Lawsuit filed against teaching Islam in schools
The urgent petition aims to prevent the offering of Islam as a regular school subject in Bavaria with the start of the new school year.
Several AfD members of the Bavarian parliament and citizens have jointly filed an urgent petition with Bavaria’s Constitutional Court against the planned teaching of Islam in Bavarian schools, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. The lawsuit is intended to forestall the possibility of Islamic lessons becoming part of ethics classes in Bavaria starting in the new academic year.
In the coming school year, teachers are expected to impart knowledge regarding Islamic teachings and help students develop a basic orientation in terms of values “in the spirit of the values of the Fundamental Law and the Bavarian Constitution”. According to the plans, Muslim students are to have regular lessons on Islam in the German federative state after the Bavarian government recently announced that lessons on Islam should be offered, especially for Muslim children and young people, as an alternative to religious studies and alongside ethics classes. The cabinet launched the bill in February.
“Islamic Lessons” will replace a pilot project that has been going on for more than a decade, since 2009. It involved some 16 thousand students in 350 schools, mainly in primary and secondary schools. The Ministry of Education and Culture says that there are more than 163 thousand Muslim schoolchildren in Bavaria, making up around 10 per cent of the student population.
The AfD argues that the Bavarian constitution does not provide for including Islam in the curriculum, which was decided by parliament after a trial period lasting for several years. As a result, several atheist associations also filed lawsuits.
The Constitutional Court confirmed the receipt of an urgent complaint, but has not disclosed any details about the petitioners.