This dramatic increase in the number of Muslims in Sweden, and practices of some of their schools – such as sex segregation – is the primary motivation behind the religious school ban, Maguire said.
Rather than fixing individual problems, however, "they want to throw the baby out with the bath water," she said.
Kristina Hellner, communications officer for the Diocese of Stockholm, told CNA, "It's presented as a quick and simple solution to a problem that is quite limited."
"The absolute majority of the religious schools in Sweden show excellent results but a small number of them (and these are Islamic schools) have had different kinds of problems. Instead of doing something about these specific schools, certain politicians would like to solve it by closing all religious schools," she said.
There are 71 religious schools in the country, of which 59 are Christian, 11 are Muslim, and one is Jewish.
Hellner added that Cardinal Anders Arborelius of Stockholm will be working closely with other Christian groups in Sweden to oppose this proposal "with one voice through the Christian Council."
If the ban were to be enacted, the Socialist Democrats have said that they would make the religious schools into secular schools. However, Maguire noted that most Christian schools would be forced to close, as they are tied to trust funds, through which the schools promised to provide a Christian education.
This would leave approximately 10,000 students without a school, a number the public school system is not adequately prepared to absorb, she said.
"It's a badly sorted out policy, it's just a play for populism as we see it," Maguire said.
Thus far, the proposal is supported by the Social Democrats, the Left Party, and some of the Liberals. The Moderate Party and the Christian Democrats support confessional schools. Some among the Liberals support a policy that would maintain existing religious schools, but would prevent new ones from being founded.
The Green Party and the Centre Party have remained neutral on the issue.
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Maguire said she didn't believe the policy would ultimately pass, because the Social Democrats are losing political power, while right wing parties are gaining power. The Social Democratic Party has lost support in recent polls to the Moderate Party, the largest group in the opposition.
However, she added that educators and Catholic leaders in the country are prepared to fight the proposal all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, and to fight for the rights of parents, designated by the United Nations, to send their children to schools with distinct religious or philosophical leanings.