The Speed Water Park near Marseille in France has been booked out for one day to Muslim women wanting to wear "burkinis". A community group in Marseille arranged the day, giving access only to women wearing the all-over swimming garment. The pool is reserved for September 10th, between 10am and 6pm.
Smile 13, which represents itself as a sports and social group for women and children wrote on a poster that during the eight-hour period the pool is "exclusively for women and children, and for boys up to the age of ten."
A note by Smile 13 said that women attending must comply with Islamic rules demanding to dress modestly and "must be covered from the chest to the knees".
The group was set up to "encourage women to join in with the community".
But the event has come up for some criticism. First of all, Michel Amiel, the mayor of the local Pennes-Mirabeau town, said that he intended to ban the event. He said he was so "shocked and angry" by the "provocation".
Some leading political figures said the move was contrary to France's legally enshrined secular values.
"Accepting this so-called fashion means we accept communalism in our country," said Valerie Boyer, a mayor of two Marseille districts from the centre-right group Les Republicains group, led by ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy.
"However, it's also a question of the woman's dignity, a question of our most fundamental principles."
But Smile 13 has received some messages of support, as well as attacks, on its Facebook page. "Good luck, ladies, I hope this takes place" wrote one woman, who said: "And I don't even wear the veil."