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Norway officials reject Muslim school in Oslo

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Norway officials reject Muslim school in Oslo
The minaret of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Oslo's Grønland district. Photo: Tore Meek / NTB scanpix

A foundation that applied to establish a Muslim primary school in the Oslo district of Grønland was rejected by the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training (Utdanningsdirektoratet), Kommunal Rapport reported.

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The Muslim organization behind the denied request is now considering an appeal to the Education Ministry 
 
“We have three weeks to decide what to do. We think it is about time that there is a Muslim school in Oslo but the formalities must of course be in place,” Siri Helene Derouiche, the leader of the group behind the application, said. 
 
The Oslo City Council also rejected the school’s application last autumn. 
 
The foundation Den Muslimske Grunnskole wants to establish and operate a private Muslim primary school in Oslo. Its plan calls for some 200 students between first and tenth grades. 
 
The group wants to establish the school in Oslo's immigrant-heavy Grønland district and said that all teaching would be in Norwegian. 
 
The application was considered under a new law approved by parliament last summer that gives the Directorate for Education and the Education Ministry discretion when deciding which schools to approve. 
 
In 2014, the ministry rejected a Muslim school in Oslo that the Directorate had previously approved. The ministry ruled that the applicant ‘Mødre for muslimsk grunnskole’ (Mothers for a Muslim primary school) had clear connections to a Muslim primary school in Urtehagen that was shut down because of too much turmoil and conflict. 

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