Footage of women criticising an Egyptian woman in a pool wearing the burkini has gone viral online, with activists protesting social pressure on women.
The burkini is an all in one swimsuit which covers the entire body apart from the face, hands and feet.
In the ten-minute video, shared by the burkini wearer’s husband, a group of women demand she get out of the pool.
One says “it hurts their eyes to see it” others said it is “disgusting” and “low-class,” according to Bawaba.
“While I was in the pool with my wife at the Stella [Di Mare], a group came to tell her it was inappropriate for her to wear this costume. She [my wife] was astonished and asked her why. Like them and everybody else there, [my wife] was renting a chalet and using the facilities and someone comes to tell her to leave the pool because she is wearing a burkini,” the victim’s husband wrote on Instagram.
“This is not a Christian issue, there were many lovely Christians there that defended my wife but I see this as racism that can be likened to those that tell women not to wear short clothes etc. These are the same people that discriminate against skin colour and other religions. We are in 2020, enough ignorance.”
Both during the incident and on social media, several women defended the right of women to their choice of clothing.
The burkini is an ongoing debate in Egypt, where women have complained that they are not allowed into resort pools if they are wearing the swim suit.
In 2017, Egypt’s Tourism Ministry asked hotels with multiple pools to allow burkini wearers to swim in at least one of them.
Less than 24 hours later they retracted the decision, announcing that hotels were authorised to ban burkinis depending on which tourists they host, and claiming that the material used to make the swimsuits were a health and safety risk.
The burkini is made out of the same material as other swimwear.
In 2016 burkinis were banned on beaches in France, but the ban was later repealed by the nation’s highest court as an “illegal blow” to “fundamental liberties”.
At the height of the burkini debate in France a group of policemen surrounded a middle-aged woman on a beach and forced her to remove her headscarf.