Grenoble: the ecological majority divided on the burkini in the swimming pools

The wearing of the burkini in the Grenoble municipal swimming pools divides the environmentalist majority, which must decide on Monday on its possible authorization.

Part of the Grenoble city council dissociates itself from mayor Eric Piolle. The ecologist wants to vote for the authorization of the port of the burkini in the swimming pools of the city. But according to the information of the newspaper The Parisian13 elected members of the majority group want to vote against this Monday.

Éric Piolle himself acknowledges that not all of his colleagues share his opinion on this covering swimsuit, adopted by some Muslim women. “There is no unity in the majority (…) two-thirds of them are in favor, a third against”, explains the city councilor on European 1.

Problem, for the environmentalist figure, is that this third of elected officials opposed, out of 45 seats of the majority, will undoubtedly vote in concert with the opposition, led by the right of Laurent Wauquiez. An opposition which has 14 votes out of a total of 59. Clearly, the authorization of the burkini in municipal swimming pools will be decided with a handshake.

Part of the majority associated with the opposition

It is via a statement that environmental slingers are out of the woods. Delegate municipal councilor Salima Djidel and finance assistant Hakim Sabri are the spokespersons for this collective of elected officials. The other signatories have remained anonymous for the time being. They would be ten in number, or thirteen, maybe even more. Their objective: to organize themselves to torpedo the project and sway the vote. They come from the plural majority of Grenoble, ecologists, communists, socialists and rebels.

In this release, they use the spelling “burquini” for “burkini”, to signify the connection to the burqua, note The Dauphine Libere, recipient of this missive.

The mayor of the city of Isère minimizes the opposition to this project. “It’s not a sling, we’ve been discussing it for four years. We took the time to discuss, to debate.” But the majority of people are wondering why put this flammable subject back on the table.

A “zemmourisation of the debate”

“Since 2017, the issue of the burqini has been the subject of regular controversy without any consensus emerging. This deliberation has for weeks been the subject of divisive and often caricatural debates. The fact is: the authorization of the wearing of the burqini divides the Grenoble, divides the Muslims, divides the humanist arc that we have gathered around the project of ‘Grenoble in common’, and divides even within our municipal majority”, write the signatories of the majority opposed to the burkini.

For his part, Éric Piolle denounces an instrumentalization on the part of the far right, a “zemmourisation of the debate”. Remarks which he reiterated, this Sunday, on Europe 1. Before reiterating his attachment to the law on laicity:

“The 1905 law says freedom of conscience for all, the state is neutral and everyone can express their religion. The rule is the same for everyone […] At the swimming pool you are like in the street, you dress as you want.”

Conversely, opponents of the burkini speak of a risk of “worsening the social fragmentation” of Grenoble and “isolation of our city”.

And for Éric Piolle to invoke the “feminist fight [qui] is dear to me”. He asks the municipal council not to “impose clothing bans”. His rebellious majority promises, “a significant number of elected representatives of the municipal majority to collectively express a vote ‘against'” during the deliberation.

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