IN what could well be a defining case for European integration, a Muslim girl in Germany has lost her court battle for the night not to take part in mixed-sex swimming classes at school.
The 11-year-old, or more accurately her family, had steadfastly refused to participate in the classes, claiming that it breached her faith, of which she is an ultra-conservative adherent.
A Karlsruhe constitutionalcourt ruled against her, rejecting the parents argument that wearing ‘burkini’ or Islamic swimsuit was offensive to their conception of decency.
The case comes amid an extremely trying time for Germany’s multicultural project. With the country having taken in more than a million Muslim refugees there is intense public debate over how much public institutions should bend to their religious and cultural norms.
With the court ruling those in favour of a zero-tolerance approach to Islamic exceptionalism are galvanised ahead of the next major legal challenge – the banning of full face veils in the public arena.