Just a month ago, headlines blared after a terror plot saw a lorry kill 85 people on Bastille Day, Nice. Now, the French Riveria beaches, a mere few kilometres down from Nice has implemented a full ban in burkinis- burka styled swimsuits.
Is it a rash reaction given the recent spate of French terror attacks, a demand to control women’s clothing in an increasingly culturally clashing world, or something else?
Cannes was the first place to set the ban, with Mayor David Lisnard saying “the burkini is like a uniform, a symbol of Islamist extremism. This is why I am banning it for the summer.”
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has thrown backing to the ban, calling the burkini akin “enslavement of women.”
The CCIF, a French anti-islamophobia group, challenged the burkini ban but lost the case. According to the courts, the ban falls in line with a 2004 law that restricts religious signs in public places.
The comments confused the local muslim community given Lisnard is building a mosque at the same time as banning Islamic swimwear.
It has now been followed by Villeneuve-Loubet and Sisco in Corsica. It Seaside resort Le Touqet is rumoured to be the next town to pass the ban.