Netherlands: Woman in Burqini kicked out of pool

A 26 year old woman was kicked out of a pool in Zwolle (Netherlands) on Thursday because she was wearing a burqini. The Muslim women, Liselotte Buitelaar, was in the water just five minutes playing with her two year old son, Illias, when she was told that there were complaints about her clothing.

Manager of the public pool, Hans Meijer, says that their regular public thinks it objectionable and that they need to take that into account. He says that they do the same for obese people and that they have separate hours for this groups so that they can swim with each other. Zwolle is not open yet to burqinis and he has to take that into account.

Alderman Janco Cnossen says that there's no policy that forbids wearing a burqini. The responsibility for allowing it is therefore up to the management of the pool. He had understood that they don't consider it swim-clothing. If Buitelaar will want to follow the example of other Muslims, then the alderman will discuss the issue with the pool management.

After complaints about a burkini in Almelo - where the woman could continue swimming in the end - the cabinet had says that a burqini was regular swimming wear. State Secretary Jet Bussemaker (Health and Sports) had said that it's not an Islamization of the sport, but really a form of integration.

Buitelaar, who converted six years ago, is disappointed. She says she didn't do it in order to provoke, but she does want to defend the burqini. She can imagine that people who had never seen such a swimsuit will think it's strange. In another pool she had gotten comments about her wearing clothing. She's happy with such reactions because then she can explain that it's just a larger swimsuit of real swimsuit material. It's very light and completely different from regular clothing.

The burqini was invented in Australia and has been available in the Netherlands since last year. the Burka is a black robe that only leaves the eyes uncovered, but the burqini is available in every vivid color.

Woortman Sportswear in Meppel has had the exclusive rights for the distribution of the swimsuit in Europe and North Africa since Novembers. The demand is so high that the company is looking for larger space. According to the owner, they had not expected that.

Source: Dagblad van het Noorden (Dutch)

See also: Netherlands: Burkini good for integration, Almelo: A fuss about a burkini, Temse: Veiled women kicked out of pool


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