Antwerp: 40% of elementary school students are Muslim (UPDATE: Comparison with 2007)

Antwerp: 40% of elementary school students are Muslim

40% of the students in the Antwerp municipal elementary schools (4,150) chose Islam as their religion class subject this year, according to data provided by the Antwerp alderman for education Robert Voorhamme (SP.A) upon request by Vlaams Belang.

According to Filip Dewinter (Vlaams Belang), by extrapolation, in 2012 a majority of the students in the Antwerp elementary schools will be Muslim. Voorhamme says this is an hypothesis. "People see a threat where there is none," says the alderman for education.

31.5% chose a non-confessional morals class (3,235 students) and 26.5% chose Catholic religion (2,751 students). Other religions (Protestants, Orthodox) were chosen by a small number of students.

In secondary schools, morals class is still more popular than Islam: 47.5% compared to 30.5%.

Voorhamme confirms the numbers reported by Vlaams Belang yesterday. "It is a statement that the composition of our school population is changing. But that is not a reason to be schizophrenic and to exclusively aim at students who choose Islam for their religion class subject. Has anybody ever seen it as a threat that children choose Catholic religion, or for morals class?"

According to Vlaams Belang almost a third of the municipal elementary school in Antwerp have a majority of Muslim students. Dewinter demands an immigration stop for Antwerp. "The elementary school De Horizon in Borgerhout has only Muslim students this school year."

According to Voorhamme this depends on the neighborhood where the school is. "In other municipal elementary school there are few or even no Muslim students. People shouldn't should look for the threat in school where classes are given in a regular manner, under the tutelage of teachers.

Source: De Standaard (Dutch)


According to a Vlaams Belang press release, the percent of students taking the Islam class increased by 20% compared with the numbers 2 years ago. The figures for the 2007-2008 school year were as follows: 33.6% Islam (3,469 students), 29% Catholicism (2,995 students) and 35% morals class (3,657 students).

Compared with two years ago, the number of students taking Islam classes in secondary school increased by 12%.

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