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Muslim woman takes sauna in full hijab!

It's not known whether the woman wanted to make a statement by her action or was it just an expression of her religious sentiment.
ANI | By HT Correspondent, London
UPDATED ON MAR 16, 2007 05:54 PM IST

It's not known whether she wanted to make a statement by her action or was it just an expression of her religious sentiment, but a Muslim woman surprised everyone when she took Sauna bath wearing a full hijab and then jumping into a swimming pool in the same robe.

Subsequently, she changed out of her wet hijab into a dry one and left the David Lloyd Leisure Centre in Oxford, alone.

She was allowed to swelter in a sauna because the Centre’s worried staff did not want to offend her.

But, after the incident, Centre manager Liam MacGilp briefed all pool and sauna attendants on the company’s policy not allowing attending sauna baths or swimming pools in outdoor garments, reported The Sun.

According to the paper, the Centre staff did not know if they should enforce a dress code that asks customers to wear suitable clothes.

People in the sauna — all wearing normal swimming cossies — were amazed as the woman joined them in the steam room in her robes.

A surprised Muslim spokesman Taj Hargey asked: "How can you swim properly if you wear a hijab?"

Members of the David Lloyd Leisure Centre said they were baffled by the women’s actions. Club member Ian Caldwell (46) was sitting in the sauna when the fully-dressed woman walked in. He said: "I pointed out that it was a sauna and asked her if it was appropriate.

All the other women in there were all in bathing costumes. When I saw her in the pool later, she was still wearing the Islamic outfit. The pool attendant said she was allowed to wear this due to her religious customs. It was just political correctness gone completely barmy.

To be serious, this is a question of hygiene, not religious rights."

Reacting to the incident, Taj, the chairman of the Muslim Educational Centre in Oxford, said: "Wearing a veil is nothing to do with Islam, it is a cultural tradition. People should have appropriate swimwear when they come to a leisure centre. It is basic common sense".

The incident demonstrated a problem among some Muslim women in Britain, he said and added: "They think this is their way of making a statement, but this is the worst possible statement. They are shooting themselves in the foot."

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