Feel like a swim? New U.K. rules require women to cover up from neck to ankles

Swimmers at municipal pools must wear “modest” costumes so they don’t offend Muslim bathers


New rules that ban even non-Muslims from wearing non-modest attire at public pools during special swim sessions for Muslims has sparked controversy in Britain, the Telegraph reports. Bathers at municipal pools have been told that they must comply with the “modest” code of dress required by Islamic custom, with women covered from the neck to the ankles and men, who swim separately, covered from the navel to the knees. The segregated swim sessions have elicited anger from critics and politicians who say they are divisive and put a strain on relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, the paper reports, though one British lawmaker defended them on the grounds they show respect for religious groups that impose strict rules on segregation. In a related—albeit it counter development—in France, a woman is threatening to sue after being thrown out of a public pool for wearing a burkini. The headscarf, tunic and trouser outfit believed to allow Muslim women to preserve their modesty in the water was deemed “unhygienic.”

The Telegraph

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Feel like a swim? New U.K. rules require women to cover up from neck to ankles

  1. That's certainly made my jaw drop. The Muslims are living in Britain. Should they not b e following British law? If they don't want to be offended they should go back to their country of origin.

    When I go to a different country, I obey their laws not the laws of Canada nor do I insist they change the laws of their country to accommodate me.

    It goes hand in hand with taking Christ out of Christmas in Canada so we don't offend Muslims.

    I'm very tired of it.

    • You'll be pleased to note that it doesn't look like any laws are being broken. A public pool stated that at certain times it will adopt certain religious requirements and hopefully everyone swimming at those times will follow them. Neat, eh!

      YOur not mad that people aren't following "your" laws. You're mad they aren't acting and looking like you.

  2. I'm about as multi-culty as they get and yet I am flabbergasted by this story.

    It is bloody ridiculous that non-muslims should have to adopt a dress-code that muslims have developped for themselves. It is not as if muslims are being told they must wear speedos for men or Brazilian filio dentale bikinis for women.

    As for men and women swimming separately does that mean at different times or in different parts of the pool? Because, I mean, if it is just in different parts of of the pool wouldn't the transitive powers of the water still mean the boys could catch coodies and other "girl germs" from the women in the pool?

  3. Sometimes all you can do is just say "go f*** yourself" and carry on as you were.

    • Or come back at the non-designated muslim-style swim time, maybe.

  4. This is beyond rediculous. Tolerance is a two-way street – if muslims don't want to wear revealing swimsuits, fine, but the rest of the population has the right to do as they please. Being offended, on its own, is not justification to infringe on others' rights.

    A religious group, any religious group, should not be dictating decorum in a public institution. If a truly private pool wanted to impose such rules, fine, but a public pool needs to respect the rights of the entire population.

  5. I’m deeply troubled by this. not because there will be less bikini clad women walking around. I’m troubled because the UK has a denocratic process that should favour the majority. From what I understand, that democratic process is being over ruled by special interest groups. Religious special interest groups at that. What happened to the seperation of church and state. This is a slap in thje face against human rights and especially the rights of women. We are NOT living in the stone ages. This law should be obilished.

  6. Can anyone show that the pool was forced to do this, and didn't, of its own accord, say to itself let's set aside a bit of time where a minority can feel comfortable observing its own traditions, not necessarily at the expense of anyone else?

  7. Send them all packing from where they are from. Don't ask me or my to go to war to protect them. The more I hear of their demands the more I am afraid that I will become a racist.

    • classy! self-aware!

  8. If I were there, I would show up at every one of those special swim times in my regular one piece suit. I am all for accommodation but there are limits. I am very liberal, but unless a Muslim group pays for the private use of the PUBLIC pool at a specific time, then tough – it's a public pool and dress codes are ridiculous. I dare somebody to do that in Canada.

  9. The muslim contingent that pressed for change in UK law should press for reciprocal legislation in their home countries that allow non-muslims to wear bikinis during certain "designated swim times". Of course, you'll never see this. Get ready World – religious kudzu (i.e., muslims) are coming to a neighborhood near you!

  10. It is reported that it isn't just one pool but public pools across the UK that are setting aside times for muslim women to partake and another time for muslim men to partake, unless they have two separate pools within the complex. When they are in the pool they must wear the muslim form of 'modest' swimwear which for men is a T shirt and trousers that reach from the navel to the knees and for women a suit that covers the head, neck full body and legs just allowing the face, hands and feet to be seen and only by other muslim women. or equally clad non muslims.

  11. Non muslim people are turned away when they arrive for swimming in these publically owned facilities unless they comply with this dress code. These rules do not apply in non muslim swim times when muslims may attend and still wear their own 'modesty' garments.
    In France a newly converted woman muslim wanted to go swimming with non muslim women in her 'modest' swim wear and was refused entrance to the pool on hygiene grounds and is threatening court action for violation of her human rights. Where in UK is the human rights of non muslims to attend swimming in a public facility in 'normal' swim wear when muslims are attending? It is not as if we are saying the muslims should dress like us in the pool only that we may dress in western swimsuits. As the Canadian guy said they took Christ out of Xmas to placate and now they are telling us what to wear on occaisions or to not take part at all!!

  12. Ok this headline is absurd! It makes it seem like if I want to go swimming in England, I can't wear my bikini, or even a 1-piece ladies' suit. But that's not what it says at all! It seems like some pools (probably 1 % of them or less) in some areas are saying for 1 hour a week, they require more full coverage. So what? I can go any of the other hours in my bikini, or probably go down the road and wear a bikini there! These people are taxpayers too, and if it helps their kids learn to swim, or gives them more engagement with the community, why not block off one hour a week?

    You guys are old cranks looking to stir up racial tensions by making this policy seem more sinister than it is!

    • Or wouldn't it be more practical to say that if muslim women want to wear their modest swim suits during times when it's ladies only swimming then there'd be no objection? Many pools in the UK have specific times that are ladies only, why on earth would a muslim woman object to seeing women dressed rather less modestly than themselves? When I lived in Saudi Arabia it was normal for muslim women to remove their burkhas and wear ordinary dresses when in the sole company of other women. During the four months I was there I only saw one woman's uncovered face, briefly in a bookshop, her hair was covered but she was beautiful, I glanced once, to look for any longer would have been inviting a trip to have the soles of my feet beaten in the nearest jail.

      If I'm an old crank looking to stir up racial tension then please explain how. I'm all for mutual respect… "When in Rome… etc"

  13. This is insane!!! everything in good taste but for the state to impose a ban on prefectly repectful bathing attire all to accommodate a religious group is crazy!!

  14. As a British man who's spent time in Northern Saudi Arabia and seen first hand the persecution against non-muslims and women there I'd outraged by this. As a previous poster said, tolerance is a two way street. I have nothing against Muslims who come to this country, learn our language, integrate with our populace and obey our laws like the majority of us do but our laws must not be changed to reflect the desires of a highly religious minority, that would be the antithesis of the democracy that members of my own family fought and in some cases died to protect. I suppose this and our runaway welfare state handouts to the voluntarily unemployed are the reason that many of our highly educated professionals are leaving in their droves. I'm hoping that when the new government gets in there'll be a crack down on this Nu-Labour nonsense, if there's not, could Canada be persuaded to welcome another power generation engineer?