Following the controversy over the ban in several areas of France of the burkini, the bathing suit worn by some Muslim women that covers most of their bodies, an Italian imam had his Facebook account blocked after he posted a picture of nuns at the seashore wearing habits.
The habits bear a vague resemblance to burkinis.
As reported by the Vocativ website, the imam, Izzedden Elzir, leads a mosque in Florence and is president of an umbrella group of Italian Muslim communities.
His photo was shared more than 3,000 times before Facebook blocked his account.
The block was a result of user reports of his profile as possibly fake. "After the imam provided Facebook with his ID (and after the Italian online media had reported widely on the incident), the account was restored within 24 hours," Vocative added.
Against the backdrop of the controversy over the burkini ban at several French beaches, lzir said he was trying to ask why Muslim woman should not be able to go to the beach fully covered, while Catholic nuns are permitted to do so.
“I just wanted get people to stop and think. That’s why I posted the photo alone, without writing a single word. I didn’t want to take sides but rather to spur a healthy debate,” Elzir, a Palestinian from Hebron who is involved in interfaith dialogue, told Vocativ.
As the controversy in France awaits a decision by the country's highest administrative court, there are some on the far right in Italy promoting similar legislation in their country, Vocativ noted.
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