European rights court: Muslim girls must attend mixed swim class

By REUTERS
January 10, 2017 14:47




STRASBOURG, France - A Muslim couple who refused on religious grounds to allow their two young daughters take part in boys-and-girls school swimming lessons in Switzerland did not have the right to do so, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday.

The ruling by the court was a first on the specific issue of religious beliefs versus school rules where sport, in this case involving some exposure of the body and changing of clothes, is part of obligatory activities.

Schooling, including sports, overrode religious convictions, notably when the school sought to address the couple's concerns by offering to let the girls wear burkinis - full-body swimwear - and change into it without boys present, the court said.


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