Thursday, August 13, 2009

French pool bars Muslim woman for 'burquini' suit

PARIS – A Muslim woman garbed in a head-to-toe swimsuit — dubbed a "burquini" — may have opened a new chapter in France's tussle between religious practices and its stern secular code.

Officials insisted Wednesday they banned the woman's use of the Islam-friendly suit at a local pool because of France's pool hygiene standards — not out of hostility to overtly Muslim garb.

Under the policy, swimmers are not allowed in pools with baggy clothing, including surfer-style shorts. Only figure-hugging suits are permitted.

Nonetheless the woman, a 35-year-old convert to Islam identified only as Carole, complained of religious discrimination after trying to go swimming in a "burquini," a full-body swimsuit, in the town of Emerainville, southeast of Paris.

She was quoted as telling the daily Le Parisien newspaper that she had bought the burquini after deciding "it would allow me the pleasure of bathing without showing too much of myself, as Islam recommends."

"For me this is nothing but segregation," she said.

The issue of religious attire is a hot topic in France, where head-to-toe burqas or other full-body coverings worn by some Muslim fundamentalists are in official disfavor.

France is home to western Europe's largest Muslim population, estimated at 5 million, and Islam is the nation's second religion after Roman Catholicism.

A 2004 law banning the wearing of Muslim head scarves at public schools sparked fierce debate. That legislation also banned Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses in public classrooms.

French lawmakers recently revived the issue of Muslim dress with a proposal that the burqa and other voluminous Muslim attire be banned.

President Nicolas Sarkozy, a conservative, backs the move, saying such garb makes women prisoners. For more read here.


  1. YUP made me so mad I had to blog about it too

  2. This is so sad and it's clearly discrimination.

  3. I don't really know if it's really discrimination but I don't understand why she goes to the pool cause pool even if she is covered, people around her are not, and they are also mens!! and it's not allowed in our religion to be in such a place. I think she should not go there...

  4. Ms.Mango: I gotta see what U posted Insha Allah ;)

    Hijabee: Yeah I guess so :(

    Malizea: Yeah U r right there ...


You are welcom to add your views, but please be careful, because any comments which are offensive will be deleted. Thank You.