Public rules do not discriminate against anyone, it was posted because of safety purposes and should be followed by the public no matter what your religious belief will be.
But one Muslim woman in Colorado was not happy with her local recreation center, so she demanded immediate changes. The owner, however, had the perfect response to those demands.
Daily Mail reported that Sabah Ali asked workers if she could instead wear just her shirt and pants and remove the dress, but that her request was also denied. Ali was told she would not be allowed to swim since her clothes, which conformed to her religious beliefs, didn’t fall in line with pool rules.
Commerce City is standing by its decision to turn away a Muslim woman from its recreation center pool for wearing an Islamic dress over a shirt and pants.
Commerce City spokesperson Michelle Halsted said in a statement:
“The city routinely turns away people who don’t have appropriate swimwear – jean shorts, sports shorts, not wearing swim diapers. We turn all those individuals away because the No. 1 focus for us is safety.”
Halsted argues that outside clothing can increase the chances of contaminating the water and spreading waterborne illnesses. She also said full-body swimsuits and the rash guards worn by surfers are allowed in the pool.
But Ali argues that she was discriminated against because of her Islamic dress.
“Why do I have to be half-naked to swim?” Ali said. “To enjoy time with my kids? I want to have the same rights as every citizen.”
Civil rights attorney Quasair Mohamedbhai said the policies of public places should be modified to ensure that Muslims feel included. As a result of Ali coming forward, the city has reportedly decided to update its swimwear brochure so that burkinis are included in its list of acceptable swimming attire.
Furthermore, the rules are not discriminatory, but rather, they are equally enforced. Sabah Ali, however, says she still views this is an issue of religious discrimination, and civil rights attorney Quasair Mohamedbhai agrees. However, the city is standing firm, adamant that the regulations are in place for a reason and that others, who are not of the Islamic faith, have been turned away under the same rules.
“The city routinely turns away people who don’t have appropriate swimwear – jean shorts, sport shorts, not wearing swim diapers,” said Commerce City spokesperson Michelle Halsted. “We turn all those individuals away because the number one focus for us is safety.” Ali’s own case proves this to be true since she was still turned away when she offered to take off the Islamic dress and wear her shirt and pants that were underneath instead.
Commerce City Spokeswoman Michelle Halsted explained that outside clothing can increase the chances of contaminating the water and spreading waterborne illnesses.
In her response to the accusations of discrimination, Halsted pointed out that full-body swimsuits, which would include an Islamic burkini, are allowed in the pool. In other words, no one was forcing anyone to swim “half-naked.”
Watch it here: ABC7/Youtube