A new study is causing a stir in Austria after claiming that Islamic kindergartens in the eastern Germanic nation are helping to create a “parallel society” for Muslims. The study’s author, Ednan Aslan, is a Turkish born citizen of Austria who teaches at Vienna University, where he is a respected researcher on Islamic education. His study claims that around 10,000 Muslim children aged two to six attend at 150 or so Islamic kindergartens in Austria. The schools teach the Koran like Christian private schools teach the Bible.
While the number of private Christian kindergartens in Austria is counted at 113, the exact number of Muslim private kindergartens is not known, as the number is growing rapidly and some of them choose not to register with the authorities. Considering Muslims are still a small percentage of the Austrian population, a greater number of Islamic preschools than Christian preschools means the Muslims disproportionately favor this kind of education.
As the former capital of a great empire, Vienna attracts foreigners from wide and far. Only half of the 1.8 million residents of Vienna had both parents born in Austria.
Aslan’s study also claims that at least one-quarter of these kindergartens espouse fundamentalist forms of Islam such as Salafism, an ultra-conservative variation of Sunni Islam associated with terrorism and extreme repression of women. Salafism is connected to the Wahhabism that dominates Saudi Arabia, a nation that commits gross and barbaric inhumanities on a regular basis. Saudi Arabia also funds terrorism around the world, including 9/11. Salafists imitate the literal behavior of Mohammed and his associates, who spread Islam by aggressive militant conquest.
While his research may be compelling, Aslan appears to be confused about the meaning of multiculturalism. He thinks that these schools go against multiculturalism, when they are in fact an obvious consequence of it. “Parents are sending their kids to establishments that ensure they are in a Muslim setting and learn a few suras [chapters from the Koran],” Aslan says. “But they are unaware that they are shutting them off from a multicultural society,” he warned.
The development of parallel Islamic cultural institutions does not actually conflict with the concept of a multicultural society. In fact, what we are witnessing in Austria and across the Western world is the direct product, and the one inevitable outcome, of state enforced multiculturalism combined with mass immigration from all over the world.
The alternative to multiculturalism is assimilation, but forced assimilation is rejected by the proponents of multiculturalism. If the Muslims in Austria were all sending their children to secular or Christian schools, then they wouldn’t be preserving their culture. They would be assimilated into the Austrian culture. Therefore the society would not be multicultural.
It is rather understandable that Muslims want their children to receive a Muslim education. If they are serious Muslims, why wouldn’t they? Should we chide Christians who seek to do the same? This is not to comment on the truth of the Islamic doctrine, but only on the natural human urge to perpetuate the culture of their fathers.
This natural human urge to self-perpetuate leads to conflict when a religion as alien and hostile as Islam is brought into a society traditionally either secular or Christian. The two societies, European and Islamic, are just two fundamentally unlike the other to not experience irritation and conflict as the one attempts to master the other. This is no longer even a controversial point except to the willingly blind. Unfortunately, far too many Europeans refuse to see with eyes open.
The Austrian Freedom Party, a far-right Euroskeptic party advocating immigration restriction, seized on the study as evidence of exactly the sort of outcome it seeks to avoid in Austrian society. The Freedom Party wants to reduce or halt Islamic immigration. In 2016, Norbert Hofer ran as the Freedom Party candidate for President of Austria, losing the election by a narrow margin to Alexander Van der Bellen of the Green Party.
The Austrian magazine Biber, which writes “for and about” minorities in Austria, sent undercover journalists to 14 preschools to ask questions and find out if the study’s claims were true. According to the article, they found no evidence to back up the claims of the study by Aslan. This article is questionable, because it is coming from a minority-advocacy magazine, because 14 schools do not represent a large enough sample, and because a few questions asked in an interview does not overrule an in-depth academic study.
But even the pro-Islam magazine found problems, however. A third of the schools they visited were “problematic . . . [and] cutting off or isolating children.” The magazine also indicated some of the schools were not even using proper German.
“This study feeds populism and forces Muslims to justify themselves constantly,” complained Murat Gurol from new lobbying group called the Muslim Civil Society Network. In the philosophy of European “human rights,” minorities should never have to justify themselves or in any way earn their status in society. The right to immigration, healthcare, free travel, and whatever else comes into people’s heads is bestowed on all people automatically simply by virtue of being human.
Of course the fear on the minds of the masses is a greater risk of terrorism. Terrorism is no doubt horrible, and psychologically effective in wearing down a population (or it wouldn’t be so commonly practiced). But arguably even worse than terrorism is the disruption of societal fabric, the loss of social trust, and the long term displacement of one culture for another. These and other grave misfortunes loom over the future of Austria and the West.