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France: Muslim women defy rules and step in “burkinis” into a municipal swimming pool 

Written by FDM

Muslim women in Grenoble, France protested on Friday, May 17, against the internal regulations of the municipal swimming pools that they consider “discriminatory”.

A dozen Muslim women supported by the collective Alliance citoyenne entered a swimming pool in the city of Grenoble (south-east of France), on Friday, May 17, dressed in “burkinis”, which is considered to be against internal regulations.

“We are tired of the discriminatory rules of these swimming pools (…) that impose a typical swimsuit,” Taous Hammouti, one of the activists, told Dauphiné Libéré. For her, covering bathing suits do not violate the hygiene conditions or the safety conditions provided for by the internal regulations of these swimming pools. “We defend our freedom, the freedom of all women. Some women are modest and do not want to wear a two-piece bikini,” she said, adding that it’s not just about” religious conviction”.

[ Rosa Parks a la piscine / Droits Civiques des femmes Musulmanes ]A Grenoble, les femmes musulmanes membres de l'…

Publiée par Alliance Citoyenne de l'Agglomération Grenobloise sur Vendredi 17 mai 2019

According to the rules of the swimming pool, the only bathing suit allowed is the one or two-piece swimsuit which covers “at least the part located between the upper thighs and the belt and at most the part located above the knees and above elbows “.

Prior to their operation in the pool of Grenoble, the group had launched a petition asking for the modification of the regulation of swimming pools, says Libération. The collective had collected nearly 400 signatures and obtained an appointment with the municipal services last September, but without success.

They, therefore, took action on Friday, causing mixed reactions. On the spot, the director of the establishment and the staff of the swimming pool “tried to repress them”, reports the local media Place Gren’et . But the mayor of the city, who was previously aware of the protest, has decided to “do not send the police”.

According to  Alliance citoyenne, the mayor of Grenoble has proposed an appointment on Monday, May 20 with the collective that demands “the change of municipal by-laws to allow thousands of veiled Muslim women to be able to bathe in public pools “.

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