By Matthias Bartsch, Dietmar Hipp and Maximilian Popp
A German court will rule Wednesday whether Muslim girls can be exempted from co-ed swimming lessons, an issue that has sparked many disputes. The judges must decide what takes precedence: freedom of religion or the state’s obligation to educate all.
This Wednesday, the judges of Germany’s Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig, the country’s highest court for public and administrative disputes that don’t concern the constitution, will examine the case. According to the court, it is necessary “to clarify the conditions under which a pupil, based on his or her basic right to freedom of religion, can, on an individual basis, be exempted from the obligation to attend a school event.” The judges will have to make a fundamental decision between the individual’s constitutional right to freedom of religion and the state’s constitutional obligation to educate all children.