France Shuts Islamic Camp for Kids

Religious regimen was 'excessively rigorous,' officials say
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 25, 2007 8:30 AM CDT
TEHRAN: Women of Iran (PAR117687)   (Magnum Photos)
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(Newser) – French officials have sent home 96 children after determining that they were subjected to an "excessively rigorous" religious regimen at summer camp in the Vosges mountains, reports AFP. "We had information that children were being physically threatened," said one official. One child called police to say he had been forced awake at night to pray.

An investigation found the camp, organized by a Turkish group in Nancy, "verging on disciplinarian" and focused on the "compulsory practice of Turkish religion and culture" to the detriment of other educational or leisure activities. "These practices are an attempt on the physical integrity of the minors," a court ruled after the organization appealed the closure of the camp.