Catholic schools bid to teach Islam30 October 2012
Authorities for French-language Catholic education in Belgium have applied for state permission to give lessons on Islam in their schools where a large number of pupils - sometimes the majority - are Muslims. Catholic schools have been legally barred from doing this for the past 10 years, with one exception for a school in Liège province.
Walloon Catholic education director Etienne Michel said offering Muslim pupils proper instruction in their religion would reduce the risk of Islamist radicalism among them. "It's better to have a real course in religion, taught by someone who's been trained for it, than have them listen to simplistic speeches given in back rooms of cafes," he said.
French-language state schools provide Islam lessons for Muslims but secularist politicians want the Catholic schools to introduce comparative religion studies for Muslims.
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