Culture wars: German court rules Muslim schoolgirls must swim with boys

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Protests in Germany over integration.

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. 

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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. 

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