Wheres the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear?

While the French are banning Muslims in burqinis, Italian Catholic bishops find it ironic there’s alarm when a woman is” overdressed while swimming in the sea !” “>

SABAUDIA, Italy Go to any public beach in Italy and chances are youll eventually consider a woman wearing a veils and long skirt. But she likely wont be a Muslim in a version of the controversial burqini. She will almost certainly be a Catholic nun in her summertime habit either watching children in her care or, God forbid, just enjoying some sunshine, which is considered a human right here in Italy, where the sea defines the majority of the borders.

No one in Italy would dare blink an eye at the sightof a habit-wearing sister at the seaside or even in the water.

We have nuns on the beach all the time, Marco Beoni, a barista at a coffee bar along the sea near Sabaudia, about an hour south of Rome, told The Daily Beast. They go in the water in their skirts and sit on blankets just like everybody else. Who cares what they are wearing. Whats their own problems?

In fact, most Italians are at odds with proclamations at several French beach resorts banning females wearing the burqini( also spelled burkini ), as the modest full coverage swimwear is called. Even SocialistPrime Minister Manuel Valls has waded into the debate in Paris, proclaiming the dres of the burqini is “not compatible with the values of France and the Republic.”

Italys interior minister, Angelino Alfano, himself no great fan of immigration or consolidation of non-Italians into the country, said he believed France was making a mistake by banning the burqini. We aim to avoid certain proscriptions that can be interpreted as provocations that could trigger retaliation towards Italy, he said when asked if Italy would follow France in banning what has been interpreted as religious wear on the beach. After all, the French model of consolidation has not yielded great results.

It should be no astonish at all that the Catholic Church, for my own part, doesnt consider current problems whatsoever with modest swimwear. The head of the Italian bishops, Monsignor Nunzio Galantino, used to say caution is understandable, but only when tempered with common sense.

Its hard to imagine that a woman[ in a burqini] who enters the water is there to carry out an attack, he toldthe daily Corriere della Sera in a far-reaching interview on the topic. I can only think of our nuns, and I think of our peasant grandmothers who still wear head coverings.

Making an analogy with the dres of a cross or a kippah, Galantino said, The freedom to be granted to religious symbols should be considered on a par with the freedom to express ones faiths and to follow them in public life. And, let me tell you: I find it ironic that we are alarmed that a woman is overdressed while swimming in the sea!

Not everyone in Italy wants to let the burqini be, of course.

Roberto Calderoli of the xenophobic Northern League political party, who is busy protesting plans to build a mosque near the Leaning Tower of Pisa, says that Italy should ban the burqini and the burqaand all is do with Muslims in betweenand launch their own nationals register of imams and make it international crimes for them not to openly condemn sharia law.( Burqinis do not encompass the face; burqa, typically worn in Afghanistan, is used in Europe now to describe the niqab and other veils that encompass the face except the eyes .)

Calderoli is trying to introduce a unified decide of rules in the northern region of Lombardy to ban the dres of burkinis in swimming pools, calling the full body suit a emblem of arrogance and oppression and violence against women.

He has so far been unsuccessful because many swimming pools are used for scuba diving lessons, and changing rules to make certain full body encompass illegal while accepting others has proved difficult.

Another surprising advocate of the ban is Lorella Zanardo, a feminist advocate whose documentary film Il Corpo Delle Donne , the body of a woman, about sexism in Italian television, has helped change archaic atttidues towards women in this country. She actually donned a burqini and went to the beach to see what the buzz was about. She says she found it to be hot, heavy and uncomfortable.

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Even though Zanardo has expended her career trying to make sure females are appropriately encompassed up in the often blatantly sexist Italian media, she believes, at the least in this case, that the covers should come off.

I defend the interests of Muslim females to break free of their cages, she says. Immigration should be an introduction to the culture, to the knowledge of rights, customs and traditions of other people. When I travel in the Arab world, I dress simply with a light veil, jeans or trousers. Why is it here we consider sad scenes of[ Muslim] women in Italy wholly encompassed up and sweaty beside their men who have adopted the local customs and wear light clothes and shorts. Is that freedom? We must not allow the fear of voicing anti-Islamic trump feminism and the struggle for womens rights.

The line in the sand may have been drawn in France, but thats clearly absolutely no truth to the rumors in Italy where, at the least for now, the beach is still sacred space for everyone , no matter what they are wearing.

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