Spain wades into burkini ban debate

Burkini swimwear

FOLLOWING the decision by several French beach resorts to ban the burkini –  an Islamic swimsuit that leaves only the face, hands and feet uncovered – Spain has waded into the cultural debate as a Girona waterpark issues a ban on the garb for safety reasons.

The ban puts the waterpark’s administration at odds with the Barcelona government, which has categorically said it will put no such ban in place, with deputy mayor Gerardo Pisarello arguing that women should have the right to dress as they please.

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“Our main concern is that women can dress and swim as they like, that they have the freedom to do so,” he said in response to growing French intolerance of the controversial swimwear, which peaked this week as Nice became the largest local authority yet to issue a blanket ban.

New legislation in the southern French city refers to the horrendous Bastille Day attack in July, which saw 86 people killed by an Islamic extremist, forbidding clothing that: “overtly manifests adherence to a religion at a time when France and places of worship are the target of terrorist attacks”

The city’s deputy mayor has written that “hiding the face or wearing a full-body costume to go to the beach is not in keeping with our ideal of social relations”, while prime minister Manuel Valls has said the burkini is “not compatible with the values of France” and “founded on the subjugation of women”.

Maribel Lopez, director of the Girona waterpark, has taken a more tactful approach, comparing the attire to other banned items, including baggy t-shirts and other loose clothing. However, as individual authorities are vested with the power to determine which clothing is permitted, the burkini debate looks set to draw more attention in Spain, especially in Catalonia, home to the country’s largest Muslim population.


  1. I really don’t see why there should be a problem with burkinis as long as there was no front facial cover, if someone went for a swim in jeans, shirt and scull cap no one would get hot under the collar although it might draw some looks! I do feel that Burkas should be banned as a persons face should not be covered but whats the big deal with burkinis?
    In all honesty I think they look awful but that is probably the desired affect lol

  2. I’m not quite old enough to recall but weren’t our western ladies wearing something similar 100 years ago?
    At least it can clearly be seen that there is a woman inside a burkini and they are not concealing anything dangerous.
    Unlike other flowing clothing, which can hide suicide vests and even men can hide underneath the cloth.
    And Annie is absolutely correct. It is the ancient attitude of men that needs to change.
    Once western women were emancipated they soon learned to do as they pleased. All power to them.
    Politicians have always picked on soft targets to legislate against, in the hope of winning a few extra votes, They need to concentrate on eliminating FGM,
    honour killing, multiple marriage and child brides. All happening in the west today. !!! Women will appreciate that result infinitely more than telling them what swim wear is appropriate.

    Sincerely Leo

  3. I agree completely with Annie – remember the guy in uk who escaped and got out of the country wearing his sisters Burka – anyone with the least bit of commonsense could see it was a man’s feet at the bottom- not security though and he got away and no more info
    I think you should wear what you want as long as it is

  4. When people say “its mens attitude that needs to change” I always get the feeling it is people blaming western cultured mens thoughts! The men whose attitude that needs to change that people refer to are of a people whose culture is not British, Spanish or European and so are not created here but it is the wearing of the garments and attitudes here that are being talked about… so I always wonder how saying we need to change mens attitudes in situations like this makes any sense when the attitudes these men have actually come from religions and culture in other countries and not from ours! That attitude we of course cannot change or even hope to, it is their culture that needs to change their mens attitudes!

    The best way of reacting to these “mens attitudes” that are mainly from other cultures and are being referred to in our country, in Europe or any other country where they are not part of the culture is to not allow them to happen in the first place, in other words we European countries should ban burcas and niqas or any other garment that covers a civilians face!

  5. It is true what you say Mike in ESP… The very basic problem is the culture.. NOT the RACE. There is nothing racial about it, any race or nationality can adopt Islam as a culture.
    But who organises and CONTROLS this culture…
    Please don’t tell me that women have any say in it. I won’t believe you. It is all down to the masculine gender in their never ending thirst for control and power. It is in the hands of the MALE Clerics.
    We have similar arrangements in the west but here the instigators with the thirst for power are called politicians. Aided and abetted by industrialists.

  6. I haven’t said women have any say in it although it too is installed in their culture and many of them ware these garments to please themselves even though the need to do so may have been installed in them by men. Nor have I mentioned race so not sure why you have brought this up unless as a passing comment only but as I have said the only thing we can do to suppress this “male enforced” behaviour is to ban those garments and processes that do not fit into our culture so that means suppress them in our countries, doesn’t matter if the people that believe in them like that or not, that includes Burkas, sharia law, polygyny and female genital mutation for example but UK law needs to clearly back that up so their is no doubt or fear installed in anyone politician, police or otherwise to actually pull out and stop these and they need to do that.

  7. You are right in what you say Mike, Islam is totally dominated by males.
    The only effective method for western countries is to insist they live by, and respect OUR culture. We do not wish to change their religion, but burka’s and burkini’s will not be allowed here. If they cannot accept this then they should leave and go somewhere else.

  8. Hi Roy,
    I think that the majority of women chose deliberately to wear like this just like a provocation or for solidarity with their community even if before they use to be dressed like Europeans.We also not have to forget that these women will assume the education of their children nearly in all the cases and if in many schools of France the most common name is Mohamed, France will be Islamized very quick and the french culture will be just a souvenir. About the Burkini, this afternoon the french government canceled the right to mayors. Here is an article about:


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