Fear of “religious indoctrination”

Fear of 'religious indoctrination'

Controversy over refused mosque visit © Julian Stratenschulte

The parents of a student from Rendsburg, who had stayed away from a mosque visit, have been sentenced for deliberate violation of the school law. Instead of the original 150 euros, they now have to pay a 25 euro fine.

This was the decision of the Meldorf district court on Wednesday, according to court spokesman Nils Meppen. The boy from Rendsburg, who was 13 years old at the time, was arrested on 14. June 2016 stayed away from a field trip of his class, which was supposed to visit a mosque in geography class. The parents, who do not belong to any religious community, feared a "religious indoctrination" of their child.

The school authorities judged this to be truancy and ied fines of 150 euros each against the mother and father, which they did not pay.

In his own words, the father’s lawyer believes it is wrong for atheist, Christian or Jewish students to be forced to attend Islamic mosques. His client has fundamental misgivings about Islam and the "transformation" of Germany into a "multicultural society of values".

Judgment confirms school board

The ruling confirms the school board’s catch. The Federal Constitutional Court considers religious instruction to be given only if religion is presented as "true," but not in the case of mere religious references in lessons, according to Meppen in the reasons for the ruling.

However, the violation had been unique. The son is a good student, the parents have tried to find alternatives, and the event took place about two years ago. "This led to the significantly lower fine compared to the fine notice."

The parents can now file an application for leave to appeal against the verdict within one week. The Schleswig Higher Regional Court would have to decide on that. It had already dealt with the case once before, after the Meldorf district court had initially declared itself not competent – which the Schleswig judges rejected.

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