69 2 mins 10 yrs

Forget about swimming with the dolphins, it seems that swimming with boys constitutes some difficulty for one religious group.

“A Muslim family in Basel has been fined 1,400 francs ($1,550) for refusing to let its daughters participate in mixed swimming classes. The family had sought to avoid paying the fine on the grounds that the requirement for the girls to join the swimming lesson infringed on their religious freedom, online news website Le Matin reported. The parents argued that, in accordance with the teachings of the Koran, they wanted to instil a sense of shame in their children before they reached puberty. Mixed swimming lessons in primary school, the family claimed, would be incompatible with such an aim. Following the family’s appeal of the original Administrative Court verdict, the Federal Court decided to uphold the fine. The court stated that the obligation to participate in mixed swimming classes did not represent a significant assault on the family’s religious freedom.

Well done Switzerland.

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69 thoughts on “SWISS MAKING WAVES….

  1. Well done Switzerland ?

    Forget the Muslim angle for a moment David , do you approve of the state legally ordering anyone to take swimming lessons ?

  2. I approve of plenty of things concerning the Swiss State. I approve of the right to bear arms. I approve of the right to stay outside the EU. I approve of the right to stop Minarets popping up everywhere. I approve of the rejection of a Muslim desire NOT to integrate into Swiss culture. Mixed swimming lessons are what the Swiss want. If you don’t like it then that is fine. Go somewhere else. The “State” argument you put up has to put in the context of all that the Swiss State deploys. On balance, it seems pretty sensible.

  3. “The obligation to participate in mixed swimming classes”

    Well done Switzerland, Seriuosly?

  4. The family should have done their homework.
    If they are so devout, why on earth did they come to a western liberal democracy??

    Why is it that so few Muslims fleeing problems in their country, don’t seem to want to flee to another Islamic country??

  5. Switzerland must mandate swimming lessons for all citizens.

    What happens if the kids want to join the Swiss Navy when hey grow up?

    “Why is it that so few Muslims fleeing problems in their country, don’t seem to want to flee to another Islamic country??”

    Simple: It’s all part of the World-wide caliphate plan Agit8ed.

    They spred all over the Western world. Have huge families (at the expense of the infidel taxpayers) and eventually they are the majority, the Jihad is won and we’re the Dhimmis.

    And I’m not being my usual wise-ass self when I type this.

  6. ” The “State” argument you put up has to put in the context of all that the Swiss State deploys. On balance, it seems pretty sensible.”

    So all that stuff about the rights of parents as a principle in the face of a domineering nanny state was bullshit all along, as if we hadn’t guessed.

  7. This us the part that dismays me:

    The parents argued that, in accordance with the teachings of the Koran, they wanted to instil a sense of shame in their children before they reached puberty.

    Teaching a child to be ashamed of her own body is akin to child abuse. The shame those parents ought to be instilling in their children is the shame they should feel when their co-religionists consistently murder innocent people for the “crime” of being a non-Muslim. Or being an apostate 🙁

  8. Noel,
    Socialisation is a process that is undertaken by parents living in a settled, defined society or nation, and underwritten by the State. The two things go hand in hand and are surely part of human, tribal expression.
    Where it breaks down is when (usually) the State begins to impinge and interfere with the authority of parents.
    (And of course we’re talking about parents who love and care about their children: not those who don’t.)
    When the State begins to usurp the role of parents, then the power and authority of the State begins to grow resulting in distorted or skewed values.

  9. “do you approve of the state legally ordering anyone to take swimming lessons ?”

    Switzerland is consistently in the top 10 best countries to live/work in surveys. Yes, they have some peculiar laws (like not washing your car on a Sunday)but I don’t know of any great groundswell of opinion to change how things are there from the inside.

    I admire their inflexibility.

    EDDIE,

    A pleasant change!

  10. do you approve of the state legally ordering anyone to take swimming lessons ?

    Eh…I do.

    Just as they ” order ” children to learn to read and write. Swimming is a skill that everyone should have.

    Has the libertarian clown show idioted up questions like this, too? This is a debatable point?

  11. Matt’s correct.

    Big picture, the rest of our countries could learn a lot from Switzerland, and not so much vice versa.

    The country works, well.

  12. Eddie,
    I have to agree with Matt.
    It would be nice to hear the more serious side of you more often!

  13. What the what? Some folks here applauding the Swiss on this issue would be calling for napalm to be dropped on the Swiss if the story was about an Orthodox Jewish family who didn’t want their daughters swimming with the boys.

    While I encourage swimming education, and am for coed classes to a reasonable degree, I can accept that some families might disagree with the practice and want to opt out without facing fines.

    The same people who want to declare a police state exists when there are warning labels on cigarettes and speed limits on roadways now all of a sudden embrace a penalty to be imposed if some parent’s beliefs are opposed to their own children participating in some state mandated swimming lessons?

    Come on. The support for this penalty is based entirely on the fact that it is being levied against a Muslim family. And for no other reason.

  14. When in Rome do as the Romans do.

    And this is more a superstitious tribal practice than any sort of ” religious belief”.

    The planes that flew them into Zurich can easily be hired to take them back home again. No one’s rights are being abridged in any way.

  15. Phantom – So Jewish children then should be compelled to eat non-Kosher meals at school cafeterias or be fined, observant Catholic children should have to eat meat on Fridays during Lent or be fined etc?

    I repeat, it is the target of the fine and not the issue itself which drives the glee here.

    One doesn’t have to look back to far even on this site to witness the people in support of this fine insisting that religious institutions be granted exemptions in relation to contraception and gay marriage.

    I don’t share the beleif that modesty requires a separation of the sexes for swimming lessons, but some people feel this way and have the right to be wrong in my opinion. Certainly they should at least be given the right to opt out of such a program and not face a penalty for failing to agree to this.

  16. Mahons,
    For your delight and delectation….
    http://switzerland.isyours.com/e/guide/religion/judaism.html

    I didn’t know this either. But let us just say that despite the mediaeval European Church’s attitude to the Jews, the (uneasy) relationship is a long one. Over 100’s of years.
    By the same token Christianity’s relationship with Islam is much more confrontational in nature.
    Don’t forget the last big Islamic push into Europe was halted at the Battle of Tours in 732 AD. A Turkish army reached Vienna in 1683, and it was the Poles who helped defeat the threat.

    So Mahons, one could say Islam has often threatened the Church and vice versa, but the Jews have never had an army to threaten anybody.
    So however you look at it, people perceive some Muslims’ unwillingness to integrate as more of a threat than Orthodox Judaism.
    Finally, noone is advocating harm to any group, but again, the perception is that Islam is the source of the threats and demands, and cruel practices that most of us abhor.

  17. What is the particular compelling Swiss need to make coed swimming lessons mandatory? There is none.

    This is not some attempt to have children avoid education, work excessive hours at a family business, marry at age 3, etc. Allowing them to opt out of the swimming program is a reasonable accomodation for a religious belief. We don’t have to share the belief or find that it has merit to accomodate it.

    Where does reasonable accomodation lead? To democracy.

  18. “What is the particular compelling Swiss need to make coed swimming lessons mandatory?”

    Because it’s the way they’ve developed as a nation, and it’s their country, and seeing as it IS their country, they can do as they damn’ well please.

  19. The Swiss don’t need lessons from others in democracy. Switzerland is a bit of model on that subject.

  20. Agit8ed – I haven’t merely used Judiaism as an example, I’ve noted where accomodations for Catholics and Protestnats have been made.

    There are certainly examples of overreaching by islamic groups/individuals, but this case does not seem to be one of them. So lets judge it on the merits now rather than having to stretch back to the gates of Vienna.

  21. Agit8ed – I see, they can do as they damn well please because it is their country. I’ll look for your argument to that effect regarding Syria.

  22. “So lets judge it on the merits now rather than having to stretch back to the gates of Vienna.”

    Europe may have changed, but has Islam changed as much? Consider those Muslims who believe Western intervention in Islamic countries is another manifestation of the Crusaders…
    Long memories Mahons, long memories.

  23. “Agit8ed – I see, they can do as they damn well please because it is their country. I’ll look for your argument to that effect regarding Syria.”

    I hain’t commented on Syria very much -if at all? Might of, can’t remember.

    What I DO remember, is that I’m one of the few who have commented positively on the Arab Spring, and that I DON’T believe in interfering in Muslim countries..
    or African countries,
    and certainly not Asian countries.
    Not unless we have had long, positive relationships and/or our own people are threatened.

  24. The issue here is the right of parents to opt out of mandatory participation of their child in coed-swimming lessons.

  25. Mahons, I tip my hat to you for your articulate, moral comments.

    Some truly frightening comments otherwise. If there is another holocaust in Europe it will almost certainly be against Muslims this time.

  26. Mahons,
    “The issue here is the right of parents to opt out of mandatory participation of their child in coed-swimming lessons.”

    So, stay on the issue then, and don’t introduce this..

    “What the what? Some folks here applauding the Swiss on this issue would be calling for napalm to be dropped on the Swiss if the story was about an Orthodox Jewish family who didn’t want their daughters swimming with the boys.”

  27. Petr

    Are you aware of the Cultural Revolution? And how many died because of this ( Communist ) man made calamity?

  28. “Some truly frightening comments otherwise. If there is another holocaust in Europe it will almost certainly be against Muslims this time.”

    Might make some exceptions for self styled Communists.. 🙂

  29. Agit – My point was that if this was a story about an Orthodox jewish family declining to have their daughters participate in coed swimming then the author of the post and many here who support his position would be taking a position 100% opposite of the position they are arguing now.

  30. Mahons,
    your point was taken seriously and responded to by me anyway at 6:31pm. I always take your stuff seriously. But you then took the issue away from what Switzerland does/is entitled to do as a sovereign, democratic nation.

  31. I agree with RC, the intention to instilled shame in the children is disgusting. Unless this is a problem of translation, I think this family should be closely monitored.

  32. Aileen,

    Maybe they could be compelled to wear patches on their clothes, or some kind of camp system could be put in place. The possibities are endless.

  33. Petr,
    “Maybe they could be compelled to wear patches on their clothes, or some kind of camp system could be put in place. The possibities are endless.”
    I believe the Soviets called them Gulags.

    So this Communist freedom of expression you espouse appears to have its limitations?

  34. Petr

    Your comment is disgusting!
    Children at risk of abuse should be protected. There are systems to monitor children at risk that have nothing to do with your disgraceful misrepresentation of my concern.

  35. Phantom,

    Worth a look: Raymond Lotta-Everything You’ve Been Told About Communism is Wrong

  36. Aileen – I wonder if the translation is accurate. Is it to instill a sense of shame (by that I mean be ashamed)or rather a sense of modesty. Many groups including the Amish, Orthodox and Hasidic Jews have dress codes which are more relevant to a sense of modesty which I suspect is the issue the parents were concerned about here.

    I’m not suggesting i agree with that aspect of those cultures but I think it is likely more along those lines. Again, the few paragraphs on the matter don’t seem very definitive about the children or the parents.

  37. Mahons that was what I was thinking re translation and indeed modesty was the word that I thought might have been mistranslated and why my comment allowed for the possibility.

  38. Aileen – Yes, I agree. The story, being Swiss, naturally might have some holes in it.

  39. Petr,
    Anyone who can logically argue his corner deserves respect. Instead of throwing out provocative statements, how about explaining your philosophy?

  40. “”My point was that if this was a story about an Orthodox jewish family declining to have their daughters participate in coed swimming then the author of the post and many here who support his position would be taking a position 100% opposite of the position they are arguing now.”

    Name and shame. Who would argue this?

  41. Matt – Any one of the ATW writers except me. And possibly Pete Moore if his anti-immigrant views didn’t trump his anti-statist views.

  42. I’m not condemning them by the way, just pointing out the lack of consistency.

    if any of them disagree I challenge them to s swimming race.

  43. Mahons,
    You are being disingenuous on this topic.
    I think you made a “booboo” and now you can’t get out of it.

    I acknowledged you raised a point. I googled to find info on Orthodox Jewry in Switzerland, and found that website which I passed on to you.
    It gave some interesting information about their history and involvement in current Swiss society.
    If you had particular people in mind when you went off at a tangent, why not just say who you were aiming at?
    “Anyone but you and possibly Pete” is a bit cryptic.

  44. Matt 912

    The charge is bogus.

    I don’t take the position that ” the Jews are always right ” as some do.

    I don’t believe that the NYC schools or most others in the US do any favors or accomodations for the Orthodox community. As a result, they choose to run and fund their own school system, which is their right to do.

  45. Agit8ed – I think you are not comprehending or failing to comprehend. What boo boo?

    Did your link address the jewish position on coed swimming in Switzerland, I didn’t read that far into it.

    Matt (with a bit of cheek) asked who I was talking about, so I advised him (with some cheek myself). Do you think any of my fellow ATW writers would side with me on this issue? I certainly don’t.

  46. Mahons, I’m not being “cheeky” at all. I want to know where your fellow writers stand on this.

    You said, “many here who support his position would be taking a position 100% opposite of the position they are arguing now.”

    If that is true, that would make them hypocrites and disingenuous liars in my humble opinion and I would seriously consider not accessing this site anymore. (no loss, some might say!)

    So, ATW writers, front up!

  47. Matt,

    ““”My point was that if this was a story about an Orthodox jewish family declining to have their daughters participate in coed swimming then the author of the post and many here who support his position would be taking a position 100% opposite of the position they are arguing now.”

    Maybe they would, and maybe they wouldn’t, but you are just making an assumption for the sake of provoking an argument. No more, no less.

    That a Jewish family would not be likely to put themselves into such a situation is beside the point. It has never happened, so why assume it would cause the reaction you suggest?

    Whereas muslims will quite deliberately place themselves in provocative situations, – to prove some ‘not so obscure’ point. In other words they delight in causing an argument, and you ‘progressives’ are quite happy to oblige them with the most unlikely assumptions. You really are a bunch of experts in the art ‘what-if’, ‘maybe’ or ‘what-aboutery’.

  48. I TOLD you I was looking for info on Orthodox Jews in Switzerland to see if it gave any indication of whether they had SEPARATE schools or other arrangements,
    Instead I found that a Jewish lady Mrs Ruth Dreifuss had been President of Switzerland in 1999. Says a fair bit about Jewish integration into Switzerland.

    “Do you think any of my fellow ATW writers would side with me on this issue? I certainly don’t.”

    Truth is truth Mahons.
    If you or anyone else raises a fair point, then it has to be acknowledged as being true. You show me I’m wrong or hypocritical, I’ll acknowledge it.
    Hopefully we’re all looking to get a fair and rounded understanding on a whole range of issues.
    Not scoring points off one another.

  49. I see, Matt was replying to a commen by Mahons….whoever made the point, my counterpoint is still valid…

  50. Matt – Well I think disagreeing with people is not grounds for shutting oneself away, and i certainly don’t think that inconsistency means lying. That is a bit much.

    Agit8ed – By writers I ment those who post, not those who comment. Perhaps that is our miscommunication.

  51. Mahons –

    “And possibly Pete Moore if his anti-immigrant views didn’t trump his anti-statist views.”

    I find them in balance. However, in this case, I agree with you. In fact I think it’s outrageous that the parents have been ‘fined’ SFr1,400/$1,550 for non-compliance.

    I strongly urge them to flee Europe and head for the Middle East.

  52. Aileen –

    I suspect that the translation might be in error. Instead of “shame” try “modesty”. If so, it would be an admirable thing.

  53. Pete

    Look back. Mahons and I have already dealt with that. 🙂

    I don’t have a problem with a desire to instilled a sense of modesty, it would not be the abusive intent of shame. I think though that any parent would be mistaken to try and use the means described here as I think shame a more likely outcome.

    On the general point of the thread, On principle I think that if there is some measure imposed because not having it is to the detriment of children, then there should be no exceptions on religious grounds for any religon. In practice, I think that people on mass are often wrong about what is good for children and should keep their list very small. Also if it is permissible for exception on religious grounds then it should be permissible on any grounds. If something is not imperative for child welfare it should not be imposed and if it is, there should be no opt outs .

  54. “Well I think disagreeing with people is not grounds for shutting oneself away, and I certainly don’t think that inconsistency means lying.”

    I don’t agree! If it is the case that “the author of the post and many here who support his position would be taking a position 100% opposite of the position they are arguing now” because the family involved were Jewish then I would be disgusted actually.

    The fact that they are not rushing to defend themselves disturbs me (unless they are not following this thread).

    I’m sorry to go on but I am ” a dog with a bone” when I get into things!

  55. Mahons,
    I think the light is beginning to dawn, the light bulb to glimmer into life;
    but I would still say that we should not be afraid to point out each other’s inconsistencies, and explore why we feel one apparently identical situation differs or deserves different treatment, from the other.

  56. Matt,
    “I’m sorry to go on but I am ” a dog with a bone” when I get into things!”

    Me too!
    And what clouds the issue is that I can only think of two people who take seemingly unquestioning positions on opposite sides of the fence.
    Another one would be Noel who is reasoned in his arguments,
    Phantom always tries to see both sides.
    As does Colm in a very humorous way, and quite a few others.
    As I said to Mahons earlier, truth is truth; and sometimes we have to hold our hands up and admit we are inconsistent, or down right hypocritical or even deviously provocative (oops, my hand just went up!)
    That’s what I like about ATW. It forces me to reexamine my stance on issues I thought I had all worked out..

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