When Shehlla Khan’s husband became ill, it fell on her to take their three children to the pool. But for Khan, who is Muslim, the task was difficult.
The Columbia resident said she was concerned about people watching her swim in the conservative, cover-all dress required by Islamic dress codes, and thinking: “What’s wrong? Why can’t you take it off?”
What will your husband do if he finds out your swimming in a swimsuit where non-Muslims, possibly non-Muslim men might see you?
So Khan, 39, brought the issue up with members of her Dar Al-Taqwa mosque in Ellicott City. The mosque, along with members of a faith-based county group, People Acting Together in Howard, met with the Columbia Association to create a twice-weekly, women-only swim time, a trial that is scheduled to be announced Tuesday.
Muslims cleverly using “inter faith” groups to spread sharia law in the U.S.
The Columbia Association, which operates 23 pools in Howard, will join other communities that have made similar accommodations to create a more welcoming atmosphere for Muslims and other female swimmers.
Will all 23 be sharia compliant soon?
New York City’s recreation and parks department offers a women-only swim time at the Metropolitan Recreation Center. Pools around Toronto and other cities have also offered similar options, according to news reports. And at a swimming pool in Seattle, Muslim woman have used brown paper to cover glass windows, providing privacy from the lobby.
Several private universities, including Harvard and George Washington, also have provided female-only swim times, with several hours a week set aside. But occasionally, such programs have run into opponents who suggest they unfairly cater to one group. At George Washington some complained, citing concerns over the program infringing on American liberties.
“It’s a positive thing,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “Not everyone has the same needs. It’s just expanding the level of interaction with the local community and recognizing that people are different. You’re bringing people into your system who would otherwise be uncomfortable.”
CAIR is a terror-linked organization with many of its leaders convicted, jailed and deported for terror-related offenses. The group is also fighting for sharia law to be legal in the U.S. See left navigation for key links.
Hooper said such programs are beneficial to communities attempting to reach out to an otherwise isolated minority. The reserved times usually are scheduled when facilities might be under-utilized, he said.
He said he’s heard of many instances where the issue grows from women in the Muslim community, but turns out to be a need felt by others.
It always grows from the Muslim community. Like sharia. As the Muslim population grows, so does the spread of sharia law. History proves this well.
Raghid Shourbaji, president of the Howard County Muslim Council, said the need is growing because the county’s Muslim population is growing. He said another indoor pool in Jessup has a similar program, but he hopes the one in Columbia will be more convenient.
His organization, which has been in existence for about 10 years, and the county’s only mosque, Dar Al-Taqwa, are the only Muslim outlets in the county. They serve about 1,800 residents, based on mailing lists.
Safiyah Blake, a Columbia resident who is Muslim, has some practical reasons for using the women-only swim times.
“I want to take lessons to learn to put my head in the water,” she said. “I never learned how to breathe.”
But she agreed the pool experience can often drive Islamic women away.
“You can see people looking at you,” Blake said. The women-only pool times will “bridge the gap. My sisters and I can jump in.”
Bridge what gap? If Muslims are isolated, it’s because they choose to be isolated from the kuffar. In an free society people will look at you – especially if you are wearing a head-to-toe black getup when it’s 95 degrees out or at the beach or pool. Take a walk in a neighborhood where you are the minority. Be sure the majority will look at you. And in many neighborhoods in the U.S. they’ll do more than just look.
She plans to get out her burqini — a bathing suit that covers her arms and legs, and has a hood. The modest, cover-all swimsuit is often worn by Muslim women.
“It dries quicker than any other suit,” Blake said.
Jessie Newburn, a spokeswoman with the Columbia Association, said “CA was founded on inclusion,” and the organization jumped at the chance to establish the women-only pool times. “We were created for this.”
Does anyone see the irony? The association was founded on “inclusion” and yet they are intentionally excluding half the population because Muslims do not want to swim with men. Or their men may beat them.
The Columbia Swim Center in the Wilde Lake Village Center was chosen because it was the most-enclosed, with tinted windows to provide added privacy.
The women-only swim times will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the swim center; the trial period will run through the end of January.
Depending on the success at the indoor pools, Cynthia Marshall of PATH said the group might try to extend the program to outdoor pools, which might take some additional consideration.
Meet and contact those who are slowly allowing Islamic sharia law to creep into our lives here. Needless to say, if you do contact them, be respectful and rational – unlike many of the comments left here.
Related Creeping Sharia pool posts:
- Harvard Gyms go Sharia
- George Washington Univ adds female-only swim hours for Muslims
- Kansas City YMCA segregates pool for Muslim women, so does MIT
- Oregon Muslim requests women-only swim times, female lifeguards
- North Carolina aquatic center says yes to sharia law – makes public pool private for Muslim women
- UK: Muslims force infidel swimmers into sharia, darkness
- More sharia compliant swimming pools for Muslim women in UK
- London pools enforcing sharia law for non-Muslims
- Australia: Bare skin banned at public pool to appease Muslims
- Amsterdam: Muslim women demand men be banned from pool
- Sharia compliant beaches in Italy
- City of Edmonton launches sharia compliant women-only swimming
- UK: Historic swimming pool may stay open, for its sharia compliance
- Australia: Pubic pool gets $45K ‘Modesty’ curtain for Muslim women