Authorities in the French city of Grenoble have allowed visitors to public swimming pools to "dress how they want," according to The Guardian . The new rule primarily concerns the wearing of burkini (from "burka" and "bikini") - a bathing suit for Muslim women that complies with all Sharia rules. Burkini resembles pajamas and covers the entire body, except for the feet, hands and face.
The issue of burkini is raised in France every year at the beginning of the bathing season. In most public pools, a suit is prohibited, as, for example, wide shorts - men in pools are required to wear tight-fitting swimming trunks. Now both are allowed in Grenoble, as is the appearance of topless women in the pools.
“All we need is for women and men to be able to dress the way they want,” said Grenoble Mayor Eric Piol, a member of the Greens. At a meeting of the city council, after a heated debate, his proposal was adopted by a minimal margin: 29 votes in favor, 27 against and 2 abstentions. Piol's opponents accuse him of trying to buy the loyalty of Muslims in this way, and demand a city referendum on such a delicate issue.
For the first time this topic arose in France in the summer of 2016, after the terrorist attack in Nice, when the mayors of several cities on the Mediterranean coast tried to ban burkinis on the beaches. However, the ban was lifted as discriminatory. Three years later, French sportswear brand Decathlon was at the center of the scandal when it announced it would sell a "sports hijab" that covers hair while running.
However, Grenoble is not the first city in France to adopt such rules. In 2019, burkinis and other types of swimwear were allowed in the pools of Rennes, although this story went unnoticed.