‘Respect our customs’ falls on deaf ears when ‘unhygienic’ Muslim women are told to stop going swimming while fully clothed at the beach.
REMIX News The mayor of a seaside town in northern Italy has criticized the “unacceptable” practice of Muslims women bathing in full Islamic dress at beaches popular with tourists in the area, claiming such behavior is both bad etiquette and unhygienic.
In an open letter to local Muslims, Anna Maria Cisint, the mayor of Monfalcone, which is situated on the Gulf of Trieste, said those visiting the town’s beaches and swimming in the sea should be respectful of Italian customs and not negatively affect the experience of other beach-goers.
“Whoever comes from different realities from ours has the obligation to respect the rules and customs that are in force in the Italian and local context,” wrote Cisint, who is a member of Matteo Salvini’s Lega party. She added that the wearing of face veils and swimming in full Islamic dress was extending “practices of dubious value from the point of view of decorum and hygiene.”
“Those who go to these places, the practice of accessing the beach and the water with clothing other than swimsuits must cease,” the mayor stated, affirming that she intended to enforce this order with “a specific provision to protect the general interest of the city and our fellow citizens.”
In the midst of an unprecedented heat wave and record scorching temperatures, many Italian residents are flocking to the beaches and cooling off in the sea, and many Muslim women have been seen bathing themselves while still in Islamic attire such as burkas and full-body garments.
The wearing of burkas is a particular sticking point for the Monfalcone mayor, who stated in her open letter that it “prevents any identification and is evocative of a fundamentalist view, which is also part of the desire to disregard the rules and norms of (non-Muslim) countries.”
She highlighted the large contingent of Muslims originating from Bangladesh, who constitute “the most numerous presence among foreigners residing in the city.”