[Ed. – That’s taking it to the mattresses, French-style. We’ll keep you posted.]
The mayor of a town outside Marseille said Thursday he intends to ban a swim-day for women at a local park next month, citing a risk to public order because swimmers will be required to cover up from chest to knee.
The association Smile 13 organized the event for women, girls, and boys under 10, for Sept. 10. Swimmers have been asked to respect the Islamic notion of “awra,” a reference to parts of the body to be hidden — causing concern among some in secular France.
Michel Amiel, mayor of Pennes-Mirabeau, north of Marseille, a Mediterranean port city with a large Muslim population, where the swimming park is located, said he intends to ban the event because it risks “disturbing public order.” …
In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Amiel described the decision to invite women to swim covered up a “provocative act” and said the turning toward (Muslim) identity “puts oil on the fire and only maintains a deleterious climate.”
Amiel said he would even take the matter to the courts if the local prefect rejects a ban.