Islam no excuse to miss swimming: Germany

Tells girls to wear loose swimwear, stay underwater


A German court has ordered a 12-year-old Muslim schoolgirl to attend co-ed swimming lessons, despite the objection of her parents, press reports said on Thursday.

The girl's parents had filed a case citing Islamic prohibitions against tight-fitting clothing worn in front of members of the opposite sex, Germany's public broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) said.

But the court in Düsseldorf ruled on Wednesday that the state's responsibility to educate the girl trumped her right to religious freedom.

In its ruling, the court said her religious beliefs could be protected if she chose loose-fitting swimwear and remained in the water throughout the lesson.

The Alexander von Humboldt school in Remscheid, a city of 118,000 people in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, said it did not have the staff to separate boys and girls during swimming lessons.

The parents' attorney said the family plans to appeal and that the decision, DW reported.