Ban private schools from teaching Arabic: Danish People's Party

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Ban private schools from teaching Arabic: Danish People's Party
File photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Scanpix Denmark

The anti-immigration Danish People's Party (DF) wants to ban private schools from teaching the Arabic language.


The party will on Thursday forward a proposal to parliament that would, in practice forbid many Islamic private schools in Denmark from teaching students in their mother tongues.

DF has previously proposed scrapping state support for Islamic private schools.

Now, the party will attempt an alternative approach to restricting the schools, reports Avisen Danmark.

Should the proposal be passed into law, private schools would lose 75 percent of their income if they fail to comply with a demand to only teach European foreign languages.

"There are schools that specifically counteract integration, namely Muslim (sic) private schools. We do not want them to receive state subsidies," DF's education spokesperson Alex Ahrendtsen said.

The Ministry of Education has confirmed to Ahrendtsen that the proposal does not contravene Denmark's constitution, according to Avisen's report.

A parliamentary legal consultant has also suggested that the proposal also may not be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, despite the Ministry of Justice making the opposite assessment, the media writes.

Ahrendtsen said the proposal allows for exemption from the foreign language stipulation.

"We don't have any problems with, for example, Chinese or Hebrew, because Chinese people or Jews do not create parallel societies or integration problems," the MP said in reference to underprivileged areas given the designation of 'ghettos' by the government.

Minister for Education Merete Riisager of the Liberal Alliance (LA) party declined to comment on the proposal, Avisen reports.

But the party's own spokesperson for education Henrik Dahl said that LA would not vote for the proposal, citing the Ministry of Justice assessment on potential breaches of the Human Rights Convention.

Dahl said the critical issue being discussed was not whether to allow languages to be taught but "schools that teach children not to be integrated".

Social Democrat spokesperson Lars Aslan Rasmussen also told Avisen that his party would not vote for the proposal, which he said was too direct in its targeting of Islamic schools.

READ ALSO: State-funded Danish Muslim school tells girls not to date

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