Sarkozy: No separate swimming hours for Muslim women

French president also says halal meat must be clearly labelled


Congrats on feeling esltted! I, too, am dreaming of the day when I get to look at all of my books at one time, instead of having half of them in boxes in the attic.


From one perspective, it seems nice that our nronhbieigg country has taking new height day by day but from our own economic perspective it may be harmful to us because, our country's main source of income is tourism and there may be possibilities to effect on our tourism business. But, it doesn't mean that this is not good to have development in our nronhbieigg countries but i mean to say that now we have to face tough competition in our main source of economy. So, the time has come to think about our own development. Of course, there are varieties in tourism business. And, Nepal's strength is natural beauty, hills, himalayans, arts, handicrafts etc. But till the period, there is no any significant improvement to promote such business from our side. So, we should learn from the UAE and have to work hard to utilize our assets in the pearls. The main inspiring story is that, UAE has changed it's identity from the empty desert towards the beautiful city, artificially, while we are same, eventhough having so much natural beautiness in itself. So it proves that nothing is impossible if we have desire to change and willpower to prove our dreams.


if this is about swimming during school activites such as physical education then I suppose the French govt has and should accomodate these muslim women or any student who has a requirement religious or other wise. Remember people, this is the democratic civilized world that has to take a lead in these things. i mean some people there still think muslims are not advanced in anything. Going the opposite way by stopping rights wont add to anything. besides isnt govt supposed to stay out of peoples personal choices in a democratic and free country?

if it is about non school related activites then Muslims there should build thier own swimming pools.

Amused in Dubai

Or, you know, the muslim women or any student could accommodate the laws of the land, as we are so often advised.
The French model has never been about multiculturalism (that is the British, mind you) but about integration, and that means accepting the French customs and way of life while on the public sphere.


Non muslim , non Saudi women living in Saudi Arabia are ALL forced to wear the Abaya and they do so without protesting knowing it is the culture and the law of the land. So why can't Muslims living in Europe learn to accept the law of the land with good grace ?

If you are so religious as to find not wearing a veil , or wearing a swim suit in public uncomfortable then may be you have to relocate !

Even my mother, who is fairly conservative learned to shake hands with men when she traveled to the USA. It did not make her any less religious or less pure.

Ted Nations

Your all missing the point - it's not about religion or whether one feels confortable in one's own skin - it's about France staying French.

I've lived and worked all around the World and the one thing I have learnt is to try and adapt to the way of life of your new country and embrace the culture - that's what travelling to a new country is all about. Bringing all your old baggage with you defeats the object - you might as well have stayed at home in the first place. Besides, religious beliefs are one's own business, does one have to take it to the street...or the swimming pool?


@ Ted Nations
I couldn't agree more with your point. If a person is not willing to accept that there are other cultures in other than his/her home country, then this person should stay put home.
My very personal attitude: the moment I leave the plane and step onto new territory, I do leave all my "old baggage" on that plane.
As one wise person once said: "When you come to Rome, live like the Romans."
Anybody is free to replace "Rome" and "Romans" with any other city and people.

American in Kuwait

Why hasn't anyone said yet, If you don't like it go back to your home country where there are NO schools much less swimming pools for girls.

When I was a kid we had to swim naked in High School and no one complained.


People must follow the law of their land. Of course, the advantage of living in a democratic state such as France is that the citizenship has the ability to alter the laws to suit the people. If French Muslims really feel they should have separate swimming in schools for girls, then they are welcome to lobby government to change the law - but they must then abide by the final decision of the lawfully elected, democratically representatives, whichever way it goes.


Glenn and Doug
whatever anyone's wishes and wants, they are all subject to the law of the land we are living in.
So it doesn't matter where someone was born, or raised or what they converted to or from.
At the end of the day they have to follow the law of the land that they live in.
That is what living as part of a society is all about, not making others bend a certain way.
The law of the land prevails, whether someone likes it or not. That applies here or anywhere.


Well Said Doug. I have lived in London for 7yrs and have made friends with a number of british born muslims, most of them 2nd, 3rd generation Asians. It is so ignorant to tell people, "go back home", they have the equal rights as anyone else. However, when one does decide to relocate, they must be mindful not to demand the same lifestyles and expect their laws and traditions to be enforced to the other citizens, they need to integrate and, lets say, sit next to a man you do not know in the bus. I now live in the UAE and I have nothing but fond feelings of the Islamic religion and culture. In reflection, there is a lot that the Islamic tradition can teach to the world, it is a peaceful and tolerant religion, it is such a pity that the media in the west has tarnished the reputation of the religion, but on other hand, narrow minded individuals who misinterpret the preachings make it seem a very violent and intolerant religion.

American in Kuwait


They can learn to adapt to the French way or don't go swimming.


Why hasn't anyone said it yet? It's because there's an awareness that not all Muslims in France are immigrants. There are plenty of Muslims in France who were born in France, whose parents were born in France. They are just as French as anyone else in the country - France IS their home country. So where are they going to go back to?

Budaiya Calling

Hasir please get an education. I am a Muslim and i can cite many senior Muslims who saybthe Burqa is mot a muslim requirement including the Grand Mufti of Al Azhar. Let me ask you this, is a Muslim woman not expected to show her face in Mecca at the Ka ba? I am a Muslim andbi have a proper Muslim education. The Quran asks thatbpeople not follow what they say their fathers doing blindly. I ask one and all to research what they put forth as fact before claiming it to be so.


The solution is so simple...this should be provided either by private companies or by the religious organization (whether mosque or church or temple, etc...). Cannot be in the government hands to fulfil all these needs, but instead try to provide equality.
Some of the angry protesters should think of providing this service then, whether charging or for free...

Nom de Plume



I understand this is about public schools. In that case, fair enough. I'd be concerned if this spreads to things like municipal leisure centres though. In the UK, there are plenty of 'women-only' swimming sessions at local authority leisure centres and these attract women from a whole cross-section of creeds and races. Why? Because there are many women who, regardless of their religious persuasion, aren't keen about being seen in a state of relative undress by men. A Muslim woman may have her beliefs about what is proper; an atheist woman may simply be uncomfortable with her body and is swimming to improve it. Both choices are equally valid and both should be accommodated.

In fact on reflection, I think there's an argument there for segregation of swimming in schools. How many teenage girls are uncomfortable with their bodies? For that matter, how many teenage boys? It's probably the majority, maybe segregation on those grounds should be considered acceptable.


Doug, great point. It's right and I wish the religion topic could be avoided where it's not necesary.
I don't agree with you on the kids thing though, I think kids should be encouraged to get over any insecurities they may have and things like sports help them to become more comfortable in their own skin.
On the whole I agree with the attitude of the french towards a secular society where you are recognised as French above everything else. Of course many disagree, but I do think that overt expression of ones faith to a point of virtual banner waiving is unhelpfull in a multicultural society.


No, not at all. I'm just using it as an example of how the desire for female-only swimming sessions is not purely a religious thing, or limited to one religion. There are many religions that don't call for specific female segregation or dress-codes at all times, so I could either list every single one here, or take the easier route out and simply point out that the fact women might not want to be seen in a state of undress isn't necessarily about religious beliefs. If you want to see the world as binary opposites, that's fine, but it doesn't actually help anyone.

Given this is a debate about religion and state, don't you think it makes sense to show that in fact, religion doesn't necessarily have anything to do with it?


The opposite of Muslim is Atheist?

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Features & Analysis
Why the Qatar hacking incident has revived Gulf tensions

Why the Qatar hacking incident has revived Gulf tensions

Analysts say the incident was far more than a security breach...

Trump's Saudi embrace, Iran disdain upend Obama's vision

Trump's Saudi embrace, Iran disdain upend Obama's vision

Analysts say Trump's actions mark a stark departure from the...

WEF has a plan, but it is up to the Middle East to make it happen

WEF has a plan, but it is up to the Middle East to make it happen

Organisation knows what the GCC has to do to meet the challenges...

Most Discussed