German kindergarten for Muslim children is ordered to close over ‘links to extremist ideology’
- The Al-Nur kindergarten in Mainz has been ordered to shut its doors by March 31
- The Islamic society which runs it was accused of hosting extremist preachers
- The kindergarten’s leadership has hit back, calling the decision a ‘mystery’
A German kindergarten run by Muslim parents has been shut down over its alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood and extremist ideology.
The Al-Nur kindergarten in Mainz, western Germany, will have to shut its doors by March 31 after losing its licence to operate.
The mosque which runs the kindergarten was accused of hosting extremist preachers and distributing dangerous materials.
The kindergarten’s leadership has hit back at the decision, calling it a ‘mystery’, SWR reported.
The Al-Nur kindergarten (pictured) in Mainz, western Germany, has been ordered to shut its doors over alleged links to extremist ideology
The state of Rheinland-Pfalz has now declared the Arab Nile-Rhine mosque to be ‘no longer grounded in the German constitution’ and ordered it to shut the kindergarten.
Concerns about the mosque were first raised in 2012 when Muhammad al-Arifi, a controversial preacher banned from Britain, Denmark and Switzerland, spoke at the Islamic centre.
In 2015 the mosque was accused of distributing written materials considered ‘dangerous to young people’.
Last October it was claimed the centre was working with traditionalist lecturer Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, who runs an Islamic online university and has also been banned from several countries.
The 22 children currently at the kindergarten will be offered places elsewhere in the city.
Announcing the decision, state official Detlef Placzek said: ‘The only Muslim kindergarten in the state has to close.
Concerns about the mosque were first raised in 2012 when Muhammad al-Arifi (pictured), a controversial preacher banned from Britain, Denmark and Switzerland, spoke there
‘I regret that the licence is no longer valid – it’s a step that’s been properly legally considered but is now undoubtedly necessary.
‘The association represents parts of Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist ideology and therefore is no longer rooted in the German constitution.’
Responding to the announcement, head of the Muslim association Samy El Hagrasy called it a ‘mystery’ and insisted the group did adhere to the constitution.
Responding last year when some of the claims emerged, parents at the mosque said in a statement: ‘We’re being judged based on reports from years ago.
‘We don’t accept that we and our children should be labelled as Salafists and extremists.
‘We are a parents’ initiative with a pedagogic background and reject every form of extremism.’