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Islamophobia: France cancels ‘burkini pool day’

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Paris: As Islamic dress has been a subject of fierce debate in recent years in France, “burkini-day” has prompted outrage from some quarters, in a country. The waterpark officials and French authorities has cancelled plans to host a one-day private event for Muslim women wearing burkinis, full-body swimsuits.

The event was scheduled to take place at Speed Water Park on Saturday, September 10, it stipulate that those attending “must be covered from the chest to the knees”.

The officials said on Tuesday that the decision to cancel the September 10 event was taken to preserve public order following outrage and debate sparked over the plan.

The statement said. “Neither Speedwater Park nor the town of Pennes-Mirabeau (a Marseille suburb) wish to be the site of public disorder,” they said in a joint statement.

“Extreme ideological positions are taking advantage of the controversy over this event to address conflicts in which Speedwater Park and the city of Pennes-Mirabeau do not wish to be involved.”

The association said on its Facebook page it was “stunned and saddened” by the extent of the controversy. It also added that it had received threats, including bullets sent to it in the mail.

Mayor Valerie Boyer blasted the modesty rules as going against France’s secular values and meaning ‘we accept communalism in our country’.

Smile 13 the group that organised the event, was set up to “encourage women to join in with the community”.

In April 2011 the French government brought in a total public ban on full-face veils, with President Nicolas Sarkozy saying they were “not welcome”. Women who break the ban can be subjected to 150 euro fines and instructions in citizenship. Anyone who forces a woman to cover her face risks a 30,000 euro fine.

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