Australian Islamist Monitor

Islam Under Scrutiny

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For Muslims Only (1)

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Swimming for Muslims only – the new ApartheidMuslims Only

In the UK, a father and his 5-year-old son were turned away from a 'Muslim-only' swimming session at their local swimming pool because they were the wrong religion.
Mr Toube was told that the Sunday morning session was reserved for Muslim men only.

"I arrived at the pool to discover that they were holding what staff described to me as "Muslim men only swimming"…I asked whether my son and I could go as we were both male. I was told that the session was for Muslims only and that we could not be admitted…. The manager suggested that they might ask the Muslims swimming if they minded my son and I swimming with them. If they didn't object, we might be allowed in." 
Mr ToubeA few days later, Mr Toube spoke to another leisure centre employee.
"He gave me an identical story. His explanation was that it was a requirement of the Muslim religion that Muslims could not swim with non-Muslims."
Hackney Council, which runs the Clissold Leisure Centre in North London, claimed staff had made a mistake when referring to the session as Muslim-only and were wrong to refuse entry to Mr Toube.
"The men's modesty session is not a private hire and is, therefore, open to the public.
"Staff cannot ask your religion on entrance and you won't be refused entry if you don't appear to be Muslim." 
(However, the Muslim-only session was advertised on its website.)

Dr Taj Hargey, chair of the Muslim Education Centre of Oxford, said it was not true that Muslims could not swim with non-Muslims.
"There is no Koranic verse or any statement from the sources of Islam that says different religions should be segregated…The only requirement is that when women swim they should be modestly clad."
Leaflets stipulated: "It is compulsory for the body to be covered between the navel and the knees.
"Anyone not adhering to the dress code or rules within the pool will not be allowed to swim. All brothers welcome.'
Hmm, seems that means “all Muslim brothers!”
A spokesman for the Equality and Human Rights Commission said:
"Segregating services may amount to unlawful discrimination and could create a sense of unfairness, inadvertently increasing community tension."  (Reference)
You’re not wrong there!

But hey, that was in Londonistan. Things like that don’t happen in Australia!
Don’t they just! Take a look at the following report:
Keep Pools Muslim

“Swimming in an appropriate environment was made possible for Muslim women and their children through the work of the Network of Australian Muslim Women (NAMW) and the Banyule City Council
In 2000, NAMW received funding from the City of Banyule to provide women only swimming sessions for Muslim women and their children at the Olympic Leisure Centre in Heidelberg, which meets the needs of Muslim women because it provides:
Curtains so the public cannot view people swimming in the pool, and
Suitable changing rooms with partitions to ensure privacy. 
Two five weekly sessions were held for Muslim women and their children during terms 3 and 4 of the 2000 school year and participants indicated high levels of satisfaction with the facilities and the female pool attendants or lifeguards. The attendance levels demonstrate the need for swimming facilities for women only sessions to meet the cultural and religious needs of Muslim women.  Only for Arab-Muslims

As a result of the high demand, in 2001, NAMW will continue to hire the Olympic Leisure Centre for five weekly sessions. The lack of appropriate swimming facilities prevents a growing population of Australian women from accessing swimming as a health and recreational activity that is available to the general population, and is a major issue for Muslim communities across Victoria.  Many Muslim women and their children including teenage girls are unable to use public facilities for swimming and as a result, they are unable to gain the health benefits of swimming or the safety benefits of learning to swim and supporting their children around water.
In July 2000, NAMW received a community grant of $1000 from the City of Banyule to subsidise swimming for Muslim women at the Olympic Swimming Centre in Heidelberg.
In 1999, the Migrant Information Centre (Eastern Melbourne) (MIC) completed a needs analysis of linguistically and culturally diverse communities residing in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. A major issue related to access to swimming facilities that meet the religious and cultural needs of Muslim women - women’s only swimming facilities that provide privacy for swimming and changing clothes.  Many public swimming centres have glass walls where passersby can view into the swimming area.  Muslim women require walls or curtains around the pool area so that members of the public cannot view them whilst they swim. 

The MIC contacted all swimming facilities in the eastern suburbs to identify whether pools provided privacy from public view. The only suitable venue was found at the Olympic Leisure Centre in Heidelberg
These sessions were widely publicised in Arabic media and Muslim web sites as well as through distribution of leaflets to Mosques, Muslim community organisations, mailing lists and Arabic language schools for children.
NAMW subsidised the first three sessions and the later two terms of swimming were subsidised through funding from the City of Banyule’s Women’s Sport and Recreation Grants Program. 
Groups such as the Young Muslim Women’s Group in Manningham and the Afghan community in Ashburton have also indicated they would like to swim in appropriate swimming facilities for Muslim women but require transport in order to attend the facilities in Heidelberg. 

Key findings of the Report
Public money well spent Muslim women and their children do not have equal access to public swimming facilities.
There is a demand and need for swimming facilities for Muslim women and their children.
Public swimming facilities need to develop strategies for providing privacy to Muslim women and their children i.e. provide women only sessions and privacy from being viewed by the public whilst swimming.
Swimming programs for people with special needs should be developed to meet the needs of Muslim women.
roup leaders, community support agencies, ethnic media, Mosques and mailing lists should be used to promote swimming to ensure high attendance levels.
Community transport should be provided for groups who need to travel to other municipalities to access suitable swimming facilities that are not available in the local area.
Public swimming facilities should provide staff to open the facility for public swimming sessions for Muslim women and their children including collecting entrance fees.

Future Directions
The Migrant information Centre (Eastern Melbourne) will advocate on behalf of Muslim women through writing to VicSwim and local governments in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne requesting they provide appropriate swimming facilities that meet the needs of Muslim women and their children residing in their area.
NAMW will write to the City of Banyule requesting they provide staff to open the Olympic Swimming Pool for Muslim women on Friday evenings to collect entrance fees and to provide female lifeguards. (source)
Gee, that certainly sounds nice and inclusive! There are many genuinely disadvantaged groups in our community who would greatly benefit from access to swimming, for instance, the disabled and the elderly.
Will our local councils be as generous to them? Will they provide community transport?

But hey, who cares about them. Its MUSLIMS WHO MATTER!

Let’s peek into the Islamic Council of Victoria BULLETIN 5, 2006 which advertises
But why do they need their own courses? Why can’t they do normal lifeguard and swimming courses like the rest of us do?

O.T.C Female Fitness Grand Opening Ceremony, a ladies only fitness centre, giving Muslim Women the opportunity to care for their health & fitness. The centre will consist of equipment ranging from treadmills, bikes,
cross-trainers, steppers to weight training equipment such as;
multi-station, single station and free weights. There are aerobics
classes held throughout the week suitable for different levels. O.T.C
also have a spa & a sauna. Muslim Fitness Instructors & Personal
Trainers are also available.

 Cost: Free of charge
RSVP/inquiries: Sunday 20th August, 2006 Jemal Hasan; 0418 506 555 /
9357 1474
Hey, that’s not fair! I have to pay to attend my fitness centre!Because we can
SPORT & RECREATION - Women's Swimming Day

 The City of Yarra is proud to announce the return of the women's only
swimming program at the Collingwood Leisure Centre. Open to all age
groups. Boys up to the age of 5 are welcome.
Date: Every Saturday (beginning Saturday 22nd July, 2006)

Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
RSVP/inquiries: Collingwood Leisure Centre 9205 5522 (source)
But what if a man wants to swim at that time? After all, it’s a public pool, so no-one should be excluded.

Let’s now lturn to NSW’s Swim for Life - Muslim Aquatic Recreation Project

Over the past few years The Royal Life Saving Society Australia has been working to tailor programs for specific community needs. These communities can have specific cultural or linguistic diversity, health or geographic needs.
RLSSA and its partners are implementing a strategy to increase participation, employment and training opportunities for people from Muslim communities in South Western Sydney.

The Muslim Aquatic Recreation Project will:
  • Develop links between Muslim community members and groups, RLSSA and their local community aquatic facilities
  • Provide targeted community members with skills and qualifications to;
  • Secure employment as pool lifeguards and/or swimming teachers
  • Influence community activities, including those conducted by schools
  • Act as advocates for safe participation and enjoyment of aquatic recreation
  • Increase use of local aquatic facilities by all community members
  • Improve wider community knowledge and understanding of water safety, drowning prevention and aquatic recreation
  • Assist aquatic facilities to provide community friendly facilities that meet the needs of the Muslim community
Mecca Laalaa Project Officer Ph. 0405 282 188

Swimming competition But why do they need their own courses? Why can’t they do normal lifeguard and swimming courses like the rest of us do?

Proudly Supported by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship
Canterbury Hurlstone-Park RSL
Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club
Merrylands RSL
Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre
Alpha Omega Education
And why, of why are they being supported by our community organisations?
Would they support me if I wanted to put on special courses for Hindus/Jews/dwarfs/left-handed people? (Reference)

In an article in Al Age, Muslims stroke across the cultural divide, Andrew Murfett spruiks a group, Young Muslims of Australia, that organises youth events for Australian Muslims.
Enisa Muranovic, the group's volunteer sport organiser, said that swimming was an ideal activity in her role of helping young Muslim women "get together and exercise".
She obtained a grant from the Australian Sports Commission and went to Swimming Victoria, who designed a training program.
"It's programs like this that look after those that have cultural or religious needs to get them to participate."
The program began with a beginners coaching course and continued yesterday with a course for teachers of swimming and water safety.
Ms McMillan said that once accredited the women wanted to have access to centres that offered women-only sessions.
"The biggest hurdle is finding places that hold women-only swimming lessons. Even a gym with large windows that people can see in isn't on. When there's ladies-only sessions they don't have to cover up, so there is the freedom of being able to swim around."
For more information on the program call 0423 141 185 or Swimming Victoria on 9686 5222. (source)
Look, I hate to be a party pooper, but our scarce recreation resources should be used for those who have real needs because of age or disability, not for those who are perfectly capable of using public facilities.
Is it just the beginning?

Let’s stop pandering to Muslims. Public pools and recreation facilities should be open to everyone.
There is never an excuse to provide women-only or men-only sessions.
What next – sessions for blue-eyed people or those with ginger hair. The concept is ridiculous.

The sooner we make it clear to Muslims that they are not superior, but will just have to muck in with the rest of of, the sooner we will have social cohesion.

No more privileging of Muslims. And if they don’t like it, they can find some Islamic country that can better accommodate their supremacist needs.

Let’s insist on a fair go for all Aussies.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2008 07:06  

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