Europe, News Watch, Side Feature

The Closure of Muslim Free Schools Targets the Identity of Muslims

On Thursday, Dagens Nyheter, Göteborgsposten and Aftonbladet reported that the Swedish Schools Inspectorate is revoking the permits of two Muslim private schools following an alert from the Swedish Security Service that the pupils risk being radicalised by Islamic ideology. The decision affects a little less than 300 children.

This is not the first time that the Swedish Schools Inspectorate has revoked the authorisation of Muslim independent schools and thus closed them down. Not so long ago, it was decided that the Alazhar School in Vällingby would be closed down, and before that the permit for the Römosseskolan in Gothenburg was withdrawn. This happened despite criticism from the City Audit Office of the politicians’ treatment of Römosseskolan and the court ruling that the school can continue to operate. The Administrative Court stated that “the decision of the Schools Inspectorate is very intrusive and has far-reaching consequences for the principal as well as for the children or pupils”. Before that, a dozen Muslim private schools had been defamed and then forced to close down. Despite the criticism, the crackdown on Muslim schools continues and now two more schools are being forced to close and 300 pupils are being forced to change schools.

The closure of Muslim private schools is not an educational decision based on poor results or shortcomings in teaching, but a political decision with Islamophobic motives. Other schools such as the Christian Immanuel School have been criticised for their poor treatment of LGBT issues and for LGBT people being abused at the school, but this has not led to a witch-hunt against the school and the licence has not been withdrawn.

Political parties’ and politicians’ obsession with Islam, fear of Islam’s advance and disgust with Muslims’ adherence to Islam drive them to a losing battle against Islam in which the closure of Muslim schools is one of many of these parties goals. The Social Democrats wanted to close down Muslim private schools but not Jewish ones. Sweden’s Education Minister, Anna Ekström, said in relation to the closure of Muslim schools, “We want to get at the fact that children and pupils are being educated in schools that are becoming more and more diverse.” According to Ekström, “We have seen cases of systematic gender segregation and of views that do not belong in Swedish schools”. The motive behind the closure of Muslim schools is thus to brainwash Muslim children and secularise them by throwing them into municipal schools where they can be educated equally with values that belong in Swedish schools. That is why Axel Darvik (L), Municipal commissioner of the Gothenburg City Council, described the decision to close the Römosse school as “gratifying for the children” and said that the Römosse children would now have “a real chance to be integrated into Swedish society”.

We have long said that integration is a tool to erase the identity of Muslims and forcibly assimilate children into secular values. Integration is not about language and work. A Muslim should be positive and contribute actively in society while preserving his or her Islamic identity. But integration today means giving up one’s values and blending into society and its values. If you are not integrated, you are radicalised, an undefined accusation that in practice means not embracing secular values. This is why the Swedish Security Service warned that children were at risk of being radicalised by Islamic ideology. What it really means is that the children are being raised according to Islam.  The government’s obsession with fighting Islamic values has led them to give the police the power to close more schools, even without evidence. Morgan Johansson, Minister of Justice, and Mikael Damberg, former Minister of the Interior, wrote in an opinion piece on DN in 2020 that intensive work by the security police has shut down 5 schools and they defended the efforts by saying “the closure of schools has saved hundreds from radicalisation”.

The closure of Muslim private schools should therefore be understood in this context where Islam is constantly under attack and Islamic values are problematised. There is no essential difference between the closure of schools, the burning of the Quran or the kidnapping of Muslim children by the social services; they are just different tools in the toolbox of assimilation policy.

To our non-Muslim fellow human beings:

Your politicians’ hatred for Islam has driven them to undermine your values and principles in the fight against Islam. Everyone can have freedom of opinion without Muslims. Everyone gets to keep their values without Muslims. Nyamko Sabuni wanted refugees from Ukraine to have their own schools with their own curriculum while Muslims are not allowed to have schools with Swedish curriculum. The Islamophobic policy will sooner or later be the downfall of society if it is allowed to continue to thumb its nose at the principles of society. Muslims can do everything right and win in the courts but then politicians pull out their ace in the hole, the Swedish Security Service, with secret evidence and sweeping accusations where the accusation is the evidence that we cannot counter. In 2019, Säpo arrested 5 imams without presenting any evidence and sentenced them to deportation. Is that how Sweden should be? A police state without the rule of law?

Dear Muslims:

You have a good example in Prophet Mohammad (saw) when he too had to endure persecution and threats because of Islam. Follow his example protect yourselves and your children with Islam, by studying Islam ideologically, calling for it and presenting Islam’s solutions to the world. Only then can we make ourselves immune to integration. Trust in Islam’s ability to solve man’s problems and convey it to humanity.

To the political parties and the politicians: You know that your ideology is in decline and we understand that you are trying to distract attention from your failure and from your demise by attacking Islam. But your foolish fight against Islam will only hasten your downfall. You will never ever succeed in erasing Islam from the hearts of Muslims, for in them we carry true values that are not for sale

Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir in Sweden

Press Release
6 Shawwal 1443  – Friday 6th May 2022
No: 05 / 1443