The rise and fall of the Burqini in France

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© Frans Persoon flickr
Enjoying a water slide in a Burqini.

WHEN a group in Marseilles arranged for a waterpark to devote just one day to women who wanted to enjoy the water without displaying their bodies they probably thought that this was a rather nice way of helping Muslim women to visit the park and to experience the community.

What seemed to be a simple arrangement has sparked controversy as various groups and political leaders are up in arms as they consider that the wearing of the playfully named ‘Burqini’ is an affront to the Republic’s secular values, especially as France has banned the wearing of the full face Muslim veil.

According to the ‘rules’ surrounding this day, women attending the event “must be covered from the chest to the knees” and only boys under the age of 10 are allowed to join in as all men are banned, although there is no mention of the sex of lifeguards in attendance.

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Different people have very different views, but according to the BBC, Stephane Ravier, a mayor for two Marseille districts from the Front National said “This Islamist day demonstrates that, outside of the comforting words of Muslim authorities, a certain number of Muslims are deciding among themselves to break away from our Republican model and put themselves outside our society.”

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