Burkini-Clad Holidaymakers Told Islamic Swimwear ‘Not Acceptable to Portuguese Culture’

In this image taken from video, Nesrine Kenza who says she is happy to be free to wear a burkini, and two unidentified friends wade into the sea, in Marseille, France, Monday Aug. 29, 2016.
Associated Press

British holiday makers wearing burkinis left a swimming pool after being told the Islamic swimwear was “not acceptable” and that they must “follow Portuguese culture”.

Maryya Dean and her sister-in-law Hina claim they were told by a building security manager that they could not wear their burkinis in the swimming pool. The women were approached following complaints made by other holiday makers who share the pool at the apartment complex in Albufeira, Portugal.

Ms. Dean, who was on holiday with her four children, her sister-in-law, and other relatives, told the Mirror Online: “Given my cultural background I was wearing a burkini.

“I was approached by the building security manager as someone made a complaint that I was not wearing a bikini and therefore not appropriate to be in the pool.”

Hina, 31, was in the pool wearing a “covered swim suit”.

The apartment worker reportedly told her: “You have to wear a bikini or shorts. In Portuguese culture, it’s not acceptable.”

“The man then started making cultural references and said that Portuguese people wear bikinis and so should we,” the 36-year-old from Chessington, Surrey, said.

“He said we had to abide by Portuguese culture if we were in the country,” Ms. Dean added and claimed she had to do a “walk of shame” back to her apartment.

Other European countries have attempted to ban the full-length Islamic swimwear, including regions in Austria and Germany. Notable objections came in France where two-thirds of the French public back a proposed legal ban.

The garment came to prominence during the summer of 2016 when several French towns attempted to ban the burkini including Cannes, Le Touquet, and Calais. However, the bans were deemed illegal on grounds that they “contravened civil liberties”.

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