Swedish Islamic school closed over radicalisation fears

Published on 12th December 2019 by BrickTop

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Last modified 19th October 2020

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The Swedish School Inspectorate has revoked a Gothenburg Islamic school’s licence due to concerns that pupils may be exposed to radical Islamic ideology.

Authorities closed the Safirskolan school after its former owner, Abdel-Nasser el Nadi, had been detained by the Swedish security police (Säpo). Säpo recommended he, and several other Islamic radicals, be deported from the country on national security grounds, Nyheter Idag reports.

While a new individual did take the helm of the school, which was formerly called Vetenskapsskolan (the Science School), the inspectorate determined that the new head was still close enough to el Nadi that the school risked “being subjected to radicalisation and recruitment to environments that accept violence or serious crime as a method of political change”.

“We have made the assessment that the new owner does not take a completely independent position from the previous owner,” said  School Inspectorate Divisional Lawyer Johan Kylenfelt.

The closure comes after a number of other controversies surrounding the school and its operations, including a report from Swedish newspaper Expressen that revealed two Islamic State returnees had been employed at the school.

The newspaper, along with the Doku Foundation, also revealed that the school had taken millions of Swedish krona from accounts in Malta and Saudi Arabia as well.

The headmaster of the school Sven-Erik Berg expressed disappointment with the move but the school will have an opportunity to appeal the decision.

Islamic schools have caused controversy in Sweden on more than one occasion, including an incident earlier this year in February in which a journalist from the newspaper Gefle Dagblad was confronted and threatened by an imam as he was investigating an Islamic school linked to the Gävle mosque.

In 2017, the independent Islamic school Al-Azhar came under fire nationally when it was revealed the school used a gender-segregated bussing system, as well as segregating children by gender in physical education. A poll conducted in 2018 revealed that three in four Swedes were in favour of banning independent religious schools entirely