Aheda Zanetti designed the so-called burkini in 2004 after watching her niece struggle to play handball in a traditional hijab. Zanetti writes in The Guardian this week, "what [my niece] was wearing was totally inappropriate for a sports uniform – a skivvy, tracksuit pants, and her hijab, totally unsuitable for any type of sport. She looked like a tomato she was so red and hot!"
But when Zanetti looked for sportswear for Muslim girls she couldn't find anything. She writes, "It got me thinking because when I was a girl I missed out on sport – we didn’t participate in anything because we chose to be modest." She wanted to give her niece both – modesty and activity, so she created the burkini.
In response to the burkini ban recently implemented in a number of French cities, Zanetti says French officials have misunderstood the swimsuit, "because the burkini is about freedom and happiness and lifestyle changes.”
Brian asked female Muslim listeners if the burkini allowed them to participate in more summer activities, and asked for stories from women who sat out from sports because they did not have the right dress.