Summer Time, and the Swimming Ain’t Easy

Why is it so terrible to have gender-segregated bathrooms, but not to have gender-separated swimming times? The answer is Islam.

BY Bruce Cornibe · | August 6, 2016

Summer can be a fun time to hang out with friends and enjoy the warm weather by the pool. However, for Muslim women in Sharia influenced areas, it is a reminder of their second class status in society – gender segregated pools with austere restrictions on women’s clothing and apparel. One doesn’t have to travel to the Islamic Middle East to discover this phenomenon – it’s happening even in parts of the West.

One example comes from Stopsley, Luton, Beds. (UK) where Inspire Sports Village, allegedly created “using taxpayer-funded Olympic money,” will start implementing gender-specific rules for swimming during Friday evenings. The men will be able to use the competitive pool that is 50 meters large, while the women will be limited to the community pool that is only 20 meters. Not only are women getting unfavorable treatment, but in addition, taxpayers are footing the bill for unequal gender rules that conflict with UK values. Also, signs advertising for the affair apparently state, “navel to knee must be covered.” One swimmer inquired about the situation and she was told that it had to do with a “cultural thing.” It’s pretty clear that they are referring to an Islamic cultural thing. The Telegraph reports that the 2011 census determined about a fourth of Luton’s population is Muslim giving a hint behind the reason for the measures, while a Facebook advertisement for the event removes all doubt about the Islamic motive:


Of course, there are distinctions between the genders (for example, biological and emotional differences) and reasonable ways to in fact separate males and females for an orderly society (for example, separate bathrooms).  Islamists take segregation to the extreme and use it as a way to give men better access to things like education and employment among many others. For example, in the Inspire Sports Village situation women were limited to a much smaller pool than the men.

Another example of creeping Sharia is taking place near Marseille, France where a “community group” will have control of a waterpark for a day “giving access only to women wearing the all-over swimming garment [burkinis].” Also permitted to attend the “burkini day” are males under ten-years-old. Of course, this is provocative to say the least knowing France’s sentiment toward the burqa and niqab, and their strive for gender-equality. Stephane Ravier, a mayor and member of France’s National Front party, voiced his disapproval for the event, stating:

“This Islamist day demonstrates that, outside of the comforting words of Muslim authorities, a certain number of Muslims are deciding among themselves to break away from our Republican model and put themselves outside our society[.]”

The veiling of women is not exclusive to Islamic culture and the amount of veiling for women in public varies from one Muslim area to another; however, the practice is clearly found in Sharia law deduced from Islamic texts such as:

O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused… –Quran 33.59

Narrated Safiya bint Shaiba: `Aisha used to say: “When (the Verse): “They should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms,” was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their heads and faces with those cut pieces of cloth.” –Sahih Bukhari 6.60.282

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin: Asma, daughter of AbuBakr, entered upon the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) wearing thin clothes. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) turned his attention from her. He said: O Asma’, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he pointed to her face and hands. –Sunan Abu-Dawud 32.4092

Of course, modest clothing should not be frowned upon, but the Islamist form of modesty is quite different than something deemed modest in the West. For example, the burkini covers just about the whole body and is typically loose fitting to negate the features of a woman’s body. In addition, it looks extremely heavy and uncomfortable to wear in the water – like jumping in to the water fully clothed. One sees too often how such stringent restrictions on women’s attire are used to justify a male Muslim’s lack of self-control. For example, in an edited transcript of a 2006 speech Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali essentially blames women for getting raped because they don’t cover enough of their skin stating,

“…’If I came across a rape crime – kidnap and violation of honour – I would discipline the man and order that the woman be arrested and jailed for life.’ Why would you do this, Rafihi? He says because if she had not left the meat uncovered, the cat wouldn’t have snatched it.”

In fact, we have seen this mentality at play in Europe with a sexual assault crisis largely influenced by male Muslim immigrants. These sexual assault cases have gotten so bad in some places of Germany that German officials have given out “swimming pool etiquette” leaflets for how to act at the pool.

Unreasonable gender segregation and extensive female dress codes are just manifestations of how women are taken advantage of and relegated within the Islamic world. These events and others highlight fundamental differences between Western and Islamic values, and how multi-culturalism cannot work in the West because it essentially assumes all cultures are equal. How can we say one culture that tells women they have a right to liberty and to pursue their dreams is equal to another culture that tells women they are morally and intellectually inferior to men?



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