A French organization’s upcoming “burqini”-only day for Muslim women at a water park is coming under fire from far-right politicians – with the town’s mayor vowing to ban it outright.
A community group has scheduled the private event at the Speed Water Park outside Marseille for September, the BBC reports, but it is only allowing women who wear the swimming garment which covers most of the body, like a burqa.
“We count on you to… not come in a two piece,” reads a message on the event’s poster.
It is legal to wear Islamic dress in France, but the country became the first in Europe to ban the full-face Islamic veil in public places, in addition to having a ban on Islamic headscarves in schools.
Michel Amiel, the mayor of the Pennes-Mirabeau town where the waterpark is located, now wants another ban: the event itself.
"I'm taking up a city bylaw that can prohibit this event on the grounds that it is likely to cause public disorder," he told the Le Parisien newspaper Thursday, according to The Local.
Amiel fears that the event would prioritize a certain ethnic grouping as opposed to a mixed society, the newspaper reported.
Valérie Boyer, a member of the Republicains party in parliament, also ripped the planned event, saying it would be provocative.
“The battle of 'the veil' is a visible sign of fundamentalists wanting to mark their territory and subjugate women, like men, and to establish a territory where Islam appears uniform and in social control," she told the L'Express newspaper.
The group organizing the event, Smile 13, wrote on its Facebook page that park officials had signed off on it.