French Muslim woman banned from swimming in her burkini
A Muslim woman has been banned from wearing a ‘burkini’ in a swimming pool in the small French town of Emerainville, near Paris.
According to reports in The Telegraph, the woman, named only as Carole, 35, bought the three-piece swimsuit in Dubai. Consisting of a headscarf, tunic and trousers, the ‘burkini’ is a cross between a burka and a bikini. It allows Muslim women to swim without revealing their bodies.
The rules of public pools in France state that clothing is forbidden while swimming, for hygiene reasons.
President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government is currently considering a ban on all Islamic clothing, such as the burka or niqab. In 2004, students across France were banned from wearing religious headscarves.
Yannick Decompois, the district swimming pools director, denies allegations that Carole’s case is a religious issue. ‘This has nothing to do with secularism, but is a simply a hygiene problem. For the same reasons men are also banned from wearing shorts,’ he said.
However, Carol, who converted to Islam aged 17, believes it is a political issue and accused the pool officials of illegal discrimination. She claimed: ‘For me, it’s segregation and I am going to fight to try and change things.’