The forced closure of the Muslim Al-Nur day-care centre in Mainz was legal. The Mainz Administrative Court dismissed the complaint against the withdrawal of the operating licence.
The court did not give any details on the reasons for the judgement. The first and so far only Muslim day-care centre was closed in spring 2019 at the instigation of the State Office for Social Affairs, Youth and Supply. The background was allegations against the organisation responsible for the kindergarten, the Mainz-based “Arab Nil-Rhein Verein”, which was accused of being linked to the radical Muslim Brotherhood and Salafism.
The state office accused the association of violating operational requirements. The decision had already been provisionally confirmed by the Rhineland-Palatinate Higher Administrative Court in summary proceedings in 2019. The operating association can now apply for permission to appeal to the Higher Administrative Court (OVG) in Koblenz.
The President of the State Youth Welfare Office, Detlef Placzek, welcomed the court decision. He had always regretted the closure of the only Muslim day-care centre in the state. “However, the best interests of the child must not be at stake,” Placzek said. He therefore welcomed the fact that the Administrative Court of Mainz had now confirmed the legal opinion of the state office in the main proceedings.
After the opening of the kindergarten, the “Arab Nil-Rhein Verein” was criticised several times, for example after the guest appearance of a radical Saudi preacher. It also temporarily functioned as a ” examination centre” for students of an “online university” run by the Islamist Bilal Philips. In 2018, it became known that the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution had also taken a close look at the association’s activities. The association’s board always rejected accusations of extremism and spoke of a “witch hunt” that only played into the hands of right-wing populist forces. The “defamation” of Muslim associations is a danger to peaceful coexistence in Germany.