The Swedish municipality of Hässleholm has purchased several 'burkinis' for young Muslim girls, saying that it allows them to participate in school swimming lessons.

The municipality justified the purchase of the controversial Islamic swimwear by saying it wanted to include as many children as possible in the school's swimming lessons programme. Municipal Deputy Managing Director Rolf Bengtsson likened the purchase to providing a computer or ice skates for children who couldn't afford them, Swedish newspaper Norra Skane reports.

"We had problems with water quality, so we asked the school that if students are to be able to swim in our baths, they must wear swimsuit, shorts or burkinis," said the local swimming pool manager Henrik Samevik.

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