Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 19 September 2020

Swedish Islamic school closed over radicalisation fears

It was claimed ISIS fighters recently returned from Syria were employed as teachers

Politicians in Sweden called for the closure of a leading Islamic school in Gothenburg, Sweden. Kjell Holmner
Politicians in Sweden called for the closure of a leading Islamic school in Gothenburg, Sweden. Kjell Holmner

A leading Islamic school in Sweden accused of appointing teachers who had recently returned from fighting for ISIS abroad has been shut down amid fears students were at risk of being radicalised.

Abdel Nasser El Nadi, former principal of Vetenskapsskolan school in Gothenburg, was allegedly involved in transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars to bank accounts abroad.

El Nadi was arrested in May by Swedish police along with four other clerics who were considered security threats.

A new administration took over and changed its name to the Sapphire School but officials said problems persisted.

El Nadi was born in Egypt but has lived in Sweden since 1992 and has twice had Swedish citizenship applications turned down.

It was found that the 450 pupils at the school were still at risk of being “subjected to radicalisation and recruitment to environments that accept violence or serious crime as a method of political change”.

“We have made an assessment that the new owner does not take a completely independent position with the previous owner,” said the school inspectorate’s lawyer, Johan Kylenfelt.

It was claimed that one member of the school’s new board had shared ISIS propaganda online.

“Because there are links to previous owners who are deemed to be a threat to the security of the state, the Swedish School Inspectorate assesses that there is a serious risk to the school’s students,” the decision to close the school read.

The school is expected to appeal against the decision. Last month calls for it to be closed began to grow.

"It is extremely gratifying that all parties in Gothenburg have been thinking and now follow the initiative of the Swedish Democrats to shut down the business," municipal councillor Joergen Fogelklou told SVT News West.

“For us, the safety of the city's children goes before the well-being of terrorists.”

There are 11 Muslim schools in Sweden, all funded by the state.

It is believed that at least 300 Swedish citizens travelled to Syria and Iraq between 2012 and 2017 to join extremists.

About half have returned and a third came from Gothenburg.

Updated: December 11, 2019 03:31 AM

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