Muslim Women Can No Longer Wear Burkinis to the Beach in Cannes
The Mayor of Cannes, in Southern France, has banned the “burkini” from its beaches. He claims it is a threat to public order and a symbol of radical Islam.
A “burkini” is simply a garment that some Muslim women wear to the beach; it covers a wearer’s whole body and hair, but not her face. This ban has been met with criticism from anti-Islamophobia groups and citizens alike, who say that Mayor David Lisnard is simply trying to gain political points in the aftermath of recent terror attacks that have kept citizens on high alert.
— dwnews (@dwnews) August 12, 2016
The idea that a piece of women’s clothing could be a sign of radical Islamism and terrorism has also caused protests on social media.
The ban on burkinis also scream of Islamophobia. While other religous symbols can still be displayed, a burkini ban =”radical islam”?
— Saddiq (@SyedSaddiq) August 12, 2016
According to the BBC, Lisnard confirmed to local media that even though the Muslim religious clothing will be banned on the beaches, the Jewish kippah and the Christian cross will still be permitted. The new rule says:
Access to beaches and for swimming is banned to any person wearing improper clothes that are not respectful of good morals and secularism.
Beachwear which ostentatiously displays religious affiliation, when France and places of worship are currently the target of terrorist attacks, is liable to create risks of disrupting public order.
With the new rule, women wearing a burkini will first be asked to change into some other kind of swimwear or leave the beach. If they don’t, they will be subject to a fine of about $42.
The organization Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) has said it objects to the decision, saying in a statement on its website that no part of French law prohibits free expression of religion in public.
France has been the target of several terror attacks in the past few years; a truck attack in Nice in July was the most recent incident. CCIF pointed out in its statement that Muslims made up a third of the 85 victims at the truck attack, saying that terrorism affects everyone regardless of religion.