Al-Kindi Opens Its Doors
Besides mosques, there are now officially three Muslim schools in France. The latest one opened its doors in the town of Decines (Rhône) after an 8-month battle waged heroically by Alain Morvan, the rector of the Academy of Lyons. An academy, in modern French, is something like a regional school district, with a university at its center. Administrative and pedagogical questions are handled by the academy, which is headed by a rector appointed by the French president. The map to the left defines the thirty academies, including four overseas.
This article from Le Monde explains:
The private Al-Kindi Middle and High School in Decines partially opened its doors after a legal and administrative battle that lasted eight months.
It is the third such establishment in France.
Twenty-two sixth-grade pupils, including several veiled girls, were greeted by members of the Al-Kindi Association, initiator of the project, in the presence of many journalists. The first French course took place in a classroom created from what used to be offices.
"It's a back-to-school event that will enter the history books," declared Hakim Chergui, vice-president of the Al-Kindi Association.
The Al-Kindi Middle and High School obtained the authorization to open from the Superior Council of Education on February 28 after eight months of intense struggle between the defenders of the project and Alain Morvan, rector of the Academy of Lyons, who had cited pollution problems regarding the flooring and the absence of official administrators, in an effort to prevent the opening.
"I want relations with the academy to calm down and for us to be treated like any other school," stressed Hakim Chergui. "I believe that our fellow citizens today feel that a Muslim school is no stranger than a Jewish or Christian school".
Parents cite different reasons for enrolling their child in the establishment: the presence of an optional course on "Islamic cultures", the teaching of languages like Arabic, Chinese and Turkish, the desire for a "less lax" and "better attended" school than the public schools in the area.
Next September, the Al-Kindi school will welcome pupils from 7th through 10th grades and will eventually serve 140 pupils, making it the largest school of its type in France. The cost is 1200 euros.
Note: The 1200 euros is the annual tuition, per child.
In our discussion on home schooling, the term "hors contrat" was mentioned as referring to a private school that receives no subsidy whatever from the government. Al-Kindi is one of three such Muslim schools: the other two are in Aubervilliers and Lille.
The injustice is blatant. While Muslim children attend public schools and create an atmosphere of tension and often violence, other Muslim children attend the three private schools. But where do the French students go? If they attend a public school with Muslims and/or blacks the level of teaching will necessarily be geared to the foreigners. And if parents want to home-school their kids to avoid the violence and/or the alien culture, they can no longer do so legally, unless it is within one family only.
If French parents wish to start an "hors contrat" school they need to have the finances to pay for the teachers and materials. Many of those who desire to keep their children home are not rich.
So the French parents who want their children to get a traditional education really have nowhere to turn. Their State has failed them completely.
Philippe de Villiers responds to these issues with his usual insistence upon a charter he feels would solve the problem. His basic assumption is that there is nothing wrong with a Muslim school so long as it follows French law. (Except that then it isn't a Muslim school, it's a French school and we know that Muslims will never accept that.):
The Movement for France of Philippe de Villiers demanded that a "republican charter" be established for the Muslim school in Decines and that the opening of the establishment be postponed.
"Yes to the opening of a school of this type, on the condition that a republican charter be applied" imposing on the school "recognition of equality of the sexes and laïcité", meaning "no polygamy and no head-scarf", declared Guillaume Pelier, general secretary of the party, during his regular press conference. The "charter" proposed by the MPF should also guarantee a republican curriculum...meaning that Voltaire, Corneille Molière, the history of World War II and the holocaust should all be taught through the school programs of the French Republic," he said.
"If this charter is not applied, it's an open invitation to ethnic separatism" in France, he added. (...)
However this brings us back to the problem that is most difficult to solve: do the French WANT the Muslims assimilated and intermarrying with other Frenchmen, or do they want the Muslims OUT of France altogether? Furthermore, as it is repeatedly pointed out, CAN the Muslims in their majority really assimilate? Can anyone imagine Muslims in a "hors contrat" school reading Voltaire and learning about the holocaust, and rejecting the head-scarf??? And look at the languages they want to learn - all friendly-to-the-West languages like Chinese and Turkish!
The only answer is to drastically limit the Muslim population of France to a figure of, say, 3% maximum.
Photo of Al-Kindi from La Croix.