Switzerland rejects citizenship of two Muslim girls for refusing to swim with boys

The Swiss government has denied citizenship to two Muslim girls for refusing to take part in swimming lessons with boys at school.

The 12 and 14-year-old girls will no longer be considered for naturalised citizenship because they have not complied with the school curriculum, authorities in Basel said.

The girls are understood to have refused to take part in school swimming lessons because boys were present, and Islam forbade that form of interaction, according to USA Today.

Their applications for Swiss passports have now been overturned.

Meanwhile, the Muslim father of two other girls who refused to let his daughters swim with boys was fined 4,000 Swiss Francs (around £3,000) by a district court in another part of the country.

Stefan Wehrle, president of the country’s naturalisation committee, told TV station SRF that “whoever doesn’t fulfil these conditions, violates the law and therefore cannot be naturalised.”

The father, who was fined by a court in Altstaeten in the north-east of the country, had been in trouble with authorities previously for requiring his daughters to wear the hijab in school, according to The Local.

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In the end, his eldest daughter was granted the right to wear the hijab to school by Switzerland’s highest court on the grounds of religious freedom.

The two cases in Switzerland are the latest in a series of refusals by authorities to grant immigrants citizenship for cultural reasons.


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