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Muslim Girls Must Swim With Boys In Switzerland

European Courts have allowed Switzerland to force Muslim girls to swim in mixed swimming lessons

Switzerland Muslim girls forced swimming lessons
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The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) have ruled judgment over a case where they have agreed with a Swiss school in forcing Muslim girls in participating in swimming lesson with boys.

In 2008 parents, of Turkish and swiss origins, Aziz Osmanoglu and Sehabat Kocabas, refused to have their two daughters, 9 and 7, to participate in mixed swimming lessons.

In 2010 after the refusal of parents in participating in the school curriculum the swiss school issued a fine of CHF 350 per parent and child, totalling, 400 Swiss Francs ($1,380, £1,136) "for acting in breach of their parental duty".

The children's mother appealed to higher courts but it was rejected by Basel court of appeal in 2011 and refused by Switzerland's federal court in 2012. It was then taken to ECHR who have recently denied their appeal fro refusing to allow their children to participate in swimming lessons based on “that their beliefs prohibited them from allowing their children to take part”.

The parents believed that their children being forced to take swimming lessons was a violation of article nine of the European Convention on Human Rights, which covers the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

The ECHR agreed that refusal to exempt the girls had interfered with the right to freedom of religion but chose to force the girls to participate as to "protect foreign pupils from any form of social exclusion".

The court said, "Accordingly, the children's interest in a full education, thus facilitating their successful social integration according to local customs and mores, prevailed over the parents' wish to have their children exempted from mixed swimming lessons,"