Conflict & Justice

Bikinis harmful to Egypt? Swimsuit at center of growing tourism debate

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Bikini-clad tourists enjoy the beach in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh,. With ultra-conservatives poised to play a big role in Egyptian parliament during an economic crisis, the Islamists' thoughts on what tourists may wear or drink are being scrutinised amid fears they will harm the country's vital tourism industry.

Credit:

MOHAMMED ABED

An activist with the Muslim Brotherhood in world-renowned Red Sea resort town, Sharm-al-Sheikh, tells AFP that “women wearing bikinis on the street” cause him harm.

“There are special places for bikinis,” he said. 

As Islamist parties sweep Egypt’s parliamentary polls, concerns are growing over the fate of the country’s tourism industry, one of its main hard currency earners.

Last month, a spokesman for the ultra-conservative Salafi Al-Nour party said they plan to open a chain of sharia-compliant hotels that would ban beach tourism and forbid the sale and consumption of alcohol.

Not sure the tourists will come flocking to your beachside resort… if they can’t go to the beach.