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HEILIG LANDSTICHTING, Netherlands (ChurchMilitant.com) - Parents in the Netherlands can't stop their children from being indoctrinated with Islam against their wishes.
A new report from Cultuur onder Vuur (Culture Under Fire) documents evidence from hundreds of cases where children in Dutch schools are instructed by an imam on how to pray and how schools are taking measures to hide these trips from parents.
Church Militant spoke with Hugo Bos, the campaign leader for Culture Under Fire, who said they started investigating Islamic indoctrination in Dutch schools after they found one video of a school trip to a mosque.
"We found it very shocking," he said. "We found proof of 19 cases where children took part in Islamic rites."
Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, told Bos that when children pray at these mosque excursions, it is "exercise in Islamic dawah" — a form of proselytism. From the Muslim perspective, these children are "purposefully prepared for converting to Islam."
One of the cases from 2014 involves elementary school children who were taken to a mosque in Zwolle. That mosque hosted the hate-preaching Pakistani imam, Mohammed Anas Noorani Siddiqui. Siddiqui reportedly said, "Non-Muslim Dutch people live like dogs and b*****s."
They found other mosques children had visited had allegations of extremism and anti-Semitism and ties to the Turkish nationalist movement and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party. Last year, Erdogan called on Muslim Turks to have five children and "educate your children at better schools."
Bos noted a survey found three-quarters of Catholic and Protestant schools visited a non-Christian place of worship. In 41 percent of those cases, it was a mosque.
Additionally, parents are often not informed of the field trips and schools take steps to hide the information from the public. Oftentimes, Bos found that the school would take down the information from their website after parents complained or they were contacted by him.
"The government has made goals for education that include respect for other religions," Bos said. The curriculum includes spiritual direction, yoga, meditation and visiting a church. In practice, Bos found little to no efforts being made to take Muslim students to non-Islamic places of worship.
Bos explained secular ideology and socialism in the culture and educational system is pushing the suppression of Christianity.
"The state decides what children are supposed to learn," he said. He said the media reports would make you think that the parents are supportive of Islamic education, but the fact that "only one parent was willing to go with them to the mosque shows there is no real support among common people."
He said the secular elites in the country and the Church hierarchy "don't see the problematic side of it." Bos said the majority of the Catholic bishops are silent on the issue of immigration. He said Bp. Gerard de Korte of the diocese of 's-Hertogenbosch is pushing hard for Dutch Catholics to accept immigration. Bishop de Korte said in an interview with Katholiek Nieuwsblad, before their elections last year, that the Netherlands' anti-immigration party had ideas that are "contrary to the Catholic idea about a just society."
Last June, Bp. de Korte came under fire and had to cancel a gay pride event he allowed at the 's-Hertogenbosch cathedral. "My nuanced doctrinal and pastoral letter was not accepted by many," he said, adding, "Homosexuality remains a sensitive issue in our Church."
Bos is aware of the lawsuits the Thomas More Law Center is bringing against the school systems in the United States, but explained parental rights in the Netherlands are seen in the courts as not as important as the right of the child to education. Although Dutch law allows for parents to opt for education other than public education, in practice, the law sides with the right of the child to have an education over the conscience objections of the parents.
Additionally, the burden of proof of a conscience objection lies with the parents, and even then the courts often side with the school. The report notes, "Parents can only get a court exemption from mosque visiting if they are able to demonstrate that this is a form of 'preferential treatment' for the Islamic place of worship."
Homeschooling is also very difficult to achieve in the Netherlands because the parents must gain approval to do so. Approval to homeschool is often not granted unless the parents choose to homeschool their first child from the beginning. Ultimately, the parents' rights end once they have chosen a school for their child.
Parents who refuse to let their children attend mosque trips can face fines. They are often bullied by school officials and vilified in the media. These parents admit that there are many other parents that do not agree with the Islamic education program but are afraid to speak out. Bos reports this is evident by the lack of Muslim participation and hostility when a visit to a church is proposed.
Young children can also be harangued by school administrators and forced to testify at school meetings why they didn't want to attend, even when it was the parents who refused.
Bos hopes the report will raise awareness with parents and politicians to make better laws to safeguard the rights of parents. He said he wants to "empower and encourage Dutch parents to resist and show them what to do to resist."
Some suggestions he makes for parents are to:
If all else fails, Bos recommends civil disobedience by keeping their children home from school on the day of the trip.
"Public opinion is against this [indoctrination]," he said.