Banning the Burqini

AP Photo/Chris Carlson, Files

AP Photo/Chris Carlson, Files

The official reason was strict public health standards:

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.

See more of our discussions of the burqa:

France Considers Banning Burqas in Public and I Consider Haidt on Pluralism

Playing Sarkozy’s Advocate

The Burqa Debate In Britain

Pat Condell Excoriates The Left For Not Standing Up To Islamism

A Muslim Woman Against the Burqa

Towards A “Non-Moral” Standard Of Ethical Evaluation

Further Towards A “Non-Moral” Standard Of Ethical Evaluation

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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