Egypt: Brotherhood MP condemns ban of burkini from beaches
A Muslim Brotherhood Member of the Parliament rejected what he described as the “infringement of the veil and veiled women and the promotion of vice and fighting virtue among young people” over a recent decision to ban the burkini – the Islamic swimsuit that covers the entire body – from Alexandria beaches. Mohsen Radi argued in a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister and Minister of Local Development, that they must clear the “unambiguous infringement of liberties” at a number of Egyptian beaches.
He said that in many beaches in Agamy – a popular elite getaway in Alexandria – veiled women are barred from entering the water, being forced to don a proper bikini for swimming. He reported that the Paradise, Mika and Oxygen beaches have implemented the ban, putting up signs that read: “no for veiled women.”
He called the move a “serious violation of veiled women’s rights and the right to wear the veil.”
He added that this has led to resentment from many veiled women who regarded this as an explicit encroachment on their freedoms and against Islam. “How do we find people who sacrificed their lives in defense of their veil and religion in European countries, which are far from Islam and Muslims, and then find that preventing the veil and the spreading of immorality are basic slogans applied in a Muslim country?”
The MP revealed another incident that took place in a hotel in Marsa Matrouh – on the northwestern coast of Egypt – where officials from the ministry of tourism gave instructions to prevent the entry of veiled women into swimming pools, conditioning that the two-piece bikini is the only swimming suit allowed at the hotel.
He also pointed out to the incident of preventing a Muslim Norwegian woman from using the swimming pool in the hotel while wearing her veil .
The MP pointed to the displeasure of the tourist from this behavior, especially as veiled Muslim women in Europe are free to enter the swimming pools with their veil.
“How can we prevent them in the country of Al-Azhar?”
The burkini has received much attention in recent months, with many advocating its ban from public swimming pools. Most 5-star resorts in Egypt have already barred women from wearing the Islamic swimming suit, which has led to a backlash from Muslim women who demand the freedom to wear what they choose.