Pool staff “reminded her of the rules that apply in all (public) swimming pools which forbid swimming while clothed,” said an official.
Hmmm...three things strike me here.
One, I wonder what hygiene rules could possibly forbid swimming while clothed. Are clothes supposed to carry more germs than the body? If yes, what about swimming clothes? Isn't the Burqini made of swimsuit material? Do they pose a health risk as well? If so, how much? Surely not a lot more than regular swimsuits. Here's an idea - why not do away with clothing altogether - you know, just to be on the safe side?
Two, the connection between this incident and the whole Islamic phobia/anti burqa stance that France seems to have.
Three, isn't it amusing that some countries prohibit stripping at a pool, while others make it mandatory. In India, most women who get into pools are fully clothed. Same story at the beach. Many women just don't feel comfortable doing something the French take for granted, like wearing western swimsuits. Maybe a little more sensitivity to cultural differences like these would have prevented this incident from ever occurring.
Here's a response from the Burqini's creator. Note the focus on the French 'fear of the unknown'.