Outrage over blacking pool windows to protect Muslim women's modesty

Last Updated: Tue, Jul 06, 2010 08:10 hrs

A council in Britain has been slammed for blacking out the windows of a glass-panelled swimming pool in order to protect the modesty of Muslim women.

The centre in Darlaston, near Walsall, West Midlands had been hailed for its "ultra modern" design when it opened 10 years ago, but now all of its 250 windows have been covered with dark tinted film after Muslim swimmers complained.

Others, who have been going regularly to the centre, are furious with the move, as the pool has been plunged into permanent darkness.

"I cannot believe this council has agreed to something so loony," the Sun quoted retired building surveyor John Ewart, 63, from Walsall, as saying

"The whole thing smacks of political correctness gone stark raving mad.

"A lot of the people who swim are elderly or retired and they now have to swim in the gloom," he stated.

The council had initially refused to replace the windows with frosted glass because it was too expensive, and it defended its decision by saying they had "listened to the concerns of users", which according to another user was not so.

"I returned to swimming after having a cataracts operation some months ago and was looking forward to looking out on some lovely trees while swimming," Pauline Poole, 65, a retired legal secretary from Walsall, said.

"What I found was a situation that reminded me of how it felt like before my operation, like looking at a horrible cloudy view.

"If it was done for a minority of people, then why was there no vote on it?" she said.

A spokeswoman for Walsall Council said the complaints had predominantly come from the Muslim community but that non-Muslim women had also objected.

Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said the council should not have given in to the demands of a small group especially since it involved an outlay of taxpayers' money. (ANI)