A public swimming pool in Germany has banned women from wearing ‘burquinis’ or modest swimwear worn by some Muslim women, it has been reported.
The ban was introduced after a woman in Neutraubling attended a women-only swimming day wearing one of the swimming costumes. According to The Local, other women complained about the woman’s attire and town officials decided to ban the garment on the grounds it is ‘non-typical swimwear’.
The swimming costumes cover the torso, arms and legs and are worn by some Muslim women wishing to swim while covering most of their body.
Town mayor Heinz Kiechle reportedly said of the decision: “Why the burqini as a full-body suit would be necessary to wear during a women’s swim day is for me incomprehensible. This also contradicts the fundamental ideas of integration and mutual understanding, which is always being discussed in many towns.”
Local media has said the woman has not returned to the pool since the ban was introduced.
The council’s decision has provoked backlash throughout Germany, with campaigners arguing it is a restriction on personal choice and self-expression. In a statement, the Green Youth party denounced it as “a blow to humanity and tolerance.”
Germany has the second largest Muslim population of any European country, with an estimated four million Muslim inhabitants amounting to five per cent of the country’s total population.
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