Vienna: Muslim community upset at teacher sacking

Vienna: Muslim community upset at teacher sacking

Vienna's Muslim community has voiced its anger over the sacking of a Islamic religion teacher by the federal government for distributing anti-Semitic leaflets to pupils.

Social Democrat (SPÖ) Education Minister Claudia Schmied ordered the city school council yesterday (Thurs) to bar the teacher who had been teaching at the Cooperative Secondary School (KMS) on Brüßlgasse in Wien-Ottakring district. She said "delay would be dangerous."

The leaflets contained a list of allegedly "Jewish" firms from which, the man told the students, they should not buy anything.

A Muslim Teachers Association spokesman claimed today the man had said: "Every form of racism and anti-Semitism contradicts the ethnics of Islam and my own ethical principles."

The spokesman added the man felt bewildered, considered himself the object of persecution and had denied he had distributed such leaflets to his students.

The man had claimed the students themselves had drawn up the list of supposedly Jewish firms and sent them to one another as SMS, the spokesman said.

The banning of the man from teaching, the spokesman added, "without examination of the evidence and without having heard from both sides was an overreaction."

The education ministry, however, said today the man had confessed to distribution of the lists, and school director Karlheinz Fiedler told ORF Radio Wien the students had told him the teacher had distributed the lists.

The city school council said today it had become aware of the teacher's activity on 21 January after a district inspector and the school director had informed it the teacher had been engaging in political agitation in the classroom.

The council added the teacher had been informed in a document he might face disciplinary proceedings. The council said the teacher had returned the document with his signature on it, which, the council declared, constituted an admission of improper behaviour.

The Islamic Believers Denomination informed the teacher on 28 January it would take disciplinary action against him.


Source: Austrian Times (English)

See also: Austria: Islam teachers - 22% oppose democracy, 8% support violence

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