CAIRO – Spanish government has announced plans to teach Muslim students about the Qur’an and Islam, to offer them a true, moderate interpretation of the fast growing religion.
The Spanish government published the new guidelines for Islamic lessons in public pre-schools, primary and secondary schools across the country, Express reported on Thursday, April 7.
According to translations by the Gatestone Institute of the state gazette, the guidelines call for primary school children to recognize Prophet “Muhammad [peace be upon him] as the final prophet sent by Allah.”
It will also teach youngsters that “the Qur’an is a guide for all of humanity”.
The decision includes allowing local Muslims to draft the course, pick the textbooks and choose the teachers.
Muslim students will be allowed to opt in for an hour of Islamic religion studies, where they will be segregated from their Christian classmates.
The government said the Islamic studies were aimed at introducing a moderate interpretation for Islam and tackle extremism at schools.
Some critics rejected the new plans, saying they will discourage Westernization and integration.
Soeren Kern, an analyst for European politics told Breitbart the guidelines could result in, “stirring religious fervor and promoting Islamic identity among young Muslims in Spain”.
He also suggested the guidelines amount to “a full-fledged Islamic studies curriculum at public schools nationwide” which could lead to more radicalization.
A report released April 2015 found that for a large majority of Muslim students enrolled in Spanish schools, Islamic education remained a far dream.
According to the report published by the Union of Islamic communities (UCIDE) in Spain, over 90 percent of students having no access to the classes approved by the government earlier.
According to UCIDE, Islamic education is offered in elementary schools only in schools in Andalusia, Aragon, Basque Country, Canary Islands and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla.
In the Basque county, there are over 6,065 Muslim students, of which 5,032 are foreigners and the rest (1033) Spanish. However, there are two Islamic education teachers in total at the primary level, the report says.
Meanwhile nine out of 10 Islamic education teachers are unemployed.
In total, there are 275,324 Muslims students in Spain (112, 214 Spaniards and 163,110 immigrants) and only the aforementioned communities and two autonomous cities have Islamic education teachers.
According to UCIDE, Muslims make up 3.8 percent of the Spanish population, 40 percent are Spanish and the remaining 60 percent are immigrants.
Most of the Muslims in Spain are mostly from Morocco although there is a significant presence of Pakistanis and Senegalese Muslims in cities like Barcelona, Valencia and Logrono.