The left-wing government of the Valencian community decided to impose a project to teach the Islamic religion in this region of Spain. The first lessons about Islam were to start this September.
In Spain, the educational system is not centralised but controlled locally. The seventeen regional governments have autonomy and can decide what and how they want to teach in their schools.
In Valencia, the local authority tasked with education through the Council of Education is under the control of an extreme left-wing party. The party proposed the idea of offering instruction on Islam in some local schools; politicians accepted this initiative unanimously. The priests who worked in the affected schools resigned
The main reason for the anger of the priests and some citizens was the high number of schools being forced to offer instruction on Islam. Protests from both clergy and citizens alike forced the Minister Vicent Marza to cancel the project.
The three towns where this new project would have been piloted are Altura, Segorbe and Almázora located in the region of Castellón.
Because of the protest by clergy, the local authorities cancelled the startup of this project in these three towns, but they did not revoke the concept and will try it in other places like Castellón.
In a broadcast of “COPE” (the radio station of the Spanish Episcopal Conference), the President of the Catholic Federation of the Association of Priests and Students of Valencia (FCAPA), Vicente Morro, said the regional government acted as it is used to: “impositions without dialogue with the educational community, dividing the country through discrimination.” He thus described the local government and in his declaration, in which he pointed to the fact that the local government of Valencia had already taken similar measures when they imposed the Catalan language on a community with a Spanish majority. They also imposed gender ideology on schools.
According to the president of the FCAPA, “the debate is not about a yes or no for the teaching of Islam, or even about religious education in public schools. The priests protested because they were not informed about this project in advance, they were not asked about their opinion, and neither were the local Islamic communities consulted.”
He added that he was not satisfied with the work of the Valencian Minister of Education, who doesn’t seem to care about public opinion, and in most cases, citizens are not asked before the imposition of a new law.
Vicente Morro is critical of the fact that with the imposition of the teaching of Islam, Christianity is going to be suppressed and there will be less opportunity for education in the Christian faith.
According to Morro, the Valencian government wants to “impose an ideological project” with these provisions, and they “do everything to limit the education of the Catholic religion, and at the same time popularise Islam”.
Translator: Ildikó Ungvári