The Sunday Times
28 August 2016
Burkini a boon for Muslim women
Respect for morality and secularism, hygiene safety and public threat have been given as reasons justifying the ban on the burkini in France (“Fears that burkini ban will alienate France’s Muslim population“; last Sunday).
In Singapore, at the National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong commended several individuals on their entrepreneurial creativity and efforts.
If the creator of the burkini had been a Singaporean, she might well have been honoured, too, for her great idea to help Muslim women partake in swimming and other water sports. Perhaps we could even have a Burkini Swim Challenge Day for women.
Prophet Muhammad’s advice for women to wear the hijab (the garment that does not cover the face) on reaching puberty is for modesty and morality.
The headline of last Sunday’s report rightly pointed out that the burkini ban might “alienate France’s Muslim population”.
In this respect, I appreciate Singapore’s effort in promoting a caring, and racially and religiously harmonious nation, and in allowing the hijab even in government departments and in Parliament.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 28, 2016, with the headline ‘Burkini a boon for Muslim women’.