More than two weeks after the hearing, the administrative court of Lille rejected in summary proceedings, Monday February 12, the request of the Averroès high school, the main Muslim establishment in France, to suspend the decision of the prefect of the North putting an end to public subsidies from of the start of the 2024 school year. The prefect had accused the high school of teaching “contrary to the values of the Republic”.
“There is no reason to maintain the association contract linking the Averroès high school to the State until the decision to terminate this contract, taken by the prefect of the North, is examined by the trial judges »explained the court in a press release, according to Agence France-Presse.
The administrative court, taking up some of the arguments of the prefect of the North, justified its decision by considering that the high school had indeed failed to fulfill its obligations on two occasions. Firstly, “by opposing, without sufficient reason, an unannounced control of the CDI scheduled for June 27, 2022”and on the other hand by citing, as a source for Muslim ethics courses, a book advocating the death penalty in the event of apostasy.
Denouncing a “ unacceptable decision which sweeps away, without answering, our arguments to adopt those of the prefecture”, the school’s lawyer announced that he would refer the matter to the Council of State.
“An administrative police measure »
During the previous hearing, the school’s lawyers had mentioned a ” Two weights, two measures “ between private establishments, an indirect reference to the prestigious Stanislas Catholic high school, then singled out for its “drifts” in the midst of a controversy with the former Minister of Education, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra.
It is “a clear misuse of power”, “an administrative police measure which targets more the identity of the establishment and what it carries” what potential “administrative shortcomings”, declared Vincent Brengarth, lawyer for the Averroès high school. The end of subsidies is a “death sentence hanging over the Averroès establishment”, because it will not be able to continue to function without them, pleaded Me Brengarth.
The prefect of the North decided to end the contract linking the Lille Averroès high school to the State last December, thus ceasing to subsidize the main Muslim high school in France from the start of the 2024 school year, twenty years after its creation. This decision follows the favorable opinion for the termination of a consultative commission chaired by the prefect, which looked at the end of November both on the financing and the content of the Muslim ethics course.
The Lille establishment of 400 students, opened in 2003 with the support of the former Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF, now Muslims of France), in the wake of the ban on the veil in school places, had become in 2008 the first Muslim high school in France to go under contract. Since then, he has regularly ranked among the best in the region.