Germany has been at the forefront of international news throughout the past year due mainly to the country’s acceptance of nearly 1 million Syrian refugees, most of which are Arab Muslims.
So naturally, it comes as a shock to learn that a country recognized for being so welcoming of Muslims has purposed – and successfully passed – a ban on attire traditionally worn by them.
The decision to officially ban the Islamic burkini at a public swimming pool in Neutraubling last week came after complaints were made about one Muslim woman’s clothing by other pool-goers.
Reports of the incident stated that nearby female bathers became visibly upset and found the sight of the full-body suit to be both offensive and inappropriate.
Mayor Heinz, who shares the same favorable view on the ban as the townspeople, commented with:
Typical apparel being of course, itsy bitsy bikinis, right Mr. Mayor? *eyeroll*
But what exactly is ‘typical apparel’ for swimming? Isn’t it what a person feels most comfortable in? Each individual chooses what is appropriate (in most cases) for their body type and surroundings, so why aren’t Muslim women granted that same freedom of choice?
Are we really supposed to believe Germans, or anyone in Europe for that matter (we’ve all seen what some wear, or don’t wear, at beaches over there) are truly disturbed by some excess clothing?
Sure it’s possible, but highly unlikely.
The Muslim community throughout Europe is becoming more aware that these attempts to prohibit basic parts of their religion speak greatly to growing dissatisfaction with their presence.
France has also expressed discontent with Muslims who don’t “properly assimilate,” and in 2004, the country moved forward with a ban on all religious attire worn in public. Muslim women living there have since been subjected to threats and government fines as punishment.
But not everybody is trying to prohibit Muslims from following their faith. Humans rights groups throughout Germany were outraged by the decision to ban the burkini and declared it a “clear violation of fundamental rights.”
Additionally, the Pope has recently called on France to lift the hijab ban in an effort to acknowledge Muslims as part of the diverse French community.
Perhaps the motivation behind Germany’s burkini ban isn’t so personal after all. Recent incidents of refugees attempting to swim in their underwear – an act which has also since been banned – may have sparked this immediate decision, however many still have their doubts.
Despite all the recent positive attention the media has awarded Germany and its leaders for their refugee status, it’s clear not all people living there are ready to welcome Muslims with such open arms.