PARIS — A Muslim woman who tried to go swimming in a head-to-toe “burquini” has been banned from her local pool in the latest tussle between religious practices and secular authority in France.
Officials on Wednesday insisted they banned the woman’s use of the Islam-friendly swimsuit because of France’s unusually strict hygiene standards in pools — not because of official hostility to wearing overtly Muslim garb.
Under the policy, swimmers are prevented from wearing any street-compatible or baggy clothing, such as Bermuda shorts, in favor of figure-hugging suits.
The woman, a 35-year-old convert to Islam identified only as Carole, complained of religious discrimination after trying to go swimming in her burquini in the Paris suburb of Emerainville.
She was quoted as telling the daily Le Parisien newspaper that she had bought the burquini after deciding “it would allow me the pleasure of bathing without showing too much of myself, as Islam recommends.”
“For me this is nothing but segregation,” she added.