A ‘burkini’ swimming pool party in Pennes-Mirabeau, South France, was cancelled after the organisers received death threats.
A joint decision was made to call off the event in an effort to “calm the situation” and preserve public order after a heated reaction from residents.
However, the local mayor Michel Amiel announced he intended to prohibit the event “on the grounds it is likely to cause public disorder”.
The event was organized for September 10 as an opportunity for women to swim in private for eight hours while wearing covered swimming costume.
The party organisers Smile 13 announced in a facebook post: “It’s with astonishment and regret that we have noted the extent of this controversy. The situation has become surreal, from insults, incessant journalist requests, and death threats to members of the team. ”
The statement continued, “Our group is an open and tolerant one, including women from different backgrounds regardless of their religious and clothing choices.”
Amiel announced he had discussed the proposed party with the Speed Water Park venue with regards to the “extreme ideological positions” he believed Smile 13 were taking.
Smile 13 confirmed one of its members had been sent an envelope containing bullets, and condemned those who had sought to threaten the event. The group wrote a lengthy Facebook post criticising the “narrow-minded polemicists and politicians” who had attacked the party, before appearing to delete its Facebook account.
Smile 13 added it planned to take legal action against those who had sent the death threats.