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I find I can understand and sympathise with the freedom Halal holidays can bring Muslim women but I also think it is sad to have the need for segregation like this. The lady in the article is not meeting other people, only other women and only other Muslims. It allows for no sharing of experience and understanding with people of different cultures and religions which to me is one of the highlights of travelling. I have just left Malaysia having been during the holiday period before Ramadan and sadly, in a mixed area of Muslims and Western travellers, I found no or minimal interaction between the two cultural groups, unlike in the rest of Asia. The Halal holiday can only compound this segregation in a time when the world could only benefit from more interaction and understanding between peoples. Sue Lyons, Cork, Ireland
Going on holiday often involves choices about the sort of people you wish to holiday with, and the sort of people you would prefer to avoid. I see no reason why these choices should be denied to Muslims, or indeed to anyone else. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is very out of touch if she fails to realise just how many Christian holidays are available. A Google search on the term "Christian holidays" returned over five and a half million results.
Tony, Aylesbury, UK
The columnist hit the nail on the head. Adverts for Christian White holidays would be universally condemned. These people need to come to terms with the 21st Century instead of isolating themselves. M L Wade, London
I love the Halal holidays, but I just wanted to point out that the 'burqini' wasn't the first Islamic swimsuit. I know that, for example, a chain of sports shops in Kuwait has been selling similar swimsuits for years, at a fraction of the price of the 'burqini'. Ann Ronayne, Kuwait City
Well, we have fat free, gluten free, organic, sugar free and best-buy on our supermarket shelves, you can go on gay holiday cruises, family holiday cruises, singles holiday cruises... so the question of whether a Halal holiday is divisive is really silly. As long as no one is forced to take one, who cares? Michael, Glasgow
The question is, would a non-Muslim be allowed to go on one of these holidays? If not, then clearly it is racism and shouldn't be allowed.
I've been on Christian holidays and can therefore understand why Muslim people might want to holiday with others who share their social views eg a holiday not based on drunkeness and casual sex. Seems like a good idea to me. I do notice, however, that many Muslim males seem to only want to get as far away from Islamic social restrictions as possible when they holiday in Western countries. Maybe it's only Muslim women who hold to traditional values. Vince Millett, Croydon UK
There ARE Christian holidays advertised in Turkey. Lots of them. There have been Christian tours to Turkey for centuries. There have been Christian tours around the Middle East and Christian-only accomodation at monasteries for over a millennium. As a Muslim, I have no problem with Christians doing their own thing, enjoying themselves. Does Yasmin Alibhai-Brown object to this now? Most Muslims other than a few extremists don't. Abdulhakeem, Boston, USA/Shohada, Egypt/Jeddah, KSA
I take my three-year-old for a swimming lesson and go swimming as well. Being a Muslim woman I wanted to wear something a bit more covered than a bikini so I searched on the internet and got a modestkini from a shop in London which is like three-quarter-length tights with a knee-length top covering half my arms.I have been wearing it for almost a year now... I never got any odd or out-of-place looks (maybe because I don't cover my head). In fact I usually get very appreciating looks :)and some British ladies also got the details of the shop from me. saher awan, hatfield,hertfordshire
Why is it OK for the man to be topless on the beach? As far as I understand Muslim men should also wear modest dress so this whole idea is out of kilter and yet another double standard, read the Quran it is clear in there. Eli Abu-Jaber, wakefield
In response to Yasmin Alibhai-Brown's comment in the article, these holidays are Halal, which does not mean Muslim-only, merely Muslim-friendly. There is nothing to stop non-Muslims taking the same tour package. These holidays are an excellent idea. Anonymous, London
While I appreciate the comments of the Muslim women on this issue, I still see the concept as reinforcing a sense of 'otherness', which is counter-productive. At our local beaches I have seen Orthodox Jewish women splashing about in the sea fully dressed, it looks strange but at least we are all sharing the same beach. I don't see why a Muslim woman could not wear the burkini at the beach, or at the local swimming pool in the UK (on women-only days), unless the real point is to reinforce the concept of the complete separation of the sexes in the public arena, which is not a concept most of us would agree with. BrianB, Newcastle UK
I don't think anyone classes themselves as Christian-White. Islam is a religion for all races, this is an issue of what is permissible and forbidden, it has nothing to do with race! Eden Eustice, Wembley
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