Dutch School Gave Muslim Pupils 500 Euros Compensation Because Class Photo Day Fell During Ramadan
Two Muslim children, both sisters, missed a school class photograph in The Hague during Eid al-Adha and as a result, the school has compensated the pair 500 euros. Their parents had demanded 10,000.
The Maria Montessori School in The Hague was brought to court over the matter and accused of discrimination because the sisters were not included in a class photograph. The Cantonal Court found the school guilty and awarded the pair 500 euros each in compensation, Dutch broadcaster RTL News reports.
Laura Zuydgeest, the lawyer for the sisters, said the incident, which occurred in 2015, was a clear case of discrimination because the only people affected were Muslims. The school defended its choice saying they tried to bring in the photographer in the morning but the only time the photographer was available was when the sisters and their mother were at a mosque for prayers.
The mother of the pair originally wanted 10,000 euros for the incident and said during the trial: “Do you know how it feels when your five-year-old daughter enters the classroom every day looks at the picture and asks, ‘Mommy, why I’m not here?’ and you can not explain it to the child?”
Ms. Zuydgeest said the mother in the case was happy with the outcome.
The anti-mass migration Party for Freedom (PVV), led by Dutch critic of Islam Geert Wilders, submitted parliamentary questions on the case, asking whether the judge who presided was “crazy” and if they should be suspended from their post.
Mr. Wilders took to Twitter to comment on the case, posting an image of a woman in a full-face Islamic niqab veil and a caption telling them to use the 500 euros to buy a one-way ticket to an Islamic country.
Wilders has also been taken to court for his prior comments on the subject of mass migration and Muslims in particular. Late last year, he was found guilty of hate speech and fined 5,000 euros for comments he made about Morrocan criminals in 2014 in The Hague.
Wilders had been speaking to a crowd during an election campaign and asked supporters if they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in the country to which the crowd said: “Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!” and Wilders said: “We’ll take care of it.”
Last month, an Austrian Islamic organisation attempted to bring further hate speech charges against Wilders over a speech he had given in Vienna in 2015 where he called Islam “an ideology of war and hatred”. The Austrian prosecutors passed the case on to their Dutch counterparts who refused to bring charges because Wilders was talking about the ideology of Islam rather than individual Muslims.