January 12, 2017

"Muslim Girls in Switzerland Must Attend Swim Classes With Boys, Court Says."

The NYT reports.
On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the Swiss officials’ decision, rejecting the parents’ argument that the Swiss authorities had violated the “freedom of thought, conscience and religion” guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights, which the court enforces.

“The public interest in following the full school curriculum should prevail over the applicants’ private interest in obtaining an exemption from mixed swimming lessons for their daughters,” the court found....
But if you keep reading, you'll see that the court is nowhere nearly as briskly sectarian as the headline and the first few paragraphs make it sound. Further down, there's this (boldface added):
In the case of the swimming classes in Switzerland, the authorities ruled that lessons mixing boys and girls were an important part of the school curriculum; they did allow that the girls could apply for an exemption on religious grounds, but only if they had gone through puberty, which was not the case for the daughters of Mr. Osmanoglu and Ms. Kocabas.

The parents argued that even though the Quran does not require girls’ bodies to be covered until puberty, “their belief commanded them to prepare their daughters for the precepts that would be applied to them from puberty” onward, according to the court’s summary of the case.
The court did provide for a religious exemption, but only at the point where the religious text draws the line: puberty. The court isn't simply imposing a standard government rule on religious people who ask for special treatment. It's just demanding a showing that there really is a religious burden as opposed to a cultural preference. It seems that those asking for an exemption have to premise their request on religious doctrine and they need to prove what they say is religion really is part of their religion. Parents can't just say they are members of a religious group and then force the school to vary the rules to accommodate their tastes and their culture.

Here's a related story from last May: "Muslim Boys at a Swiss School Must Shake Teachers’ Hands, Even Female Ones."
The boys’ school had initially decided to grant the brothers an exemption from the custom after the boys, ages 14 and 16, the sons of an imam from Syria, had argued that Islam did not permit physical contact with a person of the opposite sex, with the exception of immediate family members. Seeking a compromise, the school decided that the boys would not have to shake male teachers’ hands either.

But when the compromise became public last month, it provoked an uproar from educators and politicians across the ideological spectrum.....
After the political pressure, a government board ruled that the students would have shake hands:
[T]he cantonal board for education, culture and sport in Basel-Landschaft...  acknowledged that forcing the students to shake their female teacher’s hand was an “intrusion” on their religious beliefs but said that it was a proportionate one since, in its view, “it did not involve the central tenets of Islam.” 

44 comments:

rhhardin said...

The European Court of Human Rights probably is packed with leftists.

Just a guess.

David Begley said...

The lawyers for Muslims will soon figure out how to bring better cases to court. They need to pick better plaintiffs and with the right facts. Just wondering if the winning side gets attorneys' fees in the EC. If so, the deluge begins.

Clyde said...

Maybe if they want to live a Muslim lifestyle, they should return to the Muslim countries from whence they came?

rhhardin said...

Can girls swim with boys again after menopause, is the religious question.

I think it's the boys' puberty they have to worry about, not the girls'.

rhhardin said...

Things will be more perfect in the next world if the girls and boys don't swim together, is the religious idea.

The EC is improving the next world case by case.

Robin Eatmon said...

The Swiss are standing up for their country's culture.

Big Mike said...

Over at Instapundit Glenn links to a case where a Dutch vegan who protested against cowbells was denied an application for Swiss citizenship on grounds she is too annoying. Seems to me the Swiss are very serious about preserving their culture and not just picking a fight with Muslims.

rhhardin said...

Martyrs get to swim with adult girls.

rehajm said...

Seems to me the Swiss are very serious about preserving their culture and not just picking a fight with Muslims.

The Swiss are obsessed with conformity.

Tommy Duncan said...

Muslims have a war on women prescribed in their religion. Their adherence to that war on women is well documented and can be observed on a daily basis. Where is the progressive outrage? Where are the feminists? Where is the ACLU? Why is Michelle Obama silent?

Curious George said...

The American left will look at this shit, as well as the daily occurences of theft, rape, assault, murder, and larger scale terrorism, and still think that it won't happen here if we just show tolerance and compassion.

Islam is a cancer. There is no cure. Only prevention.

tim in vermont said...

Immigrants willing to go to court to avoid assimilation and a court system hell bent on destroying local culture. Sweet.

Ann Althouse said...

It's not just Muslims who demand sex-segregated swimming: "Four times a week this summer — Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:15 to 11 a.m., and Sunday afternoons from 2:45 to 4:45 — a public swimming pool on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn will be temporarily unmoored from the laws of New York City and the Constitution, and commonly held principles of fairness and equal access. The pool will instead answer to the religious convictions of one neighborhood group. At those hours, women (and girls, too, on Sundays) will have the pool to themselves. Men and boys will not be permitted. Orthodox Jewish beliefs demand modesty in dress, and a strict separation of the sexes, and those are the beliefs to which the taxpayer-owned-and-operated Metropolitan Recreation Center will yield."

Ann Althouse said...

And what about sex-segregated bathrooms?

Almost all of us want that.

rhhardin said...

Orthodox jews aren't trying to kill infidels.

rhhardin said...

A habit of live and let live would restrict the cases Muslims bring.

Absent that, it's all Alinsky all the time.

rhhardin said...

The law is based on a live and let live principle.

It won't work unless the people go along.

After all there's the vexatious litigant exception. Make it apply to Islam until the reformation.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

"I love to go swimming with bowlegged women"

Especially women from Switzerland.

rhhardin said...

Ahmed Mohamed would have brougnt a homemade cuckoo clock bomb to school in Switzerland.

My name goes here. said...

"And what about sex-segregated bathrooms?

Almost all of us want that."

Many people today want gender segregated bathrooms.

tim in vermont said...

All us boys soon figured out that "bow legged" was Popeye code for "bare naked."

rhhardin said...

Julia Roberts, in The Mexican, complained that she couldn't pee in her stall with the kidnapper standing outside guarding her.

The kidnapper went into the adjacent stall and peed. (audio only)

Then Julia peed. (audio only)

It's all in getting over it.

Larry J said...

Clyde said...
Maybe if they want to live a Muslim lifestyle, they should return to the Muslim countries from whence they came?


Because most of those places are backwards hellholes. No, they'd much rather live in a nice Western country with all of the comforts of modern civilization while forcing their hosts to comply with their demands. If they succeed, within a few generations, those western countries will be indistinguishable from the hellholes they left. It's kind of like how liberals move from their blue states to a red state like Texas or Colorado and then demand the states enact the same failed liberal policies they're fleeing. They're both like social locusts.

AprilApple said...

Islam doesn't fit in with the modern world. they should quarantine themselves on another planet and leave us alone.

Anglelyne said...

The great jurists of Clown World continue to pretend that their law is based on universal principles with which any and all cultures can be brought into harmony, no problemo.

AA: It seems that those asking for an exemption have to premise their request on religious doctrine and they need to prove what they say is religion really is part of their religion. Parents can't just say they are members of a religious group and then force the school to vary the rules to accommodate their tastes and their culture.

Nothing says "human rights" like the government protecting religious liberty by arrogating to itself the right to define everybody's religious doctrine.

Michael K said...

One thing that Muslims are doing well is convincing the western world, with the possible exception of politicians, that Islam and civilization are incompatible.

Iran was closer than almost all other Muslim countries to a modern civilization until the Europeans and Carter imposed Khomeini on them

Mosque attendance in Iran is at 2% now.

traditionalguy said...

When Islam invades, The Prophet commands Jihad in the Land of War. Today it is done in law courts. Tomorrow it will be finished by prepubescent boys beheading captured Jews and Christians. They will only let the girls use the feminine suicide belts. But are told 24/7 that we should be ashamed of ourselves for any resistance.

As I recall Japan's Emperor Worship of their sun god was a religion; a religion that demanded attack and slaughter of all Non-Nipponese. How dare the USA have resisted them.

Larry J said...

In a somewhat related note, perhaps more countries need to adopt this policy.

Sebastian said...

Very backward of the Swiss to stick to their cuckoo-clock conformity and resist the enrichment of their culture by Islam. Don't they know difference is our strength?

EDH said...

"...they did allow that the girls could apply for an exemption on religious grounds, but only if they had gone through puberty..."

William said...

Muslims in former times were instructed not to live in the House of War. By moving to Switzerland, the Iman has transgressed from the righteous path of his rightly guided forbears. He should keep on transgressing or move back to a country more supportive of Sharia.........There are a lot of haddiths in the Koran about the proper and humane way of treating slaves. Not so long ago, Muslim religious leaders thought that such haddiths not only authorized slavery but endorsed that institution. I think most Muslims have now come around to the opinion that slavery is wrong. There are pockets of resistance in Mauritania and elsewhere, but, by and large, slavery is no longer encouraged.......Pehaps some day their views on the proper ways to dress and beat their women will also change. You just have to be patient. Self driving cars will make moot any objections to driving licenses for women.. Breakthroughs in the field of sex robots and VR technology will obviate the need for western women to dress seductively or modestly because no one will be paying attention.

Bay Area Guy said...

The European Court of Human Rights? Oy vey. Sounds Orwellian.

What authority and jurisdiction do these Euro-morons have?

Kyle's Practice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trumpit said...

How can the girls swim (and not drown) dressed like this?

http://arabiangazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/france-hijab-ban-e1335353460165.jpg

If they want to dress like teenage mutant ninja turtles, I could understand. Some species of turtles can swim well.

http://images-cdn.moviepilot.com/image/upload/c_fill,h_1080,w_1440/t_mp_quality/3014649-cast-of-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-5-the-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-trailer-just-dropped-get-the-pizza-teenage-mutant-ninja-tur-jpeg-46061.jpg

Carol said...

I never shook hands with a teacher, and our PE classes were always segregated including and especially the swimming lessons. Just saying.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Carol,

Same here, and it's an interesting point. Of course, dissenters to the PE policies of the late '70's Bay Area were unlikely to slaughter anyone.

CJinPA said...

Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam -- famous for "Bowling Alone," his 2000 book on declining civic engagement -- has found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.

"The extent of the effect is shocking," says Scott Page, a University of Michigan political scientist.
http://archive.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2007/08/05/the_downside_of_diversity/

Celebrate diversity. Or else.

rhhardin said...

found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.

A system doesn't found itself; stuff outside the system is vital.

Agreement on unwritten rules is what diversity prevents, so the system fails.

rhhardin said...

Hence the call for teaching good character to blacks, to get them into the unwritten rules; otherwise they're doomed.

They teach the opposite today.

JAORE said...

A state DOT I worked with for years had a Division Location Coordinator who was Muslim. He refused to have physical contact with females. So far, so good. But he was the primary DOT representative at public hearings where the public could express their views on proposed projects. I observed many instances of females reach out to shake hands.

The DOT never saw the problem.

I did.

Crazy Jane said...

If members of a religious group insist on segregated swim times, let them build their own pool. How is this different from the Jim Crow era of black-white segregated pools? Public institutions are for the public, including women.

I guess we can accommodate the anti-handshakers, but we don't have to admire them. Living in the 21st century obviously isn't for everyone.

Anglelyne said...

AA: And what about sex-segregated bathrooms?

Almost all of us want that.


Well, what about them?

What is this "us" of which you speak?

Sex-segregated bathrooms and mixed public swimming pools (or unisex bathrooms and sex-segregated public swimming pools, or any combination of sex-mixing for this and sex-segregation for that) are not social and legal conflicts and conundrums for an "us".

When they become so, and the object of legal sophistries ("if we have sex-segregated public restrooms then we have no basis for not accommodating people who want sex-segregated swimming times in public facilities"), the "us" is already disappearing, or under explicit attack.

When you decide your law is entirely abstract and a-cultural, the "us" that maintains its tacit foundations is inexorably dissolved.

Then we are left living within the wonderful late-modernist paradox that there is no "we" to be found in "who we are".

And no, pointing out that your grandmother wore a veil to church does not does not open any path to resolving the paradox.

ALP said...

"But the parents refused to send their daughters to the lessons, and in 2010, the officials imposed a fine of 1,400 Swiss francs, about $1,380. The parents, Aziz Osmanoglu and Sehabat Kocabas, who have both Swiss and Turkish nationality, decided to sue."

WAIT, the parents were FINED over a grand for not sending their kids to a swimming class? It is not clear from this paragraph above, but if true - I think that's the bigger story. How in the world do "officials" impose fines on people for situations like this?

Richard Dolan said...

So, unlike the indigenous American tribes who wanted to use peyote in their rituals, the Swiss don't need a Religious Freedom Restoration Act to obtain the right freely to practice their religion. Unlike our SCOTUS, the European court did it for them. It's odd but not surprising that so many will react to the two cases in such contradictory ways.