A Swiss court ruling against exempting Muslim students from compulsory, mixed swimming classes has sparked a hot debate over respecting the religious beliefs of minorities.

"Muslim students in Europe should be granted the right to take swimming lessons that fit their religious beliefs," Chakib Benmakhlouf, head of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), told IslamOnline.net.

"Some Western countries violate the principles of freedom by laws and court rulings that transgress on the rights of their minorities."

A Swiss court turned down on Friday, October 24, a request by a Swiss Muslim father to exempt his two sons from attending mixed swimming classes.

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