- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 4, 2016

The mayor of a town in southern France is outraged at a Muslim women’s group for planning a private pool party where modest swimwear will be required, the English-language French news site The Local reported Thursday.

The group, named Smile 13, advertised a Sept. 10 pool party at The Speed Water Park near Marseille which will be “exclusively for women and children, and for boys up to the age of 10.”

“We count on you to respect the AWRA (the body parts that must be covered according to Islamic law) and not come in a two-piece (the body must be covered from the chest to the knees),” The Local noted, translating from the original French. 

Although the pool party will be a private function at a privately owned water park, at least one prominent local official is looking into legal recourse to prevent it. The party is scheduled for the eve of the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

“I’m taking up a city bylaw that can prohibit this event on the grounds that it is likely to cause public disorder,” Les Pennes-Mirabeau Mayor Michel Amiel told Le Parisien newspaper, lamenting the Muslim pool party as “communitarianism, pure and simple.”

Valerie Boyer, a French member of parliament, has complained that the pool party is evidence of “fundamentalists wanting to mark their territory and subjugate women, like men, and to establish a territory where Islam appears uniform and in social control.”

France has had a burqa ban on the books since 2010. As the BBC reported at the time, it was under consideration in the French Senate. “The bill makes it illegal to wear garments such as the niqab or burka, which incorporate a full-face veil, anywhere in public,” providing a 150 euro fine for female violators and a steep 30,000 euro fine, plus jail time, “for men who force their wives” to wear the garment.

Many burqinis on the market cover the body head to toe, but not the face. One major distributor of modest Islamic swimwear for women, EastEssence.com, advertises the garments as low as $29 in price on The Local’s website.

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