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Court upholds ban on Mainz kindergarten with ‘Salafist links'

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Court upholds ban on Mainz kindergarten with ‘Salafist links'
The Al Nur Kindergarten in Mainz. Image: DPA
09:45 CET+01:00
An Administrative Court in southwestern Germany has upheld a decision to strip a licence from a kindergarten due to supposed Islamist links. The move comes as Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has proposed spying on children with radical links.

An appeal against a decision by state authorities to close the only Muslim kindergarten in Rhineland-Palatinate has been dismissed.

The Administrative Court in the state capital Mainz said that the Al Sur Kindergarten had ties to extremist Salafist ideology and therefore would need to close by the end of April. 

State authorities made the decision in February to suspend the kindergarten's licence due to the close links between the administrators of the school and proponents of extremist ideology. 

Arab Nil-Rhein, the school's administrative board, was found to have allowed the distribution of extremist propaganda within the kindergarten while also maintaining ties with a known figure of the German Islamist movement. 

NTV reports that a controversial Salafist preacher spoke at the school somewhere between 2012 and 2013, while the same preacher is said to have distributed material at the school in 2015. 

In dismissing the school's appeal, the court upheld the state authorities' contention that there were “considerable doubts” about the trustworthiness of the administrative board. 

The court also held that the ideology promoted in the kindergarten compromised the independence of the children who attended the school and made it difficult for them to integrate into German society. 

The suspension of the licence was delayed by one month until the end of April to allow parents more time to find their children a new kindergarten. 

Further appeals to be launched

The administrators of the kindergarten have denied the Islamist links, saying that they “respect and accept the constitution”. 

They said they planned to launch another action to stop the stripping of the licence with an appellate court. 

Al Sur opened in 2009 and remains the region's only Muslim kindergarten. It has a cohort of 22 children between the ages of three and six. 

Surveillance of ‘radicalised' children

The decision comes as Germany's Federal Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer, has called for a change to the German constitution to allow for surveillance of children under 14 who are suspected of being radicalised. 

German Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer. Image: DPA

In particular, Seehofer wants authorities to focus on messaging apps and gaming platforms. As reported in the Süddeutscher Zeitung, Seehofer sought to access platforms commonly used by children for communication.  

Currently the German constitution prevents collection of data on people under the age of 16. 

The proposal has drawn criticism from numerous sources, including human rights advocates, for being unconstitutional. 

Seehofer sought to allay fears about further state incursions into privacy, but said the moves were necessary to prevent radicalisation and ensure public safety. 

 

 

The Secretary of State in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Hans-Georg Engelke, said in a press conference on Tuesday “In our experience, more and more children and young people have been caught up in the Jihadist movement”. 

Engelke referenced concerns that a “significant number” of children and adolescents had parents who were affiliated with the Islamic State terrorist organisation, including some who had travelled to the region to fight. 

He said that approximately 300 had traveled to Syria to fight or were born there and that they represented a radicalisation threat to German society. 

 

 
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Arman Flint - 28 Mar 2019 16:08
But letting in one million unvetted Muslim "refugees" was still a good idea, right Angela?
Arman Flint - 28 Mar 2019 16:09
It's too late. Your retarded PM already opened the flood gates. Germany will not exist in fifty years.
Arman Flint - 28 Mar 2019 16:10
It's too late. Your retarded PM already opened the flood gates. Germany will not exist in fifty years.
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