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German court rules Muslim girl must take mixed-sex swimming lessons

The 13-year-old had sought exemption from swimming classes based on her religious beliefs.

Burquini burkini dubai muslim swimsuitEnlarge
The Islamic full-length swimming suit known as Burqini (or Burkini) sits on display at a sports store in Dubai on August 23, 2009. The three-piece lycra and polyester bodysuit covers the body and hair. (MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

A Muslim girl in Germany on Wednesday lost her bid to be exempted from swimming lessons at her co-educational school in Frankfurt based on her religious beliefs, BBC reported.

The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig ruled the 13-year-old schoolgirl should take part in the mixed-sex lessons, provided she was allowed to wear a full-body swimsuit, commonly known as a “burkini.”

"The plaintiff has not made sufficiently clear that ... taking part in co-educational swimming lessons with a burkini breaches Muslim rules on clothing," the court said, rejecting her appeal against earlier decisions by two courts in the western state of Hesse.

A lawyer representing the girl’s family argued it was inappropriate for her to be in close proximity to boys wearing nothing but swimming trunks.

But the court disagreed, according to Deutsche Welle.

Judge Werner Neumann said an education system in a pluralistic society could not accommodate every religious concern, and the burkini would accommodate the girl’s Muslim beliefs.

"The result would be the widespread disintegration of lessons," Neumann was quoted as saying.

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CaptainGroovy More than 1 year ago
I commend the German courts for their ruling about stupidity of making special exceptions for a "religious" reason on swimming class. Since until now this has never been an issue this was a classic case of a religious group intentionally trying to manipulate the school and or law to benefit themselves somehow or way now or in the future. I am all for religious freedom and does me me or society no harm if a person chooses to worship Allah, Yahweh, Satan, or an Oak Tree. It does do harm to others and society when a group of people wish to affect a change only for their benefit especially when it disruptive to the rest of society as a whole. I say if muslim parent feel so strongly about how the curriculum at public schools is taught or instituted then they can send their child to a private school at their expense that caters to their needs.
Steve Bonnell More than 1 year ago
That'd be too much like becoming a member of society.,..they'll probably just honor-kill the kid or blow up the school.