04:34 GMT +316 November 2018
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    A burkini full-body swimsuit. (File)

    Burkinis Mysteriously Disappear From Swedish Sports Webstore After Criticism

    © AFP 2018 / MOHD RASFAN
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    Shortly after Swedish sports chain Stadium announced the sale of burkinis, an all-covering bathing suit primarily worn by Muslim women, its Facebook page was swamped with criticism. The next day, burkinis vanished from on the company's website.

    On Wednesday, Stadium announced the launch of burkinis to the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter, stressing that the company was listening to the customers' wishes and was "proud of its product range," which allowed more people to live actively.

    On its Facebook page, however, users queued to express their indignation at the decision, some even announcing that they plan to boycott Stadium's stores.

    "In all of your departments, there are people of various backgrounds, you say. Well, you also start respecting the fact that we live in Sweden with our own people, our own culture and traditions, where many of us are affronted by the burka and Islamization. We live in Sweden, not in Iran's or Saudi Arabia's oppression, where Stadium belongs. Stop making excuses," a user wrote.

    READ MORE: Swedish Swimming Pool Stops Burkini Rental in 'Symbolic Gesture'

    "Stadium, a company that contributes to the honor culture! Stadium, a company that contributes to the sick, medieval, superstitious belief that women should cover themselves to avoid the wrath of Allah. No thanks to Stadium!" another wrote.

    Others, however, were supportive of Stadium's "diverse" range, stressing that freedom of choice cannot be something negative.

    The company answered that it "embraced all the reactions," emphasizing that it was against all forms of oppression. On Thursday, however, the burkinis were conspicuously absent from Stadium's webpage.

    Stadium's press officer Angelica Larsson told Swedish national broadcaster SVT that "something went wrong" and explained that the company was "troubleshooting." She also assured that Stadium "strongly distances itself from religion, politics, culture, faith, ethnicity and other things that don't belong in the world of sport.

    READ MORE: Sweden's Largest Party Mulls Stopping Its Youth Wing's Funding Amid Islamization

    The burkini is often seen as symbolically charged and is no stranger to controversy. In 2016 it was banned in parts of France. In Sweden, the burkini has also triggered polarizing reactions, with Sara Mohammed, the president of the women's rights NGO Never Forget Pela and Fadime (GAPF), named after victims of the so-called "honor culture," also called it a "strong symbol of women's oppression."

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    burkini, women, Scandinavia, Sweden
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