Yesterday, the bodybag-clad women and their supporters were fined. Today, two public swimming pools in southeast France have shut down after Muslim women disobey the law banning the wearing of full-body Islamic “burkini” swimsuits.
Al-jazeera Comparing themselves to Rosa Parks, an American black woman who refused to sit in the back of the bus in the 1950’s, seven burkini-clad women, accompanied by far left activists from the Alliance Citoyenne rights group, went to the Grenoble pools on Sunday demanding the right to swim – despite a municipal ban on the swimwear worn by Muslim women. They said the ban was discrimination.
The women want the public pools, which currently require men to wear swim briefs and women to wear bikinis or one-piece swimsuits, to change their regulations to accommodate burkini wearers. Eric Ciotti, a member of parliament of the right-wing Republican Party, said on Twitter the burkini “has no place in France where women are equal to men.”
The lifeguards at the pools asked for the shutdown on Wednesday because “they are there to maintain safety and they can’t do that when they have to worry about the crowds,” not to mention the unsanitary conditions, generated by the controversial swimsuits.
France – the country with Europe’s largest Muslim population – was the first European country to ban the full veil in public spaces in 2011.