The Swiss government recently rejected citizenship for two Muslim immigrant girls who refused to swim with boys in a coed class at school, USA Today said Tuesday, citing reports from Swiss media outlets.
“The girls, whose names were not disclosed, said their religion prevents them from participating in compulsory swimming lessons with males in the pool at the same time,” USA Today reported. “Their naturalization application was rejected because the sisters did not comply with the school curriculum, Basel authorities said.”
“In Switzerland, unlike in the United States and many other countries, integration into society is more important for naturalization than knowledge of national history or politics,” USA Today explained. “Candidates for citizenship must prove that they are well assimilated in their communities and respect local customs and traditions.”
Roughly 5 percent of Swiss citizens are Muslim, while more than 70 percent are Christian and 21.4 percent profess no religious affiliation, according to the CIA’s World Factbook.
While the Swiss constitution guarantees “[f]reedom of religion and conscience” and the right to “choose” and “profess” one’s religious or philosophical views “alone or in community with others,” in recent years the Swiss have sought to promote cultural assimilation among Muslim immigrants via legislative means.
In November 2015, voters in the canton of Ticino approved a nationwide ban on burqa, a full-body garment worn by some Muslim women. The Swiss People’s Party is circulating petitions to put a national burqa ban up for a vote, Breitbart London reported in March.
In 2009, Swiss voters approved a ban on minarets at the nation’s mosques. Two years later, the European Court of Human Rights rejected lawsuits complaining the ban was an infringement on freedom of religion. The same court rejected a challenge to France’s national burqa ban in 2014.