A swimsuit that conforms to Islamic dress code, particularly one that covers the entire body, except the face, hands, and feet. Also: burkini. [Blend of burqa and bikini.]
Many predicted heightened racial tensions at Sydney's beaches. Instead, Cronulla has become the scene of reconciliation, with 17 young men and women training there to become Australia's first Muslim lifeguards. Last weekend they received the bronze medallions that qualify them to patrol beaches and rescue swimmers from the surf.
Among them were a number of women wearing a newly designed head-to-toe swimsuit, dubbed the burqini. The two-piece outfit — featuring leggings, a loose top and a head covering — enables them to carry out their tasks while conforming to the Islamic dress code.
—Kathy Marks, "Burqini babes go on patrol on Sydney's beaches," The Independent (London), February 5, 2007
A controversy over swimwear came to a boil in Montreal earlier this summer when a recent convert to Islam wanted to wear her hijab in the pool. The young woman was working as a lifeguard at the YMCA and was told the hijab was a safety hazard, because a struggling swimmer could choke her during a rescue. She filed a complaint to the human-rights board and began wearing a Burqini, an Australian invention that marries elements of the burka and the bikini.
—Joe Friesen, "Calgary officials take the plunge in allowing hijabs at city pools," The Globe and Mail, August 22, 2008
Here's a challenge for swimwear designers. Britain's advertising watchdog last week banned a series of television commercials featuring bikini-clad women because they were offensive to Muslims.
Stand by for the burqini, a fetching one-piece ensemble made entirely of black hessian, measuring 2m in length and equipped with a small vent through which women can stick their snorkel.
—David Penberthy, "Sheiks of hate turn freedom against us," The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia), January 26, 2005