Sweden could be set to ban all religious schools, following a proposal from the leading party ahead of this year’s election.
The Social Democratic party, which currently leads a minority government, has pledged to ban all religious free schools to tackle segregation in the country.
Ardalan Shekarabi, Sweden’s minister for Public Administration said that ‘teachers, not priests and imams should be in charge of schools’,Daily Mail reports.
The proposal is not yet backed by parliament, but several other parties have criticized establishments of more religious free schools following reports of gender separation in classes at existing institutions.
‘We have to knock down segregation to keep Sweden together… school segregation must therefore also be broken down,’ Ardalan Shekarabi told a news conference in Stockholm.
‘Teachers and pedagogues should be in charge of a Swedish school, not priests and imams,’ Mr Shekarabi said.
Omar Abu Helal, principal at an Islamic charter school in southern Sweden, slammed the proposal as ‘a violation of the European Convention of Human Rights’ and ‘the freedom of religion’.