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Jelle van Buuren in De Volkskrant on radical Islamic schools in the Netherlands

A new chapter has been added to the ongoing discussion on Islamic schools in the Netherlands. Dutch television programme ‘Nieuwsuur’ and Dutch newspaper NRC conducted research into approximately 50 Islamic educational institutions which do not take part in the conventional Dutch educational system. An environment in which students are taught to distance themselves from the fundamental principles of Dutch society.

Jelle van Buuren, Assistant Professor at Leiden University’s Institute of Security and Global Affairs believes the situation is extremely complicated. ‘Because of the freedom of religion, the religion-based education system in the Netherlands and the freedom of education it is really difficult for the Dutch government to intervene. The course materials that are being taught at Islamic schools are not necessarily illegal either.’ Another rather significant complication, according to Van Buuren, is the fact that several government committees have opposing interests when it comes to religion-based education.

The Dutch government would very much like to take action against the inappropriate behaviour of Islamic schools. Van Buuren, however, is convinced that the government is wrong to use the term ‘inappropriate behaviour’.  ‘I believe it would be better look for answers by objectifying the term ‘ideological subversion’. What are the core values and what are the risks? Accusations that the government is using double standards would otherwise be justified.’

You can read the full article (in Dutch) on de Volkskrant website.

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