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A burqini (or burkini; Arabic: بوركيني‎‎, portmanteau of burqa and bikini) swimsuit is a type of swimsuit for women. The design is intended to comply with the Quranic instruction for Muslim women to dress modestly. The suit covers the whole body except the face, the hands and the feet, whilst being light enough to enable swimming. It looks rather like a full-length wetsuit with built-in hood, but somewhat looser and made of swimsuit material instead of neoprene.


In August 2009, a woman in France was prevented from swimming in a public pool wearing a burqini, amidst ongoing controversy about Islamic dress. The action was justified by reference to a law that forbids swimming in street clothes. In August 2016, the mayor of Cannes banned the swimsuits, citing a possible link to Islamic extremism.


Notable wearers have included Nigella Lawson, who wears a burqini not out of religious observance but to protect her skin.


Some hotels and resorts in Morocco prohibited the use of a burqini in their pools for hygienic reasons. Bikinis and other swimsuit models are allowed. This caused controversial political debates.


Other styles of "Islamic" swimwear include the veilkini and MyCozzie brand. Aheda Zanetti criticized the mycozzie suit, claiming it used lycra and was unsafe. This was disputed by the designer of the mycozzie swimsuit.


The Burqini has also gained traction in Israel, both in the Jewish-Haredi and Muslem sector, and is called either Burqini or simply "Modest Swimwear".

woman in burqini
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updated Wed. March 21, 2018

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