Swiss court fines Muslim man for blocking daughters' swimming lessons

Published: June 30, 2016
The unnamed 40-year-old man was ordered to pay 4,000 Swiss francs ($4,000, 3,700 euros), the ATS news agency said in a report. PHOTO: REUTERS

The unnamed 40-year-old man was ordered to pay 4,000 Swiss francs ($4,000, 3,700 euros), the ATS news agency said in a report. PHOTO: REUTERS

GENEVA: A Muslim father was fined in Switzerland Wednesday for refusing to allow his daughters to take swimming lessons at school, in the latest case exposing the challenges of integration in the Alpine country.

The unnamed 40-year-old man was ordered to pay 4,000 Swiss francs ($4,000, 3,700 euros), the ATS news agency said in a report.

He had also refused to allow his daughters to go to camps and other school events, insisting they ran counter to his religious beliefs.

Outrage as Muslim pupils exempt from shaking female teachers’ hands in Swiss district

The Altstaetten district court in the northeastern Swiss canton of St. Gallen found the father guilty of among other things violating the law on obligatory schooling and of disobeying previous orders by the authorities, ATS reported

The court reached its verdict after the father appealed a previous ruling faulting him last December.

The prosecutor had requested that the man be sentenced to four months behind bars, in addition to a fine, maintaining that the Bosnian national who has been living in Switzerland since 1990 had resisted integration and had no respect for Swiss legislation.

The family has reportedly been in conflict with the local authorities for years.

Last year, the parents were sentenced by a lower court for refusing to allow their daughters go to school unless they were permitted to wear a hijab.

But the country’s highest court overturned that verdict, ruling that the eldest girl should be allowed to wear the veil to school in the name of freedom of religion.

Wednesday’s ruling came after a high-profile case involving Muslim pupils refusing to shake hands with their female teachers caused uproar across Switzerland.

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Last month, the norther Swiss canton of Basel country reversed one middle school’s controversial decision to grant exemptions for two Muslim pupils unwilling to shake hands with teachers of the opposite sex, and threated hefty fines for those who refused to toe the line.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Jun 30, 2016 - 10:04AM

    Ms never bother to integrate into their host countries. Recommend

  • jay
    Jun 30, 2016 - 11:28AM

    Please keep your 6th century values in your home country . When in Rome act like them Romans. If you have so much problem in integrating with the west stay put in your Islamic Paradise ! Recommend

  • S
    Jun 30, 2016 - 1:27PM

    Fail to understand why people like him settle abroadRecommend

  • Mahesh Desai
    Jun 30, 2016 - 1:57PM

    @ Jay, but they think it is their duty to travel to ‘other’ countries and practice + spread the 7th century culture as ‘word of god’.Recommend

  • k
    Jun 30, 2016 - 4:52PM

    @Mahesh Desai:
    nothing wrong in spreading religious thoughts but the problem is when Muslim isolates themselves, not integrate in society.they enjoys full equal rights (even more) but when becomes 12 to 15% they demand their laws, their separate country etc.Recommend

  • Gaz
    Jun 30, 2016 - 6:40PM

    The sad thing is I bet his father denied any of those activities to him when he was a child. I live in the west and I am seeing so many highly educated professional Muslims stopping their kids from doing activities at school that they themselves used to do without any issues. This all due to the messages being spread by the SaudisRecommend

  • True Muslim
    Jul 1, 2016 - 4:59AM

    To all those Hindu Indians posting nasty comments, what about Indian women wearing Sari and Dot on their forehead, I have seen many of them in the West, they should also stop doing that 10,000 year old practice when moving to West. Tribune if you can publish Anti-Muslims remarks by Indians, please publish this as well. Thank you.Recommend

  • BrexTex
    Jul 1, 2016 - 7:04AM

    @k and @Gaz:
    I wish you were right about the 12 to 15 percent statistics of Muslims in any given non-Muslim country. Very sadly, Muslims start demanding changes to local laws taking advantages of freedom of religion laws in non-Muslim countries of the West when they hardly are 3 to 5 percent of the population. And please do not blame Saudis or for that matter India, Israel, Europe, Canada or USA for all the problems in the Muslim countries and with Muslim people. For God Almighty’s sake see that fact that Muslims have misused God to persecute people all over the world as it is happening right now currently. Put the blame where it belongs not at the Saudis but the message and the ideology itself. Recommend

  • Mahesh Desai
    Jul 1, 2016 - 1:14PM

    @True Muslim, not sure where you saw that. I have been to US and Europe, and have some family members there too. None of them wear saree or bindi, except maybe for marriages and festivals. Again, that is something different than being anti-integration and to extreme, blowing yourself up.Recommend

  • Shakil Ahmed
    Jul 2, 2016 - 7:40AM

    Parents should have right to choose how they wish to brought up their children. At least its not the case in UK every sport activity is need to be authorised by parents first.Recommend

  • Usman Toronto
    Jul 2, 2016 - 6:09PM

    Whatever happened to this girl or her family. They deserve it. Donot mix Islam with ur old fashioned culture values based on genders. 100% agree with court decisionRecommend

  • Arsha
    Jul 3, 2016 - 8:49AM

    @True Muslim:
    Wearing sari or bindi can in no way be compared to refusal to integrate, isolating oneself from others, going against the law of the land etc.

    A lot of Indians send their children to evening classes for learning indian culture however they do not force their kids to dress in a certain way or not follow regular school norms etc. In fact most of them.encourage their kids to mix with kids of indigenous communities.Recommend

  • G. Din
    Jul 4, 2016 - 12:39AM

    @Mahesh Desai:
    “. None of them (your acquaintances/relatives) wear saree or bindi, except maybe for marriages and festivals.”
    Not true! Indians, in foreign lands, do wear saris and invariably bindis, too. The difference between them and Muslims is that if the people around are offended, Indians (non-Muslims) will quickly adapt and stop offending whereas Muslims will force the issue by making it worse and causing more offence. We like to get along with the surroundings, they revel at being a pest and an eye-sore. That is why an Indian is well-regarded everywhere and a Muslim is well-reviled in all the worlds.Recommend

  • The Truth
    Jul 8, 2016 - 8:09PM

    Well sikhs demand they can’t wear helmet on a motorbike as they wear a turban so they are exempt from the law in uk-isn’t that demanding much and isolating themselves? Stop being the hypocrasyRecommend

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