App Creators Promise to Pay Burkini Fines in France During Heatwave

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Creators of a Muslim dating app have promised to pay any fines Muslim women in France receive for wearing burkini, or full-body swimsuit, this summer, as the country experiences an unprecedented heatwave.

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Formerly known as Muzzmatch, the owners of Muzz dating app made the announcement on Monday to defend Muslim women’s right to cover while enjoying a day at the beach.

“This summer is meant to have some of the hottest temperatures recorded in France. Muzz fully supports the rights of all women across France to wear what makes them comfortable when swimming,” the app creators wrote in a statement on their website.

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“For some, that’s a bikini. For a lot of Muslim women, that’s a burkini. This is why we’ll give the money back for anyone who receives a burkini fine in France (up to a total of €25,000) this summer.”

Support Non-Muslims Too

The company also promised to reimburse non-Muslim women who wear a burkini to support Muslim women.

“We welcome support from non-Muslim allies who want to protest these unjust burkini bans. If you get a fine while wearing a burkini, we’ll reimburse you even if you’re not Muslim,” the statement added.

The burkini is a swimming costume that covers the entire body, including the head, leaving only the face, hands and feet visible.

Muslim women in France often have difficulty accessing public services due to strict limits on displays of religious conviction.

There is no national law against the burkini but in 2016, a series of towns banned the garment from beaches, in Cannes, Corsica, and Le Touquet, on the grounds that it was an ostentatious religious symbol at odds with French secularism.

Many commentators criticized the decision, seeing burkini as something that grants so many women access to sports and experiences they would have otherwise avoided because of health, body or religious concerns.

The country’s top administrative court ruled last month against allowing women to wear a burkini in public pools for religious reasons.

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