Planned 'Burqini Day' sparks outrage in France

2016-08-04 18:28
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Marseille - Plans for a water park in Marseille to set aside a day just for Muslim women wearing burqinis - full-body swimsuits - sparked outrage in secular France on Thursday.

The "Pool Day" set for September 10 at the southern city's Speed Water Parc smacks of "dyed-in-the-wool communalism", said Florian Philippot, a top advisor to far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

The event is the brainchild of Smile 13, a women's association in the port city, whose population of nearly two million includes around 220 000 Muslims, mainly of Algerian origin.

"This sort of event should be banned," Philippot said, warning of a "risk of public disorder".

Criticism also came from the left, with Senator Michel Amiel - who is mayor of the northern suburb, Les Pennes Mirabeau, where the water park is located - saying he would seek a ban.

"I am shocked and angry. I see this event as a provocation that we don't need in the current climate," he told the daily Aujourd'hui in the wake of two jihadist attacks that rocked France last month.

Valerie Boyer of the right-wing Republicans party said, for her part: "There is nothing anodyne about this. The battle of the veil is the visible expression of fundamentalists' wish to mark their territory."

She said it was a way for "Islamism to wear a uniform and exert real social control".

Muslim dress is a hot-button issue in France, where the full-face veil is banned in public places.

The appearance of high-fashion burqinis and hajib headscarves by designers targeting the Muslim market prompted France's women's rights minister, Laurence Rossignol, to accuse them of encouraging the "imprisonment of women's bodies".

National Front Senator Stephane Ravier said the planned burqini day showed that despite assurances from the Muslim community following the terror attacks, "a certain number of Muslims voluntarily set themselves apart from... our society".

Socialist politician Stephane Mari worried that the event would draw intensive media coverage.

If it goes ahead, it would "once again favour the party [that promotes] the values of hatred and exclusion", he said in a reference to the xenophobic National Front.

Neither the water park nor Smile 13 could be reached for comment.

Read more on:    france

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/World

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.