Woman in 'burkini' banned from pool

Aug. 12, 2009 at 7:55 PM

EMERAINVILLE, France, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- A Muslim French woman was banned from wearing a "burkini" in a public pool in Emerainville, near Paris, for hygienic reasons, officials said.

The Daily Mail reported Wednesday that the woman, a 35-year-old convert to Islam identified only as Carole, bought a season's pass to the pool for herself and her children, but was asked to leave after attending several times.

The newspaper said the burkini, purchased in Dubai, was designed for women who subscribe to Islam's modesty recommendations. It is comprised of a head covering, leggings, and a long-sleeved tunic.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said burkas should be banned.

"This hasn't anything to do with segregation. It's simply a hygiene problem," said Yannick Decompois, swimming pools director for the Marne-la-Vallee area where Emerainville is located. "We also ban people wearing shorts in pools -- it's the same thing."

Carole says she feels discriminated against and will take up the matter with anti-racism groups. If she doesn't prevail, she will leave the country, the newspaper reported.

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