Court: Muslim girls must have swimming lessons together with boys


Muslim parents in Switzerland can not refuse to send their daughters to swimming lessons where boys also participate, says the European Court of Human Rights.

A Turkish-Swiss parent couple have appealed to the Court in Strasbourg after they were fined by the school authorities in Basel, because they would not let their daughters have swimming lessons with boys.

The parents believe that mixed swimming classes violate their religious convictions.

Tuesday it became clear that they have lost the case. The court in Strasbourg agreed with the parents that the requirement for their daughters to participate interferes with religious freedom, but it believes that it is legitimate to interfere since the objective is preventing social exclusion of pupils.

It also shows that the authorities in Basel have tried to compromise with the parents by letting the kids wear BURQINI, one solid swimsuit.

The judges also believes that the fine – 350 Swiss francs per child – is reasonable. 350 Swiss francs equivalent to about 3,000 kroner.

The two daughters were born in 1999 and 2001. The parents have appealed several times in Switzerland but without gaining favour, which meant that they went  to the Court of Human Rights.

Tuesday’s verdict is not final. The parents have three months in which to appeal the decision.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today