Rabat - Burkini and bikini both coexist on Moroccan beaches, said Lahcen Haddad, Morocco's Minister of Tourism.
Rabat – Burkini and bikini both coexist on Moroccan beaches, said Lahcen Haddad, Morocco’s Minister of Tourism.
In an interview with French weekly magazine Jeune Afrique, Haddad said that Morocco is a Muslim country that respects individual freedom, noting that the ban of burkini might be only in private institutions [such as hotels].
Amid the growing controversy following the ban of burkini on French beaches, Haddad asserted that Morocco tolerate beachgoers’ choices and does not intervene in their swimsuits.
“On the beaches, people wear what whatever they like on condition to follow the rules of modesty,” Haddad said.
Haddad added that the issue of burkini is not worthy to be controversial so long as Morocco respects the values of moderate Islam, [this is why] Bikini and Burkini co-exist on Moroccan beaches.
The minister noted that in 2001, Morocco violently cracked down on Islamist association Al Adl Wa Al Ihssane’s members and supporters who attempted to Islamize Moroccan beaches.
“Moroccan state takes control when citizens try to be vigilante and enact their laws in public places,” he said, “the public beaches are available to everyone to access them, but no one has the right to tell others how to dress.”
Haddad did not like to comment about the issue of banning burkini in France. He believes that the ban of burkini is a French affair, in which he is not in a French position to express his standpoint, especially after the string of deadly terrorist attacks that France has suffered from over the year.
“You know, Islam is a new factor in a secular political system like that of France,” Haddad said, “In addition, we are in a post-attack period which has significantly contributed to this anxiety climate.”
Haddad noted that the latest figures of tourism in Morocco decreased by 2.6% of tourists who come to Morocco, especially French, German, British and Italian tourists.
Edited by K. Barrett Belali