world

French pool bars Muslim woman for 'burquini' suit

65 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

65 Comments
Login to comment

It would be good to have a photo of the type of burquini in question, because many readers probably aren't familiar with them. Might avoid some needless controversy.

Personally, I think maybe the regulations need looking at to see if this can be accomodated. I remember we used to be told to wear caps to stop hair clogging up pool filters. Doesn't seem to be an issue now. In Japan you're not allowed to use sun cream at outdoor pools, for the same reason, but there would be a public outcry if that was enforced in many countries. I see lots of women with two layers on in Japan (shorts over swimsuit) and it's considered normal. Likewise, not sure how much bacteria are likely to be in a burquini that aren't in a swimsuit. Maybe they just need to install power showers to ensure that the costume is properly rinsed before bathers go into the water. Comes down to flexibility, surely.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

she did not walk into this pool surprised. She knew well what was going to happen. Seems to be an attention getter. I applaud the pool's decision on this, since it is a public pool. This is very similar to the football coach in the US getting fired for saying a prayer/grace during a pregame meal.

There is no room for religion at public owned facilities.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Carole the 35 year old convert to Islam has made a fool of herself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't really like the French view concerning religious garments, but yes, the rules were posted, and one could infer that safety might at least be one of the issues.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"only figure-hugging suits are permitted"

This is a good rule.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

'“These clothes are used in public, so they can contain molecules, viruses, et cetera, which will go in the water and could be transmitted to other bathers,” Guillaume said in a telephone interview.'

Everything contains molecules, dimwit. As for bacteria, if a Frenchman hasn't bathed for a few days before donning his speedo, would there not be more bacteria, even after the little sprinkle at the public showers?

PLEASE! This isn't about bacteria, or there would be no public pools whatsoever -- they're bacteria traps in themselves. That being said, the woman broke the rules. Now, if people are asking if it's the rules that are unjust, THAT is something work discussing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Look. If you want to wear the burqa as an expression of your religious devotion, fine. (Though I doubt the Prophet, peace be upon him, ever meant for women to go swimming in public - 'burquini' or no.) But you must understand that in some situations it will be impractical to do so. You must either avoid such situations or remove the burqa. This is how it is. It has nothing to do with descrimination.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Meh. I have googled this "burquini". It is essentially like wearing a sweatsuit into a pool. A bit silly, but workable I suppose. I still think it is stupid to expect everyone to bend over backwards to accomodate your religious practices, especially if those practices are extreme.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe she's going for a Darwin. Imagine swimming in that thing and sinking to the bottom. I think the pool did the right thing banning such a garment that could introduce dirt into the pool.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sometimes I wish I would have such a swimming suit that covers the body completely. It allows to swim without attracting attention of ojisans and idiots. And it covers areas that I am ashamed to show because of fat. also with a normal swimming suit there is a danger that it can be carried away by a wave or it can fall apart by itself. But many professional swimmers wear a full body swimming suits with a hood, how it is different? Michael Phelps for example wears such a suit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"only figure-hugging suits are permitted" This is a good rule.

this is a good rule when the men for example have well formed muscles and greatly shaped body, but...let us face the truth most men would not bother to go to the gym to shape so no thanks...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now, if people are asking if it's the rules that are unjust, THAT is something work discussing." BA forced a flight attendent to remove her cross A Texas school is locking two teachers up for saying grace before a meal A teacher was locked up for a bit because her students, not her, named a Teddy bear Mohamad Prayer has been removed from US schools The Ten commandments were removed from a court house.

The rules are the rules, she was able to read them and for all we know may have been in support of it at one time or another. The rules are just and if you don't like them, it would be better to get a grass roots group going and bring it to your local politician. If that fails, and if you feel that tight about it, then take matters into your own hands.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

LoveUSA

But many professional swimmers wear a full body swimming suits with a hood, how it is different? Michael Phelps for example wears such a suit.

Those suits are extremely form fitting and are specifically designed to help a swimmer swim. To the contrary, this burquini is not form fitting as the rule requires and can only increase the chance of drowning. Apples and oranges at best.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wear a Bermuda shorts arrangement and look very cute. Why in this beautiful modern world of ours are people so scared of being, looking different? The burquini sounds awful but let her look awful. It's her problem. "Under the policy, swimmers are not allowed in pools with baggy clothing, including surfer-style shorts. Only figure-hugging suits are permitted." Liberté, égalité, fraternité where are you?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The rules that govern swimwear in France are long standing and have nothing to do with religion. This woman is trying to create an issue. She shouldn't. She ought to go swimming in the sea at a deserted beach.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She ought to go swimming in the sea at a deserted beach.

Actually, she ought to go live in an Islamic country where she can wear her burkini and any other Muslim garb she wishes to wear. Problem solved.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually, she ought to go live in an Islamic country where she can wear her burkini and any other Muslim garb she wishes to wear. Problem solved." That is the best suggestion yet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

skip: "The rules are just and if you don't like them, it would be better to get a grass roots group going and bring it to your local politician."

The rules are just according to whom, exactly? You blathered on about some examples of extremism in the US as a supposed 'defense', but all it says to me is that there are a lot of nutbags.

As I said, she broke the rules and so she's gone. But I don't think the rule is just, and it seems there are a WHOLE lot of people who agree and have done the grass roots stuff you suggest, but the pool owners answer was to say that they burqinis 'have molecules'. That she was ejected from the grounds is not discriminatory. The rules for which she was ejected, however, are.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Helter: "Actually, she ought to go live in an Islamic country where she can wear her burkini and any other Muslim garb she wishes to wear. Problem solved."

That, or morons ought to take their heads out of their OWN bathingsuits, look around, and realize that the world is filled with a number of people with differing beliefs. Proclaiming any one of them, and that includes statements like, "go live in an Islamic country" when the woman has made France her home, is superior to and should be forced on others is completely wrong.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

skip: " That is the best suggestion yet."

Ah... the old anti-Muslim skip is starting to rear his ugly head again. Let me ask you this, having been born in a multi-cultural nation but having strong ties to your roots in Cuba; if you were honestly arguing a point you believed strongly in and then the person speaking to you simply said, ignorantly, "So go back to Cuba and try it!", how would you react? Would you say, "Best idea yet!" like with Helter's ignorant suggestion? I should hope not, and what's more I would hope you give that person a good talking to and make them realize that you are American and have a right to your opinion without discriminatory comments.

Hope that helps you see things a little better. You have a pretty nasty hang up on Islam, so I doubt it'll get the proper reaction, but still.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smith, for a religion such as the one she converted to that is filled with more discriminatory rules than any other, I guess you'd feel its ok for some supremacist with tats being allowed in the pool too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"So go back to Cuba and try it!"" With the way things are going in the US, I might as well. Let me ask you this, why, why in France, the UK and several other EU countries have built for exclusive use by one group, Muslims, pools that they can use, built and paid for by people which they will discriminate against? When was the last time you swam in such an exclusive pool? Why do you support such discrimination? Look, I don't try living in a place where I know the rules are against me and what I stand for, why should anyone else have the right to change the status quo just to satisfy one group?

Besides, if predictions are correct, France will become an Islamic country in something like 30 years. I'd like to see your posts then.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ah... the old anti-Muslim skip is starting to rear his ugly head again." Oh, so its ok to discriminate against other religions, you never hit me for that, but god forbid if I show any disdain for Islam.. you go off the deep end.

How can you call what I post as discrimination when I am posting against the most discriminatory religion in the world today? I've met voodoo priests who have more tolerance.

I hope you don't quit your day job and become a philosopher.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Every pool, I bet in France too, has it's own rules. Especially when it comes to hygiene. Now, France is not a Muslim country, so probably the rules in France are different from those in countries with Muslim religion. Everyone is allowed to convert to Islam, but that doesn't mean that suddenly the rules change for you. You still have to stick to the rules of the pool. Rules are rules. It's got nothing to do with religious discrimination.

"Skip: France will become an islamic country in something like 30 years."

No country in Europe will experience this in a million years!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People wear wetsuits too and nobody says anything. Some of those burquini designs are actually very pretty plus they protect you from the sun. I wonder what happened to the word 'tolerance'. People should be free to decide whether they want their body be seen or not be it out of religious belief or not. If burquinis can contain molecules, viruses, et cetera, which will go in the water and could be transmitted to other bathers,so can swimsuits.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Its salvation or swim - strict Islamic dress code doesn't allow for both without wearing this ridiculous contraption.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Foxie, I advice you to compare a wetsuit with a burquini (especially the fabric and the fit).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She has no legitimate claim, pure and simple. The article says the place bans people who try entering wearing baggy surfer shorts. Thus, it is a non-discriminatory policy. (Well, it discriminates against baggy clothing, but not against any particular group of people.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For all the times living in France has pissed me off, things like this just make me smile.

If you'aint happy, the bog off back to where you came from - or in this case - where you aspire to have come from.

Lacism is cool.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

France was one of the pioneers in accomodating immigrants from many parts of the world. And now, it has to deal with additional problems of accomodating the religious demands of the immigrants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not exactly in this case but there must be a rule which can be justified on the ground of public hygiene. If there is no rule and its free for all ,consider this : someone wear multi layer clothes into swimming pool, only outer clothe is clean , underneath are all dirty..yuk yuk.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It looks like a wetsuit to me. If this was the 1930s the burquini would be in style.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But Badsey.......the 1930s were more then 70 years ago. And if I may....it's not about style but about hygiene.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

burkini pic http://www.coscablog.it/articoli/2008/05/burquini.jpg

wetsuit pic http://canyoneeringusa.com/shop/images/T/hypercyclone32w.jpg

don't really see that much difference really.

Also, I wonder if all the posters who are protesting about the rules being changed would have been shouting so loud about changes to the rules to accomodate bikini wearers 40 or so years ago. They offended some people's religion back then. Or going back a bit further: in the 1920's, this was the gear: http://dallasvintageshop.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/09/im000590.JPG

Those who wanted to wear this: http://www.cmp.ucr.edu/exhibitions/ocean-view/essays/lothrop/swimsuit3.jpg

would also have had to fight to change the rules

The point being, ideas about modesty change, and not always in a single direction. Wanting to expose less is just as valid as wanting to expose more. What's the problem? Does it offend if you look at someone who dresses to different values?

The hygeine argument is just a red herring. I can't see why a rancid pair of unwashed trunks is any more hygeinic than a burkini. Anyway, it's easy enough to address the hygeine aspect by designing the shower entrance so people get properly washed. If pools don't want baggy clothes, they can specify stretch fabric.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“For me this is nothing but segregation,” she said.

I'd say she started it by segregating herself from others by doing this, knowing all too well what the lifeguards would say. Rules are applied to everyone. I feel for the men, though. Wearing tight speedos does nothing for the average western man - what with all those rolls of fat. Even photoshopping didn't help the French president.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

as the cow flies: Ok, that's a good point.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The pool authority was correct as long as those policies are applied across all users and not segregated for individuals. It's a shame she can't swim as she wants but she chose the outfit and religion, not everyone else using the pool, even if taxes paid for it. Having an established set of rules and abiding by them brings order and civility. Even animals have hierarchies that they exist by.

All our taxes pay for public parks and museums but most people abide by established regulations and don't urinate or defecate in them. Also, most people wouldn't wear skimpy/trashy clothes to a temple or church.

If you choose a religion that restricts what you wear and eat, or how often you must pray or how much money you have to tithe, then you accept those restrictions. If not then you work within the system to change them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think that going to a place (the pool in this case) and willingly break the place's rules, then cry discrimination is clearly a publicity stunt. If she were really concerned about the issue, she would raise a public campaign and go to the authorities. France is the last country where social campaigns would be blocked. Therefore, I think this woman deserves no sympathy. There was no such thing as discrimination against her, that is very obvious. She simply disrespected the rules to create a fuss and have her 15 minutes of fame.

On the other hand, I find this burquini outfit suspicious. Islam regulations try to hide female form, specifically curves and the shape of a woman's body. Recently, a woman in Sudan has been calling for international attention on Sudan decency laws - she was arrested for wearing trousers.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g2pg3n7WZPlmGI6nIp4Q2xjurESg

How much may the burquini be acceptable in Islam? It will get wet and stick to the wearer's body. I suppose -some- liberal or moderate Islam countries could accept it (my guess). Would conservative Muslims -discriminate- her for wearing a burquini? That wouldn't exactly be discrimination against her for being Muslim now, would it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I just googled burquini to learn about its origins and apparently it has nothing to do with Muslim countries: it was designed in Australia by a Lebanese mother. I also found this interesting piece:

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2009/07/16/78914.html

A Norwegian woman tried the burquini in Egypt (a predominantly Muslim nation) and was banned from the pool. Isn't that interesting? She was then led to a pool for Muslim women which was secluded to provide privacy to the ladies, JUST LIKE ISLAMIC GYMS. She declared the secluded area was an -animals cage- and cried foul. Perhaps our Muslim lady in France got inspiration from her. Curiously, both women are Europeans. I looked in Internet to find examples of burquini use in Muslim countries and so far, I didn't find any.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not to appear insistent but there is no Edit button in this board, so I'll add a third post. I was reading comments in other places and a person made a very good point: Women in burquini would be swimming next to strangers in skimpy (according to Islam) bathing suits, including men unrelated to them. This is against Islamic modesty. He suggested special hours in pools for Muslim women only - like in certain gyms. I do not agree because it's segregation. However, I see his suggestion makes sense, from a Muslim point of view.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"However, I see his suggestion makes sense, from a Muslim point of view."

And in a muslim country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kudos to 'as the crow flies'. Thinking about it in a different perspective, aren't pools forcing us to wear bikinis/swimmingsuits? I am sure there are women out there who don't go to the pool because they don't want to expose themselves. Just think about those who were for example in an accident and are badly scarred or have burn marks. And it is not that women are coming from the street wearing the burquini and jumping (oops...against the rules too) into the pool. Our world is slowly turning into a dictatorship if it continues like that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is not discrimination, racial or religious. If she doesn't want to abide by the rules, designed to protect the health of the pool users, she should either build her own private pool for herself or move to a country where bathing in such outfits is normally accepted. Even easier, go swim in the ocean, just like the guys in the surfer shorts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even easier, go swim in the ocean,

This has already been suggested. But this is not what the burkini girls fight for. They are fighting for equality. They want to swim in the same pools their fellow citizens (of all races and religions) swim in, but, in attire of their own choosing. Do they really know the meaning of equality, I wonder.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

aren't pools forcing us to wear bikinis/swimmingsuits?

What do you mean? People should be able to swim in a public pool naked if they want to?

I am sure there are women out there who don't go to the pool because they don't want to expose themselves.

So don't go to the pool. I don't see the point.

Funny we never really hear of men complaining about these things. If there is a reason for embarrassment for a man to not go to a pool then they just don't go and don't start raising a fuss over it.

This story and complaint isn't even coming from someone born into the religion but from a convert. I still think if she didn't want to deal with other things associated with this belief then perhaps she shouldn't have converted in the first place.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The whole issues is rediculous. The pool policy stated no baggy clothes. These "burkini" are not form fitting so they don't conform to policy and the wearer either needs to change or go someplace else.

THIS is equality.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Always sad to read a story about some poor woman deluded into Islam. This story about a woman who converted to Islam, and protesting about the swimsuit she wants to wear being against policy. Well, I don't really have any sympathy for her. The rules are the rules. At least if they're being applied equally accross the board. That said, should this woman even be speaking in public? I mean, has her husband given her permission to speak?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The burquini is made out of swimsuit material. In the wet in will conform to the body more (like a wetsuit). I don't get the "ban the burquini" mentality.

=Are we gonna ban all wetsuits now? What will happen to the surfers?

What are the French looking for here? Must a swimsuit be skin-tight and ride up the crotch? -Most people don't even like clothes that tight and most don't look good in it either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Badsey, the article talks about public pools, not beaches. There are no surfers in pools.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They have surfer pools now. Even Japan has them. Tide (tidal) or wave pools that you can surf.

And what about scuba? -Should the burquini be banned for that. Windsurfing? Kayaking? Wakeboarding? Fishing? Water Polo? Competitive swimming? Diving? Water volleyball?

Should the burquini come with a manual and a list of countries and list of sports that are allowable in said country? Do you need to be a certain religion or ethnicity to don the burquini?

Alot of questions need to be answered about this new swimsuit!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Badsay - Here, we are talking about the municipal run public pool. They have their own rules. I guess it would be different in the amusment park swimming pools. They may be more tolerant. There are the pools where you go to swim, while there are the others where you can have fun.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it is always the Muslim who find it hard to comply them-self to the non-muslim rule and society, then cry out for human-right.

but when we look at the non-muslim's human right in the Muslim majority countries, things can go very difference!

didn't she read the rule before she made up her mind that she want to swim there? or she read it, she know it, but she still want to violate the rule so that she can get some more attention?

"if you are in Rome, you act like you're a Roman"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Badsey, some of the activities you mention take place in ocean or river and some in pools. If it's a public pool and it has established rules (not just added all of a sudden) then you either obey them or you don't go there.

When I ride horses I wear a riding helmet because of rules (and my own safety) but if someone didn't want to wear the helmet or wanted to have on a veil instead they'd refuse that person to ride and I agree with that. Period.

Either obey the rules like everyone else does or don't go to these places. I don't care what your religious or lifestyle belief is (however misguided it might be) but don't use that as an excuse to cause grief and trouble for others. Someone else mentioned early that she'd be swimming with males who are not her husband, brother, father, etc. so that would be a violation in and of itself. Or would she also want and complain that the pool should be only female for certain hours while she was there? Where does it end?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Where does it end? -Since this story has such great legs (believe it!) we must put an end to it in a non-descript way. Burqini is spelled wrong (probably because of it being trademarked)

So we end it with a spelling error.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually, after a bit of thinking about this issue, the woman is in the wrong. Although the rules should have been more specific as to why loose fitting clothing should not be worn while swimming. The biggest issue is loose clothing helps people drown, get their clothing snagged on something, retains more water thus making the swimmer heavier to carry should a lifeguard have to rescue them. Modesty vs personal safety. Ditch the loose burqini and just use a full body swimsuit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

http://www.ahiida.com/index.php?a=subcats&cat=20

For those who wanna know what's a ''burquini''

I'm so glad I don't have to wear it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Interesting contrast between Britain and France with regard to the use of public pools by people of differing religious beliefs: non-Muslims are requested to comply with Islamic dress requirements during segregated sessions for men and women.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/6034706/Swimmers-are-told-to-wear-burkinis.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Quite right too. Maybe she should go and live in an Islamic country for a few years to get a good idea of what discrimination actually means.

Or maybe she could just come to Japan and get the idea...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/slideshow/ALeqM5hvwB6i2kCMK-wBa0uPg1YdBh-ItAD9A1EM580?index=0

Baggy clothes aren't allowed because you can get sucked into a drain, it seems to happen once every summer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is why everybody should have their own pool :D

France has produced nothing more than whip weilding women, and they demand you strip. All of a sudden them frogs legs start to sound as bad as their name suggests, and Id guess its the Catholics cooking them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps someone has already posted this but the telegraph posted today and article regarding this "burkini" at this link:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100006651/how-the-west-was-lost-ctd-the-burkini/

It seems as though this author doesn't support burkini either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I do not think the "burquini suit" should be banned. It should be encouraged because of the protection from the sun's damaging effects.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Redeemed what about "any loose clothing can get snagged" have you ignored? People can drown easily that way. Sun-tan lotion and a full body suit are just as effective.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

LoveUSA

It allows to swim without attracting attention of ojisans and idiots. And it covers areas that I am ashamed to show because of fat.

It sounds like you unnecessarily worry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

France is causing trouvble foir itself with theselkaws and rules it keepos making.

KyotoChris are you the same person as OssanAmerica or Nigelboy or reelatd to them, as your language and arguments seem too similar to be coincidence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites