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Social integration trumps religious freedom, says ECHR

Social integration trumps religious freedom, says ECHR

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled this week that Switzerland was justified in imposing fines on a pair of Muslim parents who refused to send their teenage daughters to compulsory mixed swimming lessons in the city of Basel.

The case was brought before the ECHR by two Swiss nationals, of Turkish origin, according to the BBC.

In 2010, after a long-running dispute, the parents were ordered to pay a combined fine of 1,400 Swiss Francs ($1,380, £1,136) “for acting in breach of their parental duty”.

They argued that such treatment was a violation of article nine of the European Convention on Human Rights, which covers the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

In a statement, the ECHR said the refusal to exempt the girls had indeed interfered with the right to freedom of religion, but that the Swiss authorities were justified in giving precedence to enforcing “the full school curriculum” and the children’s “successful integration” into society.

Swiss Education officials had insisted that exemptions were available only for girls who had reached the age of puberty – which the girls had not reached at the time.

The ECHR found that the law was designed:

To protect foreign pupils from any form of social exclusion.

Switzerland, it said, was free to design its education system according to its own needs and traditions.

Schools, it added, played an important role in social integration, and exemptions from some lessons are:

Justified only in very exceptional circumstances. 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.

The court also noted that “very flexible arrangements” had been offered as a compromise, including allowing the girls to wear burkinis during lessons rather than traditional swimwear, and allowing them to change clothes with no boys in the room.

Hat tip: AgentCormac and BarrieJohn

10 responses to “Social integration trumps religious freedom, says ECHR”

  1. Newspaniard says:

    One up for common sense against the continual drip, drip of the death cult continually demanding special privileges. Good luck to any child whose parents are muslim and insist their child wears a burkini. They will probably die of embarrassment.

  2. Michael Glass says:

    Actually, the burkina works well in Australia, where it was originally developed. It enabled many Muslim women to enjoy the beach culture while conforming to a strict interpretation of Islamic dress codes.

  3. Paul says:

    At last one thing the ECHR has got right.

    Michael Glass
    There is no such thing as a strict Islamic dress Code. The so called behaviour is a demand they dress modestly and frankly – why. It’s all made up by men to supress women. Moroever before we get to the Islamic woman’s you tube videos where they say it’s ‘my choice and I feel free’ that is simply laughable as it isn’t: that is only conforming to the females’ male relatives’ demands and requirements.
    The only true logic to cover up is to reduce skin cancers which in Australia are exceptionally high.

  4. AgentCormac says:

    A highly sensible ruling that puts the greater good of social cohesion before individual proclivities. But just wait for the howls of protest based on perceived persecution and offended sensibilities. Quickly followed, of course, by the claim that it has made muslims in Switzerland ‘angry’.

  5. L.Long says:

    Like so much religious BS, there is NOTHING in the kakaran that says you must live in a tent or modified tent.
    But they make it so in their bigoted society, so DON’T send your kids to a normal school, send them to schools supported by isLame and paid by isLame. And if the country you bigoted aholes live in don’t allow such, then why are you there?

  6. Feddie says:

    The Swiss get it right so often … we would do well to emulate them. They are not in the EU either.

  7. Trevor Blake says:

    Did the parents advocate the European Convention on Human Rights before they lived in Europe? Do they advocate the European Convention on Human Rights be applied in Muslim nations now? No? Perhaps their moral stand is one of convenience, then, brought to the fore when it is to their advantage and kept silent when not to their advantage.

    Islam has three things to offer. First, a foolish and cruel religion. Second, being called a bigot until you join their foolish and cruel religion. Third, violence for when being called a bigot didn’t work. Being called a bigot against Islam and religion simply stopped working against me, long ago. Give it a try.

  8. 1859 says:

    Great to see a secular law, at long last, taking precedence over the ‘right to religious freedom’. Yes, the Swiss have got it right – good for them, may their decisions act as an example to those other European governments who are too scared shitless to confront – with common sense laws – the islamic agenda in their own countries.

  9. Justin says:

    @ Michael Glass

    Muslim women were always enabled to enjoy the beach as any other Australian could have. Their ridiculous fixation with modesty was their only obstacle, and it was entirely self-imposed. The Bukini is not an Australian invention I as an Australian am particularly proud of. Especially when you consider there are plenty of “modest” beach clothes. Not everyone has to dress in a bikini, the burkini was invented more as a specfic, visual representation of religious piety.

  10. John says:

    If the burkini is a representation of religious piety, why don’t Muslim men wear them on beaches too?
    Are Muslim men on beaches religiously impious?