New Two-piece Swim Suit For Muslim Women
The "burqini", which has already been sold to more than 9,000 women in
Unveiling the new Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) burqini last night, 20-year-old Mecca Laa Laa said the outfit, which covers the head and body, would give Australian Muslim women the freedom to enjoy the beach while fulfilling their religious obligations.
"The whole point is to get women active in the water, to encourage women to participate in sporting activities, in swimming activities, and wearing the burqini allows them to do that," Laa Laa told AAP.
She was joined by New South Wales State Premier Morris Iemma at a sports club awards night in Campsie, southwest Sydney, as part of SLSA's "On the Same Wave" programme, which was introduced following the Cronulla riots.
Laa Laa said there had already been a rush for the two-piece swimsuits which were priced between A$150 and A$200.
"Life at the beach is becoming more popular, I've always been going to the beach...now that the burqini has been exposed, there's definitely a demand," she was quoted by AAP as saying.
Iemma said the swimsuit was the latest part of the programme to train surf lifesavers and help break down barriers in southern
"It's one of many programmes to bring people together, and the recognition that we are all Australians and we share this land together; we've got many paths, but we've got one future, a shared future.
"It's really not a question of where you come from, what you look like, what's your dress; it (the love of the beach) is a value that we all share as Australians," the Premier told AAP.
SLSA spokesman Lee Howell told the news agency the Australian Islamic Council was very comfortable with the apparel.
"The mufti (Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali) has personally endorsed the burqini as being appropriate and permissible for cultural and religious reasons," he said.
The swimwear blended traditional beach attire with the religious requirement of a burqa, he added.
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