It's hard enough to suffer prejudice and racism in the workplace or even in public on a regular basis, but when you're on vacation, all you want is to step away from all the hardship and just enjoy life. For one Muslim woman vacationing in the south of France, that wasn't possible.
A woman identified only as Fadila was on vacation with her family last month in the south of France, enjoying a private residence that offered guests a pool. At some point, Fadila decided to go for a quick swim, but not without changing into her favorite swimwear: a burkini.
Unfortunately for the wife and mother, as she entered the pool, a staff member reportedly asked all other guests to leave the pool area. Then later, The Independent reports, the owner reached out to Fadila's husband and asked him to have Fadila refrain from using the pool.
If that sounds harsh and uncalled for, it's because it is. After all, she is on vacation and she can't use the pool? What a horrible way to spend your time off.
Still, Fadila told reporters, things only got worse as the couple claim they were asked to pay a “cleaning” fee of 490 euros, or $575, because the woman entered the pool wearing a burkini. The staff alleged they had to empty the pool to clean it and refill due to her presence. The pool was reportedly out of commission for two days.
“I was stunned because no one stopped me or said anything at all. I was disappointed, shocked, wounded by the fact that someone could be so hypocritical and wicked because of a burkini,” Fadila said.
According to a report filed by the building's syndicate, someone claimed seeing a woman wearing a burka entering the pool, and when she was asked to get out, she refused.
As they left the residence, the couple reportedly refused to pay the cleaning fee, and the hotel removed the charge from their invoice.
As Teen Vogue noted, burkinis are designed for swimming only, so the idea that there could be a hygiene problem tied to the piece of swimwear is ludicrous. Still, some people in the south of France seem hellbent on ignoring facts.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Jason Reed