Sunday 25 September 2016

Why Irish women are clamouring to get their hands on the burkini

Published 26/08/2016 | 08:30

Young woman wearing a burkini
Young woman wearing a burkini
A muslim model display burkini swimsuits at a shop in western Sydney
A burkini (stock image)

Irish women have put in requests for the full body swimsuit known as the burkini, according to its inventor.

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“It doesn’t necessarily have to be only for Muslim women, it could be for many other women,” Aheda Zanetti told RTE's Morning Ireland.

“In fact, there’s been a high demand in my emails from Ireland from women who have got fair skin that don’t want to expose their skin to all these high sun UV rays.

"It’s actually protecting them against skin cancer or from future issues, so it’s not just for Muslim women it’s for women in general that just want to be either modest or protective."

Concern is growing as Muslim women in France are being forced to disrobe if they wear burkinis, as a number of beaches in the country have enforced a ban on the full body swimwear.

Read more: Burkini ban: Armed police force woman to remove clothing on Nice beach

A decision over whether to uphold the ban will be reached this afternoon by France’s Highest Administrative court, the State Council.

Zanetti believes that the burkini should not be linked with Islamic extremism as her intention when she invented the swimwear was to “give people the freedom of choice”.

A muslim model display burkini swimsuits at a shop in western Sydney
A muslim model display burkini swimsuits at a shop in western Sydney

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has called for a full burkini ban in France as he warned that immigrants, minorities and the Left were threatening to destroy French identity.

Zanetti told RTE that she doesn't "understand how he’s labelled it as such a negative product when it was supposed to give you the freedom of choice.”

“It doesn’t symbolise any Islamic term or Islamic type of dress, it doesn’t even symbolise that a Muslim wearer would wear it."

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