A women's association in the city of Marseille, which has a large Muslim population, has triggered irate reactions in secular France with its plans to rent a swimming park for a day only for women, and saying they must be covered up chest to knees.

Michel Amiel, mayor of Pennes-Mirabeau where the swimming park is located, said Thursay on BFM TV he intends to ban the event on grounds it could "trouble public order."

Conservative lawmaker Valerie Boyer, mayor of two Marseille districts, also condemned the plan.

The association Smile 13, a "socio-cultural, sports and aid association" says on its Facebook page the Sept. 10 swim day at the park north of Marseille, which has a large Muslim population, is reserved for women, girls, and boys under 10.