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Burkinis: Irish women clamouring to get their hands on full body swimsuit

By Louise Kelly

Published 26/08/2016

The swimsuit burkini on sale in M&S
The swimsuit burkini on sale in M&S

Irish women have put in requests for the full body swimsuit known as the burkini, according to its inventor.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be only for Muslim women, it could be for many other women,” Aheda Zanetti told RTE's Morning Ireland.

“In fact, there’s been a high demand in my emails from Ireland from women who have got fair skin that don’t want to expose their skin to all these high sun UV rays.

"It’s actually protecting them against skin cancer or from future issues, so it’s not just for Muslim women it’s for women in general that just want to be either modest or protective."

Concern is growing as Muslim women in France are being forced to disrobe if they wear burkinis, as a number of beaches in the country have enforced a ban on the full body swimwear.

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A decision over whether to uphold the ban will be reached this afternoon by France’s Highest Administrative court, the State Council.

Zanetti believes that the burkini should not be linked with Islamic extremism as her intention when she invented the swimwear was to “give people the freedom of choice”.

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has called for a full burkini ban in France as he warned that immigrants, minorities and the Left were threatening to destroy French identity.

Demonstrators outside the French Embassy in Knightsbridge, London
Demonstrators outside the French Embassy in Knightsbridge, London
Organiser India Thorogood, 25, said it is 'unacceptable' that men should tell women what to wear
Critics described the ban and the picture as 'humiliating' and 'Islamophobic'
Demonstrators stage a beach party outside the French embassy in Knightsbridge, London
Women gathered at a makeshift beach to protest following an online image apparently showing a French police officer forcing a Muslim woman to remove her tunic
Burkinis have been banned in several French towns (AP)
File photo taken on August 19, 2016 shows the bylaw forbidding women to wear Burkini at the Ponchettes beach, in Nice, southeastern France. AFP/Getty Images

Zanetti told RTE that she doesn't "understand how he’s labelled it as such a negative product when it was supposed to give you the freedom of choice.”

“It doesn’t symbolise any Islamic term or Islamic type of dress, it doesn’t even symbolise that a Muslim wearer would wear it."

Irish Independent

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