Friday, 18 April 2008

"Non-muslim" father banned from Hackney pool

From the Telegraph:

A father has described his anger after he and his son were refused entry to their local swimming pool because they weren't Muslims.

David Toube and Harry, five, were turned away by staff from the men-only session.

The council admitted yesterday that workers at Clissold Leisure Centre in Hackney, north London, made a mistake and offered the family an apology.

Mr Toube, 39, a lawyer, said they visited the baths at 9am on Sunday.

“I arrived at the pool to discover that they were holding what staff described to me as 'Muslim men-only swimming’,” he said.

“I asked whether my son and I could go as we were both male.

“I was told that the session was for Muslims only and that we could not be admitted.”

Mr Toube then spoke to the duty manager, who confirmed he could not enter.

“I asked what would happen if I turned up and insisted I was Muslim.

“The manager suggested that they might ask the Muslims swimming if they minded my son and I swimming with them. If they didn’t object, we might be allowed in.”

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1 comment:

Luke Akehurst said...

Council statement:

‘None of Hackney’s leisure centres have religiously segregated swimming sessions in their public timetables. In common with most public swimming facilities, there are single sex sessions, and this session was men only. The member of staff in this situation made a mistake and the centre manager is working to ensure that all staff are clear about the timetabled sessions at the centre. Hackney Council would wish to apologise to any member of the public who was given incorrect information at any of our facilities.’