The author of a new Austrian government report on radicalisation in schools has gone on record suggesting the government “cooperates with Salafist or Islamist organisations”, and the funding by foreign governments of projects in Europe is akin to colonisation.
Commissioned by the Austrian integration ministry to investigate the state of Islam in the nations kindergartens, university of Vienna professor Ednan Aslan has spoken out about his disturbing findings in an interview with Der Standard. Painting a bleak picture of Salafist and Muslim Brotherhood religious extremists controlling schools and apparently doing so with the acquiescence of regional and national politicians, the Turkish born academic said the government should in future carefully scrutinise where exactly foreign money for projects in Austria was coming from.
Refusing to give exact numbers on the numbers of concern schools falling under specific negative influences in Austria, professor Aslan told the paper a “conservative estimate” put the total number of so-called “problematic” Islamist schools at 150.
Explaining how so many schools are able to have come under the influence of radical Islam without being detected or challenged in Austria, the professor first explains about “intellectual Salafism”. He remarks they go to great lengths to keep below the radar by fastidiously following the rules set by the Austrian state, while running their own programme of fundamentalist education. He said:
“They are very legalistic, attaching great importance to education and avoiding conflicts with the legislation, but internally operate a conservative, very [doctrinaire] theology… in a Kindergarten the status of legislation in Islamic theology is valued higher than reason, the woman is depicted as inferior to the man”.
Secondly he explains the “naive” approach of the city of Vienna working together with Salafist and Islamist organisations, which appears to be at least an unofficial policy of turning a blind eye. Remarking his research team had easily turned up flyers and publications containing evidence of extremism from problem schools, professor Aslan expressed it should be possible for the employees of the city to do the same.
The fact the city government is unable to do this shows there is “no control”, an oversight he suggests which would not be permitted should a right wing group attempt to infiltrate schools in the same way as Islamists have.
Turning his attention to the now infamous so-called Cologne attacks, the mass sex assault experienced across Europe on New Year’s Eve the professor blamed the violence on the theology, which he described as taking over some Austrian schools, where women are seen as “a tool of man”.
Rules “setting limits” to the influence of Islam in schools are needed in Austria, argues the professor, and efforts to integrate newcomers need to be stepped up. He said: “last year, 90,000 refugees came come to [Austria], mainly Afghans, Syrians, Iraqis. Is is a fact that most people have come from Islamic countries. What I would like to see is a solution that responds to problems openly. The situation we have, of glossing over or ignoring certain issues does not help us”.
The phenomenon of extremist Islamist groups infiltrating schools and indoctrinating children from a very young age has also been observed in other European countries. In Britain the revelation of Islamist entryism and the displacement of moderate teachers in favour of radicals has been called the Trojan horse scandal.
At one of the schools investigated by the government it was found terms like “Jew boy” were routinely used by staff and pupils as an insult, along with “Kuffar” and Arabic word meaning ‘unbeliever’.
Follow Oliver Lane on Twitter: Follow @Oliver_Lane or e-mail to: email@example.com