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|Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:16 am Post subject: Burkini: wearers get death threats so French govt BAN THEM
|French 'burkini' pool party for Muslim women cancelled after organisers receive death threats
Organisers attack 'narrow-minded polemicists and politicians' who sought to cancel event
Gabriel Samuels Wednesday 10 August 20162 comments
A ‘burkini’ swimming pool party in France has been cancelled after the organisers received death threats, less than a week after the local mayor said he wanted to ban the event.
Mayor Michel Amiel of Pennes-Mirabeau, near Marseilles, announced he had discussed the proposed party with the Speed Water Park venue with regards to the “extreme ideological positions” he believed the organisers were taking.
A joint decision was made to call off the event in an effort to “calm the situation” and preserve public order after a heated reaction from residents, according to the Local.
Muslim community group Smile 13 had organised the event for September 10 as an opportunity for women to swim in private for eight hours while wearing the burkini swimming costume.
Shortly after posters went up around Pennes-Mirabeau, Mr Amiel announced he intended to take up a city bylaw to prohibit the event “on the grounds it is likely to cause public disorder”.
The idea for the party particularly outraged local right-wing politicians, who argued it contravened legally-binding French secular values and promoted “communalism”.
Following the cancellation, Smile 13 confirmed one of its members had been sent an envelope containing bullets, and condemned those who had sought to threaten the event.
The group wrote a lengthy Facebook post criticising the “narrow-minded polemicists and politicians” who had attacked the party, before appearing to delete its Facebook account.
The statement continued: “It's with astonishment and regret that we have noted the extent of this controversy.
"The situation has become surreal, from insults, incessant journalist requests, and death threats to members of the team.
“Our group is an open and tolerant one, including women from different backgrounds regardless of their religious and clothing choices.”
Smile 13 added it planned to take legal action against those who had sent the death threats.
Meanwhile Mr Amiel told a local radio station: “The manager of the pool had not considered the sheer emotion that organising this event could generate.
“We saw the reactions on social networks that were completely outrageous, Islamophobic, xenophobic and racist, which I totally condemn but given the circumstances we have to cool things off.”
In the wake of the announcement, local right wing politician Valerie Boyer tweeted: "It is a victory for our values. We must never give in.
"I will not stay silent in the face of those who refuse assimilation!"
Around 2,000 of France’s 5 million Muslim citizens are thought to wear full veils, and the country has had a difficult history when it comes to Islamic dress.
France's swimming pools usually have strict rules forbidding people swimming in certain clothes and the 2004 law banned the wearing of the Muslim headscarf and other religious signs in public buildings.
The launch of the burkini by certain French brands in March this year was attacked in some circles, with some politicians describing the introduction of the swimming costume as “irresponsible”.
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Burkinis banned on Cannes Riviera beaches by French mayor
Agence France-Presse 11 AUGUST 2016 • 9:48PM
The mayor of Cannes has banned the wearing of burkinis - full-body swimsuits - on the beaches of the French Riviera resort famous for its annual film festival, officials said on Thursday.
Mayor David Lisnard signed off on the ruling that "access to beaches and for swimming is banned to anyone who does not have (bathing apparel) which respects good customs and secularism," which is a founding principle of the French republic.
"Beachwear which ostentatiously diplays religious affiliation, when France and places of worship are currently the target of terrorist attacks, is liable to create risks of disrupting public order (crowds, scuffles etc) which it is necessary to prevent," it says.
Thierry Migoule, head of municipal services for the town, sought to clarify the ruling's intent.
"We are not talking about banning the wearing of religious symbols on the beach ... but ostentatious clothing which refers to an allegiance to terrorist movements which are at war with us," he said.
On July 14 the nearby Riviera city of Nice was the target of an attack claimed by the so-called Islamic State group which killed 85 people, when a truck ploughed into seafront crowds celebrating the French national holiday.
French National Assembly approves ban on burqaPlay! 01:25
On July 26 a priest was killed in his church in northwestern France by two attackers who had proclaimed their allegiance to Islamic State.
Islamic dress is a hot-button issue in France, where the full-face veil is banned in public places. But there is no ban on wearing religious symbols or clothing.
Migoule said that no burqini had been seen on any beach in Cannes since the ruling was signed into force on July 28 by Lisnard, a member of the centre-right Les Republicains party.
Earlier this week a waterpark in nearby Marseille cancelled plans to host a private event for Muslim women wearing burkinis after they sparked outrage, including from politicians on both the right and left.
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