Sunday, August 31, 2008

Separating the Sexes in Oslo

Norway currently has the largest influx of asylum-seekers in Europe. It is in the midst of a crisis with respect to its immigrant population, especially the Muslims.

The political elites seem determined to deal with the crisis by further deference to Islam, and recent signs point the way to full dhimmitude. The latest example is the segregation of the sexes in school swimming classes out of respect for Muslim sensibilities. This, of course, would violate the human rights of the students if any other religion besides Islam were behind it.

Here’s a translation by our Norwegian correspondent The Observer of an article in today’s Aftenposten:

Gender-separated swimming classes in Oslo

Out of consideration to Muslim students sensitivity, boys and girls at Møllergata Elementary school in Oslo are separated during physical exercise and swimming classes. Even the teachers have to be of the ‘correct’ gender.

“This dilemma arose as a direct result of the immigration to the city. Muslim girls are not allowed to take part in physical exercise and swimming classes where boys are present. As a result of this the school had to come up with alternative solutions,” says Eva Kjøge, the school principal.

She recently took up the position as principal at the school and she has not yet decided whether to scrap the controversial practice, that has been going on for years now.

“The arrangements were introduced about ten years ago. I only started in August this year and I want to see how it works before I decide whether to make any changes. This is an issue that also needs to be discussed with the parents,” she says.

Could be illegal
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Boys only and girls only classes in physical exercise and swimming could be in violation of the Education law. According to this law, students shall not be divided into groups on the base of their skill levels, gender or ethnicity.

However Principal Eva Kjøge points out that the principle of offering specialized education according to the particular needs of the individual students is a principle that has a prominent position in the Norwegian school, and points out that the gender-segregated education only involves one subject.

“This only involves physical education classes, and not any other subjects,” she says.

At Hersleb and Vahl Elementary schools in the ethnically diverse neighborhood of Grønland in Oslo there is no such practice of separating the genders in the physical exercise classes.

“It has never been an issue at our school. The students are allowed to dress as they like, and there has never been any suggestions of gender-separated classes. Some students don’t participate in the swimming lessons, but they are, however, being offered specialized women-only swimming lessons after regular school hours,” says Trine Haugen, principal at Vahl Elementary school to NTB.

At Møllergata Elementary school this separation of boys and girls is motivated primarily by religious and cultural considerations, and is based on the principle of modesty, but Kjøge insists that there can be strong educational reasons to keep boys and girls separate.

“It can be wise to keep them separate in certain activities such as ball games, where it can be more beneficial for girls to be on their own.”

Had to stop

Last year the Fylkesmannen [similar to state Governor] in Oppland decided that Kringsjå school in Lillehammer was violating the Education Law when it separated the genders in physical exercise classes, art and crafts classes and nature and environmental classes. The separation of the genders in this case was based on educational considerations, because there was an environment with lots of conflicts at the school in question, and because the girls were in a minority.

“Short-term separation based on gender is possible, but not for a year and a half,” said fylkesmann Kristin Hille Valla and chairman of education Trond Johnsen to Gudbrandsdølen Dagningen [local newspaper] in November last year. This led to a change in policy by the school in question in this matter

The Education Department does not wish to comment on the situation at Møllergata Elementary school, but points out that the Education Law allows for gender-separated classes in certain specific cases, provided there are strong compelling reasons for this, and that this practice doesn’t create any precedents.

6 comments:

John Sobieski said...

Norway has just become another word for civilizational suicide. WHich is worse, Norway or England? The cliff is that away!

latté island said...

This is only bad because it's being done to placate Muslims, but actually, boys and girls have different athletic abilities, and co-ed sports classes would be unfair to both genders.

At the risk of being very un-PC, I prefer either a segregated pool or having my own lane, because when I swim laps sharing a lane with a man, he takes up more room than I do, I'm more likely to be hurt in case of a collision, etc. Both parties are less comfortable sharing a lane because of our different size and strength. This isn't political at all, just common sense.

IftikharA said...

Muslim Youths

Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist because they have been mis-educated and de-educated by the British schooling. Muslim children are confused because they are being educated in a wrong place at a wrong time in state schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers. They face lots of problems of growing up in two distinctive cultural traditions and value systems, which may come into conflict over issues such as the role of women in the society, and adherence to religious and cultural traditions. The conflicting demands made by home and schools on behaviour, loyalties and obligations can be a source of psychological conflict and tension in Muslim youngsters. There are also the issues of racial prejudice and discrimination to deal with, in education and employment. They have been victim of racism and bullying in all walks of life. According to DCSF, 56% of Pakistanis and 54% of Bangladeshi children has been victims of bullies. The first wave of Muslim migrants were happy to send their children to state schools, thinking their children would get a much better education. Than little by little, the overt and covert discrimination in the system turned them off. There are fifteen areas where Muslim parents find themselves offended by state schools.

The right to education in one’s own comfort zone is a fundamental and inalienable human right that should be available to all people irrespective of their ethnicity or religious background. Schools do not belong to state, they belong to parents. It is the parents’ choice to have faith schools for their children. Bilingual Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. There is no place for a non-Muslim teacher or a child in a Muslim school. There are hundreds of state schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools. An ICM Poll of British Muslims showed that nearly half wanted their children to attend Muslim schools. There are only 143 Muslim schools. A state funded Muslim school in Birmingham has 220 pupils and more than 1000 applicants chasing just 60.

Majority of anti-Muslim stories are not about terrorism but about Muslim culture--the hijab, Muslim schools, family life and religiosity. Muslims in the west ought to be recognised as a western community, not as an alien culture.
Iftikhar Ahmad
www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

latté island said...

iftikhara writes: Muslims in the west ought to be recognised as a western community, not as an alien culture.

This contradicts your first paragraph, in which you describe all the adjustment problems Muslims have in the West. If Muslims were truly a Western community, they'd fit in better. Maybe you all would be happier back in the Ummah, which the West is not and never will be.

teacher.paris said...

Before I started working in the Middle East, I did not realize the uniquely British trait of admiring bullies.

I frequently have encountered groups of white Brits that are voluntarily associating with Brits who are personally rude and blatantly intimidating. Odd.

Joanne said...

I remember being separated from boys in gym class, but not because of a religion forbidding it. Separating boys and girls for the sake of Islam's beliefs is rubbage, but the separation for other reasons is quite reasonable.