On Friday, the leader of the Francophone liberal MR party, Georges-Louis Bouchez, protested against the fact that Brussels' first public open-air swimming pool allows women to wear a burkini.
The FLOW pool, which opened at the Pierre Marchant bridge in the commune of Anderlecht on Thursday, allows the wearing of a burkini, a swimming suit that allows Muslim women to bathe without revealing their bodies, and also reserves certain hours for women.
"Burkinis allowed and women-only hours. The communitarian madness continues," Bouchez said on Twitter, adding that MR "will denounce this in the Brussels and federal parliaments."
Boerkini toegelaten en gereserveerde uren voor vrouwen. De communitaristische waanzin gaat voort. @MR_officiel zal dit in het Brusselse en federale parlement aanklagen. Onze waarden worden ondermijnd door de onkundige medeplichtigheid van sommigen. @SarahSchlitz moet ingrijpen. https://t.co/IAjo5hn1gX— Georges-L BOUCHEZ (@GLBouchez) July 2, 2021
"Our values are being undermined by the ignorant complicity of some. Sarah Schlitz must intervene," he added, referring to the green Ecolo party's State Secretary or Gender Equality, Equal Opportunities and Diversity.
In recent weeks, Ecolo and MR have clashed over Schlitz's appointment of Ihsane Haouach, who wears a headscarf, as a government commissioner to the Institute for Equality between Women and Men.
According to Bouchez, the appointment of Haouach goes against “the neutrality of the state,” and was motivated by electoral considerations.
Schlitz' cabinet, however, stated that the principles of neutrality are not being flouted as Haouach is not an employee of the state, and that the decision to appoint her was not motivated by electoral reasons, but because she "is the right person in the right place."