A.) of the Islamic Religious Pedagogical Academy (IRPA), the training facility for Islamic religious teachers of the official Islamic religious community Austria (IGGiÖ).
- p. 61: In interviews conducted in our preliminary study, the operators themselves indicate repeatedly that the larger portion of Muslim operators come from the most diverse professions and are operating kindergartens or children’s groups for profit.
- p. 75: “They [the parents] absolutely want the Koran learned. Because of conflicts with city authorities about Islamic education and their neglect in kindergarten, a number of parents have unenrolled their children.” Statement of a kindergarten teacher.
- p. 76: Muslim parents want a program of religious instruction/education and it is important to them that their children learn the Koran. Many parents expect that their child will learn suras by heart, and measure the kindergarten’s success on how many suras the child already knows. The same can be said of Arabic letters.
- p. 77: Because many Koran teachers lack the appropriate religious-didactic skills, the suras are viewed less for their content than the scope of the respective sura. Thus, similar to traditional practice in reading the Koran, there is less emphasis on meaning and more on memorization.
- p. 77: This is the real problem in classic Koran instruction, because precisely these short suras cannot be theologized with children, since their content can cause fear and dread in children. An example is sura 114:6, where children learn about demons, magic, evil people who practice magic to harm others, or for example a sura which tells of the end of the world, how then world will come apart and how people will be punished in Hell, etc. (e/g/. Koran 111:3).
- p. 78: Most Koran teachers unfortunately are not aware of what they are causing in the imaginations of children who are really looking for security by using such images (Hellfire, a punitive God). It is fair to ask whether such texts do not lead to children ultimately internalizing violence as a part of their religion. A further training for teachers in this area is crucial.
- p. 78: “When we dropped off or picked up our child, I and my life companion often took note of the religious instruction for the children. The children wore religious head coverings. We, as a family, are atheists and were amazed when our child used Islamic ideas at home (like Allah, Allahu Akhbar) or made prayer hand gestures.” Statement by a mother.
- p. 80: The Muslim children do not participate in the religious ceremonies of other religions, while non-Muslim children can take part in Muslim ceremonies.
- p. 81: As a rule, children learn the dua’as (petitioning prayers) in Arabic. To an extent, they do not correspond to the real lives of the Muslim children, and they harbor images of a punitive God, as two examples can demonstrate: “Allah has the power to punish us for every bad act. No one can stop him from doing that. Only a fool can fail to fear Allah’s punishment” (Audio material from Kindergarten Learning for Life). Or “Oh God, protect me from the punishment of Hellfire.”
- p. 82: In values education, it is above all a matter of protecting the children from the bad moral influences of the majority society, so that (later) as true, devout people they can avoid such influences.
- p. 87: On the basis of such statements, a concept of life becomes clear as it is customary in Islamic countries: very early education in Arabic language and in memorization of the Koran, to facilitate the growth of a better religious understanding in children. In the process, children are forbidden thoughts and second thoughts, for instance, about God.
- p. 90: The values education seems to be supported in part by a conservative theology which, first of all, attributes no significance to the majority society, but would like to protect “its children” from it.
- p. 90: This not infrequently leads to these kindergartens and children’s groups trying to satisfy parents’ and associations’ wishes with a special program. From conversations with parents and public conversations with teachers, clear indications can be taken that the associations are attempting to achieve parents’ wishes but also their own religious goals.
- p. 91: Municipal controls are necessary and, in their present form are not sufficient. And the type of controls is not satisfactory… And controls, when they do exist, supervise mostly formalities — space and other organizational, hygienic, etc. guidelines. But there is also no examination of pedagogical quality. Likewise, the theological credentials of the providers are not examined.
- p. 92: Most of the Muslim kindergartens and children’s groups investigated are composed of truly homogeneous groups of Turkish, Arabic, etc. children. This makes it more difficult for teachers who are inclined to encourage use of German. One of the greatest challenges of the kindergartens is said to be that the children repeatedly talk among themselves in their mother tongue (e.g., Turkish).
- p. 99; Even when the kindergarten team is composed of diverse teachers, the caretakers are exclusively practicing Muslims, a quality highly valued by the associations. So a number of facilities specifically seek women with headscarves (see appendix number 1.2.4), which is against the equal treatment law.
- p. 100: Because of a lack of trained teachers in Austria, teachers from the new EU countries are often employed. In this respect, parents complain, for instance, that this personnel does not have command of the German language.
- p. 104: Many Islamic kindergartens were not prepared to cooperate with the investigation project.
- p. 105: As a rule, most kindergartens and children’s groups are ethnically and nationally homogeneous. In these groups, advancement of the German language is s particular challenge for the kindergartens. In this environment it is almost impossible to develop a feeling for the German language.
- pp. 105 f: Impulses to encouraging pluralism often fall short. In religious education, traditional pictures determine the education of the children; for instance images of a punishing and rewarding God. In the process, children are intimidated by an outdated understanding based on sinfulness and they are deprived of developing to responsible maturity. Their own religion, meanwhile, is valued above other religions and philosophies.
(The full version of the 178-page project report of the Department for Islamic Studies at the University of Vienna is available for download.)