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August 17, 2009
Islamic dress code imposed at British public swimming pools
At first I thought it was the lack of coffee that was making me read something that wasn't there. Surely what they meant to say was that Muslim women in Great Britain would have the option of wearing their "burkini" - the Muslim head to toe swimwear.
But no - they really are going to require non-Muslim women to wear the thing too, as an incredulous Patrick Sawer of the Telegraph reports:
Under the rules, swimmers - including non-Muslims - are barred from entering the pool in normal swimming attire.
Instead they are told that they must comply with the "modest" code of dress required by Islamic custom, with women covered from the neck to the ankles and men, who swim separately, covered from the navel to the knees.
he phenomenon runs counter to developments in France, where last week a woman was evicted from a public pool for wearing a burkini - the headscarf, tunic and trouser outfit which allows Muslim women to preserve their modesty in the water. The 35-year-old, named only as Carole, is threatening legal action after she was told by pool officials in Emerainville, east of Paris, that she could not wear the outfit on hygiene grounds.
But across the UK municipal pools are holding swimming sessions specifically aimed at Muslims, in some case imposing strict dress codes.
Croydon council in south London runs separate one-and-a half-hour swimming sessions for Muslim men and women every Saturday and Sunday at Thornton Heath Leisure Centre.
Swimmers were told last week on the centre's website that "during special Muslim sessions male costumes must cover the body from the navel to the knee and females must be covered from the neck to the ankles and wrists".
There are similar rules at Scunthorpe Leisure Centre, in North Lincolnshire, where "users must follow the required dress code for this session (T-shirts and shorts/leggings that cover below the knee)".
Glasgow, Oxford - all across England, municipal pools are bowing to the wishes of Muslims to cover up that bare skin.
Many politicians decry the action - not as a loss of freedom but as a threat to social "cohesion." They better get used to it. After all, it is the non-Muslim population that is being asked to assimilate into the Muslim community - not the other way around.
So cover up, Brits. All in the name of "social cohesion," of course.