Swiss city fines Muslim parents over swimming classes
Officials in the Swiss city of Basel have fined five Muslim families for refusing to allow their daughters to attend compulsory swimming classes in school, Swiss news agency ATS reported Thursday.
The parents had refused on "religious grounds" to allow their daughters, all of whom were under 10, to take part in the mixed-gender classes, said Christoph Eymann, the head of city's education department.
In another case, the girl had taken holidays instead of swimming classes even though it was outside the regular school vacation period.
Eymann said Basel offers separate classes for children who have reached the age puberty, but that for younger children, mixed classes are justified, according to consultations with religious organisations.
Each parent has been fined 350 francs (260 euros, 335 dollars) per child.
If the offence is repeated, a new fine could be imposed.
© 2010 AFP