Alain Wagner, ICLA’s chairman, asks for a strict control of muslim teaching facilities and for a ban on sharia teaching activities. Working session 9 : “Violence against women and children” 26 September 2014.
The International Civil Liberties Alliance wishes to emphasize the particular need for the participating states to ensure the protection of women and children from vulnerable groups who often are unable to enforce their rights due to their confinement in close-knit, closed cultural communities.
Yesterday we mentioned the case of Muslim women and children in the UK who suffer from the activities of Islamic Courts, but you also have the obligation to expand the subject to problems of Muslim educational institutions.
Some anti-democratic Muslim organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood or others who receive funding from countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, use the guise of religious freedom to open schools with educational activities. These organizations that disseminate discriminatory doctrine against women and non-Muslims and are generally incompatible with respect for individual freedoms, often are not subject to any serious control. As demonstrated by the total absence of screening of educational content of such organizations in OSCE participating states.
The example of textbooks, discovered by chance in the UK, teaching children how to cut off the hands and feet of thieves, within a Muslim school receiving state subsidies, is absolutely typical of the current degree of negligence.
Physical abuse is one thing, but one should not forget the devastation caused by moral violence. Muslim women are the first victims of the organizations that promote the respecting of the fundamentally discriminatory rules of Sharia.
All OSCE participating states committed to the eradication of discriminatory practices against women and young girls should have as the core principle the prevention of the development of educational institutions disseminating the principles of sharia. But that is currently not the case.
Whether due to intense pressures exerted by the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or because of a poor understanding of sharia and its manifestations by the authorities of the member countries, the fact is that our duty to protect muslim women is clearly not fulfilled.
The mere fact that the promotion of Islamic headscarves in some religious educational institutions is considered only in the aspect of an individual statement of confession, without ever considering the fact that the wearing of such is linked with the principle of the sequestration of women when they do not wear it, nor ever considering that behind this phenomenon, there is often a promotion of a political agenda shows the inability of participating countries to deal knowledgeably when they try to protect muslim women. And that is just one example among many.
Recommendation to participating states:
Establish educational charters prohibiting the dissemination of the promotion of sharia and incentives to abide by its rules in all institutions with educational activities.
Develop and implement educational programs for young children from at-risk backgrounds to promote the concept of equal rights between the sexes and the right of women to assert their choice against discriminatory community standards.