Lifestyle & Belief

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


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.



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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