"Yasmin Alibhai-Brown" seems like she's like anti-anything Muslim. I wonder why? Doesn't she realize Muslim women wear hijab and don't want to be swimming on beaches in bikinis just so that they can be called "integrated"? -- J.
=======================================================Halal holidays in the sun
If you see a veiled Muslim woman sitting on a beach watching her husband and children splashing in the waves, don't assume it's her religion that keeps her from joining in the fun.
Muslim women can often be seen swimming while veiled - though they may not want to on beaches where most women are wearing bikinis.
The problem also occurs in some resorts in Muslim countries with an international tourist trade.
Expensive hotels in some Arab countries actually ban veiled women from their pools so that Western guests feel at home.
One answer for Muslim families who want to play in the water together is Halal tourism.
The idea took off several years ago, as hotel companies witnessed the success of the Sharia-compliant banking and investment sector and saw their opportunity.
It encompasses the main aspects of Sharia-compliant living such as no alcohol, Halal food, separate mosques for prayer and modest dressing.
And with nearly 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, the potential market is huge.
I find it very alarming - cultural racism or religious racism, which is what this to me is, is saying there is no common humanity
Mizan Raja, his wife Nazma Begum and their four children travelled this summer from the UK to Alanya, on Turkey's southern, Mediterranean coast, for a beach holiday.
They had been to British resorts before - such as Brighton and Southend-on-Sea - but Nazma could only watch while the others played.
"I really thought I was missing out to be honest, like I was held back from doing something that was really fun and enjoyable.
"But here, everybody has been getting involved and having lots of fun," she said.
Large screens in the reception area of the family's four-star hotel advertised the hotel's facilities, without using female models.
Between enjoying the beach, the restaurants, the segregated spa facilities and pool areas, guests hear the call to prayer five times a day.
The term burkini (or burqini) was used by Lebanese Australian Australian designer Aheda Zanetti for a swimming suit she introduced for Muslim women in 2006-7
Today it is also used informally to describe home-made swimming costumes that cover the body except for the face hands and feet
Another feature that many women consider the highlight is an open-air women-only swimming pool on the sixth floor, at the very top of the hotel.
Even the elevator accessing the pool is for women alone.
Before Nazma and I got into the pool we were both checked for cameras and mobile phones.
Nazma's experience of women-only pools in England was quite different, she said.
"I've actually been to a women-only pool session and all of a sudden a man walked in and he was going to be the lifeguard, which contradicted what it was all about," she said.
A remarkable thing about the women-only pool area is how relaxed the women look.
Most of the women in the hotel were covered. They either wore a headscarf (hijab) or full-face veil (niqab).
In the ladies' pool however, none of the women were covered, and some were wearing regular swimming costumes.
"One person, the other day, I didn't recognise her!" Nazma said. "She was wearing the burkini but she looked so different because she (normally) wears the niqab.
"I could see her face and she was smiling. You could tell she felt safe and secure in this environment," Nazma added.
Continued at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/fast_track/8901976.stm