Sweden’s ideals of equality between the sexes, not to mention its ability to accommodate an increasingly multi-confessional population, are being put to the test after it was revealed that an increasing number of public swimming pools are due to have women-only hours.
The move was supposedly to accommodate the growing Muslim population as Europe’s migrant crisis continues. However, a probe has reportedly been launched into whether such initiatives actually discriminate against men.
RT discussed this issue with two social advocates on different sides of the debate: Dilly Hussain from Britain’s 5pillars Muslim news website and Toni Bugle, a founder of ‘Mothers against Radical Islam and Sharia’.
RT: Dilly Hussain, what is your response to this and to what extent do you think European countries should be changing their ways in order to accommodate immigrants?
Dilly Hussain: I think the issue of having separate swimming hours for females is not something that should be racialized or targeted to a particular faith group. What you find is that comfort is something which is desirable by both sexes, so you find women and men of all faiths and none who may prefer to swim or do certain activities with their own sex. We shouldn’t pander to this kind of arbitrary subjective conception of gender equality.
RT: But isn’t the move towards segregation connected directly to religion? Isn’t there a link to the fact that in certain countries it is a legal requirement that men and women go swimming separately?
DH: Yes, there is a legal requirement for Muslim-majority countries. If Europe wants to accommodate that, then that’s their choice. But if they don’t want to, that is also their choice. What they shouldn’t do is accommodate for it and then exacerbate public opinion against a particular faith group or migrants.
RT: Toni, what is your reaction?
Toni Bugle: I don’t think the public are exacerbating the problem at all – the problem has been exacerbated by the behavior of immigrants who have targeted children and women in such a way that it is now caused men to also become victims because they are seen as being just as bad or capable of committing these crimes. There should be no segregation…The majority of the crimes at the moment have been perpetrated, through no fault of mine or yours, but by immigrants. These immigrants have come from Islamic countries. And when it comes to segregation, I believe, the more segregation you have, the bigger the gap you are going to have, the bigger the divide you are going to have between communities. How do you then rectify the problems we’ve got within communities if we keep dividing them?
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.