In Saarland’s Homburg, a decision has very consciously been made to rename this year’s “Christmas bazaar” in the child centre of the Arbeiterwohlfahrt (Awo) [Workers’ Welfare Association] in Birkensiedland. But it has little to do with the fact that the pre-Christmas festival takes place on the afternoon of the 23 November, just before the Sunday of the Dead [last Sunday before Advent, in which the dead are commemorated]. Rather, the “Market of Colourful Diversity” is to be understood as a very deliberate contribution to multiculturalism. “Our idea with this is to pay respect, especially to the children from Muslim families,” explains the nursery director Ulrike Agne-Stutzenberger when asked about the decision by JUNGE FREIHEIT. Sixty per cent of the around 180 small children come, to quote, “from over 20 nations”.
However the suggestion to sacrifice the Advent festival with the oriental name “Bazaar” did not come from the parents of the children, but followed instructions from the nursery operator’s AWO [Workers’ Welfare Association], Agne-Stutzenberger admits. As one of their “Annual objectives 2013”, all AWO nurseries were tasked with “going very much on the offensive to strength the Willkommenskultur [Welcoming Culture]”.
What ‘race’ is Islam? Parents accused a primary school of trying to ‘blackmail’ them after being told their children would be marked down for racial discrimination if they did not attend Islam workshop.
angry parents criticised the school’s ‘ludicrous’ threats and accused Mrs Small of attempting to ‘blackmail’ them into sending their children on the trip, which they have been asked to pay £5 a head for. Mother Gillian Claridge, 55, said: ‘How dare they threaten to brand the children racist at such a young age? It’s going to make them feel like little criminals.
‘The very nature of religion is all about choice – on this occasion they were not being given any choice at all. It was draconian move and it has left a lot of parents fuming.’
Mother-of-four Tracy Ward said: ‘I was shocked by the letter. To be told my kids have got to attend this workshop is disgusting. Everyone should have a choice, but that’s my opinion and I don’t want a stain on my kids’ record as a result. ’They are not old enough to be called racist.’
Her sister Donna, whose daughter also attends the school, said: ‘It’s not our religion. We should have a right to stop our children going.’ Stacy Waldron, 26, who has an eight-year-old daughter at the school, said: ‘I feel my child will be racist if I don’t allow her to go. ’This is my choice, not hers, and she shouldn’t have to pay for it.’