Excerpt:

A pink and orange all-women's gym has become an unlikely focus of a very French row over Muslim integration, secularism and what some view as blatant populism in the run-up to France's municipal elections.

The gym, which opened last month in the up-market Paris suburb of Le Raincy, is owned by a French Muslim couple who say their religion and appearance - she wears a headscarf and he a long beard - are the reason the mayor wants to shut them down.

The squabble has erupted five months before conservative mayor Eric Raoult, who says safety is his only concern, seeks re-election in nationwide municipal polls in which the anti-immigrant National Front is expected to gain ground.


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