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Muslim school in France is 'condemned to death'

Muslim school in France is 'condemned to death'

Categories: Latest News

Tuesday May 26 2009

The Guardian carries a story highlighting the terminal fate of France’s oldest Muslim school which has been ‘condemned to death’ by the authorities who have refused it financial aid.

The Reussite school is on the brink of closure, forced into shutting down because the authority responsible for approving applications for state aid to faith schools, the Inspection Academique, has refused the school’s application despite its record of academic excellence and its fulfillment of all bureaucratic requirements.

The case highlights the difficulties Muslims face in availing themselves of the financial support already extended to Christian and Jewish faith schools in France. British Muslims will no doubt recall the 8 year long process before Islamia School in Brent was granted voluntary aided status.

The Guardian reports that while over 8,000 faith schools (Catholic and Jewish) are funded by the French state, only two of these are Muslim. This despite France having western Europe’s largest Muslim population. The discrimination experienced by the Reussite school is symptomatic of the uphill struggle Muslim schools have faced in seeking equal treatment under the law.

The situation in the UK since Islamia’s battle for state support has improved somewhat with more Muslim schools successfully qualifying for voluntary aided status. It remains to be seen whether the French state is able to overcome its entrenched religious discrimination against Muslims to respond in time to deliver Reussite from its dire straits.

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