Muslim parents in Switzerland cannot refuse to send their daughters to mixed school-run swimming lessons.
According to reports, religious concerns can’t be used as a pretext, enabling school students to skip compulsory schooling disciplines.
The court’s decision is a response to the claims of two Muslim parents from Basel who had to pay a fine for their refusal to send their daughters to the swimming class.
The parents explained their behavior by the fact that their religion forbade women to wear open swimming suits in front of men and swim in a common room.
However, the court ruled that the parents can’t exclude their children from participation in compulsory schooling activities, since the girls (7 and 9) have not even reached puberty.
Earlier, a number of European countries, including France, Switzerland and Austria, introduced a ban on the burkini, a full-body swimming suits worn by Muslim women.
The burkini was created by a Lebanese-born citizen of Australia, Aheda Zanetti, and quickly became popular among Muslim women living in the West. The swimming suit is designed for Muslim women to dress modestly according to Sharia (Islamic law) and became a solution for women who refused attending swimming lessons as they didn’t want to be stared at by strangers.
The swimming suit, however, wasn’t welcome among Europeans and has become an unacceptable garment in several countries, with local authorities stressing the fact that secular rules of social behavior in public places have the priority over religious traditions.