Abdel Nasser El Nadi, the president and principal of the Gothenburg-based Science School, is a long-time recruiter for Muslim extremism and is present on SÄPO's list of Islamist extremists, which numbers roughly 2,000 people, Swedish terrorism watchdog Doku revealed.
While no formal charges have been brought against him, El Nadi (53) is considered one of the reasons for the rise of Islamist extremism in Gothenburg, which produced about a third of Sweden's roughly 300 jihadists (or "foreign fighters," to use the official parlance), Doku reported.
The Science School has previously been reported for having ties with Islamism and employees who have expressed sympathies for Daesh*. Abdel Nasser El Nadi rejected the accusations of Islamism, stressing that he has five children born in Sweden and claimed to be striving to protect its society.
According to Doku, El Nadi has been running groups for Islamic studies and has appeared in various conferences within the radical Islamic environment in Sweden. Doku also referred to El Nadi's posts from autumn of 2014, when he campaigned for a "strong, Sunni Muslim state" amid Daesh's onslaught in Syria and Iran, where it managed to create a short-lived, self-proclaimed "caliphate."
Meanwhile, the Science School has been a target of harsh criticism for years. In 2012, the municipality of Gothenburg reported that the school had received unlawfully collected fees and was forced to pay back SEK 200,000.
The same year, it triggered the ire of the Swedish School Inspectorate for failure to meet Swedish educational standards, as only one third of the school's staff had proper qualifications. Furthermore, low-grade pupils had lessons in religion, even though the subject was conspicuously absent from the timetable. The teaching revolved solely around Islam and the Muslim worldview, the School Inspectorate stressed.
Despite years of warnings, the Science School has been allowed to continue and is even expanding. Abdel Nasser El Nadi started a new school in the city of Gävle and has been granted permission to open yet another one in Halmstad next year. His application for another school in Gothenburg was rejected, but only because it was filed too late.
Following this revelation, the Swedish daily newspaper Expressen ran an opinion piece called "Daesh recruiter runs free school. Who is surprised?"
According to Expressen, this story highlighted two grotesque systemic failures in Sweden's school market, which it described as a "Wild West." Firstly, virtually anyone can open a free school, whereas closing one seems to be a more cumbersome task than travelling to the moon. Secondly, children receive scarce knowledge and poor skills, while also becoming indoctrinated.
Starting from 2019, tightened requirements will come into force, making it easier for the authorities to withdraw permits. According to Expressen, though, the efficacy of the new measures remains to be seen. As long as the Science School and its likes continue to operate, something is still very wrong, it concluded.
* Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/IS, also known as the Islamic State) is a terrorist organization banned in Russia