Averroès Muslim high school says it is in danger of “slow death” before the administrative court

Averroès Muslim high school says it is in danger of “slow death” before the administrative court
Averroès Muslim high school says it is in danger of “slow death” before the administrative court

Before the administrative court this Thursday, the lawyer for the Averroès Muslim high school assured that the establishment was in danger of “slow death” if the contract which linked it to the State was not re-established at the start of the school year.

The Averroès high school in Lille is once again pleading before the administrative court on Thursday for the reinstatement of its contract with the State, without which the main Muslim high school in France risks a “slow death”, according to its lawyer. It had been dismissed a first time in February.

The end of the association contract with the State means that the establishment “will no longer be able to accommodate scholarship students” and will go from 473 to 260 students, deplored the school’s lawyer, Sefen Guez Guez, at the start of the hearing before the administrative court of Lille.

“It is the slow death of the Averroès establishment,” pleaded Me Guez Guez.

A breach of contract decided by the prefecture

The Nord prefecture decided at the end of 2023 to interrupt the contract between this private establishment and the State from the start of the 2024 school year, thus ending the subsidies intended to pay teachers and staff. The prefecture accuses the high school, open for 20 years and regularly ranked among the best in the region, of having provided teachings “contrary to the values ​​of the Republic”.

The administrative court, which had already been seized of the matter in summary proceedings, confirmed the prefecture’s decision in February, considering that the high school had indeed failed to meet its obligations on two occasions.

On the one hand, “by opposing without sufficient reason an unannounced inspection of the CDI” (documentation and information center) in June 2022; on the other hand, by citing as a source, for courses in Muslim ethics, a collection of religious texts including commentaries advocating the death penalty in the event of apostasy or even gender segregation.

Tuition fees doubled to compensate

For Mr. Guez Guez, “fundamental points of detail in this case” were not addressed during the first summary hearing, and justify this new request.

The management of the Averroès high school stated at the beginning of April that it would be able to ensure “one way or another” the start of the 2024 school year, while calling for donations to ensure the future of the establishment.

He had to double the tuition fees for high school students, and increase them by 40% for the 350 middle school students, who were not under contract, stressed his lawyer, Me Guez Guez, in the interim application of which AFP obtained a copy. These fees can now reach 3,000 euros per year.

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