Islam, modesty and mixed bathing: Osmanoğlu

In Osmanoğlu and Kocabaş v Switzerland [2017] ECHR 14, the applicants were Muslim parents who had refused to allow their daughters to take part in compulsory school swimming lessons because they regarded mixed bathing as contrary to their religious beliefs. They were told by the Public Education Department of the Canton of Basle Urban that they would be fined if their daughters did not attend the compulsory lessons because the girls had not yet reached the age of puberty and could not, therefore, claim exemption under the legislation.

In 2010 they were duly fined for acting in breach of their parental duty and their subsequent appeals against the penalty were unsuccessful. Continue reading