Parents of a German teenager may face a trial for refusing to pay ‘truancy’ fine after refusing to allow their son to go to a local mosque on a school field trip out of fear that it would lead to his indoctrination by Muslim leaders.
RT The story broke in mid-June, when parents of a 13-year-old student opposed the idea of their son visiting a mosque in the northern German town of Rendsburg, reportedly organized as part of a geography class.
“What a trip to the mosque has to do with geography classes?” Arthur Dent asked. Others compared the authorities’ actions to the darkest part of German history, with one user tweeting: “Visiting mosques is a top priority under our regime, similar to having a Fuhrer’s image in everyone’s flat.”
In a letter to the class teacher quoted by the NDR, the teen’s father argued that his son would be “indoctrinated” in the mosque. He went on to say that “for years we have been hearing reports about religiously-motivated violence connected with Islamic people.”
The parents’ lawyer, Alexander Heumann, argues that they refused the school trip out of fear for their son’s “bodily safety.” Denying any faith-based motives, he emphasized that the couple do not belong to any religious group, and are of the opinion that “nobody shall be forced into a sacred place against his good will.”
Heumann himself, however, is a former member of the Alternative for Germany party, an anti-immigrant political group, and was a participant in setting up the ‘Dugida,’ a Dusseldorf-based branch of the far-right PEGIDA movement.
According to the NDR report, the parents met the lawyer through the ‘Pax Europa’ movement, a civic group which opposes the perceived “Islamization of Europe.”
A local education authority subsequently fined the couple a total of €300 ($328). When the parents opposed the fine, their case was forwarded to Peter Mueller-Rakow, a local prosecutor, who will decide whether or not to proceed with a court trial.