Call to shut down Swedish Islamic school over ‘link to extremism’

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An Islamic school in Sweden should be shut down because of its “connection to extremism”, a member of the country’s Parliament has said.

The Romosseskolan school, in the south-western city of Gothenburg, attracted criticism after it was accused of gender segregation in lessons and forcing pupils to take part in prayer sessions.

After public funding for the school was halted in June, a report surfaced this week that teachers were being paid by a group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Responding to the claim, Roger Haddad, the deputy chair of an education committee in Sweden’s Parliament, said it was time for the school to be shut down altogether.

“I have demanded for several years that Romosseskolan with its connection to extremism be completely closed down,” he said.

“It is not enough to investigate the financial position, the whole operation must be stopped.”

The city of Gothenburg halted funding for the school in June, saying it wanted to prevent public money from falling into the wrong hands.

But according to city newspaper Göteborgs-Posten, teachers were paid regardless, with money from the Islamic Association of Sweden (IFiS).

Magnus Ranstorp, an extremism expert at the Swedish Defence University, described IFiS as a hub for the Muslim Brotherhood in Sweden.

“[I’m] not surprised that the Islamic Association of Sweden paid salaries for June and July,” Mr Ranstorp said.READ MOREFrench soldiers claim ‘civil war is brewing’ due to Islamism

IFiS is a part of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe, a group established by the Muslim Brotherhood in 1989.

Inspectors had criticised the school for leaving young pupils with the impression that they had to take part in prayer sessions.

Gothenburg is seen as particularly vulnerable to extremism, with more than a third of Swedish ISIS fighters believed to have come from the city.

Swedish security services said last year that ISIS radicalisation was still taking place in parts of the city.

Another Islamic school in the city, known as Vetenskapsskolan, was shut down in 2019 because of fears that pupils were at risk of radicalisation.

It was accused of appointing teachers who had recently returned from fighting for ISIS abroad.

The Romosseskolan school attracted controversy last year over plans to expand into a building previously occupied by its closed counterpart.

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