Islamic classes in schools from next year

9th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

9 November 2004, MADRID-Muslim children who live in four parts of Spain will be able to have lessons on their own religion in school from the New Year, the government said.

9 November 2004

MADRID-Muslim children who live in four parts of Spain will be able to have  lessons on their own religion in school from the New Year, the government said.

Mercedes Rico-Godoy, director-general of religious affairs, said classes will begin in Madrid, Barcelona, Andalusia and Levante from January as an alternative to Christian religious studies.

Until now, they had only been offered in Ceuta and Melilla, Spain's two cities in north Africa.

Rico-Godoy said the number of places was not yet clear but classes would be offered in parts of Spain with the largest concentration of Muslim children.

She visited Melilla, the north African city which borders Morocco, and said it was a "phenomenal" way to see how well these classes work.

But she added that the government will not control what imams say in mosques and believed they would exercise self-control and avoid extremist sentiments.

Rico-Godoy said Spain was against the spirit of France's law of the veil, which stops Muslim children wearing the traditional Islamic symbol worn by women to school.

"In our country we have another culture," she said.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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