Zeman vs. Burkinis: Women Should Cover Up Depending on Size

Zeman vs. Burkinis: Women Should Cover Up Depending on Size

During his weekly TV appearance Czech president Miloš Zeman touched on a topic that has recently divided Czech society – the veiling of Muslim women and, specifically, the appearance of burkinis in Prague public swimming areas.

“In Czech swimming pools there is no reason for anyone bathing in Arab clothes,” Zeman said.

On the same issue of concealing the body in a swimsuit in accordance with Islam, the President said during the interview that “it depends on what the woman looks like.”

He further explained his remarks: 

“There are women who should be covered as thoroughly as possible, depending on what their proportions …And then there are those girls, where I would tear down the burkini and where I would then be the one who would demonstrate the non-usage of burkinis.”

A seemingly amused moderator was rebuked by the President. “It is not a humorous solution, it is a realistic solution.”

Zeman said that if women do not respect the rules of a swimming pool, with regards to burkinis, in particular, they should leave, adding that it is an issue of hygiene.

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The Czech Republic has not instituted a burkini ban; photos circulating on social media this summer showing burkini-clad women at a Prague water park demonstrated the greatly divided public opinion on this sensitive issue.

In other Zeman-related news, have you downloaded this app?


Elizabeth Haas

Elizabeth Haas is the editor of Expats.cz. She has lived in Prague for 12 years working as a writer and editor of cookbooks and travel guides. Her work has appeared in both Czech and American publications.

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