Swiss Muslim girls must take part in swimming lessons with boys, rules European court

The ECHR acknowledged that religious freedom was being interfered with. But judges said it did not amount to a violation.

Swiss Muslim girls must take part in swimming lessons alongside boys, an European court rules after parents refuse to send daughters to class

According to a report in The Independent, the European Court of Human Rights rules that school bosses are justified in enforcing the “full school curriculum” and children’s “successful integration” into society.

The court recognised that freedom of religion had been “interfered with”,  judges said there was no violation. “It was legitimised by the aim of “social integration,” the court said.

In June last year, Switzerland had rejected citizenship requests from two Muslim girls for refusing to take part in swimming lessons with boys at school.

The 12- and 14-year-old were no longer be considered for naturalised citizenship because they have not complied with the school curriculum, authorities in Basel had said.

The girls were understood to have refused to take part in school swimming lessons because boys were present and their religion forbade that form of interaction, according to USA Today. Their applications for Swiss passports have now been overturned.

In December, a German court had also ruled that Muslim girls must  take part in swimming lessons alongside boys, few days after Angela Merkel called for a partial burka ban.

The country’s constitutional court ruled that Muslim schoolgirls must take part in mixed swimming lessons together with boys. If girls object on religious grounds, they can wear burkinis, the court had said.