Change is in the air. Nations of the west have tried to accommodate Muslims into their societies with the oft-stated belief that if we are nice Muslims will assimilate. The failure of such a policy is, by now, obvious to anyone other than the most died-in-the-wool progressives.
A federal court in Switzerland recently handed down a ruling that gender segregation based on religious beliefs would not be allowed in that nation.
Turkish Muslim parents of school-age children had brought a lawsuit in the Swiss court system with the claim that by requiring girls and boys to take swimming lessons together, Swiss public schools were violating their religious rights.
By dismissing the case, the Swiss court made clear that the rules in Swiss public schools apply to all children who attend them, regardless of religious beliefs. There will be no special exceptions. Folks from other cultures will be required to assimilate to Switzerland, not the other way around.
The lawsuit had originally been brought in 2008, and was rejected. The Muslim parents appealed, and the appeal was dismissed in 2012. Then yesterday, with the appeal making it up to the European Court of Human Rights, the family’s case was, once again firmly rejected.
The court held that, while there had been freedom of religion “interference,” the “special role” of the school system in integrating children of foreign origin was of higher importance.
The BBC reported that the court held that “Accordingly, the children’s interest in a full education, thus facilitating their successful social integration according to local customs and mores, prevailed over the parents’ wish to have their children exempted from mixed swimming lessons.”
The local Swiss education board stated: “The public interest with respect to equality between men and women and the integration of foreigners significantly outweighs students’ freedom of conscience (freedom of religion).”
Western Europe has been extremely welcoming to followers of Islam. Most Europeans firmly believe in the value of diversity, including diversity of religious beliefs. The problem that more and more Europeans are realizing is that those beliefs are not shared by all cultures. In fact, migrants to Europe from Muslim societies often bring a desire to receive the benefits of living in Europe while in no way assimilating to the European nations that have welcomed and embraced them.
Switzerland has made clear that there will be one set of rules that apply to all within its’ borders. This is not ‘Islamophobia’ or ‘racism.’ Hopefully, other nations of Europe will take note of this landmark legal decision.