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“We do not know if we will keep our event. We wait to see if the received hate messages are single words or real threats that could endanger children and women simply come to bathe. “ Thivet Melisa, 33, is the founder and treasurer of Smile 13 – acronym for Sisters Marseille initiating leisure and mutual assistance -, the association has decided to organize a” day burkini “in a waterpark the Marseille region. Tears in her voice, she wonders if she will actually take place.
Planned after the holidays on September 10, the event was, according to the association, to allow Muslim women “enjoy games and park activities, by wearing clothes covering their bodies from the chest to the knees.”
Smile 13 negotiated with the Speedwater, a private park of four ha, a rate “a little less than 15 000,” that she had dampen “attracting nearly a thousand participants.” These could thus have been bathe “burkini” or “bath of jilbab”, two accessories covering the entire body.
Senator Michel Amiel ( former Socialist party who joined Force 13, the party of Jean-Noel Guerini), Mayor of Pennes-Mirabeau (Bouches-du-Rhône), where lies the park has ruled. Thursday, August 4, a decree banned the event, “on the grounds that it is likely to disturbing public order”. True, Mr. Amiel recognizes “did not have Contact with the organizers, “ but considers the day as a ” provocation is not needed in the current context. “
power National Context
Marseille police prefecture follows for its part the subject “with great attention” and “” hollow “ the association’s profile.” But she refuses, for now, to utter any ban. In a statement, the Speedwater Park, well known locally, recalled that as a company, it is still “free to privatize its space all day like a village hall for the celebration a marriage. “
in an electric domestic context around the issue of Islam, the controversy has a political origin. It was launched on Wednesday, August 3 by Stephane Ravier, Senator (Front National, FN) and Mayor of the 7 th Marseille sector, and by Valérie Boyer, the member (Republicans, LR) and mayor of 6 th sector, before being relayed by their respective parties.
Very active in social networks, where they had spotted the ad Smile 13 M . Ravier and M me Boyer should both stand for parliamentary elections in 2017 in the districts of the east and north of Marseille.
“They hunt same voters, “ provides Senator Samia Ghali (PS, Bouches-du-Rhône) that says ” disgusted by this political controversy even to stigmatize Muslims. “ ” this day is spent in a private place, without public subsidy. What right do we stop people from swimming as they want? “ rebels M me Ghali.
” I’m just playing my role warning “ retorts Mr. Ravier while M me Boyer sees the event “the visible expression of the will of fundamentalists to mark their territory.”
the controversy seems not to have reached the city of Aygalades (16 th ), where 13 Smile Association is headquartered in February. “I have heard of a women but I’m not sure it’s this one,” says Daniel Peres, the friendly representative of tenants. In April, 13 Habitat, the social landlord which manages the city refused a room to the association. “A social survey showed that its activities were not directed towards all tenants” says its services.
No public subsidy
Nadia Guemdani, President of Smile 13, is not at home. His son says she’s been gone a few days in Algeria. “With his association, my mother made for activities that veiled women out some home,” says the young man. He confirmed that M me Guemdani also gives Arabic lessons in a mosque in the area.
Established January 12, 2015, Smile said 13 together 200 members and receives no subsidies public. It organizes annual water aerobics classes in a gymnasium of stylish Prado (8 th ) and drew on 9 July, several dozen participants for “aquatic Kermesse Eid “, where wearing the” burkini “was also the rule. The rented place belonged to the Protestant parish of Marseille North.
“We are a cultural and sports association, insists M me Thivet, not worship . We organize these events because there is a request . “ Converted to Islam, she told ” living in the European “ and “do not wear the veil.” The acknowledges that it had not measured the reactions that could create the event. “We just wanted to have a good day among women with our children,” she said.