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“Decent dress required”: the controversy over the burkini ignites Grenoble – France

Mayor EELV had promised it for a long time: the subject would be put back on the table after the presidential election and before the summer opening of the municipal swimming pools, in mid-June. And the subject which has polarized the French political class for several months is on the agenda of the municipal council scheduled for Monday.

Concretely, it is a question of modifying the internal regulations of municipal swimming pools, in particular its article 12 which requires users to “decent dress” and “a correct attitude”.

For the time being, the text requires that bathers be dressed in a swimsuit covering “at least the part between the upper thighs and the waistband and at most the part located above the knees and above the elbows”.

These precisions could skip in the redrafted text. Because, for the mayor of Grenoble, the restrictions introduced ten years ago boil down to “injunctions on the bodies of women”.

“Our desire is to lift the aberrant clothing bans: this concerns bare breasts, covering swimsuits to protect against the sun or for reasons of conviction. The question is not to be for or against the burkini specifically”, he argues while pleading for a public service “accessible to all” and invoking the 1905 law on secularism.

Storm in a swimming pool

But, for its opponents, the burkini is only an “aquatic version of the Islamist veil”.

In a few days, the vote announced to the municipal council caused a political storm, the two camps clashing with blows of platforms, petitions and muscular positions in the press or on social networks.

In early May, the LR president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, Laurent Wauquiez, opened hostilities by accusing the mayor of Grenoble of “submission to Islamism” and threatening to cut all subsidies to the city if the measure passes. .

“What Mr. Piolle is defending is a terrible stalemate for our country”, he said, accusing him of “making pacts with political Islam” to “buy votes”, a few weeks before the elections. legislative.

Several dozen local or departmental elected officials signed calls this week to renounce a vote according to them “imposed by minority groups, whose sole objective is to permanently test the sensitivity of our institutions to the religious fact”.

Some fear a domino effect for other elected officials who would be, “in the same way, tomorrow, summoned to position themselves”. Others make a link with the wearing of the full veil that the Taliban have just imposed on women in Afghanistan.

The former mayor of “Grenoble, Alain Carignon, now in the municipal opposition, denounced the “solitary crusade” of his successor.

Punch operations

In the other camp, a hundred personalities, including feminists like Caroline De Haas or Alice Coffin, published a support column: “Muslim women have as much place in the swimming pool” as other citizens and “no one should to be stigmatized even in the basins because of his choice of jersey ”.

The text was written by the controversial Alliance Citoyenne association, organizer of several punch operations in Grenoble swimming pools in favor of the wearing of the burkini, since May 2019.

Founded in 2012 in Grenoble, Alliance Citoyenne currently claims more than 5,000 members there. Today present in other cities, it supports the collective of veiled football players the “Hijabeuses”, mobilized against the French Football Federation (FFF) which prohibits the wearing of the veil in competition.

Alliance Citoyenne was accused last year by the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, of putting “pressure on the public authorities to promote, for the benefit of Muslims, rules compatible with Sharia”.

A recent investigation by Le Parisien also accuses him of having documented the origins and beliefs of residents of working-class neighborhoods in order to recruit them for future campaigns.

Several demonstrations for or against the burkini are already announced, Monday, on the sidelines of the municipal council.

The burkini has been authorized in swimming pools in Rennes since 2018.

letelegramme Fr Trans

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