In the light of the recent concern expressed in the western media and elsewhere about the Hamas 'virtue' campaign in Gaza which has apparently been marked by attempts to impose a particular view of what is considered 'Islamic dress' , the actions of the French authorities provides a useful counterpoint. Perversely in the name of gender equality Sarkozy and his judges have deemed it 'against the republic' and un-French to wear the Islamic version of the bikini. So much for Muslim women's rights.
A Paris swimming pool has refused entry to a young Muslim woman wearing a burqini, a swimsuit that covers most of the body.
The pool ban came as French lawmakers conduct hearings on whether to ban the burqa after President Nicolas Sarkozy said the head-to-toe veil was "not welcome" in secular France.
Officials in the Paris suburb of Emerainville said they let the woman swim in the pool in July wearing the burqini, designed for Muslim women who want to swim without revealing their bodies.