Thank you for sharing your article, it was an interesting read and agree with much of it.
I was an in Tangier last week which is what I was referring to on the beach in Morocco, and have been to a number of different Arab countries where even in public beaches were a little more reserved on dress, that western tourists were always provided with much cleaner and more beautiful beaches and resorts where the common dress for the swimming pool or beach is a bikini. My comment was really to vent about the many people who had commented to the Burkini ban by homogenising the Arab world into Saudi or Iran as if they are a reflection of how the whole of the Arab world functions, which frankly it isn’t. It doesn’t dismiss however that religion and the bluriness of that and culture are too tangled up in Arab countries and women often bear the brunt of much of the rules and guidelines that men are setting in place.
Like you I have lived in North Africa and spent much of my life in the UK, with a mixed heritage and mixed religious/non religious family, so all too familiar with the identity clashes!