Saturday, August 05, 2006

When in Rome, Do as the Muslims Do

Italian beaches must, by law, be accessible to the public. That does not mean portions of the public or tourists from foreign lands may claim restricted use of the shores for periods of time. The law means exactly what it says - the shoreline must be accessible to the public at all times.

Some 90 miles east of Florence on the Adriatic coast, the City Council of Riccione is about the cave in to requests from the town's Arab community and Muslim tourists to designate selective beaches for the exclusive use of Muslim women, no infidels allowed.

Attilio Cenni, owner Grand Hotel des Bains, intends opening the first segregated beach in September. The "Muslim Women Only" area would be about 10,000 square feet (1,000 square meters) with an expansion to more beaches next season. Cenni wants to be allowed to completely close-off the entire beach right down to the waterline with covered partitions. Out on the water he wants women lifeguards on water scooters keeping men away. Andrea Cicchetti a spokesman for Riccione's mayor said, "That sounds a little bit like a fantasy."

On the surface this is a small request that "would allow observant Muslim women to shed their headscarves and long robes and enjoy the sun in privacy; religious restrictions otherwise oblige them to cover up if men are present." But, it's also a demand to hand over 10,000 square feet of sovereign Italian soil to a foreign entity for it's exclusive use; yes, it's only a short period of time during the summer, but what happens when more time is demanded? Eventually, the demand of all squatters becomes a right of possession. In many European cities, entire districts are now "no-go" zones for non-Muslims as was demonstrated in the French riots of the recent past. By quietly following local laws, Muslims are acquiring special rights and privileges not enjoyed by the native population.

It isn't just Italy and this isn't the first story on the subject. Daniel Pipes has been recording examples for the last few years:

--- A swimming pool off-limits to men, with an exclusively female staff, and smoked windows. It's not in Saudi Arabia but in France, in the fine town of Lille." More interesting yet, this swimming pool is not a private concern but one of only four sponsored by the Lille municipality - which, by the way, has a woman mayor. "It's a matter of modesty" explains a spokesman for the municipality, noting also that the women-only rules apply only during certain hours. A sign of things to come elsewhere? (June 15, 2003)

--- A half year later, the Lille swimming pool continues to provoke discussion and confusion. Agence France-Presse reports today Jean-Marc Ayrault, parliamentary head of the Socialist party and mayor of Nantes, saying that "the rule is mixing the sexes" in municipal facilities. But while he himself refused to accede to Muslim demands for sex-segregated sessions at the pools, he also refused to condemn the actions of the socialist mayor of Lille, Martine Aubry, for permitting just that. (Dec. 4, 2003)

--- The nearby town of Mons-en-Baroeul has ended the scheduled hours reserved for Muslim women in its municipal pool, in place since 1996, the mayor's spokesman told Agence France-Presse. In fact, this decision was taken in September 2003, a result of the French national debate on "laïcism and the wearing of veils." (Dec. 12, 2003)
Commenting at the above website, trevor_f, Apr 21, 2006, writes:

This news was a recent item from Victoria, Australia (2005)

Women are to be shut out of Shepparton's swimming pool each evening to allow men only to swim in privacy. The ruling will see the women barred from entering the Aquamoves centre during evening swim sessions. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal granted the Equal Opportunity Act exemption.

Reasons? They cited the needs of Muslims and men with poor body image. "Some religions require that their adherents cannot appear undressed in mixed company, except in front of their immediate family," deputy tribunal president Cate McKenzie said. Apparently, there are more than 5,000 Iraqis in Shepparton's large Muslim community. The pool already runs sessions for "women only".

Just be glad this is the United States of America where this kind of segregation no longer is even suggested. If only that were true. The Seattle Times of Washington state in 2005 tells of Muslim Women Only swim sessions.

It's Saturday evening, the end of a hot day, and a group of women and children have gathered at North Seattle's Meadowbrook Pool for their monthly swim.

Most of the pool staff has left, except for two female lifeguards, who on this day will be on duty for the next two hours.

The women and children — all Muslims — have been swimming in private once a month at Meadowbrook as part of a program organized by the North Seattle Family Center.

Because Islam requires Muslim women to fully cover themselves in public, swimming in pools or the ocean is largely off-limits for many.

But across the Puget Sound area, that's starting to change as public and private pools at times are sending home their male staff members, covering up their windows and allowing women of faith to swim alone and in private.

It's occurring here as it has elsewhere across the country, as the Muslim population increases and families seek more ways to stay active.
Stefan Sharansky of the blog Sound Politics , made some phone calls

and learned that the program, called "Muslim Sister Swim", is treated by the city's Meadowbrook Pool as any other private rental, which would be exempt from the city non-discrimination policy. However, the outfit that organizes and pays for the Muslim Sister Swim is the North Seattle Family Center, a unit of the Children's Home Society, a non-profit that gets most of its money from various government sources. As such, it should strictly comply with non-discrimination guidelines. Nevertheless, the Muslim Sister Swim is open exclusively to Muslims, no infidel women need apply. I asked a representative of the North Seattle Family Center to explain this, and she told me that it was to respect these immigrant women's culture.

But if there's ever a reason for taxpayer dollars to be used to support an immigrant's culture, it should be to support them in learning to shed whatever aspects of their culture are incompatible with American culture. The last thing we need to teach immigrants is to expect publicly-subsidized religious apartheid.

Meanwhile, Americans are worried that the NSA is looking at our phone bills, that terrorist prisoners are not getting enough sleep, and they don't get depressed because they miss their mommies.

FrontPageMagazine published a more in depth article today saying the same thing as I have above.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


don said...

Can someone explain to me why the public should pay to promote even more divisiveness? This kind of foolishness does not lead to assimilation.

City Troll said...

I answered your Tag you mean man...