Muslim Women in France Cause Controversy With Upcoming ‘Burkini Pool Party’


*Women from Smile 13, a Muslim Association based in Marseille, France, are causing quite a stir because they want to host a private gender-specific event in Les Pennes-Mirabeau and have rented out the Speedwater Park Aquatic Center for a Burkini Pool Party. The women, who are asking all who attend to respect the “awrah” (Islamic translation: parts of the body that are considered not permissible to show in public ‘for modesty’), appear to be piggybacking on an event that Muslim men hosted in Luton, London on July 29th with no problems. Yet, the mayor and other lawmakers in the city where this event is set to take place is trying to block it.

There is a large Muslim population in the city of Marseille, and Smile 13 has block-ordered Burkinis on their Facebook page, which advises the body be covered “from chest to knees…the minimum is a one-piece suit with short-shorts or sarong”.

Though the event is for women only, many of these women are undoubtedly mothers, which is probably why boys up to 10 years old will also be allowed to swim.

But unlike the Luton event, where the men had their day-only “cultural event” without disturbance, lawmakers are claiming the Burkini pool party would be “an affront to French values, the Republic, and gender equality.”

Just sounds like they want an invitation to me.

Valérie Boyer, Member of the National Assembly (the lower house of Parliament) for Bouches-du-Rhône, sees the segregated swim as “a social confinement” and states,

“This type of event is not going in the direction of the laws of the Republic of gender equality. What shocks me is that we say to women they need they cover themselves, otherwise they are shameless.

Stephane Ravier, mayor of the 13th and 14th boroughs of Marseille, said: “This ‘Islamic Day’ demonstrates that a number of Muslims voluntarily cut themselves off from our Republican model.”

And Mr. Amiel, mayor of Pennes-Mirabeau, said: “I’ll propose a bylaw prohibiting [the event] on the grounds that it is likely to disturb public order.

“This is a provocation which is not needed in the current context.”

I fear to ask what exactly they will be provoking, sir. And if it has any connection with what is in your pants.

I’m bad. I know.

Smile 13 is a cultural association that offers sports and self-help services to assist women and children.

In the meantime, the association is quite surprised by the controversy, and Smile 13 Treasurer, Melisa Thivet states in La Parisienne, “We’re in a falsely free country. Some women can not swim in this park normally because they have religious or personal beliefs and do not want to undress in front of some people.”

It seems that since the event is only one-day, and the facility does rent out to private parties, there should be no problem. But as per usual, there are those who will use their power to discriminate by any means necessary.

What do you think of this issue, readers? Should this one-day event be banned?

We will keep you posted on how it all pans out.

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