Muslim Parents Under Fire For Adhering To Religious Values
Jan 10, 2017 12:01 PM EST
In an attempt to protect children of foreigners from "social exclusion" in school, the Human Rights court of Europe has stood behind a bold decision made by the Swiss court to fine the parents of two young girls who refused to send them to a mixed swimming lesson.
The couple, who stated that their decision was based on religious grounds, was fined a grand total of 1,400 Swiss francs (about $345 per child). The court ruling ascertained that the amount was suitable and "proportionate" to its purpose.
The Swiss-Turkish dual national parents appealed to the courts after the fine was issued by the educational authorities in question. The parents claimed that the school's rule of sending children to mixed swimming lessons up until the age of puberty clashed with their moral values and standing in religion.
According to Al Jazeera, the court acknowledged the fact that this rule interjected with their freedom of religion as inscribed in the European Convention on Human Rights in article 9. However, this did not sway the judge from ruling in favor of the school.
The court's view was that the educational institute's interference was based on legitimate grounds and aims to benefit foreign pupils in social instances. Schools are noted to play a great role in shaping the future of students especially those who come from foreign backgrounds.
The authorities even tried to reason with the parents in order to reach a happy medium allowing the girls to come dressed in burkinis. But, the compromise was not met with well wishes from the parents of the girls.
In other similar news, the family of two Syrian boys was denied Swiss citizenship when the boys refused to shake hands with their female teacher. The boys informed the authorities that physical contact with ladies outside of family was a violation to their religion.
These incidents have given rise to debates on a national level regarding religious freedom in Switzerland.