Muslim teachers unite over banned teacher

Muslim teachers of Islam in Carinthia and Styria have expressed support for democracy and the rule of law in the wake of the Vienna teacher barred for allegedly distributing anti-Semitic leaflets to pupils.
The teachers signed a convention to that effect at an emergency conference yesterday (Sun) in an effort to rehabilitate the image of Muslim religious instructors in the wake of negative publicity about them.

Esad Memic, the chief inspector of Islamic religious instruction in Carinthia and Styria, had called the extraordinary conference of Muslim teachers. Memic said today: “All the teachers participated with engagement, and all signed the declaration (in support of democracy and the rule of law).”

Memic added he had instructed the teachers to provide him with the contents of their annual lesson plans and said he would review them. He said all instruction would “naturally” be given only in German. Memic said: “Teachers are obligated to give instruction in German, and they are aware of that. If anyone gives instruction in another language, it will constitute grounds for his immediate dismissal.”

Austria’s Muslim teachers are under fire after public disclosure of the results of a recent study of their values. Social Democrat (SPÖ) Education Minister Claudia Schmied ordered a Vienna Muslim teacher fired last week shortly after release of study results for distributing anti-Semitic leaflets to pupils. She said “delay would be dangerous.” The man had been teaching at the Cooperative Secondary School (KMS) on Brüßlgasse in Wien-Ottakring district. A Muslim Teachers Association spokesman claimed the firing of the man “without examination of the evidence and without having heard from both sides was an overreaction.”

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