Two Muslim girls’ naturalization requests were denied by Swiss authorities after they refused to participate in school swimming lessons with boys.
The 12- and 14-year-old girls, who live in Basel and have not been named, say their religion forbids them from the activity. Since the lessons were a part of school curriculum, officials saw them in violation of requirements for citizenship. “Whoever doesn’t fulfill these conditions violates the law and therefore cannot be naturalized,” the president of the naturalization committee told a TV station, USA Today reports.
Swiss rules privilege assimilation, and it’s not uncommon for citizenship to be denied for a lack of integration. One family from Kosovo was denied citizenship for wearing sweatpants around town and failing to greet their neighbors. Another family’s application was suspended when two boys refused to shake hands with their female teachers, a common practice in Swiss schools.