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Islamic-Style Swimsuits Give Women Freedom to Dive In
LA Times ^ | August 21, 2005 | Amberin Zaman

Posted on 08/21/2005 11:04:41 AM PDT by echoBoomer

.."Not in all my years had I ever seen anything quite so bizarre," Muhtar wrote in a recent column in the daily Sabah newspaper.

The women were wearing Islamic-style swimwear, which is becoming increasingly popular among Muslim women who want to bathe without baring their flesh. The outfit consists of a full body suit and hood that is pulled over a tightly fitted bonnet. A long vest completes the ensemble.

Muhtar's column has touched off a debate about the merits of such outfits in a country where most women wear Western-style swimwear, and some even go topless.

Yet the flurry of discussion has remained free of the politics engulfing the Islamic-style head scarf, which is banned in all Turkish government institutions and schools as a symbol of religious militancy. Rather, the emphasis has been on style.

"Silly, tasteless and weird," commentator Ahmet Hakan wrote in the daily Hurriyet.

Hakan's assertion that modest women should forgo swimming rather than make themselves ridiculous in such gear has angered some conservatives. Mustafa Karaduman, founder of Turkey's biggest Islamic-style fashion chain, Tekbir Giyim, or God Is Great Clothing, went so far as to suggest that Hakan was not a good Muslim.

All of this is welcome publicity for Mehmet Sahin, who while attending law school in 1993 designed his first modest bathing suit — not for women, but men.

"As a pious Muslim, I wanted to wear a bathing costume that did not cling to my genitals," he said in a recent interview. His baggy, mid-calf-length shorts became an instant hit with similarly religious-minded students. Sahin, who abandoned law, has since branched out into women's swimwear and now commands the country's largest Islamic swimwear empire, Hasema. His customers include the Turkish foreign minister's wife, Hayrunnisa Gul.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: modestdress; swimsuits
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Sahin's latest collection features special material that lets the sun through. "Customers who want a tan can now get one without undressing," Sahin said.

Sociologists say the success of Islamic-style fashion is closely linked to the surge in upward mobility of religious Turks. "For this new Islamic bourgeoisie, clothes have increasingly become a vehicle for asserting status rather than piety," said Jenny B. White, an anthropologist at Boston University who has written extensively on Islam in Turkey.

Designer head scarves have become ubiquitous in such circles. Favored by the wife of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the British designer Burberry, with its trademark plaid print, is among the most popular.

It is not just the garment industry that is cashing in. Business is booming at a string of liquor-free hotels with segregated beaches along Turkey's coast.

Away from prying male eyes, women can be seen sunning themselves in the most daring bikinis at such establishments.

Hidayet Sefkatli Tuksal, an Islamic theologian and advocate of women's rights, notes that such resorts are unaffordable for most Turks.

Islamic-style bathing suits give religiously observant Turks the freedom to enjoy the country's beaches "just like any other citizen," she said.

Tuksal, who owns three Hasema swimsuits, insists that they are very comfortable. "I can move around freely," she said. "What is more, I think they are perfectly aesthetic."

They can also be downright sexy, fashion photographer Zeynel Abidin Aggul said. The photographer told the newspaper Sabah during a recent photo shoot. "Wherever there are women, there is eroticism. A bit of ankle … a pair of eyes is all it takes."

1 posted on 08/21/2005 11:04:41 AM PDT by echoBoomer
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To: echoBoomer

I was sure this was an Onion article. It's not.

WOW.


2 posted on 08/21/2005 11:07:53 AM PDT by SteveMcKing ("I was born a Democrat. I expect I'll be a Democrat the day I leave this earth." -Zell Miller '04)
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To: echoBoomer

Obligatory picture ....

3 posted on 08/21/2005 11:08:26 AM PDT by Hodar (With Rights, come Responsibilities. Don't assume one, without assuming the other.)
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To: echoBoomer

BY THE POOL: Sociologists say the success of Islamic-style fashion is closely linked to upward mobility of religious Turks. One fashion photographer says the swimsuits can be downright sexy. “A bit of ankle ... a pair of eyes is all it takes.”
(Hasema Tekstil)


lol


4 posted on 08/21/2005 11:08:46 AM PDT by dila813
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To: echoBoomer

In olden days a glimpse of stockings,
Was looked on as something shocking,
Now heaven knows,
Anything goes.

. . . .

The world has gone mad today,
And good's bad today,
And black's white today,
And day's night today,
. . . .

. . . .
Anything goes.


5 posted on 08/21/2005 11:09:23 AM PDT by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: Hodar

Better than a burka, and a little better then the stuff western women wore about 1890:)


6 posted on 08/21/2005 11:10:07 AM PDT by calex59
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To: echoBoomer

"Wherever there are women, there is eroticism. A bit of ankle … a pair of eyes is all it takes."

Seducers!
Evil, thy name is woman!
Say, want to meet for a falafal later?


7 posted on 08/21/2005 11:11:28 AM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Hodar
Ayyyyyaahhhh, Ali! N&A pics!

(Noses and Ankles)

8 posted on 08/21/2005 11:11:40 AM PDT by BIGLOOK (I once opposed keelhauling but recently have come to my senses.)
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To: SteveMcKing

I don't think they're so bad.


9 posted on 08/21/2005 11:11:54 AM PDT by Mercat (God loves us where He finds us.)
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To: echoBoomer

10 posted on 08/21/2005 11:13:38 AM PDT by linkinpunk
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To: echoBoomer

I think these suits are nice.


11 posted on 08/21/2005 11:16:57 AM PDT by pax_et_bonum
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To: linkinpunk

LOL. That was what I was envisioning, too...

The first pic shows the flaw in the design. Some serious toe cleavage, there. I think they'll need to add boots and a "Jason mask" and then they call it a day.


12 posted on 08/21/2005 11:22:17 AM PDT by Zarro (We Support Governor Rossi)
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To: Mercat

They're cute.

Wait until the mullah has those poor girls flogged though.


13 posted on 08/21/2005 11:24:26 AM PDT by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: echoBoomer

Great to swim in, I suppose. Nothing like yards of cloth to weigh you down. Once you get fatigued from the weight, I'm guessing only your husband or relative is allowed to rescue you.


14 posted on 08/21/2005 11:24:57 AM PDT by edpc
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To: echoBoomer

15 posted on 08/21/2005 11:25:50 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Mercat

Actually, I think they're kinda cute. The colors are nice. I just wouldn't want to get wet in 'em.


16 posted on 08/21/2005 11:36:47 AM PDT by demnomo
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To: echoBoomer

I'm fat.I think the're great.


17 posted on 08/21/2005 11:37:54 AM PDT by after dark
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To: edpc
Someone other than your husband or relative may rescue you but then you must be beaten severely (for 'honor').
18 posted on 08/21/2005 11:41:18 AM PDT by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: echoBoomer
I love this one.

Is that a clown costume?

And wouldn't a person wearing that be at risk of drowning? How the heck do you swim in that contraption?

19 posted on 08/21/2005 11:42:11 AM PDT by saquin
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To: echoBoomer
I'm fat.I think they're great.
20 posted on 08/21/2005 11:42:14 AM PDT by after dark
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To: echoBoomer

These pictures should be shown to every teenage boy in the Western world. They should be told: "Lads, if Osama wins, this is what you're going to see on the beach every summer from then on."

The resulting tidal wave of enraged hormones should ensure swift victory.

Regards, Ivan


21 posted on 08/21/2005 11:44:34 AM PDT by MadIvan (You underestimate the power of the Dark Side - http://www.sithorder.com/)
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To: demnomo
Actually, I think they're kinda cute. The colors are nice. I just wouldn't want to get wet in 'em.

I'm a guy, living in LA, with a sister thats a former bikini model, and we both agree they are kinda cute. Sis chimed in with the suggestion that they be made with semi UV permeability material to get the vitamin D benifit.

22 posted on 08/21/2005 11:47:06 AM PDT by MilspecRob (Most people don't act stupid, they really are.)
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To: echoBoomer

"As a pious Muslim, I wanted to wear a bathing costume that did not cling to my genitals..."

Seems a bit weird but definitely preferable to German men hanging out on beaches wearing brightly colored speedos.


23 posted on 08/21/2005 11:49:32 AM PDT by Avenger
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To: echoBoomer
Oops.

1.) Can a woman wear red/bright colors if they are broken up (i.e. as flowers/patterns/stripes)?

1. A woman can wear bright-coloured clothing however these should not be worn in front of strangers.

24 posted on 08/21/2005 11:49:56 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: echoBoomer
Circa 1890s Victorian fashion.

After the technology of war, seems like Islam is slowly approaching the 19th century in fashion and ideas.

25 posted on 08/21/2005 11:50:23 AM PDT by CROSSHIGHWAYMAN
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To: echoBoomer
How can women accept a religion which considers the very flesh they were born in as something evil and perverted, having to be covered up? If male desire is the problem, then why not hold Muslim men responsible for controlling their desires? I just cannot understand why women accept this. There should be a mass sex strike among Muslim women, refusing to put out until Islam is reformed.

Then again, I guess the true love of any Muslim man is his goat.

26 posted on 08/21/2005 11:50:59 AM PDT by montag813
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To: Avenger

"...the potato goes in the *front*!"


27 posted on 08/21/2005 11:51:02 AM PDT by PLMerite ("Unarmed, one can only flee from Evil. But Evil isn't overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper)
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To: Hodar

Pretty cute. Not as a bathing suit, but pretty cute anyway.

I wonder what the latest in Hasidic swimming fashion is. But then a Google for "Hasidic swimwear" turns up nothing.


28 posted on 08/21/2005 11:51:06 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: echoBoomer
This hasn't been posted a few years, but seems related.


29 posted on 08/21/2005 11:53:26 AM PDT by ASA Vet (Line the border with trebuchets. Provide the invaders free flights home.)
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To: saquin

This is funny. It's worse than the stuff Granny Clampett wore in the Beverly Hillbillies.


30 posted on 08/21/2005 11:53:30 AM PDT by Luke21
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To: MadIvan
These pictures should be shown to every teenage boy in the Western world. They should be told: "Lads, if Osama wins, this is what you're going to see on the beach every summer from then on." The resulting tidal wave of enraged hormones should ensure swift victory.

I love it!

31 posted on 08/21/2005 11:53:51 AM PDT by montag813
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To: antiRepublicrat

Cute yeah. The palestinian baby dressed as a suicide bomber was cuter.


32 posted on 08/21/2005 11:54:14 AM PDT by rageaholic
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To: Hodar

"Obligatory picture ...."
The suits still dont hide their mustaches.


33 posted on 08/21/2005 11:55:50 AM PDT by DogBarkTree
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To: ASA Vet

Thanks for the laugh. Very appropriate. I can't believe the number of people who defend these muslims but who slander Christians.


34 posted on 08/21/2005 11:56:51 AM PDT by Luke21
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To: calex59

35 posted on 08/21/2005 11:57:24 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . Ministrix of ye Chace (recess appointment), TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary . . .)
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To: montag813

Well said. If that was a trip to the beach, there wouldn't be very many men around. We could win the war on terror in half the time by threatening young men with these hideous swimsuits.


36 posted on 08/21/2005 11:58:30 AM PDT by Luke21
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To: saquin

She looks like an Oompa Loompa.


37 posted on 08/21/2005 12:00:00 PM PDT by Junior_G
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To: Hodar

It's that reformed style of Islam... You can see their faces.


38 posted on 08/21/2005 12:01:18 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Avenger
I wanted to wear a bathing costume that did not cling to my genitals...

Do not go to this page unless who want to be offended.
You've been warned, don't come whining to me if you go there.
(If you do go, turn up the volume.)

39 posted on 08/21/2005 12:04:42 PM PDT by ASA Vet (Line the border with trebuchets. Provide the invaders free flights home.)
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To: SteveMcKing
"As a pious Muslim, I wanted to wear a bathing costume that did not cling to my genitals,"

"Camel toe?"

40 posted on 08/21/2005 12:05:52 PM PDT by anonymous_user (You gotta be passionate about something. I guess.)
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To: Hodar

Just looking at that pic, makes me HOT! I can't imagine wearing that in 90 degree weather. Those poor women.


41 posted on 08/21/2005 12:09:11 PM PDT by alice_in_bubbaland (Aruba: "One Crappy Little Island!")
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To: anonymous_user

See 39


42 posted on 08/21/2005 12:09:46 PM PDT by ASA Vet (Line the border with trebuchets. Provide the invaders free flights home.)
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To: saquin
And wouldn't a person wearing that be at risk of drowning?

They are made of lycra, and light in the water. The fabric does not get soaked and heavy. These suits (usually minus the head cover) are also worn by some Christian women who want modest dress - Quakers and Mennonites, etc.

43 posted on 08/21/2005 12:10:13 PM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: ASA Vet
"Ya makes your choices...and takes your chances!"

That one cracked me up! Thanks ASA!

44 posted on 08/21/2005 12:10:58 PM PDT by BIGLOOK (I once opposed keelhauling but recently have come to my senses.)
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To: ASA Vet

ROFL bump.


45 posted on 08/21/2005 12:12:41 PM PDT by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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To: anonymous_user
I wonder if they have considered the material's "sink-like-an-anchor-and-drown-to-death" effect.
46 posted on 08/21/2005 12:12:52 PM PDT by SteveMcKing ("I was born a Democrat. I expect I'll be a Democrat the day I leave this earth." -Zell Miller '04)
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To: saquin

maybe the elastic around the wrists and ankles traps air in the garment, thus allowing the wearer to float.
LOL!


47 posted on 08/21/2005 12:14:38 PM PDT by Muzzle_em (I'm an island awash in a sea of stupidity)
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To: ASA Vet
See 39

Yep, I was 70 seconds too late.

48 posted on 08/21/2005 12:15:30 PM PDT by anonymous_user (You gotta be passionate about something. I guess.)
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To: Hodar

Guess I can ditch my sunscreen...


49 posted on 08/21/2005 12:17:05 PM PDT by mrs. a (It's a short life but a merry one...)
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To: anonymous_user

I find it to be an earworm. It will linger for days if I listen to it. And of course I had to click the link to insure it was working so now it's playing over and over in my head.


50 posted on 08/21/2005 12:18:21 PM PDT by ASA Vet (Line the border with trebuchets. Provide the invaders free flights home.)
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